Nut free, dairy free, egg free (optional: gluten and wheat free)
I CANNOT even begin to say how easy and amazing this allergy safe cake recipe is.
As usual, I left it until the last minute to get prepping for Sid’s birthday (how clearly I remember last year pledging to perfect all manner of sweet treats by the time he turned three. Ha!) and in a state of panic tweeted my worries about finding the right recipe.
Back came a link to something called ‘Wacky Cake’, an American concoction apparently created during the Depression era when fresh ingredients were rationed. It contains no egg, no dairy, no nuts and can be baked with gluten free flour, too. It uses vinegar or lemon to replace the egg and it works.
Suddenly I had a pile of perfectly pretty, firm and fluffy looking cupcakes ready for icing. I had chocolate ones, vanilla ones, lemon ones…
So, I am eternally grateful to my Twitter friend and fellow allergy parent @twobabyfoxes for this. She said it would be a life changer and it is. Ladies and gentlemens, I present to you the Holy Grail of allergy cake baking:
225g self-raising flour (I use Dove’s Farm organic)
265g gluten free flour (try Dove’s Farm self raising) plus 1tspn xantham gum
225g caster sugar (I use Billingtons unrefined organic)
(optional 3 or 4 tbspn cocoa powder – I use M&S unsweetened cocoa powder, which is nut free but has milk traces; my fellow allergy blogger Lucy’s Friendly Foods recommends Tesco’s own brand as a dairy and nut free alternative, but, as ever, check the label before buying)
1/2 tspn salt
1tbspn white wine or cider vinegar
5tbspn sunflower or rapeseed oil
1/2-1tspn vanilla essence to taste (I use Waitrose Cook’s Homebaking Vanilla Extract)
240ml warm water
other options include:
Vanilla cake: omit the cocoa and double the vanilla extract
Lemon cake: omit the cocoa and substitute lemon juice for vinegar, adding lemon zest to taste
Orange cake: omit the cocoa and substitute orange juice for water
1. Preheat oven to 175˚non fan.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly.
3. Mix the wet ingredients together separately, stir to combine. When using lemon, pour the lemon juice in last.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix to a smooth batter (but do not beat).
5. Pour into a greased and floured 9″ round or 8″ square cake tin or 12 cupcakes (top tip: using a silicone baking ‘tin’ reportedly makes a big cake less crispy).
6. Bake the full cake for 35 minutes and cupcakes for around 20 minutes or until firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean.
7. Decorate as desired!
I used chocolate buttercream and Sainsbury’s 100s & 1000s for the cocoa cupcakes, lemon buttercream with Cadbury’s chocolate buttons or Sainsbury’s vermicelli for the lemon cupcakes and glacé icing dyed pink using Dr Oetker gel colour with Dr Oetker polka dots for the vanilla. Obviously we’re not dairy free, so buttercream’s easy, but for a dairy free recipe for chocolate buttercream see Lucy’s Friendly Foods again here.
Next post: the Peppa Pig meets hippo birthday cake…