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BabyCakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-About Bakery [Hardcover]

Erin McKenna
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 28.00
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Book Description

May 5 2009
Forget everything
you’ve heard about
health-conscious baking.

Simply, BabyCakes is your key to an enlightened, indulgent, sweets-filled future. This is important news not only for parents whose children have allergies, for vegans, and for others who struggle with food sensitivities, but also for all you sugar-loving traditionalists. The recipes in these pages prove that there is a healthy alternative to recklessly made desserts, one that doesn't sacrifice taste or texture.

Having experimented endlessly with alternative, health-conscious sweeteners, flours, and thickeners, Erin McKenna, the proprietress of beloved bakery BabyCakes NYC, developed these recipes–most are gluten-free, all are without refined sugar–in hopes of combating her own wheat, dairy, and sugar sensitivities. In BabyCakes, she shares detailed information about the ingredients she uses (coconut flour, xanthan gum, and agave nectar, for example) and how to substitute them properly for common ones–all the while guiding you safely through techniques she’s spent years perfecting.

When BabyCakes NYC opened on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 2005, it helped propel the gluten-free and vegan baking movement into a new stratosphere. Suddenly there was a destination for those with wheat allergies and other dietary restrictions–and, soon enough, celebrities and dessert lovers of every kind–to indulge freely in delectable muffins and teacakes, brownies and cookies, pies and cobblers.

Enclosed within these pages are all the “secrets” you’ll need to bring the greatness of BabyCakes NYC into your own home as well as raves and recommendations from devotees such as Natalie Portman, Jason Schwartzman, Mary-Louise Parker, Zooey Deschanel, and Pamela Anderson.

For confectionists of all kinds, delicious alternatives lie within: Red Velvet Cupcakes, Chocolate Shortbread Scones with Caramelized Bananas, Strawberry Shortcake, and BabyCakes NYC’s celebrated frosting (so delicious it has fans tipping back frosting shots!), to name just a few. Finally, Erin’s blissful desserts are yours for the baking!

Frequently Bought Together

BabyCakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-About Bakery + BabyCakes Covers the Classics: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles + Flying Apron's Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book
Price For All Three: CDN$ 52.30

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Product Details

Product Description


"In this book, Erin has finally shared her trade secrets — the ingredients and techniques that lend BabyCakes' desserts the flavors, textures, and happiness-factor you'd find in the best patisserie. The highest praise I can offer is this: follow her recipes to the letter and you'll fool them every time."
—Tom Colicchio (from the Foreword)

"At BabyCakes NYC I can eat what I crave without harming my lovely animal friends–or myself. Every since that first fateful day, I’ve been waiting for this cookbook."
—Natalie Portman

"I have multiple food sensitivities…and I’d pretty much given up on the idea that I might be able to have a worthy treat every again. I was so excited to discover BabyCakes NYC, because not only can I eat everything they bake, it’s all delicious!"
—Zooey Deschanel

"The BabyCakes NYC banana bread is the best I've ever had and something I simply can't live without."
—Mary Louise Parker

"Thank all that is holy for BabyCakes NYC…"
—Pamela Anderson

About the Author

ERIN MCKENNA is the chef and owner of BabyCakes NYC, a bakery with outposts in New York City and West Hollywood. She received the prestigious Best Cupcake award in 2006 from New York magazine. Erin has been a guest on Martha Stewart Television and Food Network and has been featured in the New York Times, Food & Wine, Modern Bride, VegNews, Harper’s Bazaar, In Style, and O, the Oprah Magazine.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Results Dec 28 2010
My girlfriend and I have had this book for over a year, and after just throwing out another batch of inedible, expensive baking from this book we're finally through with it. We've both visited the bakery in New York and loved everything we tried. It must be something in the New York water that makes these recipes work, because even the woman working the night we visited Babycakes said that most people don't get very good results using this cookbook and they've had a lot of complaints. Take it from the source and avoid the expensive disappointments!

We do a lot of vegan and gluten-free baking and this is the only book that consistently disappoints. The ingredients are impossible to track down in one location (and we're in Vancouver), and after enduring the expensive grocery safari that precedes each recipe the least we could hope for is something edible!

After the first couple of disappointments, we really followed the next recipe to the letter to try and narrow down where we were going wrong. You can't substitute *anything*, but that's not too surprising. Even when we were scientifically calibrating each ingredient with a painful amount of attention to detail, the results were terrible. I have tried a lot of cookbooks and this is the only one that yields such consistently abysmal food.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars wasteful. Oct. 24 2010
Made the vanilla cupcakes with chocolate "frosting".

The frosting was unusable. Gloppy, too liquid and lumpy despite an incredible amount of mixing and precise measuring. There was no way I was going to use it and it got dumped in the compost.

I tried to have more faith in the cupcakes (since I had spent over $60 on the ingredients to make 24 cupcakes, stupid me). Again, although I used the precise measurements these turned out dry, mealy and simply not yummy. They tasted like - well, what you would eat if you were allergic to very delicious things.

I believe there are better recipe books out there for vegan/gluten-free baking. I will not be using any of the Babycakes recipes again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Feb. 10 2010
I am a Naturopathic Doctor so many of my patients can't eat Wheat, Dairy, & Eggs. A friend sent me this book for Christmas and I absolutely love the recipes I have tried. I am now recommending it to all of my patients who want to enjoy deserts without all the bad stuff. Make sure you get the coconut oil that isn't virgin or extra virgin as this will make everything taste like coconut slightly. The non-virgin is also a lot cheaper too. I use Omega Nutrition Coconut Oil and it is by far the best coconut oil I have found. All ingredients can be found at the Bulk Barn or a health food store making these recipes very easy to create.
To those who are expecting these deserts to taste as good a day or two later, you are expecting too much...this isn't wheat you are baking with!!! Although the brownies are still excellent, now 3 days later, it is all I can do to not eat them all at once, thank goodness I only made half the batch to test them! Happy baking.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!! This book is a dream come true!!! Oct. 20 2009
By Pilar
I cannot believe how amazing and tasteful these recipes are! My son is dairy, gluten and egg intolerant and I thought this was the end for him to be able to eat any type of cake, cookies or bread that tasted really good. I've got to tell you, Baby Cakes is now good for the whole family!! Thank you so much!!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly good recipes! July 5 2009
This is a great cookbook for vegans, and anyone suffering from specific food allergies. The chocolate cupcakes are the most amazing cakes I have ever made... vegan or not. It's fun and beautifully laid out. Initially, I did have trouble finding some of the ingredients, but this also became useful - I learned more and more about the different health food stores in my community until I found a shop that had everything in stock.

I'm passionate about serving delicious food that is also health-conscious and this book helps me indulge in this passion!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book! April 18 2010
This book is a must buy for anyone with gluten sensitivities and/or milk or egg allergies. I bought the book to bake for my daughter who cannot have gluten or dairy, and the recipes are easy and DELICIOUS! I have had great success with all the recipes in the book, and you would never guess that the recipes are gluten free and vegan. The baked goods are moist and delicious. A word of caution if you live in a small town - most recipes require Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour Mix, although I have gotten the same results with the gluten free all purpose flour mix from the Bulk Barn. Also, many recipes need agave syrup and coconut oil(but you can sub in canola).

For those who are sensitive to gluten, the biscuit section uses spelt flour, which does contain gluten.

A fantastic book. Well worth it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I purchased this book after taking it out of the library and immediately falling in love with it after the first recipe I tried! Erin is a goddess! I have so far loved all recipes I've tried. The chocolate cupcakes are great, and the spelt flour biscuits (if you can handle spelt) are amazingly easy and fast for a quick dinner fix.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yummy but with caveats to remember Jan. 28 2010
Have really enjoyed this cookbook, especially having friends with celiac disease and another who's vegan.

A few notes to remember: 1) Everything in the book makes more than it states!!! The brownies make about 48 (not 24), the blondies made about 36 (not 24), the banana bread should be made in TWO of the recommended-size loaf pan (one huge one leaves it mushy in the middle), etc.; 2) Do NOT vary from the recipes EVER. Erin states this at the beginning but if you didn't read that part, you'll make a mess. EXACT measurements are very important.; 3) I made the vanilla icing and it was excellent (not sure why the reviewer below had trouble).; 4) Some of the cooking times seem to take longer so either extend cooking time (using toothpick test) or shrink pan sizes. ; 5) Just about everything tastes fabulous the day you make it. The cupcakes are quite hard and dry-ish by the next day but the brownies were still okay. The cornbread is the best I've ever had but only when fresh. I took all the extra cupcakes and made the crumb base, then froze it. Seems to work the best.

I loved using the coconut oil as it didn't taste like anything. Make sure you get the virgin coconut oil, NOT the usual stuff that restaurants use that's made from the copra. The good stuff is found in health food stores and is rather expensive, only sold in small quantities.

Good luck!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It's good not great
good selection of reciepes ingredients easy to find. Not all recipes have pictures, I like to see what final product looks like. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Cindy Herrick
2.0 out of 5 stars An expensive disappointment.
I went out and bought all the speciality ingredients required for the recipes in this book. Even though I'm notorious for substituting and putting my own twist on dishes, I... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Jessica Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing results
I've made the spelt biscuits, brownies and raspberry scones so far and all came out beautifully. I even modified the scones recipe and added dark chocolate chips instead of... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Love this book!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great experience.
The book arrived in perfect condition and in good time for Christmas giving. I can't wait to see the expression on my daughter's face as she was really wanting this book and we... Read more
Published on Dec 24 2011 by Judith I. Gibbs
5.0 out of 5 stars YUMMY!
So many recipies!!! How will I ever get to them all!!! So fun to have the joy of baking back after going GF!!! Many to choose from. Well written, easy to follow recipies. Enjoy!
Published on Nov. 5 2011 by PasmanCroatia
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing.
Overall, this cookbook has been disappointing. There is ONE chocolate cake recipe in it that I've made and people absolutely love it, including myself. Read more
Published on July 5 2011 by marilee welch
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy it.
The cookbook is not worth it. If you are really trying to bake something gluten-free, look somewhere else. When you read the recipes, you crave them without a doubt... Read more
Published on May 5 2011 by Connie
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
This cookbook delivered everything I expected! FANTAN dessert recipes, vegan, gluten free, amazing that taste and look delicious. Buy this book!
Published on March 26 2011 by T. Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect
As a girl who has allergies to dairy and sugar, I'm obsessed with Babycakes NYC bakery. I also love to bake myself, so when I found out they had a cookbook, I was thrilled. Read more
Published on Dec 13 2010 by Malfufa
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