Peanut Free Cake? Aren't All Cakes Peanut Free?

Decorating By Merry1227 Updated 22 Apr 2009 , 10:58pm by jocakes

Merry1227 Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 1:26pm
post #1 of 32

I was not personally asked to do this, but it was posted on my moms site.
She needs a peanut free cake. Maybe someone here can let me know what that means!

I would like to help her out but want to make sure I can do a peanut free cake before offering.

Thanks
Merry

31 replies
JodieF Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 1:29pm
post #2 of 32

Sounds like someone with a peanut allergy issue. They want to be sure you've checked every ingredient to be sure it's not produced in a factory that processes anything with peanuts, and also that your kitchen is "peanut free". You couldn't have any of those products, or any peanuts themselves or use pans, mixer, utensils, etc....that had been used with peanuts or anything from a factory that had. Some people with allergies are incredibly sensitive.

Jodie

johnson6ofus Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 1:34pm
post #3 of 32

Liability, liability, LIABILITY...... If you say it is "peanut free" and a crumb, dust, spec of peanut gets on it---- someone could die. It is just impossible to be totally peanut free if you are not doing that ALL the time. Did you know a girl die because her boyfrined kissed her after eating a PBJ? icon_cry.gif

That is why no one will do it......

brincess_b Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 7:56pm
post #4 of 32

it is really really hard to do anything 100% nut free. but there are some specialist bakeries that do stuff like that.
surely the mums house should be nut free? and she should know where to get nut free ingredients, so she could always do it herself, i imagine? it might not be a materpiece, but im sure the kid will just want to eat cake icon_smile.gif
xx

pigninnie Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 7:58pm
post #5 of 32

intresting never thought of having to worry about pb

pigninnie Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 7:59pm
post #6 of 32

intresting never thought of having to worry about pb

Kay_NL Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 8:08pm
post #7 of 32

I've made cakes for people with peanut allergies but I always give them my nut policy (I would never ever guarantee nut free or peanut free!!). Here's my nut clause:

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

Kitagrl Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 8:15pm
post #8 of 32

Alot of people use almond flavoring in their baking too....some is artificial, but some is not.

I don't like to get into making things for people with allergies. The few times I have, I have listed every ingredient and had them sign it as well as made sure they knew I had PB in my kitchen, etc. Always washed everything in hot sanitized water in my dishwasher before using.

Anyway I certainly do not offer or advertise it, and usually hesitate even when asked.

pinkbox Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 8:24pm
post #9 of 32

I have a child in my daughters class that is EXTREMELY allergic to peanuts.

I dont have the heart to exclude him in class parties etc... so his mom and I have an understaning (written and signed). I will go the extra mile to make sure I SANITIZE everything in HOT water and per the health department standards.... check any ingredients I use and if I have any questions about them ASK and make sure my work surfaces are thoroughly clean and sanitized... with the understanding... that there are things outside my control...

BUT I make every effort... its not as hard as it seems... most parents with kids that have allergies are appreciative someone understands...

Here is a great bit of information for bakers:
http://www.eatingwithfoodallergies.com/peanutallergy.html

http://allergies.about.com/od/nutallergy/a/peanutallergy.htm

Also... my students mother has one particular box cake she uses..(she has to check ingredients) she will sometimes give me that and I make cuppies out of that.

sweetcravings Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 9:14pm
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkbox

I have a child in my daughters class that is EXTREMELY allergic to peanuts.

I dont have the heart to exclude him in class parties etc... so his mom and I have an understaning (written and signed). I will go the extra mile to make sure I SANITIZE everything in HOT water and per the health department standards.... check any ingredients I use and if I have any questions about them ASK and make sure my work surfaces are thoroughly clean and sanitized... with the understanding... that there are things outside my control...

BUT I make every effort... its not as hard as it seems... most parents with kids that have allergies are appreciative someone understands...

Here is a great bit of information for bakers:
http://www.eatingwithfoodallergies.com/peanutallergy.html

http://allergies.about.com/od/nutallergy/a/peanutallergy.htm

Also... my students mother has one particular box cake she uses..(she has to check ingredients) she will sometimes give me that and I make cuppies out of that.





Wow, can i just send you a BIG cyber hug?!!! icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif I wish there were more bakers out there like you. Honestly, as a mom who has a son that has dealt with severe nut allergies since he was very young it can be EXTREMELY frustrating trying to find foods that are 'safe' for my son. I applaud your effort and understanding. Man i wish you were a parent in my son's classes. icon_biggrin.gif Although i understand the worry that comes along with allergies and liability, it is very frustrating to find just about every baker in town immediately stating, "our products may contain nuts, we can't guarentee anything" when i asked questions. It's like they didn't even want to attempt to help me out, or want my business. I guess it's an individual choice wether or not to take the risk since you have it in your kitchen, but at least that mom has a choice. A choice i wish i had. I applaud you for that.

It's nice to find someone that is on your side and understands that it can be soooo difficult for kids to be centered out due to their food allergies. I don't think most people truely understand how horrible it is to watch your child sit there at a party and not be able to eat the wonderful cake on the table. Even if you bring a substitute cake, it's just not the same, ya know. It breaks your heart. That's why i picked up my piping bags again after a few years of putting them down. I didn't want my son to feel left out. So to decorators out there, pls reconsider your veiws on this...try to accomodate these customers..even if you state you will try your darndest to make sure everything is clean..and like this poster have them sign a liability waiver if that makes you feel more comfortable. At least it gives the customer the choice if they want to eat your cake or not. Instead of slamming your door at these requests, try and embrace them...I tell you there is a HUGE market that is left out because of worry of liability. I'm not saying state something you are not comfortable with, just try and accomodate customers with allergies within reason. If you are willing to go the extra step, and they are willing to take that risk..it could work for all involved. They have a cake, and you have $.

I'm glad to report we are challenging all his nut allergies and have had such great news thus far..he's outgrown.peanut, almond, walnut, hazelnut...next test is for pecan so hopefully that goes well too.

A sincere thanks to you for giving that child a chance to eat the treats you provide. It really warms my heart to read.

I may get flamed for stating my views but this is a topic that hits home for me so i had to say something.

suz

pinkbox Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 9:43pm
post #11 of 32

Well thank you sweetcravings...

I like to try to put myself in others shoes... (grew up with deaf parents...so makes me think twice when anyone feels excluded) plus kids cant help the cards they are delt.

Glad to hear he's testing out of his allergies!!! YAHOOOOOO!!!!

In defense to those who feel uncomfortable broaching this subject... feel the parent/patron out first.... I felt comfortable enough to build a rapport with this parent. It may not be the case for all people.

Merry1227 Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 11:48pm
post #12 of 32

Wow ok! Thanks so much all!
The only allergies in our family is shellfish, my dad. It's not all that bad for him, but it gets worse as he gets older!

I had no idea it could be that bad!!! WOW!! OK so she decided to go another way. I have used some of my equipment to make almond cookies but it has been washed many times after that! But on the other had we love nuts!!!
For those who do make nut free cakes, do you have separate equipment? I'm soooo new and only do this for close friends anyway I could not see having separate equipment.

Thanks again CC has help again!!!
Merry

indydebi Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 7:57pm
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigninnie

intresting never thought of having to worry about pb



When Trace Atkins (country singer) was on Celebrity Apprentice, his charity of choice was one about allergies because he has a daughter that is severely allergic. They took the cameras to her school and the school has special tables marked "Peanut Butter free". If a child eats a PB sandwich and touches the arm of this allergic little girl, she has to be rushed to the hospital. It was truly eye opening for me and I'm sure for a lot of folks who had no idea how sensitive an issue this is. As Trace Atkins put it, he wanted to raise money for this orgz because "....no father should live in fear of his little girl dying....." from contact with peanut butter.

this-mama-rocks Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:19pm
post #14 of 32

Here is the website for a candy company that is completely nut-free. My SIL uses them to buy her daughter's Halloween and Easter candy.

http://www.vermontnutfree.com/

Their site also has a list of links for more info on food allergies - lots of great info

http://www.vermontnutfree.com/Links.shtml

myheartsdesire Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:20pm
post #15 of 32

I'm glad to report we are challenging all his nut allergies and have had such great news thus far..he's outgrown.peanut, almond, walnut, hazelnut...next test is for pecan so hopefully that goes well too.


suz[/quote]
thats great! I always hear it is very rare to outgrow a nut allergy. I hope to get the same news about my daughter. we're waiting on an appointment to check her again. Its a very scary allergy.

Win Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:23pm
post #16 of 32

When I volunteered in my church's nursery (we are a large church with hundreds of children to attend to each weekend) It was their policy that upon the day you are volunteering to work, you avoid (to the best of your ability) all contact with nut products. That means, if you don't volunteer until 5 pm on a Saturday, you have mindfully watched your exposure to nuts throughout the day including not only what might be consumed in your home, but out in "the world" as well. As well, when children with allergies were signed in, we put stickers on their fronts, backs, diaper bags, accessories, etc. to try to avoid any possible mishap in that area.

jilld Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:28pm
post #17 of 32

I do nut-fee, peanut-free cakes, and am completely comfortable with the liability - but my home and home kitchen are completely nut-free. Two of three of my children have severe peanut and tree-nut allergies, so my equipment has never come in contact with any suspect ingredients, I bought my oven new, and I triple check all ingredients going so far as to call many companies to insure they fully undertand cross-contamination and that their product is safe for me to use. Thanks to any of you who have taken my calls!

On the other hand, I get several requests for egg or dairy free and have even had a few soy and wheat requests. Those I can't do, so I try, but I can't help everyone. I send the egg and dairy customers to the divvies site, where she sends cupcakes and frosting to the customer so they can decorate the cupcakes themselves upon receipt. I would not take that liability on as cross contamination is such a high possibility with these base ingredients.

sweetcravings Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:45pm
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by TERESA77

I'm glad to report we are challenging all his nut allergies and have had such great news thus far..he's outgrown.peanut, almond, walnut, hazelnut...next test is for pecan so hopefully that goes well too.


suz



thats great! I always hear it is very rare to outgrow a nut allergy. I hope to get the same news about my daughter. we're waiting on an appointment to check her again. Its a very scary allergy.[/quote]\\


You are right, it is very rare to outgrow a nut allergy.. I believe his allergist said only something like 20% outgrow peanut and maybe 10% outgrow tree nuts. So we are VERY blessed! At ten years old we just figured he would always have these allergies, but were surprized to find he is now fine with them. His allergist believes soooo many kids are avoiding food unnecessarily because they had a positve skin test or RAST. Within guidelines he believes allergies should be challenged. Not all parents are comfortable with the risk but I am thankful we are taking these steps to figure it all out. Yes, it's stressful, and we worry like crazy but we are glad we put our fears aside and my son has been so brave. thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif For almost all the nuts he had either a positive skin test, or RAST, or both.
If you, have any questions about the challenges pls PM me and i'd be glad to talk with you. I pray that you will experience the same joy as we have with your daughter.
suzanne

Spuddysmom Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:58pm
post #19 of 32

Many people w/o allergies do not understand the real threat. A couple of years ago a local girl died from taking one bite of a cookie a neighbor gave her. The neighbor thought peanut allergies were "all in your head" so gave it to the child to show her a lesson (this was after the little girl asked her if there were any peanut products in the cookie).

The kindergarten class I worked in was a "Peanut Free Zone" and we had a "peanut free" table set up in the cafeteria. Most of the students I knew who had allergies, carried their own epi-pen and the staff was required to learn how to use one.

I've made several cakes for friends whose children have food allergies. Dairy, egg, peanut and tree nut. I use boiling water on all my utensils and surfaces and santizer and write down all the ingredients for the parent - it is a hassle, and scary but very rewarding!

Someone mentioned a box mix that is safe? Please let us know so we can check it out.
Thanks!

indydebi Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 9:08pm
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuddysmom

The neighbor thought peanut allergies were "all in your head" so gave it to the child to show her a lesson .




icon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gif I am total shock that someone would do that! Even if she THOUGHT it was true, holy crap you don't experiment on another person! I'm speechless ...., absolutely speechless! icon_surprised.gif Did the court system convince her that she is NOT the know-all-do-all person?

luvsfreebies72 Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 9:17pm
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuddysmom

The neighbor thought peanut allergies were "all in your head" so gave it to the child to show her a lesson .



icon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gif I am total shock that someone would do that! Even if she THOUGHT it was true, holy crap you don't experiment on another person! I'm speechless ...., absolutely speechless! icon_surprised.gif Did the court system convince her that she is NOT the know-all-do-all person?


ITA. I hope she rots in jail.

My ex-DH is one of those people that think food allergies are "in your head", even after I almost died from accidentally eating avocado. icon_rolleyes.gif Idiot.

Spuddysmom Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 10:06pm
post #22 of 32

It shows that we all need to be educated and to educate others to such things. I cannot remember if she did time. I know that it seems some elderly ones do not believe in food allergies since they "never had them growing up". I feel for all those parents who deal with this. A couple summers ago at a church social there was a special table set up with a bowl of non-peanut treats next to a table with a bowl of party mix w/peanuts to protect one child with peanut allergy. We all figured this was pretty safe. Unfortunately he had to be hospitalized after playing basketball. Some of the other kids had eaten the party mix then played basketball so that's how he came into contact with the nuts. He is fine now although severely allergic to all nuts, shellfish and mangoes.

sweetcravings Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 10:20pm
post #23 of 32

Ya, it's a pretty life changing time when you find you have a serious food allergy. I remember crying for a week when we found out my son was severely allergic to peanuts, and tree nuts. It changes how you do everything when it comes to food, entertaining, socializing. There is very little spontanity, everything must be checked ahead of time et.c. But.. over the years we have learned to accept it and it really does get a bit easier with time. If i could've taken this burden from him, i would've. It's been a long road of educating family, friends. Some are sooo good about it all, others not so much. At the beginning it was very stressful. It's shocking to hear that the child was giving a food that she wasn't suppose to because the person handed it to her didn't believe in allergies..shocking!
Safe cake mix...all i have ever used is betty crocker supermoist mixes. I've called the company and they assured me it was ok, and that if any of their products weren't then they would label it accordingly. I've never had a problem. I've seen in other threads that someone stated 'no cake mix is safe"..well i'm not so sure that is true. I guess you have to decide what feels 'safe' for you and call the companies ahead of time. I live in ontario canada so i don't know about mixes made in the states but i feel confident in using betty crocker made here. Awhile back i called duncan hines and they indicated that their products weren't safe, maybe that's changed now, but since calling them the one time i've stayed clear of their products. HTH

elvis Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 10:29pm
post #24 of 32

I completely sympathize with the parents of children with allergies, as well as the children themselves. But I do have a "no guarantee" policy re: things being nut free that leave my kitchen.

For me, it has very little to do with $ and being sued, etc. (scary as that is) -- It has everything to do with the fact that I could not live with myself if because of some freak cross contamination incident, a child's life was put at risk or lost. If there is a severe allergy, even if a parent is willing to accept the risk, I still think it's not responsible if you know that you have nut products in your house or bakery.

BlakesCakes Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 10:41pm
post #25 of 32

I really feel for people who deal with food allergies in themselves or their family. Life must be like dodging bullets everyday.

For the poster(s) who think that bakers need to develop a "rapport" with a parent seeking allergen free products, or who need to try to accomodate such requests, please try to understand the point of a baker who won't touch such a request with a 10 foot pole.

If I had a completely nut-free home (because I, or my family members had nut allergies), I wouldn't hesitate to offer nut-free goods because I would be certain (thru personal, daily experience) that what I produced couldn't possibly induce an allergic response.

I don't have a nut-free home. I can do everything I think is correct and still be the (presumed) culprit were a child have to be hospitalized. I can't risk that--even if the parent and I have an "agreement", understanding, contract, etc.

When children get sick, or worse, people sue. Sadly, it can be their own guilt that drives them to look for a villain. Saying, "I thought I'd washed away any trace of nuts...." won't satisfy an insurer or court--and I could never put myself and my family through that type of experience.

I'm sorry, but I honestly feel that you can only make nut-free items if you're already, personally completely nut-free in your kitchen, home, life...and (don't hit too hard, please) that parents of children with nut allergies should only seek baked goods from venues that meet this criteria--that last part comes from someone who tried desperately to "guilt" me into "trying" to make a nut-free cake.

Life trumps cake--any day.
Rae

luvsfreebies72 Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 10:47pm
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcravings

Ya, it's a pretty life changing time when you find you have a serious food allergy. I remember crying for a week when we found out my son was severely allergic to peanuts, and tree nuts. It changes how you do everything when it comes to food, entertaining, socializing. There is very little spontanity, everything must be checked ahead of time et.c. But.. over the years we have learned to accept it and it really does get a bit easier with time. If i could've taken this burden from him, i would've. It's been a long road of educating family, friends. Some are sooo good about it all, others not so much. At the beginning it was very stressful. It's shocking to hear that the child was giving a food that she wasn't suppose to because the person handed it to her didn't believe in allergies..shocking!
Safe cake mix...all i have ever used is betty crocker supermoist mixes. I've called the company and they assured me it was ok, and that if any of their products weren't then they would label it accordingly. I've never had a problem. I've seen in other threads that someone stated 'no cake mix is safe"..well i'm not so sure that is true. I guess you have to decide what feels 'safe' for you and call the companies ahead of time. I live in ontario canada so i don't know about mixes made in the states but i feel confident in using betty crocker made here. Awhile back i called duncan hines and they indicated that their products weren't safe, maybe that's changed now, but since calling them the one time i've stayed clear of their products. HTH


cake mixes that are labeled "peanut-free" are safe. There are cake mixes that are many-different-allergens - free. Health food stores have them.

luvsfreebies72 Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 10:51pm
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

I really feel for people who deal with food allergies in themselves or their family. Life must be like dodging bullets everyday.

For the poster(s) who think that bakers need to develop a "rapport" with a parent seeking allergen free products, or who need to try to accomodate such requests, please try to understand the point of a baker who won't touch such a request with a 10 foot pole.

If I had a completely nut-free home (because I, or my family members had nut allergies), I wouldn't hesitate to offer nut-free goods because I would be certain (thru personal, daily experience) that what I produced couldn't possibly induce an allergic response.

I don't have a nut-free home. I can do everything I think is correct and still be the (presumed) culprit were a child have to be hospitalized. I can't risk that--even if the parent and I have an "agreement", understanding, contract, etc.

When children get sick, or worse, people sue. Sadly, it can be their own guilt that drives them to look for a villain. Saying, "I thought I'd washed away any trace of nuts...." won't satisfy an insurer or court--and I could never put myself and my family through that type of experience.

I'm sorry, but I honestly feel that you can only make nut-free items if you're already, personally completely nut-free in your kitchen, home, life...and (don't hit too hard, please) that parents of children with nut allergies should only seek baked goods from venues that meet this criteria--that last part comes from someone who tried desperately to "guilt" me into "trying" to make a nut-free cake.

Life trumps cake--any day.
Rae


This is exactly how I feel. I have many food allergies and intolerances (yes, it is EXACTLY like dodging bullets everyday, thanks! LOL) and I have a child with a food intolerance. I would never, ever, ever, ever ask a baker who does not have aan allergen-free kitchen to make him a cake. are you kidding me? I can't trust that they know what they are doing

Cakeonista Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 11:04pm
post #28 of 32

So basically, If you and your family love and eat peanut products the best bet is not to ever make a nut free cake for someone is is very allergic. I am so glad I read this thread, a girlfriend of mine asked me to make her daughter's 1st b'day cake but she is very allergic to nuts. I will apologetically tell her I do not think this is a good idea. I would never want to accidently get something into her cake without even realizing it can happen. Thanks everyone, this info was an eye opener for me.

sweetcravings Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 11:08pm
post #29 of 32

I can totally understand the concern stated here...i totally get that even traces can cause a life threatening reaction. I for one have taken very little to no risks when it comes to food safety. I just don't think it's worth my child;s life. But, on the same hand, it sure would be nice to be treated like a 'normal' person when i walk into a bakery. They look at you like you are a freak when you ask simple food questions. I by no means am pushy or rude, just interested how their products are made. It's like they stop me mid sentence with their blanket statements of 'we can't guarentee'. I would sure appreciate my questions answered, and then let ME make the choice wether or not i want my son to eat your products. I get so frustrated. Maybe some of the frustrations come with blanket labelling on food products found at the grocery store too. Everyone is covering their butts, but where does that leave my son? For awhile there it was sooo hard to find 'safe' foods, everything has warnings. I can't say I totally blame the companies because of the society we live in now being suing crazy..oh i dunno. I guess i'm sympatetic to the bakeries/companies, but on the same hand it drives me crazy. It is easier now that there are more and more products that are dedicated to 'nut free' . I just wish we could work together more.
It's just sometimes i feel like doors are being slammed in our faces due to my son's allergies and that hurts big time. I guess you just will never fully understand until you live my life.
An additional note...there is a company that sells frozen cakes/cookies at the grocery store...it's called Guardian angel foods..http://www.guardianangelfoods.com/.
So if someone comes to get a cake from you, and you really don't feel comfortable baking for them perhaps you can lead them to that website. It tells you the different locations they sell their stuff at too. Every child should be able to eat cake on their bday. ;0) Sometimes parents just don't know where to look for 'safe' products. Info like that is very helpful.

I'm not blaming anyone for the choices they make, just giving a little different perspective of someone who has lived with a child with food allergies for many years.

luvsfreebies72 Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 12:27am
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariu

So basically, If you and your family love and eat peanut products the best bet is not to ever make a nut free cake for someone is is very allergic. I am so glad I read this thread, a girlfriend of mine asked me to make her daughter's 1st b'day cake but she is very allergic to nuts. I will apologetically tell her I do not think this is a good idea. I would never want to accidently get something into her cake without even realizing it can happen. Thanks everyone, this info was an eye opener for me.


actually I think if you want to become an allergen-free baker, it's a great thing. There's just a lot of education that needs to happen for anyone that is going to make an allergen-free food. People do not realize that cross-contamination is very real and potentially very deadly.

If you want to make a nut-free cake for the little girl, find out from mom if you need to buy new pans, sterilize the current ones, locate a nut-free cake mix or make your own, use only sterilized equipment during the cake making/decorating, check every single ingredient for cross-contamination. There are cake mixes, chocolate chips, etc on the market specifically for people with allergies and intolerances.

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