Orange Coast Magazine

Taste of O.C. | Priscilla Mayfield on food


Sugar Beak Bakery is a Treat for the Vegan Sweet Tooth

But even omnivores will appreciate Ashley Fiocco's plant-based baked goods

Following a plant-based diet, whether for health or ethics, doesn’t automatically exclude dessert. Everybody likes cookies, and in fact there are baked goods proudly wearing VEGAN stickers everywhere you look. But the truth is, a lot of self-identified vegan products just aren’t very good.

Maybe if a trained chef who’d been vegetarian since childhood got a French lit degree, then spent several years working for “Iron Chef” Cat Cora… oh wait. That’s Sugar Beak Bakery, where owner Ashley Fiocco’s sweet tooth—“sugar beak” in French—inspires her completely plant-based line of baked goods. With only a love of cheese standing between her and veganism, the flavor and construction of Fiocco’s products transcend a vegan niche. (She also makes some gluten-free treats.) Her bestseller is the salted caramel sweet potato chocolate tartlet ($4.50), in which she somehow transmogrifies the humble sweet potato into what looks and tastes like luscious caramel. Fiocco’s cookies, $4 each, are pretty incredible, too. The peanut-butter-enriched sweet ‘n’ salty after-school cookie is something special, as is the trail-mix cookie, which is full of all sorts of things, including oats, hemp, chia, flax, raw nuts, and dried fruit—the perfect breakfast.

Someday I think we’ll see a Sugar Beak Bakery shop. For now, Fiocco crafts the goods in her Irvine kitchen under the auspices of the California Homemade Food Act, which allows home food crafters to sell their wares. You can order Sugar Beak items online for pick-up or delivery, or find them at the Thursday farmers market in downtown Santa Ana, Jan’s Health Bar, Thrive Juice Lab, the twice-yearly Patchwork show, and through Zucchini Xpress CSA delivery.





Leave a comment:

· Subscribe to comments
Be the first to comment here.

OC Guides


OC Guides
  • Best of 2014: Bird-Watching

    When the throngs of beachgoers are too much, spend a day with the birds. Here, with the wind whipping off the ocean and herons, egrets, ducks, and more soaring above, you'll get a chance to be the amateur ornithologist you never knew you wanted to be. Free
    3842 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach, 714-846-1114,

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: Green Cleaners

    Sold from her website and a refitted retro travel trailer, these earth-safe cleaning products are Marilyn Nowak of Coto de Caza's propriety formulas. Products for laundry, surfaces such as glass and wood - even an ecological drain cleaner - all have dispenser bottles and bulk refills $8 to $48
    Resuming in September at Great Park Farmer's Market, Sand Canyon Avenue and Marine Way, Irvine, 949-292-1648,

    Read More
  • Food Lovers Guide - Vanilla

    Plain vanilla extract is fine for large-batch baking, but vanilla snobs like to play with other varieties, including the skinny, leathery beans. We won’t delve into the classic Mexican-versus-Tahitian debate, except to say we like Tahitian for creamy concoctions and the bolder Mexican in concert with dark chocolate. Find plump, vacuum-sealed beans of both varieties at Surfas Culinary District. Read More
  • Food Lovers Guide - Kouign Amann

    Butter worship is a birthright in Brittany—the French region that invented this transcendent caramelized pastry with the funny name (say Queen a-MAHN). Read More
  • Food Lovers Guide - Taps' Remy Beer

    Brewmaster Victor Novak and owner Joe Manzella fill a Heaven Hill bourbon barrel with Taps’ Imperial Russian Stout. After five months, the transformation of flavors is phenomenal, eliciting notes of coconut and marshmallow that flatter the inherent dark chocolate flavors of the stout. Read More
wine blog

stuff we love

Charitable Events Calendar