ZineTeam Ambassador Reviews J&S Party Muffins
By Brittany Fox
When I was told I would be joining the ZineTeam, I thought, “What can I bring to this lovely community?” My initial response was panic: What if I couldn’t come up with something? Then, a heartbeat later, I had an answer and I knew there was no need to fret. I have been both gluten free and vegan since 2018 (formerly vegetarian). It can be such a challenge to find intersected options and products at dedicated gluten free or vegan companies. Oftentimes it feels like a scavenger hunt — a boring one where I have to read the fine print on product labels and menus like they’re treasure maps, hopefully leading me to the goodies.
I realized I could focus my ZineTeam contributions on making gluten free vegan options easy to find for everyone. With my content you won’t have to look for the gluten free asterisk, hidden away at the bottom of a page — I’ll be showcasing them front and center.
I’d like to start off with full transparency: I am gluten intolerant. I do not have Celiacs Disease and I do not require a completely separate, non-contaminated gluten free kitchen. I will always do my due diligence and check to see if anything I review is made in a dedicated kitchen or not, but if that is something you require as part of your gluten free vegan journey, please double check with the company.
With that said, I am ecstatic to tell you all about the first local company I’m reviewing! Located in a certified home kitchen in Uxbridge, at the heart of Blackstone Valley, MA is J&S Party Muffins. But don’t let the name fool you! Their “party muffins” are gorgeous, delicious cupcakes “for party people,” as they say on their website.
J&S Party Muffins is owned and operated by Julia Levins and Steph Benoit who decided to start their home business after encouragement from friends. Julia is the head baker and Steph is a talented decorator. When I made my order I contacted Julia and she was an absolute delight. Seriously, I kinda want to be her friend now. She was super accommodating to my request for a Valentine’s Day themed order.
The amazing decorations are actually what you’ll notice first about J&S’s cupcakes. It’s partially what drew me to trying them out. I’ve gotten sick of the Plain Jane desserts normally offered as the gluten free vegan option. Sometimes I want to eat something pretty too!
Blueberry Crumb Cake and Peach Cobbler Party Muffins
Photo credit: J&S Party Muffin
But heads up! Their bakery is not dedicated exclusively to vegan or gluten free desserts. Bummer, I know, but almost all of their flavors (over 50!) can be made gluten free and vegan. Julia’s sister has been vegan for several years and her niece is vegan and gluten free, so she has personal ties to the community. Just be aware, it’s an added charge of $5 per dozen, due to the cost of specialty ingredients. But trust me, it is well worth it. They are also not an allergen-free kitchen. They do take precautions between orders but if you need a dedicated kitchen, keep this in mind.
Honestly, the cupcakes I got were some of the best I’ve had in years. They were so good that I had that “oh no” moment I think we’ve all experienced where we fear that we got the wrong order and that these can’t possibly be vegan or gluten free. (But they are!)
Photo Credit: Beth Fox
Let me get into the specifics of my order! I got a dozen gluten free vegan chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes (which I *unfortunately* had to share — but Valentine’s Day is the day of love). They all came topped with a ripe chocolate covered strawberry dusted with edible glitter and drizzled with decorative chocolate.
Photo Credit: Beth Fox
The real beauty was what was inside. The chocolate cake had a strawberry center that tasted so fresh and it balanced out well with the strawberry frosting. And that frosting! I’m not usually a frosting person — too sickly sweet for me. But this frosting — wow! It was so smooth, airy, and its flavoring was perfectly balanced. I don’t usually eat all of my frosting but I did with these. Plus, the chocolate cake was fluffy and moist — something I don’t usually get to say about gluten free desserts.
Photo Credit: Alicia Tucker
I don’t know what magic J&S stirs into their recipes but I’m blown away. Here is the true testament of how amazing these cupcakes were; my whole family loved them. My family, who always make that face when they try what I have for dessert, wanted more! Is it weird that I felt proud for the cupcakes, even though I didn’t make them? These were exactly what gluten free vegan cupcakes can and should be.
Taste – When can I get some more? I’m obsessed. Hands down the best cupcakes I’ve had in years.
‘Gramability – I think these photos speak for themselves. All of their cupcakes are stunning. Steph is seriously talented. My mouth is watering just looking at them!
Atmosphere – No in person eating available (obviously) but Julia was a delight when I spoke with her.
Forkability – An overall rating of 3 Forks!
So how can you order your own J&S Party Muffins? You can check out their website here where you can order through their contact form, or you can email them your order at firstname.lastname@example.org. All orders, gluten free, vegan, or otherwise, need to be ordered at least 3 days in advance. Orders placed within 24-hours of pickup/delivery date will be charged a $10 convenience fee. They also deliver to locations up to 100 miles from Uxbridge, MA for an additional charge of $0.25 per mile. Here’s the breakdown of their pricing:
Classic flavors — $25 per dozen | $15 per half dozen
Premium flavors — $30 per dozen | $20 per half dozen
Ultimate flavors — $35 per dozen | $25 per half dozen
*customization fee $5+/dz
*gluten-free and/or vegan fee $5/dz
Brittany Fox (she/her) is an environmental historian and archivist working for the Cambridge Historical Commission and Northeastern University. Currently in Boston’s Fenway area, she is originally from Hopedale, MA and has close ties with Newport and Rhode Island. Brittany went vegetarian in 2015 for environmental reasons then fully vegan and gluten free in 2018. She is passionate about baking, reading, film, skincare, and the pursuit of sustainability.
You can follow Brittany on Instagram @catswithspoons