"Babycakes: Vegan, Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-About Bakery"
By Erin McKenna
Photographs by Tara Donne
Clarkson Potter -- 2009
Buy It at Amazon
Note: While testing the vanilla frosting recipe, we accidentally used soy flour instead of the the soy milk powder the recipe called for. The two are easily confused but not interchangeable, as our results demonstrated.
When Erin McKenna opened BabyCakes NYC in 2005, her gluten-free, vegan baked goods became a huge success, giving hope to the gluten-intolerant and converting legions of dairy-worshipping skeptics. Her new cookbook is both a how-to guide and winning, chatty account of McKenna's journey from junk food junkie to gluten-free goddess (she changed her Twinkie-loving ways in 2004, when she was diagnosed with wheat and dairy allergies). Pretty much everything in the baked good pantheon is here -- cupcakes, blueberry corn muffins, scones, cake and cobbler -- ensuring that while the gluten and dairy may be missing, absolutely nothing else is.
Takeaway Tips: McKenna writes in a clear, humorous and reassuring voice that makes you feel like you're baking in the company of, if not an old friend, then an endlessly understanding and forgiving teacher. She provides ingenious advice on making simple, natural food coloring (who knew that a pinch of turmeric made gorgeous yellow icing?), and her incredibly helpful ingredients glossary at the beginning of the book (from agave nectar to xantham gum) removes a lot of the considerable intimidation factor inherent in gluten-free, vegan baking.
See what we tested and whether the book's worth buying after the jump.