While I love finding good places to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner on the road, I am always on the hunt for gluten-free bakeries- but often come up short. Finding safe baked goods (that I don’t make myself) is the ultimate treat, and once I discovered that Food Allergy Bakery had allergen-free options, I knew I’d have to make a stop in Chesapeake, Virginia before heading back to the Norfolk airport.
Food Allergy Bakery is an offshoot of Carolina Cupcakery, a Cupcake Wars veteran that was founded on the belief that cupcakes can both taste good and be made with real ingredients.
Although housed in the same location, Food Allergy Bakery products are made in a dedicated kitchen, with rigorous protocol in place to ensure no cross contamination (including dedicated air systems). If you’ve been craving the experience of going to a bakery and having tons of options to choose from, read on, because Food Allergy Bakery might just be the bakery of your dreams.
Food Allergy Bakery is happy to serve customers with any array of dietary restrictions. Vegan? They can do that. Soy-free? Yep, they can handle that. Sugar-free? Check. All cupcakes are nut-free, and they can do just about any combination except for gluten/nut-free and Kosher and Gluten/nut/sugar-free. Other than that- they can do just about any combination of dietary restrictions.
In their shop each day there’s a freezer filled with gluten-free goodies with varying degrees of allergen-friendliness. After the initial rejoicing of the many options- pay attention to read labels because some options in the freezer are not gluten-free (vegan items) and others are gluten-free but contain other allergens. If you have multiple considerations, look for Crazy 8 sweets, which are top eight allergen-free.
The best part of the bakery is that all sweets are individually wrapped and labeled to prevent cross contamination. The day I visited, cupcakes and other sweets were on the freezer’s shelves, but they did not have breads available.
I picked up four cupcakes that were gluten, milk and egg-free. They all contained soy in the form of soybean oil.
The cookies & cream cupcake featured a rich, decadent chocolate cake topped with a vanilla frosting dotted with chocolate flecks. It reminded me of tuxedo cake because it was chocoately and creamy, and sublimely rich. The frosting was almost a 3-1 ratio with the cake, but I didn’t mind because it was delicious.
The chocolate salted caramel was less decadent, but still incredibly delightful. The cake was chocolatey, but less intense than the cookies & cream cupcake. The chocolate frosting was less creamy- more paste-like. It was a milky chocolate and had a caramel drizzle providing contrast. I would have appreciated a little more saltiness to stand out against the sweetness. It satisfied nonetheless, but I like my salted caramel salty and sweet.
My final cupcake selection was the party cake- in honor of my birthday in a couple weeks. It’s in the style of funfetti cupcakes, and drew me in with bright flecks of sprinkles. The cake was vanilla-y and evenly spotted with color while the frosting was creamy and sweet. I haven’t had a treat like this since grade school, and I must admit the combined effect of the taste, texture, and presentation totally won me over. It’s a cupcake that can make any day a cause for celebration.
I also picked up a belated Valentine’s Day dessert- a frosted sugar cookie. Two rich, sugary cookies with notes of vanilla were frosted with a thick, sweet frosting. If you have ever passed by a bakery (or the bakery section of the grocery store) and salivated over frosted cookies- these are the completely safe version you have been dreaming of. If it’s cliche to say I loved them, then I will walk right into cliche territory!
Although I didn’t purchase them, I did get a picture of a few other gluten-free delights in stock: Crazy 8 brownies and gluten-free donuts (contain milk, egg, soy).
Although I do not know when I will next be in the area, I will certainly plan future travel around stops at this amazing bakery. I was impressed by all the desserts I tried- which is quite an achievement, and loved the friendliness of the bakery staff. Not every bakery goes to the effort to provide so many different allergy options and take precautions to keep goods safe, so I encourage you to check them out and support Food Allergy Bakery too.