Nestled in Forest Hills, Queens is an Asian-inspired pastry shop run by Chef Judy Lai, a first generation Chinese American. While the pastry industry lean toward French and Italian in the United States, Chef Lai has found a way to steal the spotlight with her fusion of East Asian and Western flavors at Silk Cakes. Traditional Italian rainbow cookies are served; as well as popular Asian offerings like the pandan chiffon cake, paired with coconut whipped cream. Pandan leaves and paste are commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking.
One of the highlights of Silk Cakes menu is their gourmet cupcake selection. We know, the last thing anyone wants to hear about is more cupcakes. But instead of the basic Magnolia flavors, which can get quite boring, the combinations at Silk Cakes are a breath of fresh air. The black sesame with peanut butter buttercream and semi sweet truffle is a revelation of flavors. The sesame cake, by itself, is somewhat underwhelming. But coupled with the rich peanut butter and truffle, a symphony of flavors emerges.
The Thai tea cupcake is somewhat lighter than other items you’ll find on the menu, most likely because it isn’t complimented with a fatty nut or decadent Nutella. But the Thai tea with condensed milk buttercream and white chocolate truffle is delicious in its own right. The white chocolate is not cloying or overpowering, as it can be, but adds a light sweetness to the orange cake along with the condensed milk.
There’s vegan purple yam cakes, chocolate avocado cream, green tea truffle, sriracha chocolate and so many more flavors to try at this pastry shop. And while we fell in love with Chef Lai’s outrageous cupcake menu, her cakes are as beautiful as they are delicious. The minimalistic designs and watercolor painting is something that very few pastry chefs still do today. But if you don’t feel like going out to Queens, Silk Cakes is on Uber Eats and will deliver. Being able to have sweets like this delivered could be dangerous for all of our waistbands, but Chef Lai makes every bite worth it.