Now that my Whole30 is over (part 1, part 2), I'm working hard to make healthy food choices while still eating delicious things. So I was excited to stumble on Kelly’s Bake Shoppe in downtown Burlington, Ontario while researching wedding desserts one day. It’s a charming, award-winning bakery run by a mother and daughter entrepreneurial team, Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie.
What's even better is that everything is gluten-free, vegan, peanut-free, and health-conscious. There are no artificial flavors, colors, or sugars here! Sweet relief!
It didn't take me long to decide that we had to try them. I planned on making a stop soon, but I found out they were looking for bloggers to sample some of their treats. Since I've also been wanting to feature more Ontario food and travel, I emailed them with my fingers crossed.
Luckily, they were happy to set me up with a box full of delicious-looking goodies: one of their famous Mile-High Brownies, a Cookie Dough Cupcake, a Root Beer Float Cupcake, a World Peace Cookie, and a Chocolate Chip Cookie!
I fell in love with the store when I stopped by on Saturday to pick everything up. It's bright, welcoming, and smells divine. Everyone in there was friendly and helpful.
As I waited, I noticed that there was a steady stream of customers from all walks of life. A father and daughter, who must be regulars, waltzed in knowing exactly what they wanted. Meanwhile, an elderly couple happily survey the display of pretty cupcakes. Choices, choices.
I ogled the collection of cupcakes, cookies, muffins, and loafs, too. They were so tempting that I ended up buying extra treats for S and my family: a Black and White Cupcake, a Dulce de Leche Cupcake, and an extra Mile-High Brownie! Then, I added in a pint of Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl vegan soft serve to make up for the box of ice cream that taunts me in our freezer. Take that, Breyers, I don't even need you anymore!
So how was everything? Wonderful. From the customer experience to the treats themselves. Making delicious vegan, gluten-free baked goods is not easy, and Kelly and Erinn knocked it out of the park.
The Mile High Brownie was incredible. I'll toot my own horn for a second here and say that I make really good brownies. I get requests from family and friends for them all the time. However, I don't like to eat them. Brownies just aren't my thing. But this brownie? So good. Rich, decadent, and teetering perfectly on that line between cakey and fudgey. And the light, airy frostings on top? They balance the decadence of the brownie perfectly. Heaven.
The cupcakes are as tasty as they are beautiful, too. They are moist, flavorful, and not too sweet. A difficult feat for any baker, let alone gluten-free, vegan bakers.
Surprisingly, I loved the frosting as much as the cake. Just like I’m not a brownie person, I’m not a frosting person. Even as a kid, I would scrape it off and just eat the cake. Frosting and icing are usually too sweet and too heavy for me. I’m odd, I know, but two giant thumbs up to these for being so light and yet so tasty!
I was really excited to see the Root Beer Float Cupcake in my box. It has such a lovely, mild, natural sassafras flavor--even the top reminded me of that creamy root beer float foam. I loved that the cherry on top was a natural cherry, too!
The Cookie Dough Cupcake definitely comes by its name honestly, and it had a sweet surprise of a cookie dough center. I don’t know how they did that!
Speaking of cookies, both the World Peace Cookie and the Chocolate Chip Cookie were delicious.
The World Peace Cookie is chock full of good things--oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cranberries, raisins, chocolate chips. It’s a great “everyday” cookie. I can see myself curled up with a good book, a cup of tea and one of these on any given day of the year at any given time. Since Kelly posted the recipe on her blog, I might have to give these a whirl at home.
I know there’s often a divide in the chocolate chip cookie world between chewy or crispy. I love a chewy chocolate chip cookie and, boy, does their Chocolate Chip Cookie deliver. What really makes it stand out, though, is a lovely, gentle coconut flavor in the background. I had a very hard time not eating the whole thing when I tasted it.
And what did my non-gluten-free, non-vegan family have to say about their treats? Everyone liked the dulce de leche, but it wasn't the biggest hit. They really loved the black and white, though. What can I say? We are chocolate lovers.
The soft-serve also got good reviews. They were all surprised it was dairy-free/vegan. My dad commented that it was very good but maybe a little “icy.” I agreed, but I suspect that’s from melting a bit on the ride home and then being re-frozen. I had a sample directly from the machine at the shop and it wasn’t icy at all.
All in all, I highly recommend a visit to Kelly’s Bake Shoppe. As I mentioned before, they also carry muffins, scones, loafs, cakes, cake pops, Sloane Teas (the Heavenly Cream is great!), and more. They even deliver to a large portion of the GTA for a flat fee of $15 with a minimum order of $50.
While they happen to be vegan, gluten-free, peanut-free, and healthy. . .you don’t have to be any of those things to enjoy their products. They’re just great treats!
I’m so glad I was able to stop in to the shop. I get the sense that Kelly, Erinn, and the staff are really trying to provide a great experience for their customers and make products that are not only delicious but as health-conscious as treats can possibly be. The prices are a little steep, but that's to be expected for specialty items. Beyond that, they are active and the community and support Halton Women's Place with special events and monthly donations. It's a business I truly felt good supporting and I'm sure I'll be back.
Location and Information
Address: 401 Brant Street, Burlington, Ontario
Note: As mentioned above, Kelly's Bake Shoppe provided me with some samples for this post. I strongly value transparency and honesty, so my opinion of a product or service is always my own. I make no promises to review a product or service favourably because it was provided to me. For more information, please read my disclosure policy.