Kelly’s Bake Shoppe is my favorite bakery in the world.
There, I said it. It’s a very bold claim. I’ve eaten numerous vegan baked goods from different areas of the world; I’ve had my share of tasty plant-based treats in the Toronto area alone. But in the end, none of them seem to compare to the ones that I can get at Kelly’s. And would you believe that everything is also gluten-free?
I’ve been a fan of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe since the beginning. Located in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, the business began as a small vegan and gluten-free grocery store serving up light meals, baked goods, and smoothies. Back in those days, the establishment was known as Kindfood. The restaurant and bakery portions of the store were so successful that the owners decided to focus primarily on their delicious homemade fare. Eventually, the bakery opened its own location as Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, while the restaurant exists in the same original spot a block away (now known as Lettuce Love Cafe). The owners, Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie are a mother/daughter duo who are passionate about creating baked goods that are not only delicious, but also healthy.
Wait a second…did someone say healthy and dessert in the same sentence? Well, these treats are just about as healthy as baked goods are going to get. Made with only organic and fair-trade ingredients, they use only natural flavors from applesauce, cocoa, lemon, agave, cocoa, peppermint, and coconut. All of their desserts are gluten-free, milk-free, egg-free, butter-free, casein-free, and peanut-free, making them appropriate for many who suffer from food allergies. They only use natural colors at the bakery, sourced naturally from beets and flower petals.
Kelly’s Bake Shoppe has won numerous awards for their delectable baked goods, such as Best Bakery in Toronto and the GTA, and Best Dessert in the GTA for their Mile High Brownie, both from the Toronto Vegetarian Association. The Mile High Brownie and the Dulce de Leche cupcake have won top awards at Toronto’s Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-off. Kelly and Erinn have both been featured in the Happy Cow Cookbook, and they will be releasing their own vegan and gluten-free cookbook soon (can’t wait!).
The Baked Goods
On a daily basis, you’ll find a variety of cupcakes, muffins, cookies, cookie sandwiches, donuts, brownies, and bars. You can find a listing of everything that is served at Kelly’s on their menu. There are also daily specials that alternate on a weekly basis, and some desserts are seasonal only. For instance, you’ll always find the classic favorites of vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, chocolate mint, and lemon zest cupcakes on the menu. However, in July, you’ll be able to buy cupcakes that just scream summer: Rootbeer Float and Pina Colada. Justin and I made sure to try two seasonal cupcakes when we visited in June: the S’mores cupcake and the Lime Mojito cupcake. Some other treats that we tasted included a Triple Fudge Brownie, a Skinny Cookie, a World Peace cookie, a Chocolate Chip cookie and a Snickerdoodle.
Everything we ate was so delicious. The S’mores cupcake tasted just like the campfire favorite. Even the marshmallows were slightly toasted! The lime mojito cupcake was refreshing and zesty with a hint of salt, similar to the beverage. The brownie was rich and decadent, especially with that chocolate ganache frosting. Sometimes with gluten-free baked goods, the cake itself can taste rather dry…but that’s never an issue here. You would actually never know that the desserts are gluten-free or vegan. They taste just like the original versions that are filled with dairy and wheat, but even better. The World Peace cookie and Skinny Cookie would work great as breakfast snacks (or any time of the day when you’re craving a treat). In fact, anytime I take a flight when I’m traveling, I always make sure to pack some of these cookies for my trip. They’re great on those occasions when you know you’re not going to find anything satisfying to eat at the airport or on the plane, especially if you’re eating a vegan or gluten-free diet. The classic chocolate chip cookie and snickerdoodle tasted very yummy, too. Even my friends who don’t have any dietary restrictions love to visit this bakery; believe me, we’ve all gone on several occasions.
There’s also a separate refrigerated area with cookie sandwiches (two cookies with frosting in the middle), Nanaimo bars (a Canadian favorite!), Rice Krispie squares, and more. Not pictured is a freezer section with trays of cupcakes and full-sized cakes. These cupcakes and cakes defrost great; it is recommended that if you don’t consume your treats within 24 hours that you put your treats in the freezer so they don’t dry out. You can also order entire cakes for special occasions, such as birthdays or weddings.
Looking for the perfectly paired drink to go with your cupcake? Kelly’s serves coffee, tea, and carries a variety of non-dairy milks. You can also find soft serve ice cream in the summer! Treat yourself to a vanilla, chocolate, or vanilla-chocolate swirl ice cream with whatever toppings you’d like. Your options include sprinkles, chocolate chips, chocolate fudge, caramel, and even a scoop of cookie dough.
What’s one reason that people keep coming back to Kelly’s besides the yummy food? The staff and the service. Every time we visit, we’re always greeted by smiling faces welcoming us to the store. Everyone always has positive, upbeat attitudes and are pleased to assist us. And it can get crazy busy here on the weekends – I’ve visited on Saturdays where the line-up has been out the door! The high quality of the desserts and the friendly staff contribute to an excellent experience.
If you live in the Toronto area or happen to find yourself near Burlington, Ontario in the future, it’s definitely worth the trip to Kelly’s Bake Shoppe. And while you’re at it, take a walk by Lake Ontario – the bakery is located right near the lake and you can go for a wonderful stroll along the waterfront path.
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Kelly’s Bake Shoppe
401 Brant Street
Hours: Open Tue-Sun; check their website for more details.
Disclaimer: We were sponsored by Kelly’s Bake Shoppe to write this review. As always, our opinions are entirely our own. I’ve always been a huge fan of this bakery, so writing a glowing review was very easy!
I’m linking up this week with Travel Notes and Beyond for the Weekly Postcard, Reasons to Dress for #Reasons2Travel, and Reflections Enroute for Weekly Travel Inspiration.
Do you have a favorite bakery that you’ve visited? Can you recommend any other awesome vegan ones for us to check out?