A sampling of Unrefined Bakery's cupcake flavors (photo by Lindsey Beran)

Unrefined, a Gluten-Free Bakery, Opens Two More Locations

Anne Hoyt and Taylor Nicholson offer sweet, guilty-free treats.

Four years ago, mother-and-daughter duo Anne Hoyt and Taylor Nicholson opened Unrefined Bakery on Buckner Boulevard with a huge leap of faith. They didn’t have any formal culinary training and used only word-of-mouth and grassroots marketing. Such efforts have proved fruitful, as the flagship bakery is now one of three locations, with two new stores recently opening in the old Society Bakery spot on Greenville Avenue and in Frisco.

Unrefined is “gluten-free and more.” Its offerings are 100-percent gluten; soy, chemical, and preservative-free; 99-percent corn and dairy-free; and 80-percent egg-free. If you have an unaccounted for allergy, just ask. The bakery can accommodate many different allergy types. Their cupcakes, muffins and cookies are made with unrefined sugar, organic and non-GMO flours, fats, dried fruits and nuts, and organic free-range eggs.

Nicholson explains, “Nine years ago, my mother, sister, and I gave up pretty much everything. We are celiac, and processed food offerings are nutritionally void.” But like any normal human being, sweets-deprivation forced her back into the kitchen. Nicholson began playing with recipes and had some success. “Our goal is for people to not think our food is good for gluten-free, but that it is good and just happens to be gluten-free.”

Sugar cookies with s prinkles
Sugar cookies with s prinkles

Unrefined’s offerings are plentiful. “The Mix” sold at Eatzi’s (and offered in many Dallas restaurants) is Unrefined’s version of Chex Mix, but better. But the real draw, to be honest, is the carbohydrates that Unrefined offers: cookies, brownies, muffins, breads, cookie dough, pies, pizza crust, snacks, and food bars. They have a paleo line of sweets, which uses honey in place of sugar.

Admittedly skeptical of any sweet that claims to be healthy (or at least not bad for you), I tried a whole slew of offerings: vanilla cake with diary-free icing, derby pie, sugar cookies (plain and sandwiched with icing and sprinkles in the middle), carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting, brown velvet cupcake (the bakery’s version of red velvet), a strawberry cupcake, a raspberry-chocolate cupcake (the Obsession) and a peanut butter/banana/chocolate cupcake (the Loaded Monkey), a fresh-out-of-the-oven bite of bread, and a few muffins.

Don’t judge. I didn’t eat breakfast before I went.

It's not too late to order gluten-free goodies for your Valentine.
It’s not too late to order gluten-free goodies for your Valentine.

For some items, I was sold by Nicholson’s mantra. They were good and just happened to be gluten-free (and more). I’d only had a small bite of derby pie—a bourbon chocolate chip pecan pie—before incredulously asking, more than once, whether it was actually gluten-free. I preferred the sugar cookie to the other sweets. It wasn’t quite as soft as my grandmother’s cookies, but it tasted just as good, and I am a sucker for anything with sprinkles. They make life better.

The cupcakes, in my mind, have the asterisk. You know, the “good for gluten-free” asterisk. That said, the Loaded Monkey was a favorite in my family, with the strawberry coming in for a close second.

What Nicholson and Hoyt have done with Unrefined is impressive. They are offering tasty food options and treats that people with food allergies can enjoy. As I left on Saturday, the day of the Greenville location’s official grand opening, many regulars were coming and going. Some had allergies, but many did not. Those folks just wanted to feel good while enjoying some carbs. That’s what I take away from Unrefined. Food allergies or not, Paleo or not, sweet-tooth or not, it is a bakery offering the Dallas population a way to eat foods that are “not nutritionally void” without depriving us of the good stuff in life.

Lindsey Beran is a D Magazine intern. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new food, exploring Dallas, and dramatically raising the average age at One Direction concerts.


  • Emily Babb

    I cannot say enough good things about Unrefined Bakery. Due to my son’s food allergies, we must avoid all sorts of things (wheat, milk, eggs, nuts). Unrefined Bakery makes amazing treats that the whole family loves. And Anne and Taylor pay particular attention to the needs of food allergy patrons, ensuring accurate information about allergens is available for all products, labeling them clearly, and having a knowledgeable staff. Plus, their decorated cakes are just as beautiful as any other bakery.

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  • DallasVegan

    They have great vegan desserts as well, looking forward to the new locations!

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  • conservexx

    Way too skimpy on the cupcake frosting for me & not cheap by any means

  • Christie

    Can’t wait to visit. Sorry if I missed it, but how’s the dye free selection. My son can’t have it because it makes him one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. Seriously goes from zero to Linda Blair, especially with Red 40