7 Bakeries to Visit If You Have Dietary Restrictions

If you’re vegan, have allergies, or are gluten free, you can still have your cake and eat it, too.

Little Daisy
From left: Little Daisy's nut-free layer cake; whoopie pies. Photo by Natalie Chitwood

[Editor’s note, updated April 13: Some bakeries have temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, as noted below. The ones still open are taking special precautions to protect customers, but could use your support more than ever. As always, we urge readers to take all necessary precautions as advised by health experts.] 

READ MORE:
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Bleu Bear

Haddonfield

(Haddonfield location temporarily closed, but Bleu Bear Market in Marlton open for pickup and delivery.)

Doughnuts can torment the gluten free. But feel no fear here. Husband and wife Mark Rooks and Ridgway Grace created Bleu Bear as a gluten-free sister to their Haddonfield Donut Company. The café serves sandwiches, waffles and crepes at breakfast, with a head-spinning choice of doughnuts anytime, from maple bacon to Fruity Pebbles. Have your pork roll, egg and cheese on an everything doughnut.—JH

14 Tanner Street, 856-429-3703

Mo’Pweeze

Denville

Before her twins’ first birthday, Christina Allen looked for a bakery that could make a cake free of the allergens her son had to avoid. After too many snappy responses (including, “Do you want me to make it out of air?”), Allen set to work in her own kitchen, adapting a family recipe for banana bread into allergen-free cupcakes. His reaction? “Mo’ pweeze!” and the idea for a vegan bakery, free of the top 10 allergens, was born. The bakery makes cupcakes, pies, duffins (a cross between doughnut and muffin), a lava-style cake named Chocolate Sin, and elaborately decorated celebration cakes. Allen is happy to create custom cakes to suit customers’ allergies. Mo’ Pweeze also has a safe place for kids to play after enjoying a snack at the bakery, plus a party room.—MRB

32 Broadway, 973-627-2300

Little Daisy

At Little Daisy, Jennifer Snyder holds a nut-free cake that, when cut, reveals four pastel-colored layers. Photo by Natalie Chitwood

Little Daisy

Montclair

When Jennifer Snyder baked treats for her daughter’s class and noticed that one little girl couldn’t eat them because they contained nuts, Snyder schooled herself on nut allergies and eventually opened the nut- and peanut-free Little Daisy. All ingredients come from nut-free manufacturers, including the chocolate. Desserts are made with real butter and in small batches, so everything is fresh. Cupcakes (including a terrific cream-filled Hostess knockoff) are a birthday-party staple, along with beautifully decorated layer cakes. “I love it,” she says, “when kids come in and ask their parents, ‘What can I get?’ and the parent says, ‘Anything you want!’”—EL

622 Valley Road, 973-707-2157

Plum

Montclair

Natalie Lee knew she had to open a gluten-free bakery when customers of her Plum on Park diner in Montclair would ask to buy all the gluten-free bread and cupcakes she’d made for the day. Lee’s family has owned the Styretowne Bakery in Clifton for two generations, and people would ask for gluten-free items. Encouraged, she developed her own GF recipes, including a sandwich bread that took more than six months to perfect. All the work is worth it, she says, to see customers’ faces when they realize they can eat anything in the store. Plum makes bagels, sourdough baguettes, a rye-flavored loaf and a country bread Lee thinks is perfect for sandwiches. Indeed, Plum has almost everything you might find in a standard bakery, from cookies to cupcakes to brownies and muffins, all of it gluten free.—MRB

179 Glenridge Avenue, 973-509-7586

Root Nine Baking

Whippany

Jess Murgittroyd grew up wanting to be an entrepreneur. She taught herself pastry making, then taught herself all over again when she became a vegan in 2017. She named Root Nine for the nine plants in her vegan recipe, including denatured coconut oil (richness without coconut flavor) and chickpea water, an egg substitute. For flavor and richness, Root Nine’s double chocolate chip cookie (one of four flavors) would take down a conventional one like a pro-wrestling smackdown. For now, Root Nine is available only online. But this spring, Kings will begin carrying fresh-baked 12-packs.—MRB

Papa Ganache

Matawan

In 2012, amidst Hurricane Sandy, Lisa Siroti and the baking team at Papa Ganache set out for California to participate in Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. To reach an airport that wasn’t shut down, they had to drive to Ohio. But they finally made it, and the vegan bakery, founded in 2010, impressed the judges with a crème brûlée cupcake. They came home winners. You’ll find that cupcake and many others—all made with no animal products—among cookies, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, muffins, pies and more. Some are also gluten free, soy free and/or nut free. Don’t leave without at least one everything croissant. Despite having no animal-based butter, it’s miraculously flaky and rich.—SV

106 Main Street, 732-217-1750

Seed to Sprout

Wanamassa

Started by Alex Mazzucca and Cara Pescatore as a juice bar in 2012, Seed to Sprout expanded in 2017 and now comprises two restaurants and a bakery. The light-filled space is ideal for displaying the array of vegan baked goods: spelt bagels, bundt cakes, funfetti cupcakes, banana-nut muffins, shortbreads decorated with edible flowers, and more. You can design your own cake in flavors like strawberries and cream, green tea and lemon berry. All products are made entirely with plant-based ingredients.—SV

1405 Wickapecko Drive, 732-361-3636

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