To the young (and young at heart), birthdays are a big deal: the presents, the pointy hats, the balloons and—most importantly—the cake. If you’ve got a little one who’s allergic or sensitive to gluten, you know what a landmine birthday parties can be. Make sure your sweet pea doesn’t have to settle for ice cream alone by ordering a gluten-free birthday cake (or simply picking up a cupcake to bring along to another party) from one of these local bakeries.
photo: Mike Kane
Among the cinnamon rolls, muffins, scones and pies—all gluten-free, all vegan, all made with natural sweeteners—in the display case every day, this bakery with locations in Fremont and Redmond also offers tall slices of Southern-style layer cakes, perfect to pick up as a single piece to take to a gluten-full gathering. Need to go big? If you call or go when they open at 7:30 a.m., you can generally grab one of the day’s few pre-made cakes; otherwise, custom cakes and cupcakes can be ordered with 72 hours notice. Sizes start at 6” and go all the way up to 16” and quarter-sheet cakes.
3510 Fremont Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98103
Hours: Daily, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m
16541 Redmond Way, Ste. E
Redmond, Wa 98052
206 442-1115 ext. 5
Hours: Tues.-Sat., 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun.-Mon., 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
photo: Flying Apron Facebook page
One look at the fanciful, festive treats that come out of this Capitol Hill kitchen and you’ll marvel at their lack of gluten. Using a proprietary blend of sorghum, millet, tapioca and potato flours, co-owners Phebe Rossi and Amanda Bedell aim to make gluten-free (and frequently vegan as well) baked goods that please even those who eat everything. Stunning tiered cakes topped with marshmallow fondant are perfect for more elegant affairs—and feeding bigger birthday crowds.
photo: Nuflours Facebook page
Tin Box Bakeshop
This online-only custom cakery specializes in beautiful layer cakes made to order and delivered to your venue. Need a rainbow confetti cake for a colorful 4-year-old, or a chocolate Chewbacca cake for your biggest Star Wars fan? Just make sure to place your order a few days—at least—before your party. While it’s not a dedicated gluten-free bakery, owner Chelsea Lin (note: the same one writing this article) can make nearly any of her creations without wheat and a few can be made dairy-free as well.
photo: Chelsea Lin
Wildflour Gluten-Free Baking Co.
Rather than standard layer cakes, this Bellevue gluten-free bakery sells pretty bundt cakes (for up to 16 guests) and crumb cakes perfect for a birthday brunch. And they promise the taste and texture of traditional baked goods—no small feat when it comes to gluten-free baking. Sneak some veggies in with the ultra moist chocolate zucchini cake drizzled with ganache, or go fruity with lemon blueberry. If you show up on Fridays and Saturdays, they also have a rotating flavor of cupcake available in store.
photo: Wildflour Gluten- Free Baking Company Facebook page
This local cupcake empire offers around 15 different flavors daily—two of those are gluten-free. You’ll always find a chocolate option (topped with salted caramel or espresso buttercream, for example) and an almond cake (used in their Cherries Jubilee and Almond Joy flavors). With dozens of theme options, from tiaras to dinos to pirates, to meet your birthday kid’s needs, this could be just the place for a combo order that mixes gluten-free with gluten-full. And with locations at Wallingford Center, U-Village, The Bravern and Pacific Place, you can pick up gifts at the same time.)
2612 N.E. Village Lane
Seattle, Wa 98105
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
1815 N. 45th St.
Seattle, Wa 98103
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
700 110th Ave. N.E.
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Pacific Place (Concourse/Parking Level)
600 Pine St.
Seattle, Wa 98101
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
photo: Trophy Cupcakes Facebook page
Do you have a favorite bakery to pick up that all-important birthday cake? Dish in the Comments below!
— Chelsea Lin