Interview; Penny’s Pastries

Starting and ending my day

with a little somethin somethin sweet

is one way I find loveliness in the “everyday.”

Speaking of sweet and lovely:

P e n n y ‘ s   P a s t r i e s

is a yummy new biz

which recently blew into the Windy City.


Pastry chef and owner Penny

trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris,

earned a master’s in Gastronomy,

then returned to the US with a mission:

Customize pastry

for folks with allergies and restrictions

who thought they had to skip dessert.

From vegan to gluten-free to diabetic,

Penny’s Pastries

focuses on alternative baking.

The other day we chatted in Chicago,

ummmm…can i just say if you have a sweet tooth it’s never a bad

idea to make friends with a pastry chef…

As a baker and lover of pastry,

I HAD TO KNOW…you’re going to wow me

without BUTTER and EGGS?


via mary ruffle

“First off, I say don’t say you ‘can’t.’

It’s that you just ‘won’t.’

And I can guarantee when

you make the switch, you’ll feel much better!”

via mary ruffle

Of course she’s right.

I sampled delicious cakes
(carrot, chocolate, and lemon)
and wanted MORE!

Confession: I like cleaning
with lemon products and washing my hair with coconut ones,
but as far as eating the stuff,
I don’t do lemon or coconut. I just don’t.
However, this cake made me weak in the knees, and it’s possible
I may even be gay for it.
Also would never have guessed
these treats were created without
animal products.

No issues with butter or eggs here,

but plenty of others have them so I wanted
to know more about “alternative baking.”

“It’s a nicer way of saying baking for people

with allergies…I learned about substitutes in baking

as far as milk, baking soda, flour…you know the

‘chemical reaction’ type of stuff. But when it

comes to dairy, meat, things you can’t just

snap your fingers and make, I had to learn.

I bake in different styles.”

via mary ruffle

See, she’s a stylish baker as well.

Also she’s cute and does musical theatre

so paired with the pastry thing I’m thinkin

marriage proposals are a daily occurrence.

Penny says it’s gratifying to bake sweets

for customers with diabetes or allergies

who assumed baked goods were off limits.

I think people automatically assume

they can’t eat it anymore.

So when I tell them I can provide for

them what they want, they think i’m a

magician or someone sent from heaven.”

via mary ruffle

I can confirm. Heavenly.




No, I’m not buttering up Penny to score more cake.

Come on, now.

After all…she also bakes brownies.

Penny bakes traditional treats for

those who prefer them and can

do 2-day shipping–just contact her at her site.If you visit

Penny’s Pastries

you can see what the chef is up to,

grab one of her recipes, and learn more about

alternative baking magic.

Peace to you right where you are.


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  1. May 5, 2011 / 4:07 pm

    Oh my gosh, butter? Just slap me upside the head and call me Paula Deen. I LOVE me some butter. (Sorry if that offends anyone.)

    Just curious . . . does Penny make anything for us "normal" people who love butter? And where is she located? I'd love to go see her shop. Great post!

  2. May 5, 2011 / 4:28 pm

    What a post! And what a blessing to have Penny in sweet land! A Le Cordon Bleu trained chef now focusing on chic alternative baking! Hello! It does not get much better than that!

    I am actually a pretty healthy gal myself surrounded by raw foodists and vegans and everything in between. This is right up my alley! (I will share this this post with friends).

    Does lovely Penny ship to other parts of the nation?

    Warm hugs


    P.S Thank you for your lovely comment today – just when I felt that blogging is no longer for me…!

  3. May 5, 2011 / 6:06 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on this beautiful shop. I am always looking for gluten free treats for our daughter.


  4. May 5, 2011 / 6:16 pm

    I've tried vegan and I didn't much care for it, it needed something like BUTTER AND EGGS! So if Penny can make vegan and make it taste good I'm all for it. Besides they say if you're menopausal you're supposed to avoid avoid alcohol, sugar, caffeine but it did not say anything about BUTTER!

  5. May 5, 2011 / 7:06 pm

    Penny bakes for everyone! She bakes traditionally AND alternatively so everybody stays happy and healthy.

    I'm sure her business will expand outside of Chicago soon–you can always visit her site and beg her to make you stuff. 🙂

  6. May 6, 2011 / 2:18 am

    Love the photos! Penny made cupcakes for a party I threw last fall and they were a HUGE hit. Everyone was asking where I got them from. Penny totally proved to me that healthy and alternative doesn't have to be tasteless.

  7. May 6, 2011 / 4:10 am

    Oh yes love butter here!!
    These photos are great! How wonderful she bakes for people with allergies!!

    Pamela xo

  8. May 6, 2011 / 1:02 pm

    The photo of that cute little girl is just adorable. What a sweetie! I'd love to see that cake a minute later….did she eat it?!


  9. May 6, 2011 / 6:08 pm

    Penny WILL bake and ship it to you, but it must be 2-day shipping. Just email her through her site.

  10. May 7, 2011 / 4:05 am

    They all do look delicious. I am a big fan of butter. I remember when we lived in Germany and they always had the best butter and brotchen on the table. I gained a good 10lbs from that butter alone!

  11. May 7, 2011 / 8:19 pm

    Hi Michele!

    Butter butter butter! Only butter!
    No margarine. I once heard margarine was made to fatten up chickens or turkeys and they wouldn't EVEN eat it!!! So they added yellow food coloring and sold it for human consumption as "margarine".
    Ugg. That makes me sick even thinking about it!

    The French Normandy people make THE best butter in the entire world! Have you had it? OMG. My husband wanted to import it. 🙂 Not many foods even get a reaction from him….. this is big!

    I am soooooOOOooOOOOooo excited to see you are also in the midwest, Michelle. 🙂 Yay!

    The little shop I share is in Highwood IL.
    See link for our blog:

    Check it out!

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