This Pastry Chef Is Making Healthy Sweets Fit for Any Eating Style

Author of the cookbook Perfectly Golden and owner of Goldenrod Pastries, Angela Garbacz is on a mission to make treats anyone can enjoy.

Angela Garbacz
Photo: Daniel Muller/ roman tohtohunov/Getty

"I was raised in a home where cakes and cookies were loved, not feared," says Angela Garbacz, a pastry chef and the author of the cookbook Perfectly Golden (Buy It, $17, With that attitude, but a dairy intolerance to contend with, Garbacz put her food science degree to use by learning how to bake confections she could indulge in.

When she started to blog about the process, she found an audience clamoring for her recipes. "I realized there was a huge hole in the market," she says.

In 2015, Garbacz opened her all-women-run bakery, Goldenrod Pastries, in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she sells delectable vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free doughnuts, cakes, pies, and cookies.

"Our baked goods aren't just for people with dietary restrictions," says Garbacz. "Everyone can enjoy them." Here, she shares how a little treat can be healthy.

You’ve said baking is a way to spread joy. Explain.

"My dad was always taking treats to people, dropping them off at their homes. I grew up seeing what an impact that had, so I started doing it too. I would make baked goods and leave them on friends' porches. When I started my business, that was part of my message: If you surprise people with food, it will make a huge difference in their day."


What’s your advice for making healthy sweets at home?

"Don't be afraid of a little fat and sugar. You're treating yourself, and it's important to indulge occasionally."

Which three ingredients do you always keep on hand?

"Full-fat canned coconut milk, which is a great substitute for heavy cream. Almond or oat milk to use in cake batters. And a good rice flour blend — I like Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (Buy It, $17,

How do you find balance in your diet?

"I eat a lot of vegetables. If I don't know what I'm going to make for dinner, I start chopping onions, garlic, and ginger, and it all comes together. Eating vegetables is the way I balance home and work. Drinking peppermint tea also helps me balance all the sugar that comes with the job. Another pastry chef taught me that."

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