Jane Danger, the owner of Jane’s Sweet Buns, is not one of those women who grew up at the hem of her grandmother’s apron begging for a chance to get her hands on the dough. Her experience is behind the bar (her last gig was at Cienfuegos, and her business partner is that bar’s Ravi DeRossi). But in this venture, she’s put the booze into baked goods instead of the cocktail shaker.
You’re hit with sensory overload when walking into the bright bakery, located on St. Marks Place between First Avenue and Avenue A. It’s hard to focus on ordering between the sugary, boozy aroma and clashing colored walls — one is painted lime green, another is striped yellow and white and festooned with strawberries that aren’t, but should be, scratch-and-sniff. The double-fist-size, spiraled pastries sit in glass-domed trays on top of the tiny counter in rotating flavors like the Rum Runner (aged rum, Galliano, raisins), the Old Fashioned (pecans, bourbon, angostura bitters), and an orange-and-bourbon-flavored frosted number that recently won our hearts for not being as overly sweet as anything with heavy icing is bound to be.
This bakery has a liquor MO, but can you get drunk at Jane’s Sweet Buns? This week’s newly approved liquor license will surely help in those matters. There are plans to serve sherry, champagne, dessert wines like port, and even a couple of beers for you to mix and match with your buns. But the actual baked goods won’t give you a buzz. While the alcohol is present in the toppings and frostings (and trust us, you will know it’s in there), it’s cooked out enough, says Danger, that it’s impossible to get any more drunk than you would from vanilla or peppermint extract. Still, it’s a sweet treat that’s extremely grown up, and perhaps a perfect gift for a pregnant friend craving a cocktail fix. At the very least, it’s a better substitute than the ubiquitous cupcake.