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Best Vegan Bakeries?

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What are your favorite vegan bakeries or, in the alternative, vegan baked good at nonvegan store?

I recently had some disappointing cupcake tops, donuts and cookies at Babycakes NYC (LA downtown store). I paid $19.50 for a small box of like 6 tiny things. The texture of the cupcake tops was so dense and heavy and not in a good way and the crumb is very rough on these things. The funny thing is that when I cook from the Babycakes cookbook, my chocolate cupcakes always turn out moist and fudgy. The lemon coconut had a decent frosting, but the problem is that it all has to be refrigerated for the frosting to be a nice thick texture and not strangely bouncy in texture, but when the frosting is cold, so is the cake and the cake part is just horrible when cold. I liked the chocolate frosted doughnut, but I finally realized that what I really liked about it was the thick chocolate frosting.

TELL ME WHERE TO GO SO I MIGHT AVOID THIS DISAPPOINTMENT IN THE FUTURE. I am looking for anywhere in the world, really. It will be my excuse to travel. I am not looking for desserts that are "good for being vegan". I want desserts that are just plain good to eat. Thank you in advance.

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  1. My only experience has been with cupcake bakeries. Both of these were delish...

    The Divine Cupcake in Eugene, OR
    Pattycake Bakery in Columbus, OH

    2 Replies
    1. re: jes7o

      Ooh, Ohio, that's really interesting. Thanks!

      1. re: jes7o

        Another recommendation for Pattycake Bakery.

      2. Auntie Loo's in Ottawa, ON. That girl's sweet treats are just bang on!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Peaches to Poutine

          What's the best thing you've had?

          1. re: choctastic

            Ooh, I like her coffee cake, but any of her cupcakes are fantastic as well. I haven't tried her Whoopie pies yet but mostly because I live four hours away!

        2. Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, PA! Check out their website, as they are carried lots of places in NYC and Philly as well.

          1. The desserts at Sacred Chow in NYC are great. Caravan of dreams used to have a delicious raw cacao and raspberry tart, not sure if it's still on the menu,

            2 Replies
            1. re: cheesecake17

              Oh boy, I remember that tart at Caravan of Dreams, and something with a kind of banana ice cream, a raw chocolate cake and raspberry sauce. Does Caravan of Dreams have a cookbook?

              1. re: ninrn

                The raw chocolate cake is what I was thinking of. They changed the menu a while ago and we didn't love it so haven't really been back since

            2. http://www.sweetfreedombakery.com/ sweet freedom bakery in philly is fantastic! it's vegan and also gluten-free

              1. Rollin' Oats in Tampa and St. Pete, Florida -- they used to be called Nature's Harvest.

                Supermarket with an inhouse cafe and bakery-- without a doubt the most completely awesome vegan goodies I've ever tasted.

                Their vegan chocolate chip cookies are worth a special trip.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sunshine842

                  Ooh vegan chocolate chip cookies! Thanks! It's hard to find a good version.

                2. I love to bake and am a vegan baker, so I tend to make my own but my favorite vegan cookies (better than my own!) are made by Liz Lovely in Vermont. You can buy them from the web site, but they are also sold in lots of stores around the country, including many Whole Foods, co-ops and other vegan friendly markets. My family members who are not vegan consider these cookies a royal treat. We all have our favorite flavors. They are moist, rich and loaded with flavor. You can order a sample box and check out the different flavors.

                  If you ever make it to Cambridge, MA., you must visit Veggie Galaxy in Central Square. All of their desserts are vegan, and they are pure bliss. Pies (including lemon meringue), cakes, butterscotch pudding, etc. The restaurant is vegan and vegetarian, but the desserts are all vegan. They have a locally made coconut based ice cream to go along with them if you want. Highly recommended. Desserts can be taken out or eaten right there after a delicious vegan meal.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mvi

                    wow, how does one make vegan meringue?

                    1. re: magiesmom

                      I have no idea as I have never tried, but there are numerous recipe ideas on the web. The meringue here is light and delicious. I assume there is agar in it....sugar....not sure what else I can commit to in terms of guesswork. The chef is closed mouthed about the recipes, which I understand. If you search for lemon meringue pie and Veggie Galaxy, you'll see a nice blog with pictures.

                      1. re: mvi

                        oooohhh

                  2. I'm so excited by the responses in this post! Thank you so much. I never knew these places existed!

                    1. Haven't been there myself, but surprised no one has mentioned Sticky Fingers in DC.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: will47

                        I tried it for the first time back in March. We got an assortment of their cupcakes. There was a stout one I really liked, but they were all good!

                        1. re: will47

                          I've been meaning to go there. I've been to some of the Sticky Fingers in Seoul, but they have totally different pastries.

                        2. I am Nthing not at all a fan of Babycakes (I was excited when they opened in LA, but one visit was enough for me).

                          I really think that, while you can make good vegan desserts, and good gluten free desserts, the area where the two intersect is very small (that is, there are some good desserts that fall into both categories, but most of them are not baked / floury goods).

                          Trying to deal with lack of dairy / eggs at the same time as lack of wheat / gluten is just too much for most of the classic baked / fried dough type stuff.

                          1. I'm thinking you're asking about places in New York.
                            It doesn't stay in one place, but the Cinnamon Snail food truck (they tweet and post on Facebook where they'll be each day) has the greatest vegan baked goods. If you like a more predictable live, there's Champs Bakery in Williamsburg.
                            Also, many vegan restaurants in NYC serve baked goods from Vegan Treats. They deliver in NYC on Tuesday so your best choice will be in the middle of the week.
                            I spent quite a bit on Babycakes for a party and was similarly disappointed given the hype and the long line (although, oddly, the guests weren't. Probably shocked that vegan desserts could be edible.)

                            1. Edible Flours in Vancouver even had me licking my lips. Lovely vegan bakery.

                              -----
                              http://tastespace.wordpress.com

                              1. Vegan Treats in PA is AMAZING! They deliver their cakes and cookies to Cafe Atlas in NYC as well as other restaurants. They make everything from chocolate strawberry shortcakes to a variety of "cheesecakes" and a delicious peanut butter bomb.

                                1. One trick pony, and kind of trashy, but I like Cinnaholic in Berkeley for their cinnamon rolls. They're more the medium-hard bread kind than the super soft kind, and have a pretty tasty (and trashy) vanilla glaze.

                                  Also, while I guess they're fried not baked, I like Pepple's Doughnuts in Oakland, esp. now that they're starting to do yeast risen doughnuts as well as cake. Served in lots of places, but go to their actual retail spot for the best freshness and variety.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: will47

                                    Oooh, trashy vanilla glaze. I will have to go there. Speaking of which the Trader Joes cinnamon rolls more the fluffy pillow kind, but they still got that uber-sweet vanilla glaze. Mmmmm glaze.

                                    1. re: will47

                                      Also really want to check out Dun-Well Doughnuts next time I'm in NY:

                                      http://www.pressherald.com/business/v...

                                      1. re: will47

                                        Me too!

                                        I am trying to convince my husband to spend our next anniversary in NYC, so I can just walk around and eat my face off. Not literally though.

                                        1. re: Peaches to Poutine

                                          How exciting! I"m so there on my next trip!

                                        2. re: will47

                                          Dun-Well donuts looked amazing the last time I was in NYC. I wished I could eat there, but they didn't have any gluten free items. Their ice cream looked great though. We had just eaten at Champs around the corner (great vegan diner with an awesome bakery section). I also ate at Clementines, which had great prices and chickpea salad melts! (also ice cream!) Lula's Apothecary also has great ice cream, soft serve and stuff like brownies.

                                      2. Many of the good vegan baked goods I've had are either from non-vegan places, or from vegan restaurants that are not only bakeries. Maybe it's better to focus on "best vegan baked goods [somewhere]" vs. "best vegan bakeries".

                                        Lark here in LA has some pretty good vegan cupcakes, if you haven't already tried it.

                                        I like some of the desserts at Real Food Daily, even though they can be hit or miss. Madeleine Bistro tends to have excellent desserts when they're open.

                                        I had a phenomenal multi-layer (maybe 8 or 9 layer) vegan carrot cake made by Suzanne Griswold of the supper club "Chicks with Knives". I believe coconut milk was involved. Moist, rich, and delicious. Even my wife, who normally likes carrot cake, and is not vegan, thought it was amazing.

                                        While not quite as good in the flavor department, pies made with all-shortening crusts are often vegan accidentally.

                                        I think vegan desserts are at their best when they play to their strengths, or use slightly stronger flavors. I also personally prefer things that avoid over-use of vegan margarine, vegan sour cream or cream cheese, and so forth, both in the sense of avoiding overly processed foods and in the sense of kind of being a little too attuned to the specific taste they have. Coconut milk / cream and raw nuts are really good for bringing in richness and flavor. Certain things will virtually always be "good for being vegan" -- it's hard to make things that rely very directly on butter, egg-whites, or egg yolks for texture / flavor (plain sponge cake, for example).

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: will47

                                          Well, I'd rather support vegan bakeries, if at all possible, but I still do want to hear about the vegan option at non-vegan restaurants.

                                          1. re: choctastic

                                            Vegan savory options are getting easier to come by at non-veg restaurants, but most non-veg restaurants and pastry chefs are completely daunted by coming up with something vegan beyond sorbet or fresh fruit. So, I will almost never turn down the opportunity to encourage non-vegan restaurants that serve vegan desserts. Tender Greens is a good example - they almost always have a vegan dessert (and it's generally a cupcake straight out of "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World"). Four Cafe in Eagle Rock also usually has 2 vegan dessert options at any given time. At both places, not always the greatest thing ever, but I buy one every time I go. Partly because I can't turn down dessert, and partly to encourage them to keep offering them.

                                            But, I do have to say, you may have to pick one in terms of patronizing vegan establishments vs. having something that's "good for being vegan". I hate to say it, but like kosher places, vegan restaurants kind of know that they have a certain amount of built in business - that is, people will come to the restaurant and eat the desserts just because the place is vegan. On top of that, they're also often trying to make something that's "healthier" (rather than "as tasty as possible"). Places that appeal to a wider audience know they have to make something good enough that people who aren't veg*n will appreciate it (and, they can focus their efforts on one or two vegan things vs. an entire selection).

                                        2. I was highly disappointed with Babycakes NYC, can we say dry dry dry. I'm not impress either with Sweet Avenue Bake Shop in Rutherford, NJ, they're better than Babycakes but not worth a second trip back.

                                          I lot of people rave about Cinnamon Snail food truck in NYC, their doughnuts and other deserts. I'm going to find them tomorrow to see if they're any good.

                                          My favorite vegan cupcakes, cookies and everything is located in Cleveland, Ohio at Flaming Ice Cube. They put babycakes to shame with their moist sweetness.

                                          1. If you're ever in Albuquerque, NM, try some of the vegan baked goods at La Montanita Co-op. I'm partial to the bakery at the North Valley branch. Their vegan German chocolate cake is to die for.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ninrn

                                              Oh, I have to try this cake out. Thanks!

                                            2. I'm not vegan, but due to intolerances in egg whites and dairy, I love it when I can get a good vegan dessert because I FINALLY don't have to read ingredient lists.
                                              For anyone who is in Canada, Sweets from the Earth (http://www.sweetsfromtheearth.com/) is a vegan bakery that sells to supermarkets. I usually get their stuff at Highland Farms. Now, I've had some misses in their line of products that I wouldn't purchase again, but I did have a really nice caramel pecan bar covered in chocolate last week that just totally satisfied my cravings.
                                              Chocolate Chip cookies are actually pretty good as well.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: icey

                                                I like their chocolate chip cookies too.

                                              2. Oooh, oooh! When I was in New Orleans, I went to Breads on Oak! Because I could not make up my mind, one of the owners put together a goodie box for me! It contained cinnamon walnut coffee cake, a pumpkin pecan muffin, and blueberry lemon muffin! Aside from traditional French-style artisanal breads, they had cookies, foccaccias, and even sammiches to go!

                                                http://www.breadsonoak.com/

                                                Also, I was home in Atlanta as well and checked out Dough Bakery on Edgewood. The banana bread whoopie pie was so good, I was jealous! My husband had a huge choc chip cookie that he loved. A super bonus is that there is a vegan deli attached and they sell breakfast sammiches to go. I bought three and they saved my bacon (figuratively) when traveling on the train later in the week!

                                                http://www.yelp.ca/biz/dough-bakery-a...

                                                (I wouldn't normally link to Yelp, but their website seems to be down.)

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Peaches to Poutine

                                                  This sounds totally awesome. I have to try this.

                                                2. We had our wedding cake made by Flying Apron in Fremont (Seattle), WA. They do use a lot of sugar or other sweeteners in their items. They also have a cookbook.
                                                  www.flyingapron.com/menu/sweets.html

                                                  1. Has anyone mentioned Cafe Indigo in Concord, NH? One of the granite state's best kept secrets. I'm not vegan and their carrot cake is the best I've ever had. And they mail-order.