My whole experience with Cambridge, NY starting with having dinner at the Cambridge Hotel before Gordon Ramsay’s makeover and then by returning after the makeover has exposed me to some things in that area that I didn’t know about before.
One of my favorite things in Cambridge is the King Bakery Donut Cart (also on Yelp!). It’s where we had breakfast after our lovely stay at the Cambridge Hotel. It is something neither Cassie nor I knew existed, and we are thankful to have learned about it from so many people on twitter.
What happens is that, every Sunday at 8am, from spring to the first snowfall in the fall, a small red cart is parked in an inconspicuous location on West Main Street.
Oddly enough, our trip was in early February, and the cart was there anyway.
It was destiny.
Before we headed over to the location where the cart is, we stopped into the local Cumberland Farms and got some coffee.
Even though it was freezing, we followed the crowds; people from all over the town were walking to get doughnuts. The anticipation heightened as we approached the cart. Waiting on line while other customers were being handed these amazing looking creations was proving to be excruciating. When we finally got to the front of the line, we were greeted by the really nice lady who runs the cart. Since we were there early, we saw trays and trays of things in the cart. Doughnuts, danishes, pastries. We wanted one of everything.
One thing we knew we were getting were Bismarcks.
The Bismarck from King Bakery Donut Cart is a slightly asymmetric doughnut rolled in cinnamon sugar and filled with a white cream that is impossible to explain. I’ll try: HEAVEN. The fresh doughnut had the perfect balance of a crisp crust and a chewy interior. Both textures were enhanced by the granular sugar surrounding the pastry. There’s a little bit of cinnamon in the sugar, and that brings an earthiness to it. The cream adds some lubrication and the most intense and delicious vanilla flavor. If I say that making the short 45 minute trip from Albany to Cambridge is worth the time to experience this masterpiece, that is an understatement. I’ll say this confidently: you have never tried anything like this. You may think you have, but I assure you, you haven’t.
We got some other things too.
We picked up some apple fritters on the lady’s recommendation.
This is another difficult beast to describe. Again, the crusty exterior and chewy interior were prevalent in this creation. The apples were cooked down into chewy, cinnamon-y nuggets, and the whole thing was finished with a glaze. I am guilty of eating many apple fritters in my life, and I never had one like this. It was also remarkably smaller than what most people make.
We tried their plain doughnut and a maple-glazed doughnut.
Both were very delicious and superior to most doughnuts I’ve eaten, but really paled in comparison to the first two. I actually really liked the maple glaze; proximity to Vermont is something this bakery is certainly taking advantage of.
The most amazing thing about all of these goodies was that they were still warm!
We had also ordered a cherry-cheese danish and a coconut danish.
We didn’t even get close to eating these while in Cambridge, but when we tried them later, we were thoroughly pleased. Coconut is a flavor danish I’ve never seen before. When dispersed within the flaky danish dough and covered in glaze, the coconut takes on a chewy texture that works very well. And cherry-cheese danish…well, what’s not to love?
Our breakfast and snack was pretty formidable and enjoyable. It was a wonderful thing to include in our amazing weekend.
It’s clear to me that Cambridge, NY is a very special place. It is things like the King Bakery Donut Cart that make it so. The fact that the people in the community flock to this place is testament to their involvement with the community. And having such an amazing place in drive-able distance is a terrific thing.
Just like Jack says at the end of Season 3 of LOST…