The East Village storefront of Tully's Gluten-Free Bakery might be less than a week old, but many are familiar with this brand of baked goods, commonly found at Zabar's, and Ground Support in Soho. The bakery is completely gluten-free, with some vegan goods. There's a full menu of panini sandwiches and just enough counter seating for six. For those who love Babycakes on the Lower East Side, but are turned off by the higher prices, Tully's would be ideal. (Another difference: Babycakes uses agave, whereas Tully's uses cane sugar.) I found the variety and overall quality of goods to be slightly higher at Babycakes, but the chipper storefront, seating, and kinder staff at Tully's has me leaning towards the direction of this newcomer. A rundown of their goods below.
There are big cupcakes and there are mini cupcakes. Go with minis, which give the option to try most variety at a reasonable price, three for $3.50. The chocolate cake base easily triumphs over the vanilla, which had a tough, bouncy crumb. And of the frostings, the lightly whipped strawberry, with a cream cheese base, was most memorable of the three, buttery smooth and light. Both the chocolate and peanut butter frostings were on the stiffer side, and the peanut butter, a bit grainy.
Tully's does chocolate quite well here, and this is best discovered in the form of brownies. Both vegan brownies and a dark chocolate one are on the daily menu, $2.75 each. The vegan is like a molten chocolate cake at room temperature. You could call it fudgy, but it's about two steps past beyond fudgy—a wonderful dream for some, and a bit too much for others.
I fall in the latter camp, preferring the dark chocolate brownie—a clean-cut square with the classic crackly top, powdered-sugar dusted. This too is a dense and fudgy brownie, though less intense.
The Vegan Cookie ($2) changes on a daily basis—yesterday was a fine blend of almond flour, with bananas, dried cherries, gluten-free oats, and a handful of mini chocolate chips. The texture hovered on the gummy side, but the flavor combination was solid.
And then there is the Ginger Molasses Cookie ($2), lovely with crisp edges and a soft, cakey center. The ginger is present, but slight, with molasses dominating the bite.