Your vegan diet eschews dairy, eggs and other animal-derived food products, but that doesn't mean you have to surrender a love for sweets. Here in Philadelphia, the demand for vegan desserts has spurred a movement of vegan bakeries, all of which tempt taste buds with craveable confections that rival anything you'd find under glass at a traditional bakery.
Whether you're in search of a cupcake for an après-dinner treat or an elaborate vegan wedding cake for your upcoming nuptials, these bakeries have your sweet tooth covered.
1) Vegan Treats
Okay, so Vegan Treats is a little ways from Philadelphia, but vegans from all over the region will attest that this Bethlehem bakery is worth the drive. From doughnuts and cheesecakes to cupcakes and the out-of-this-world peanut butter bombs, even non-vegans will find something to rave about here. What's more, Vegan Treats is a "go-to" in the Philly area for beautifully decorated vegan wedding cakes and cupcake towers, with the delivery fee calculated at a per-mile basis.
Creamy soft-serve ice creams and gluten-free goodies add to the bakery's appeal, but if you're reluctant to venture outside the city, you can sample Vegan Treats's sweets at a handful of cafes and coffeeshops all throughout the Philly area (check the Vegan Treats website for listings).
- Location: 1444 Linden St. Bethlehem, Pa. 18018
- Phone: (610) 861-7660
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
With the ostentatiously dressed Isabella Cupcake, Philly Cupcake's mannequin mascot, peering out the front window, this corner bakery in Philadelphia's Midtown Village neighborhood is hard to miss. One step across the threshold will reveal a cute-as-a-button blue and pink color scheme, complemented by vintage Murano glass chandeliers, tufted settees and ornate glass display cases that would be, perhaps, better suited to a little girl's bedroom.
However, the tongue-in-cheek decor belies the expertise and effort that goes into each and every cupcake at Philly Cupcake. These handheld confections are baked from scratch daily, including the bakery's line of four to eight vegan cupcake flavors, which regulars laud as delightfully indiscernible from the real thing.
- 1132 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, Pa.
- Phone: (215) 625-4888
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 7 p.m. Sundays
Sweet Freedom is Philadelphia's very first vegan, gluten-free bakery. Not only are common food allergens—milk protein, eggs, soy, wheat, corn, peanuts—side-stepped here, Sweet Freedom relies on natural sweeteners instead of processed sugars. The result is a medley of desserts that can appeal to even the most restricted of diets.
Despite the lengthy list of banned ingredients, sweets at this South Street bakery deliver in both taste and variety. Cupcakes come in flavors like banana chocolate chip, while cookies deliver bites of coconut, raisin, chocolate chips and rolled oats, depending on which variety you request. Early risers can pop in for a muffin, doughnut or cinnamon bun to go with their morning cup of coffee.
- Location: 1424 South St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19146
- Phone: (215) 545-1899
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays
4) Whole Foods
This national grocery chain is a place to stock up on everyday kitchen staples, but vegans with a penchant for dessert are more apt to applaud Whole Foods for its extensive array of vegan-friendly sweets. In fact, a lap around the bakery department is likely to reveal brownies, gingerbread, doughnuts, scones, muffins and cookies, all clearly labeled as vegan.
Individual portions of decadent desserts chill out in the grocer's to-go refrigerator case, while whole vegan cakes reside under glass, available in flavors such as buttercream and chocolate torte. Available in round or sheet form, customizable special occasion cakes are also on offer, but require advance notice.
- Location: Various markets throughout the Philly area; see website for store list