Erin McKenna's Bakery - formerly Babycakes

  • Bakery Bakery
    ( 50 reviews )

248 Broome St (at Lower East Side, Manhattan), New York City, New York, USA, 10002

New York City vegan bakery est. 2005 as Babycakes and re-branded in 2014 to include one of the founder's namesake. The only non-vegan item offered is dairy milk for drinks. Tiny place but offers a varied selection of all gluten-free and vegan sweets. Open Tue-Sat 10:00am-10:00pm, Sun 10:00am-8:00pm.

Reviews (50)

First Review by Erin P.

Still terrific after all these years... - Edit

Recently re-visited here on an trip to the nearby Moo Shoes store. Small but wonderful, this trail blazing outpost of vegan-gluten free baking still delivers consistently good wares. The classics are all there: iced cupcakes, cookies, doughtnuts... along with innovations like the apple-cinnamon churro I had (soooooo worth the calories). This is still the overall best place for GF vegan goodies in Manhattan.

Updated from previous review on 2017-04-21

Pros: Terrific baked goods, Fab LES location, Vegan AND GF

Cons: I never have room to eat it all!

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The best donuts Vegan or not! - Edit

Stumbled on this place years ago and it is still top notch. Definitely my favorite donuts regardless if they are vegan. Its tiny but the staff are awesome, the atmosphere is great, and the pastries are amazing!! Everyone should stop here!

Pros: Delicious, Made on Premises

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Vegan doughnut heaven - Edit

I visited here last summer and I was pretty impressed by the variety of baked goods on offer! :) Had a cupcake which was good but did go a little crumbly and dry in transit, but I ate the doughnut pretty much on the spot and I absolutely loved it, can't say it was like a conventional doughnut you'd get from the supermarket etc, but I was impressed by the taste and the texture, although not as soft it just worked as what it was, I'd recommend a visit if you're round the are, though it seems like it's in an odd location, on a block with no other restaurants, but the shop front did stand out! :)

Pros: Doughnuts

Cons: Bit pricey

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Good, but not the best ever - Edit

I've been here three times, so obviously I like it. :) The cookies are great, but not fantastic (nor "crave-worthy". The cupcakes are mediocre (dry and crumbly). Basically, there isn't anything better in the area, so where else do you go when you want a cookie or a cupcake? But I've had a lot that were 100x better tasting in different parts of the country. This place is worth going to as part of an adventure in the area.

Pros: LOTS of vegan options

Cons: Overpriced, Dry and crumbly

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Delicious! - Edit

The bakery is a tiny storefront on a block without other restaurants around, so we were surprised to see it. There's really only room for about 6 customers so it could easily get crowded; I'd recommend taking to go if you have a comfortable spot to enjoy your treats, EXCEPT if you're getting cupcakes or something else with frosting; it is pretty temperature-sensitive and will fall apart in transit so be careful transporting those items.

The big deal about this place is that it's hard to describe how amazing it is when you live vegan and/or GF and you're so used to not ever partaking in the most decadent things your friends/family are eating, and you walk into a bakery with gorgeous treats and get to choose from ALL OF THEM! It's an awesome feeling. We tried the cupcakes and doughnuts, which were all delicious. At around $4 each I wouldn't call them cheap but I thought the price was reasonable for a special treat made of high-quality ingredients.

We also purchased one of the cookbooks featuring their doughnut recipe and were able to replicate a pretty similar doughnut at home, which is now a favorite treat! :)

Pros: Delicious, All vegan and GF, Fun!

Cons: Neighborhood not super friendly, Little room for eating in

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Delicious but very over-priced - Edit

Don't get me wrong - it's delicious. Very delicious.

However, if you're not looking to pay a month's salary for a few cookies and cupcakes, there are lots of other options around NYC.

Pros: 99% vegan

Cons: Overpriced

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vegan heaven - Edit

so much stuff, so little stomach. I wish I could try everything there. The "churros" were awesome, with some pumpkin spice flavor. Amazing doughnuts. Try everything you can.

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Great doughnuts - Edit

Great doughnuts, and they are vegan!

Pros: Great doughnuts

Cons: A bit pricey

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yummy stuff - Edit

We sat at the bar and kept ordering more desserts, they were all very delicious. Our group tried the chocolate and vanilla cake, a couple of different kinds of brownies, a chocolate and oatmeal cookie, and a chocolate cupcake. Our favorite were the brownies, you've got to try them. It was a great place with a cute atmosphere.
Updated from previous review on Sunday December 16, 2007

Pros: brownies, staff, atmosphere

Cons: price

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the best - Edit

Every time I'm in NYC, coming to baby cakes is a ritual....some of the best vegan desserts anywhere....plan on buying a box worth of stuff and taking it with you. I've been known to walk the box to the Starbucks a few blocks away and down half of it with a cup of coffee. Shhh....

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I love Babycakes - Edit

I'm not usually a big fan of cupcakes, but the one I had there was excellent. The best.

And last time I was there, I was amazed to find madeleine and chocolate éclairs. Both were divine.

Pros: Taste, Variety

Cons: No toilet, Few tables

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Ehh - Edit

$5 is waaaaaaaay too expensive for a tiny, mediocre cupcake.

Go to Atlas Cafe, the Cinnamon Snail food truck, Sacred Chow, Teany, or any of the Blossom restaurants for dessert instead.

Cons: Too expensive, Just ok

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Not Impressed - Edit

I was looking forward to going to Babycakes after reading all the reviews, but it was a huge letdown. The staff was rude and didn't even greet us upon arrival. The building was tiny and felt cramped with just six customers in there. Then the cupcake itself was dry and the icing had no flavor. I would not recommend this place at all.
Updated from previous review on Thursday October 03, 2013

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Yummy donuts! - Edit

When I die, I can only hope that heaven is BabyCakes NYC. Then, I will eat their donuts all day, every day and not have to pay for them, not have any health problems from eating too much sugar, and be happy for all eternity. Seriously, this place is phenomenal. I don’t know if it was obvious, but I am partial to their donuts. That’s not to say that the donuts are superior to the rest of this bakery’s treats, since I’ve never tasted anything bad here. BabyCakes is on the expensive side at first glance, with most of their goodies in the $4-6 range, but it's worth it.

The first time I came here, I hadn’t had a donut in years, and I had a raging sweet tooth. The donuts were melt-in-your-mouth, drool-worthy, miraculous creatures of sugary goodness. I am not exaggerating, people, these donuts are everything. Coming back to BabyCakes this time around, a key thing has changed: I’ve had other donuts, so I can compare. The donuts are still miraculous creatures of sugary goodness. I’ve had other donuts (sorry, BabyCakes, I cheated on you). They’ve been awesome. Still, nothing compares. Of the donut flavors the bakery offers, I’ve tried samoa, chocolate covered, salted caramel, and pumpkin cranberry caramel. My favorite was the samoa. This time, I ordered two of the day-old cupcakes, pumpkin cinnamon and red velvet. These cupcakes were good. I know for a fact that had they not been a day old, they would have been excellent. They were just good. Their gluten-free flour tasted more dense than normal and the frosting congealed a little bit. The flavor was not lacking, though.

The bakery itself is very small and seemingly out of place right in the middle of Chinatown, but they have ample seating for the size, and just the cutest decor. There’s so much to look at! The whole time we were there, the workers were jamming out to a ’90s music Pandora station. It was a lot of fun, good music, and the workers were so friendly and engaging.

If you’re in New York, and have some free time, I would highly suggest going to BabyCakes. Bring $6 and you can get nearly anything in there. Worth the splurge.

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Ok baked goods - Edit

Goods were just ok. Could get better elsewhere like Sweet Avenue in Rutherford, NJ or Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, PA.

Pros: Veg bakery which is rare

Cons: Food just ok

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Babycakes - Edit

Walked by Babycakes on a day where I wasn't that hungry, but decided to go in there and see what they had. Luckily the sold some mini muffins, so I bought some of those and saved them for later.
The café itself was very small but still nice and cute, but a little bit crowded on an afternoon.
I really liked the muffins, they had a great taste. A little bit on the dry side though, and not as fantastic as people have told me, but they still had a good balance of flavors and a rich taste.

Pros: Great taste, Cute shop, A lot of gluten and sugar free options

Cons: A bit dry, On the expensive side

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Lovely little bakery - Edit

Babycakes is an adorable little bakery. Looking for the most unusual thing on the menu, I ordered a pumpkin eclair. Unfortunately, it wasn't so much an eclair as a giant, oval whoopie pie - but still delicious!

Pros: Cute vibe, Healthy sweeteners, GF options

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So-so - Edit

Finally got to try this place out. We ordered a slice of the gluten-free chocolate crumb cake to share. Like a lot of reviewers have pointed out, it was on the dry side, a little crumbly and pasty, which was all very typical of gluten-free baked goods. Perhaps that was why they aptly called it a "crumb cake" in the first place. Taste was good though, very rich and chocolatey.

Staff was super friendly. I also liked that the majority on offer was gluten-free; some were even (refined) sugar-free. They claimed that their products were easy on blood sugar as well. But I wasn't clear what they replaced the white sugar with - brown sugar, fruit purees, or stuff like stevia, splenda, xylitol, etc? If it was just brown sugar, the nutritional difference would really not be much different compared with white. So I would have liked for them to explain more on that aspect. Setting wise, the place was very small and cramped with just a few seats. Best for a quick bite or take-aways.

Pros: nice staff, quasi-healthy

Cons: tiny and cramped, vague health claims

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