Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yellow Birthday Cake

Why is it that every allergy free birthday cake recipe I find that uses "normal" ingredients also has chocolate? We don't do chocolate here. So birthday cake recipes start to get a bit creative.

I personally do not mind creative so much. The end result is tasty. And healthy. But.

When people who have very big hearts and good intentions ask for a recipe they can use to make a treat that will be safe for my allergic kiddo...yep. I've got nothin'. Why? Because I have tremendous guilt asking some sweetheart of a mom to go spend mega bucks on specialty items that she is only going to use one time.

The other big drawback to using unique ingredients? Unique flavor. We love it, but we're used to eating this way. For the average person who has an unrestricted diet? Passable flavor, but still just off the mark.

No more. I have combined and tweaked several recipes to come up with a birthday cake that is The One. It uses only one ingredient that the average pantry would not have. Just one. The flavor is of mom-made goodness. The crumb is moist, bursting with flavor. It holds together like a cake should, none of the crumbly softness that cakes without eggs can have. Nor did it rise beautifully only to deflate upon cooling. This cake stood proudly, refusing to fall in the middle.

Can you tell how excited I am? To have a cake that I can serve to children and adults alike without ever offering a disclaimer about being allergy friendly. I love it.

Try it. Tell me what you think.

(This cake is dairy free, egg free, nut free, soy free, apology free, and vegan.)

Yellow Birthday Cake

2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sugar
1/2 c So Delicious coconut milk, or milk of your choice
1/2 c safflower oil
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp bourbon vanilla
1/2 c water

Preheat oven to 350. (You might want to give it a head start, this will whip together before the oven is ready!) Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl and whisk to combine. In a medium bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Add wet to dry mix on medium speed to combine. Pour into a greased 9" pan and bake 40-45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and frost as desired.

*Note: If you increase the sugar by 1-2 tbsp, and decrease the water by almost 1/4 c the batter will be quite thick and the end result will be a moist cake with a delightfully crispy crunchy top. This is a bonus because you won't need frosting, just a quick dusting of powdered sugar for decoration and it's done. Yum.

Need allergy free frosting to go with this? I used this recipe and it was incredible! Of course, I replaced the butter with Earth Balance soy free margarine, used Spectrum palm shortening, and used SoDelicious coconut milk coffee creamer in place of the heavy cream. It was light and fluffy, like the whipped icings you would get from a bakery. Mmmm.


  1. Sounds terrific! Wish it was gluten-free, too!

  2. I need to tackle a gluten free option next! I was wondering how well this would work if I used a GF blend... I'll let you know when I try it!

  3. I've been baking with the gluten-free flour blend from The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook along with So Delicious coconut milk yogurt and beverages with great success. I'll bet the flour would work well in this recipe.

  4. That's the blend I was going to try! I just saw it featured in this month's Living Without and got so excited that they featured a GF blend that did not have rice flour! Glad to hear it generally works well!

  5. I have a question..... have you had success with doubling this recipe to make 2 9 inch cakes for a layered cake? I am planning to make this recipe this weekend. Thanks!

  6. I did double it the last time I made it, and the only problem that I can report is that I did not split the batter evenly so we had one layer thicker than the other. LOL. I works quite well. A friend just did the same to make a three tier cake, and the top cake came out just a touch dry. I think it may have been left in the oven a minute too long. Keep an eye on it, in my oven it is 45 minutes on the nose, in your oven it could vary. Good Luck!

  7. I am so happy I could just cry! This cake is fabulous. I made this recipe twice this weekend, once for a joint birthday party for my twin boys and my niece (all allergic kiddos) and then again for my birthday party with my hubby's family. Verdict: AMAZING. The kids loved it, the non-allergic adults loved it, even my "very crtical of allergy-friendly cooking" teenage nieces loved it. Thank you so much for taking the time to make and share with us this recipe. I doubled the recipe each time I made it with fablous results. It is just perfect.

  8. Just a note I forgot to add to my last comment: my nephew is also allergic to coconut so I used rice milk in place of the So Delicious Coconut milk. Perfect result.

  9. It makes me so happy to hear that the cake was well received at your parties! And it is good to know that it works well with rice milk. Hearing about your success made whole morning a little brighter. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Thank you sooo much for this recipe! My egg allergic toddler loves it, it is perfect for inquisitive hands. It withstands the toddler crumble test. Everybody loves it, allergic or not!
    I modified it by using milk and replacing half the sugar with maple sugar and the result was amazing.
    I also have a blog with recipes for egg allergies, but in French. I do plan to translate my recipes too, when time permits. Here is the address:
    I will be posting your modified recipe on my blog in French. Let me know if that poses a problem for you.
    Thanks again and continue your great blog. Moms unite!!!

  11. Yeah! I'm so happy it worked for you. Feel free to publish it on your blog, I love sharing. (If you'd include a link to the original it would be really nice of you.) How thrilling that maple sugar can be used as well. Love a recipe that holds up even with substitutions! Take care.

  12. I know your family avoids chocolate... but do you have any suggestions to make this fabulous cake with a chocolate flavor? I was wondering if I could just add some cocoa powder to the recipe, but I'd love to hear what you would try IF you were going to make this a chocolate cake.

  13. I actually have a chocolate cake in the recipe index that is a favorite of mine, from the depression era. Very easy, very good, and used to develop this recipe. It is a softer cake than this, but equally tasty. To modify this one? Hmmm. Guessing here, I think I would reduce the flour by 1/4 cup, and add 1/2 cup cocoa, then sprinkle in a bit more water if needed. I may also use chocolate milk in place of plain to increase the chocolate flavor if that is an option. Let me know if you try it!

  14. Was wondering if anyone has used gf wf flour? Sounds like a great cake and simple enough. Would love to try it.

  15. I just baked two cakes, at the same time, with this recipe. One with hemp milk and one with coconut milk. The coconut milk one was done well before the one made with hemp milk. All other ingredients were the same. Just a heads up to keep an eye on those cakes, because your non-dairy choice will impact baking time! (Both are quite tasty by the way.)

  16. I am so happy I found your website! My daughter has allergies to milk, dairy, egg, nuts, beef, pork and barley. She is about to turn 3 and I wanted to find a cake recipe I could try for her for her birthday party. Have you tried this recipe with cupcakes? I think I am also going to try your strawberry cake also. I am so excited! She is also getting more interested in what we are eating, so I will be trying some of your other recipes as well! I can't imagine being able to make one meal for everyone in my family! Thanks for making this blog! I gives me hope that I can make yummy stuff for my daughter!

  17. I have made cupcakes with this recipe, and they come out beautifully. I love that it is such a simple recipe. As far as making one meal for the whole family, it's the only way I cook! It can be done with your allergy list, and I hope that you find ideas on how to do it while you're here!


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