Peanut Butter

A Simple, Peanut Buttery Icebox Cake—Made Entirely from Bodega Ingredients

March  1, 2017

This is part of an ongoing series to celebrate bodegas (and their owners) in New York City—each week, we're highlighting recipes from food writers and chefs made entirely from ingredients purchased in bodegas. Today: Food writer Gabriella Gershenson on the Chelsea bodega she frequents—and the architectural cake she makes with certain cult foods.

I live on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea and am literally flanked by bodegas. They’re where I go for newspapers, chit chat, the odd pack of cigarettes, a reminder of the guilty pleasure foods that I love, and a distinct hit of New York-ness. I chose the ingredients for this recipe as a way to showcase what makes bodegas bodegas. The randomness of their inventory facilitates reunions between you and long-forgotten beloved snacks, like Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies, which are the greatest shortbreads of all time. Bodegas are also the keepers of cult foods, of which Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews, the garnish on this cake, may be the finest example. The bananas are a hat-tip to the single item of produce that you’re likely to find at any bodega, whether it carries fresh food or not. Martha Stewart, the source of the excellent peanut butter cream used in this cake, calls for natural peanut butter, which goes against every unwritten bodega law. I swap in Skippy.

Yes, we know these aren't bananas. Photo by Liz Clayman

Want to get involved? Send your bodega recipe to [email protected].

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • CatalunaLilith
  • PG
  • Gabriella Gershenson
    Gabriella Gershenson
  • Nikkitha Bakshani
    Nikkitha Bakshani
Food writer & editor


CatalunaLilith March 2, 2017
should we use Cavendish bananas or plantains? The recipe just says banana (which usually implies Cavendish) but the picture above is of plantains
Gabriella G. March 2, 2017
Hi! There are no plantains in the recipe, just plain old bananas will do. :)
PG March 1, 2017
Just a heads up that you posted a picture of plantains instead of bananas. Recipe looks great though!
Nikkitha B. March 1, 2017
Thanks for letting us know. The photographer took a wide range of photos of and inside bodegas for us, and we should have been more eagle-eyed. Let us know how you enjoy the cake should you choose to make it :).