Head Backstage to be in the know. 

We want to take you behind the scenes, to give you insider information you won't find anywhere else. This is where we pull Bloomington's hip happenings together with recommendations from our team, first-hand accounts from project producers, and guest blogs by local gurus.  The Backstage Blog helps you stay in front of it all.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Desserts for Special Diets

Categories: Wine & Culinary

Sure, we'd all like to be able to eat all the sugar and wheat and whatnot that the world has to offer, but some folks have dietary restrictions and we think that's cool. This week I took on the selfless task of seeking out local desserts that cater to people whose diets make eating out a little harder. If you know of other places or special desserts, please leave your suggestions in the comments!

Rainbow Bakery


This is Bloomington's first and only all-vegan bakery, where you can get the most amazing assortment of specialty vegan donuts, with flavors like beet, Simpson (pink with sprinkles!), hibiscus, and more. They also have all the other things you want at a bakery, like chocolate cupcakes, Fauxstess cupcakes, coffee, and more. Rainbow Bakery has expanded their offerings to include hand pies and breakfast sandwiches, meaning you can grab lunch, breakfast, or pastries in one spot! Plus they always have an assortment of gluten-free baked goods!

Hartzell's Ice Cream


Hartzell's is a delicious, locally owned ice cream shop with every flavor and treat imaginable, and it's right downtown near the Sample Gates. They have a refreshing kind of soft-serve called Carbolite that's sweetened with Splenda and is sugar free. I got the chocolate-vanilla twist cone and enjoyed it thoroughly in the humid Indiana heat, but you can also get just chocolate or vanilla. On top of that, you can get 24 different flavor shots made with Carbolite that can be used to flavor all sorts of treats, so you really don't have to sacrifice flavor when you want a summery dessert. Hartzell's also has a variety of vegan ice creams and slush treats, so dairy-free friends can also enjoy a sweet treat.

BLU Boy Chocolate Cafe


Obviously it's going to be good if the cafe's name has the word "chocolate" in it. They have several housemade desserts with no added sugar. For a luxurious treat, try their dark chocolate truffle, which is soft and rich with a light coating of cocoa powder. It tastes like dark chocolate but somehow doesn't have that bitter after-taste that puts some people off. For even more of a flavor explosion, the raspberry chocolate truffle will definitely make your day.

BLU Boy also offers a variety of no sugar added treats, specialty coffees, and gluten-free offerings, so stop by the next time you're downtown. I guarantee you'll walk away happy.

Gillian Fulford

Gillian Fulford

Gillian Fulford is a southern Indiana native and Visit Bloomington’s marketing and media intern. Gillian loves Bloomington for its diverse community, outdoor opportunities, and the wealth of possibilities in everyone’s not-so-small small town. On any given day, you can find her hiking around Lake Griffy, dog spotting, or searching for her new favorite coffee shop.