Saturday, April 07, 2007


A hung jury.

Sugarless cupcakes rank right up there with your best friend’s boyfriend, whom you know you’re supposed to like, and you really want to like, and you like in theory because he’s your best friend’s boyfriend, but… there’s something there you can’t completely embrace.

And yet you do.

As my sugar-high crashes are getting more intense, and I’m trying to be more conscious of what I eat and where my food comes from, a bakery like BabyCakes is genius. It has all the sweet charm of an old-fashioned bakery (a cozy window seat, retro signs claiming “Quality our motto, Courtesy our hobby,” and seersucker candy-striper dresses as uniforms). And yet there’s not a smudge of refined sugar or flour anywhere in the wee kitchen. It’s enough to make a vegan, or repenting sweet freak, do a jig.

Sugar-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, vegan cupcakes, tea cakes, crumb cakes, layer cakes, cookies, muffins, scones, in chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin, raspberry, ginger snap, and banana chip flavors. How do they do it? Spelt flour, garbanzo bean flour, rice flour, and blue agave nectar are a few of BabyCake’s key ingredients. Ah — but how do they taste?

Like any dairy-free baked good, the consistency is moister. And, without refined sugar, the sweetness less likely to produce a toothache. Which is both good and bad. The sweets are rich and satisfying, for sure. But different. No sugar rush. No “omigod.” No eyes rolling back into your skull. But, then again, no serious crash 15 minutes later.

So, like your best friend’s boyfriend, give it time. Make no rash judgements. You like him okay. But since your best friend likes him a whole lot, you know he’ll probably grow on you, too.

248 Broome Street b/w Orchard & Ludlow

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