When I first heard that BabyCakes NYC was opening in downtown Los Angeles, I didn't suffer from the local foodie's lament that we're already overrun with cupcake joints -- what with Sprinkles, Joan's on Third, Toast and Crumbs, among others, vying to be the tastiest cake in town.
No, I was grateful. I actually never tire of anything with "cake" in the name.
Then I heard it was vegan. "Refined sugar-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, casein-free and egg-free" to be exact.
"Taste-free, too?" I wondered.
But then I tasted one of BabyCakes' cupcakes -- actually I had CC try hers first (some mother I am!) -- and I was totally smitten.
I ordered chocolate with chocolate frosting (CC went for carrot, that little health nut), and I was expecting something dry and aggressively "good for you."
But this normal-sized (not as big as your head), moist, chocolaty cupcake delivered on all the sweet-tooth necessities -- the frosting was thick, smooth, but not too sweet, and the cake itself was bold and flavorful.
And whatever casein is, I didn't miss it. Neither did CC. She almost didn't even let me taste her carrot cupcake, but then she relented, thank God.
BabyCakes is the brain child of Erin McKenna, who launched the first outpost in New York. According to the Web site, she wanted to cater to those with "persnickety diets" who can often "feel left out."
The shop also offers cakes, cookies, cookie sandwiches, donuts, muffins and scones.
Yes, we'll have to go back. Not only for the goodies, but also for the Manhattan-like feel of the place. It's cozy, right in the heart of downtown at 6th and Los Angeles Streets, on the bottom floor of the Pacific Electric building. There are converted lofts and an art gallery across the street and a taste of gentrified downtown grit. Kinda like New York.
130 E. 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90014