*sniffle*sniffle* I Feel Horrible! Sorry Long.

Decorating By springlakecake Updated 9 Dec 2008 , 2:09am by springlakecake

springlakecake Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 12:36pm
post #1 of 38

okay so I feel really horrible about something that happened over the weekend icon_sad.gif . I made this first birthday cake for a family member this weekend. I was really excited about the way the cake turned out. I also made a smash cake for her. Anyway about 10 minutes after she had her smash cake she was covered in HIVES! She obviously had an allergic reaction, most likely to the cake/icing. I don't think she really even ate the cake but did have some icing. My gut feeling is that it was the SMBC because there were egg whites in it.

I had a feeling that I should just make the regular icing for a one year old, but I thought to myself there are eggs in the cake anyway and her mom obviously knows there are eggs in a cake. Plus I was really tired and I had that icing leftover from the main cake and I didnt really feel like making any more. But I feel like I should have asked if she had allergies or at least said something about it. I know that they didnt even know, so the outcome probably wouldnt have been any different had I asked. I just hate being the one that did that.

I don't know what she ate just prior to the cake, so it is possible it was something else, but i think it is assumed that it was the cake. It didnt really seem to bother her (baby) much and within minutes of them giving her benedryl she was quite a bit better. the hives were pretty much limited to her face and I dont think she swelled up or had breathing problems or anything.

Anyway I just can't seem to feel any better about this even though it has been 2 days! I came home from the party and cried! I sent off another apology to mom and dad so there really isnt anything else I can do. I am pretty sure they arent upset with me or anything. But still I am very sad about it. icon_sad.gif

Here is the cake that I am proud of though! http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo-1211521.html

thanks for listening!

37 replies
Meemawfish Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 12:44pm
post #2 of 38

I think the cake is beautiful and there is no way you could have known that she would be allergic to it. You're not even sure it was the cake so quit beating yourself up over it. Hugs icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 12:54pm
post #3 of 38

no way you could have known!! don't beat yourself up over it. Sometimes kids that young have allergies that even the parents don't know about yet. You can shoulda-woulda-coulda yourself to death over anything, but if you had no way of knowing, then you had no way of knowing.

justducky Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 12:59pm
post #4 of 38

The cake is adorable! You have no way of knowing if it was the cake! Don't beat yourself up. More hugs!

travelingcakeplate Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 1:11pm
post #5 of 38

your cake is awesome. Sorry about the break out. Have a great day.

ziggytarheel Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 1:12pm
post #6 of 38

Please don't feel bad about that. As someone with food allergies and a child who has food allergies, I cannot imagine even partly blaming the baker when NO ONE had a clue.

And, the parents now know that their child has an allergy and can start being careful with what she eats (or touches!). They can notify their pediatrician and take all the proper steps to protect their child.

You didn't cause her allergy!

It would be quite different if you decided that the child didn't REALLY have an allergy and went on and baked and iced as you pleased. (You really have to watch out for folks like that...they are out there.) You did not do that. It could have just as easily been her mom that had offered her the first bite of something she was allergic to.

When my daughter was first allergic to green peas, I felt bad ONLY because there had been some warning signs I had ignored. My mom felt bad when my daughter ate something at her house that had TOUCHED something she was allergic to. These things happen, even when you think you are doing all the right things.

You did nothing wrong, I promise. PROMISE. icon_smile.gif

kakeladi Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 1:13pm
post #7 of 38

Hey there! STOP! your crying right now - and that's an ordericon_smile.gif

No way is it your fault. It is NOT up to you to ask about allergies. It IS up to the customer to mention if there are any allergies!

There are sooooooo many things that could have caused the reaction - IF it was the cake!
Crisco (I can't rub any leftover on my hands or I'll break out)
Egg whites
food coloring! (This is most likely the problem)
Corn (cornstarch in the powdered sugar)

that's just a few of the more common ones.

smoore Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 1:34pm
post #8 of 38

As a mom of a kid with food alergies I can honestly tell you don't worry about it!!!!! The only way to figure out there is an alergy is to have a reaction. If it wouldn't have been the cake/frosting, it would have been something else down the line. It would happen eventually and all the coulda, shoulda, woulda's in the world wouln't have made a difference. If it were my kid, I wouldn't have blamed you at all (you didn't give her the allergy and no one knew any better!). I would have been happy to have that cake for my daughter. Next year you'll know to stick with regular buttercream. Ask the mom ... many kids with egg alergies can eat eggs that are baked into something like cake, but can't eat fried eggs or something where egg is the main ingredient. You may be right, the cake could be fine, but the frosting caused the issue. In either case, you helped the parents detect the allergy in the comfort of their own home where benedryl was readily available ... not and hour or so away from home at some restaurant. With my son, we never left home without the benedryl ... now that they know she may be prone to food alergies, they may want to do the same thing. You could be doing them a favor, as they'll now be in tune with their kid as they introduce new foods. No harm done .... the kid's still healthy and happy, right? People live with allergies everyday. She won't be scarred by her first birthday cake! icon_smile.gif

springlakecake Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 1:42pm
post #9 of 38

Thank you everyone for making me feel better. I know deep down it really isnt my fault since no one knew there were alleriges.

I guess I am feeling badly about my choice to use SMBC. I know that eggs can cause an allergy, but I figured that since there were already eggs in the cake it really didn't matter. Again, as I said it could have been a number of different things that caused it because I don't know what else she ate right before. But I FEEL like it is the eggs, just a gut feeling. I did not use cornstarch, food coloring (except there were a few sprinkles on it), crisco. It was just egg whites, butter, sugar and vanilla (imitation)

But they did serve berries and they had nuts out in bowls for lunch. Also the grandma took her upstairs to wipe her down after the cake and possibly whatever she used (soap or whatnot) maybe could have caused it. I don't know.

I also wondering what to do about this in the future, namely with first birthday cakes when the child might be exposed to these new foods for the first time. I don't know what kind of responsibilty I have in this.

indydebi Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 1:44pm
post #10 of 38

you just ask "are there any allergies that you're aware of?" and move on. Most parents, if they know about allergies, will make you aware of them before you even think about asking about them.

nancylynwallace Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 1:52pm
post #11 of 38

I agree with everyone else...quit beating yourself up!! You never would have made it like that if you ever thought there may have been a problem! The cake is beautiful and you did a great job. Put those kleenex away and keep on doing the wonderful work that you are doing!!

P.S. here's a hug ((((((((((((((((HUG))))))))))))))

ziggytarheel Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 1:55pm
post #12 of 38

I'm allergic to eggs. I would be just as allergic to your icing as I would be to your cake.

Feel better? icon_biggrin.gif

From the perspective of a food allergy sufferer and the parent of one, what I think would be a nice idea is at least for children, to offer a list of ingredients. You could certain just ask if there are any food allergies or food sensitivities. Food sensitivities are much more common than allergies.

But, on the other hand, it isn't necessary, really. If they are allergic, they WILL tell you. If they aren't yet allergic (I didn't have an allergy until I was 32!), they won't know to ask. If they are being careful with the introduction of new foods, I would think they would mention it? And if they don't know that cake generally has eggs...well. icon_smile.gif

And it well could have been those nuts, or what was used to clean the baby up with. My guess is that if the baby showed no signs of distress but had a decent little batch of hives, it could have been from skin contact. Food allergies, when they get bad, have other distress signs.

smoore Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 1:59pm
post #13 of 38

Just a side note ... it could have been the butter, not the eggs. My son is alergic to dairy products and if he even touched my toast, he'd get hives on his fingers! For a while we thought he had an egg allergy, but it was the butter it was cooked in ... duh!!!! (He was still nursing and hadn't had cows milk yet). They'll have to run their own tests on her to see what the allergy is for sure ... so, Benedryl will be their best friend for a while as they figure it out. icon_smile.gif Really, it's ok!!!!!

springlakecake Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 2:03pm
post #14 of 38

I am sure they will likely take her to the doctor to try and determine the cause as soon as they can. I hope it wasnt my cake, but I will assume it is until then. When they brought her up to me to ask what was in it...I just thought EGGS. who knows though. I dont think it really was anywhere else but her face, maybe her hands too. It almost seems like it was where ever she was in contact with it (or wiped down). But no, there were no other signs of distress that I am aware of. I would say it occured probably no more than 10 minutes after the cake. I didnt stay too long after this all happened so I hope there were no other problems afterwards.

there arent any food allergies in my immediate family, so I really don't have any experience with this.

miss_sweetstory Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 2:10pm
post #15 of 38

I want to throw you some support too. Both my husband and I have food allergies, and two of our kids have some sensitivities. These things can come on very suddenly, and can be the result of a combination of factors. Your cake/icing may or may not have been the cause or a contributing factor.

But no matter what, as long as you prepared the cake according to safe food practices you are not responsible for any allergic reaction.

Continue to make your beautiful cakes, enjoy them, and give yourself (and your gut) a break.

Penny7271 Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 2:14pm
post #16 of 38

I echo the other posters in saying please try not to feel bad...there was no way you could have known and it was certainly not your fault.

As far as what to do in the future...I would say ask if there are known allergies in the family, but otherwise keep doing what you are doing!

My son is about to turn 1...and he'll have cake for the first time on his birthday. We'll find out that day if he's got any allergies. That's the only way we're going to find out! We'll watch him carefully and make sure he seems ok...then we'll know we've passed reached a milestone - he can have cake with the rest of us icon_smile.gif

By the way - your cake was beautiful! As are all of you creations...you are SO talented!

CarolAnn Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 2:40pm
post #17 of 38

You cake is just beautiful!!

The hive thing isn't your fault. Sounds like they still don't know what caused it. My grand daughter has to be careful about getting any tomato based sauces on her face because it causes her skin to become inflamed. She can eat tomatoes. She can have cinnamon and sugar on her toast but cinnamon candy and gum bothers her tummy. She is also sensitive to certain kinds of baby wipes, which we keep in our cars for clean up. Didn't know any of this until we used them, so now we know.

You made a wonderful cake, and no one blames you for that reaction. It could have been any number of things. Stop worrying yourself about it and just take the precautions you mentioned with your icings. I never ask about food allergies with customers either. Guess maybe I should, but as several have mentioned if they are an issue the customer should inform us.

springlakecake Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 2:48pm
post #18 of 38

Well I just got an interesting email from the mom (DH cousin). Anyway she was very clear that I should not worry about it. She said Kyla was perfectly fine and that the hives were gone by bedtime. She also said she have given her eggs and milk before the party to be sure she wasnt sensitive to it. The only thing she didnt think she had was the vanilla. She also said she is wondering if it was more of a contact allergy. Hey I dont want to get my hopes up because I know you all said these sensitivities can show up at any time...but maybe just maybe it was something else? She said she had an appointment tomorrow so they will talk about it then.

smoore Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 3:44pm
post #19 of 38
Originally Posted by merissa

Well I just got an interesting email from the mom (DH cousin). Anyway she was very clear that I should not worry about it. She said Kyla was perfectly fine and that the hives were gone by bedtime. She also said she have given her eggs and milk before the party to be sure she wasnt sensitive to it. The only thing she didnt think she had was the vanilla. She also said she is wondering if it was more of a contact allergy. Hey I dont want to get my hopes up because I know you all said these sensitivities can show up at any time...but maybe just maybe it was something else? She said she had an appointment tomorrow so they will talk about it then.

Great to hear. I know that with those with sensitivities/allergies introducing too many new things at one time can cause an immune system overload. She may be fine with all of this, but just got too many new things all at once and her body didn't know how to react except by overreacting.

As a mom of a kid with allergies, I never put the blame on anyone and I think it's MY responsibility to notify anyone and everyone that may provide him any type of food. I've also got him trained to know what he can and can't have (he just turned 6), so he knows to ask and make sure before consuming something questionable. If she's got allergies, this won't be the last time she has a reaction ... she'll get used to it and so will her parents.

wgoat5 Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 1:09am
post #20 of 38

I haven't read everything Merissa but I can tell you it's not your fault if they didn't tell you she an allergy to anything...

also another factor..

If you make your own fondant....corn syrup.. marshmallows whatever... Corn syrup is like eggs.. .people either are VERY allergic or aren't ..

Awesome cake Merissa

dragonflydreams Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 4:23am
post #21 of 38

. . . "IF" it turns out to be one of the ingredients in your cake . . . they have found out early . . . and ultimately, there was no harm done . . . she is fine and now they know they will have to watch what she eats . . . let it go . . . you are in no way responsible . . .

Mike1394 Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 9:25am
post #22 of 38

Don't feel bad. Cake looks nice.


TheButterWench Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 9:54am
post #23 of 38

I read this when you first posted and I didn't want to post because I didn't want to get you more upset than you really where, but now that the baby is fine I just wanted to jump in here with my penny.

Even if it WAS something in your cake, unless they were able to prove it, why in the world would you send them an email volunteering to place the blame on something you made?

1.st off, you NEVER admit to anything, never volunteer to admit to anything and if they come after you, well, then, that's what your insurance is for.

Even if you're not legal, those of you that bake from home should have some type of insurance rider on your home owners policy for eventualities like this.

Even covers if one of your customers comes over for a cake tasting or a cake pick up and they fall coming or going off your property.

It's even good to be covered even if you are renting.

I would NEVER do any type of business without having some type of coverage.

Having some type of insurance is just the cost of doing business.

springlakecake Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 11:48am
post #24 of 38

I understand what you are saying. However, this was a gift, not a business transaction. This was for family, not for a customer. But I do understand your point. Which is why I was wondering about my liability/responsibility for allergies when I do have a business in the future. Agreed, I probably would have handled it differently if it was business. I probably would have been on here BEFORE saying anything about it asking what to do! LOL! Deep down I really didnt think it was my fault, but having an audience watch an allergic reaction presumably to my cake made me feel like cr*p. Point taken though, before I turn into a blubbering fool, I should curb my emotions.

springlakecake Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 11:49am
post #25 of 38
Originally Posted by wgoat5

I haven't read everything Merissa but I can tell you it's not your fault if they didn't tell you she an allergy to anything...

also another factor..

If you make your own fondant....corn syrup.. marshmallows whatever... Corn syrup is like eggs.. .people either are VERY allergic or aren't ..

Awesome cake Merissa

Interesting, I did not know that. She didnt have any fondant though. I made a separate cake for her.

vdrsolo Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 11:56am
post #26 of 38

I just skimmed the thread, so I apologize if this was mentioned.

It very well could have been an allergic reaction/contact dermatitis from the napkin. Many times brightly colored napkins are used at birthday parties and parents experience their first "allergic" reaction. Not to the cake but the loads of dyes in that napkin!! Many people have allergies to red dye and there could have been just a slight amount of red dye in that napkin (even though the napkin was not red).

springlakecake Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 12:00pm
post #27 of 38

I know I got to wondering if it was something that they wiped her off with. Napkin isnt something I thought of, but I was thinking soap or something. Just because the hives were pretty much limited to where they wiped her down. Plus now she says she has had milk and eggs before.

giggysmack Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 12:26pm
post #28 of 38

Sorry this happened to you. This is not your fault. When I went to get my baby's shots they asked if she had an egg alergy. I said I don't know. The doctor looked at me with a stern look and said " Well, did she have birthday cake?" Yes, Then she is fine.

smoore Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 12:26pm
post #29 of 38

I have a niece who's alergic to yellow dye. Even yellow dye on a napkin would give her hives. I know others who are alergic to red dye. Did the little girl just break out on her face or did she also have other alergic symptoms (i.e. itching, runny nose, congestion, cough)? If it was just a reaction on her skin, she may just have sensitive skin. Greasy lotion/frostiing might do the same thing. If it took 1/2 the day for the benedryl to clear up the hives it might not have been hives.

springlakecake Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 1:07pm
post #30 of 38

I would say the reaction came on quite suddenly within 10 minutes I would say. The hives were on her face and maybe hands only I think. Her eyes looked quite red, and she was rubbing them. Within a few minutes of taking hte benedryl the hives seemed to be reduced markedly. It really did appear to be an allergic reaction to me. But maybe it could have been dyes. I would love for it to be something other than the cake!

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