Hot mini cakes, also known as pancake balls or Hong Kong cakes to some, have been a staple of Chinatown street treats for as long as I can remember. They are bite sized, round, fluffy, light, and extremely fun to eat. It is made to order using an ancient secret Chinese pancake batter poured over a hot steel griddle.
A little bit of historical fact: the first mini cake shop was located on the corner of Mosco and Mott Street in a bright red shack. As a child, I remember my grandfather taking me there as a reward for doing well in school. Although that shop is no longer around, there are several street vendors that still make this delicious treat.
There’s a mini cake vendor on Bowery and Pell Street, another one down on Canal and Mulberry Streets, and possibly one on Bowery and Hester Street. However, the best (when I say best, I mean cheapest) mini cake vendor can be found on Grand and Bowery Street. While others sell them for 15 pieces for $1, this guy sells you 20 for $1 – what a bargain!