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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$ 53.22

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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. July 5 2011
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. So, the cookbook is not a total waste, there are SOME good recipes in it. Although, too many recipes fail. I read the recipes carefully and followed the recipes word for word just like the author of the book instructed, but still, time and time again the end results have been inedible. This is especially problematic when all of the ingredients are specialty ingredients (a.k.a. extremely expensive ingredients). Still, if you really need a vegan and mostly-gluten-free cookbook, this book has a handful of recipes that may even become favourites. Whatever you do though, do NOT attempt to make the icing. I tried making the icing on three different occasions (with 3 different types of "soymilk powder") and it's never resulted in anything that looked even remotely like icing, much less edible. From reading other reviews, it appears to me that most people have found that the icing recipe fails too.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Babycakes July 22 2009
Tried a couple recipes, cupcakes were very tasty when very fresh (hours) but became rubbery by next day. Found it helpful as a way to modify regular recipes to be egg free.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy it. May 5 2011
By Connie
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... when you try to make them... it's a whole another story. Besides the fact that the ingredients are very pricey, the outcome is impossible to eat. I tried the flapjacks, they were hard as sole. I tried the lemon poppyseed loaf, it never got cooked through, it was gummy and it turned into a rock in 48 hours. The vanilla frosting never worked, it was like a soup... I'm an experienced baker and I've been baking gluten-free for over a year and I never had a problem with other gluten-free cookbooks. I'm very careful with measurements, I have an oven thermometer, so, it's the recipes that are wrong... I don't have the time to start experimenting with proportions or other ingredients... If they make a recipe book, it's for the recipes to work... And these, DON'T. Don't waste the money on this one.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars wanted to love you babycakes Dec 2 2009
I was so excited to try out the recipes in this book. It is beautifully made and the concept terribly exciting. I have so far tried 4 of them. I am a skilled baker, and rarely if ever experience any undesireable results. NOTHING in this book so far has worked for me. Following the recipes to the letter, I have made a number of batches of icing (both of the chocolate and vanilla variety) Neither kind ever set, or resembled anything CLOSE to icing. It was left to set in the fridge for the recommended 6 hours, then when it still wasnt set, I left it for an addition 24hours...still a lumpy, globby, runny mess...resembling something like a melted Ice cream float with little bits of sand floating in it. The lemon poppyseed tea cake smelled incredible, but ended up a overly rich mushy mess in the middle, with a golden exterior, and was so 'fatty', tasting mainly of coconut oil. I even left it in the oven much longer than instructed, but following the toothpick test. I have heard that the author appeared on Martha Stewart and used a totally different recipe than what appears in the book for her icing. Im guessing, that based on the great success of the bakery in New York, that the recipes in this book are not true to the bakery originals. Everything tastes mainly of Coconut (due to the huge amounts of coconut oil)...and nothing seems to cook thru or set.

I will be trying more of the recipes (as I refuse to concede defeat quite yet) and will be lowering the oil content in an effort to render less mushy, less rich, and possibly edible result.
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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 15 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 19 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 20 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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan recipes!
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! Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2011 by B. Sanders
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!
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... Read more
Published on April 18 2010 by Erin Robert
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