Birthday cakes are one of those important milestones that no child (or adult) should have to miss out on – but cakes made without eggs can be really disappointing. While there are egg substitutes available, they can be temperamental to use and often aren’t available in the local supermarket. So a reliable egg free birthday cake recipe using only supermarket ingredients is a useful addition to any allergy family’s scrapbook. The ScratchSleeves team have not one, but two tried and tested family favourites to share: a traditional style sponge cake recipe (which can also be modified to make a chocolate cake) and a much loved fruit cake recipe. Both of these recipes can be adjusted to be dairy-free (there’s a how-to section at the end). And our secret ingredient is… golden syrup.
Egg free birthday cake recipe # 1: Golden syrup sponge cake
I first came across this recipe when I was at college. It took us ages to realise that one of our house-mates is allergic to eggs as her mum sent her such yummy cakes, largely based on this recipe. And this recipe is remarkably forgiving so is great for making with the kids.
300g self raising flour*
Pinch of salt
170g castor sugar
1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
300 ml of milk – dairy or dairy substitute (300g)
150 ml (140g) corn or rapeseed oil (rapeseed oil give an almost nutty flavour)
30g golden syrup (a rounded tablespoon)
½ teaspoon of vanilla essence.
*For a chocolate cake switch 50g of the flour for cocoa
- Line a pair of sponge tins about 18cm in diameter with baking parchment and preheat the oven to 180oC (Gas Mark 4)
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Sieving the flour will make for a slightly lighter texture but can make for more mess if you’ve got the kids helping.
- Combine all the liquid ingredients in a separate bowl or measuring jug making sure that the golden syrup has mixed in completely. Measuring out the golden syrup can result in a sticky mess, especially if children are involved. We put the jug on the scales and use a squeezy bottle of golden syrup to add 30g – much easier than scooping a tablespoonful out of the old fashioned tins!
- Add the wet mixture to dry mixture and mix well.
- Divide the mixture between the two lined tins and bake in the pre-heated oven until golden brown and springy to touch (about 30 minutes).
- Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for around 5 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack.
- When cool, fill with jam and butter icing. Or for a chocolate filling mix together 25g cocoa, 2 tablespoons of hot water, 25g softened butter or margarine and 100g of icing sugar. The chocolate filling works really well with morello cherries.
Egg free birthday cake recipe # 2: Boiled fruit cake
This recipe, or variations of it, has been in our family for years. It doesn’t rise much and can go a bit sticky in the centre. But I really love the gooey bit in the middle and have been known to deliberately open the oven door in the middle of baking to make sure that the cake sinks (but don’t tell Grandma ScratchSleeves – I’m not sure if she knows why her fruit cakes usually sank!)
50g brown sugar
100g baking margarine
150g currants (or any other dried fruit but currants are particularly good)
1 teaspoon mixed spice
150ml milk or milk substitute
1 tablespoon golden syrup or black treacle
225g self raising flour
50g chopped almonds (optional)
- In medium-sized saucepan bring the sugar, margarine, currants, mixed spice, milk (or milk substitute) and golden syrup (or black treacle) to the boil, then mix thoroughly before leaving to cool to just above room temperate, about 20-30mins
- While you’re waiting for the mixture to cool, grease and line 20cm cake tin and preheat the oven to 180oC /160oC fan /Gas Mark 4
- When the mixture is cool, stir in the flour and optional almonds (sieving the flour makes for less mixing but won’t affect the texture) then pour into your lined cake tin. You’re looking for a soft, dropping consistency so that any fruit on the surface can just sink in before the cake sets in the oven (and not burn) – if your mixture is a bit stiff add a splash of warm water from a part boiled kettle.
- Bake until the cake smells good and is springy to touch, about 45-55 minutes. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack.
Be patient and let this cake cool before trying it, the fruit gets really, really hot…!
Need your cakes to be dairy free too?
Butter and margarine: Most baking margarines, such as Stork, are dairy free and can be directly substituted for butter. Some people find that Stork has a distinctive taste but most supermarkets have a similar own brand product and these are typically blander and so less intrusive in taste. If you’re making traditional butter icing with margarine, adding a drop of vanilla essence to the mix can really lift the flavour.
Milk and milk-substitutes: Regular dairy milk has a high fat content. If you are using skimmed milk or a milk substitute with lower fat, like soya milk, add an extra 10ml of oil to the sponge cake recipe (you may need to add an extra tablespoon of flour if the mixture looks really runny) and 5-10g of margarine to the fruit cake recipe.
Visit Yummy Recipes for Eczema Babies & Kids for more free-from child-friendly recipes.
Here at ScratchSleeves we don’t just share our experiences of bringing up an eczema child and favourite allergy friendly recipes, we also manufacturer and sell our unique stay-on scratch mitts for itchy babies, toddlers and children. We now stock sizes from 0-8 years in a range of colours. Visit our main website for more information.