• Ashley Margaret Waterman

Kansas City

Whenever I travel, I make a Google Map filled with food. I try to find vegan or allergy-friendly bakeries where I can splurge. When I started making my Google Map for Kansas City, I realized I was traveling to an allergy-unaware city.

I looked for vegan and gluten-free options in KC. Several restaurants appeared gluten-free friendly. I didn't end up checking any of them out because I flew solo for this trip. Since I don't need to be gluten-free, I decided to seek any food I could eat.

While eating my way around KC, I discovered that vegan is almost non-existent. Colorado has spoiled me. Not only is there a vegan bakery, but there are multiple. There are many places that have a vegan menu or a completely vegan restaurant. I often forget that not every city is as food-aware as Denver and Boulder are.

I found two noteworthy vegan establishments: Mud Pie Vegan Bakery.

After attending a conference for several days, I was ready for all the vegan baked goods. The easiest way to get around KC was Lyft. I grabbed my laptop to get some grading done and got a ride to Mud Pie.

Mud Pie operates out of a yellow house and makes you feel like you're sitting at your kitchen table, enjoying coffee and sweets. With a downstairs and an upstairs, there was more than enough room for people to linger. I know I'd be lingering for a while.

It was about 2 p.m. Because cupcakes are my all-time favorite, I opted for a vanilla cupcake. When tasting a cupcake, I look for a sponge that has a little bit of crumble, but is just the right amount of moist. This vanilla cupcake was a bit gummy, but it wasn't too bad. I wouldn't go to Mud Pie for a vanilla cupcake--I'd make my own--but it was a good treat while I graded.

The star of this picture is the latte. Made with house-made almond milk, the almond milk was more nut-forward than something like Almond Breeze. It also had just the right amount of sweetness.

As I sipped my coffee, I watched a steady flow of customers come in the door. A bit of a chilly day, it seemed many people came in for a hot beverage, but almost every person left with a baked good. I sat at Mud Pie for a little over two hours, and the door didn't stay closed for more than ten minutes. Clearly I'd chosen the right coffee house for my afternoon grading.

The second treat I enjoyed was a mini s'mores bundt cake. A chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache-esq frosting, toasted marshmallows, and a sprinkle of graham cracker, the cake-to-frosting ratio was just right. This cake was perfect for dipping in my latte. I wished there was more graham cracker and marshmallow presence. Because it was labeled s'more, I imagined a campfire in my mouth. It wasn't a bad treat, but I wished for a bit more campfire.

With the amount of people coming in, I decided to get the rest of the goodies I wanted to take with me while I finished up my coffee. Since it was after breakfast, I was surprised to see a few muffins and scones left. I wanted to save them for my upcoming plane ride back to Denver. I scooped up the last ginger pear muffin and a gluten-free cranberry orange scone.

I've only made scones a few times. I've found that scones are something that I need to work on. Until then, I'm a-okay with buying the best scones I can find. This scone is one of those scones. I wondered if it would be too crumbly as a gluten-free scone, but the amount of crumble seemed just write. The orange was the perfect amount of flavor and the cranberry was dispersed throughout. The one modification I would make is the frosting. It was a powdered sugar frosting, heavy on the powdered sugar. This is a rare thing for me to say, but I don't think the scone needed the extra sweetness the frosting provided.

During my venture back to Denver, I ate my ginger pear muffin in the KC airport. Out of all of the baked goods from Mud Pie, the muffin was by far the best and of course I don't have a picture. The muffin was so good that I wanted to eat more than just the top of the muffin!

#travel #KansasCity #vegan


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