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Birthday Cake Recipe ideas for severely allergic toddler, please?

So... I received this message from an old friend this evening and figured my fellow 'hounds might be able to help out with some tried and true cake ideas:

"Lisa......need help! My 3 year old was recently diagnosed with severe food allergies. No egg,milk,soy,tree nuts and peanuts. Her birthday is in Oct. Would like to bake a cake. Do you know any cake recipes that may work and would taste yummy? If you don't, no worries! Thanks.....This is all so new for my husband and I. Want her to still be able to have a very yummy birthday cake!"

Thanks in advance,

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  1. I have not made any of these recipes, but here are a bunch for your friend to peruse...


    Also, I have made some of these mixes (my son cannot tolerate dairy products) and they are pretty good.


    1. Carrot cake? Doesn't use eggs, are pecans tree nuts - they can be omitted or substituted with raisins. The traditional icing is cream cheese but a regular white frosting would be OK. Any other cake recipe I can think of has eggs :(

        1. Here is a link to cherry chip muffins (omit the nuts from the recipe) and decorate with sprinkles. There is also a cookbook at this website your friend may be interested in getting, it is called " Cooking for Food Allergies Everyday Gourmet".


          Here is another highly rated recipe for a chocolate cake: http://www.recipezaar.com/Egg-free-Mi.... I could not find a good frosting but you could just sprinkle powered sugar on the cake and decorate with rainbow sprinkles.

          1. This site is great:


            You can use another kind of milk instead of soy milk if the recipe calls for. Like rice milk.

            I made the Rich Chocolate Cake last month and topped it with the vegan butter cream frosting. That recipe can be found here on Chowhound.

            I made this for an event and everyone went crazy over it, especially the non-vegans. I have never been asked so many times for a recipe. (I used almond milk instead of soy milk.)

            1 Reply
            1. re: mvi

              I have used these vegan recipes and recommend them. note that chocolate can be tricky with those allergies. Enjoy Life chocolate chips are nut and soy free. Not the best tasting but they work. The only other brands i know of are very expensive. Cocoa powder will also need to be checked to make sure it is free of nut traces.

              For frosting, you can use palm shortening (spectrum) to make American buttercream - I suggest flavoring it with real vanilla bean, mint, freeze dried fruit or something strong. You can also use coconut cream to make a whipped cream" - best stabilized, or you can make ganache with coconut cream and soy/nut free chocolate. You can also make caramel with coconut milk to flavor a frosting or fill a cake.

            2. Crazy cake is a chocolate cake that has none of your verboten ingredients and is really tasty. It's a venerable recipe that has been around since the Depression. As long as the child can have wheat, chocolate, and sugar, this recipe is fine with no substitutions.

              1. I've had a lot of good luck with this recipe:

                It is a vegan chocolate cake with none of the aforementioned ingredients.

                For frosting, that might be a challenge. I will think about that :)

                2 Replies
                  1. re: ZenFoodist

                    The recipe adventuresinbaking linked to is the same as the venerable crazy cake I linked to above (if there is a standard vegan chocolate cake, this is it), so I can vouch for it, as well. Just double-check on the cocoa, as jsaimd says above. For dairy-free icing I have made a thick powdered sugar-and-juice glaze; OJ and raspberry puree are good with chocolate (just use a few tablespoons of juice whisked with sifted powdered sugar, and spoon it over the cooled cake - it will set up).

                    ETA, Full Tummy linked to another iteration of this cake below. It really is a standard that you can't go wrong with.

                1. Do you think the child would like red bean? I was raised on the stuff and sometimes crave it even more than chocolate. If so you could make "nian gao" which in Chinese basically means sticky cake. There are two versions: steamed and baked. The baked version is rich, oily, and eggy, but the steamed version just uses sweet glutinous (sticky) rice flour, water, and red bean paste.

                  The end result is sort of sticky and not cake-like, but I would imagine that a 3 year old might not have the fussy fixed opinion of what "cake" means that some older kids have. Also, red bean is definitely the most child-friendly of all the Asian sweet flavors. Just make a simple 3-layer white-red-white cake (go heavy on the red bean) and ignore the recipes that call for studding the top with dates or nuts or whatever. Maybe you could even ice it.

                  I've never made it myself (thanks mom) but I found lots of recipes, such as this one: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Chinese-N...
                  After reading the other responses this doesn't sound as grand as some of the other options, but I hope your friend will try this cake (and primarily the technique, of steaming rice flour) sometime. good luck!

                  1. I found this vegan chocolate cake recipe on Epicurious. It has four forks (highest rating).

                    It looks yummy and simple too!!


                    1. my son's preschool class had 2 kids with multiple allergies. I made the cake referred to here as "crazy cake", basically same recipe that adventures in baking & full tummy linked to. Used regular white vinegar. The whole class loved it & it became the go-to cake for all celebrations, since all the kids could eat it. We just dusted it with powdered sugar. Only things to watch - the vegetable oil (obviously not soybean oil) and the chocolate chips (one kid could not have soy lecathin, which is in some chips). Can make it without choc chips, anyway - still good!

                      1. Here's a vegan frosting. Just substitute rice milk for the soy milk.