Baking Nut Free??

Decorating By Kay_NL Updated 20 Jun 2008 , 12:53pm by -K8memphis

Kay_NL Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 4:23pm
post #1 of 14

I've had quite a few people asking me if my baking is nut free and I'd just like to know what other precautions are necessary to ensure that it is? I've also had enquiries about nut free kitchen, but it is not, and it likely never will be...

I read all labels to ensure there are no traces of nuts.

I don't use nuts in the equipment I use to mix, bake or decorate.

I wash all my dishes in the dish washer.

My children eat peanut butter maybe once or twice a week, and I bring almonds to work regularly. I don't let them have peanut butter on baking or decorating days, and there is never open nut products around while I am doing that stuff.

I guess I'm just a bit freaked out because I've never had to deal with nut allergies in my own life and would feel forever guilty if somebody ate my cake and had a reaction. Some people have asked if my kitchen is nut free, which it is not. At my friend's daughter's party several of the children had allergies, ate cake, and were fine...

Is there anything I'm forgetting to keep my baked goods nut free??? Do most of you guarantee nut free cakes?


13 replies
emrldsky Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 4:25pm
post #2 of 14

If you're legal, you might be able to contact the health department and inquire on the requirements and how you could be certified nut free.


getfrosted Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 4:38pm
post #3 of 14

I am a nut-free facility as my DD has a severe peanut allergy. There are no nut products allowed - period. I have done so much research on finding products and manufacturers that are nut-free that I am completely confident with saying that I am NUT-FREE.

I can guarantee my customers with allergies that the cakes are safe.

If you have nut products in the same kitchen, using the same utensils, sinks, cloths, cutting boards, counters, etc. there is no way for you to even consider making cakes for customers with allergies. If someone sat at your kitchen table and ate a peanut butter sandwich then got up and pushed their chair back in, the chair now has allergens on it, light switches - things that people don't think of and it would be literally impossible to sanitize your house after having nut products to be able to avoid cross contamination.

Depending on the severity of the allergy one person might just have a mild reaction as someone else could be killed.

As a mom with an allergic child, please don't think that because you washed up after giving your kids a peanut butter sandwich that your kitchen is now allergen free.

Just my two cents!

costumeczar Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 4:44pm
post #4 of 14

You could tell people that you take every precaution to bake without nuts if they request it, but that your kitchen does have nuts in it (mine does too, my family!) Anyway, just tell them that you'll prepare everything without nuts coming in contact with the cakes, but that the cakes are prepared in a "facility that also processes nuts." Then they can decide whether they want to eat the cake or not. Food labelling has that disclaimer on it, so I'd assume that if your allergy was severe enough you'd be able to decide for yourself...

-K8memphis Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 4:46pm
post #5 of 14

The following is my personal experience. It is not a generalization--please do not be offended if you have a nut allergic family member.

I have dealt with some nut allergic people before--or rather I have dealt with their mothers. Some of them have been so persistent because they feel their kids are left out of so much etc. But I mean nut allergies can end in death.

So they just want to find out how you operate and look in all your cracks and crevices and it just gives me the creeps. My kid had food allergies that were not life threatening thank goodness. But I did not encroach on anyone trying to determine if their modus operandi was good enough aka nut free enough for my kids. I once said that I would sell peanut butter cookies on purpose just so certain people would quit with the third degree stuff.

That might upset some folks, but it upset me that my product might kill someone and their mother was being so pushy about it. I don't wanna play Russion roulette with some little kid's life. She'd say well, "I think that would be ok." Agh I don't think it would. Too much pressure. Too much responsibility for moi.

Nobody else gets to deem me "nut free enough" just so their kid can eat a cookie that might kill 'em. She's nuts! So I have found it's easier to remove all doubt and make some peanut butter cookies and unfortunately break their hearts before I took the chance to kill someone.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled message board...

getfrosted Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 5:50pm
post #6 of 14

My thoughts ... if you work with nut products in your kitchen, you are not nut-free nor can you be. If you have customers that need a nut-free cake and still want to use you it is completely up to them, BUT sign a waiver that you and your company will not be help liable if someone has a reaction on any level.

trixieleigh Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 7:21pm
post #7 of 14

I have a question about this it OK to use the artificial almond extract if there is a nut allergy? I have a friend whose daughter has nut allergies, and we were wondering that. Any ideas or past experiences?

Kay_NL Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 7:24pm
post #8 of 14

Thank you, I figured that I couldn't call myself nut free, and the people who have eaten my cake are very aware that my kids eat peanut butter in the kitchen where I bake!

I find it very scary to say that I am nut free and there be some contamination and a child die. Whoa, I can't even imagine going through that.

Off to reply to the allergy Mom to let her know! There are some moms who simply ask because their children are under 2 and want to avoid nut products...

Kay_NL Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 7:37pm
post #9 of 14

This was my response to the potential customer:

Tanya, I do take every precaution to avoid nuts and nut products in cake baking and decorating. I read all the ingredient labels, I don't use nuts in my cake bowls, pans or tools, and I put all products that have come into contact with nuts through the dishwasher. However, my children and I do eat nuts including peanuts and peanut butter. Because my kitchen is not nut free, there is always a possibility of allergens on my kitchen surfaces and thus in the foods I prepare.

If I had a food label on my cake it would say "processed in a facility that also processes nuts."

getfrosted Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 7:38pm
post #10 of 14

Almond Extract - I don't use it and that started long before the peanut-free zone was implemented (I don't like it). Most artificial extracts are flavour/colour/alcohol so there's a good possibility that there is absolutely no chance of the stuff being in contact with an actual almond. When in doubt, call the manufacturer!

We are lucky in Canada, a law was passed that on every single product manufactured in Canada there has to be a list of allergens.

JodieF Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 9:57pm
post #11 of 14

I just want to clarify something here.....tree nuts and peanuts are two very different things and are very different allergies. Peanuts are NOT nuts....they're legumes. I am allergic to tree nuts (or, at least I'm allergic to Brazil nuts, so avoid all tree nuts). I have no problems with peanuts.

So, you could have all tree nuts out of your house and it would be safe to bake for a person with tree nut allergies. You could have peanut butter in your house in that circumstance. Likewise, you can ban all peanuts for safe baking for peanut allergies. Having tree nuts in that house wouldn't matter. There are people that are allergic to both tree nuts AND peanuts, but you can have one allergy without the other.

As to artificial almond extract, it wouldn't affect a person with a tree nut allergy. However, as someone with an allergy to tree nuts, if I smelled almond I wouldn't eat the product, period.

BlakesCakes Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 2:53am
post #12 of 14

I, too, have been all but begged to provide an "allergen-free" cake for a child. I felt sorry for the family, but I can't put my own well being at risk, either. I'm absolutely certain that if someone had a reaction, the cake would be the first thing they'd put under the microscope and my neck (and home, and bank account) would be the first thing on the chopping block.

As much as I don't want to ever be responsible for hurting another human being, I don't want to have to worry about my own "life", either. When I started this hobby and expanded to baking for others, I promised my DH several things: no one would ever come to our home for anything to do with a cake (order, pick-up, etc.) and I would never even imply that what I bake could be construed as organic, vegan, nut-free, soy-free, wheat-free, etc.

There's no way to guarantee zero cross-contamination from the nut products in your home.

Value your own peace of mind first--no one else will do it for you.


Kay_NL Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 11:52am
post #13 of 14

Do others here let people pick up cakes at their homes? I do, but my client base is tiny at this point... I just can't justify driving all over the place dropping off cakes when I have a family and another full time job, I do provide delivery for a fee though.

-K8memphis Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 12:53pm
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by Kay_NL

Do others here let people pick up cakes at their homes? I do, but my client base is tiny at this point... I just can't justify driving all over the place dropping off cakes when I have a family and another full time job, I do provide delivery for a fee though.

Well yeah but depending on the scarriness factor of how much housekeepping I'm not doing at the time, I'll hover nervously at the door waiting till I see their car pull up and dash out with the cake.


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