Philly’s First Keto Bakery: A Review of Dessert Crazy.
Reviewed by Mell B, Owner of Fluffy Ain’t For Me, LLC
Not all heroes wear capes. Apparently, some wear aprons.
When I caught wind that an actual keto bakery existed outside of my dreams, I HAD to visit. If you are following the ketogenic diet, then you know what a complicated and daunting task keto baking can be. I can’t begin to tell you how many bags of $13 almond flour has been wasted in my kitchen!
As I walked towards the door of this slice of heaven, my excitement and eyes grew as big as my appetite. Finally, my prayers were answered!
Dessert Crazy, located at 1925 Fairmount Ave in Philadelphia, PA, had me at hello. The bakery was bright, spacious and and smelled delicately sweet. As I glanced over the glass encased rows of desserts, savory fat bombs, and freshly baked rolls, I couldn’t help but wonder: Will these taste as good as they look? Are they truly keto friendly?
I received answers to both of my questions. Candice Conway, the owner of Dessert Crazy, appeared from behind the counter wearing both a warm smile and bubblegum pink chef jacket. As busy as she was with her bustling business and never ending stream of customers, she was kind enough to speak with me about how this dream came into fruition.
During a routine physical appointment with her physician a few years ago, Conway was diagnosed with prediabetes, which is a condition in which blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be Type 2 Diabetes. Without proper intervention, it can quickly become that. When she asked her doctor if there was anything she could do to reverse this diagnosis, she was reluctantly told to try keto, which is a diet that consists of high fat, moderate protein, and extremely low carbs.
As Conway began to research the keto diet, she was overwhelmed with the restrictions. “I kept looking at all of the things I would NEVER be able to eat again!” She said. “And then I thought: I have to do this. I want to be the grandma that’s able to keep up with her grandkids at Disney World. So I started to REALLY look into it. And I thought, you know, I love to bake. Maybe, instead of saying that “I can’t have” baked goods, I will teach myself how to make baked goods that are keto!”
After a few failed attempts in the kitchen, she finally created a keto brownie that was to her liking. She continued to delve into the science behind keto baking (her degrees in both biology and chemistry were greatly beneficial to this process) and soon mastered something that many struggle with: making delicious baked goods that are sugar and grain free. Conway also took it a step further, by using extremely rare sweeteners that are almost impossible to find, such as tagatose.
Prior to keto, Conway always had dreams of owning her own bakery. One would think that switching to a sugar free lifestyle would extinguish those flames, but that’s quite the contrary. Her dreams were reignited as her confidence grew in her keto baking. As she explained, “One of the reasons the prediabetic diagnosis upset me so much, is because I had been saving to purchase a bakery. I would not accept that I couldn’t have my bakery, I decided to make it a bakery that I could eat everything in, and people like me could eat everything in as well.”
And this is how Dessert Crazy came to be.
Dessert Crazy is the first of its kind in Philadelphia, and if we are judging by the constant flow of customers, it was sorely needed. During our talk, we were politely interrupted by at least 4 customers. Not to complain, but to just simply thank her for normalizing keto and making this journey a little sweeter.
One customer in particular is permanently embedded in Conway’s memory. During her very first day in business, a mother brought her young son (with Type 1 diabetes) in to try a cupcake and 2 cookies. As her son ate his treats, the mother nervously checked his blood sugar, anticipating a spike and expecting to have to give him a dose of insulin.
It never spiked.
The mother was overcome with tears of joy. Her son was able to safely indulge in a dessert. He was able to enjoy being a kid without consequence, without the heaviness of his illness weighing him down. With her own eyes gleaming with pride, Conway says: “It’s moments like those that make this all worth it.” I couldn’t agree more.
At this point, I couldn’t resist a dessert for another second. They were calling me. I selected a variety to try: a lemon bar, a red velvet cupcake, a Jewish Ooey Goey cake, and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate cheesecake.
Although all of the desserts sampled were equally amazing, the star of the show for me was the lemon bar. Prior to keto, my mother used to bake lemon bars for me growing up. In my opinion, nobody could ever come close to my mothers baking (duh, that’s my mom). I remember them being so sweet and tangy, with a delicate buttery and flaky crust. As I took my first bite into Conway’s keto version, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia. They tasted nearly identical to the ones my mother used to make! I couldn’t believe it. At that moment, I was sold.
If you are in the Philly area, either as a resident or a tourist, I strongly suggest paying Dessert Crazy a visit. This place is a gem! Enjoy a sweet treat packed with love, guilt free! Dessert Crazy will also be teaming with Caviar Delivery Services in the near future, and full course keto meals will be available for delivery. Stay tuned!