20 answers

Birthday Cake That Is Safe for Dairy Allergy Sufferers

We are planning a very small, simple home birthday party with a homemade cake for our daughter's 6th birthday. We know one of her guests is allergic to dairy. I was planning to make the Perfectly Chocolate Cake on the back of the Hershey's box, which I've made a million times before, following the standard recipe. I am wondering if soy milk can be used as a straight substitution for milk in any homemade cake recipe. Has anyone tried this? Also, does anyone have ideas for homemade frosting that is non-dairy, or know of one that is available in the regular cake aisle of the supermarket?

Also, are standard chicken nuggets safe for dairy allergy sufferers?

Thanks everyone!

3 moms found this helpful

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Featured Answers

Yes you can substitute soy milk in place of cows milk.you must also watch for butter if the recipe calls for it and choose a dairy free alternative like fleishmans margarine, smart balance or earths balance. Whole foods carries cherrybrook farm ready made frosting!

In Shaws markets or Whole Foods there is a cake mix called Cake for Everyone and it covers all of allergies. Do ask the parent if the child is also allergic to soy too as that can happen. Just do double chekc their allergies an Thank You for doing this as kids with allergies do get left out of party food most times! Always have cut up fruit available for these tpye of things so kids who cannot eat what or daily have fruit to eat

More Answers

Hi there,
Best choc. cake I've ever had, and so easy.
3 C. flour
1 1/2 C. sugar
6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 C. water
2/3 C. vegetable oil

Put all dry ingredients into a bowl and stir. Make a "well" in the center and add all wet ingredients into the well. Mix thoroughly and pour in ungreased pan. (9x13) Bake at 350 for 30-35 min.
Cupcakes take about 15-20 min.
If you plan on taking layers out of pan, grease and flour pan first, but otherwise, no need. Not sure on time for layer cakes, but it's done when you can touch lightly in center and it springs back up.

There are some canned frostings that I think don't have dairy, but I can't remember which. Should say on ingredients. Though some have whey, which is dairy.

Home made non-dairy frosting:
1 C. shortening
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
About 4 1/2 C. powdered sugar.

Cream shortening, water and vanilla. Add sugar gradually, adding more water if necessary to get desired consistency.

For chocolate frosting, which isn't quite as sweet, just substitute 1/2 C. cocoa powder for 1/2 C. of the sugar, beating the cocoa in before adding sugar.

This cake is also really good with just powdered sugar sprinkled on top, or when you don't have to worry about dairy, with chocolate pudding instead of frosting. Good luck. Enjoy.

3 moms found this helpful

Hi - that is very thoughtful of you to think of your daughter's friend at her party! My daughter has milk allergies, as well. She is only 18 months old, and was just diagnosed within the past 6 months, so we haven't really had to deal with this yet, but... I would say that you still have to be careful about cake mixes, which may contain dairy in the mix itself (ingredients to look for are milk, whey, casein, butter). If the mix doesn't have any of these ingredients, you could probably check with the friend's mom to see if she would be ok with you serving that cake.

There is a great website - foodallergy.org - that has lots of info about allergies, including some recipes for cake and frosting here: http://www.foodallergy.org/morerecipes.html

There is also a kid-centered version of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network's website - faankids.org - which would be wonderful for your daughter to look at to get ideas of how to support her friend.

Oh and yes, I think most standard chicken nuggets are safe.

Thanks for thinking of your daughter's friend, and I hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday!

1 mom found this helpful

your best bet is to ask the parent.. I am lactose intollerant and can not handle soy either. You can try www.godairyfree.com for recipes too.. the Mom may even bring her own cupcake for her child so no one else is affected by the one child's allergy. Chicken nuggets are probably not dairy free too.. again, ask the parent what the child can handle... good luck

Sounds silly, but check with the other mom and see if she can have goats milk. Goats milk doesn't have the same milk proteins (lactose) that cows milk does. I have multiple friends who had children with lactose intolerances when nursing or at a year and the moms and kids could have goats milk. You can get it powdered, canned, or fresh from local farms. Fresh tastes just like cows and you'd never know the difference.

S., the answer to your question, "if soy milk can be used as a straight substitution for milk in any homemade cake recipe?" Yes, you CAN substitute soy milk for dairy milk in any homemade cake recipe. You are only substituting one liquid for another.
The frosting question is a lot tougher but if you're making a chocolate cake, why not dust some powdered sugar through a fancy doily? It's still a decoration and best of all it's quick and easy.

Yes, you can definitely substitute soy milk---it works very well. I have two kids with dairy allergies and we do it all the time. The key to chicken nuggets is just to check the ingredients--the Tysons ones we have are dairy free. Look for milk, whey, milk powder, butter--any of these things will have dairy. There are several mixes from the grocery store that are dairy free---one cake mix (Pillsbury? I just cannot remember but one of the main ones is). ONe of the frostings in a can is also dairy free--same brand as the cake mix. We make these cakes a lot.

Almost all margarine also has traces of dairy --so if you need to add margarine or butter you need the vegan variety.

Its a pain I know---but as a parent of kids with allergies--it means so much to at least try to include the kids with milk allergies since they are often having something different to eat that their parents bring. We are always grateful---you could also just check with the parents--email them the ingredients to check etc.

Good luck and thanks for thinking of allergic kids!


Hello S.,
My son is almost 11 and has had a milk protein allergy since infancy. As you can imagine, events like this are hard, as so many foods contain milk in some form! Your guest's mother will probably be quite happy you went the extra mile to accommodate her daughter. That being said, I'm seeing some misinformation on here about milk allergy. If the child has a true cow's milk protein allergy (whey or casein), this is not the same as lactose intolerance and there is a lot of crossover between cow's and goat's milk - NOT a safe substitution. Soy milk is fine, especially vanilla or chocolate flavored for extra sweetness. I believe it's Duncan Hines that makes a few kinds of cake mix without milk. Manufacturers need to clearly label the top 8 allergens now, as well. You can look for the Kosher symbol (small u with a circle around it - bottom front of package - NOT with a D (dairy) next to it). For frosting, you can use plain Crisco or Fleishman's margarine with the green label (again - u circle symbol). You will also need to ask the child's mother if "facility" or trace amounts of milk are okay. Everyone seems to be putting this on labels now, I believe for liability issues. A lot of chicken nuggets have milk in the batter. We use regular Tyson nuggets. To be safe, I'd save all of the food packaging and have the mother check it at the start of the party.
Hope this helps - it can be confusing, but I'm sure the family will appreciate your efforts!
Just editing my response again after reading others' responses. DO NOT give Sherbet to a child with a milk allergy - it does contain milk! Most Sorbet's are okay, as they are only fruit, sugar, and water, but again, labels need to be read. I don't mean to be an alarmist, but I'm amazed at the bad information out there, especially given by parents of children with allergies. Will you send a follow-up and let us know how you made out? TY

Hi S.!
I agree w/ Amy....My 8 year old also has a milk protein allergy, which is not to be confused with lactose issues (a very different animal). Don't be afraid to check with the mom on anything; trust me, she'll appreciate it. And my son too eats the Tyson nuggets safely. But you'd be surprised what has milk, whey, and that pesky "casein" and "sodium caseinate" and what doesn't (Oreo cookies are actually OK...whereas some chic nuggets are not-the coating in alot have milk)...BTW: my little man now can some small pieces of cake made with dairy and he tolerates it well. Good luck

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