Inside NYC’s Hottest Vietnamese Dessert Pop-Up | NYT Cooking

Meet Lauren Tran. Her pop-up bakery, Bánh by Lauren, started as an Instagram account in 2020 when the pandemic shut down restaurants like Gramercy Tavern, where she worked under the pastry chef Miro Uskokovic. During the pandemic, she sold weekly “bánh boxes” that featured Southeast Asian flavors in the form of classic French pastries and desserts. They consistently sold out within a few hours. Now, she organizes pop-ups at different locations throughout the city, featuring flavors like Vietnamese coffee and condensed milk, as well as her signature pandan coconut chiffon cake. They attract scores of people willing to show up early and wait in long lines for a chance to try her creations. Follow along to see how Lauren and her husband, Garland Wong, make it happen.


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What is bánh?

In Vietnamese, bánh translates roughly to cake. More encompassing is that it refers to foods made with wheat flour/rice flour (and also some objects that have a “cake-like” shape–like a tire, which is called bánh xe)!