Wheat/dairy/egg/nut-free cake? Is this a thing?
November 30, 2017 11:24 AM   Subscribe

My darling nephew is turning one and I would like to make him a cake or other dessert food amenable to a candle and one-year-old activities like smushing and perhaps even getting some in his mouth. Difficulty level: he has all the allergies.

My nephew has tested positive for a range of allergies, and while it's likely that he'll grow out of or easily tolerate some of them, I am strongly averse to triggering a reaction on his birthday (or any other day). What can I make for him that does not have:


I see all sorts of recipes with varying reviews online, but I don't know enough about baking to evaluate them and I'm feeling overwhelmed. I am wondering if Mefites have any recipe recommendations for a cake or other celebratory dessert type thing? I am in NYC with access to well-stocked groceries and specialty stores.

Thank you so much for any suggestions!

Bonus Q: What is your favorite brand of wheat-free flour?
posted by this, of course, alludes to sex to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I could see some whipped coconut cream being very smashable
posted by raccoon409 at 11:30 AM on November 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Does it have to be a smooshy, baked cake? You could do a rice krispie treat cake with (vegan) marshmallows.
posted by Mchelly at 11:33 AM on November 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

We made my kiddo for his 1st birthday a gluten free carrot cake. It was delicious! And he LOVED it. It was a baking kit from our local natural foods co-op, this one from Namaste. Bananas (about 1/2 to 1 per egg) are good replacers for egg in sweet baked goods.

It looks like there are quite a few vegan cream cheese frosting recipes out there, too. Yum!
posted by jillithd at 11:40 AM on November 30, 2017

I had luck with the gluten-free cupcakes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World -- they use a variety of flours (clearly you'd want to use corn flour and not almond flour here) that you mix yourself, and I remember the texture being light and cakey (you can taste the corn flour but it's not like they were cornbread). Also, the almond extra is completely optional -- leave it out or just replace it with more vanilla.

These were good and enjoyed by non-vegans and non-gluten free people too. (I didn't make a big deal about either aspect.) I remember them being fairly easy to put together.

Cavet: Not cheap to buy all these flours separately, especially if this is just a one-off.

(I assume he's not allergic to soy, too, or flaxseed.)

I am not sure how this would translate into a cake since the baking times are for the cupcakes, but hey, everyone likes cupcakes, right?
posted by darksong at 11:41 AM on November 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Chocolate mousse, it's allergen free and you can make it with dairy free milk. It's quite firm after it chills. Also available in other flavors, and you can use a gluten free crust to turn it into a cake or tart.
posted by halogen at 11:42 AM on November 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

I had to do an egg-free cake and had luck with a "crazy cake" since it's already egg, nut and dairy free, the only further modification is a GF flour (see notes on GF substitution).
posted by vunder at 11:43 AM on November 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

I was in a similar situation for my daughter's 1st birthday and ended up making some kind of sorghum cake. It got finished but it was not a very good cake. It didn't matter to my daughter because she got to have her cake and the rest of us could eat other things as well.

For something more edible I have seen a cake made out of a big piece of watermelon decorated with other fruit on top.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:48 AM on November 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Does it have to be a smooshy, baked cake? You could do a rice krispie treat cake with (vegan) marshmallows.

Is it specifically just wheat, or gluten? Because if it's gluten, stock rice krispies have barley in them. They do make a GF versus of rice krispies, however. :)
posted by joycehealy at 11:56 AM on November 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

seconding a recipe for chocolate 'wacky cake' or 'crazy cake' -- provided chocolate is an okay foodstuff, the cocoa helps the consistency immensely. (Besides, chocolate is delicious.) Trader Joe's actually has a decent and affordable gluten-free flour with which I have had good luck; it's not ideal for every application but it's far friendlier than tweaking a mix of different component flours, and it would certainly work for cake, I think. I use it for strawberry shortcake and scones/biscuits, with no real modifications required.. You can find it in the baking section in a pink bag.
posted by halation at 12:12 PM on November 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Another option (use gluten-free oats): black bean brownies, frosted like a cake. They're actually really good!
posted by halation at 12:14 PM on November 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

You want wacky cake! Just sub gf flour for all-purpose flour.
Recipe here.
posted by netsirk at 12:16 PM on November 30, 2017

100% recommend this recipe made with this flour. The flour is widely distributed (Kroger, Safeway, Walmart, though not every store may have it) and you can buy it in a small pack. Same/similiar to those linked above, but I've made that one GF and it worked beautifully.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 1:16 PM on November 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm gluten-free and nut-free, and when a vegan friend has been joining us I have made simple vegan chocolate cupcakes with flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, water, oil, vinegar and vanilla.

These are the ingredients in point 3 under Method in this recipe (which had the less-potentially-controversial name of ABC Cupcakes when I was a child), but with GF flour and without the salt. In other words, I have made the vegan chocolate base without the dairy middle section. I have then sprinkled the cupcakes with powdered sugar.

(It's arguably cool watching the chemical reaction of the bicarbonate of soda and the vinegar.)

I regularly use Dove's Farm / freee all-purpose or plain flour, but you may not be able to get Dove's Farm products in NYC.
posted by sueinnyc at 2:10 PM on November 30, 2017

Best gluten-free flours that also don't have nuts or dairy: Namaste's perfect blend or the Arrowhead Mills stuff.

My favorite egg replacer is applesauce.

I'd suggest brownies made with applesauce and a gluten-free flour and an appropriate margarine. This would work really well, and be mushy enough to let him smear everywhere. It's easy to add stuff into this that he can have, like chocolate chips or dried fruit, and they're easy to make decadent with frosting.

Wacky cake is awesome, but I haven't ever tested it as a gluten-free recipe.

Do not use the "gluten-free" recipe in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World as-is, it's made with spelt, which is a gluten grain.
posted by bile and syntax at 2:24 PM on November 30, 2017

nthing the recommendations for Namaste. I've used their premade gluten free products (such as the spice cake recommended above -- really good btw!) and their gluten free flour. They're probably my favorite go-to brand and their stuff works well with substitutes (such as applesauce for oil or banana for eggs) to suit allergies.
posted by stubbehtail at 3:42 PM on November 30, 2017

Rice cake an option? These steamed ones have a completely different texture from the cardboard health food or mochi.
https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/baekseolgi-tteok basic white
https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/mujigae-tteok (rainbow colored!)
posted by FakePalindrome at 3:49 PM on November 30, 2017

A vegan, flourless chocolate cake would fit the bill. Something like this cake or this. I haven't made either, but stuff like it and had pretty good success. Coconut milk ice cream is also pretty awesome, and Coconut Bliss brand is vegan. It's also easy to make if you have an ice cream makes (google vegan coconut milk ice cream for a bunch of recipes).
posted by Rocket26 at 6:57 PM on November 30, 2017

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