Monday, May 21, 2012

Super-Easy Allergy-Free Cupcake Recipe

by Kelley Lindberg

Six dozen cupcakes. 72. Way more than sane people make.

That’s what I made this weekend. My son’s soccer coach invited the whole team and their families to a barbeque to celebrate the end of the season. He provided the meat (a wonderful smoked brisket) and everyone else was supposed to bring a potluck dish to share.

My rule for parties is to always volunteer to bring the dessert. That is where nuts are most likely to appear (why are nuts an obligatory part of everyone’s favorite dessert recipe?), so I figure if I bring the dessert, I can control a lot of the nut contamination at the event. My son and his best friend are both on the team, so this time I knew we were dealing with not just my son’s peanut and nut allergy, but also his friend’s nut, milk, and egg allergy. So that made me even more determined to bring dessert – that way our boys would get the dessert, even if they couldn’t eat anything else. (The friend always brings his own bag of safe food to parties like this, because the risk of cross-contamination is just too high.)

So there I was, making six dozen cupcakes.

And you know what? It wasn’t that bad! In fact, it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be, because the allergic friend’s mom (Kim, my dear friend and partner-in-crime for the last 13 years of playdates, parties, school, and other events) gave me her new secret recipe for making super-easy safe cupcakes (milk-, egg-, and nut-free). Okay, it isn't really secret, and it was shared a while ago on the UFAN email list, but it was new to me, and it worked out really well, so...

Now I’m going to give you the recipe. Are you ready? Here it is:

    Super-Easy Allergy-Free Cupcake Recipe
  • 1 box Duncan Hines cake mix
  • 1 12-oz. can of club soda
    Mix, bake, frost, eat.

Seriously? Seriously. That’s all there is to it.

Duncan Hines makes several flavors (yellow, spice, chocolate, red velvet, lemon, etc.) that contain only wheat – no eggs, milk, or soy. Check ingredient labels carefully, because not all of their flavors are milk-free. You may have other cake mixes you like that are safe, and this should work just fine with those, too. It might even work with your favorite gluten-free cake mix, but I haven’t tried that yet. (Betty Crocker makes gluten-free yellow and devils-food chocolate cake mixes that are free from milk, eggs, and nuts, but they do contain soy or a soy warning.)

So grab a box of safe cake mix, pour in a can of club soda, mix it up, and bake according to the time on the box. Forget the oil and eggs that the box calls for. You don’t need ‘em.

I’ve heard you can also use a can of Sprite instead of the club soda. But that adds more sugar, so I like using club soda. (Cake mixes already have plenty of sugar – no need to add more.)

For frosting, I use Pillsbury Creamy Supreme, which contains soy, but is free from milk, eggs, and nuts. Then I sprinkle them with colored sugar or Enjoy Life Foods’ mini chocolate chips (or both). Voila! Instant cupcakes.

Here’s the best part. They seemed to be a big hit at the party. The team devoured them (most had multiple cupcakes), and I got lots of compliments from the parents, too.

And I didn’t have to tell a soul that they were milk-, egg-, and nut-free. No one could tell. If I had told people they were allergy-friendly, I wonder how many people would have declined them, thinking they would taste “off.” But I didn’t, no one knew any different, and everyone was happy. Especially the teenage soccer players, who all had seconds, thirds, and in at least one case, fourths.

Funny how hungry teen boys can make six dozen cupcakes disappear in a heartbeat! And it made me happy knowing that the treat was a safe way for our allergic boys to not feel left out of this sweet part of the party.


Kamaile said...

thanks for the easy recipe! I'll definitely have to give these a try.

Julie A said...

Awesome! I wonder if it would work with a gf cupcake mix. will have to give it a try! Thanks!

foodallergymom said...

Kelley... I love this recipe! Am going to steal it and try it!! Love the idea of sprinkling choc chips ON TOP of cupcakes.. never thought of that! Going to share this link with others...

Kamaile said...

I tried this tonight and was doubtful it was going to work. The batter seemed too soupy. 15 mins later I opened the oven and it was like magic. Perfect cupcakes! Thanks again for the recipe. :)