Serving cake to hundreds of people at a wedding is a difficult task. Add in the fact that some guests have food allergies or are lactose intolerant and the task seems impossible. When baker Viviane Nguyen encountered a similar situation, she decided to take matters into her own hands, opening a bakery in March of 2014 called Pâtisserie Petit Lapin in Westmount, Montréal. “When my son Ethan was only ten months old, we decided to have a cake smash photo session done for his first birthday,” she says. “We ordered him a jumbo cupcake, but just from touching the icing he got a runny nose, runny eyes, and had rashes everywhere. I realized then that my son was allergic to everything you could find at a bakery.”
After some trial and error baking and plenty of studying, Nguyen created her very own chocolate cupcake recipe for her son to eat on his birthday. “I had to find another alternative, so it all started from there.”
The only bakery of its kind in Montréal, Pâtisserie Petit Lapin prides itself on using strictly organic ingredients to create a unique menu of delicious cakes, sweets, and now ice cream, that are gluten free, vegan and free of the ten priority food allergens: peanuts, walnuts, sesame, milk and lactose, egg, fish and seafood, soy, wheat and gluten, sulfites and mustard.
Shortly after opening, looking to expand her menu and reach a wider audience, Nguyen decided to accompany her charming assortment of sweets with the mother of all desserts: wedding cakes. Following the style of naked cake design, she released her first original wedding cake collection that summer. Requests started to flow in and before she knew it, couples were coming to her for their wedding cakes. “We show our clients what we have in our collection, but if they have a design in mind, we can customize and work with them. Many have very good, creative ideas.”
The 14 different flavours offered—chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, matcha and red-velvet among them—leave customers thinking about taste rather than limitations. “It’s funny. We have so many different flavours, but surprisingly ten couples this year chose pumpkin and spice. Right now it’s the most popular flavour.”
Cakes & Sweets: Pâtisserie Petit Lapin | Photography: Monique Simone Photography