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April 12, 2011

Babycakes Covers the Classics

Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

The first time I tasted a Babycakes cupcake, I couldn’t believe that it was gluten-free. I thought gluten-free meant it had to taste bad. Boy was I wrong! And Erin McKenna’s popular bakery on the Lower East Side (and now in L.A.!) is proof. Erin started Babycakes bakery after being diagnosed with multiple food allergies forced her to adhere to a special diet. Her baked goods are not just gluten-free; the vegan treats are free of all the common allergens: wheat, dairy, casein and eggs. She uses all natural, organic alternatives. For example, instead of sugar she’ll sweeten with agave nectar, and she uses rice flour or gluten-free baking flour instead of regular wheat flour. It’s pretty unbelievable, but her sweets speak for themselves.

Erin’s latest cookbook, Babycakes Covers the Classics, deviates from cupcakes to explore gluten-free, vegan variations on the classics including pancakes, waffles, honey buns, cakes, cookies, whoopie pies and donuts. It’s definitely worth checking out!

Here’s her recipe for black and white cookies to whet your baking appetite.