My last day in Baltimore I was flying out around 7 PM and I was prepared to make the most of the remainder of my time. My first stop was Sweet 27 Bakery and Cafe in Remington near John Hopkins. Sweet 27 is completely gluten-free and has the bakery/cafe component, plus a restaurant and bar component open in the evenings. I had been to the restaurant and bar for dinner my first night and had really enjoyed it. Now I was back to try some of their gluten-free baked goods!
The bakery is in a colorful row house next to the restaurant and bar. Inside is a counter with a lot of cupcake options, plus some cookies. There were some muffins and breads mentioned on their online menu, but my sweet tooth focused my attention to the cupcakes and cookies. I scoped out the different flavors of cupcakes (many of them offered dairy free) and went for the chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream, and chocolate cheesecake, plus a chocolate chip cookie. I also figured two days worth of sugar exclusively was the best way to start the day, so I also ordered an order of their hashbrowns and some bacon from the cafe menu.
I took my customary photographs of the food and then dove into the breakfast first (I can make some semi-responsible decisions). The hashbrowns got two thumbs up from me! They were more like potato pancakes and were crispy with a bit of a kick to them (wonder if there was also some sweet potato in there…).
I then dug into the cookie, which taste wise was decent, but texture wise left a lot to be desired. The cookie was pretty dry and crumbly (almost grainy), but almost like deliberately so. It reminded me a lot of early attempts at gluten-free cookies when I was growing and didn’t feel fresh baked (unfortunately kind of like what use to come in boxes at the health food stores). While for a second I kind of appreciated that nostalgia, I’m a bit unsure if the flavor was good enough to balance out the texture and earn this a recommendation. I’m not sure what the alternatives for gluten-free bakeries are in Baltimore, so I don’t want to exclude it as an option for those craving gluten-free cookies. However I don’t think someone should go in hoping for a gluten-free version of a regular cookie…
While I was there I ate the chocolate peanut butter cupcake and the cookies and cream cupcake. These were a bit of the reverse of the cookie- the texture was more on point, but the taste was a bit off. The cupcakes themselves were pretty moist and I liked the fluffiness and creaminess of the frosting (more like a whipped topping). The taste of both the cupcake and frosting is probably from the fact that both these flavors were dairy-free. That most likely led to the frosting being pretty sweet (to compensate for the lack of milk). It also is becoming more and more clear that I am not the biggest fan of chocolate cupcakes, cakes, brownies, etc. unless there are other flavors that overpower it. I’ve come to hypothesize this in recent months, but still ordered heavy chocolate stuff. In this instance the frosting didn’t really contrast enough to make am overall flavor that wasn’t very chocolately.
That still left the chocolate cheesecake (so that makes three chocolate based cupcakes…), which wasn’t dairy free. Unfortunately I was far too full to eat it there, so I took it to go. And then I went to Fort McHenry and walked around in the hot sun. An hour or so later when I went to eat it I made my best attempt, but a lot of it ended up on my fingers and the ground… Kind of too much of a melted, gooey mess (my own fault) to enjoy and really compare the flavor to the others.
Sweet 27 bakery got mixed reviews, but I don’t think it should be completely discounted. Next time I think I will shoot for trying more flavors with dairy (only because I usually notice a different on the taste end) and go for flavors with less chocolate. The vanilla birthday cake and the Nutella cupcakes are standing out to me after looking at the bakery menu online again (although I’m not sure if those were available when I visited). I also will try and enjoy all baked goods inside and as fresh as possible after ordering. The bakery I think is worth a quick stop if you’re in the area or even if you’re visiting Baltimore and don’t have a lot of gluten-free options back home. I think future visits for me could cause this to become more recommended, especially given how great my dinner at the restaurant was.
Sweet 27 Bakery and Cafe- 127 West 27th St. Baltimore, MD 21218