As adults, we’ve got pretty developed taste buds (as well as all those years of imprinting memories with food). So when we have to significantly change our diet, it’s easy to feel a whole lot of emotions about it, ranging from anger to disbelief. Not to mention the social stigma and feeling left out.
If you have kids you’ll realise that they get invited to a LOT of birthday parties. Which means there are a lot of times for them to feel left out when everyone else is having cup cakes and they’re eating apple slices. So while personally, we don’t have a problem with kids eating apple slices (we encourage it) there are times when you want to see their eyes light up and see them feel more confident and like they belong. Hence part of my mission in creating the show, was to create some “real” alternatives so that every once in a while for that special occasion, the people who usually get left out can have their cake and eat it too.
Earlier in the year my superhero obsessed 3 year old was turning 4. He wore a spider man suit non-stop for 2 weeks (we managed to convince him that the “real spider man” washed his suit each night- otherwise he would have slept in it too!).
Things were pretty busy as we were preparing the release of our pilot season for Alternative Chef Kitchen, and December had been very busy with cooking experiments and recipe development for future episodes, but I was scrolling through instagram when I saw this fantastic spider man pancake by Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons (@kitchenfunwithmy3sons) (If you haven’t checked out that feed you absolutely have to because Jill has some fantastic ideas, that you can easily turn into food intolerance-friendly versions especially with a little knowledge of food intolerance friendly alternatives– ). So I saw this and I thought – ‘I can totally do that gluten, dairy, soy and egg free’ (my kids and I have issues with dairy, my niece has coeliac disease, my nephew was following a vegan diet and I get itchy if I have too much soy so since my daughter was diagnosed with her dairy and soy allergy as an infant, even though she’s outgrown the allergy and eats and drinks soy now, I tend to cook without it at home).
As I’m not much of a cake decorator, the icing on the cake for me was pretty much the fact that there was no icing on the cake;-)
If you’d like to make your own dairy, soy, gluten and egg free cake – and eat it too – here’s an alternative:
- 1 packet of Orgran vanilla cake mix (if you can’t have egg, follow the instructions and make it without egg, but consider using 2 packets of cake mix so you get a bit more height as it won’t rise quite as high without egg).
- Coconut whipped cream for the eyes, and layering in between the cakes(or alternatively you could use a thick coconut yoghurt that is suitable for your diet if you prefer the flavour)(or home made whipped coconut cream).
- Organic strawberry jam (for layering between also it helps the strawberries stick to the top of the cake. The original decoration idea was done on pancakes which are flat, but a cake top isn’t as flat and can have a bit of a dome curve – so the jam helps to prevent the strawberries from sliding off)
- Chocolate spread that suits your diet (eg Freedom foods, Loving Earth, or even my Chocolate Tahini Spread basically what ever suits your diet and you like the taste of).
- 1 punnet of fresh organic strawberries
1. Make the cake first, and then while it is cooling, prepare the strawberries by slicing length-ways through the strawberry for the jaw line and you can cut some larger strawberries through the middle so you get circular shapes for the forehead – check out the picture above or Jill’s in the link above).
2. Slice the cake in half, and spread the jam and coconut whipped cream on the surface, then place the top back on the cake.
3. Lightly (very lightly) spread a little jam on the top of the cake (it helps the strawberries stick) and then layer on the strawberries.
4. Next using a piping bag (or if you’re like me, and don’t have a functional piping bag or icing squeezer, you can try cutting a small corner out of a plastic zip lock bag, or if you’d rather not waste the plastic unnecessarily you could use what I did… which was one of our unused medicine plungers. Obviously you need to clean this really thoroughly!)
5. Lastly add on the whipped coconut cream eyes.
You can really decorate it however you wish, but my son is superhero obsessed and I’m not much of a cake decorator so I loved the simplicity of this idea.
Anyway – enjoy!:-)
UPDATE: Since writing this post, we’ve added a couple more Kids Party Food resources
- Our Kids Party Food Episode
- The Chocolate Buckwheat Crackles Episode
- Our Kids Party Food recipe book (22 recipes)
- Our Dessert Recipes recipe book (25 recipes – great for grown up parties)
- Our Snack & Party Food recipe book (17 recipes for dips, crips alternatives and more)
- The Ultimate Guide to Fun Free-from Themed Kids Parties & Cakes (A blog post filled with cake decorating ideas and ways to make a free-from kids party fun).
Lastly, if you’d like to learn a bit more about cooking with alternatives, we’ve got a free 8 week Cooking with Alternatives ecourse. Find out more here.