Craving a double chocolate cupcake (with a huge dollop or frosting on top), but not sure where to go with a kid who needs a nut-free/gluten-free/vegan/sugar-free treat? Try these delicious bakeries for some alternatives to the classic favorite beloved by kids and grown-ups alike. Each shop has a special selection of allergy-accommodating but yummy indulgences you’ll love.
Baked & Wired – Nut-Free/Gluten-Free/Vegan
You can relive your hippie college years at this off-beat bakery in the heart of Georgetown. Not only do they have gluten-free and vegan choices like Gluten Free Chocolate Strawberry or Vegan Oreo, but they decorate all of their nut-filled cupcakes with nut toppings so you can tell what your kid can and cannot eat. They make all of the nut-free cupcakes with separate utensils so there’s no contamination, and mom can even snag an eye-opening espresso from their coffee station on the way out the door.
1052 Thomas Jefferson St., NW (Georgetown)
Sticky Fingers – Nut-Free/Gluten Free/Vegan
The most amazing part of Sticky Fingers is the fact that everything they make is dairy and egg free. Not only do they have some of the most delicious cupcakes around the district, but you can even multitask by grabbing lunch during the week or brunch on the weekends to complement your sweet treat. All of the goodness of a normal dessert with less of the guilt? We’re sold.
1370 Park Rd., NW (Columbia Heights)
Don’t get too attached to any one flavor at this gluten free/dairy free/vegan friendly bakery in NoVa. The selection changes daily and can range from vanilla and chocolate coconut, to carrot and double chocolate. If cupcakes just aren’t going to cut it for your special occasion, they also sell layer cakes and wedding treats.
1057 Edwards Ferry Rd., NE (Leesburg, VA)
Hello Cupcake – Nut-Free/Gluten-Free/Vegan
Hello Cupcake uses separate utensils for their cupcakes, but they do use the same mixing bowls, so if kiddo has a severe nut allergy, take note. Otherwise, just ask one of the super-sweet cashiers which desserts are safe for your little cupcake monster. Their Gluten-Free and Vegan options are clearly labeled and the selection varies depending on the day, making a visit to this shop a true adventure.
1361 Connecticut Ave., NW (Dupont Circle)
Rise – Gluten-Free
Rise may be the city’s only completely gluten free bakery (let us know if you know otherwise!). The bakery hawks all manners of pastries and breads, but their cupcakes, especially the German chocolate ones, are all the rage.
2409 18th St., NW (Adams Morgan)
Sprinkles – Gluten-Free/Vegan/Sugar-Free
Sprinkles has a small-but-mighty selection of allergy-safe cupcakes. Their lone flavor, Red Velvet, is sort of a secret, as they keep it in the back and you have to ask for it by name. The extra effort is totally worth it though! Sprinkles also throws great birthday parties in their Party Room, so if you’re looking for an easy place to hold your kiddo’s next event where he or she has an allergy-safe option, this is the place.
3015 M St., NW (Georgetown)
Cake Love – Gluten-Free / Vegan / Low-Sugar
A D.C. favorite, Cake Love has multiple locations across the DMV. They’re easy to get to, and the cakes themselves are all made from scratch. The company started when founder Warren Brown started throwing Cake Parties after making three resolutions to change his life, but after an afternoon at Cake Love, the only three resolutions you’ll be making are: “I will not eat another cupcake. I will not eat another cupcake. I will not…”
The Lemonade Bakery – Dairy-Free/Egg-Free/Nut-Free
Too busy to get to a brick and mortar store? Check out this Manassas, Va-based bakery that only does deliveries, but all of their cupcakes are egg-, peanut-, and tree nut-free. Oh, and they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Bonus: Kelly Britton Stroh, the owner/baker, takes special request orders for little ones with unique food allergies.
—Kelly Ann Jacobson and Ayren Jackson-Cannady
Photos courtesy of Kelly Ann Jacobson