Cupcakes, cakes, doughnuts, macarons, slices, tarts, and chocolates. All 100% VEGAN!See our handpicked guides to Newcastle
BY ALICIA POOLE
Vegan? Struggling to find that something sweet? We’ve found your new Kryptonite! 100% Vegan treats at Claire’s Cupcakes. That’s right, one hundred percent Vegan. Even those of you with food allergies are covered. Claire’s creations are all egg-free, dairy-free, lactose-free, cochineal and gelatine-free as well as having gluten-free, sugar-free, and soy-free options!
But the real question here is how they rate on the yumminess scale. Well, one of the perks of this job is getting to taste all the yummy food we get to talk about, and you guys will be glad to hear that Claire’s Cupcakes gets the tick of approval. And that’s from a non-vegan!
Brought to you by smiley local baker, Claire who has been vegan for over 13 years and baking vegan goodies for the past six years. Originally starting as a bit of passion project, word got out that she was whipping up incredible treats.
“I originally started just at home whilst I was also teaching art to High School students. Trying to do the both was really difficult; I just wasn’t sleeping! I came to the decision that baking was where I wanted to put all of my energy. I’ve been looking for a place for about a year before I moved into here.
“I started baking when there weren’t really any other vegan options around and I really noticed the demand. Before long, it was every weekend that I was getting booked up making cakes, so I decided to be serious about this. It’s so surreal to have my own space,” Claire told me.
From sharing her treats with friends and family to being booked out weekend after weekend with wedding cakes; it was time to finally get into her own space. Officially opening her doors in July this year, Claire’s Cupcakes have been a favourite not only in the vegan community but in the office spaces in the surrounding Charlestown vicinity.
“Some people come in and go oh is it vegan, oh well, let’s try it anyway. Or some people buy little morning tea boxes to take back to their office and they just keep coming back so they must taste pretty good!”
Talking to Claire with a mouth-full of a vegan doughnut, I couldn’t help but notice how empty the cabinet was looking considering it was only just past lunchtime. Claire said that her cupcakes and savory rolls have been so popular she’s been sold out by 2 pm almost every single day since opening.
Over the years, vegan food has been given a bad rap for either not tasting or not looking all that great, but that's not the case here, with the cupcakes not only Instagram worthy but absolutely drool-worthy.
“Being from an art background, I really love being able to make things look good. I’m a visual person and I eat with my eyes. I wouldn’t want to eat something that doesn’t look good, so I figured why not put effort into the presentation of the treats as well.”
For those of you wanting to know more about the ingredients, Claire explains,
“Everything is 100% vegan, so that is no animal products. So, for baking, that’s no eggs, no dairy, absolutely no animal products. A lot of lollies and sweets have gelatine in them, which is actually animal-derived, so we use none of that. I’ve tested a number of non-dairy milk alternatives, which I now use soymilk specifically, and for my soy-free treats I use oat milk.”
Whilst the treat side of the business has been growing, Claire has also been working on some potential exciting expansions.
“At the moment it’s mostly sweets. But I am reaching out into savoury like sausage rolls and scrolls. I’m looking at expanding into doing pies as well as offering a breakfast and lunch menu. Mostly, for the moment it’s just cupcakes but I also do slices, cookies, doughnuts, tarts, chocolate blocks and macarons; which did take me a while to figure out!”
If you like giving new flavours a go, you’ll be excited to hear that Claire has over 90 different variations to choose from, so your taste buds will never be bored.
So, grab your mates, vegan or not and treat yourselves to something special at Charlestown’s newest bakery; Claire’s Cupcakes.