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Crave Bakery Product Review… and Giveaway!

I was an EXTREMELY lucky gal recently when I received some complimentary gluten-free baked goods from Crave Bakery, to review on my blog. I say lucky because had I not been able to sample them, I may never have known just how great they are! My local Whole Foods Market carries the Crave Cheesecake, but I have never been able to swallow the price tag, $17.99. Even though gluten-free packaged foods have advanced light years since I was first diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005, I am still very much in the “probably tastes like cardboard” state-of-mind! It is difficult to shell out $18 for a cheesecake when you are afraid it will just end up in the trash (like so many of its gluten-free predecessors), and especially in this economy!

I love to cook and I can cook many things, but for the life of me, I cannot bake a cheesecake! 🙂 I had been eyeing that Crave Cheesecake for months, every time I went into Whole Foods. I even put it in my cart a couple of times because it looked so good, (only to put it back before heading to the checkout lane)! A light bulb went off one day as I was writing another product review. I contacted Crave and asked if they would be interested in sending me a sample to review on my blog (I REALLY had to try that cheesecake, it had become an obsession! 😉 My husband actually started to call me “Ralphie” (from the movie “A Christmas Story“). Mike said I was like Ralphie on his quest for an “official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle,” only for Crave’s cheesecake!

Well, if I am Ralphie, then Mike, Sam and Luke were every bit Ralphie’s buddies in this picture (that would be Luke to the far right):

Before I go into my review of Crave’s products, I want to tell you a bit about the bakery and the bakery’s owner, Cameo Edwards. Cameo founded Crave, a San Francisco Bakery, in 2003. Like many other gluten-free entrepreneurs, Cameo had suffered numerous health problems, and the year prior had finally figured out that the culprit was gluten. Cameo was frustrated with the lack of tasty options (cardboard!) that were available on the market, which only left her “craving” for them. Cameo had limited baking experience at the time, but she didn’t let that stop her (I love that attitude! 😉 ). Cameo set out to create delicious desserts for herself that where wheat-free, gluten-free, and casein-free (the cheesecake I mentioned above is not dairy-free). After much experimentation, her perfect brownie was born and the rest is history.

Crave’s philosophy is based on choosing simple, high-quality and organic ingredients. Not only are Crave products gluten-free (they test to below 20ppm!!), you will not find any trans-fats or preservatives in their products. Crave supports small, local and family-owned producers, and they only choose ingredients that are animal-conscious, like eggs that come from free-range chickens. Once I read about Crave’s ingredients, the price tag made complete sense. High-quality ingredients (like gluten-free ingredients) cost more, but I would rather my money go there than to our increasing cost of health-care, which is not nearly as delicious! 😉

I am sure everyone is well aware by now how much the films Food, Inc. and King Corn knocked my socks off! Since seeing those eye-opening documentaries just 2 months ago, I have been trying to educate myself on the food industry. What I have seen and read (even if only 10% of it is true), has rattled me to my core. That knowledge has really made me appreciate the companies that do better. Companies that aren’t so into the mass production of “cheap” food (as in using “cheap” ingredients like HFCS, etc.) that they skimp on the quality of ingredients they use. I would rather eat out less and cook more so I can splurge here and there on treats like Crave’s cheesecake! 😀

I better move along and mention Crave’s other gluten-free products! We also sampled the Vanilla Cupcakes, Monster Cookie, Dark Chocolate Brownies, Lemon Tart, Apple Frangipane, and Mama Z’s Chocolate Cake (they even do GF wedding cakes. Makes me want to fly to San Fran and re-new my vows!). They were all absolutely delicious! The four that REALLY impressed me were the cupcakes, Mama Z’s chocolate cake, the cheesecake and the brownies, simply for the reaction they received by my little boys! I have compiled a photo montage for this portion of my review! 😀

This is how the cupcakes look in their original form. The flavor is great and the cake itself is beautifully moist.

The Crave products arrived the day before Sam had a birthday party to attend. It was perfect timing because I had just run out of my stash of frozen homemade cupcakes that I keep on hand to grab and decorate as needed for birthday parties, etc. I had to add icing because I like to embellish the boy’s cupcakes with figurines, etc. and they needed a little extra icing “glue” to hold them in place. The party was on Super Bowl Sunday and the birthday boys (twins) were having a football themed party, so I tried to “match up” Sam and Luke’s cupcake.

The football player on the left was made tilted, I swear! 😉

Sam was feeling really “cool” because he had overheard a couple kids asking where Sam got his cupcake.

Luke would not remove his football “dude” for anything!

One of the twins’ football themed birthday cakes.

Mike and I took the Mama Z’s Chocolate cake to the party for us to split, but unfortunately for us, we didn’t get much!  ↓↓

Luke could eat any chocoholic under the table!

The following pictures are not the best but it happened so fast, I did not have time to set up my shots! 😉 I had pulled the cheesecake out of the freezer to thaw so I could take my pictures and then we could sample it. While it was on the counter thawing, I stepped away to fold some laundry. Apparently, Sam took an interest in the cheesecake and decided to taste test before I was ready! There are two funny things about this. One, Sam NEVER grabs a bite of anything without asking first (he is very much a “by the book” kid). And two, Sam’s “sweet tooth” is geared toward candy, most specifically Surf Sweets Sour Gummy Worms. Sam has never been much of a baked “sweets” kid, let alone cheesecake. That being said, this is the scene I walked in on:

OMG, he is cheesecake “drunk!”

My first instinct was to freak out because I hadn’t yet taken any photographs, but that feeling quickly faded and was replaced with pure joy and laughter! 🙂

So, I decided to get creative with what was left of my cheesecake:

I would be lost without my cookie cutters! 😉 The crust is unbelievable, made with almond meal and cinnamon, yum.

Mike has already requested Crave’s cheesecake for his birthday this year. This would also be great for holiday parties, etc.

The Dark Chocolate Brownie and the Monster Cookie are perfectly packaged to throw in your child’s lunch box or to send to school for a special celebration, etc. I am going to order a case to keep in my freezer! Seriously, 50 individually wrapped organic, preservative-free and trans-fat free brownies (and they are a hefty size!) for $60.00. That is only $1.20 a brownie! How much are regular candy bars going for these days??

My “Cookie Monster” LOVED Crave’s Cookie Monster! 😉

I am not really a lemon dessert person (but love Key Lime pie, go figure), but I was impressed by the balanced lemon flavor in this tart. Very clean and the perfect palette cleanser (not like some lemon tarts that just make you pucker)! My picture doesn’t really convey the size of the tart, but they are perfectly sized for two. Mike and I shared this on Valentine’s Day (after he cooked me dinner!).

Yummy, “Autumn in a pastry shell!”

Interested in trying some of Crave’s goodies? Crave has offered a 12-pack of their individually wrapped Dark Chocolate Brownies to one of my lucky readers!

**This Giveaway is now Closed**

I really enjoyed the responses everyone gave to the Cerealvit giveaway, so I would like to extend that same dialogue to this giveaway. Crave is also interested in what gluten-free consumers would love to see come available on the market! Companies are listening, so lets take advantage and get our wishes out in the open!

To enter for a chance to win a 12-pack of Crave Bakery’s Individually Wrapped Dark Chocolate Brownies, leave a comment to this post about what products you would love to see a gluten-free version of come to market.

For bonus entries to this contest:

  • Tweet about this contest. Be sure to include a link to this post and include @adventuresgfmom in your Tweet. (2 bonus entries)
  • Become a fan of Crave Bakery on Facebook. (2 bonus entries)

If you are a blogger:

  • Mention this giveaway in a post (and include a link back). (5 bonus entries)

For all bonus entries: Please email me at to let me know which bonus entry tasks you have completed and qualify for.

Using a Random Number Generator, I will pick the winner on Friday, March, 5, 2010.

Good Luck! 😀


  1. Wow! Those treats look really tasty! I would love to have a gluten-free Auntie Anne's soft pretzel!

  2. What a great find! I can't wait to look at their website. I think it would be great for a GF bakery to ship cake layers so we could get a local cake decorator to decorate a beautiful cake for special occasions.

  3. My son would die and go to heavan to have Cinnamon Toast Crunch ceral again. All of the Crave Bakery desserts sound fab too!

  4. Yum – O!!!
    That lemon tart looks good! And that is a great idea about ordering a case of brownies and freezing. I just need to convince the husband that he needs to make room in the man cave for a freezer for me!
    As for the contest…the odds are probably against me since I won the cereal contest – which came yesterday, thank you. But I will go for it anyway! I still vote for a good baguette and cinnamon rolls.

  5. Love all the the action shots!! 🙂

    I am following Crave Bakery & am a fan on FB. I also tweeted about it.


  6. They all look so yummy! How about some shortbread cookies? They have a box of Girl Scout shortbreads out at work today! man, do I miss those!!

  7. I want to register to win. I'd like to see a GF frozen pasty. Specifically, potato cheese onion. Pasties are popular in England, savory filled pockets of dough–grab it and go. Thanks for asking!

  8. i'd love to see gluten free red velvet cupcakes! they're my favorite.

  9. Those look delicious. I'd love to see some gf chocolate covered doughnuts some time soon!

  10. Mariana Goldstein says

    I would love to see good ole yeasty cream fllled, chocolate covered donuts long ago enjoyed from Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts. That's my crave. The cheesecake looks mighty tempting, though!

  11. I'd like to see (in no particular order): cinnamon rolls like cinnabon, more flavors of cupcake than just chocolate or vanilla, big thick soft sugar cookies (like Carol's Cookies) and other varieties in similar form, naan and samosas. Also animal crackers (like the varieties of Cats crackers/cookies from Trader Joe's), granola with GF oats, and something like poptarts (brown sugar cinnamon first!).

    I can't believe I hadn't heard of Crave before – everything looks so wonderful!

  12. I would love to see an oreo cake or pie. actually this would be for my oldest son who loved anything oreo before we went gluten free. Also anything coconut for me and my youngest son would be awesome

  13. Teresa Decesare says

    Ready made pancakes/french toast would be wonderful for busy parents!!! My husband is voting for Pound Cake and my vote is for Peach Cobbler!!!

  14. Cindy Winther says

    I have yet to try any gf bakery item that is truly good so I would love to try some of the products from this company. A couple products I'd love to see would be a cherry pie and a tasty bagel. Of course it goes without saying that I would love a truly good bread.

  15. Terah Bowling says

    I would love to find a gluten free pop tart! Also, a gluten free croissant would be amazing. the lemon and apple tarts that crave makes look amazing. I have to be dairy free as well so it is great to see products that are gluten and dairy free!

  16. I've seen Crave products at Whole Foods and have wanted to splurge and try them for awhile! One thing I really miss is fig newtons….I'd love to be able to have a GF version!

  17. i'm a big fan of crave, but had no idea they made cheesecake…! and i live in SF! i'll be hunting for that cheesecake soon….

  18. I would love to see frozen garlic bread.

  19. I would like to be able to enjoy gluten free pie served at my college. Although they give some gluten free meal options, they only buy really tasteless gluten free cookies. I would be happy with all types of fruit pie but I am especially craving cherry pie after all of my friends ate it yesterday! (when they had it I wanted while sipping a fruit tea)

  20. These look fantastic. I would love to see poptarts or toaster strudels. We would not eat them often but what a fun treat.

  21. My 4 year old son would love to have gluten free goldfish!!! It's the only thing he's been really sad about giving up. Personally, I would love some bumpy cake….so yummy!

  22. I would love to see more cinnamon raisin english muffins and cinnamon rolls! 🙂

  23. We would love soft pretzels and truly gf granola bars that are chewy. (worried about non gf oats in granola bars) Thanks! These all look so yummy!

  24. I would love to see some cupcakes with frosting that are also corn-soy-milk free in addition to gluten free. That and some cookies that taste like real oreos.

  25. Kathy Ahrens says

    I would love some gluten free sugar cookies and lemon sugar cookies. Turnovers would be great too. It's hard to find gluten free items here in Green Bay, WI

  26. Debra Gowlland says

    All those treats look amazing from Crave Bakery. I haven't had cheesecake since being diagnosed almost 2 years ago.

  27. Dena Feller says

    I would love to be able to buy Chocolate MUFFINS. Not cupcakes. I have been able to buy one mix to make these, but it is hard to get my hands on. And a variety of muffins would be nice, other than blueberry! That is what I most often find. Snack bars too, individually prepacked, so that we can grab something on a run out the door!

  28. Cristin Naylor says

    Would love to see thin mint girl scout cookies… mouth watering as i type

  29. While I was doing the dishes and planning dinner, it dawned on my that it would be awesome if someone created gluten free pirogies! That must be possible…

  30. Following @Cravebakery

  31. Crave has apparently produced some awesome desserts! I'm looking forward to trying some cheesecake…or maybe the apple frangipane…or maybe the brownies…or that lemon stuff. It all looks so good!

    Another item I'd dearly love to try would be some old-fashioned cinnamon rolls. You know the kind, cinnamon, sugar and butter in the spiral, and confectioner's frosting on top. Mmmmmm, mmm, that would be good!

  32. I'd like to see more frozen GF pies or cakes that are also dairy, egg, peanut, and tree nut free. I'm always eyeing the frozen goodies and somewhere along the ingredient list I have to reluctantly put the item back on the shelf. So something like this would totally make my day!

  33. There are SO MANY new and delicious GF items out there.

    Try: Pamela's new mini frozen cheesecakes, Miglet's GF cupcakes sold at Mariposa and they also deliver and do special orders all GF but then add in (if you need) NF, DF, SF, EF, CF and Vegan ~ they can just about make anything you need ~, then of course everything at Mariposa (55th and Telegraph, Oakland) is fabulous everything you had always wished for.

  34. Your boys are so handsome!! I love the cheesecake drunk photo – ha ha that is exactly how I would be!!! I've neve tried Crave's products so I'll have to keep my eyes out for them around here and give them a try.

  35. They all look so yummy 🙂 I would love to try the brownies since I am a brownie girl.. Thanks for the chance 🙂

  36. Wow, post number one got one of my cravings….Auntie Anne's pretzels!! 🙂 amongst Sooo many other favorites. 🙂

  37. I'd love to see a big, fluffy gluten free cinnamon roll. Yum!


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