Gluten Free Los Angeles, California—Part 1, Review of Joy and Sweets

Happy Labor Day to all my gluten free friends! I am currently at Washington Dulles airport waiting to board my flight back to Charlottesville. I have 3 hour layover *sigh* so figured I would update the blog! The trip was so short but was so much fun! I had a ton of gluten free foods (and desserts) and can’t wait to share them with all of you! But first…I wanted to share a dedicated gluten free bakery that is not quite as well known. We stumbled upon this bakery after having a very lazy Sunday afternoon and a late lunch with college friends in the area. I was craving something sweet around 5:30pm but we planned to go watch the sunset at Marina del Rey (highly recommend!) so we didn’t have time for dinner. I did a quick google search for gluten free bakeries that were still open at 5:30pm on a Sunday near the marina. Joy and Sweets was one of the top hits. Interestingly, it only had one review so I called to double check the authenticity of their gluten free (made for people with allergies or the trend?). Low and behold…I was informed that the entire bakery is gluten free!! That was such a nice surprise! Immediately we drove over to the bakery to check it out.

Just a heads up…there are no “gluten free” signs or advertisements around the store because according to the bakers, they were losing business just because people were turned off by “gluten free” but since the owners do not eat gluten, they want to keep all the baked goods gluten free. So rest assured—the wonderful cupcakes and macarons are gluten free!!! (always double check though when you call!). The bakers wanted to create a safe environment for us gluten free individuals, but avoid labeling gluten free on the exterior of the shop to avoid scaring off business. It’s quite sad, in my opinion, that people can be so against gluten free! I saw several individuals walk in and order cupcakes not realizing that they were gluten free and then truly enjoying them. Ryan will attest that the cupcakes do not “taste gluten free” and he went back for seconds even as a gluten-eater! This is a wonderful business so if you do not eat gluten (for any reason!) or know someone who does not eat gluten free, please check them out!

Joy and Sweets: located at 10818 Jefferson Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90230. This little bakery is entirely gluten free. They have over ten flavors of cupcakes and several macaron flavors (see below for pictures). The cake is super soft and not at all dry. You can tell that the owners/bakers are gluten free themselves because they have perfected their recipe. In addition to their awesomeness, the cupcakes are quite large with ample frosting and only $3?!? In LA?! Gluten Free?!? $3?!? What is this madness??? I couldn’t help but buy 5 cupcakes….saved 2 for my long transcontinental flight. The bakery has plenty of seating and is very clean. There is also a huge parking lot so those who cannot parallel park—have no fear!

Cupcake flavors: Vanilla Bean*, Double chocolate*, chocolate with vanilla buttercream, cookies and cream*, coffee toffee, birthday cake*, strawberry lemonade, chocolate with toasted coconut, peanut butter cup (wasn’t there when I arrived or I would have tried this one!), raspberry, vanilla chocolate chip*, carrot cake, red velvet

Some of the gluten free cupcake options
Some of the gluten free cupcake options
More gluten free cupcake options
Gluten free cupcake options

French macaron flavors: Madagascar vanilla bean, chocolate, sea salt caramel*, pistachio, white chocolate raspberry*, lemon, strawberry, toasted coconut, thin mint, passion fruit, white mocha, snickerdoodle


(*=tried it!)

Birthday cake and cookies and cream were my favorite flavors! The crushed up gluten free oreo was fantastic—a rare cupcake treat for us Celiacs! The baker/owner was extremely friendly and gave us samples of macarons (which prompted Ryan to order 2 of those plus a cupcake—says a lot for a non-sweet-aholic!). I explained that I had to fly out of LAX the following morning and she proceeded to box my extra cupcakes and saranwrap them to prevent then from drying out. She was so sweet!

Some of the gluten free cupcake options
Some more of the gluten free cupcake options
Gluten free cake pops!
Gluten free cake pops!

Side note: the cupcake bakery does carry ice cream but since that is not made in house, there are some gluten-containing flavors. But why would you want ice cream when you can have these amazing cupcakes that are extremely safe for gluten free people?!?!

Summary: GO TO JOY AND SWEETS! By far some of the best cupcakes I have ever had, and you know me, I have been to quite a few gluten free bakeries. I would rank this easily in the top 3!

Ryan enjoying our gluten free cupcakes and macarons!
Ryan enjoying our gluten free cupcakes and macarons!

Stay tuned for gluten free reviews of LA restaurants, amusement parks, and bakeries…

**Please note that this review solely reflects my own honest opinion. I was neither paid nor compensated for my visit here.**

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