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Babycakes: A Love Letter

Dear Babycakes,

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love you at your Broome Street store, where I can stop in and get a lemon cupcake or a biscuit with jam anytime I’m feeling low. I love that I could get my fix after a meal at the V-Spot, and now you have an even more convenient outpost at Stogo. I love that I can now enjoy you at home, whenever I want, thanks to your new cookbook, Babycakes: Vegan, Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes From New York’s Most Talked-About Bakery.

I was lazy, Babycakes, so I tested four fairly simple recipes from your new book. But as expected, you did not disappoint. First I made your Blueberry Muffins, they with the hint of lemon, and the omnivores in my office swooned. Next up were your savory Biscuits, and even though I did something wrong and they didn’t get flaky, they still tasted amazing. Your Brownies, which I baked to somewhere closer to the consistency of fudge, left everyone speechless, except for when they pleaded with me for the recipe. (This even though I substituted tapioca for the potato starch!) And then we washed it all down with your Agave Lemonade—sweet, liquid gold.

O Babycakes, I will never stop loving you! You give me no reason to. My one qualm is that your subtitle should read “(Mostly) Gluten-Free” or “Wheat-Free,” since so many of your recipes call for spelt. But no one’s perfect. And love means never having to say I’m sorry.

Until we meet again, my darling.

Love,
Me

13 Comments

  1. Comment by

    sb

    on #

    Hmm, not so sure I’m in love. I had the brownie cupcake in store, and it tasted awful. There was no sweetness at all. It’s pretty hit or miss over there, honestly. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World is a great vegan cupcake book.

  2. Comment by

    Naughtymous

    on #

    Yeah, but the fat content in most Babycake recipes is outrageous.

  3. Comment by

    champurrado

    on #

    fyi: Hannah Kaminsky (author of My Sweet Vegan) bought the cookbook and couldn’t get the frosting recipe to work, so she came up with a slightly altered recipe to ‘fix’ the problem. That frosting recipe is posted on her blog here:(http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/a-winner-and-a-winning-frosting/). She also posted a review about her experience trying to bake some of the recipes: http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/2009/05/19/oh-baby-2/

    After reading her review, it seems that most of the recipes are very high in fat with expensive ingredients, but I would still be tempted to buy the cookbook (or give it to someone with a wheat allergy) because I love their cupcakes.

  4. Comment by

    Roseann Marulli

    on #

    sb: I’m sorry you didn’t like the brownie you had! When I’m in the store I usually get the brownie bites, because they’re sweetened with agave. But the brownies I made from the cookbook were truly amazing–sweet and rich and fudgey (you fold a cup of vegan chocolate chips into the batter–oh yeah!). I wonder why your experience didn’t match up…

    Naughtymous & champurrado: Expensive, really? The recipes I tried did call for fewer ingredients than a lot of the other ones, just because I was pressed for time, but the stuff I used didn’t seem expensive to me. Though I stick to gluten-free most of the time at home, so I already had a lot of the flours, etc., on hand. As for the fat, well, it’s dessert! I heart in a big way Hannah’s cookbook–hence my review: http://www.supervegan.com/blog/entry.php?id=1047–and her recipes are pretty damn decadent. But I didn’t find myself feeling overloaded, fat-wise, by either cookbook, as long as I ate the goodies in moderation. And a lot of the BC recipes do call for agave, which is lower on the glycemic index than sugar. Pick your poison, I guess…

  5. Comment by

    vegand

    on #

    @Roseann: I dig this post! and want the writing goddesses to bless me so!!

    @Naughtymous: Please do name a good, or great, dessert besides fruits and avocados without significant fat content.

    @champurrado: good shoutout, and share – thanks.

  6. Comment by

    veganed

    on #

    i do like their stuff but the thing that annoys me about babycakes is that they really don’t give a crap about veganism (as evidenced by the fact that they serve cow’s milk for your coffee and the owner is not vegan). they have found a nice little business niche selling baked vegan goods. i’m really over entrepeneurs trying to make a buck off vegans while not supporting vegan ideals. i’m glad that babycakes has prospered but i prefer to support places like Lula’s that are owned by people who share the vegan ethic.

  7. Comment by

    Roseann Marulli

    on #

    They have cow’s milk in there? Ew. And that’s weird considering they don’t use dairy or casein in the baked goods…

    I prefer to promote and support people & businesses who share our ethics too. That said, Babycakes didn’t jump on the vegan bandwagon simply to make money off of us; Erin bakes the way she does because of her allergies (hence no soy). So in a way, I guess, her stuff is like Oreos or Peanut Chews, in that it’s vegan (sugar question aside) in content but not ethics. So while the presence of milk in the store grosses me out and disappoints me, the inconsistency doesn’t stem from nefarious, money-grubbing reasons.

  8. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    I just wanted to note my happiness at seeing vegand and veganed post comments right next to each other.

  9. Comment by

    beanmail

    on #

    Hey Roseann, Peanut Chews changed their recipe a while back & haven’t been vegan since. Same with twizzlers. FYI PETA doesn’t keep their “I can’t believe it’s vegan” listing up to date so you can’t go by that.

  10. Comment by

    Roseann Marulli

    on #

    Oh crap, really, beanmail? That sucks. Thanks for letting me know! I guess you can never stop checking labels… In related news, Skittles are apparently vegan now!

  11. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    Yo, beanmail–

    Where’d you hear that about Peanut Chews?! What’s not vegan about them?

  12. Comment by

    beanmail

    on #

    Hi Roseann & Jason re: Peanut Chews-

    A while back peanut chews were bought by Just Born corp and the wrapper went from old skool dark brown reading: “Goldenberg’s” to all red reading “Chew-ets”. It was also then that they added glycerine to the ingredients.

    I suppose it’s possible that it’s veg-derived glycerine, but this is the same company that makes Peeps so they’re no strangers to mixing random animal parts with sugar & calling it candy.

    So here’s a candy that’s been adored by vegans for eons & they change the ingredients with nary a thought. What are we: chopped [faux] liver? Besides, now we’ve got Go Max Go, so who needs ‘em?

    Anyone else have any other info?

  13. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    Well, I’m sure something could have changed since 2005, but their glycerine was veggie then.

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