NYC’s Best Rainbow Food + Unicorn Desserts


New York truly comes alive in summer, and summer is certainly finally here! It will take these Dessert Correspondents much longer to adapt to the American use of Fahrenheit, but it hasn’t taken us long at all to seek out the craziest summer desserts in NYC, and boy, are there some! Desserts featuring unicorns, rainbows, “hundred of thousands” have become all the rage – here’s a first round-up of the most psychedelic for your bon appetit! Happy dessert adventures!

Rainbow bagel

  • ☑ Dessert destination: The Bagel Store, 754 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg.
  • ☑ Short and sweet story: This dense carbohydrate circle that resembles a twist of Playdoh is unexpectedly savoury with only a hint of sweetness from the schmear of sprinkle-filled cream cheese.  

Unicorn taiyaki

  • ☑ Dessert destination: Taiyaki NYC, 119 Baxter Street, Soho.
  • ☑ Short and sweet story: Epitomizing the Americanization of a centuries-old Japanese dessert, this is a “secret menu” item featuring edible gummy candy as unicorn horns and ears topping lightly-flavoured strawberry and vanilla soft-serve that is swirled into the gaping mouth of a fish-shaped waffle. Don’t expect the red bean paste of old. Rather, look out for the indulgent chocolate end note. Lick quick, or the fishy will taste as though you threw it back in the ocean.

Unicorn cupcake

  • ☑ Dessert Destination:  Georgetown Cupcakes, 111 Mercer Street, Soho.
  • ☑ Short and sweet story: A darling little vanilla cupcake enfolded with “hundreds of thousands,” layered with a thick buttercream frosting out from which a little unicorn’s head peers.

Rainbow cupcake

  • ☑ Dessert Destination: Baked by Melissa, various locations.
  • ☑ Short and sweet story: If you are looking for a gluttonous binge, don’t come here. This is a very dainty, bite-sized nibble perfect for the petit-four dessert platter. Violently coloured, it is a subdued vanilla in taste.

Rainbow roll cake

  • ☑ Dessert Destination: Besfren, 315 5th Avenue, Koreatown.
  • ☑ Short and sweet story: Found in a hidden pocket in busy Koreatown, this slightly-larger-than-a-bite-sized nibble is baked with a lighter hand, resulting in a fluffier cake rolled with light cream, and embellished with a sugar flower.

Funfetti cookie

  • ☑ Dessert Destination: Schmackery’s, 362 W 45th St, Meat Packing District.
  • ☑ Short and sweet story: When you are of the club that believes that chocolate-chip cookies are best for wintry days, but still yearn for a cookie for a summer day, look no further than the “lighter” but just as sweet “Funfetti” sugar cookie smeared with a frosting of cream cheese and a sprinkling of edible confetti.

Birthday cake croissant

  • ☑ Dessert Destination: Union Fare, 6 East 18th St, Union Square Park. 
  • ☑ Short and sweet story: If you are not the Francophile who believes that champagne can only be labelled as so if originating from the Champagne region in France, or that the only possible spread to a croissant may be butter, take an adventure to this buzzy food hall for a properly puffy croissant luxuriously upholstered with pink custard cream and with colourful sprinkles baked right into it, too.

Birthday soft serve

  • ☑ Dessert Destination:  Momofuku Milk Bar, various locations.  
  • ☑ Short and sweet story: It was trend-setter Momofuku Milk Bar in or around 2014 that made soft-serve ice cream (and rainbow sprinkles) the new millennial “IT” dessert – a confection that one had previously associated with childhood nostalgia at McDonalds. Take the 50 cent cone, artfully pour it into a paper cup, splash it with a handful of sprinkles, slap on a x100 price tag, and hey presto, the crowds came running, and well, haven’t stopped since. Guilty as charged.


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