It was a daunting feeling, thinking about looking for an allergy-free birthday cake for Oliver’s first birthday. Why? Because there are simply no flavor bursting recipes online that satisfy all of our allergies, besides a depression-era cake that was made from a few simple ingredients.
I could have easily sprung for the watermelon cake, filleting Oliver’s favorite juicy melon into three circular tiers, and a big piece of me wanted to do a fruit cake because it’s a safe bet. But a one year old, or any birthday at that, just deserves a proper cake.
I knew finding the perfect confluence of flavor, tasty ingredients, and level of ease to make this baking beginner look like an at-home semi-pro was going to be my biggest challenge. During Oliver’s nap times, my mom and I scoured the internet and Pinterest for “allergy-free” cake ideas, and came up with one depression-era cake for bakers with limited resources. I just couldn’t bring that kind of weak-sauce on my son’s first birthday. I had to do something with a twist of “Emily,” and “mama really thought about this and wanted you to enjoy your first bite of cake.”
And the cake had to be from scratch. Scratch always tastes better. Something about the love that goes into it, and the imperfections that make every angle and bite unique.
Eventually, I had the genius idea to reach out to my trusty field-guide when it comes to recipes and nutrition, Registered Dietician Deanna Conte Busteed. I asked her, “Do you have any recipes like a zucchini cake or a cake with lots of flavor that your kids also enjoy? I’m looking to make Oliver a first birthday cake from scratch that’s allergy-free.”
Deanna shot over a few of her favorite recipes, one of which was a zucchini cake that looked perfect! I made a couple adaptations to the recipe, first, substituting the 3 eggs with Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer (some egg replacers use flax or chia seed, so I chose Bob’s Red Mill because it is made of simple ingredients without nuts or seeds). I also substituted some of the recipe’s granulated sugar with unsweetened applesauce, to add moisture and a flavor dimension, a tip Deanna mentioned she likes to do while baking with her kids.
I wanted to wait to post this recipe after my family tried the cake, to make sure it was a tried-and-true recipe that would satisfy Oliver and all of you looking for a delicious allergy-free cake option. And it was better than I could have hoped for.
I’ll post the recipe we used, but feel free to substitute the gluten or dairy (the only other allergens in the cake) with your own allergy-free substitutions Wishing you a wonderful, successful celebration, with a unique and beautiful cake that shows your loved one they’re worth celebrating with a homemade cake from scratch, the best kind.
From the heart,
Thank you SO much to all of your love and support with my zucchini spice cake recipe that’s free of several major allergens. This cake has been so popular, that…my best friend Kelly Schumacher and I have built a business just to create these delicious cakes just for you!
Please follow @goodmamacompany on Instagram to keep up with our sweet, incredibly exciting journey. We look forward to serving you!
From the heart,