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

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Product Description

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!

Customer Reviews:

  • Nice, but not quite what I was hoping for
    I received this book as a birthday gift (after lots of hint dropping) and couldn't WAIT to get my hands on it.
    I read it cover to cover the first chance I got and, like other reviewers, was incredibly disappointed to see I couldn't make a good number of the recipes, particularly the biscuits and scones and NO RED VELVET CUPCAKES!!

    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 instead of Coconut, which is expensive.

    I was little disappointed at first when I thought I couldn't bake all the recipes in Chapter Two and some of the cupcakes I wanted to try, but knowing now that I can sub out the flour and add Xanthan Gum I'm not as unhappy.

    Maybe more info/suggestions/corrections will be taken care of in the second edition. I hope so....more info
  • Finally...... vegan sweets that taste great!
    Being recently diagnosed with food allergies and having a big sweet tooth I was miserable trying to find decent dessert recipes. I've tried other wheat free, sugar free, vegan recipes but I have always been disappointed with the taste. Not anymore! Finally a sweet that tastes great without that aftertaste. Last night I tried the apple-cinnamon and the pumpkin spice muffins and Wow were they incredible. My husband even gobbled them up without knowing the `real' ingredients. There's a reason her bakery is so famous..... Her recipes are Yummy! I can't wait to make the rest of the recipes in this book. And as for the ingredients I was able to get what I needed at my local Publix. ...more info
  • Spelt-based recipes are fantastic so far
    A friend generously handed her copy over to me after experiencing a few disappointments, and I must say I'm loving it so far. Granted, I haven't tried the recipes that appear to have been a big letdown to most people who tried them (namely: the frosting and some gluten-free recipes), and went for the Zucchini Muffins and Spelt Biscuits instead. Both were a tremendous and delicious success, with the latter possibly being the best biscuit recipe my husband and myself have ever had. I also love the idea of using leftover cupcakes to make crumb crusts and crumb toppings, and will put it to the test very soon indeed.
    It obviously doesn't hurt that it is eye-candy to leaf through either.
    There's a list of cookbook-related questions answered on the babycakes blog, by the way....more info
  • Not Gluten Free
    I preordered this book because the bakery has such a great reputation. As soon as it came I read it cover to cover. I was so excited to have a vegan gluten free baking book. That was yesterday. I was soon very disappointed because 13 of the recipes in this book are not gluten free. That's about a third of the recipes total, not counting the few drink recipes in the back.

    The recipes are actually vegan and mainly sugar free. Many of the recipes call for a cup or more of agave nectar. Very little evaporated cane juice is listed.

    A book that is advertised as gluten free and even says it in the subtitle should be gluten free. Spelt flour, which is called for in the gluten containing recipes, is given it's own page description and even the author warns against using spelt if you are gluten sensitive or celiac. In Chapter 2 none of the recipes are gluten free.

    The base flour used in the gluten free recipes is Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour Mix. No special tips on mixing your own flours. Just buy the mix. I think most of use on gluten free diets have already tried Bob's mix. It's fine, but from a specialty bakery I'd expect something a little more, well, special.

    If I had been in the bookstore browsing this book I would never have bought it. I haven't had the time yet to make any of the recipes that are gluten free, and my enthusiasm has waned. ...more info
  • Love! Love! Love! Amazing Cookbook!!!!!
    This is a an unusually amazing cookbook. Well written, beautiful and delicious. I have a toddler with food allergies, a preschooler with a sweet tooth and a foodie husband. This cookbook makes everyone happy! Today we noshed on the the chocolate chip cookie sandwiches. They were unbelievably delicious. We can't wait to try every recipe! Buy this cookbook it will change the way you think about vegans and allergen free cooking. Great job Erin!!!! Love it! - Gadget Freak's Wife :)...more info
  • Dee-lish!
    The blondies are incredible. Some ingredients are difficult to find but worth it in the end. Can't wait to try some of the other recipes....more info
  • expensive ingredients and NOTHING like the real-deal
    I understand there are people who may be attracted to this book because of their food allergies or their vegan beliefs and that is great for them (except for the poor folks with gluten allergies who are disappointed at the number of recipes with gluten products!)
    But I bought this book because of the substitutions for sugar and the hope that in using less white flour and sugar and butter, that I would be able to create tasty treats that are more healthy than what you find at the store.
    I was very disappointed. I baked the blueberry muffins, the red velvet cupcakes and the pumpkin muffins, and only the pumpkin muffins were edible (in my opinion). I swaped out the bob's all purpose for the spelt flour in the blueberry muffins and they were better right from the oven, but the next day they LOOKED moist (probably because of all the oil in them because the book does not include the all-too-necessary fact of MELTING the coconut oil before measuring!!) but they tasted SO dry I could barely choke down two bites.
    And the vanilla frosting was a disaster!! I didn't understand how 6 hours in the fridge could turn "vanilla sauce" into "vanilla frosting" and I was right. 2 days's still sauce. And it doesn't taste anywhere near as good as they describe on the website. I certainly wouldn't be eating this stuff straight. It's okay, but not great. Now I'm trying to figure out what to do with this big bowl of expensive vanilla sauce!
    If you need to try these recipes, buy the book used and read ALL the FAQs on the website before starting. It might save you a little money.
    Tip on the pumpkin muffins....bake them in a "muffin tops" pan so they spread out a the regular cups, they never cook all the way through. Tasty, but mushy.
    ...more info
  • Subtitle is misleading - these recipes are all WHEAT free
    The good points: The photos are lovely and the desserts look luscious.

    The bad points: If you have a gluten-intolerance, you're not going to be able to eat a distressing amount of the luscious-looking goodies at all.

    I bought this book because I wanted to branch out from your basic gluten-free baking. However, fully a third of these recipes are *not* gluten-free; they're made from spelt flour. Chapter two, which is the scone and biscuit chapter, has no gluten-free recipes at all. The pie crusts aren't gluten-free, the cobbler recipes aren't gluten-free, which just leaves me with recipes for desserts that I already had access to.

    If I had known how many recipes were completely inaccessible to my family, there is no way I would have wasted the money pre-ordering this book. I'll donate it to my library. With a subtitle reading: Vegan, Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free, I was fooled. Buyer beware....more info
  • Not what I expected...
    I had pre-ordered this book because 3 of my family members have Celiac Disease.

    First reaction was the general disappointment that a cookbook labeled "Gluten Free" was not gluten free. Then I was worried that someone would make something for my husband thinking spelt flour was ok for him to eat and he would become very ill. It is very dangerous to throw around words like "gluten free" when someone's health is on the line.

    Second reaction? "Holy Crap! This is going to cost me a fortune!!!" Every single recipe calls for coconut oil, and after making just 3 recipes from the book I have used an entire $10 jar. Agave is the primary sweetener which is also extremely pricey. I have been using maple syrup instead, but I've used almost an entire $18 jug in those same 3 recipes. Add to that the flours, ricemilk and various other gourmet/specialty ingredients and you've spent a small fortune.

    The recipes are pretty yummy, though, I must say. If you've got the money to spend and aren't totally offended by her misuse of "Gluten free" then I suggest trying a couple recipes out. Though they aren't without their problems as well... If you are used to cooking gluten free you know that it isn't ever without it's hiccups, and adding "Vegan" makes it all the more challenging. I would say this cookbook is not for the beginner cook at all.

    Here are the recipes I made and my reviews:

    Lemon Poppyseed Teacake
    Very yummy, but a little dense. Not fooling any non-celiacs with this one. It was still moist even 2 days later which is hard to find with GF things.

    Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
    The batter was super runny and greasy. I had to add an additional 1/2 cup of rice flour just to keep them from running all over the pan. They were very tasty, but my husband thought maybe they could be sweeter. They seemed somehow bland. I think adding chopped dried cherries or mint flavoring or something else would have helped. These also stayed moist.

    Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
    This one is my favorite. The recipe calls for 6 bananas (SIX!?!?) and I only used 2. I put it in the pan and I thought there is no way this is going to bake all the way through, so I split it into 2 pans, and thank goodness. I think it would have overflowed.

    So the down sides:
    #1. not entirely gluten free
    #2. really expensive
    #3. recipes may take some tweaking

    And the good things:
    #1. the book is beautiful
    #2. pictures for almost every recipe
    #3. recipes stay moist and are very tasty

    ...more info
  • Beware
    Ok I was very excited for this cookbook to come out. I will say however, that I have been to the actual bakery and was not overly impressed by the product. The cupcake I tried was very dry, almost stale tasting, The crumbcake and chocolate chip cookie were both pretty good. I felt that if I purchased the cookbook and made the items at home I would have better results. I will tell you that I have not made any of the recipes yet. I know, I also hate when someone reviews a cookbook without trying the recipes first but I have reasons for hesitating...First the author claims that these are "good for you" and "healthy recipes". Take a look at the bakery's website, you can check out the nutritional value for each item..some have over 26g of fat!! Not really sure about this. Maybe she means that because the ingredients are all-natural, they are healthy. Also if you go to Gourmet magazines website you will find a review for the cookbook. It is mostly a positive review however the reviewer said that the frosting recipe looks and smells like cement..Come on. They are famous for cupcakes. Why publish a recipe that does not work? So what do I do? The ingredients that the author suggests are very expensive. Please post if you actually have tried the recipes and know from experience..yeah,being the authors relative does not count....more info
  • This book could have been so much better....
    I was *so* excited when I learned that a Babycakes cookbook was in the works. When it arrived, I sat down and excitedly read it cover to cover with a pen and paper in hand to make my baking grocery list. It was then that I came across upon several issues:

    1) As mentioned by many others, the book is only about 2/3 gluten-free. I know that Babycakes bakery bakes spelt items, so this was not a surprise to me. However, the book sub-title calling it Gluten-Free is misleading.

    2) A large amount of the recipes call for Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour. There are two problems with this. First and most important to me, this flour is N A S T Y. It has garbanzo and fava bean flour in it, and those have a very strong and bitter taste. Many bakers, including myself, hate this stuff. Second, I was dissapointed to see that the book even suggests using a mix at all. On the Martha Stewart show when Erin and Martha make the Allergen-Free Cinnamon Toasties, Martha asks as she is stirring the flours together, 'Do you use mixes at your bakery?' Erin answers no. If this is the case, then why on earth is the cookbook directing me to do so? If the recipes had the true list of flours and starches used at the bakery, I would have an easier time making substitutions, like swapping garfava flour for, say, a combo of sorghum or rice flour, or subbing potato starch for arrowroot or cornstarch.

    3) Coconut oil and agave nectar. These fabulous, spendy, and sometimes elusive ingredients are frequently used in hefty quantities in the book, and unfortunately we are left a somewhat in the dark about the details. Yes, the resources give us brand recommendations (aside: Did you look into the coconut oil source? small jar and big $$), but does not specify if it matters if we use virgin coconut or regular coco oil or light or dark agave. Since I don't want to go broke buying coconut oil, I googled and found an extra-virgin organic coconut oil by Nutiva that comes in 54 oz. containers and is reasonably priced. The same goes for the agave nectar. Madhava has a raw organic agave nectar that you can find right here on Amazon in bulk for a decent price. Hopefully these will so the trick.

    4) Frosting. I do not believe these are the frostings used at the bakery. For example, a red flag to me is that the cookbook recipe for vanilla frosting is called 'Vanilla Frosting/Vanilla Sauce" but the Babycakes bakery frosting is called "Creamy Vanilla Frosting". While on Martha Stewart (the episode where they made the Allergen-Free Cinnamon Toastie loaf), Erin casually mentions some of the ingredients of her famous frosting. Among the ingredients is coconut milk. Unfortunately, there is zero coco milk in the book recipe, but there is liquid and dry soy milk. Babycakes NYC is a soy-free bakery. This is so disappointing to me, as I was really looking forward to making the real deal.

    While I enjoy the aesthetic and the creativity of the book, I think it fell short in a number of critical areas....more info
  • Yech...
    I am a professional chef who cooks for gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets. I looked forward to the release of this book with great anticipation. I realize that the author spent a great deal of time perfecting recipes for her bakery but these recipes don't translate well to home cooking. The textures are rubbery, flavors are bland, and errors exist in the instructions. The concept and photography are lovely; if the recipes themselves can be edited and/or improved, I'd be delighted to own a copy. As for this edition, mine is going up for sale....more info
  • I love Healthy Ho's
    This is a wonderful baking book. The Healthy Hostess (aka Healthy Ho's) are incredibly good, and on a trip the creek yesterday everyone was wow'd at how delicious these were and all wanted the recipe. After I told them about the health factor they were even more impressed.

    As for the reviews complaining about the costs of things, please realize that you can substitute for cheaper ingredients such as canola oil and honey...another tip would be to buy just the needed amount of oil, sweetener and soy milk powder from the bulk dept at a health food store.

    The main reason though that I love this cookbook is BECAUSE of the use of coconut oil and agave. Unrefined virgin coconut oil is wonderful for you [...] and is antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal, potentially helping calm down a host of health problems. Agave nectar has a low glycemic index and is way better for you than refined sugar as well.

    That she developed these recipes based around these facts is great, but the fact that she did this and made them taste outstanding is even better. The vanilla cupcakes taste more like a breakfast corn biscuit, but with a piece of bacon and an over easy egg on top it was reminiscent of bacon and pancakes with maple syrup :) Knowing what I am eating is good for me makes it far worth the cost.

    I do though feel like it should have been explained how to make the spelt recipes GF. ...more info
  • Absolutely Fantastic! If you read, there is nothing misleading about the book!
    Erin's cookbook with recipes from her Bakery, "Babycakes" is absolutely fantastic! I understand many reviews state that she is misleading with the cover that says gluten free. I am a vegan who enjoys eating gluten free whenever possible and has cut out refined sugar... The sugar she uses is natural, just like fruit, honey etc. I don't believe there is a recipe to bake with that could be sugar free without using some sort of sweetener. Erin states again and again that she never uses refined or granulated sugar that has been processed and bleached.

    Also many reviews have said that the title is misleading. She states in the section spelt vs. gluten free that she includes spelt for those who can digest spelt easier than wheat flour like she is able to you have these recipes to choose from. If you cannot you may be able to substitute the flour so you too may enjoy her recipe. It states to read carefully before beginning any recipe. Not all are gluten free, and sure she may have been able to state this in the title.. but I think that anyone that would have a difficult time digesting wheat or has a wheat sensitivity would read the entire thing before considering purchasing the cookbook. Baking is difficult the way it is, baking with alternative ingredients seems to be even more of a science.

    All in all she does a fantastic job of creating recipes and treats for those of us who would like to indulge in a healthier manner. You just have to be careful if you do have these sensitivities and be sure to substitute where necessary. I am glad she added everything she did, there is that much more to enjoy for those who can digest wheat or do not have any kind of sensitivities.

    Cannot wait to visit the REAL "Babycakes" Bakery sometime in the near future. ...more info
  • Hoping for better!
    I am an avid cook and baker and well versed in the use of alternative baking ingredients. A few of the recipes are tasty, the little brownies for one but the majority of them are so-so. I found that the baking times are very inaccurate. I was looking forward to the arrival of this book, but have been disappointed with most of the items I make.

    Vegan baking can be delicious and much easier than some of the recipes in the book (even without the use of some of the expensive ingredients like xanthum gum). I encourage people with food allergies or sensitivities to educate themselves about special products, then reinvent some of your favorite recipes to make them acceptable based on your dietary issues. It will take experimentation and many flops but it can be done. I've done it at home....more info
  • These recipes are great!
    I first used Erin's recipes after watching a video of her on the Food Network website. I tried the recipes for Double Chocolate Chip Cookies and Blueberry Muffins. I have been using them ever since. I was so happy when I learned that she was publishing a cookbook!

    My husband has Celiac Disease. My oldest son has the gene for CD and he has anaphylactic reactions to eggs. My youngest son's CD test was inconclusive. So, we are an egg-free, gluten-free family. It is just easier to cook things that we ALL can eat. The problem is that many GF recipes call for MORE eggs than the wheat-version. I've tried egg replacer, flax meal, applesauce etc. Some recipes can be converted, some are just a lost cause.

    Erin's recipes work. I don't have to do anything special. They just work. I had my misgivings. I do not care for garfava flour. It is ok in bread, but in dessert? I read through the cookbook with trepidation. Should I use my own GF mix or trust the recipe?I will share my baking experience below.

    First, I want to make a couple of comments on the cookbook. It is quite lovely. It is like a coffee table book. The pictures are nice. The writing is upbeat and fun. I like that almost all of the recipes have a picture. This book will lie flat on the counter. Although, I am nervous that I will spill something on it. Maybe it is a little too pretty. She does a pretty good job of describing the tools and flours. I would recommend a couple of things here though. 1. Explain the difference between potato starch and potato flour, or at least mention that there is a difference. 2. Tell us what kind of coconut oil to use. Extra-virgin? Refined? Is there a difference? I bet most of us are new to using coconut oil and could use some guidance here.

    Another reviewer felt that it was implied that these recipes are healthy, when they are not. I would say that the claim is that these recipes are healthier, but not necessarily healthy. We are talking about desserts! Garfava flour has more protein, fiber and maybe iron, than wheat flours and rice flours. Coconut oil and agave nectar may be healthier than butter and sugar. I don't know and I don't care. I am making yummy desserts that work. I expect my dessert to be loaded with fat and sugar, no matter what form the fat and sugar take.

    I agree with the reviewer that said the title is misleading. I thought that all of the recipes in this book would be gluten-free. I guess "vegan, (mostly) gluten-free, (mostly) sugar-free" makes for an unwieldy subtitle. There are a lot of GF recipes though. Everything I am interested in, except the biscuits, is GF. I am sure I will get around to trying to modify the biscuits so that they are GF as well. The cupcakes (except red velvet), cakes (except one), frostings, most of the muffins, cornbread, banana bread, gingerbread, brownies, blondies and drinks are all gluten-free. The pie crust, scones, biscuits, a couple of muffins and a couple of cakes/cupcakes are not. Even so, I have no regrets about buying this cookbook.

    Here are the recipes I have made so far.

    Blueberry Muffins:
    The recipe in the book uses spelt flour, so I did not try that one. I have been using Erin's GF Blueberry Muffin recipe that I found on Food a few months ago. It is great! I use about the half the cinnamon she calls for, but otherwise I make them according to the recipe.

    Double Chocolate Chip Cookies:
    Again, I am using the recipe that was posted on Food I think it is the same as the one in the book. When I started using this recipe, I was not willing to buy the coconut oil, so I have been using butter. (We are not vegan, my son has an egg allergy.) This works really well with butter, if you don't have a problem with that. Now that I have the coconut oil, I will probably try these using that. I do use a little less flax meal than the recipe calls for.

    I made these using garfava flour. The batter tastes gross. You can taste the garbanzo. However, the brownies themselves are excellent. They are moist and very chocolatey. She recommends making them in mini-muffin pans. I don't have those, so I used my 8x8 baking pan. It took about 30 minutes longer to cook them in that pan. The brownies are very rich. They taste great warm or cold. I do think I can detect a slight hint of garfava flavor in the brownies, but that could be my imagination. Even so, they are very, very good.

    Lemon-Poppy Teacake:
    I did not follow the recipe for this. I was nervous about using Bob's all-purpose flour since it contains garbanzo and fava beans. (I hadn't tasted the brownies yet!) So, I used a GF mix I make based on a recipe at The teacake turned out pretty well, but the lemon flavor was very strong. This is probably because my flour does not have the strong flavor of Bob's. Also, there are a lot of poppy seeds in this teacake! I will definitely use less next time. Overall, it is a good teacake.

    I made the vanilla and the chocolate. I halved the recipes so that I wouldn't end up with a ton of them. These are probably the best eggless GF cupcakes I have ever had. I do think I can taste the garfava flour in the chocolate ones, but it is not overwhelming. They are still great cupcakes. They have a good structure without being too moist or too dry. We haven't even frosted them yet. We are eating them plain and loving them.

    Vanilla Frosting/Sauce:
    I couldn't find powdered soy milk, so I used powdered cow's milk. The frosting is pretty good, but you can really taste the coconut. I am using extra-virgin coconut oil, so maybe a more refined oil would have less flavor. I don't know. This frosting is liquid at room temperature, so I don't see myself giving up the buttercream altogether. I do like the flavor though! I haven't used it to frost the cupcakes yet. I have it in the fridge, waiting for it to solidify. I can see myself using this for certain things, but not everything.

    I really like the cookbook so far. None of the recipes have been duds. Once you have all the ingredients, the recipes are pretty simple to follow. I am glad that I bought it!...more info
  • Where's the real frosting recipe?
    I live in Brooklyn and am a huge fan of Babycakes bakery-- I've loved everything I've tried there, and I was ecstatic to buy the cookbook. So far, I've baked the banana bread (which was amazing-- no one knew it was gluten-free), the apple-cinnamon toastie, the vanilla cupcakes, and the cornbread. While the cooking times were a bit off (I have a thermometer inside my oven, and usually end up baking the breads at a higher temp and for a longer time), the end results were very tasty.

    However, the one major disappointment of the cookbook for me was the frosting. I've made both the chocolate and the vanilla several times, and neither recipe yielded an edible result. Both taste ok, but mostly they just taste like coconut oil-- and the texture is totally off. I heated all the ingredients (so that the coconut oil didn't bead up) and used a hand-mixer (since the food processor didn't seem to work)before refrigerating. The ingredients listed on the Babycakes website for their vanilla frosting in no way resemble those in the cookbook's recipe. Many of the other recipes require a good frosting, and so I was very disappointing not to get the "real" Babycakes frosting recipe with the cookbook.

    All in all, there are some disappointments with the cookbook, but I will definitely make many of the recipes again. It's worth buying if you want truly delicious vegan and gluten-free baked goods.

    Oh, and one note about the "health" factor-- coconut oil and agave nectar are infinitely healthier than butter and sugar. Some people seemed perplexed as to how baked goods with fat can be "healthy"-- but coconut oil has a number of healthful properties, and agave won't spike blood sugar levels like sugar will. ...more info
  • add me to the disappointed list
    I just got the book today, so I haven't actually tried any recipes yet, but I'm already bitterly disappointed. I couldn't believe there were so many gluten containing recipes in a book clearly labeled gluten-free! Yes, it's easy to sub, and I fully plan to give a few of them a shot, but's misleading and wrong.
    I was also disappointed in the high number of recipes that used rice flour as the main flour ingredient. I stopped using rice flour less than a year after going wheat-free, because products made with it always seem gritty to me. Again, I will give it a try, because surely they haven't gotten their reputation for nothing, but I'm dubious, especially after reading that the icing recipe isn't the same one used in the store.

    Unfortunately, I think there's also a certain amount of bad luck involved. After Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, there's just such a high expectation, it's difficult to live up to....more info
  • awesome book
    This book is awesome, I love it. Oh, Erin is my sister, I bought 10 copies. There is a reason why Erin is a regular on Martha Stewart and other cooking shows... because her recipes are AWESOME......more info
  • Luscious Pictures - Hard to find Ingredients
    i saw the author on Martha Stewart just a few days ago. she was giving Martha a run for her money when it came to ingredients and how to make her recipe - they had a wonderful segment
    the book and the recipes - and of course, the photos look great...mine arrived this past Friday at my weekend house just 2 hours from Manhattan - not good - i spent over 2 hours trying to find the ingredients - at our local market and our vegan food co-op and other stores - after $60 worth of partial ingredients, i got back to the house and was unable to make to Whole Foods in NYC to find the rest of the ingredients - at this point, gluten free ain't for me...thank god i'm tolerant - i'm going to wrap all the ingredients up and the cookbook and give it to my dear friend who does have an allergy...
    gotta go...Billy's Bakery is waiting...sorry...more info
  • Beautiful book but misleading title
    I share other reviewers' opinions - the title of the book is misleading. I was aslo looking for gluten free recipes that did not include a lot of sugar. Many of the recipes in this book don't fit the title. While she does use agave which is supposed to have less of an impact on the body as compared to sugar, there are other forms of sugar in many of the recipes. In addition, for those of us who can't have gluten, spelt is not an ingredient we can use.

    The pictures are beautiful and the recipes are different than other gluten free cookbooks. However, I did not try any of the recipes and returned the book....more info
  • I can't put this cookbook down!
    First of all, I have no food allergies and neither does anyone in my family. I'm a mother of two young children (ages 2 and 8 months) who simply wants a healthier version of my favorite treats so that I won't feel guilty sharing them with my toddler. I used to bake once every year, if that, and pretty much enjoyed freshly baked goods from local bakeries. So, my expectations are that it has to taste good for any of this to be worth it.

    I preordered this book on a whim. I had never been to the bakery in New York and I don't think the L.A. bakery is open yet. Ever since the book arrived, I have looked through it every day. This book is a visual masterpiece! I love everything from the font and photographs to the colors and layout. It makes me want to bake... and buy expensive, hard-to-find ingredients because, what the heck?, it's part of the challenge.

    So far I have baked the chocolate cupcakes (chewy and brownie-like, just like Erin says it should be), banana bread with chocolate chips, and the double chocolate cookies. Everything has turned out well! In fact, the banana bread was BETTER than the non-vegan kind, and you couldn't even taste the flax seed meal in the cookies, which were incredibly delicious. I mentioned that I am NOT a baker, right? I am a very detailed person though and I guess my advice would be to follow every little step exactly as it is written.

    Now, I've read a lot of the reviews and have been a bit surprised by some of the negative comments. This is alternative baking, people! The fact that it tastes as good as the real thing is quite an accomplishment! Perhaps the frosting isn't the real NYC-shots deal, I don't know because I haven't made it yet, but I really wouldn't expect this woman to spend years perfecting her recipes only to spill every little secret on the pages of her book. I'm just excited that there are healthier options out there.... and with such style to boot! I think this book is great fun and worth every penny....more info
  • Spelt flour is not gluten-free and the frosting is questionable.
    I received this book this morning and decided to make the "healthy hostess" cupcakes. The recipe is good and I didn't have any bad surprises, but on the other hand, when I tried to make the chocolate frosting on page 93, I had a real frustrating experience. The frosting is more like a sauce and after chilling it for 6 hours, the frosting didn't stay at room temperature.Why do you call it a frosting? That is a mystery to me....
    At first, I was really excited to have found a book combining vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free recipes but this is more challenging than I thought. Well, I will have to keep experimenting and leave this book on my bookshelf as a decorative item because it is indeed a pretty book with pretty ladies inside but the goal is to share reliable recipes and not seduce our eyes with a misleading content.

    I personally like the book "baking with agave nectar", I replace the all purpose flour with a gluten-free all purpose flour and use arrowroot instead of xanthan gum or guar gum. That's the best book I found so far.

    Well, as a french cook, I am disappointed and I feel the only thing to do now is to ask for my money back. Sorry Erin but you shouldn't lie to your readers....more info
  • WARNING This is NOT Gluten FREE
    False and misleading title. many recipes have gluten. The book is simply overhyped. we have child who has gluten free diet and wasted money. we wish for more real gluten free cookbooks...more info
  • Perhaps a nice jumping off place for an experienced baker
    This book is beautiful, and the recipes sound delicious, but in practice are difficult to turn out. The recipes I've tried have been a nice staring point, but need serious modifications. I've had to wonder if these recipes were actually tested before printing the book. So far I've encountered pan sizes that won't hold the ingredients, cook times that are WAY off, and some amounts that must be mistakes. I've been baking my whole life, and baking gluten-free for over a year, and have found these recipes a challenge to adapt. That said, once I've made my changes I've had some great success and feel like some of our favorite family recipes will be born from this cookbook. If you're going to buy this, consider it a starting point and expect many failures before you find what works for you!...more info


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