When my naturopathic doctor told me to temporarily go on a restrictive diet and cut out all wheat, dairy, soy and sugar I thought my palate would have to get used to baked cardboard, air pockets and water. Desserts? Forget about it, that wasn’t even an option. But then I discovered the most heavenly place on earth, Babycakes (248 Broome Street) and the angel behind this mastermind bakery, Erin McKenna. I heard McKenna had developed a recipe for gluten-free, soy-free, non-fried, agave-sweetened donuts ($3 to $3.50) with flavors ranging from lemon-coconut, maple-glazed and chocolate-dipped to name a few. I needed to find out if this was true and quickly rushed over to Babycakes after work yesterday to snag the last two remaining cinnamon sugar donuts.

Now you’re probably wondering how a donut once deprived of its fried, doughy, fatty goodness can taste anything remotely like a donut. Could it be true? My jaw literally dropped after the fist bite. So soft, tender and sweet. Small perfectly baked rings of guilt-free delight! Babycake donuts are much smaller in size than their fatty counterparts, but make up for it in their cake-like denseness. The only problem is the bakery usually runs out of donuts before noon which I guess means… donuts for breakfast?


While I was ordering at Babycakes, I couldn’t resist picking up two cupcakes, one roasted banana and the other vanilla ($4.25 each). Ok, let me just say this, and I’m sure I will stir up some cupcake controversy, but Magnolia who? These cupcakes were delicious, moist and rich in flavor. My favorite part was the icing, subtle in sweetness and not at all overpowering in quantity.


McKenna, the master baker, has worked tirelessly to invent desserts which are flawless in texture and taste. Using health-conscious ingredients such as agave, coconut oil, spelt and garbanzo bean flour, her desserts will satisfy those with a sweet tooth in allergy hell. And now the good news. Babycakes will be opening a new location in Los Angeles, construction is underway. But what do you do if you live no where near NYC or LA? Well, pick up McKenna’s cookbook and keep that fresh bakery smell lingering in your own kitchen.