Growing up, dessert was the spoil available only on very special occasions. Sure, a treat after dinner was always the incentive for eating veggies, but that dessert was one piece of candy, or even some ripe fruit. The good stuff – the cookies, cake, and brownies – were exclusively reserved for holidays and exceptional occasions. As an adult you may have a bit more independence surrounding this decision. You want a cookie? Go out and buy one. Eat all you want. But with living a gluten-free lifestyle, the “go out and buy it” part is a bit trickier.
Finding delicious gluten-free baked goods is like finding a pearl in an oyster; you know it’s there, so you’ll look, but it’s so rare that it becomes a coveted object. You savor every bite and immediately feel the giddiness only familiar through the memory of eating a gingerbread man on Christmas Eve before dinner. Dessert is again an experience set aside for good behavior and exceptional times. It is not a part of the mundane or everyday.
Babycakes Bakery has been the answer to the Celiac community’s prayers. Located on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, Babycakes was founded in 2005 by Erin McKenna. This bakery has been instrumental in fueling the gluten-free and vegan obsession ever since. McKenna, a self-described “competition-level snacker,” was diagnosed with wheat and dairy allergies in 2004. Faced with the obstacle to find new snacks, her creative spirit waned as the limits on her available snacks grew. The product choices were over-processed, over-priced, or so rare they might as well have not existed. She therefore made it her mission to create delectable treats that had real ingredients and could easily be produced and safely enjoyed. As recounted by a BabyCakes employee, Evan Scott, who has been working at the New York location for just about a year, “[McKenna] never aspired to be Betty Crocker. She actually wanted to work in fashion. But her baking talent led her to open BabyCakes.” McKenna’s baking style has since been perfected down to a science. Her unique combination of ingredients requires precision, but when followed the recipes produce results that could seldom, if ever, disappoint.
The bakery has a completely dedicated kitchen – ensuring no risk for cross-contamination. McKenna has expanded her operation to storefronts in both Orlando and Downtown L.A., in addition to the original location in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Don’t live close to one of these locations? Babycakes will even deliver birthday cakes, cupcakes, brownies, and cookies all across the country! McKenna has also come out with two cookbooks, detailing her secret recipes so you can experiment at home as well!
Visit her website at http://www.babycakesnyc.com