warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Vegan Treats At BabyCakes NYC In Downtown L.A.

GinaLisa Tamayo |
February 15, 2011 | 1:33 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Photo by GinaLisa Tamayo
Photo by GinaLisa Tamayo
A half- hour before closing on a week night, there is a line almost out the door of a tiny retro bake shop on East Sixth St. The three tables are filled and patrons are lining up to order everything from banana loaves to cupcakes, brownies and chocolate chip cookies.

Though, these aren't just any kind of banana loaves, cupcakes, brownies and cookies: they are gluten, dairy, egg, and soy free. An offering of vegan desserts with sophistication making your taste buds begging for more. 

BabyCakes NYC is a cute and whimsical bakery originally from New York City. Lucky for Angelenos, they’ve brought the concept downtown.  

If you know someone with a food allergy, this will probably become the go-to place.  It is heavenly for all of the vegans, celiacs and diabetics. They offer cupcakes, doughnuts, scones and cakes - you name it! Though, they are doing it in a vegan fashion, it sure does not taste like it.  

The chocolate chip cookie sandwiches ($5.00) are truly perfect. The outrageously creamy and smooth pink vanilla frosting is piped between two decadent freshly baked vegan chocolate chip cookies. The cookies are not too sweet and have the texture of a traditional soft chocolate chip cookie.  When you’re eating it, you forget it’s vegan, gluten, soy and dairy free. Yeah, it’s that good. 

With shows like "Cupcake Wars" on Food Network, the cupcake revolution is blossoming and Babycakes is in the running even if they don’t use refined sugar, eggs or white flour. Aren’t those the staple ingredients in a cupcake after all? Well, they use a combination of garbanzo and fava bean flour. Agave nectar is used as a sweetener in many of their delicacies, and they use cold-pressed coconut oil, which has shown to have benefits in promoting better heart function. 

Their version of a pumpkin cupcake ($4.50) is made with fresh pumpkin that melts together with cinnamon and nutmeg flavors. It’s then topped off with the same fluffy vanilla frosting in the cookie sandwiches.  The red velvet cupcake craze is still upon us because it is indeed one of Babycakes’ most popular item ($4.50). However, it is surprisingly forgettable as it can turn out relatively dry and crumbly.  

The vanilla macaroon ($1.50) unfortunately doesn’t taste like much. There's a little coconut flavor and the texture can be oddly chunky. It isn’t good or bad - a person with food allergies would probably agree it tastes like any other processed allergen-free product from a commercial grocery store rather than an eclectic specialty artisan bakery. 

For a $1.75 you can get a peppermint pattie. It is perhaps the smallest product in the case but it is also the most pungent in flavor. The mint is the star as it should be. It’s a nice surprise after biting into such a tiny heart-shaped dessert to get such bold flavors. 

BabyCakes NYC is undoubtedly on a different level when it comes to natural foods and baking. They are catering not only to the greater community but accommodating a growing community that infrequently gets to treat themselves to sweet treats. Check out their website for more information about ingredients and the menu. 


Reach reporter GinaLisa Tamayo here. 



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.