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Jan 31, 2011 12:22 PM

need help with german chocolate cake frosting - nut allergy

a friend asked me to make him a german chocolate birthday cake, but a friend who will be at the party has a severe nut allergy and cannot have nuts OR coconut. i explained to him that without the nuts and coconut, the frosting will be just caramel and probably too sweet. how can i make a similar frosting and have it set up and taste good without the other stuff?

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  1. I would make the german chocolate birthday cake for the's HIS birthday, and he asked you to make it for him.

    Then make a second cake with some other sort of frosting for the friend with the nut allergy.

    Not fair to withold what the birthday boy asked for because somebody else can't eat it...

    3 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      I think this is a fair solution. I have to do this quite a bit and it's not a problem. For those who can have both, two cakes are better than one.

      Make a tangy lemon cake for the second cake.

      1. re: Isolda

        Take some of the extra cake batter and make a cupcake for the friend. Frost it however you'd like. German chocolate cake needs coconut, absolutely!

    2. I agree with making two cakes, but will just add that if it's important to the spirit of things not to risk having the allergic friend feel singled out, you could make cupcakes. A full recipe of the GCC ones, and a half-recipe of whatever else, like chocolate-frosted ones. Put those in a small circle on a round platter or cake stand, and surround them with a ring of the GCC ones. Candles distributed evenly.

      By the way, steel cut oats (like McCann's Irish oatmeal), a.k.a. pinhead, impart a nutty flavor and texture to baked goods. Use them right from the can, no soaking or cooking needed. I put them in cookies, where they only bake 15 minutes, and they are not hard to chew.

      6 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        This is a great idea. I'd have two trays to prevent cross contamination possibilities. Having two cakes, one w/ nuts, one w/out has always worried me because people will often use the same knife--not if there are two distinct flavors but if they were the same cake.

        Or, you could do it w/out and have nuts and coconut on the side.

        1. re: chowser

          Absolutely have two trays. That's also why I suggested a lemon cake or some other different flavor. People are far less likely to use the same knife or cake server if one cake is chocolate and the other is something that would likely clash with it. You can't be too careful about cross-contamination.

        2. re: greygarious

          I agree about the two trays and cross contamination issues. Talk to your friend with the nut allergy too. She/he may not care, and is probably used to abstaining on various foods when eating out. My niece often brings her own cupcakes to birthday parties (granted she's 7 so it's still important to have cake), but you never know how worried the person might be about things - so going though all the effort to do two different desserts might not be worth it. And chocolate is risky, because most chocolate is made in a factory with nuts, so that even without nuts on it, if someone is hypervigilent, they may not eat chocolate anyway.

          If I was going to do 2 different dessert, I'd do the German Chocolate Cake and then have some fruit, maybe just a caramel dipping sauce.

          1. re: greygarious

            wow, never thought of that. what kind of cookies?

            1. re: danna

              Any kind that you'd grind nuts for.

              1. re: greygarious

                thanks. I wonder how this Payard-ish recipe would turn out? I'm afraid there may not be enough moist ingredients, just the egg white, and alot of that volume is air, but I have been searching for some time for a way to make this recipe a little less fat-laden. (yes, good fat, but still) Rice Krispies did NOT work.ick.

                Flourless Butterless Dark-Chocolate Cookies
                3/4 cup Valrhona cocoa powder 2-1/2 cups confectioners sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon vanilla 4 large egg whites 2 cups pecans, medium chopped

                Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Whisk together cocoa powder, confectioners sugar, and salt in a bowl. Combine vanilla and egg whites in a 2-cup glass measuring cup, then slowly add to cocoa mixture, beating at low speed with an electric mixer. Beat batter at medium speed until glossy, about 2 minutes. Stir in nuts. Drop mounds of batter about 3 inches apart onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment. (Batter will spread.) Put baking sheet on middle rack of oven and reduce temperature to 325 Degrees F., then bake until small thin cracks appear in tops of cookies, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool cookies completely on baking sheet on a rack and peel from paper. Increase oven temperature to 350 Degrees F. and bake another batch in same manner.

          2. Are we talking adults here? Then I'm sure the one with the severe nut allergy has to avoid many, many foods. In fact, some that I know will not even eat basked goods and such made in other peoples' homes. Why not just ask that person what they would like instead. I would think only children would "feel left out."