Interview with Babycakes NYC Vegan Bakery Founder, Erin McKenna

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Babycakes NYC, a vegan bakery here in Manhattan, is my favorite spot to cure a sweet tooth The Healthy Apple way: Refined Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Soy-Free, Casein-Free, Egg-Free, Vegan and Kosher.  What more can a Manhattan gal ask for?  This is bakery heaven for myself and many of my clients who suffer from food intolerance’s and allergies.

Good Morning, Erin.  Thank you so very much for your time; I am a huge fan of Babycakes—not only am I a frequent visitor of your Manhattan bakery, but I use your Babycakes cookbook to bake all of my treats!

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What is your food philosophy?

I am a fan of food combining – not pairing protein with carbohydrates and eating fruit alone.  I also eat food that is as close to its natural state as possible.  The fewer ingredients, the better.

I agree, completely as I always eat as close to the natural source as possible.  What inspired you to start baking gluten-free, vegan baked goods?

I have a sensitivity to wheat, dairy and sugar so I was inspired to create desserts that I could enjoy.

What made you decide to open Babycakes? How did you come up with that adorable name?

I opened the bakery because there was nowhere in New York that I could go to for sweets and I wanted to create it.  I wanted it to be a place that I would want to go.  The name came from the idea that the ingredients in the baked goods would be so carefully chosen and mindful of sensitive digestive systems, that even a baby could eat them. Hence the name, BabyCakes.

Many of my clients (myself included) suffer from gluten and dairy intolerance so I know the frustrations in trying to find foods free of allergens and additives.  I know that you avoid wheat, dairy, soy, caffeine and refined sugars largely due to stomach and digestion problems.  How did you know that you had trouble with all of these foods?  Did you cut all of these out of your diet at once?

Yes, it was by cutting them all out, all at once, that I found a great improvement in my digestion.  That along with food combining really helps me.

I am curious to know what your symptoms were from eating soy.  How did you to realize soy was another of your ‘problem’ foods?

Soy actually isn’t a food I’m sensitive to, but I make my desserts soy-free because it’s a problem for so many others.

Since you avoid refined sugars, what sweeteners do you use?

Agave nectar in the baked goods and I personally use a lot of stevia in drinks at home.

I agree; I’m a big fan of using agave nectar for baking and stevia in my hot beverages.  What is the one food you can’t live without?

Nuts!  Any and all kinds.  I don’t know that I could ever cut them out of my diet – I eat almost a cup of nuts a day!

Do you do all of the recipe testing yourself?

Yes, I’m a bit of a control freak regarding recipes.

Wow; very impressive.  Did you always dream of opening your own bakery?

Never!  I wanted to be a costume designer for a sketch comedy like SNL.  The bakery happened because it needed to.

What is your favorite meal to cook?

I’m not vegan because I eat fish so my favorite meal is as follows.  I put a white fish in parchment paper along with cherry tomatoes, garlic, zucchini and whatever fresh herbs I have – sometimes rosemary, thyme, basil or sage.  Pour olive oil all up on it and sprinkle salt, pepper and chili flakes.  Then, I secure the parchment closed and bake it for about 20 minutes until the fish is done.  When you open it up, everything is infused with the herbs and it is so simple and delicious.

Sounds delicious; I love parchment baked fish fillets.  Have you inspired friends and family to be gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan?

No, I’m not on a mission to change people.  I just want everyone to see that it can be delicious if they choose to ever go gluten-free or vegan.

You must be thrilled to open your L.A. location!  What are your future plans for Babycakes?

I’m very excited for LA, it’s like having a second baby.  I have big plans for the future, but can’t discuss them just yet!

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Thank you again, Erin for taking the time to meet with The Healthy Apple.  Good luck with the launch of your new LA location—you’ll have the West Coast taste buds dancin’ for joy in no time!

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  1. […] told The Healthy Apple, “I opened the bakery because there was nowhere in New York that I could go to for sweets and […]

  2. […] PDRTJS_settings_169404_post_1426 = { "id" : "169404", "unique_id" : "wp-post-1426", "title" : "From+our+friends+at+thehealthyapple.com", "item_id" : "_post_1426", "permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fculinistannouchka.com%2F2009%2F10%2F20%2Ffrom-our-friends-at-thehealthyapple-com%2F" } Our delightful and charming friend Amie at thehealthyapple.com just posted a great interview with Babycakes owner Erin McKenna: read below or click here for the full interview […]

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