This year Dylan had a birthday party for his birthday, his first one ever. Anyone who knows me will know that I love organising things, especially parties! So I was in my element and true to form (I think I say that a lot…) I went a little bit OTT. I kept justifying everything with “Dylan has had a really tough year and he deserves a fuss”.
My favourite part of any party plan is the cake. I love making cakes. Well, truthfully, I love planning to make cakes and I love having a lovely cake that has gone to plan but the actual making bit is a bit stressful at times, especially if people are in my kitchen when I am trying to bake and ice etc. Not because they get in the way but I feel obliged to entertain them and often take my eye off the ball a bit and/or if things aren’t going to plan, I am better off on my own… I get a bit grumpy!
The invites went out and the party planning began. Then it dawned on me, quite a few of Dylan’s bestest buds have quite severe dietary requirements. Of the 12 kiddies at the party 2 were lactose intolerant, 1 was a coeliac (technically 2, but Auntie Rosa is a grown up) and 1 has a dairy allergy and an egg allergy. And here is where you start to think I am crazy…
What I should have done is to make 1 birthday cake for Dylan and the others and then buy some little cakes from a supermarket that were dairy, egg and gluten free. That is what a normal person would have done. A normal person might have even just made the birthday cake a dairy free, egg free and gluten free cake. But no, I am not a normal person. I am a little nutty and over the top. First off, it was kind of Dylan’s fault too. He couldn’t decide between a Paw Patrol cake and a Troll cake for his birthday so I thought I’d make both! I decided to make the Paw Patrol cake a chocolate construction site cake, I had done similar for Dylan’s birthday the previous year and it is quite easy and looks impressive. I then set my heart on making a Rainbow Swiss Roll cake as the Troll cake so I figured that this one would be my allergen free cake. After trawling through pages and pages of recipes for an egg free swiss roll I came up with nothing that sounded very appealing so decided to make some cupcakes just for the lovely Charlie (who is egg and dairy free).
There were lots of times in the planning process where I could have, and maybe should have, just buggered off to the supermarket for a ready made allergen free cake but it does make me a little sad that at time, kids with allergies are a bit of an afterthought at kids parties. I get why, it is a pain in the bum to make more than 1 cake and the anxiety that went along with making cakes for children who have quite severe reactions to some ingredients is insane (I checked, double checked and triple checked a lot of things with the parents who I am sure were sick of my messages). But I really liked making a fuss of Dylan’s friends! Yes, I had a lot to do on the day of his party (which was also Dylan’s birthday) but it was worth it and I actually enjoyed making lots of cakes! Baking soothes me, when it is going my way!
When making cakes for allergy suffers it is really important that there is no cross contamination in the kitchen. I have different mixing bowls that I use for making things like this (they’re glass so I can sterilise them easily), I bought new mixing spoons and a new whisk, a new baking tin and new cupcake cases. I might have gone a bit over the top with this but I didn’t want anyone to be ill. Right, I’ll stop waffling… The recipe…
180g Self Raising Flour
30g Dairy free Cocoa Powder (most are but double check)
200g Caster Sugar
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1tsp Vinegar (I used Cider Vinegar)
1tsp Vanilla Extract
80ml Vegetable Oil or Coconut Oil
235ml Cold Water
I know it sounds a little bit disgusting putting vinegar in a cake but you really can’t taste it at all! And without it the cakes won’t rise as it’sthe reaction between the bicarb and the vinegar that makes these cakes airy.
Right, it is so easy to make this cake. Measure everything out into a bowl and mix until it is a smooth batter. Seriously, that’s all you do! Using an old style ice cream scoop fill 12 cupcake cases with the mixture. Pop into the oven, preheated to 180°C, and bake for 20-30mins. Allow to cool and then dive in!
On Dylan’s birthday I made some dairy free icing to ice the cakes with and I had bought some Paw Patrol rice paper stickers to pop on top. The ingredients for the icing were…
150g Vitalite (or another dairy free margarine)
300g Icing Sugar
50g Cocoa Powder
Pop it all in a bowl and mix until smooth. Then ice onto the cooled cakes and decorate as you’d like!
The cupcake recipe makes about 12 cupcakes but I didn’t need to make that many so I froze the rest of the batter. To use the frozen batter, just defrost and then pop it into cupcake cases and bake as normal!
Thanks for reading