Vegan review: Barefoot Oxford

Box with label on reading 'Barefood doughnuts. All natural, handmade, artisan.' with vegan sticker on box.

It was a good few weeks after I got wind of the launch of Barefoot Bakery’s vegan doughnuts before I was finally able to get my hands on some. I kept seeing glimpses of their delicious-sounding flavours on Instagram from the various cafes in town that they stock, and of course at their own ‘The Cake Hole’ at The Up in Arms in Marston, but they were all out of reach for a girl still 95% isolating at home in East Oxford. The launch of Barefoot’s online shop earlier on in lockdown saw many of us rejoice, especially when they added vegan brownies, and eventually their vegan doughnuts – but alas, they always sold out before I could get on and place an order.

Finally on one fateful day I happened to be browsing Instagram just minutes after Barefoot posted that doughnuts had gone live on their site, and was able to get my hands on some. You have to pre-order them a few days in advance, so the anticipation was real. Honestly when they finally arrived, I pretty much leapt out of my office chair to answer the door. They are delivered in a cute thin cardboard carry-case style box, and I could already smell that dreamy sugary doughnut smell as soon as I had it in my hands.

For four doughnuts, they certainly didn’t come cheap at £15, but Barefoot could probably be forgiven with their gourmet-sounding fillings. The doughnuts were all huge, and each doughnut was flavoured differently:

sugared doughnut with blob of dark red jam and rosemary sprig poking out of the top
  • Homemade Blackberry & Rosemary Jam

The blackberry and rosemary jam filled doughnut felt like a very ‘grown up’ treat. Yes, it’s a doughnut, but the flavours of the jam weren’t just the pure sweetness that you’d expect from this sugary treat. The aromatic rosemary and a hint of tartness from the addition of lemon juice really came through to contrast with the sweetness. Although it was mid-summer when I enjoyed these doughnuts, I felt like they would be the perfect autumnal dessert, being the ultimate comfort food.

  • Cinnamon Dusted

I’m all about the filled doughnuts so I wasn’t quite as excited about this one, but when I took a bite I was proven wrong! I do love cinnamon, so perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, but it was just as delicious despite not being filled. The dough was still lovely and moist and they got the level of cinnamon flavour spot on.

sugared doughnut with blob of light red jam and chunk of biscuit poking out on top
  • Rhubarb & Vanilla Custard

This was possibly my favourite flavour, as I just love rhubarb. The tartness of the fruit combined with the sweet sugary outer was heavenly. I also love the fact that Barefoot have made vegan custard using oat milk – more brands (big and small) need to take note! My only quibble with this doughnut was that I could have done with a bit more filling because it was just so delicious, and there wasn’t quite as much of it as in the other filled doughnuts we had.

  • Apple Tart Tatin

I tucked into this one the next day (even I couldn’t quite manage four doughnuts in one sitting). It seemed to have faired impressively well overnight, somehow not going even a little stale. It contained the most generous filling of the lot which may have helped. Little chunks of sweet (though not too sweet) cinnamon flavoured apple made for a glorious eating experience. I polished it off far too quickly and was left considering when to place my next order already.

half of a cinnamon sugared doughnut with inside dough on show

Barefoot Bakery deliver their doughnuts to your door in Oxford only (OX1, 2, 3 and 4) on Thursday afternoons, between 1 and 4pm. At the time of writing unfortunately due to short staffing they were scaling back on their vegan doughnut production but I really hope they are able to pick this up again! Perhaps a few messages from yourselves asking when there’ll be more back on the menu wouldn’t go amiss ;). Have you managed to get your hands on these vegan doughnuts already? Let me know what you thought if so!

Author: Heather Grace

Eating my way through all the vegan food, one restaurant at a time.

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