Bloom Bake Shop

Madison, Wisconsin


Image for Ali Seiter

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We celebrated my last birthday with three flavors of cupcakes from the Bloom Bake Shop.

Be a Monkey: "We made this Banana Cupcake with real bananas and Dark Chocolate Chips then topped it with thick Chocolate Buttercream, for the monkey in all of us." Super dense with a surprising crunch from the chocolate chips, this cupcake (also gluten and soy free!) provided a satisfying mouthfeel and mild banana flavor.

Be Spiced: "Spiced Pumpkin Rum is folded into a moist batter to create a dense, sweet cake that is garnished with a Maple Cream Cheese Frosting." My dessert companions and I greatly approved of the pronounced coconut flavor complementing this lightly spiced cupcake.

Strawberry-Banana: Unfortunately, I couldn't find this flavor listed with a cute name on the website, but I can assure you of its absolute scrumptiousness. A moist cake flecked with visible bits of banana and strawberry receives a generous dollop of strawberry-swirled buttercream, topped with a finishing touch of dehydrated banana and strawberry.

Needless to say, I enjoyed every sinful moment of my birthday indulgence. But you know what? Out of all the cupcakes out there, the adorable ones from the Bloom Bake Shop score extremely low on the "feel guilty about me!" list. The bakery sources local ingredients, such as fresh fruit from Keewaydin Farms, peanut butter from Yumbutters, and freshly milled wheat from Enos Farms, as well as uses Florida Crystals organic fair-trade sugar. They also include many gluten-free menu options using brown rice, tapioca, and sorghum flours—vastly healthier than plain old refined all-purpose. But most important of all, their cupcakes encompass all the ethical sides of veganism: they obviously don't use eggs, butter, or milk from factory-farmed animals plus their local ingredients don't spawn a dirty environmental impact. On a side note, Bloom portions their cupcakes much more intelligently than those of your average supersized bakeries; three (yes, I certainly downed three mouthwatering cupcakes) small Bloom cupcakes would likely equal the size of one ginormous stereotypical American one.

See pictures and more info on the Bloom Bake Shop at my blog:

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I tried Bloom Bake Shop for the first time, and I LOVE it! We went mid-afternoon on a Saturday, and there were plenty of vegan options available (with more in the oven). We tried a sweet potato cupcake, blondie, and chocolate chip whoopie pie. All 3 were perfectly soft, moist, fluffy and delicious. The owner was really nice, and the bakery itself is very cute.

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Bloom Bake Shop in Middleton has good intentions by offering vegan cupcake options. The owner and employees are very friendly and helpful. The vegan options are often very limited and gone if you don't get there early enough. I would make sure to call ahead. Many of the vegan cupcakes are not creative and come directly from the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. They are good, but no better than what can be made at home in your own kitchen. They are also a little pricey. The seating here is very limited, so plan on taking your cupcakes to go. I think that Bloom has some potential but remember, they definately are not catering to vegans as most of their baked goods are not vegan friendly.

Image for conde.kedar

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Madison has had a number of great vegan options pop up in the last year or two and Bloom Bake Shop is one of them. While technically located in Middleton (right next door to Madison), it's worth the drive.

The owner was extremely friendly and informative about her business and her passion for all things vegan. She even does vegan cakes and desserts for weddings. When I went, they had a vegan carrot cupcake and a vegan brownie/Goldie bar. I got both.

The cupcake was solid: moist, creamy, not overly sweet or buttery. I liked the addition of tiny chocolate chips in the frosting, which gave a nice hard texture amidst the smoothness of the rest of the cupcake (especially the frosting).

The Goldie bar was awesome. It was not only vegan, but also gluten-free and soy-free. I don't know what type of voodoo magic they work at Bloom to create such a wonderfully soft, chewy, delicious product with so many "restrictions" but I hope they keep conjuring.

Bloom usually has a vegan cookie daily as well, but they were out the day I visited.

If Bloom had more vegan options, and a bit more interior space for lounging/tea sipping, I'd give them another star. It would be great if they moved to Madison proper (maybe in the Atwood/Williamson East Side area, near The Green Owl?) they would be even better. As it stands, it's still worth the trek to Middleton for Bloom and I'll be going back often.

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I don't go out to eat very often, so when I do, I make it a rule to only buy what I couldn't/wouldn't make myself. What I love about Bloom is that they are so creative with their flavors. They use tons of seasonal, fresh ingredients and they just make whatever inspires them. Rhubarb cupcakes in the spring, mint chocolate whoopie pies with real mint, Door County cherry chocolate cookies, and crazy funky creations like rosewater pistachio cupcakes. I could never come up with this stuff on my own and that's why I love it so much. I never have to get the same flavor twice. And while she has conventional cupcakes, the owner loves to make vegan and gluten free treats and they are often the really unique treats. It's the most ethical indulgence I can justify...regularly:)

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