Oh the cake!
When it came to the cake, we knew we had a challenge in front of us. It obviously had to be gluten-free for me, but we also wanted to make sure that it was good. At some weddings, the cake is a bit of an afterthought, a photo op and last jolt of sugar before everybody rushes out to the dance floor. Ours, however, would be served on the heels of an exceptional meal. Also, there’s still a lot of skepticism from many gluten-eaters about the quality of gluten-free baked goods. Those of us on the inside know that they can be just as good as, if not better, than your standard confections. With that in mind, it was important to us that we feed our guests a cake that was better than just “good…for gluten-free.”
We explored several bakeries. Some were astronomically expensive, especially for not specializing in gluten-free; others were temptingly cheap but the tastings were disappointing. For a while, I considered making our cake myself, so that we could save a few bucks and control the quality. Then I took a moment, remembered that I’m not Superwoman, and decided that taking on such a thing would be one more stressor than I really needed.
So, we checked with our favorite shop in the city: Tu-lu’s Bakery. Their cupcakes are moist and springy, and the open, airy crumb manages to have a sort of heft to it that makes them extremely satisfying. And don’t even get me started on their frostings—thick, creamy, rich, but not overly sweet. If I’m ever running errands around Union Square or the Village, I try to make my way east to pick a few cupcakes to bring home for dessert.
The owner of the bakery, Tully, enthusiastically responded that they would love to do our cake, and, after a tasting and some detail ironing, we made it official. Both she and pastry chef Courtney were so lovely to work with. They listened to my suggestions and were totally on board when I bought my second dress and pitched a redesign.
And the cake? It looked beautiful and it tasted even better. We went with a vanilla cake filled with their chocolate-almond buttercream, covered in vanilla buttercream and fondant. It was moist and tender, with a burst of decadence from the almond flavoring. Our guests all sang its praises. It was good. It was damn good. And not just for gluten-free.
Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery
338 East 11th Street
New York, NY
Photos by Studio Saldana