Thanks to Leigh Caldwell for putting together this great review of Babycakes NYC, Disney World’s newest cupcake shop, which opened in Downtown Disney this weekend. Leigh writes about Walt Disney World and theme parks in general on her site, ThemeParkMom.com, and for AOL’s travel blog, Gadling.com.
My love of all things cupcake is pretty well documented online and on Twitter, so of course I was excited to hear that a branch of Babycakes NYC had opened at the Downtown Disney Marketplace.
Babycakes NYC is a vegan bakery on New York’s Lower East Side. A downtown L.A. outpost opened recently, and now a third outpost has appeared at Walt Disney World.
It occupies a corner of the former McDonald’s building, sharing space with two quick service restaurants – Pollo Campero and Fresh A-Peel.
The desserts in the bakery case at Babycakes are egg-free, gluten-free, casein-free, refined sugar-free, and the list goes on. In fact, there are so many things NOT in these baked goods that I started wondering what is actually in them.
It turns out most of the Babycakes items are made with rice flour or a mix of garbanzo beans and fava beans, and they are sweeted with agave.
Babycakes offers donuts, cookies and my main focus: cupcakes. On the day we visited, the cupcake flavors available included vanilla, chocolate, lemon, banana-blueberry and red velvet. The cupcakes are priced at $3.50.
And then we spotted the cupcake tops. They are about the top 1/3 of a cupcake and the frosting. I am all about the frosting, so these really appealed to me. And at $2, I felt like we could get a couple to try.
We tried the lemon, banana-blueberry and vanilla cupcake tops.
And, well, they were vegan desserts. I am NOT saying the Babycakes cupcakes are bad or we didn’t like them. But they are the kind of thing you would be excited about if you couldn’t eat eggs, or dairy, or gluten. And I can eat all those things, so I just didn’t get that excited.
I did appreciate the frosting because it wasn’t overly sweet. I find some Disney cupcakes to have that cloying frosting that almost makes my teeth hurt when I bite into it. Babycakes’ lemon frosting was especially good. And the frosting is quite creamy for something that doesn’t contain butter.
But the cake – it just had a density about it that wasn’t appealing in a cupcake. I like my cupcakes light and springy. Every bite of the Babycakes vegan cupcakes was dense and heavy, like a very heavy carrot cake texture.
The “cakes” tasted good, but the only way they resemble a cupcake is in the shape they are baked. My favorite was the banana-blueberry. I realize now that the reason I liked that one best is that the dense texture had some context for me in that flavor – it was more like you would expect to find in banana bread.
All that said, if you are vegan or eat gluten-free, definitely run to Babycakes. I’m sure the cupcakes here are quite a treat if you normally can’t eat baked goods.
And Babycakes, I haven’t given up on you yet. I will be back to try the cookies soon.
Editor’s Note: BabyCakes treats are now being sold at the Art of Animation’s food court.