Local bakers rise to the allergen-free, gluten-free challenge!

Updated August 2020! Sweet indulgences. For those with food allergies or other dietary restrictions, finding a place to purchase those scrumptious cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and pastries can be a challenge.

Cafe Create A Cake dessert!

We’ve tapped the edible South Shore & South Coast (eSS&SC) community, to help us identify local businesses that are baking up delicious and safe foods for this growing segment of the population. Our goal? To find local bakers and bakeries that not only are making safe products but have created goodies that will leave even the most discriminating cupcake or cookie connoisseur wondering how the treat could possibly be allergen- or gluten-free. If it seems like more and more people have food allergies, celiac disease, or gluten intolerance … they do.

According to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), food allergies are on the rise, affecting up to 15 million Americans, including 1 in 13 children, or roughly two kids in every classroom. Sharon Schumack, Director of Education and Programs for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, New England Chapter (AAFA NE), stresses that “since a very tiny amount of an allergen can trigger a serious reaction, avoidance is key.” The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness notes that celiac disease, an autoimmune digestive disease, affects 1% of Americans, has no cure, and requires a 100% gluten-free diet … and 83% of those affected have yet to be diagnosed. So, if you don’t yet know someone with these dietary restrictions, chances are, you will.

From Walpole to Wareham, we found bakers who understand the serious health risks associated with food allergies and/or celiac disease and have enthusiastically risen to the challenge. Each has developed recipes without certain allergens (not an easy task), sourced needed ingredients, trained on cross-contamination issues, and determined what will (and what won’t) work for his or her business. These bakers have come up with indulgences that nearly everyone can enjoy, and most of these businesses are able to work with individuals for special orders. Keep in mind that these are small business owners who are truly making an effort to strike a realistic balance between meeting customer requests and maintaining the business, so not every establishment can accommodate every dietary need.

As we expected, several of these businesses were developed to fill a need created by the dietary restrictions of a family member. However, we were delighted to learn that a number chose to add allergen or gluten-free options to their menus due to customer demand. We hope that by shining the spotlight on these local businesses we can celebrate their efforts, provide a resource for those searching for safe treats, and perhaps even encourage other local businesses to learn more about accommodating customers with dietary restrictions.

Note: Food allergies and celiac disease are serious and potentially life-threatening; the severity of food concerns varies by individual. This list is intended to be a reliable resource, but we strongly recommend doing your own checking before making a purchase as recipes and suppliers can change. If you will be purchasing food for an extended family member or friend with food restrictions, we suggest discussing plans with the parent or individual in advance.

Plymouth Gluten-Free Baked Goods

ServSafe and Allergen Awareness certified owner Donald Munroe and his wife Patty Taylor-Munroe create a variety of delectable gluten-free baked goodies including cookies, bread, rolls, burger buns, and now fruit pies! Made from scratch, their home-made crust takes two days to create. The results are worth the effort and the wait – delicious apple and blueberry pies. Donald’s English muffins and their blueberry coffee cake continue to be customer favorites. Sold by the slice at the markets, the blueberry cake is always in demand! To keep prices affordable for all families, they sell only at local farmers’ markets. Check their Facebook page for the schedule or give them a call to place a special order.

Wareham (781) 831-5589 Plymouth-Gluten-Free-Baked-Goods Fb

The Epicurean Kitchen

Owner & chef, Jen Souza Daley started the Epicurean Kitchen with a simple goal: to create good food that makes people happy. Serving only the freshest ingredients sourced locally, everything is made in their peanut-free and tree-nut-free facility. Soups, sandwiches, salads, and baked goods are all made in-house. Although not specifically a bakery, we’ve included them due to Donna Pineau’s (We’re Not Nuts) rave reviews. Donna is also baking nut-free desserts on-site! Check them out on Facebook or better yet, visit. Open Tuesday – Saturday.

644 Washington Street, Hanover (781) 826-2101 www.TheEpicureanKitchen.com

Café Create A Cake

Inspired by her nephew, who has multiple food allergies, owner Lisa Jayne Skinner and her mom, Joanne, create gorgeous cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and mouth-watering pastries in their home-based kitchen. They can provide allergy-friendly products (nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free or dairy-free) for any special occasion. According to the Zysk family, “finding Café Create A Cake was like finding a treasure. They were more than accommodating, and our nut-free cake was rich, moist, and delicious!” Orders are done via home appointment.

Plymouth (508) 746-1944 www.CafeCreateACake.com

Sadie Mae’s Cupcake Café

Owner Deborah Brockney encourages everyone to “indulge a little.” With no peanuts or tree nuts in the bakery, a food allergy policy in place, and trained staff, indulging is an easy task for customers. Cupcakes, cookies, cupcake cakes, truffles and cake pops are all peanut-free and tree nut-free. Gluten-free and vegan options are also available. The charming café, located in Hingham Centre, is open Tuesday-Sunday and serves coffee locally sourced from Redeye Roasters. Orders for any special occasion, from school events to confirmations to weddings, are welcome. The café also hosts birthday parties on site.

288 Main Street, Hingham (781) 740-1876 www.SadieMaesCupcakeCafe.com

Wicked Good Cupcakes

All it takes is one bite and there is no doubt that the mother-daughter team of Tracey Noonan and Dani Vilagie are passionate about cupcakes. Their deal with Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank created instant demand for their signature “Cupcake in a Jar”. Using only the finest ingredients, they bake everything from scratch and offer gluten-free cupcakes. Customers can order by phone a day ahead for pickup in Hanover. With simple, online ordering – and even customer rewards – Wicked Good Cupcakes is our go-to gift for out of state family – it’s a celebration in a jar!

342A Circuit Street, Hanover and at Faneuil Hall, Boston. (781) 923-1369 www.WickedGoodCupcakes.com

Fancypants Baking Co.

Fancypants cookies Husband and wife team Maura Duggan and Justin Housman founded the nation’s first dedicated peanut and tree nut free cookie baking facility so that everyone can enjoy the fun and yumminess of cookies. These beautiful and whimsical hand-crafted cookies are all natural and nut-free. Available locally at The Fruit Center in Hingham and Milton, Whole Foods Markets, and online via their website.

East Walpole (877) 55-Fancy www.FancypantsBakery.com


A Few More Options:

White Lion Baking Company, Mashpee

SweetSense, Plymouth

When making your plans for parties and celebrations – or when you simply need a sweet indulgence – we hope that you will support these bakers. Did we miss your favorite? Please let us know. Send a message to editor@ediblesouthshore.com.

Juggling multiple food allergies is just a part of family life for Elle Maynard, so she is always on the lookout for allergy-aware bakeries. Her current sweet indulgence? Sadie Mae’s gluten-free chocolate cupcake … pure deliciousness!

Chocolate Cake recipe – gluten free, dairy free,  eggless.