NYU Law’s first schoolwide Bake Off takes the measure of the Law School’s culinary talent

At a table in Greenberg Lounge, a three-judge panel conducted a conference as the involved parties waited anxiously for a verdict. Two of the judges were engaged in an intense tête-à-tête; the third, deep in thought, chewed on a brownie.

The first schoolwide NYU Law Bake Off, hosted by the Office of Student Affairs on February 15, was an opportunity for students, faculty, and administrators to shift from torts to tortes for an hour. Eighteen hopefuls—all JD and LLM students, as it turned out—set out samples of their handiwork for baker’s dozens of fellow students who crowded the venue to evaluate the evidence for themselves.

Student holding bake off entry
Micah Jaffe ’24

The variety of choices was dizzying. Taro Basque cheesecake. Apple blondie brownies. Red velvet cupcakes. Gougères. Banoffee pie. Guava cheese croissants. Ruby chocolate chip and pistachio cookies. Baklava. Tunisian yoyos. Raspberry cream puffs. There were also gluten-free, vegan, halal, and kosher options, not entered in the competition, for the benefit of those with dietary restrictions.

Meanwhile, Emma DeMonte ’26; Lucy Massey ’24; and Larissa McDowell, assistant to Dean of Students Lindsay Kendrick, deliberated from their fragrant bench. The trio evaluated every entry based on taste, appearance, and execution, each judge assigning a rating between 1 and 5. Occasionally they would query contestants—for example, cross-examining them as to whether the phyllo pastry component of an entry was homemade or store bought.

A prototypical event was held for students by the Student Bar Association (SBA) last fall. In that contest, DeMonte achieved first place for her Swedish princess cake–inspired petits fours, while Massey took second (on a team with Emma Barudi ’24 and Toni Xu ’24) for Earl Grey cookies. The first event was the brainchild of SBA member and longtime baker Robert McCarthy ’24, who says that he’s delighted to see a subsequent competition open to the entire Law School. (As it happened, only students participated as contestants in the February 15 Bake Off; others at NYU Law had signed up for the event’s original date, which was moved due to inclement weather. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.)

Finally, the verdict was in. Third place went to Batya Kemper ’24 for her apple rose pastries. Maya Chamra ’26 scored silver for her baklava.

Micah Jaffe ’24 took the top prize for his mango sticky rice on a coconut tuile, which he had been assembling diligently for a good chunk of the competition’s hour. Sticky rice, the judges murmured among themselves, is hard to get right. Yes, he had made the tuiles himself.

The judges were impressed by Jaffe’s creativity. As they conferred, Jaffe described his attention to detail, such as the light sprinkling of sesame seeds and his insistence on Ataulfo mangoes, which are sweeter than other varieties. A seasoned baker, Jaffe had devised the concept for his winning entry just a week prior.

The Office of Student Affairs hopes to host future baking contests. By the time the judges announced their decision, the student tasters were back in class, perhaps with a new understanding of how sweet justice can be.

Posted February 29, 2024

NYU Law Bake Off






NYU Law Bake Off
NYU Law bake off
NYU Law bake off
Students at NYU Law Bakeoff