Choosing just one decadent dessert from Kenny’s Bakery is no easy feat. Each row of sugary treats on display at the Dominican bakery, in Inwood, is more tempting than the last. So instead of settling, we ordered an array of gooey goodies.
The rainbow-colored three-layer Dominican cake was a sweet standout. Sandwiched between the thick, chewy layers of cake were smears of guava jelly, which gave the dessert an unexpected, savory depth. The creamy, sugar-rich icing—topped with multicolored sprinkles—lent this dessert real flare.
The coco con piña (coconut cake with pineapple jelly) was another favorite, although it was very heavy. The sugary, coconut-y cake was dense and moist, with a sweet bottom layer of pineapple jelly.
Habichuelas con dulce (sweet cream of beans)—a Lenten tradition in the Dominican Republic—were an unexpected hit. The room temperature bean soup was flavored with coconut, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and evaporated milk. These spicy, sweet, creamy undertones complemented the earthy, grainy stewed beans.
The pastel de guayaba had the flaky exterior of a turnover, but it was filled with the same flavorful guava jelly used in the three-layer cake.
The thick wedge of arepa de maiz was less appealing to us. The creamy corn pudding was spiked with raisins and mildly flavored with sugar and cinnamon. It tasted like corn bread and even had that signature grainy texture, but its heavy, dense consistency was more like congealed day-old Cream of Wheat porridge.
The batata bread pudding, made from sweet potatoes, was much better. The thick pudding was filled with nuts and fruits and tasted suspiciously like a fruitcake. Flavors of nutmeg and cinnamon shone through the dessert.
This sweet feast, conducted on the trunk of our car (a word to the wise—there’s no space to linger inside this cozy bakery), was only a small sampling of the many Dominican desserts made on-site at this nearly 20-year-old bakery. The bakery, which was recently closed by the city Health Department, recently reopened. We’ll be back.
Kenny’s Bakery, 126A Dyckman St., Inwood, Manhattan