I’m taking off my Holistic Nutritionist pants for this review, guys. Don’t worry, I’m still wearing pants, you perverts. But they’re my super-excited-vegan pants, because, check it ouuuuuuut, there’s a new vegan, gluten free bakery in town. Bunner’s Bake Shop at 3054 Dundas West (near High Park Ave) had it’s grand opening yesterday, adding yet another reason to the increasing pile of reasons that The Junction is my new fave Toronto neighborhood. I know, right. It’s west of Dufferin and north of Davenport. I’m surprised I don’t spontaneously combust on my way there, but between The Beet, Rawlicious, Crema, The Sweet Potato and now Bunner’s, I’ve suddenly got a serious neighborhood crush on The Junction.
Apparently the Bunner’s guys have been selling their wares at some farmer’s markets around town for a while, so you may have seen these goodies around if you’re local, but I hadn’t, and I was super stoked to try ’em out. The bake shop itself is small, minimalist, and cute, with just enough space to oogle the big ol’ cupcake case.
Now, let’s get down to business. The treats. The gluten-free, vegan treats. I mean, come on. If I’m going to eat a baked good, there’s nothing I get more excited about, especially if it’s a cute cupcake or cookie, with vegan frosting. Obviously, you know where we’re starting then. There were a bunch of cupcake flavours, but I went with a chocolate ‘cake with chocolate frosting, because it’s always my fave.
Uh, yummers. Nice dense and fairly moist cake that doesn’t scream I’m gluten free, which is always what you’re aiming for. My favourite part was (duh) the frosting. Totally reminiscent of the chocolate buttercream my grandma, mom, and myself used to make way back. I don’t know what they’re using in terms of sweeteners, oils or shortenings, but this was even better than the Sweets From The Earth frostings, which I always find leave some weird oily residue in my mouth (yuck!), and more along the lines of a Babycakes NYC frosting. So, thumbs up, guys.
Second up was this chocolate chip sandwich cookie, a total no-brainer impulse buy. Anyone else think of Honey I Shrunk The Kids when they see a sandwich cookie like this? Every kid’s dream, am I right? A GIANT, frosting filled cookie to devour? Unfortunately this sandwich wasn’t several stories tall, but it was substantial, and delish.
Again, frosting for the win! This frosting seemed a tiny bit more oily/shortening-y, and a bit more “stable” than the cupcake frosting. I don’t know if they’re actually different or I’m just crazy, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The cookie itself had a delish sweet/salty balance that every chocolate chip cookie everywhere should have, but it also had a vaguely odd aftertaste that I’m going to assume was the gluten-free flour blend they’re using. It was by no means off-putting, just…a bit strange. I would 100% eat this again though. Like, right now. I really, really want another one right now. I guess that’s a good review.
Lastly was what actually turned out to be my favourite of the three treats I snagged. And no, not just because of the name. Behold, the Gypsy Cookie:
Oats and chocolate chips and dried cranberries and I think some other fruit and, seriously, just a bunch of deliciousness all stuck together. Apparently this is their bestseller, and I can totally see why. It was one of those chewy, purposely-under-baked cookies, again with a good sweet/salty balance and did I mentioned so many chocolate chips? And the cranberries are the perfect little sour balance to all the sweetness. Cookie perfection, thy name is Gypsy.
They’re also doing gluten-free, vegan bread, which is somewhat of a rarity in this city (and most cities), so I’m pretty excited to try that on my next visit. In the meantime, I’m going to fantasize about sugary treats and eat some salad to balance myself.
If you’re in Toronto, go show Bunner’s some love, and maybe stop into Rawlicious or The Beet while you’re in your new favourite ‘hood.
I’m off to the west coast for some holiday action tomorrow, so expect a few reviews from out there, and then a bunch of actual holiday recipe feasting. Raw nut loaf, anyone?