Monday, November 19, 2012

Luke Turns Four + Egg/Nut Free Spongebob Cake

My baby turned four last week! It's hard to believe that four years have gone by since we first met our little Luke.  He has become such a little man, and I couldn't be more proud of him.

Birthdays being a unique challenge for parents of kids with food allergies. Going to another child's party is always an adventure, as food is almost always everywhere, and as parents we rarely have control over the safety of it. Hosting a party for your own food allergic child carries it's own set of challenges though. As a food allergy mom, one of my biggest goals is to make sure Luke never feels like he's missing out. I may not always have control over that, but when I do, I want to do my best. 

Luke chose a Spongebob party this year. And he made sure to point out that he wanted a Spongebob cake "with colors". Normally I make a sheet cake, and decorate with various toys that go with the theme. I knew though that the "with colors" part meant Luke wanted a cake that actually looked like Spongebob. Super! I started with a Spongebob cake pan, and a chocolate cake box mix, made with a can of lemon lime soda in place of the wet ingredients. Huge FAIL. I don't know if it was the lack of egg in the recipe or what, but the cake did not come out with any details. Then I ran across this Eggless Chocolate Layer Cake recipe and decided I'd give it a whirl, turning the round cake into Spongebob's face. I ran out of time to test the recipe, so I was really hoping for the best. 

After I baked the cakes, I made this buttercream frosting and tinted some of it yellow. I frosted a crumb layer on the entire cake, and froze it (oh, and I used a filling recipe that called for instant pudding mix with whipping cream) for a few minutes. I then tinted the rest of the frosting the different colors that I needed, and used a toothpick to free hand draw Spongebob's face onto the cake. Because the frosting was slightly frozen, if I messed up I could easily use my finger to smooth the line over and draw again. Once this was done I piped the drawing and touched up the base some. Very easy! The cake itself was very good, I got many compliments on it. I will definitely use this recipe again. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Birthday Boy's Egg (and dairy) Free Doughnuts

A few months ago Luke and I ran into Whole Foods before his speech therapy session started. I'm not a big Whole Foods shopper, but it's in walking distance from speech, so sometimes it's convenient. This particular day, we walked past their bakery section, and Luke announced to everyone within a quarter mile radius "I LOVE DOUGHNUTS!". This was a bit of a surprise to me, as little man has never had donuts. I'm not even sure how he knew what a doughnut was. And to be honest, I was pretty thrilled that he could say doughnut. 

We went on to speech, and as soon as his SLP came into the waiting room to get him, he once again announced I LOVE DOUGHNUTS! I decided then that I had to find a safe doughnut recipe for him. It took me awhile, but I finally found this mini vegan doughnut recipe from Vegan Yum Yum. We gave it a whirl and decided they were GOOD. 

Fast forward to the last couple weeks. Luke has been mentioning doughnuts again. A quick Whole Foods trip reminded him that he loved those little doughnuts. So I decided that being today is his fourth birthday, it would be a good day to break out the mini doughnut pan again. I did use regular milk (2%) and regular salted butter. But they worked very well as egg free. I used EnerG's egg re-placer. I recently learned that Wilton's labeling for their sprinkles has changed, and that possibly they weren't as good about labeling in the past, so I chucked all of our Wilton sprinkles. Which meant I had no sprinkles for the little doughnuts.  I made up for it by going with all chocolate instead. For the chocolate, I used some of our safe Halloween stash from Peanut Free Planet. I used Aero, broken in half and melted in the microwave in 30 second increments. It worked out really well! I stuck the plate of chocolate dipped doughnuts in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up process of the chocolate becoming less sticky. These are really good, but I personally think they're best a few hours after they're baked. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Spongebob Invitations

Inspired by invitations I found on Pinterest!  I will be posting about our egg and nut free birthday party next week.