Gluten-free bakery opens to rave reviews

Sillycakes Gluten-Free Bakery has attracted a devoted following in Cumberland.

Sillycakes Bakery owner Sarah Vallintine displays a gluten-free wedding cake.

Sillycakes Bakery owner Sarah Vallintine displays a gluten-free wedding cake.

It’s been estimated that as many as 50 per cent of Canadians have at least a mild insensitivity to gluten. Upwards of 30,000 people in the Comox Valley, then, should be happy to know that a 100 per cent gluten-free bakery has just opened in Cumberland.

Sillycakes Gluten-Free Bakery has already managed to attract a devoted following. These followers include more than 500 fans of its Facebook page, where owner Sarah Vallintine regularly posts her daily selection of baked goods and fans can pre-order their gluten-free goodies.

“There are a lot of us in the Valley who can’t eat gluten, and many more who are experimenting with a gluten-free diet,” says Vallintine. “But just because you can’t eat wheat doesn’t mean you don’t deserve great baked goods.”

While timing has certainly been a factor in Sillycakes’ quick success, the true ingredient seems to be the sheer quality of its offerings. In a category overrun with dry bread and tasteless cookies, Sillycakes Bakery has somehow found a way to create gluten-free baked goods that are every bit as moist and delicious as their wheat-filled counterparts.

“I was given one of her chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing and it was absolutely phenomenal,” says Jason Waters, who it should be noted has no aversion to gluten and doesn’t necessarily avoid wheat. “Gluten-free or not, those things are yummy!”

A quick glance of Sillycakes’ Facebook page reveals similar comments, such as “Best gluten-free cake ever” and “I would never know they were gluten-free.”

Vallintine likes to recall a recent email from a customer describing how head-over-heels her father was for one of her homestyle apple pies. When told it was gluten-free, he replied, “What’s gluten-free?”

For celiacs, who can’t process gluten, and others avoiding wheat in their diets, it all sounds too good to be true. So what’s the secret?

“If I gave you my recipes they wouldn’t be a secret now, would they?” remarks Vallintine coyly.

Vallintine, who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003 and has been experimenting with gluten-free baking for a decade, will only say that she’s created her own special blend of gluten-free flours.

“I actually wrestled with the idea of not calling Sillycakes a gluten-free bakery for risk of turning off people who don’t eat gluten-free,” she says. “I’ve had so many people, many of whom eat wheat, say that my cakes and cupcakes are the best they’ve ever had.”

Sillycakes Bakery does custom orders for gluten-free cakes, scones, bagels and more. Order at www.sillycakes.ca, call 250-703-3175 or stop by the bakery for a daily selection of fresh-baked breads and treats.

It’s located at 2699 Dunsmuir Ave., inside Carmie’s Café.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The CSRHD board moved closer to passing a budget with a $4.4 million cut to the tax requisition. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Starthcona hospital district moves on budget with tax cut

At $12.6 million, budget requisition represents drop of $4.4 million for current year

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton, standing at right, sits on steering committees of two organizations that are tackling the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. File photo
Courtenay councillor leads campaign to reduce building-sector GHG emissions

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton wants local governments to carry a little more… Continue reading

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Numerous Comox Valley projects get CERIP grants

Numerous Comox Valley projects have received grants through the Community Economic Recovery… Continue reading

Thrifty Foods. (Black Press file photo)
Thrifty Foods confirms staff member tests positive for COVID-19 in Courtenay

The company currently lists 12 stores within B.C. with confirmed cases

Comox Valley Schools’ distance learning program, Navigate (NIDES), which saw some large gains in enrolment this year, could see a return to normal numbers come September. Image, screenshot
Comox Valley Schools expects enrolment drop come fall

Decline projected online, as more students return to ‘bricks-and-mortar’ classes

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read