100% dedicated to a gluten-free environment, Sweet 27 specializes in cupcakes but also serves up sweets of all shapes and sizes. Vegans and those who are dairy free can also partake in some their treats as they are well aware of the prevalence of multi-dimensional aspects of allergen-free baking. Since I could not scale the flight of stairs leading to the bakery, the staff showed me a shortcut through the restaurant that they opened up to allow my mom and I to set foot into the bakery.
Once inside the cozy cafe, I took in the bakery shelves stuffed with cookies, kale chips, and cupcakes. An adjacent freezer held buns, loaves, and muffins that were sold frozen to preserve them at the peak of freshness.
After falling head over heels for muffins after my recent visit to another Maryland-based gluten-free bakery, I knew I wanted another taste of the traditional morning treat. The only muffins in stock that day were their double chocolate, blueberry, and pumpkin. Two out of the three called my name so I carefully selected two of chocolate freshly baked and four pumpkin from the freezer case.
The pumpkin muffin proved to be the perfect treat to showcase the best of this season's ever-popular flavor. Pumpkin puree provided pure pumpkin flavor and it was perfectly accentuated with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut milk, ginger, molasses, and vanilla. The muffin itself was the perfect texture and was firm, but moist, and far from dense or crumbly. I loved the sugar crystals on top which gave a taste of extra sweetness and a nice texture contrast.
Decadent is definitely a perfect descriptor for the double chocolate variety. Almost fudge-like, the muffins were moist and rich as the pumpkin ones were, but not "sugary" or too sweet as I had feared. As someone who is not a fan of brownies or chocolate baked goods, these muffins won me over and made the perfect study snack.
Not one to pass up an opportunity to try fresh-baked bread, I also bought a pack of their hamburger buns. These beautiful buns are soft, yet sturdy and are far ahead of others I've seen on grocery store shelves. They have a nice sourdough-like flavor reminiscent of french-style hamburger buns. I love the added accent of the Italian herbs that added flavor and aroma but were not overpowering. The easily adapt for any type of sandwich and make the perfect pairing with soup on a rainy day.
Whether you're a Baltimore native or just passing by, Sweet 27's bakery cafe is definitely worth making a stop at. It's a real treat to be able to walk into an environment where everything is gluten free and many items are dairy free as well (note: all three items I bought contained eggs). I know this visit won't be my last as I cannot wait to go back and restock my supply of baked goods and grab a dairy-free pesto pizza to-go (as I reviewed during my visit to their main restaurant).
Update 3/20/2017: I picked up one of Sweet 27's full cakes from Lilit Cafe, a Bethesda eatery that stocks cupcakes, cakes, and other items from Sweet 27. The cake was one of the best gluten-free cakes I have ever had, intensely decadent and rich with a perfect moist crumb. It featured a thick layer of frosting on top and in the middle of the two chocolate layers and on the exterior sides that frosting was coated with chocolate crumbs. It easily lasted almost a week, and did not loose any of it's texture in the fridge- which usually dries out gluten-free baked goods. It blew me a way, and was a delicious birthday cake to celebrate my 21st birthday.
Cuisine: Breakfast (pancakes, crepes, eggs, etc.), pizza, sandwiches/burgers, tacos, starters, entrees
Ideal For: Bakery/cafe open all day from 9:30am-11:00pm (Restaurant only open for dinner)
Price: Muffins are $1.50 each and a pack of four hamburger buns is $5.00. Other baked goods range from $2.50-$9.00. Items can be discounted when bought in bulk.
Accessibility: Bakery-cafe is not wheelchair accessible. The front door is located up a flight of steps. With assistance, I were able to maneuver inside but access is extremely restricted.
Special Features: This holiday season, they are offering order-ahead options ranging from full meals (turkey, sides, rolls, pies) to an a la carte selection of meal components. For more information, call at (410) 464-7211. Flavors rotate seasonally so call ahead to confirm which flavors are in stock.