Where to start
But just because your little one has food allergies doesn’t mean you should skip the smash cake. We’ve put together some tips and recipes you can use to make a delicious cake while keeping your little one safe and happy.
You have two great options:
- Use your own non-allergen-friendly cake recipe, and use baking substitutes for your child's allergy
- Choose one of the delicious allergen-friendly recipes we've gathered that are made safe from the start.
And we'll break down each of these choices below.
Use Your Own Recipe with Baking Substitutes
If you already have a cake recipe you love, why not substitute allergens in the original recipe with one of these alternatives?
Options to Replace Dairy
One of the most prevalent food allergies in babies is to cow’s milk. To get around this allergen in your cake, you can substitute most alternative milks one-for-one. If your little one tolerates soy, soy milk is likely the best milk replacement due to its similar protein content and texture. Oat milk is a good second choice if your little one has a soy allergy.
A dairy allergy also means that it’s best to skip the butter. The good news is that you can use margarine or vegan butter as a one-for-one substitute. These are usually made from a variety of vegetable oils.
If your child has a dairy allergy, also be sure to check out our dairy-free food master list.
Options to Replace Egg
Eggs are another common baby allergen that you’ll find in most cake recipes. Luckily, bananas and apple sauce are both good substitutes that your child probably already loves. You can substitute one egg with 1/4 cup of mashed banana or apple sauce. When using these substitutes, you may taste a hint of banana or apple in your cake.
To substitute for an egg yolk, you can use one tablespoon of flax or chia seeds mixed with three tablespoons of water. Let the mixture thicken for a few minutes before using in your recipe.
You can also buy ready-made egg replacement products, such as Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer. When using these products, please check the packaging for any allergen warnings before use.
Options for Wheat and Gluten
The last common food allergen we’ll cover is wheat. A wheat allergy means you’ll want to find a substitute for the flour that your favorite cake recipe probably calls for.
One simple substitute is almond flour, though you may need a touch more almond flour than the regular flour specified in your recipe.
Megan Lavin at Allergy Awesomeness prefers to make her own substitute. She’s perfected her own mix, which calls for 4 cups of rice flour, 1 1/3 cups potato starch, and 2/3 cups tapioca starch. You can then use this mix as a one-for-one flour substitute.
Allergen-Free Cake Recipes
You may get great results from swapping ingredients in your favorite cake recipe. However, you might get an even tastier cake by using a recipe designed to avoid common allergens in the first place.
For great cupcakes, we love Megan’s allergy-friendly birthday cupcake recipe.
Image souce: Megan Lavin via Allergy Awesomeness
Laura from Momables has a wonderful gluten, egg, and dairy free chocolate cake recipe.
Image source: Laura's chocolate cake via Momables
Larisha’s 9-ingredient vegan vanilla cake from Make it Dairy Free is delicious. We think you’ll love it too!
Image source: Larisha's Vegan Vanilla Cake via Make It Dairy Free
Always check the label
Please remember to check the allergen statement on the nutrition label for any food product you buy. While some foods may seem allergen-free, they may be processed on shared equipment or contain trace amounts of allergens.