Earlier last week, Ray and I decided to treat ourselves to dinner out at a new Chip Roman restaurant in Philly as an Xmas gift. I had some time to kill before he met me, so I stopped in to Sweet Freedom Bakery for some after-dinner dessert.
Sweet Freedom is pretty unique, in that it is a gluten-free, vegan, refined-sugar free, soy-free, corn-free, peanut-free and kosher bakery. Talk about a mouthful!
The bakery goes as far as not using baking powder, due to it containing CORNstarch. Talk about an attention to detail!
Now, I’ve had vegan baking before, but it was certainly laden with sugar and dairy, so I could barely tell the difference between it and a non-vegan dessert (is that a bad thing?) But with these cupcakes, I definitely could taste a difference.
I selected a Samoa cupcake (fashioned after the Girl Scout vanilla cookie coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and laced with chocolate stripes) and a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting.
The Samoa cupcake had a caramel filling, as well as caramel and chocolate drizzle over the coconut crusted frosting. After his first bite, Ray said the cupcake reminded him of whole wheat (though the cupcake contains no wheat). It had an earthy, nutty flavor and the coconut was the dominate flavor. The caramel filling was thin and didn’t have much flavor, which was a bit of a bummer.
As for the chocolate cupcake, that really wowed Ray and surprised me how much it tasted like your usual chocolate cupcake. It was very rich and left me searching for a glass of water to rinse it down.
Overall, I’m not sure vegan and numerous allergy-free baking is for me, HOWEVER, it’s definitely a fantastic option for those who do have these food allergies. As stated on the bakery’s website, “Sweet Freedom is here to serve as a safe haven to children and adults alike who have been deprived of the simple pleasure of eating a freshly baked goodie.” And that is awesome!