Veganism, a diet once associated with Woodstock and peace signs, is the new vogue among spa-goers and Barneys’ regulars alike. And while we know salads are safe for vegans, desserts can be more difficult to find, with ingredients like milk, butter, and eggs verboten from the mixing bowl.
Whether for health reasons, a newfound appreciation for animals, or the chance to follow in famous footsteps like actress Olivia Wilde, first model Lauren Bush or foodie Michael Pollan (vegan before dinner), you can now enjoy animal-friendly sweets at a number of bakeries around the city. Here are three of our all-time favorites. Bon appétit! (Non-New Yorkers: Check the store’s shipping policies to get treats delivered right to your doorstep.)
BabyCakes (248 Broome St. between Ludlow and Orchard)
Elegantly decorated in true Lower East Side fashion, BabyCakes is known for its hard-to-resist displays of perfectly-frosted cakes, cupcakes and fresh raspberry scones — so good that Food & Wine said it “convinces the skeptics.” Founder Erin McKenna uses all-natural, organic alternatives void of wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, and eggs. Sweeteners, which are rarely included in the batter, are found in the form of agave nectar, a natural cactus-derived syrup.
Cocoa V (174 Ninth Ave. and 21st St.)
How does a double chocolate cupcake with “cream cheese” frosting sound? When it comes to baked goods and bon bons, Cocoa V literally takes the cake. A boutique chocolate shop and wine café, Cocoa V is as chic its surrounding neighborhood of Chelsea. From fair trade chocolates to their specialty cookies and cream bar, owner Pamela Elizabeth created the 100 percent vegan menu as a way to channel her own views on animal rights. Feel free to indulge without guilt.
Whole Earth Bakery and Kitchen (130 St. Marks Pl. b/n 1st and Ave. A)
Whole Earth Bakery and Kitchen serves more than just cakes and pies, offering an entire menu of vegan-approved eats. While we certainly recommend their vegan soups and eggless quiches, our current mission is dessert. Whole Earth Bakery trades honey for maple syrup, agave syrup and pure fruit concentrates to create specializedmade-to-order cakes. Also in store at this East Village gem are a selection of seasonal pies, almond chocolate cupcakes, vegan sticky buns, and cookies of all kinds.