Every year it is a chore to find a birthday cake for my son that is decorated just as beautifully and intricately as all the cakes on display in grocery store and specialty food bakeries…and that is peanut and nut free.
I mean, how can a plain homemade cake compete with Star Wars, Legos, or Thomas the Train? For food safety it would get a 10, for creativity it would get a two. And when you’re seven years old, creativity is everything!
We’ve actually been blessed to know a woman at our church who created lavish, imaginative, brightly colored, food allergy friendly cakes that would rival any grocery store or specialty bakery cake. It’s been a great four years, but she turned in her apron strings this year…leaving me a bit desperate.
With the help of a cake decorating class, I’m learning to create my own food allergy friendly masterpieces. Granted, I’m no Julia Child, but….my son thinks I am. He thinks I’m pretty darn good…and that is really the only opinion that counts.
This year I made three separate cakes for my son’s birthday. And before you judge, I am not one of those moms who goes over the top for her child’s birthday every year. But this was a special birthday as for the very first time we were able to bring in homemade allergy-friendly cupcakes. (In the past the school district mandated treats be store-bought only…which pretty much left us to rice krispy treats and graham crackers…not all that glamorous in the eyes of a child who sees other kiddos bringing superhero and princess cupcakes.) The two cakes I made were for his friend birthday party and for an extended family birthday celebration.
Here are the cupcakes I made for his class at school. He asked for a Diesel #10 cupcakes (think Thomas and Friends Trains). Talk about a challenge…but they came out looking like Diesel #10 after all!
Here is the Diesel #10 birthday cake I made for his friend party. It turned out absolutely adorable…although, I don’t think all the kids were (forgive my pun here) fond of the fondant.
I won’t even include a picture of the last cake I made as it was a plain old spice cake made with a grocery store mix and no real decoration because I was just plumb tuckered out from all the above creativity!
So…if you’re new to the food allergy world and you have a child who needs a spectacular birthday cake, don’t fear. You CAN have your cake and eat it too!
Here are the recipes I used. Happy baking!
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 and 1/2 Tblsp white vinegar + enough milk to make 1.5 cups of liquid
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding
- 2 and 3/4 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Dash of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and Pam two 8-inch round cake pans. Cream butter and sugar and then add eggs and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix baking powder, pudding, and salt. Then add flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with milk-vinegar solution. Pour batter into the pans and cook for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- 3/4 cup of Crisco (regular, not butter flavored)
- 1/2 cup of powdered vanilla coffee creamer + 1/2 cup of water (mix & microwave for 8 seconds)
- 1 Tbsp clear vanilla extract
- Dash of salt
- 3 Tblsp of powdered Dream Whip (can find on baking aisle)
- 1.75 lbs. powdered sugar (or more…keep adding until finding the right consistency)
Cream Crisco, extract and salt. Then add the creamer/water mixture and Dream Whip. Lastly, mix in powdered sugar. (You can use additional creamer/water mixture to smooth icing consistency.) Keep icing covered when not in use.
- 1/2 cup Crisco
- 15 oz. mini marshmallows
- 2 Tblsp water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp light corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
- 1 and 3/4 lbs. powdered sugar (keep adding until the right consistency)
Grease a bowl and wooden spoon with Crisco. Pour marshmallows and water into bowl and microwave for 2 minutes, stopping at 40 second intervals to stir. Take bowl out of microwave and add corn syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and stir. Now add powdered sugar a little at a time. After adding 5 cups of powdered sugar, grease hands with Crisco and need mixture in the bowl. Add remaining powdered sugar and can add more if needing to make the fondant a little stiffer. Shape fondant into a mound and put a coating of Crisco on outside. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in air-tight container overnight before use. *Can freeze fondant for up to a month if needed.
*Please note that ingredient lists can change, so it is important to always make sure the products you are using are food allergy safe. All products I used for the above recipes I bought at a regular grocery store.