Babycakes NYC, founded by Erin McKenna, is a cake lovers delight. It produces an amazing array of doughnuts, cupcakes and cookies, all of which just happen to be vegan and gluten free. Yep, that’s right, Babycakes is a purveyor of all things sweet and tasty, which are largely edible by all. What is evident in the goods on offer is that Erin and her team are committed not simply to churning out vegan/gluten-free goods (oh and ones that are free from refined sugar) but to creating high quality, tasty produce that doesn’t compromise on experience just because it caters to people with dietary restrictions (or choices).
The difficulty with sustaining a vegan/gluten-free etc business is the perception that the food not only tastes substandard but that it will come delivered with a free-lecture and a dose of sanctimony. That Babycakes is the antithesis to this view is immediately apparent. The store has a relaxed charm about it, with kitchenalia occupying its every surface. Vintage signs with customer service advice abound, whilst the pin-board is adorned with letters from fans, including a certain Obama family (anyone else love the fact that the first dogs have signed the Christmas card?) … This homely style is reflected in the service, with affable staff on hand to make suggestions and share their favourite choices with you (and not a lecture on the perils of gluten in sight).
To the cakes. Are they any good? In a word, yes. Babycakes offers a range of products, mainly doughnuts, cookies and cupcakes (although there are others). In doing so, it also covers most flavour preferences from salted caramel and cinnamon to mocha and red velvet meaning that it should have something to appeal to most palates. The doughnuts are incredibly moreish; slightly crispy on the outside but remaining softer on the inside. The flavour intensities are also great for vegan cooking, with particular favourites being the salted caramel and cinnamon options. At the time of our visit, Babycakes was also offering cinnamon madeleines and churros, both of which should not be missed given the opportunity. The difficulty with Babycakes is that, in our experience, stopping at just one cake is not an option. Not only did we have seconds whilst there (accompanied by the fairly decent coffee on offer) but we took a sizeable batch home with us too.
The facts: Babycakes NYC is located at 248 Broome Street (between Orchard & Ludlow) and is open from 10 am daily until 8pm (Monday & Sunday) 10pm (Tuesday – Thursday) and 11pm (11pm). It also delivers, details of which can be found here. Their website is here and their twitter handle is @BabyCakesNYC