Sweet treats get plenty of attention during the spring and summer party circuits. But ask for a gluten-free or dairy-free cupcake, and you’re bound to be let down by dry, fun-free substitutes. Not for long—The Flying Cupcake (TFC) has a plan for Celiac disease sufferers and nondairy doers. Starting May 1st, Indiana-based baking entrepreneur Kate Bova Drury will reopen her Illinois Street spot (5617 N. Illinois St.) as TFC Raw, devoted to gluten-free and dairy-free cupcakes. Using a special blend of flours containing tapioca flour, potato starch, and brown rice flour (and, in some recipes, almond meal), allergy-trained bakers will devote all of the ovens and an entire display case to 5 to 12 varieties of cupcakes (and even a flour-free peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie).
IM tested 11 varieties and found most of the flavors had a moist, crumbly cake—and a surprisingly good, natural flavor. The toppings and frosting were gorgeous and weren’t teeth-achingly sweet. The fruit-centric flavors were preferred over the chocolate and peanut ones, but the plates were cleaned all around.
Are we suggesting that the exclusion of eggs, dairy, sugar, and wheat doesn’t spell doom for a cupcake? We liked what we tasted and will anxiously wait to see if the freshness continues. Meanwhile, the erstwhile Red Velvet Elvis addict might want to take this next bit of news sitting down: They’re still working out a plan for a raw version.