Hidden New York: Sweet treats from a tiny bake shop — if you can find it

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CHELSEA, Manhattan — Tucked away on West 18th Street off Eighth Avenue sits what may look like any ordinary Manhattan apartment building.

Like any brownstone building, there are usually two flights of stairs: one that takes you into the main building, and one that leads to the basement.

In this case, the stairs that lead to the basement actually lead you to one of the smallest bake shops you will come across -- if you can find it.

City Cakes opened in 2007 and have since put up a sign that you can see partially from the sidewalk.

"We chose this space because it has a natural partition between a cold space and a hot space," Chef Marc Coolrecht said. "We can all the baking in the back and all the cake decorating in the front."

They opened with the idea of making incredibly intricate custom cakes, meaning you name a design and they will most likely do it. Up for the challenge, they once created a made-to-scale, 700-pound unicorn cake that was completely edible.

"It was exactly the size of a full-size horse," Coolrecht said.

The cakes are all baked in one tiny oven that is in the kitchen, which is why they could take weeks to make. Since opening, they've expanded to gourmet cupcakes, as well. However, the item they are perhaps most famous for are the half-pound cookies.

"They are soft-baked, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside," Coolrecht said.

The cookies come in various flavors and could be bought in the store or shipped nationwide. Trust us when we say they are worth a taste.

"Not everyone needs a cake every day of the year, but everyone could eat a cookie or a cupcake," Coolrecht said.

For now, they remain in this basement with hopes of expanding to a larger space in the future.