My last year of living in Toronto before heading abroad was in a house near Kensington Market and Chinatown. Kensington is one of my favourite areas in all of Toronto; anyone who knows the city will be familiar with it’s eclectic craziness and perhaps pedestrian Sundays, when the streets are closed off and the market is at it’s best. I loved it for all of that including the fact that it was always teeming with vegan and gluten free options. Nearly all of the cafes in Kensington offer vegan coffee options and at least something on the menu that’s vegan and gluten free.
It also is home to one of two Bunner’s locations which means if it wasn’t already one of my favourite areas in the city it most definitely is now! Bunner’s is a bakery that’s %100 dedicated to vegan and gluten free baking. I can eat everything they make and it is all amazing. Believe me I’ve gotten through the majority of it! On my most recent trip to Toronto I made sure to stop in, and actually went twice even though I was only in the city for a few days.
Bunners got their start selling at markets around the city, which ultimately led to taking orders and eventually to opening up their own shop. They have a loyal customer base and I understand why. They’re most famous for their cupcakes (they always have a few flavours on rotation including flavour of the month) but they also make cookies, cinnamon buns, mini pies, whoopee pies, bread, savoury pockets, energy bites and more. Check out this selection!
Their cupcakes are wonderfully sweet and full of flavour. I’m not a fan of chocolate cake really as it is, so my favourite by far was the red velvet and flavour of the month which was a cornbread cupcake filled with coconut cream, and topped with vanilla icing. Their red velvet has the perfect balance of soft and moist texture with a ton of flavour and an amazing creamy frosting. In my eyes it’s just about as perfect as you can get. After I bought nearly half the bakery I met up with a friend and she agreed; you would never be able to tell it’s vegan or gluten free. Just delicious!
Some of my other favourites are the chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon buns. I can’t remember the last time I had a cinnamon bun and although the texture is a little different from a conventional cinnamon bun, the flavour is no different. It was a wonderful treat. Since I’m in Canada right now I’m trying as many vegan and gluten free baked goods as I can get my hands on. I can never get it while in Korea so I consider it research as I need to see what’s out there. It also makes me feel so wonderfully happy to know that it’s possible to be more than successful baking vegan and gluten free and that the finished product can make people just as happy.
On a side note, Bunner’s has also just come out with their recipe book so I had to pick up a copy for myself. It’s been ages since I bought an actual cookbook, only because they’re heavy and living abroad it can be difficult to haul them around, but this was an exception to the rule! I’m so excited to try some of these recipes out when I get back to Korea.