Raising a Sensitive Child

Nourishing Body, Mind and Spirit

Adventures in allergy-free cake baking


Disclaimer: I am sharing our story to share our story, and am not offering medical or food allergy advice.

A couple of weeks ago, we discovered that Bulk Barn has a glutenfree white cake mix. Generally people with allergies need to stay clear of bulk foods, but now that we’re not as concerned with potential cross-contamination with tree nuts (or so I thought) or anaphylaxis (or so I thought), we figured it was an easy way to make an allergyfree cake for Moses.


  • sugar, potato starch, tapioca flour, whole grain sorghum flour, baking powder (monocalcium phosphate, bicarbonate of soda, cornstarch), sea salt, xanthan gum, natural vanilla powder (sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract).

Just add:

  • egg replacer, vegetable oil and water (but we added almond milk instead because Moses has been drinking almond milk daily for the last several months).

All safe ingredients for Moses (although not the best for him since the first ingredient is sugar).

Our cake kind of looked like this. Recipe and photo credit for the Best White Cake (but not GF) here.

Take 1

We made it for the first time a couple of weeks ago to bring to a birthday party and added some allergy-free chocolate chips to them. We didn’t even need to make any icing. Moses thought it was delicious. We were thrilled!!!!!!!  Yay!!  Moses can eat cake, and it’s easy for us to make!!! He acted like a crazy maniac after eating it (Moses doesn’t do well on sugar), but we didn’t care too much because when we go to birthday parties, we want him to be able to eat cake. Big success!

We put some of it in the freezer to save for another day.

Take 2

A couple of days ago, I gave Moses a tiny bit of the cake as an extra treat. He complained that his tongue was itchy and we told him to wash his mouth out with water. We didn’t know if it was a fluke (since he didn’t react to the same cake a couple of weeks ago), and didn’t think much of it.

Take 3

So then yesterday, I gave Moses a bit more of the cake (I’d completely forgotten about the fact that it had made his tongue itchy the day before), and right away, he told us that his tongue was itchy again.

My boy is such a character…  As he was rinsing his mouth out with water, spitting water into the toilet (easier for him to reach than the sink), he yelled out, “Dad, you still make the best cakes ever!”

Then within minutes, his lips were completely swelled up. Uh oh.

Thankfully, his tongue didn’t swell and he had no other allergy symptoms. We immediately gave him some Benadryl and Aerius, and went directly to the ER. Within about an hour, the swelling of his lips had subsided. They also gave him Decadron (a corticosteroid and anti-inflammatory).

We all stayed in pretty good spirits the entire time. DH and I didn’t panic, and Moses remained in good spirits as well.

The next day

But, now that it’s the next day, DH and I are kind of going WTF?! This was Moses biggest allergic reaction for a long, long time.

What did he react to? Was it because the cake mix was cross-contaminated with something? What was that something? Did he react to the almond milk? (But, since he drinks almond milk daily, it shouldn’t be that). Obviously, we’re going to stay clear of buying cake mix at the Bulk Barn, but should we also cut down on his almond milk?

I should mention Moses very rarely actually eats almonds (he generally doesn’t like the taste), but a couple of weeks ago, I gave him 4 almonds and he immediately had severe stomach pains afterwards and diarrhea (whereas, he’s eaten them before with no ill effects).

I tried to get a hold of Moses’ allergist, but she’s out of town for a month, and the earliest appointment that we can make is in December! I also tried his pediatrician and we can see her in a month’s time.

So this is our plan…

  • No more Bulk Barn cake mix (or bulk foods for that matter);
  • No more whole almonds;
  • Back to being hyper-vigilant about potential cross-contamination with tree nuts; and
  • Continue to give him almond milk once a week (but cut it back from giving it to him daily). We’re going to do this because when we told our allergist that we’d given Moses a break from eating peanuts for 6 months because I thought he was sensitive to it (after he’d passed the peanut challenge), she had told us to NEVER EVER EVER again give him a break from eating peanuts because we run the risk of turning peanuts into a potential anaphylactic risk. She says that it’s much better to continue to let his body have a little bit of it every once in a while rather than cut it out completely. For this reason, we don’t want to stop giving him almond milk (unless done under advisement from his allergist), since his body seems to be used to it. (By the way, Moses is back to being able to eat organic peanut butter with no problems).

Heilkunst view

I asked his Heilkunstler about it and she wondered whether it was the type of almond (i.e., Moses might have negatively reacted to the whole almonds because of the pesticides — I can’t remember if they were organic or not), or the freshness of them. He may be super-sensitive to anything fungal, or slightly rancid oils in the nuts. That would explain his negative reaction to eating the 4 almonds, but why did he react to the cake?

Moses just started clearing the carcinosin miasm (cancer chronic miasm) and I wondered if he’s just extra sensitive at the moment (he’s just getting over a healing reaction related to the first powder — night terrors, flu-like symptoms).

His Heilkunstler replied:

Carcinosin tackles the super-sensitive state, as it removes the sacrificial state of mind.  Sensitivity comes when a person doesn’t have robust boundaries because their sense of self is weak, so they don’t know what is them and what isn’t, so they have a hard time keeping “not me” things out, or have super-sensitive boundaries that over-react to keep EVERYTHING out.

Treating this round of Carcinosin will help to ground him in his sense of self and thus help with the allergies, though while he is working on it his sensitivity may flare up at times.  The best foods for this state are vegetables (especially greens), fruit and light protein, and to avoid grains/sugar as much as possible.

Makes sense to me.

So, even though this seems like a big step backwards (a snake, if you will), I’m not too worried about it, and feel that this is just part of the ups and downs of the healing journey.

Cake Solutions

We need to find a new solution to our cake dilemma because we are inviting all of the kids in Moses’ class and his dayhome to a birthday bowling party in 10 days. Yikes!

I mentioned before that we have an allergy-free cake recipe that involves four different flours that I tried baking for Moses’ third birthday. It was a complete flop, and I was so discouraged that I stopped baking for a long, long time.

The last two years, we bought allergy-free cupcakes / cakes from local bakers  that were delicious, but DH wanted to make Moses’ cake this year. Also one of them is sadly no longer offering her services and the other one did so as a special favour for us. I would have asked the latter to bake Moses a cake again this year, but DH was certain that we’d figured out the birthday cake dilemma (i.e., Bulk Barn GF cake mix).

DH is persistent and found out that Glutino has a chocolate GF cake mix that he is going to try to make this weekend. Moses sometimes likes chocolate and sometimes doesn’t, so we hope that he likes it this time.

We also need to figure out icing! Ack! Wish us luck! (Thankfully, DH doesn’t get stressed out about baking like I do, so he’s on it). And, as Moses said, “Dad makes the best cakes ever”.


  • Simple vegan white cake that I think we could easily make into a GF recipe by using 50% brown rice and 50% GF oatmeal.
  • Glutenfree, eggfree, dairy free white cake recipe here. I think I found a winner here! She also has recipes for allergy-free frostings.


May 10, 2012 – DH baked the Glutino chocolate GF cake mix with egg replacer and it is absolutely delicious! It’s very moist and very chocolaty, but didn’t rise very high (maybe because we didn’t use real eggs)??  I think we’ll need to make 3 or 4 of them to feed all of the kids.

May 16, 2012 – DH made another Glutino chocolate cake for Mother’s day dinner (for the whole extended family) and it was a big hit. DH’s mom wants us to make it every time we have dinner over at her place.  We made it with this dairyfree icing recipe here (scroll to the bottom of the post — yum, yum — it was too sweet for our taste when we made it with 2.5 cups of icing sugar, so we’ll cut back on the amount of sugar next time we make it…) and put strawberries on top. Such a rich dessert — you don’t need a very big slice to feel like you’ve eaten a slice of heaven.

Oct 14, 2012 – We tried the icing recipe with 2 cups of icing sugar and it was still way too sweet. We’ll try it with 1 cup of icing sugar next time… A friend of ours also made a fruit topping for the cake (she heated frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries and maple syrup). yum, yum!


8 thoughts on “Adventures in allergy-free cake baking

  1. We are now trying to reduce or eliminate completely (for now) grains and starchy stuff in his diet. That Barn mix had lots of starchy flour in them.

    Why not just as a ‘trial’ try an almond cake that has completely no grain flour whatsoever. I think they have it under the GAPs diet. Since Moses can somehow take almond milk, he might be able to take almond flour of which the milk is extracted from. Alternatively, try a recipe with coconut flour perhaps. Again cautiously as coconut is deemed as a nut??? Some people add either yoghurt or pureed fruits to make the cake more moist, depending on suitability of ingredients.

    Perhaps the almonds he ate had traces of the skin in it, which I heard can be the re-active factor for some. Some people advocate soaking the almonds/or nuts to remove certain enzymes, then drying or dehydrating them in dehydrator for consumption.

    Kiss the cake batter with love; and tell it to be good in his tummy, before the bake off!

  2. Thanks for the advice! I’m a bit wary of trying an almond flour at the moment, but we have tried baking with coconut flour in the past. Just need to find a good recipe… I do agree that a grains-free diet is the way to go, but we’re not ready to make that plunge yet, esp. since we’re not sure about tree nuts right now…

    Good idea about kissing the batter with love. I like that!!

  3. Oh Janice – you should try the coconut flour chocolate cake from Elena’s Pantry. I made it for Adam’s birthday a couple of years ago and it’s DELISH! (though I can’t remember if I followed the cake recipe or the cupcake recipe): http://www.elanaspantry.com/chocolate-cake-coconut-flour-continued/ Happy Baking!!

  4. Hi Hanna: Thanks for the recipe!!! Sounds delicious! I was excited about it until I noticed that it calls for 10 eggs. I’m not sure if the egg replacer would be good enough to replace 10 eggs!!

    Keep any other suggestions coming though!!!

  5. Doh! Unfortuntately, that will be a problem with most coconut flour recipes because they have at least triple the egg quantities. Some cookie recipes only require a FEW TBSP of coconut flour but 3 or 4 eggs.

  6. Hey Janice! Just patrolling the net for healthy chia recipes and discovered that chia gel (chia seeds soacked in water) can be used as an egg replacer. I thought I’d pay it forward in case you didn’t know that. Chia seeds are wonderfully healthy and I’m considering using it as a butter replacer so I can sneak some Omega 3’s into my kids in the form of chocolate chip cookies. Yes, I’m a sneaky mom!!!! Muah, hahahahahah!!!!

  7. Thanks for looking out for me, Hanna! I didn’t know that chia seeds could be used as an egg replacer. Good to know!!! I’ve been putting it in shakes, but not much else. I have a yummy looking chocolate chia seed pudding though, that I’ve been meaning to try… Did you notice that Brianna is now blogging about her Heilkunst journey as well? I listed her blog under my friends list, if you want to check it out!

  8. Yes, I have read Brianna’s blog and look forward to following her posts. Thanks for letting me know but she had already forwarded a link on one of my blog posts. Have fun experimenting with “ch-ch-ch-chia!” 🙂

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