March 27, 2014

Crumb Bakery of Boulder and Their Gluten-Free Specialty Desserts

By Evan Sandsmark -  

Crumb Bakery, officially just Crumb (or so their website implies), is a small bakery specializing in both regular and gluten-free desserts that was recently founded in Boulder. Less than 18 months old, Crumb is very much in its infancy, but they have already established a bit of reputation, in part because their products are sold at the three Laughing Goat locations, all popular coffee shops in Boulder, and in part because their gluten-free pound cake is to die for, to use that gruesome, and gruesomely overused, cliche. (They also have well-regarded gluten-free chocolate cake and gluten-free brownies.) To figure out what Crumb is all about, Gluten Free in Boulder contacted the owners of the new bakery, as well as sampled some of their offerings. Below are our findings.

Crumb is an evolving business with a list of products that is largely fluid. On the Crumb website, five products are listed, three of which are gluten-free – the aforementioned chocolate cake, brownies, and pound cake. (The two other regular products are choco-scotch cookies and chocolate chip cookies, for the record.) We have tried the GF brownies and the GF pound cake and thoroughly enjoyed both. The gluten-free brownies are delicious creations, dark in color and fudgey in taste. They lack any sort of artificial taste and are not overly sweet. Basically, you can tell they are homemade by people passionate about quality ingredients and high-grade confections. The same can be said of the gluten-free pound cake, which you would never be able to tell is gluten-free. (Or, if this is what gluten-free pound cake tastes like, then no one would have any compelling reason to buy regular pound cake.) The cake itself tastes vaguely of caramel thanks to its crust, and the inside is light and fluffy, two adjectives that can rarely be applied to gluten-free desserts. (In our experience, the gluten-free version of certain pastries and breads are often unusually dense – this isn’t always a problem, but it does make us appreciate springy gluten-free pound cake.) You can kind of see, or at least imagine, what we are talking about by looking at this side view of the piece of pound cake we ate:

Gluten Free Pound Cake

Although we haven’t tried it ourselves, one of the owners of Crumb, Scott, told us the pound cake goes especially good with whipped cream, berry coulis, and ice cream, and we have no reason to assume this isn’t the case. When you add two delicious things together, the result is rarely the worse because of the combination. Indeed, the sum is almost always greater than the parts in the realm of desserts. The one gluten-free product we haven’t yet tried is the chocolate cake, which we intensely regret because of the ways the chocolate cake can be customized when you order it. When you buy one from Crumb Bakery, you can have chocolate ganache, powdered sugar, or a stabilized espresso whipped cream added to it. (That last topping – the espresso whipped cream – sounds almost too good to be true, and in fact it is Scott’s personal favorite.)

The five desserts that are listed on Crumb’s website are merely their primary offerings, however. Crumb is capable of much more, and routinely makes key lime pie, pumpkin pie, tiramisu, tarts, several types of cookies, and even ice cream, according to an email from the owners of Crumb. The only dessert in this list that was explicitly labeled as “gluten-free” was the tiramisu, but we’re sure Crumb could whip up additional gluten-free treats or modify some of their other offerings to render them gluten-free if they had a compelling reason to. We say this with such confidence because Crumb, being a new enterprise, is currently seeking new clients, and they are willing to work with business to “develop signature gluten-free deserts upon request.” So, Crumb has their staples like gluten-free pound cake, but they are a nimble, new company eager to please the consuming public and shops that serve them. Don’t underestimate the range of products they are able and willing to create.

At the moment, Crumb’s products are exclusively offered at Laughing Goat, which is actually responsible for the creation of the bakery. The coffee shop enlisted the help of Scott and Jill, now the owners of Crumb, to improve their gluten-free offerings, and this request led to the founding of the bakery. Crumb will likely be offered in more stores across Boulder in the coming months on the strength of their pound cake alone, and you can always buy their products directly through their website.

Overall, we heartily recommend Crumb’s products to those out there on the gluten-free diet. Not all of their products are gluten-free, but the majority of their main offerings are GF, and they are capable of making additional treats for those with a gluten intolerance. One of the owners, Jill, has been gluten-free for most of her life, so she clearly knows the gluten-free struggle, and the other owner, Scott, has been a pastry chef and restaurant cook for a decade. They are a capable pair, and their new bakery is an exciting addition to Boulder’s gluten-free scene. We look forward to watching the growth and evolution of the company as it moves forward. We’ll hope for new gluten-free creations at new locations across Boulder, but for now we remain happy with our gluten-free pound cake at Laughing Goat.

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