sweet buttons desserts

SWEET TREATS IN THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS

About

At Sweet Buttons, we believe that a little everyday indulgence is a must. That's what motivates head baker Karen Ng, who makes her glitter-adorned creations on-site daily.
Photographed by Andy Yao

Photographed by Andy Yao

Hello, we're Sweet Buttons.

We specialize in individually sized cupcakes, tarts, and panna cottas, all topped with lovely edible glitter.

Our signature small serving size allows Sweet Buttons patrons to try out different textures and flavors, rather than labor through one huge dessert piece. We're big believers in having real food in portioned quantities. So ours are the type of dessert where you can go for two or three varieties, and even if you’re full from dinner, you can still fit at least one treat in.

Photographed by Andy Yao

Photographed by Andy Yao

It all started...

...with a banana crème pie. The way Karen made it, it was light and smooth, with a burst of banana flavor in each bite and a sugar tart crust that punctuated it all with a satisfying crunch. Made with top-notch ingredients like real vanilla beans, fresh cream, fresh milk, and fresh eggs, it was a pie the Ng family looked forward to Karen making at every family gathering.

One Thanksgiving, Karen's entire family was eagerly awaiting their customary post-dinner pie. Karen went to retrieve the pie from the refrigerator, but in a moment of almost comical blunder, she dropped the pie. 

Crushed, Karen went to deliver the sad news. But her family's reaction surprised her more than the drop itself.

Ever watch the cheesecake episode of Friends? If yes, you'd know what it looked like when Karen’s father, brother, and cousins immediately grabbed forks and fell to the ground, ravenous. While they ate the entire pie, right off the floor, inspiration struck Karen. If people like my pastries this much, she thought, why not open a sweets shop?

 

Karen Ng is...

...head baker of Sweet Buttons. Originally intending to go into medicine like her father, the native New Yorker earned her B.S. in Health Science at Stony Brook University before an episode of senior-year panic turned her onto the path toward her true passion: baking. She attended the pastry program at the French Culinary Institute (now known as the International Culinary Center), graduating at the top of her class. After working in the Bowery Whole Foods bakery and running a wedding cake catering business out of her home for three years, she finally opened Sweet Buttons in February of 2013.

Why dessert? “Dessert is always so enjoyable to look at and also eat,” says Karen, who draws her inspiration from the people around her, as well as farmers’ markets. “I like to play with flavors I'm unfamiliar with, and there are so many different types of spices, fruits, and vegetables out there that I’m discovering all the time.” This is the spirit Karen brings to her creations at Sweet Buttons.