The Top Ten Storefront Gluten Free Bakeries
While the gluten-free marketplace has grown dramatically over the past five years, raising a child with celiac is still no cakewalk. It still means packing gluten-free for every birthday, celebration and party. But thanks to the emergence of some truly delectable gluten-free and GF-friendly bakeshops in and around the GTA, I no longer have to scrounge for safe and yummy baked goods for my daughter Lily, 8, who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009. And we no longer have to settle for packaged, processed or frozen baked products.
If ever there was a best time and place to live gluten-free, it’s now and it’s Toronto. Today, we’ve got options for Torontonians with taste buds—freshly baked cupcakes and muffins and donuts, oh my! And they’re not just for kids! Good-bye chalky loaves, sawdust snacks and out-of-the-way specialty stores. Hello gluten-free goodness!
Bunner’s Bake Shop
A cult favourite, Toronto’s 100% vegan and gluten-free bakery does sweet ’n’ savoury with a custom range of baked-daily delights for the most discerning palettes. Bonus: Bunner’s now does baking classes!
Can’t live without: Supersonic cookie
Lily’s pick: Cinnamon bun
Home of the pinkalicious donut featured on the Gluten-Free Garage poster, this eco-friendly, all-natural organic bakery in the Beach serves up vegan treats with a super-tasty selection of “you’d never believe they’re gluten-free” baked goods.
Can’t live without: Oatmeal cookie (made with uncontaminated oats)
Lily’s pick: Pink sprinkle donut
Toronto’s first allergy-friendly gourmet food store ups the cool factor of Queen West. This most-welcomed newbie on the gluten-free scene is also free from 8 of the top 10 food allergens! Stocked with pantry staples and fresh-baked goods, FEAST fulfills all your gluten-free fantasies.
Can’t live without: Vegan curried black bean pocket pie
Lily’s pick: Triple chocolate donut
Toronto’s beloved Dufflet has been dishing out desserts and pastries since 1975 that were anything but gluten-free until last year’s much-lauded launch of its scrumptious line of GF goodies. We love the added stamp of approval from Canada’s Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP).
Can’t live without: Carrot Cakelet
Lily’s picks: Lemon and chocolate fudge tarts
125 Jefferson Ave.
This bake paradise, tucked away at the back of Monforte Dairy’s storefront in Liberty Village, is one of the city’s best-kept gluten-free secrets. The shop also pops up at St. Lawrence Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning, but get there early— the gluten-free goodies disappear quickly!
Can’t live without: Lemon bars
Bestseller: Peanut butter dream
The Nut Bakery
A midtown must, this 100% grain- and gluten-free bakery boasts low-carb, high-protein, all-delicious snacks and desserts made entirely from nuts. Most are dairy free, too!
We’re nuts about: Chocolate nut chunk cookie
Bestseller: Pecan walnut chocolate macaroons
Part bakery, part antiques shop, the ever-unique Tartistry offers up seven sweet gluten-free tarts, plus a tasty selection of savouries like quiche and chicken tourtiere, that will keep you coming back for more.
Can’t live without: Raisin butter tart
Bestseller: Lemon curd tart
Molly B’s Gluten-Free Kitchen (Concord)
A pioneer on the GF scene, Molly B’s has been whipping up safe and succulent baked goods since 2002. When owner Fran Earle discovered she was gluten- intolerant, she made it her mission to create GF baked goods with the highest yum factor, at a time when palatable gluten-free goodies were scant at best. Made in a 100% GF facility and sold in stores throughout the city.
Can’t live without: Egg (challah) bread
Bestseller: Pumpernickel bread
Kelly’s XO Bake Shoppe (Burlington)
Named “best bakery,” “best cupcakes” and “best desserts” in Burlington for the past two years, this 100% organic, vegan, peanut- and gluten-free bakeshop is run by mother-daughter power team Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie. Just steps away from sister business Lettuce Love Café, it’s worth the drive to Burlington. OR have your order delivered to TO for $15!
Bestseller: Mile-high brownie
Lily’s pick: Cinnamon sugar donut
Organic Works Bakery (London)
This popular organic, vegan and nut-free bakery café is dedicated gluten-free and will soon be one of a handful of small bake shops to be certified by the GFCP. Lucky for us, OWB baked goods are also available at select stores in Toronto.
Can’t live without: Quinoa honey bread
Bestseller: Quinoa honey bread
Note: Though not all of these bakeries are strictly gluten-free facilities, each one takes enormous precaution to ensure that cross-contamination does not occur. Because they are all vendors at Gluten-Free Garage, we have gone to great lengths to ensure that all of the bakeries are celiac-friendly.
On Sunday November 9th, all 10 of these bake shops—along with 50 more GF delights—will come together under one roof at the Artscape Wychwood Barns for the Gluten-Free Garage! Don’t miss the scrumptious Breakfast with Bunner’s at 11 am, presented by guest speaker and Bunner’s Bakeshop co-owner Ashley Wittig.
Check out glutenfreegarage.ca for more details.
RonniLyn Pustil is the founder of Gluten Free Garage and a freelance editor. You can connect with her on Twitter at @Glu10FreeGarage
Bunner’s Bakeshop’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1¾ cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour
1¼ cups organic sugar
1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup pure pumpkin purée
½ cup rice milk
½ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons organic blackstrap molasses
1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or spray each muffin cup with canola oil.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, then add the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, xanthan gum and salt. Whisk thoroughly. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, milk, oil and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well using a spatula. Fold in the chocolate chips. Let the batter sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups to about two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean (a little melted chocolate on the toothpick is okay). Let cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Recipe from Bunner’s: Simple & Delicious Gluten-Free Vegan Treats by Ashley Wittig & Kevin MacAllister ©2014. Photography by Kevin MacAllister. Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.