Meatless Monday at Sweet Avenue Bakeshop

by Dianne Wenz

There sometimes is a misconception that vegan food doesn’t taste very good, and with no butter or eggs, vegan baked goods must taste really awful, right? Wrong!

Vegan cupcakes, cookies, brownies and muffins are just as tasty as their omnivorous counterparts, maybe more so, as vegan bakers try extra hard to win over as many people as possible with their sweet treats. There may have been a time in the distant past when dairy-free and egg-free pastries were slightly cardboardesque, but fortunately for us, we’re living in a time that I like to call a “Vegan Cupcake Renaissance”. Delicious vegan baked goods abound, and luckily, Northern New Jersians have Rutherford’s Sweet Avenue Bakeshop to satisfy their sweet teeth. While vegan baked goods contain sugar, and therefore do have calories (strangely I’ve come across many people who think that vegan cupcakes are health food), they aren’t made with eggs, cow’s milk or butter, which means they don’t contain and cholesterol.

Sweet Avenue Bakeshop started as a mail order company in 2006, but their delicious treats were so popular that owners Jake and Danielle Vance quickly realized that they needed a storefront. In fact, Sweet Avenue just recently celebrated their 5 year anniversary in their space in Rutherford. All of their cupcakes are made from scratch in small batches daily using ingredients like Madagascar bourbon vanilla and chocolate imported form Europe. They have classics such as chocolate, vanilla and red velvet, but they also have special seasonal flavors like Cotton Candy and Lemonade Iced Tea, which they are currently on the menu for summer. Their creative cupcake menu changes daily, which is a good excuse to stop in frequently, because one bite of these babies and you’ll be hooked!


There are a few gluten-free cupcakes and soy-free cupcakes available every day, and if cupcakes aren’t your thing, fresh cookies and scones are usually on hand as well. Sweet Avenue recently took a plunge into the savory side of eating, and they now make breakfast sandwiches and lunch wraps. Catered meals and special order cakes are also available.


I recently took a trip to Sweet Avenue with my friend Liz, and we were both totally overwhelmed by the pretty pastries that we could barely contain ourselves. Not only are these cupcakes delicious, they’re quite nice to look at as well! It was difficult to pick just one, so we each left with a box of four, and then stopped in nearby Lincoln Park to chat and enjoy one. (Yes, we ate just one each.) I went with S’mores, Blue Hawaiian, Boston Cream and Lemonade Iced Tea. I ate the Boson Cream while chatting with Liz, but I brought the other three home to share with VeggieGuy. He doesn’t really like cake, but he really loved these delicious goodies, and shared them with me happily. They were all so good that it’s difficult to say which one was my favorite, but I’m always partial to chocolate.


While local vegans flock to Sweet Avenue Bakeshop for their sugar fixes, you certainly don’t have to be on a vegan diet to enjoy these delicious treats.

Sweet Avenue is located at 153 Park Avenue in Rutherford.