Yesterday was my friend Shannon's baby boy's first birthday. A few weeks ago they got the unfortunate news that he has some food allergies. I know from experience how stressful and irritating food allergies can be, and I truly feel for anyone that has to deal with them. It turns out that his allergies are to eggs and beet sugar. With the beet sugar allergy, if something's ingredients include sugar, and it doesn't specify "cane sugar" then you must assume it's beet sugar, and avoid it. So, with eggs out, and with unknown sources of sugar out, that pretty much means any cake from a bakery is out. So, knowing all of the wonderful things I know about vegan baking, and knowing that I only buy cane sugar, I volunteered to bake the little sweetie a birthday cake.
Now, I'm not much of a baker and even less of a cake decorator. So, my initial plan was a plain sheet cake with plain icing. Then, I had the idea of making cupcakes instead. Well, that all seemed so incredibly boring for a baby's first birthday cake. So, I decided to put the two together and make a cake in the shape of a lego. Brilliant, I know!!
The cake I decided on was Dreena's vanilla cake (I don't remember the real name of it) from ED&BV. It's a very easy cake consisting of flour, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, applesauce, oil and soymilk (but I subbed rice milk). I baked it in a 9x9 square pan, instead of the 2 round pans suggested and it took significantly longer than directed to bake. I also made 4 cupcakes to use as the "knobs" on the lego.
For the icing I used a simple uncooked, egg free buttercream recipe that I got from allrecipes.com. The icing wasn't vegan, I used real butter. I can't use Earth Balance because of our soy elimination. For the yellow coloring I added 1/2 tsp. of turmeric powder. The turmeric gave the icing a very interesting, gingery flavor.
I iced some extra cupcakes and let my girls sample them before we went to the party, and they loved them. Stella got to share cake with baby boy since she can't have eggs either. I think she ate more of his birthday cake than he did!!