Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC: A dessert for everyone

Tanvi Varma
May 2 · 3 min read

And they have more desserts than you thought even existed..

For all my gluten-free vegans, this one’s for you. Not only is everything gluten-free and vegan, but it’s also soy-free and Kosher! They even ship nationally, so if you need your fix and you’re out of LA, chances are you can get a taste.

The owner of the shop, Erin McKenna, created the bakery because she has Celiac’s disease. As a result, she was severely allergic to gluten and wasn’t able to find many dessert options.

“She wanted to create a broad range for people. Some people can’t have chocolate because of their allergies. She wanted people to come in and have so many choices,” said baker Shallah Strokes.

I found out about this place from my friend Ryan Temple. One day in class he approached me with great gusto, “Tanvi, I know you’re reporting on vegan desserts, please report on Erin Mckenna’s Bakery so that I can go there again.”

Lo and behold I get a text one fine weekend from Ryan saying, “I’m in West Hollywood, can we meet up at McKenna’s?” And if you know me, you know I’m not going to turn down an offer to go get vegan dessert. So a short 20 minutes later, I was standing in front of the cookies, cakes, soft-serves, cupcakes, donuts, loaves, mounds, and brownies, with my drool forming a pool on the ground.

“I love that they don’t just cater to a vegan audience, but it’s really safe for almost every single allergy. And even then they still make it taste as good if not better than a normal bakery,” said Temple.

I decided to order a vanilla cupcake with lemon frosting, and a red velvet cupcake. I figured, go with what you know, and based off of experiences, it’s kind of hard to go wrong with classics like vanilla and red velvet.

The lemon frosting on the vanilla cake is possibly the best frosting I’ve ever had. It is succulent with a tart taste, yet meanwhile the creamy texture makes the frosting dissolve so quick in your mouth that you can’t really put more words to eat. The vanilla cake itself was moist in texture, which is rare for gluten-free desserts. The taste was consistent, it wasn’t too sweet or too dry. The frosting was clearly the show, and the cake was merely a stage prop.

The red velvet cupcake was also incredible, but I’d still prefer the vanilla with lemon frosting, because I prefer a little tang. The frosting was incredible, like I said, this place really knows how to make a delicious frosting. The cake on the other hand, wasn’t very moist, or rich in flavor. This cupcake you could definitely tell was gluten-free if you didn’t have the frosting on it. But in any case, I happily finished the whole cupcake, and was more than happy to go back for seconds.

Don’t you Dairy

An LA vegan’s guide to delicious sweet treats in the city.

Tanvi Varma

Written by

Don’t you Dairy

An LA vegan’s guide to delicious sweet treats in the city.