I Dream of Gluten-Free
Most 8-year-old girls dream about their perfect wedding dress, but there was only one wedding detail I had always been fixated on since I was a kid—the cake. Growing up gluten-free and dairy-free in a time where those allergens weren’t on anyone’s radar wasn’t easy. I had always assumed that when I got married I’d miss out on the tradition of having my groom feed me in front of a room filled with our friends and family. While it may not be the most important or even glamorous wedding tradition, it was something that I thought about often with a longing sadness. Just something else I’d have to miss out on.
I got engaged in October 2018, and while planning my November 2019 wedding all of the important details seemed to be easily falling into place. The venue was booked, the dress had been found, DJ secured, flowers chosen; one by one things were getting checked off the list—except for the wedding cake.
The Hunt for a Kosher Cake
While a gluten-free wedding cake in 2019 wasn’t such a far-fetched idea, I now had another dilemma on my hands: securing a kosher wedding cake. The wedding was a kosher affair and while having a gluten-free/dairy free cake already posed enough of an issue, now it had to be kosher certified.
Finally, with only two months to go before the wedding day, I discovered that By the Way Bakery, a gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher pareve bakery that I had frequented over the years, actually made wedding cakes in addition to all of the other delicious goodies I had sampled in the past! With two locations in New York City, one location in Westchester County, and one in Connecticut, this was the obvious choice for my Brooklyn wedding!
Not Your Average Gluten-Free Flavors
I immediately called up Helene Godin, By the Way Bakery’s Founder and CEO, to talk all things wedding cake and was pleasantly surprised to hear that I actually had six different layer options—chocolate, vanilla, lemon, coconut, carrot, and red velvet, and five different frostings—chocolate, vanilla chiffon, vanilla bean, pareve “cream cheese” and lemon.
A Hero in Baker’s Clothing
It amazed me to learn that Helene wasn’t a baker until 2010 when she gave up a 22-year career as a workaholic media attorney. After extensive research and hundreds of baking experiments she finally achieved her first successful recipes.
I had one goal in creating By the Way Bakery: to connect with my neighbors by bringing more people to the table – literally. I had a hunch that people were eager to try gluten-free and dairy-free foods (which was far less common a decade ago). More than that, people were hungry for an authentic experience, something local and handmade.”
Accessible to All
Since 2016, BTW Bakery has been working with OK Kosher, one of the world’s most respected kosher certification agencies. If you’re planning on having a kosher wedding, BTW Bakery makes the process simple and easy.
A Cake for Every Style
The BTW Wedding Cake Guide is filled with examples of their beautiful cakes, but your options are only limited to the bounds of your imagination. You can get anything from a simple 2-tier cake to an elaborate 4-tier cake and BTW Bakery is happy to explore new designs to create something incredible out of what you’re most interested in.
A wedding cake is an important, personal decision. The look should reflect the couple’s aesthetic, whether it’s simple and sleek or covered in sugar flowers.”
A Quacking Good Cake
After years of dreaming of my own wedding cake, my choice was easy: a simple and elegant 2-tier cake with ribbons of scrumptious vanilla bean frosting icing the sides. I love the attention to detail provided including the lovely row of pearl-like dots, circling the edge of each layer. My florist was able to add some flowers, and the duck cake toppers were an homage to my own quirky collection of rubber ducks.
Have Your Theme and Eat It Too!
Although my wedding didn’t have a theme, had I known about Helene and BTW Bakery previously, I may have made a wedding theme around one of her amazing cake designs!
Some of her incredible creations are an “Always” Harry Potter-themed cake, a four-tier cake covered in sprinkles, and a Lego-themed cake, complete with little Lego chefs carrying whisks. How creative!
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gluten!
BTW Bakery’s wedding cakes are some of the most delicious desserts I’ve ever tasted in my life. More importantly, my family who did not grow up gluten-free couldn’t even tell that it was gluten free! The dedication to taste, flavor, and detail that Helene and her staff provide is top notch and my wedding truly wouldn’t have been the same without them.
By the Way: There Are No More Limits
It’s 2020, which means we’re flipping the standard on what weddings cakes should or shouldn’t be. BTW Bakery’s commitment to gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher wedding cakes opens the doors up to a whole new group of brides and grooms. As for me, I’ll be dreaming about that vanilla bean frosting forever.
Are you having a gluten-free or kosher cake at your wedding? Tell us what your dream flavor combo would be in the comments below!
Cake photos courtesy of By the Way Bakery.
Photos of Sam Levitz’s wedding and duck cake by Derrik K.
About the author: Brooklyn native, Sam Levitz, is a newlywed and the new Features Writer for Smashing the Glass, which is the perfect combo coming straight out of her own big fat Jewish wedding. She currently works in educational publishing, loves to travel, and makes a pretty mean chicken soup. Sam’s excited to join the team and tap back into her creative side after retiring her online dating blog in 2017 when she met her NJB husband on a dating app.