Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 20, 2012 05:57 PM

1st birthday cake ideas

Hi hounds,

I'd like to bake a cake for my little guy's first birthday. I am a fairly competent home baker but am a bit stumped...I need a dairy-free cake. My little guy has a milk intolerance. While I don't expect him to eat much of it, I'd still like to make something that won't upset his tummy and would be yummy for our guests (14 adults and kids). I'd like something simple and fruit-based...but no blueberries or chocolate (guests have allergies).

I was thinking of a chiffon cake but don't know how to decorate it without a dairy-based icing. I'm not opposed to an icing-free cake but would love some direction in decorating it.

Any help would be much appreciated!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We made a simple carrot cake. But then again we made him his own cake and separate one for the guests. We were worried about allergies so why risk it?

    1. How about whipped coconut cream?

      1 Reply
      1. re: maxie

        If you make a chiffon cake you can frost it with a coconut-milk based frosting (recipes abound on the interwebs...) or shake powdered sugar on it for prettifying. If you have allergy issues, be careful with food colouring, artificial food colour can provoke allergic reactions in people prone to them. (not to mention that if you give your one-year-old an 'under the sea' cake frosted in aquamarine, the diapers will be terrifying for several days. Ask me how I know that.)
        You can also scatter marshmallows on cakes or cupcakes, and put them under the broiler for a second to melt 'em a bit, we do this with a few chocolate or white chocolate chips mixed with the marshmallows. Not ALL marshmallows are dairy-free, but most are, check the ingredients. Congratulations on your big boy turning one! My kids can eat anything, but between a husband who is violently allergic to food coloring, friends with allergies, and vegan/vegetarian friends, we find ourselves adapting to circumstances pretty often. Your guests will appreciate the efforts you have made to meet their needs.

      2. Banana Cake is a fav for 1st b-days with the young moms I work with. You could make a frosting with coconut milk.

        1. I was in exactly this situation a couple of weeks ago (dairy-sensitive son's first birthday). Although I have respectable baking skills, I used a mix for the cake -- it was a small mix to make 12 cupcakes. That seemed festive and simple for us.

          For the icing I made 7-minute frosting. It's basically eggs whites and sugar. Very pretty and light. (We'd already tried him on egg whites so I was confident those were safe for him.) There was a ton left over so we let him play in the leftovers. That was the best part of the day.

          By the way, I have had surprisingly good luck simply substituting soy milk for regular milk in baking. For cornbread, soy milk with a splash of vinegar as a substitute for buttermilk yielded good results.

          1. You'll get better advice if you request the mods move your thread to the Vegetarian and Vegan Board. However, if you use the advanced search option on this board, choosing "all years", you will find a number of threads about first birthday cakes and may find appealing suggestions therein.