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Babycakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-about Bakery [Hardcover]

Erin McKenna
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: 14.65 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Feb 2010
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!

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Frequently Bought Together

Babycakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-about Bakery + Babycakes Covers the Classics + Flying Apron's Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book
Price For All Three: 35.29

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (1 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307408833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307408839
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 19.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 370,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

ERIN MCKENNA is the chef and owner of BabyCakes NYC, a bakery with outposts in New York City and West Hollywood. She received the prestigious Best Cupcake award in 2006 from New York magazine. Erin has been a guest on Martha Stewart Television and Food Network and has been featured in the New York Times, Food & Wine, Modern Bride, VegNews, Harper’s Bazaar, In Style, and O, the Oprah Magazine.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great cakes, if you can get the ingredients 8 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The one thing that cannot be denyed about Babycakes is the pictures and design of the book are so cute and charming you will want to rush out and buy all the relative ingredients and produce your own beautiful cupcakes. Therein lies the problem. Now, I must confess, I am not wheat or lactose intolerant but I have friends who are and friends who are vegans, and being a vegan you could try to adapt the recipes slightly (how they will taste though I have no idea, the ones I adapted were awful but the recipes containing spelt were yummy) but if you have allergies, there are perhaps only several recipes that contain no wheat or gluten.

I have hunted high and low in the shelves and aisles of many a well known supermarket and most of the ingredients are widely avaliable, from Xanthan Gum to Agave Necter, spelt flour and potato flour but I can't find Garbanzo fava bean flour anywhere! it is a shame because it makes the recipes in this book limited as to what you can make. However, I would never have discovered Agave Nectar without this book and it is very tasty indeed without the guilt of sugar.

My advice is to look on the Babycakes website before you purchase the book, the author/owner goes into more detail about the ingredients that are used and why, the biggest factor being that the book is published in America and supplies are varied and plentyful, but with supply and demand it could be that will have some of the ingredients in our shops soon, what with store like Whole Foods and the wonderful internet.

I do like this book tremendously and with the correct ingredients the cakes are amazing but it is the cooking equvalant of flat-pack furniture, if one part is missing, it all falls apart.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and yummy. 29 April 2011
Format:Hardcover
First of all let me say that I am not vegan nor allergic or intolerant to anything (yet), lucky me...But the reason why I bought this book is that I love my cakes and bakes and I was interested in checking out a heathier way to indulge in my sins.
This is the UK version of an American book. Contrary to the original US version, this book has cup measurements converted to kg/g and l/ml/cl (ie metric but not imperial, sorry!) and a lot of American terms adapted to the British market. Also and most importantly I thought, a very useful list of UK websites is provided at the end of the book to help locate ingredients which might not be available at all supermarkets.
All that will lift a lot of the criticisms raised against the original version provided people also read the title correctly: Vegan but only mostly gluten free -some recipes use spelt flour which is not gluten free although Erin mcKenna underlines that a lot of people with wheat sensitivities digest it confortably- and mostly sugar free.
If that suits you , you are in for a treat, the recipes have been very well researched and there is something -in fact a lot of things- to suit anyone and everyone here. Once you have got hold of the less common ingredients, which is very easy to do thanks to the list of UK websites provided as I mentioned earlier, you are very clearly guided through the recipes and given ideas for substitutions and clever tips to boot.
Only one gripe: although I found the introduction on ingredients and tips quite interesting, I would gladly have done without the 'celebrities' recommendations and photos which take up a few pages too many, very American I suppose but I would have preferred more recipes to replace them, this is a cookbook after all!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 7 Sep 2011
Format:Hardcover
A quick look at this book can leave you largely intimidated by the huge list of almost alien ingredients, xanthan gum, arrowroot powder, unsweetened applesauce (to us non Americans). But most of the flours have been easy to find online or in the supermarket.

My only gripe is that you can only make the frosting using coconut oil. This is incredibly expensive especially since you will most likely have to order it online. It will also need to be constantly refrigerated due to the fact it will easily melt, not helpful when over half the recipes call for use of the frosting topping.

I've made a couple of the recipes now, and so far I am not impressed. My cookies came out extremely oily as I was using canola oil (as suggested) and had to amend the recipe to accommodate this. Again on a second batch they came out far too chewy and a rather odd hard consistency at the same time. Expensive considering I was using agave nectar (nearly a whole bottle at 2.70 a pop).

I'm not sure I would recommend this to many suffering with coeliac due to the excessive use of exotic flours when the end results I have personally found are well below par.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yum 4 Jun 2009
Format:Hardcover
I do not suffer from any food intolerance or allergy but I love baking and the recipes from this book have made it possible for me to indulge in baking to my heart's content without feeling guilty. The ingredients are also quite easy to source, either on the internet or at the health food shelves in a large supermarket.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, very long ingredients lists... 13 May 2012
Format:Hardcover
I've had this book for a while with the intention of making cakes for my sister who is a coeliac (I, myself am vegan) but the somewhat large ingredients lists put me off for a very long time. I decided to give it a go on my sister's birthday and made the triple chocolate fat-pants cake. The cake and cookies came out beautifully, which was a relief as my exeriences with gluten-free, vegan baking have been mixed. However, I think that I'll stick to the more traditional butter icing next time because although my icing didn't come out runny, it wasn't really thick enough to stick the cookies to the cake. My only major complaint about this book is that I love baking and being a vegan, my cupboards at home are full to the brim with all kinds of tasty things to make cakes/biscuits with. However, I needed to get quite a few extra bits (4 different types of flour for the cake, coconut flour for the icing!) and it did become very expensive. I think if you already have a gluten (or wheat) intolerance, this might not be such a problem as you may already have a lot of these ingredients in, but for myself, I am going to have to use these flours up when I wouldn't normally use them to justify buying them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
With todays health problems with sugar this book is amazing. Gave a copy to friend who also loved it. What more can I say but fantastic.
Published 2 months ago by thebeatgoeson
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly awful
I'm reviewing the UK version, but if you go to the american site and see their version, there are A LOT of bad reviews.
I am a Vegan. Read more
Published on 25 Dec 2011 by raven_guest
5.0 out of 5 stars baby cakes
I'm gluten intolerant but love baking. Baby cakes is amazing and has a totally different approach to baking. Read more
Published on 31 Aug 2011 by londonisbaking
2.0 out of 5 stars Runny icing......
I was very excited when I found this book as thought it was the answer to my prayers!
I carefully sourced all the ingredients for making the vanilla cupcakes and the fabulous... Read more
Published on 4 July 2011 by Jackie V
1.0 out of 5 stars Far from sugar free ... recipes cost more to make than the book itself
After using Barbara Cousins Vegetarian Cooking Without which includes delicious recipes sweetened with dates, bananas, apples and cinnamon I was looking to try something else for... Read more
Published on 21 May 2011 by pixie225
4.0 out of 5 stars UK version now available see below
I thought I would post this information here although it is not a book review as such: A UK version of this book is now available with cup measurements converted to kg/g and... Read more
Published on 29 April 2011 by Clementine
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
This book was delivered very soon after my order, thank you.
I just love it, its such an interesting read. Read more
Published on 27 Dec 2010 by DGR
5.0 out of 5 stars Babycakes by Erin Connor
A fabulously inspiring book with lots of revoloutionary for healthy / allergy free cakes and biscuits.. A new language in baking for a hardened pastry chef! Read more
Published on 24 Sep 2010 by Ms. S. A. Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a pressie ...
Bought as a pressie for my daughter, whose 18-month son has developed an allergy to dairy products. The book is clearly and attractively presented, and whilst it is inevitably... Read more
Published on 7 Aug 2010 by Mrs. P. A. Wilmut
5.0 out of 5 stars BabyCakes Recipe Book
This Book is great if you want to have your cake and eat it too!!! Some of the ingredents are a little difficult to come by but the secret is buy in bulk and freeze where you can,... Read more
Published on 30 April 2010 by N-j Maun
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