Erin McKenna Bakery, New York City

agave-sweetened chocolate cake

The first place I had on my list of places to go in New York City was Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC. Ever since I saw the video of the staff having a blast, I was transfixed on going there to participate in the fun and frolic.

babycakes cupcakes vita spelt

The bakery is owned by Erin McKenna, and features vegan desserts made without gluten or refined sugar. There’s also treats for people who keep kosher, and those on soy, egg, and casein-free regimes. Not all desserts fit into those categories, but for people on various diets, this place is a godsend. When a few people I mentioned it to said to me, “Gluten-free? No sugar? Is the stuff any good?”

agave sweetened cakes

If you’re wrinkling your nose, if Salted Butter Caramel Doughnuts dripping with caramel syrup and Chocolate Cake, moist from sweet agave nectar don’t sound appealing to you (like they do to me), then fine. More for the rest of us.

salted caramel doughnut travel safe, 35 cents

I wasn’t planning on spending a few hours at Erin’s bakery the morning I went. But because I have zero sense of direction, I got a little spun around in those confusing streets of the lower East side. The temperatures were soaring that morning and I figured when I finally hit the East River, it was probably time to turn around. (After wandering aimlessly a bit, I figured there was no way I was supposed to swim the final few blocks.) Silly me had written down the wrong street. And when I finally found the bakery, I pulled up a stool at the counter and decided not to leave, ever.

gluten free chocolate cake chocolate-glazed doughnut

Of course, the giant iced coffee I had in my hand didn’t exactly make me want to exit. But my friend Carrie and I tried lots of things on the extensive menu. And I got to meet Erin McKenna, who worked at Chez Panisse after I left.

Erin McKenna

You won’t get any lectures here from the snazzy staff about your health (thank goodness), or how or what to eat, because you don’t need to. The proof is in the pudding. Or more specifically, in the large assortment of cupcakes and doughnuts on display.

spelt cake pans doughnuts

All the ingredients are organic and it’s encouraging to taste such wonderful home-style cakes and cookies made from ingredients that aren’t normally associated with traditional baking. While I ate plenty, I didn’t feel bad or guilty after gorging myself. Of course, sweetener is sweetener, chocolate is chocolate, and although I like coconut oil fine, I think I’m not ready to replace French butter as my baking fat of choice quite yet.

babycakes server

Still, I was deeply impressed with how great everything was, and how sampling the various doughnuts and cakes, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. I also didn’t feel like the bakers were apologizing for anything, but were exploring new ingredients in old-fashioned desserts. And best of all, I didn’t feel like I was being preached to; the bakers and servers were having fun in the kitchen and behind the counter.

erin bakingicing shot

For those in need of a “quick fix”, one can stop in and get an Icing Shot of your favorite flavor of frosting.

Erin McKenna’s Bakery is also part of what makes New York City such a great food city. There’s seemingly room for all kinds of food in and around Manhattan, and people are taking things just seriously enough to tout the origins of ingredients and are happy to show the care they’re taking with them.

ginger server at Babycakes

I saw this everywhere, from the fantastic Union Square Greenmarket, as well as the smaller satellite farmer’s markets that spring up around the city, to burger joints like Shake Shack, which takes pride in their ingredients and how they’re prepared, even through they grill thousands of burgers, and fry bucketloads of crisp fries daily. It’s proof that it can be done.

chocolate cake

When I take a forkful of chocolate cake, as I mentioned in the introduction to Ready for Dessert, I want it to have “…that screaming intensity of chocolate.” The agave-sweetened version here did. In fact, if you were in New York City on a recent Tuesday morning at around 10:24 am and heard an odd, rather loud noise, it was probably me.

chocolate cake1 Erin McKenna

Trends come and go, and I heard more grousing about cupcakes when I was in New York, the same way Parisian macarons have come into fashion. For the record, I still have a fondness for cupcakes, especially if they’re moist and cakey, with that sugary icing that crunches a little when you bite through the fine crust that’s formed on top. Although I did see everything from cupcake trucks, to stands on the streets, selling the bite-sized cakes, I didn’t indulge because of all the too-bright frostings piled high.

(Wonder if anyone is going to set up a macaron truck in Paris? Somehow, I think it’d shock more than excite. But who knows?)

Or maybe because I live outside the United States and cupcakes haven’t invaded Paris too much, and they’re considered a novelty, that I’m not overdosed on them. So when I come back to the states, it’s fun to have one and scrape the crinkled cupcake wrapper clean with my teeth. When they’re made with wholesome ingredients, like these, I find them equally appealing.

black & white cookie icing black & white cookie

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a New York City bakery if they didn’t have Black & White cookies. At least not in my book. Now that I figured out how to get to the bakery the first time, I just need to figure out how to get back. Or maybe Erin will consider coming to Paris, and opening a bakery here. Or maybe she can roam the streets in a truck, handing out cupcakes and Black & White cookies. And perhaps a few macarons, while she’s at it.

doughnut cupcakes at Babycakes NYC

Erin McKenna’s Bakery
248 Broome Street (between Orchard & Ludlow)
Tel: 212-677-5047


(Locations also in Los Angeles and Orlando, FL)


Related Posts and Links

Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

The Doughnut Plant

Babycakes (The Gluten-Free Girl Recommends)

Citizen Cake Bakery

New York City Dining & Travel Notes

BabyCakes Cookbook

BabycakesNYC (Twitter)


  • August 16, 2010 4:37am

    … I feel an urgent need to travel to NY for some of those fantastic sweets. Thanks for those impressive pictures.


  • August 16, 2010 5:20am

    I think I need to travel. Now. To NY. Urgent.

    Unless you give us your black and white cookie recipe!

  • lee
    August 16, 2010 6:43am

    I’m so sad, my daughter’s school declared that because of Mrs. Obama’s war on childhood obesity, there will be no food treats allowed on birthdays. Last year I made the class show girl cupcakes, topped with fresh berries on the wonderful marscapone cheese frosting. Gah, cupcakes are wonderful, partly because they are portion controlled. i make mine so they don’t overflow the papers, which are the same size they were when I was a little girl, so that makes them one of the few things that have not gotten bloated and way out of proportion in the last few decades.

    I am sick of the war on enjoying food.

  • August 16, 2010 6:51am

    Those of us who don’t live in NYC need to be comforted by another David Lebovitz recipe after looking at these pics David!

  • August 16, 2010 7:06am

    lee: I just read in the paper this morning that it costs the US $14 billion dollars annually to pay for the costs associated with childhood obesity. You’re right that cupcakes are good because you can control the portions, and your kids are lucky to have a mom that makes them homemade cupcakes, which are much better than all those sugary snacks that are tempting kids (and a few adults!) at every turn.

    Kulsum: There’s a recipe for Black & White cookies in my book, Ready for Dessert, if you want to make them at home. My recipe is slightly less virtuous than Erin’s…though

  • August 16, 2010 7:09am

    Icing shots! What a killer idea!

  • August 16, 2010 7:40am


    That looks like such a fun and colorful place to be! I’m not even that much into sweets but I’d dig into a piece of that chocolate cake any day.

  • August 16, 2010 8:37am

    Thanks for the great travelogues, David. Excellent photos, as always.

    I’ve used the Babycakes cookbook to make a few of my favorites, but the recipes needed a lot of tweaking and several tries to get just right — even when using the exact same ingredients. (Unlike your Perfect Scoop, where I could veganize to my delight without “breaking” a recipe.) And, the gluten-free ingredients are a bit pricey.

    Word to the wise.

    Hi Deb: On the Babycakes website, they posted some FAQs about the recipes and ingredients used in the book to help folks who have difficulties, that you might want to check out. Glad you’ve had success converting the ice cream recipes in my book! -dl

  • Katie K
    August 16, 2010 9:00am

    I wonder what they use for food coloring.

  • August 16, 2010 10:38am

    I looooove Babycakes! My hair salon is just next door, so even though I live on the UES, I get a fix from them at least every five weeks. The salted caramel donuts are my current favorite; the agave brownie bites are a perennial one.

  • niche
    August 16, 2010 10:57am

    thanks for all the amazing places to go to in NYC. I will be back there for a few days at the beginning of September. Can’t wait to try pretty much EVERY SINGLE PLACE you mentioned. I keep sending your posts to my bf and he has told me he gets too hungry looking at them so I have to stop.

    The scary (and cool) thing about NYC is that I’ve been there many times but each time, there’s still new stuff to try or old places I never go to.

  • August 16, 2010 10:57am

    I switched from using white sugar in cooking/baking to using agave whenever feasible, but now I hear that agave “nectar” is actually just as refined as high fructose corn syrup. What do you think?

  • TRB
    August 16, 2010 11:01am

    Thanks for documenting your NYC finds. I’ll definitely check out some of your spots on a trip to NYC this fall. Unfortunately, my visit to Babycakes was not an uplifting one.

    I’ve been a cupcake addict since I was 5 yrs. old. When I learned a few years ago that I couldn’t eat milk products and should avoid gluten I was devastated. Babycakes was in the press quite a bit at the time for their gluten and dairy free goods. During a trip to NYC, visiting Babycakes was my sole mission. I always judge a bakery’s cupcakes by their vanilla or chocolate flavors. I chose a vanilla gluten and dairy free cupcake. Much to my amazement the cupcake was not good. The cake itself had a decent flavor, but the texture was awful. The cupcake felt like I was eating sand with an occasional gravel crunch for some extra texture. The icing wasn’t winning any awards either. My husband had a regular chocolate cupcake and he said it was “OK”.

    I’m wasn’t sure if we just got a bad batch of cupcakes. So, when I got home I decided to checkout the Babycakes cookbook. I was really disappointed to see that only about 1/3 of the recipes were gluten-free. When I looked online to see what other gluten / dairy folks thought about the book, the reviews were mixed. I chose a different cookbook instead and it has saved my sanity.

    If you’re gluten-free, and desperate for delicious baked goods I highly recommend “Gluten-Free Baking Classics” by Annalise Roberts. This cookbook also does a great job of explaining the role that various gluten-free flours play in baking. The book is also very economical, as you don’t purchase a bunch of flours that you’ll only use one time (some you can use for cooking too). I’ve made chocolate chip cookies from this book and took them to work. No one could tell that they were gluten and milk free, plus they actually enjoyed them. When making her recipes I replace the milk products with rice, soy or coconut milk.


  • August 16, 2010 11:12am

    Hillary: I agree with Marion Nestle’s assessment that sugar is sugar, it just takes various forms. There’s been studies that show that agave nectar isn’t any better for you than other sweeteners, yet others feel differently.

    Personally, I use agave when I want a lighter flavor and for the taste, rather than for any real or perceived health benefits.

    TRB: Some gluten-free folks have remarked that the book does have recipes with wheat and spelt in them, just like at the bakery. However at the bakery, all pans and items that may come into contact with wheat flour and spelt are carefully kept apart. Shauna of Gluten Free Girl wrote a compelling article about the cookbook, which I linked to at the end of the post.

    I sampled quite a few items from the bakery and loved everything, and I’m pretty picky. I didn’t do an icing shot, but my friend Carrie did, and she said, “Wow, it really does taste like a shot of traditional icing!” So perhaps you should give it another try on your next trip.


  • jocelyn
    August 16, 2010 11:36am

    Loved this one! Cute video and delicious looking goodies. Why don’t you do some baking videos? Would love to see you in action :)

  • Nikki
    August 16, 2010 11:39am

    Hi David,
    I recently returned from spending a year in France where I avidly read your blog (I stumbled across it a few weeks after arriving in France when I was trying to muddle my way through French sugars). My first purchase since returning to the States was an ice cream maker and The Perfect Scoop. I’ve made vanilla and tiramisu so far and they turned out awesome! I just wanted to say thanks for the great stories and recipes, they made my year much more entertaining!

  • August 16, 2010 11:46am

    What a place. Erin is a trail blazer for many gluten free bakeries.
    She deserves a lot more credit!

    Loved the video.

    Your travels, Paris, New York, what’s next?


  • somebody
    August 16, 2010 12:00pm

    Take a look at the kind of food you wrote about in Paris, and compare it to the kind of food you write about in NY. Wow, the difference is glaringly obvious.

    When reading other food blogs written in NY, I always thought the bloggers wrote about “upscale” junk food because that’s what they liked. Now I’m starting to think this is the only kind of food you can get in NY. Can’t wait ’til you go back to France. You are going back to France, right? Please say yes!

  • August 16, 2010 12:10pm

    I think you may be partially right about the exposure to cupcakes. I love macarons – always have – but I probably wouldn’t be so enthused by them if I saw them on every street corner with lines of people waiting to buy them.

    As for cupcakes… if they were made with good cake batter, I can’t see how they would be any better or worse than cake (just cuter). I’m more bothered by the prices of cupcakes in Los Angeles than I am by the desserts themselves. Five dollars for a cupcake? I think I’ll make a batch at home, thanks.

  • August 16, 2010 12:12pm

    I’m not a macaron truck, but I do deliveries on my bicycle. Paris needs some food trucks!!

  • August 16, 2010 12:12pm

    Tiffany: Someone recently wrote who was moving to Paris to ask if I knew of any taco trucks here. Heck, there aren’t hardly any tacos to be found. Period. The food truck phenomenon hasn’t really hit France, although in villages and at markets, there are rotisserie trucks and people with trucks that open up to sell cheese and other foods.

    I think a food truck might get a decent amount of attention in Paris, however I’m not sure folks would “get” the whole concept of standing outside a truck and eating. However L’As du Falafel is mobbed all the time, so perhaps it’s just a matter of time…

    somebody: I’ve written about fast-food hamburgers in Paris, as well as locally-raised farm-fresh produce at the Greenmarket in New York. Conversely, I write about Michelin starred places in contrast to inexpensive ethnic eateries in Paris.

    I tend not to go to high-end restaurants in New York because I crave ethnic and others foods that aren’t well-represented in Paris. (Even though people in NYC keep suggesting French bakeries and restaurants to me.) France, like every other country, has some very good food, and an unfortunate amount of not-so-good food. Same with New York and most cities. However in America, I seek what I can’t get in France.

  • August 16, 2010 12:23pm

    I’ve been told it just wouldn’t work as well. But I look at the success in the US, and I just can’t imagine why it wouldn’t. And Parisians love anything New York, so why not?! Your New York visit just makes me sigh at this “lost in translation”.

  • August 16, 2010 12:24pm

    hello david,

    i’ve wanted to go to babycakes ever since i got their book last year, tried quite a few recipes from it and enjoyed many of them. it was a bit of pain finding ingredients (partly because i’m not in the states) and some recipes proved tricky to work with, but it was fun experimenting with different ingredients for traditional and not so traditional sweets. so thanks for showing us around the place.

    re: macaron trucks – laduree sort of has macaron “wagons” here and there (like at printemps on the ground floor?), so maybe they can take some of them out to the streets…

  • Jean Marie
    August 16, 2010 1:02pm

    I think you should start the cupcake trend in Paris and open a shop! It’s not like you don’t have any recipes. :) I am going to visit my son who lives in the East Village sometime this fall and the list of places to go is growing. He’s going to wonder if I came to see him or if I came just to eat.

  • Jenny
    August 16, 2010 1:12pm

    Thanks for all the great places to eat in NYC. I am going there in October and this is a great guide!

  • August 16, 2010 1:59pm

    Wow – I think I’ve been struck a little speechless (and that’s saying something. Or not saying something….). That is quite a selection, and if those photos can be trusted, it looks like everything is dangerously delicious. NYC is truly a wonderful place, no? Enjoy one for those of us who aren’t there!

  • August 16, 2010 3:09pm

    Was recently in NYC and not only did I just miss the David’s book signing, now I realize I also missed out on yummy pastries? =(

    Well time to go back!

  • August 16, 2010 3:24pm

    another place to visit next time we are in NY, thanks for all the great tips!

  • August 16, 2010 3:46pm

    Icing shots. I can’t tell you how much I think I *need* an icing shot right now, and I’ve never even heard of them before!

    I would have asked are they any good as well, they look great.

  • August 16, 2010 5:55pm

    OUI to Babycakes in Paris! Can we start a petition? :)

  • CA
    August 16, 2010 6:00pm

    I second what TRB said. I made it my mission to visit Babycakes when I was in NYC earlier this year. A friend had previously made some pretty awful baked goods from the book, but I thought that maybe my friend just wasn’t the best baker. I had high hopes for the actual bakery, but my companions and I were completely disappointed. Like TRB, I thought the texture of the cupcakes was just awful, and the frosting was just weird. Ever since I’ve been scratching my head at how people with such good taste like Gwyneth Paltrow and you could so wholeheartedly endorse Babycakes. I just don’t get it.

  • August 16, 2010 6:10pm

    I am so jealous. Their book changed my gluten-free life! Fantastic photos of the whole experience. I will definitely get to Babycakes the next time I’m in LA.

    In answer to some of your reader’s questions… they use things like beet juice to color their icing. I have never gotten their icing quite right, but I just bought a KitchenAid mixer this weekend so I’m hoping that might do the trick. It’s more like vegan CoolWhip than frosting. I’ve made a ton of stuff in the book. I agree that the vanilla cupcakes aren’t great, and I couldn’t get the red velvet ones to work at all. But the banana bread is fantastic, as are the chocolate cupcakes.

    Yes, agave syrup is refined in that it’s produced via heat from the agave plant, sort of like maple syrup is natural but refined through boiling. But HFCS is made from highly hybridized/usually genetically modified corn… I will have agave before HFCS any day. It’s all relative I guess.

    Thanks for the tour!

  • August 16, 2010 6:26pm


    This post makes me so happy. You captured exactly why I love Babycakes. It’s celebration. It’s vivid colors. It’s joy.

    We’ll be in NY next month, stopping at Babycakes for a couple of hours, I’m sure. My only sadness is that you won’t be there!

  • Velops
    August 16, 2010 7:38pm

    The comments about disappointment make me wonder about the expectations people have. I get the impression that some people expected the Babycakes recipes to meet all of their criteria on what a cupcake should be. The reality is that different ingredients produce different results.

    I think it is more important to determine if the product tastes good, not whether it perfectly emulates what you want it to be.

  • August 16, 2010 9:39pm

    It’s been a very long since I’ve thought about cleaning off cupcake liners like that (which I did as a kid ALOT.) What a funny feeling it brings to read about a forgotten memory.

    Babycakes has never been interesting to me until today. You present a very persuasive argument- in words and photos- to visit the bakery, which I intend to, someday soon.


  • August 16, 2010 10:00pm


    What’s the big attraction of black and white cookies? Isn’t the frosting that sugary teeth-numbing stuff?


  • August 16, 2010 10:18pm

    Icing Shot? That’s pure brilliance, and such an “Only In America” moment for me, reading it! Gosh, what I wouldn’t give to have a place like this here in Canberra or, conversely, to be able to afford to move to New York. S’pose I’ll just have to make do with imagining it while I eat my last Amadei chocolate from Italy at my desk…

  • The Rosie One
    August 17, 2010 1:29am

    David, you are a ray of sunshine, having just read “The Sweet in Paris” and now your New York blog I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to be traveling from “The Land Down Under” next March. We are visiting San Francisco ,New Orleans and then having 8 days in your wonderfully food inspired New York!! But if that is not enough, we are then flying into France for a road trip around a yet to be planned destination and culminating in 2 wonderful weeks in Paris.(in the Marais no less!) I have been so enthralled by your writings I just can’t wait!! Keep up the wonderful blogs.
    Cheers The Rosie One


  • Skippy
    August 17, 2010 1:50am

    So you’re the reason my dog started barking at 10:24 am on a recent Tuesday morning.

  • August 17, 2010 1:59am

    i love your posts so much!
    I’m moving to New York City in 3 weeks and I can’t wait to visit places that you’ve mentioned on your blog:).

  • August 17, 2010 2:28am

    about the food trucks, the only thing like this well represented in france is la baraque à frites, the french fries truck. It’s a north of france well loved tradition (I think 50% of the whole bunch of those trucks are in this region :D) but it has spread and now you can find decent fries in a lot of places.

    This kind of trucks serves not only fries, but a lot of fried meats (or so-called Ü) like fricandelle (fried reconstituted chicken sausage), Maxicanto (ultra spiced undetermined fried squares of “reconstituted meat”), Merguez (spiced north african sausage with no pork)…
    The most famous food combination in the north of france is called un américain : 12″ of bread (baguette), opened, some of the meat I said before, and all this is covered with french fries and a big splat of sauce that could be mayonnaise, Samouraï, pepper, tartare, pita, mammoth, barbecue, etc etc etc…

    I’ve already saw a macarons truck : in the christmas market in Valenciennes and Lille, there’s always the same guy with his truck full of macarons, selling them by the piece. He has a huge success since his macarons are made with real almonds… Not the terrible and sad “almondy bland sugar” the bad bakeries are using here. It’s too bad that it’s not a street thing, but seen only on markets. Or maybe it’s a chance for me :D.


  • shelleyorama
    August 17, 2010 3:25am

    Kudos to Erin+crew for sexing up alternative bakery. I like that their frosting colours are beautiful AND can be found in nature. Alas, they will never be featured on cakewrecks.

    Re sweeteners, I found the following interesting: a source that digests recent findings on sweeteners + antioxidant content, just to confuse us all further. – ixzz0uvwiRZqY

    Agave rates surprisingly low, despite its otherwise healthy profile (for many, low impact on blood sugar). Brown sugars + maple syrup fare better than honey (!!!). Really high rating: molasses (yuck) and date sugar (yum).

  • August 17, 2010 4:04am

    You had me at icing shots. I’d never see my husband again.

  • August 17, 2010 5:10am

    shelleyorama: Yes, I think it’s great that they’ve made baking with alternative ingredients, and for those on special diets, fun. For people that need to watch what they eat, it’s refreshing to find a place where the staff and bakers are sympathetic to their needs, as opposed to any derision. Bravo to the staff and the Erin for creating such a fun place to stop in for dessert!

  • August 17, 2010 6:40am

    Don’t do that to me. I cannot even work after this chocolate cake photo…

  • August 17, 2010 8:18am

    I’ve developed an interest in gluten free foods not for myself but as the result of a friends diagnosis with celiac disease. Some of the substitutes may not result in a baked good exactly like we might have come to expect, but for someone who can no longer tolerate wheat the Babycakes cookbook was a welcome gift.From the sounds of David’s evident groaning, they’ve done a good job of making some great alternatives.

    Regarding Mrs. Obama’s war on childhood obesity, I have a difficult time understanding why that would elicit sadness. It’s epidemic and while it might mean some mom’s can’t have their child bring in a sweet treat for their birthday, I think that in the grander scheme of things I also applaud any school that would take a stand; seems the greater battle has been in getting them to recognize the need for change.

  • August 17, 2010 9:47am

    I feel an urgent need to eat chocolate right now, in any form. I think I still have some homemade Ibarra chocolate ice cream in the freezer. Bye — gotta go get a bowl. :)


  • August 17, 2010 11:52am

    Love the icing shots, this post makes me want to hop on a plane to NYC simply to eat!

  • August 17, 2010 5:36pm

    I was thrilled to see your Babycakes posting this morning. As a mum of a 7 year old coeliac I do applaud any one and any place that makes gluten free food fun. I do lots of experimenting of recipes, using alternative ingredients and it’s true that sometimes what you end up with tastes great, but doesn’t really have much in common with the original idea. For example, I make a delicious gluten free pizza but it’s very different from what others would consider a gluten pizza to be. And what’s great is when special diets transition the world of nerdy niche into the world of kooky chic. Thanks David for highlighting the efforts of those not in the mainstream. You do a grand job!

    PS. Would love the recipe for gluten free doughnuts. Any chance?

  • August 17, 2010 5:59pm

    Adriana: I would imagine that the doughnut recipes are amongst those in the Babycakes cookbook, which is available through the Babycakes website or on Amazon, or your local bookseller.

    You can send a message via their Babycakes Twitterstream to ask if the recipes are in there first.

    (I don’t have the book because my luggage was too full!)


  • August 17, 2010 6:09pm

    I just want to follow you wherever you go and eat at all the places you eat. I would be a very happy person (although very fat). Im SO jealous. Cynthia in the French Alps (where I can’t get good ethnic food)

  • yoko
    August 17, 2010 6:19pm

    hi! my first posting here even though I have been following your blog since I’ve moved to paris in february…. and honestly your blog is one of the three sites I actually look at everyday…. love it! Thank you! and just wanted to let people know there is a cupcake store I stumbled upon the other day walking from the Marais towards the Pompidou center… its called Cupcakes Berko and I have no idea if they are good because I am short on budget this month, but they looked colorful and had lots of flavors!

    here is the website…

    wish I could bake up some of my own but the stove in my teeeeny parisian kitchen is gas-operated with no temperature control, no thermometer, and no temperature markings on the knob…. sigh :'(

  • janine
    August 17, 2010 6:55pm

    Hello? Spelt is NOT gluten free, folks.

  • August 17, 2010 7:19pm

    o.m.g. that chocolate cake looks to die for … thanks for taking us along on your food fest in NY … ironically what gave me a tinge of homesickness was those greek diner coffee containers, ha! …you mentioned food trucks and I’ve been wondering lately whatever happened to the street carts that sold hot dogs and crepes on street corners in Paris years ago…and sandwiches with hardboiled eggs sliced on top of everything…enjoy the heat while you can David, and I’m sure you’ll be returning well inspired.

  • tracy
    August 17, 2010 7:47pm

    For all you West Coasters, they just opened a Babycakes in Downtown LA. All the same goodies and same helpful staff. The chocolate chip cookies are crave worthy!

  • August 18, 2010 3:47am

    janine: They acknowledge that spelt is not gluten-free and there is a large notice in the bakery regarding spelt, that some people can tolerate it and others can’t. There are gluten-free desserts that don’t have spelt in them at the bakery. And they are very up front about which treats have spelt in them and which don’t.

    amusette: I know, I had to take a picture of those Greek coffee cups! For those of us that don’t like in NY (and those that do), you can get them in a ceramic version, which I think are pretty cool.

    And (@Krysalia, too), it’s interesting that France has had food trucks for a while, but
    the idea wasn’t really considered ‘fashionable’ (trendy? hip? like it’s become in the US. I was thinking someone should do cassoulet burritos here, but am not sure folks would get it. Perhaps instead of opening my ice cream shop, I should just get a truck…

    yoko: Yes, a few cupcake places have opened in Paris, including one in the 12th as well. I don’t know how long the trend will last here: we Americans think it’s funny and a bit nostalgic to eat cake with sugary blue frosting, but am not sure it’s something the French are craving.

  • Shaggywillis
    August 18, 2010 4:31pm

    It will be interesting when bakeries who glorify the ingredient Agave Nectar come to the realization that it is no better than HFCS. Might as well use real sugar.

  • August 18, 2010 5:16pm

    Shaggywillis: As someone who has lived through the no carb (when people wouldn’t drink orange juice), no white sugar (“white death”), low-fat, and other diets, I am certain the hfcs wave will pass, too.

    (And believe me, if anyone had said during the other eras that the aversion to those ingredients would pass at the time, one would have been called “nuts.” Every few years there always seems to be a new ingredient or something to demonize.)

    Still, I think agave—like honey, maple syrup, and other liquid sweeteners, should be appreciated for its own qualities and flavor. I myself use it not because I don’t like or eat sugar, but for the flavor. The baked goods at Babycakes made with it taste really good, and I commend them for creating a new range of desserts using a variety of sweeteners and flours in traditional desserts, but in ways that are innovative.

  • August 19, 2010 11:08pm

    holy smokes, they’re actually available in ceramic too ?! Now that’s a classic. I’m amazed that you found them too ! :) Reply

  • David
    August 19, 2010 11:11pm
    David Lebovitz

    Yes, I saw them in a shop in New York when I was there. I didn’t pick any up, but I shoulda! Reply

  • August 20, 2010 8:30pm

    I visited this place when I was in NYC this June. It’s such a cute shop and the baked goods were amazing! Anyone who can should go. Reply

  • August 21, 2010 12:03pm

    thanks for such awesome pictures. they make me wanna return to NYC in the near future. (: Reply

  • Christine
    August 29, 2010 10:50pm

    Man! I was in NY for work at exactly the same time and missed the adventuring! Most of my eating was done in Brooklyn, but I’ve been wanting badly to go to Doughnut Plant. I’m commenting to agree with Margie–I wasn’t necessarily enamored with cupcakes to begin with (frosting:cake ratio is usually too huge. Have you seen the Bristol Farms cupcake?), but the price tag attached to them in LA is obnoxious.

    That being said, I did pay a visit to Babycakes when they opened up downtown, and I had a great experience. The atmosphere is so whimsical and charming (I mean, bow ties on the girls? Really?) and I appreciate the effort they’re making to broaden the choices for GF eaters. It was a little pricey, but I bought an assortment of cupcakes over to a celiac friend’s for dinner (French expat) and it was wonderful to hear him excitedly explain how he hadn’t had a cupcake for 10+ years. Reply

  • October 5, 2010 12:37am

    Thanks for the heads up about this place. I no longer live in NY, but go to visit my family there when I can. I’ve recently started a gluten/dairy/sugar free diet – so this sounds like a great place for me to still enjoy treats! Reply

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