The best birthday cake recipes for kids with dairy & egg allergies
If you’re looking for the best birthday cake recipes for kids with dairy and egg allergies, you are in the right place! Read on to find out all our favourite cake recipes containing no egg or dairy, along with top tips for a successful vegan bake. I’ve also included some hacks to help if you are a reluctant baker or short on time!
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Tips for vegan baking success
Before you start, there are a few hacks which you will need to know to make your dairy and egg free bake a success. Vegan bakes can taste just as good as the traditional versions, but they are a little more temperamental.
For example, with a vegan bake it’s really important to work fast once you have added your wet and dry ingredients together. This will activate the raising agents, and you want as much of that raising power as possible happening in the oven and not before! For the full rundown, check out my top tips for dairy and egg free baking to make sure all your hard work pays off.
Tried and tested birthday cake recipes for children with dairy and egg allergies
Believe me, I am no expert baker! But it’s not always easy to find fun allergy friendly cakes in the shops, and I don’t want my kids to miss out due to their allergies. So I do go big on effort. And like many allergy parents I’ve had plenty of opportunities to practice. As well as birthdays, I have also baked countless safe cakes to take to other people’s birthdays, bake sales, street parties….. The list goes on.
Over the past few years I’ve tried out many dairy and egg free cake recipes. These are the ones which consistently deliver! With all of these cakes, I tend to follow the cake recipe but go my own way with the icing and toppings. After you’ve checked out the cakes, scroll down for the icing recipes.
Just a note on ingredients – some of these recipes use soy milk as a dairy alternative. As my kids are allergic to soy as well, I swap it for oat milk. Almond milk is also a good option as the flavour is fairly neutral.
Dairy and egg free chocolate cakes
If you’re looking for a dairy and egg free chocolate cake then I have two recipes I can heartily recommend! Kate’s Veggie Desserts vegan chocolate cake is a two layer sandwich cake which really is delicious. It’s very versatile; I’ve topped it with dairy free buttercream, whipped coconut cream & chocolate shavings, glazed icing and sweets… the list goes on! We are also big fans of Nigella’s vegan chocolate cake. This is a single layer cake which works really well with a dairy free chocolate ganache topping.
If you need a gluten free option, then check out this Chocolate avocado cake. I was initially sceptical but, trust me, the avocado works! I made this a lot before my son outgrew his wheat allergy. It was the first cake I made for him, so it has a special place in my heart.
Dairy and egg free Victoria sponge recipes
There are two Victoria sponge recipes which are recommended frequently on the CMPA Facebook groups and chat forums. One is by Tesco’s and the other by Jane’s Patisserie. I love a Victoria sponge and have made both of them many times!
You can top & fill these with dairy free buttercream and fresh fruit. Or, you could use a vegan whippable cream such as Elmlea plant cream. For a twist, whipped coconut cream works well.
Vegan Vanilla cake
This vegan vanilla cake by Loving It Vegan is another favourite in our house. This cakes works really well with a variety of toppings, but for me it calls out for sprinkles! I’ve made this into a jammy dodger cake before – simply add a splash of pink food colouring to a dairy free vanilla buttercream and top with some mini jammy dodgers. Easy – and a definite child pleaser!
The Betty Crocker cake mix vegan hack
If you’re a reluctant baker I’ve got good news for you! There is an extremely easy way to make a Betty Crocker cake mix* (or any other vegan cake mix) without eggs or dairy. This hack often does the rounds in CMPA facebook groups and chat forums, and has made many people’s lives much easier!
To make a Betty Crocker cake mix without dairy or eggs, all you need to do is to add 300ml fizzy drink to the cake mix. The healthiest option is to use fizzy water, but lemonade and coke are what people recommend most frequently. It really is as simple as that! It replaces both egg and dairy, you don’t need to add anything else to the mix. You can then spend the time you’ve saved going wild with the icing and toppings!
I would recommend keeping one of these cake mixes in the cupboard just in case. I can’t be the only allergy parent occasionally caught unawares by a birthday at nursery or school bake sale, and this is a great speedy option so your child can join in. It’s also a fun activity if you want to get your kids involved in a simple bake. Minimal mess!
If you or your child is also gluten free, there is a GF devil’s food chocolate cake mix* which can be made in exactly the same way.
Please do note that the Betty Crocker mix does not have dairy listed as an ingredient but, like many products, it does have a ‘may contain’ warning. If you’re not sure if you or your child can eat products labelled as ‘may contain’ then talk to your medical professional.
Dairy and egg free icing options
Luckily there are plenty of options when it comes to vegan icing to top your dairy and egg free cake! All of the cakes above suggest their own toppings, but I tend to follow the cake recipe and then rotate between the options below. They are all delicious and – importantly – easy.
- The easiest option of all is the Betty Crocker* ready made icing range. I could not believe it when I found out that this gold dust is dairy free. Many a CMPA mum has been known to eat it directly from the tub. If I had known about it in my food exclusion breastfeeding days, I would 100% have been one of them!
- Dairy free chocolate ganache is really delicious and adaptable. I recommend this yummy recipe from the Tesco website. (The recipe uses soya milk, but I switch to oat or almond milk.)
- A glaze icing works particularly well for a sprinkle cake. And it is extremely easy to make! Simply mix 150g icing sugar and a splash of plant based milk until you have a smooth paste. Keep adding small splashes of the milk until you have the consistency you want.
- For something a bit different (and a lower sugar option), consider a coconut whipped cream topping. I like to combine this with dairy free chocolate shavings grated over the top!
Dairy free buttercream recipe
My favourite icing option is this dairy free buttercream recipe. The recipe below shows variations for vanilla & chocolate flavours. To make it you will need:
- 75g of dairy free margarine (I tend to use Stork block)
- 75g vegetable fat (I use Trex)
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- 450g icing sugar (for chocolate icing change to 350g icing sugar and 100g pure cacao powder)
- 40 – 60ml plant based milk
Using an electric whisk, whip together the margarine, vegetable fat and vanilla until creamy. Add half of the icing sugar and 20ml plant based milk and continue mixing until combined. Add the rest of the icing sugar (plus cacao for the chocolate version) and a little more milk (about 10 ml). Mix for about a minute until you have a smooth consistency. Mix in a bit more milk little by little until you get the consistency you want. If it accidentally gets a bit too runny, mix in some more icing sugar! You can also change the colour by adding a small drop of food colouring.
For me, cake decoration is the weakest part of my skill set. I tend to make my best effort at icing, and then cover with some kind of sprinkles or topping to hide how dodgy it is 😂. Options include rainbow sprinkles, desiccated coconut, grated dairy free chocolate, pick & mix sweets, mini jammy dodgers or chopped fresh fruit. If you want to go all out with the toppings, consider a chocolate overload cake!
For lots more allergy friendly cake decoration ideas, check out this inspiration gallery full of cakes submitted by other allergy parents! You won’t find any professional level decoration here, just fun and tasty ideas from parents that their little ones enjoyed. Plus all the info you need to copy them! All the cakes are free from dairy and egg as well as lots of soy, nut, wheat and gluten free bakes – and many that are free from all of the above.
A healthier alternative to birthday cake for babies with dairy & egg allergies – the 1st birthday fruit stack!
If you’re looking to delay the full-on sugar high until your baby is a little older, you could consider a first birthday fruit stack. There is lots of inspiration out there about how to make an impressive fruit stack that looks as good as any cake! For babies with food allergies, this has the added benefit of a very straightforward ingredients list.
Here are a couple of ideas – courtesy of Pinterest – to get you started:
Dairy, egg & soy free birthday cakes you can buy in the shops:
Whether or not you’re a keen baker, we all have times when we just want someone else to do it for us! When my eldest was a toddler, grabbing a birthday cake suitable for a child with dairy and egg allergies from the shops was simply not an option. There was so little available. The vegan cakes which were around mostly contained soy (which many children with cow’s milk protein allergy are also allergic to).
Thankfully the selection in the UK is now getting a bit better! Here are some of our favourites:
- Sainsburys plant pioneers chocolate cake
- Sainsburys plant pioneers lemon cake
- Bosh vanilla happy birthday cake
- Just Love Food vegan chocolate cake
- M&S plant kitchen Victoria sponge cake
- Oggs have a great range of individual sized cakes:
Note: these cakes do not have dairy, egg or soya listed as an ingredient. However, like many products, some have ‘may contain’ warnings. If you are not sure if you or your child can eat products labelled as ‘may contain’ then talk to your medical professional.
Over to you!
I would love to hear about your dairy and egg free birthday cake successes! If you have any great recipes to share or tips to give other parents then let us know in the comments below x
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