The Hippo


May 27, 2020








Vegan cinnamon bun made from scratch from X Marks the Spot. Courtesy photo.


X Marks the Spot Vegan Bakery
Available at Café la Reine (915 Elm St., Manchester) and online at Call 877-205-8822 or email to place an order.


Chocolate chip banana muffins

Recipe from Pamela Campbell, owner of X Marks the Spot Vegan Bakery. “I chose this recipe because it’s really yummy, on the healthier side (with the banana), and you can get all the ingredients in just about every grocery store,” she said. Serves 10.

2 cups flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 cup turbinado sugar, plus a few tablespoons for sprinkling on top of muffins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup water
4 very ripe bananas (medium size)
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (or 1 cup blueberries for blueberry banana muffins)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Using a hand mixer in a second bowl, mix sugar, bananas, water, vanilla and oil. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients; mixture should be lumpy — do not overmix. Add chocolate chips (or substitute blueberries). Grease muffin pans well (including corners and tops of the tin). Place batter in greased muffin tin and fill to the top of tin. Sprinkle sugar on top of each muffin, then bake for six minutes. Leaving the muffins in the oven, turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees and bake for 12 to 20 minutes longer, checking regularly. Muffins should be slightly browned, and a toothpick inserted in center should be mostly dry. Allow to cool five to 10 minutes, then remove muffins from tin and place on a cooling rack.

Treats to hit the spot
X Marks the Spot offers vegan baked sweets


 Traditionally, it takes a lot of eggs and butter to run a bakery, but X Marks the Spot owner Pamela Campbell doesn’t use those ingredients in any of her recipes. The vegan bakery offers muffins, cinnamon buns, whoopie pies, cookies and cupcakes all made without animal products, like eggs or dairy.

Campbell uses other ingredients instead, like flax seeds blended with water to add volume and moisture. The banana in her banana muffins has the same effects in baking as an egg would provide.
“People just think vegan food doesn’t taste good,” Campbell said about the negative views on vegan cooking. “Or they think, ‘I’m not a vegan, I’m not going to eat that.’ It’s almost like you have to be a vegan to eat vegan food.”
Campbell mentioned how even in shows like Breaking Bad, characters are mocked for a vegan lifestyle. In reality, she has a number of customers who aren’t even vegan. Others adopt a vegan diet for health reasons, dietary restrictions or if they’re avoiding eggs and dairy.
“When I first became vegan, there really wasn’t much out there,” Campbell said. “There were cookbooks and some online resources.”
Campbell has been vegan for 15 years for ethical reasons. She said that although it’s much easier today to find resources and recipes, she noticed a lack of businesses and bakeries in the area that cater to vegan cooking. What she found in her own experience was plenty of products for baking at home but few prepared vegan foods available.
“I love baking, and there was that hole in the market there,” she said.
Campbell first thought of the idea to open a vegan bakery in November 2012. By May 2013, Campbell was licensed at Creative Chef Kitchens in Derry. Since then, her baked goods have been available at Café la Reine in Manchester, at the Atkinson summer farmers market and through online orders.
“The whoopie pies at Café la Reine is what they’ve been ordering there,” she said. “At the farmers market, I think people’s favorite was the ‘Fluffa-nutta’ cupcake.”
Campbell said  she would like to offer more wholesale accounts at local cafés and other businesses, and it’s one of her next steps approaching X Marks the Spot’s first anniversary.
Her cupcakes include basic flavors, like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or peanut butter, as well as specialty cupcakes like ‘Fluffa-nutta,’ cookie dough and salted caramel. Despite the popularity of cupcakes, Campbell prefers whoopie pies.
“I love doing different flavor combinations for [whoopie pies],” she said — flavor combinations like pistachio with a rose water filling, or a spiced cake with chocolate-cinnamon filling. 
All of the baked goods at X Marks the Spot are made from scratch. Everything is free of animal products, cholesterol, hydrogenated oils and preservatives, and she only uses non-bleached sugar. 
The cinnamon buns come in two varieties: classic with cinnamon and walnuts, and chocolate with cinnamon and chocolate chips.
Campbell also makes cookies, muffins and cup brownies — brownies that take the shape of a cupcake.
“My favorite part is the edge, so this gives you an edge all the way around the whole brownie,” Campbell said. 
As seen in the February 20, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

®2020 Hippo Press. site by wedu