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

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  2,263 ratings  ·  97 reviews
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 th...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published October 27th 2010 by Clarkson Potter (first published April 28th 2009)
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Jukka
Baby Cakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten Free ... - Erin McKenna
I've done a couple of these recipes, really excellent. Like for instance her cookies and cup-cakes. For gluten-free vegan this is pretty good -- but look out -- something like a third of the recipes call for spelt flour, which has gluten. I wish McKenna would give two versions for these recipes. She says spelt flour is special -- perhaps it is if you can eat gluten. If you are buying this book because you think it's gluten-free, be awa...more
Lisa Vegan
Oct 10, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vegans and those with allergies/food sensitivities who enjoy baked goods & coconut
This book is so hard for me to rate.

I really loathe coconut and the recipes in here are full of coconut oil, flour, milk, etc., especially coconut oil. (I can tolerate a bit of coconut milk in Thai dishes, but otherwise avoid it like the plague. I don’t like the taste and I think it’s less healthy than other alternatives. Unfortunately, coconut is being touted as healthy by many vegan sources (maybe they’re right?) and seems to in an “in” ingredient in vegan cooking and baking. Luckily, alternat...more
Connie
I love the innovation and cleverness of these recipes. I have a friend who must only eat gluten-free and want to give this book to her. I found all of the ingredients at Whole Foods & also on Amazon. Some of the ingredients are expensive. I have only tried a couple of the recipes and enjoyed them. I gave a lower rating because I tried the frosting recipe twice and it has not turned out right either time. I may change my rating once I try more of the recipes, and if I am able to get the frost...more
J
The photography in this book is really nice. The celebrity reviews/endorsements are strange and seem to make the book try too hard. The allergen-free reference isn't quite exact, if you're gluten intolerant then a lot of recipes aren't for you.

However, I did click around the BabycakesNYC website and came across an email address they created specifically for cookbook questions. I got a prompt response about subbing out the Spelt flour along with suggestions for other kinds of oils I can use inst...more
Sadie
I have tried four recipes so far from this cookbook...cornbread, banana bread, lemon-poppy teacakes, and choc chip cookies. I have found the coconut oil to be divine (if a bit expensive). As an alternate to the agave, some folks might want to try making a 'simple syrup' out of the cane juice crystals and substitute with that. I was a little disappointed with the number of spelt recipes as well (seems to be a common complaint from us gluten-free babes). I find my oven requires longer cooking time...more
dara
Since I checked this out from the library, I only had time to make one recipe. I tried the red velvet cupcakes, but I wasn't crazy about it because of the spelt flour. Apparently gluten-free baking is an acquired taste. It might have helped if I had been able to make the icing to go along with it, but I couldn't find any dry soy milk powder in any stores. I may come back to this book in the future and give it another try. Right now it's just not economically feasible for me to spend so much on i...more
Hallie
I happened to see that there were recipes for gluten-free cupcakes in a cooking magazine and grabbed it. The recipes look wonderful, but the vanilla one isn't there, so I figured I HAD to get hold of the book (UK edition - nothing more frustrating than reading recipes made from ingredients you can't get).

Haven't rated a cookbook before, and not sure about this one. I've only made two things from the book, one of the cupcake recipes (with frosting) and banana bread. The cupcakes were very good (...more
Jill
My husband said the double-chocolate chip cookies were the best sugar-free cookies he's tasted-and I've made many recently. The ingredients are pricey, but as we're not vegans, I'm okay replacing the coconut oil with butter or corn oil. I also swapped the cane juice for agave syrup. I had to tinker with the recipe to get it to work in higher altitude than the NYC bakery where the product originated though. But I'm used to doing that. My kids all gobbled up the cookies, and that was after eating...more
Clare
Disappointing. Expensive ingredients had to be thrown away because they just didn't taste good.

I'm more mad at Gwyneth Paltrow, who spoke so highly of Erin McKenna and her sexy cupcakes. I should have known that Gwyneth would never make cupcakes, even vegan gluten-free ones, because there's no way any home cook could make these dry tasteless cakes palatable, no matter how much frosting you put on.

Cooking times are off, poor descriptions, I'm really upset. I also hard it find to believe that an...more
Elizabeth
As a new gluten/dairy/peanut-free eater, I sadly laid my rolling pin to rest a few months ago. Baking didn't seem to have much appeal for me if I couldn't sample my creations! Gluten-free baking is expensive, time-consuming, and finicky. (And even if I was lucky to come across a GF recipe, it would most likely contain a dairy or a recipe for buttercream frosting.) Vegan to the core, this book solves the problem.

**About half of the recipes DID contain spelt flour, which DOES contain gluten. McKen...more
Kristin
I was enjoying the recipes in this book enough to buy it. It's actually really refreshing to not bake with eggs or regular milk or giant cups of sugar - the things in these recipes are actually good for you (or at least not as harmful as other stuff). What I've tried so far has been good - as in "This isn't healthy food masquerading as yummy treats; these are actually yummy treats." It's nice to eat this stuff and not feel like crap afterward.

My only complaints are some of the directions could b...more
Cathlin Goulding
The most expensive baking project I have ever undertaken. Making the vanilla vegan cupcakes and frosting set me back $65.00 at Whole Foods and now I have extra Fava Bean flour and Xathan gum in my cupboards. Whatever is a girl supposed to do with extra Xanthan gum? Despite the expense, I was surprised at how moist and sweet the little cakes turned out. The frosting, while a little on the drippy side, was not too sweet and very coconut-y. All of my friends were impressed with the effort and appre...more
Catrina
I have made nearly every recipe in this book... ten times over. Almost everything has been a first-try success. The Blueberry Muffins are THE BEST blueberry muffins my family has ever had. I have no troubles getting anyone in my family (comprised of a picky kindergartner, two teenagers and a husband with celiac and multiple food allergies)to eat anything I make from this book.
This is a must-have for anyone who misses the joy of baking and eating baked goods because of food sensitivities.
thelifepursuit
The book is laid out well and has a lovely set of photographs. I bought it because I am newly allergic to eggs and dairy, but I don't have any gluten issues. Not all the recipes are gluten-free.

The vegan chocolate cupcakes are the best cupcakes I've ever had (or made) and I highly recommend the book for that reason. When I've served them without revealing they're vegan, people rave about them.
Courtney Payne
Current favorite cookbook. Adorable package. Great recipes.
Try the chocolate chip cookies first. Delish!
I now have about 17 different types of flours because of this book. So much fun to bake with new ingredients, healthy ingredients (or should I say healthier ;-)
You do not need to be a Vegan or Gluten Intolerant to enjoy baking from this book. I am neither and I love it.
Andrea
Super yummy goodies! I am having a bit of a time finding the ingredients, but there are resources listed in the book, just being a bit lazy.

Favorites:
* Chocolate Shortbread Scones w/Caramelized Bananas
* Red Velvet Cupcakes
* Apple Pie
* Agave Lemonade

Beautiful pictures and clear precise instructions = fantastic cooking with nearly no sugar and all completely VEGAN!!!
Hanna Kang-Brown
beautiful fun book in terms of design and layout but the recipes i tried were terribly sub-par. ex. the red velvet cupcake was so overwhelmingly saturated with coconut oil that it was hard to eat. these recipes surely cannot be the ones the bakery uses to sell their popular baked goods.
Jill
Just made the chocolate chip cookies, and man are they good!! The cooking times are very precise, and like a magic trick, the cookies were cooked perfectly. I did try using a silpat with one batch, but they were slightly over done; stick with parchment paper. I know people have complained about the ingredients being expensive and hard to find, so this might help:
Coconut oil-I bought mine at Trader Joe's, $5.99 for 16 FL OZ organic raw.
Evaporated cane juice- from the research I did, this is the...more
Katey
Ah, baking. How I loathe you but want to love you. You allude me, you push my buttons and stretch out my patience. I do not dare make a mistake with you, for you will not forgive. I cannot imagine any deviation or alteration to your exacting recipes. You are a cruel mistress.

It's difficult to bake, let alone bake gluten-free and vegan. There are some ready-made mixes, but really, if you're going to do it, you might as well go all out, right? It's a matter of pride... and taste. While I have a bl...more
Vanessa
This cookbook is ahmazing!It shares recipes from the revered Brooklyn bakery, BabyCakes. I made the chocolate chip cookie sandwiches and they tasted just like *real* chocolate chip cookies. A lot of times with gluten-free foods the comparisons are "as good as" or "better than". The BabyCakes recipes taste "the same as" the baked goods you love. You can't tell the difference! And they are waay healthier - instead of bleached flour, white sugar, eggs and butter, they use flax meal, coconut flour,...more
Amanda
Some of the ingredients can be quite expensive to use in such quantity, especially the coconut oil. I also think the title should be "BabyCakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes..." as it contains recipes using spelt. As spelt is not a gluten free flour, and the authors recognize this, I don't understand why they titled it a straight up gluten free cookbook. This could cause serious confusion for those who are new to eating gluten free. If writing a gluten free cookbo...more
Jill
I would say this cookbook changed my idea of gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free baking. There are no artificial sweeteners in here. I cooked the raspberry scones, apple cinnamon muffins and zucchini muffins all with great success. Just don't tell my family they are made with no butter, sugar, flour or eggs. Really opened my eyes to alternative baking ingredients.
Becca
In theory this is a great cookbook. I want to make everything Erin has to offer me. But in practice, the ingredients are ridiculous (only a specific kind of soy powder will work? Really?!) and the results are never as good as when I visit Babycakes.
After the first cookbook came out, I was talking to a girl at Babycakes in FL and she told me that McKenna had to alter the recipes for the book. That the ingredients they use in the bakery cannot be bought by the average home cook. So they made chang...more
Laura L
What beautiful photos. I just made the carrot cake cupcakes. To die for. I have also had the very vanilla cake, the frosting, and the brownie bites from this cookbook.

If you are used to canned frosting or butter based frosting, the flavor is fresher and lighter, and takes some getting adjusted to. I can't wait to try more recipes and the chocolate frosting too.

Another thing I like is the celebrity quotes from her favorite celeb clients.

She lists places where you can buy specialty ingredients o...more
Brooke
DO NOT BOTHER AT ALL WITH THIS BOOK!!! I bought it, tried several recipes that all resulted in inedible disasters and then discovered that I was one of a great many who are very disappointed customers. I'm doubly frustrated about it, because I wasted a lot of expensive gluten-, dairy- & refined sugar-free supplies for these failures! I have been to BabyCakes in NYC, and they make great treats. I say you are much better off patronizing their actual bakeries (also in LA & Orlando) than pay...more
Carol
The treats in this book look and sound great. I am a little horrified at the thought of making frosting from coconut oil. I thought it is a tropical oil and therefore harmful. I like to read a few recipes each night slowly and ponder what they are like. I have made a mix of gluten free brownies-very good and lighter than w/regular all purpose flour. Also made a pancake mix and they puff up and were a very acceptable substitute. So I'm looking forward to experimenting from scratch using rice flo...more
Tamara
Feb 24, 2010 Tamara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Maggie!
This is one of the many reasons I curse not living in NYC. I love Ohio, but if we want to eat this yummy goodness, we have to make it ourselves. Bummer.

Vegan is always a bit scary for me, but the author was able to diffuse a lot of my fears. Plus, though the ingredients aren't things I currently have in the house, I think I can get them at Raisin Rack down the street.

Recipes I want to try: Apple Cinnamon Muffins, Zucchini Muffins, Strawberry Shortcake

Recipe I'm too lazy to try: Meyer Lemon &...more
Sarah Kelsey
If someone asked me what my top five gluten-free recipe books were, this one would be on the list. I first saw Erin McKenna cooking brownies on Martha Stewart, and as I watched the ingredients go into the bowl I thought, "Hey, I could eat that!" She used ingredients I had in my pantry (my hippy-dippy, gluten-free pantry) and that I could digest. Her recipes are sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan. This is good stuff.

I'm pretty sure I had this book on order from Amazon before it was even publishe...more
Kate
I'm not trying to be ungrateful here, but McKenna didn't go out of her way to make sure gluten-free eaters could enjoy the whole book. A few simple recipe modification notes would allow all the GF people out there to eat her biscuits, pies, and scone recipes (and get your money's worth out of the book.)

I never thought I'd see the day when I felt like I could make a better teacake than babycakes NYC (but I do). I will certainly give the frosting a whirl (and eat it on everything.)
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