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Showing 1-10 of 131 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 318 reviews
on May 29, 2010
As others have mentioned, these are NOT the recipes for the baked goods offered in the shop. While these recipes are indeed badly proportioned, full of errors and you will waste a lot of time and $ in making them, the real annoyance is that throughout the book Erin mentions how people "love" this icing, how they "go crazy" for their cupcakes, etc - as though these recipes will make those items. I find it deceptive and greedy that she has led us to believe we can get the same results from these half-baked recipes. The icing contains soy milk powder and Babycakes is a soy-free bakery! Come on, who are you kidding, Erin? She is famously secretive about her ingredients - she doesn't even let the majority of her staff know how to make her stuff - of course she would put out a cookbook with the wrong recipes just to make people have to keep going to her store. Conveniently they now have several shops in the States and offer shipping anywhere. So far I have spent and wasted over $100 in exotic ingredients - and I am a professional cook who knows how to bake. Erin, you should be ashamed of yourself. Not cool!
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on August 26, 2015
We made the Banana Bread and the whole family loved it :) It was by far the best Gluten Free recipe for banana bread that I have ever tried. That's about it however, the rest of the recipes must not be tested well because the methods are not clear and leave a lot to interpretation. The frosting recipe didn't work at all. It did not emulsify and came out a huge glob. It would have made sense to mention that the coconut oil should be warm and be drizzled into slightly chilled liquid. The temperature here seems to be critical for the final result. A creamy frosting like texture can not be achieved without the proper temperatures of the ingredients. I wish the bakers had focused more on testing the recipes in this book, instead of photography , in a more professional manner prior to publishing. The photography was beautiful though. Good job to whoever did that
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on November 10, 2009
the GOOD:

* the book looks nice. i like the girls and their uniforms. pretty. i have been to the store in NY, and, well, it's a really small store next to chinatown. the book makes the store look much bigger and nicer, but i guess it makes the book look nicer so i marked that as good

* i like the celebrity quotes. although, yes, this is a form of marketing and the fact that i like that thin natalie portman and pamela anderson love the place makes me one big sucker (yes, i feel ashamed that i fall for this marketing stuff!)

* i like the page where erin tells you how to naturally color frosting. neato! have not tried this yet though because...

the BAD:

* like everyone else who has tried to make their fabulous frosting (sooo good in the store), mine flopped big time! i'm not a full-time vegan (guilty! i know!) because i do not have really big food allergies, so i do bake regular food as well and i was VERY excited to see that erin's frosting does not require me to heat egg whites, or use my kitchen aid standing mixer (hated washing the thing twice, once for cupcakes, once for frosting usage). unfortunately, after buying tons of ingredients, my frosting was not thick the next morning. i had to junk the whole thing. it also was not sweet enough.

the UGLY:

* i don't like extra work. i do not like extra clean-up. i do not like extra reading from other sources when it should all be in the same book. after my frosting disaster, i had to go to Babycakes website and read their entire FAQ section on the cookbook on how to fix the dang frosting. then i had to go to martha stewart's website to find the right recipe. then i also read the blog on Babycakes site to see what this one woman did to fix it (added coconut milk, changed the measurement of ingredients). THEN i had to skim read the beginning of the babycakes book to find out that erin does not even use soy milk at all even though her recipe states soy milk (she uses rice milk). sorry, i do not read cookbooks cover to cover, i read recipes and read what i want when i have time. THEN i find out in the FAQ Babycakes section that she uses a special proprietary blend of rice milk powder and it's not on the freakin market!!! it's like a milk powder monopoly only available for the elite with a patent on it that won't allow us common folk to purchase it. what the heck?!

* so bottom line is when i went to Babycakes NYC, i remember the cupcake tasting OK because well, it is a healthier vegan cupcake but the frosting was amazing. when i made the cupcakes, i ended up with a tasty healthy cupcake better than the ones in the store, but a really screwed up frosting. btw, i used, for the first time, king arthur black cocoa powder to give the color a darker hue and king arthur dutch processed cocoa to give it that great chocolate taste. my first time being a pretentious cocoa baker but i had to try and i think it did make a difference. but, the black cocoa does not specify how much to put in. i used 1/4 c black cocoa and 3/4 c dutch processed in the healthy hostess recipe and it turned out fine.

(NEW!!! Updated Sept 2010)
TIPS:

1. Frosting: Have not tried this yet, but I found this information on Martha Stewart and on Erin's Babycakes site although it seems to have been deleted now)
Use 3/4 cup rice milk INSTEAD of soy milk
If you can find it, use rice milk powder INSTEAD of soy milk powder (which I cannot find)
maybe use 1 cup of coconut oil instead of 1.5 cups. If you turn to the chocolate frosting recipe, it's 1 cup over there so I'm not sure which one is right. I still need to try it myself). Either way, if you do the exact recipe as printed you will end up with a liquid slop that will not thicken enough to sit on a cupcake.

2. Just made the apple-cinnamon toastie:
Do NOT POUR the entire batter in the loaf pan. She made a vimeo video stating not to do this. This recipe can be either for TWO loaf pans or use the leftovers to make muffins or whatever. The batter rises A LOT so don't fill it more than half-way before adding the darker sugar added batter that makes the dark swirl.
Notice it calls for 1 cup of roasted apples. When you roast 2 lbs of apples, you get like 4 cups! I made the mistake of not reading and added all 4 cups to my loaf batter. Makes it more watery. So, yea, also notice on the actual apple cinnamon muffin recipe, that she still only says to add 1 cup of apples. So WHY BOTHER making 4 cups? I HAVE NO IDEA!!! Also when you make the sugar dark brown swirl mixture, don't fold the apples in before doing it like she says to. I have no idea why she said to fold them in beforehand, but it just screws up the mixture and the apples kind of get in the way. Anyways, my family still loved it and ate it. I loved it and ate 6 slices in one day. But, I want to make a better loaf next time so that is my advice.

Let's just say, I'm determined to make her stuff even though the book is an illogical mess. I keep a sharpie next to the book and write all over it so I remember what to actually do next time to make it right.

Also, evaporated cane juice is a screwed up marketing word for fine cane sugar or Florida Crystals. Don't get lost asking everyone that works at the grocery store for evaporated cane juice because you will think you can't get it when it's actually there and NOT CALLED evaporated cane juice. Found info on this when I looked online. GOOD LUCK!

FROSTING UPDATE 4/2011:

After three tries (including the Martha Stewart version which wasn't perfect)... I have perfected the vanilla frosting. Enjoy! Changes are denoted with a (*). Obviously, she has denied the recipe being wrong...but it is. If you look at the choco frosting recipe, you have to balance the ratio of dry ingredients to wet and have them match the vanilla frosting...duh. and they don't match. her dry match, but her liquids don't...obviously something is wrong. For perfect consistency try my version:

1 1/2 c rice milk
1 1/4 c dry soy milk powder (*)
2 Tbs coconut flour (*)
1/2 c agave nectar (*)
1 Tbs vanilla
1 1/2 c coconut oil
2 Tbs Lemon Juice

Note: still can taste soy too much, so if you have rice milk powder it's best to use that. i still can't find it on the shelves over here and hate S&H charges so i haven't tried... but again consistency with my version is great. ergo, my ratio of dry to wet is awesome.
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on June 3, 2009
This book is beautiful, and the recipes sound delicious, but in practice are difficult to turn out. The recipes I've tried have been a nice staring point, but need serious modifications. I've had to wonder if these recipes were actually tested before printing the book. So far I've encountered pan sizes that won't hold the ingredients, cook times that are WAY off, and some amounts that must be mistakes. I've been baking my whole life, and baking gluten-free for over a year, and have found these recipes a challenge to adapt. That said, once I've made my changes I've had some great success and feel like some of our favorite family recipes will be born from this cookbook. If you're going to buy this, consider it a starting point and expect many failures before you find what works for you!
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on June 5, 2009
Received book, very excited to try recipes. Disappointed about all of the recipes with gluten in them, but decided to try the cupcakes and see what all of the hype was about. I spent large amount of time this afternoon gathering all of the ingredients at Whole Foods and other grocery store. Spent more money than I've ever spent for baking a simple dessert, too. I should have followed my intuition about the flour because all of the "bean flours" I've tried in the past taste horrendous, but since the author recommended the recipes be followed closely and precisely, I did as she suggested. Anyone who wants to taste decent cupcakes, PLEASE do not use the bean flours. They are just disgusting. The kids were disappointed, not even able to get more than two bites down. The frosting turned out worse.

Good advice for anyone wanting to bake gluten free: Order "Authentic Foods Brown Rice Flour" found in California. It is worth the cost and it is not grainy like other rice flours and bakes up into fantastic cakes and other desserts . Also, very important---Buy Annalise Roberts' book entitled "Gluten Free Baking Classics." It is the VERY BEST for delicious baked goods! Use the flour combinations she recommends (almost exclusively from Authentic Foods) and you will love dessert again. I'm going to try to use her cake recipes and use them in my cupcake molds for something we can actually enjoy and abandon the BabyCakes recipe. Authentic Foods also has some good recipes to consider o their website. I really wanted to love eating the "healthy" Babycakes recipes as much as I loved looking at the photos in the cookbook, but this has been a big turn off and a waste of my money.
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on December 31, 2014
I made two recipes from this cookbook so far with mixed results. The muffin recipe I made turned out great and looked like the photo provided. The second recipe I made was for the Apple Cinnamon Toastie but it did not turn out as expected. I had to bake it 15 minutes longer because a toothpick inserted (every 5 minutes later) kept coming out with batter on it. And it was not crispy on the exterior as described and would be expected after brushing coconut oil on the top toward the end of baking. Even though the toastie tasted okay I was not happy with its texture.
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on December 26, 2014
I was very disappointed. These are not the same recipe that are use at the Babycakes in NY. I went to Babycakes in the middle of the summer and bought the back to Pa in a insulated ice bag, put them in the freezer and then bought them back to NC and they held up. When I made them at home the frosting did not set to frost them nor the recipes taste the same. Texture was not the same either.
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on May 13, 2015
My son has a dairy allergy and is now starting to bake his own things. We visited the bakery that Erin owns and loved it but the cookbooks are not even close to the what was there. Most of the ingredients are not something you have at home. I would say that this is ok.
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on March 13, 2017
We like making vegan if their is a choice. Every recipe we have tried was tasty. I am proud to serve the food these recipes produce.
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on May 9, 2009
I feel slightly torn about this book. I had pre-ordered it because I have Celiac and have loved every gluten-free thing I have tried at the Babycakes NYC Bakery. Most recipes for gluten free baked goods contain high amounts of sugar, or require mixing your own flours or are all kind of generic and blah. This book promised to be free of those things without compromising taste. However, I've found there's good and bad to being a different cook book.

The Good:
It's beautiful; the photography is stunning, the products look amazing, it gets you in the mood to bake and have fun with it. I love the personality in it, I love the colour and food shots. It's so nice to have it feel part photo-book and part-recipe instead of the standard recipe books. And the size is nice whether you're cooking or curled up the couch reading up on it.

The recipes are laid out really well; most are just a page which is nice for those of us who don't like long directions and 17 steps. The write-ups about the items and little stories are fun. The celebrity-endorsements are kind of weird (except the "fat pants" - that's pretty awesome).

There are lots of different kinds of baked goods to make from cakes to cookies. Recipes I hadn't seen before that look incredibly delicious. No more boring cupcakes and cookies for me! The Myer Lemon and Cherry Cupcakes is on my baking list for sure.

The not so good:

As a few people have already said, none of Chapter 2 (scones) are gluten free and there's a couple more elsewhere that call for spelt flour. Although Erin makes a comment about spelt in the beginning of the book and how it's not gluten free, it seems odd to have as a tag line on the FRONT of the book "gluten free" - especially since it says "mostly sugar free." I found this to be very misleading and I felt kind of left out. Maybe that sounds silly but when you're anticipating a gluten free cookbook and you can't use a whole chapter, it's disappointing.

The ingredients are costly. I shop exclusively organic and at Whole Foods so high prices for ingredients aren't a new thing for me. But I found a lot of the ingredients in here either hard to find (even at Whole Foods) or very expensive. The soy milk powder she recommends for so many things is about $20 on average I've found (you can find it on Amazon). Coconut oil, which I already use, is about $10 a jar but her recipes can go through about half of it (a whole thing if you're making cupcakes + icing). A few of the supplies she mentions having on hand can also add up. I can understand using the best ingredients but it's something to consider when ordering this book. If you bake regularly or for a large family, your baked goods can add up quickly. GF baking isn't cheap by any standards but these recipes are definitely a little bit more.

I followed the instructions perfectly for the cupcake (of course this would be first!) and, like another reviewer, I was really disappointed by the vanilla frosting. Looking at the photographs in the book and recalling what I ate at the bakery, I was so excited to make this but really disappointed in eating it (and it takes at least 6 hours to chill and then come to room temperature so there's no instant satisfaction). The cupcakes were OK.

I haven't made any other recipes yet so I'm hoping the book redeems itself. I am very interested to try out the gingerbread and chocolate chip cookies (I just have to find some of the ingredients I haven't been able to find yet).

In any event, I would re-purchase this book as it has inspired me to get back into baking, to have fun with it, and more importantly, to share what I bake with my friends. It really is a beautiful, inspirational little book but it does come with a few flaws that I can live with but wish I would have known about ahead of time so that I wouldn't have been disappointed and more prepared for what I was getting into (IE can't bake right after getting it if you don't generally have all the things on hand).

(Update: Babycakes NYC has answered a lot of questions about the book on their site at [...]. I found this really helpful and hope it helps with the baking).

Update 01/03/10: I purchased a Kitchen Aid stand mixer a couple of months ago and I have to say, that (along with some of the edits in the link above) have made a HUGE difference in baking and in the icing. I really think when using the coconut oil, you really need to mix it really well in order for great results. I tried some recipes using a regular hand mixer afterwards and just could not get the same results. I have since had success with the cupcakes, the icing, cakes and banana bread. Yes, a stand mixer is a huge investment as is baking using this cookbook. But, for me, it's been well worth it since I can eat sweets in a healthy way instead of a process (gluten free) mix way.
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