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January 17th, 2009 by Native New Yorker




By NativeNewYorker



For the past twelve years, every birthday party, every baby shower, every graduation, every celebration means a visit to this extraordinary bakery.  I’ve run into friends and co-workers who live way downtown who come up to Harlem just to visit Make My Cake.  Once you’ve tasted one of their sweet creations, you’ll see why people from all over the city make the trip.  I used to go to the original store on 110th street – before the building was torn down to build the incongruous high rise that now towers over Central Park North.  Sad as I was to see it close, I really like the 116th Street location, which is run by Aliyyah Baylor, daughter of JoAnn Baylor who founded the business and manages the 139th Street store. You can sit and have coffee and a treat or take out anything from a single slice to an enormous layer cake.  The staff is friendly and not only are the cakes delicious, they are beautifully decorated and they will customize them any way you want.  A few years ago, my daughter designed her own cake and Make My Cake perfectly reproduced, with vibrantly colored icings, the custom graphic she designed on her computer – and for a very reasonable price.  If you’ve never been, do yourself a favor and stop by.  mmcphoto6Try their award winning red velvet cake (based on the recipe JoAnn’s mother, “Ma Smith”, brought with her from Mississippi more than 60 years ago) or one of their scrumptious cupcakes.  According to their website, residents and local groups are welcome to utilize the 116th location for children’s activities, and small community and business meetings.   


Make My Cake

121 St. Nicholas Ave (at 116th St.)               2360 Adam C. Powell Blvd (at 139th St.)

T. 212 932.0833      F. 212 932.3198         T 212 234.2344      F. 212 324.2327

August 4th, 2010 by Harlem Condo Life

By HarlemGal
Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem just got a little sweeter! Why? Because 2211 FDB will be the home of the brand, spanking new Cupcake Suite Cupcakery & Cafe. According to their website, the Cupcake Suite is founded by the Get’em Girls (pictured in this post) and their vision “is to create a swank upscale bakery and communal cafe with the comforts of the Carolinas and the inspiration of boulangeries in France.” Ooh la la! I am so there! I love sweets!
The Cupcake Suite will be located on what they call-not us- Harlem’s budding restaurant row, Frederick Douglass Blvd., between 119th and 120th Street and will offer signature cupcakes for $2.00 each; and specialty cupcakes for $2.50 each. View their menu here!
The Cupcake Suite plans to open late September/early October so put your taste buds on hold and start to figure out how to manage your desire for sweets! Harlem will now have Tonnie’s Minis, Make My Cake and Lee, Lee’s Baked Goods all close by in Central Harlem. Let the cupcake competition begin! Hmm…can you say cupcake throw down! Quick, call the Food Network!

June 3rd, 2016 by HarlemMom

By HarlemMom for HarlemCondoLife

I attended the Harlem Eat Up event today on Sunday the last day of the event. It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day and I had a great time with my daughter. We attended last year and I must say this year it was bigger and better. It was well attended and they had a lot more booths and tables and chairs for people to sit. The music was playing the crowd was eating, dancing and having fun. We were at the area that was open to the general public. My daughter had her face painted and we had some sorbet that was being given out at the Aetna booth and we made a t-shirt there. We took our pic at the Citi booth and picked up a mason jar of Make My Cake red velvet. It was delicious! The wine and food event looked great but was not for us as I was there with my 2 and 1/2 year old but either way we had fun and so were many others at Harlem Eat Up 2016. The money raised went to City On Wheels and Harlem Parks and bought a lot of new and old faces to Harlem. Thank you for organizing a great event!

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May 15th, 2015 by HarlemGuy

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President Bill Clinton to Kick-Off Harlem EatUp! Festival

“The Stroll” Saturday, May 16, 12PM – 5PM

Morningside Park (112th Street and Manhattan Avenue)

May 13, 2015 (New York, NY) — This Saturday, May 16, President Bill Clinton, Founder of Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States, will deliver remarks and kick-off the Harlem EatUp! Festival. The event, called Harlem EatUp!’s The Stroll, will be held at Morningside Park and will offer members of the community an opportunity to experience Harlem’s soulful vibe and delicious fare.

Part of The Stroll includes The Avenue of artisans and purveyors selling specialty foods while celebrity chefs and personalities inspire with exciting culinary demonstrations. The Avenue has no admission fee and is open to the public. 

Culinary Demonstrations Presented by Macy’s on the Sub-Zero Wolf Stage

  • 12:15PM-1:00PM: Chefs Ludo Lefebvre and George Duran
  • 1:30PM-2:15PM: Chefs Marcus Samuelsson & Aaron Sanchez with special guest Marjorie Eliot of Jazz at Marjorie Eliot’s
  • 2:30PM-3:15PM: Cooking Light & Friends featuring Chefs Anna Bullett & Marvin Woods
  • 3:30PM-4:15PM: A Harlem Cook-Off featuring Keith Bryant, Melba’s, and Carlos Swepson, BLVD Bistro. Judges Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli, Jonelle Procope and Alexander Smalls
  • 4:30PM-5:15PM: Cooking Demo with Chef Scott Conant and Mixologist Karl Franz Williams

There’s more…The Experience at The Stroll features three tents influenced by the art, the music, the style and dance of Harlem. The Experience, a ticketed event, will hit all of your senses with signature bites from Harlem chefs and restaurants, and a selection of wines, beers and spirited drinks, while artists showcase their works. You don’t want to miss it!

The Experience at The Stroll: All tickets are available at

“VIE” (Very Important Eater) Experience at The Stroll: provides access to tasting tents, culinary demonstrations, and an opportunity to participate in Meet & Greet photo moments with visiting celebrity chefs and TV personalities. VIE guests will also receive one free Admission Pass to Studio Museum in Harlem and a copy of the museum’s magazine, Studio. One (1) Studio Museum pass admits 2 adults; kids 12 & under free; valid any day museum is open. *Must be 21 years old to enter The Experience at The Stroll.

Restaurants: Barawine, BLVD Bistro, Charles Country Pan Fried Chicken, Chocolat Restaurant & Lounge, Corner Social, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Farafina Café & Lounge Harlem, Harlem Shake, Harlem Tavern, La Bodega 47 Social Club, Lady Lexis Sweets, Lido, LoLo’s Seafood Shack, Madiba Harlem, Make My Cake, Melba’s, Ponty Bistro, Red Rooster, Seasoned Vegan, Spoonbread, The Cecil/Minton’s, The Grange, Bar & Eatery, Zoma Restaurant

Participating Artists: Alexis Duque, Alix Delinois, Uday Dhar, Anthony E. Boone, Lina Puerta, S. Whittaker

Exhibitors: Banfi, Beam Suntory, Bedell, Constellation / Franciscan, Constellation / Mondavi, Constellation / Roscato, Frederick Wildman, Heaven Hill, Palm Bay International, Pernod Richard, Tito’s Vodka

Sponsors: Artimus (110 Manhattan Equities), Amsterdam News, Bordeaux Wine Council

Cayman Islands, Citi, Cooking Light, Coors Light (Manhattan Beer), Corona Extra (Manhattan Beer),, Essence, Fairway Market, Great Performances , Health, iHeart Media, Macy’s, Manhattan Beer, Maui Jim, NCM, New York Times, People, Southern Wine & Spirits, Sub-Zero Wolf, Taste NY, Travel + Leisure, William Grant

About Harlem EatUp!: The inaugural Harlem EatUp! Festival will celebrate Harlem’s art, music, food, and culture this weekend! This brand new and highly anticipated festival represents the renewed spirit of Harlem while paying homage to its roots. A variety of ticketed and free events will be held throughout the weekend to feature nationally and locally renowned artists from the culinary, fine arts and performing arts worlds.

As part of its mission and dedication to Harlem, net proceeds from festival ticket sales will be donated to beneficiaries Harlem Park to Park and Citymeals-on-Wheels, two non-profit organizations that have a positive and direct impact on the Harlem community.

Harlem EatUp! is presented with generous support from the following sponsors:  Founding: Citi, EY; Platinum: Aetna; Macy’s Gold: Bordeaux Wine Council; L&M Development Partners; Manhattan Beer Silver: Taste NY, Voss; Supporting: The Clinton Foundation; Media: Cooking Light, Essence, Health, iHeartMedia, National CineMedia (NCM), New York Amsterdam News, The New York Times, People en Español, Travel+Leisure, and WABC-TV.

The festival was first announced in May 2014 at a press conference held at Red Rooster Harlem with co-founders Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz, along with Harlem EatUp! Honorary Chair, President Bill Clinton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Social Media Handles

Twitter: @HarlemEatUp

Instagram: @HarlemEatUp


Festival Founders

Marcus Samuelsson Group

Founded by award-winning chef and cookbook author Marcus Samuelsson, the Group is committed to providing exceptional and distinct culinary experiences that celebrate food, music, history, culture and art. From high-end restaurants to fast-casual cafes, we are focused on creating top quality culinary experiences and food-focused media and special events. Our commitment to excellence, community and diversity is core to our beliefs and offerings. We are passionate about sharing our culinary culture as well as the culture of where we reside, in Harlem, NYC.                         

Karlitz & Company, Inc.

Founded in 1990 by veteran event marketer Herb Karlitz, the New York-based agency has become the leader in producing food and wine events across the country, including the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, Flavor! Napa Valley, The Chocolate Show, and Enjoy Arts & Tastes-St. Pete. The agency is known for creating unique experiences in the niche areas of food, wine, luxury and entertainment for a discerning roster of clients including American Express, Breeders’ Cup, Chase, EY, Food Network, and Merrill Lynch, among others.  For more information, visit


President Bill Clinton

Making Harlem the home of his Foundation work and his personal office after leaving the White House in 2000, President Clinton continues to be a deeply committed resident of the community. Through the work of one of his first initiatives, the Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative, to his ongoing work to improve health and wellness, President Clinton remains one of Harlem’s most ardent champions.

The Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change.



Feeding and caring for older New Yorkers since 1981, Citymeals-on-Wheels ( provides a continuous lifeline of nutritious food and human company to the city’s homebound elderly. Citymeals works with community-based meal centers to deliver over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals to 18,000 of our frail aged neighbors. In East, West and Central Harlem, Citymeals provides over 200,000 nutritionally balanced meals to 1,290 meal recipients each year, serving 134,000 weekend meals and 38,700 emergency and holiday meals including deliveries on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Last year, more than 19,000 volunteers provided over 67,000 hours of service across the city. In Central Harlem, Citymeals launched a unique Friendly Visiting program in 2005 through which volunteers visit meal recipients in their homes on a weekly basis to combat the loneliness they experience. Volunteers have been matched with 546 isolated elderly in the neighborhood and provide 24,000 hours of service. Citymeals relies on the generosity of sponsors, its Board of Directors, the City of New York and other designated gifts to cover administrative costs. This ensures that 100% of all public donations goes directly to the preparation and delivery of meals.

Harlem Park to Park

Harlem Park to Park (HP2P) is a network of entrepreneurs committed to community development in Central Harlem, NYC’s premiere dining, shopping and nightlife hub north of 110th Street. Formed in September 2009, HP2P’s membership is comprised of more than 100 premier businesses located within the geographic area of Central Park North to 135th street and Morningside Park to Marcus Garvey Park.  Its mission is to encourage commerce that successfully sustains small businesses; promotes the community and culture of the Village of Harlem and celebrates the neighborhood’s historic CHARM:

Community and Culture

Heritage and Hospitality

Art and Architecture

Retail and Restaurants



February 2nd, 2014 by Native New Yorker

strivers rowtonisenecal


I woke up early this morning, (having fallen asleep with the television on) to an episode of Toni on New York featuring our beloved Harlem.  I thoroughly enjoyed the vivacious Toni’s exploration of our neighborhood – its important and colorful schomburgpast and its vibrant present.  I am a native and long time resident of Harlem and I learned a few things I did not know about this amazing neighborhood.  The visit to the Schomburg and the backstage tour of Apollo with Billy Mitchell were

apolloparticularly interesting,  It was also great fun to see Toni sample some of Harlem’s favorite foods, escorted on her “Taste of Harlem” tour by Neal Shoemaker, the founder of Harlem Heritage Tours, which ran the gamut from wings & waffles at Amy Ruth’s to to red velvet cake at one of my personal favorites, Make My Cake..  I had not previously seen this show, make my cakewhich is both hosted and executive produced by Toni Senecal, but I am now definitely a fan.  You can check out the segment online or on Toni’s Facebook page.



February 7th, 2013 by harlemhouse

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A friend to our blog let us know that an episode of “Selling New York” will air tonight on the HGTV channel with many Harlem businesses represented.

From what I am told, you can expect to see on this particular episode the very popular 5 and Diamond Restaurant on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Cedric French Bistro located on 119th Street, and Harlem’s famous Make my Cake on 116th Street.

Here is a clip from an episode of SELLING NEW YORK.

Already a fan of HGTV’s “Selling New York”, “House Hunters” and “House Hunters International” we are especially looking forward to seeing “our Harlem” represented on this new episode of Selling New York.  FYI, this is the third time Harlem has been represented on Selling New York.  We here at HarlemCondoLife are not at all surprised to see more attention coming to Harlem.

Make sure to tune in tonight  to “Selling New York” on HGTV at 6:30pm.


February 8th, 2011 by Harlem Condo Life

By HarlemGal
Tonight, several Harlem businesses, such as Harlem Flo, The Winery, Make My Cake, Tonnie’s Minis, Aloft Hotel and Yatenga, are gathering together to “Kiss & Tell.” Well, not exactly that, but sort of! These Harlem businesses will be on hand Tuesday evening, starting at 6 p.m., to offer gift advice for Valentine’s Day. According to Harlem Flo’s Facebook site, the February 8th event will “feature unique and creative gifts items that you can purchase for your loved ones for V-day and there after.”

So if you need something for your cupid or yourself, head on over to Harlem Flo, second location at 2276 Frederick Douglass Blvd., at West 122nd Street.

August 28th, 2010 by Harlem Condo Life

By HarlemGal
The possibility of Busboys and Poets opening up a restaurant in Harlem is alive and well. How do we know this? Anas “Andy” Shallal, the owner of Busboys and Poets, has finally commented on the subject.

Through his Twitter account, Shallal said on August 27 that he is “visiting New York City…had a great tour of Harlem…still looking at New York…” Yes! That is good news! And Shallal even tweeted he went by Make My Cake. Sounds like he is saying hello to his future business neighbors? Also, based on the tweets the Busboys and Poets owner was touring around West 116th Street, not too far from the location where they are rumored to open, which is in the commercial space at 2280 Frederick Douglass Blvd. Recently, we told you about Busboys and Poets plan to expand outside the beltway and into Harlem.

This recent development of Andy Shallal confirming he was in Harlem definitely feeds into all the excitement. And it is keeping me on my blogging toes! Stay tuned Harlemites!

August 15th, 2010 by Harlem Condo Life

Photo provided by BET

By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
The Travelistas of BET recently came to Harlem for their season one episode. While here they asked locals what they love about Harlem? See what some Harlemites had to say.  You may recognize some of the places in the video that we have featured as well, such as Mojo, Swing, N Boutique, Make My Cake and Frederick Douglass Circle and more! Take a look by clicking here!

March 5th, 2010 by Harlem Condo Life

By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
While Best Yet Market celebrates its grand opening March 5, HarlemCondoLife would like to echo the words that one of our readers left on our site: “don’t forget about the local gems that were here before [Best Yet].”  Those comments are smack right on! We must continue to support all of our local businesses.


There are several places of business close to our new supermarket that offer excellent products. HCL agrees with our reader that Harlem’s Patisserie Des Ambassades, located right across the street from Best Yet, offers delicious breads and pastries. I have purchased baguette’s at Les Ambassades before and they are absolutely delicious. Go purchase bread there. It is very good! And their pastries are scrumptious as well. There are a wide variety of pastries to choose from at Les Ambassades, such as fruit tarts, danishes, tiramisu, creme brulee and more. The food is darn tastie as well. But I won’t elaborate about the food just yet. Stay tune for a restaurant review by a HCL blogger.


As for other places close by that offer excellent desserts and bread rolls is Lee Lee’s Baked Goods and a few blocks east  on 116th and St. Nicholas is Make My Cake.

We encourage you to visit Lee Lee’s, Make My Cake and Les Ambassades. They won’t disappoint. Take our word for it!

Patisserie Des Ambassades
2200 8th Ave
(between 118th St & 119th St)
New York, NY 10026
(212) 666-0078

Lee Lee’s Baked Goods
283 W 118th Street close to FDB
New York, NY 10026
(917) 493-6633

Make My Cake
121 St. Nicholas Ave (at 116th St.)
(212) 932.0833