Nut Allergy

Decorating By Miffy Updated 12 Jun 2009 , 1:20am by Karema

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Miffy Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 11:51am
post #1 of 22

This is my first real disaster. Was asked to make a cake for a little girl who has a dairy and lactose allergy. Baked the cake (no problems), made all the decorations out of MMF (no problems), made the icing (BIG PROBLEM). When they came to pick the cake the lady informed me that the girl also had a nut allergy. This is why my icing is a problem. I had put almond essence in to improve the flavour!!!!

Why do people leave out this important information. I am now in the middle of baking another cake, making more decorations and new icing using NO almond essence.

This has not been a good day! icon_sad.gif

21 replies
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Kiddiekakes Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 1:23pm
post #2 of 22

This is exactly why I do not do any type of allergy restricted cakes..If something were to happen to a child or could bet there would be trouble.Just not worth the aggrevation!!

Bummer you had to do another cake!

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Rylan Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 1:32pm
post #3 of 22

I agree. I try to avoid almond extracts as much as I can since my brother has allergies.

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sweetcravings Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 1:38pm
post #4 of 22

Well thankfully this was caught before the child ingested the cake. whew, frightening stuff.
Being a mom of a child with severe allergies i too am surprized this mom forgot to mention the other allergy. If you continue to make cakes for people, catering to their food allergies perhaps you should add a portion to your cake order form that you have the customer fill out and sign. Have them list any allergens etc.. that way you have a way to protect yourself should they come back and say.."i told you' or "i forgot.."
I hope you are charging her for having to redo the cake. Afterall, if she neglected to tell you this information it is her error and she should pay for your time and ingredients.

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terrylee Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 2:00pm
post #5 of 22

I have a friend who's little boy is allergic to wheat, milk, you name it.....the little guy had never had a birthday cake till he was 4.....Mom had used a cake mix and icing from the health food store for cup she knew he could eat that.....I put a cake together for him using those products....a little dry, a little different to work with but he was delighted. It's the Elmo cake in my pictures.

I don't think I would have done the cake if Mom hadn't used those products before...I don't want the responsibility of quessing if things will work...especially with that many allergies.

I ask my clients as to allergies and let them know what's in my cakes and's mostly nuts allergys. But thank goodness there are great recipes and mixes out there for the people with special needs.....We all deserve a slice of cake.

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costumeczar Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 1:14am
post #6 of 22

I had a bride forget to tell me that her mother had a severe nut allergy. And guess what kind of cake she ordered? Almond!!!

The idea about having them fill out a form with all of the things they're allergic to is really good.

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cookiemama2 Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 1:28am
post #7 of 22

When I took my first Wilton course she had told us almond extract was ok to use for nut allergies, because it was just a flavoring. I never questioned it. And I remember because there was a boy with a nut allergy in my daughters class. I always use almond flavoring in my cut out cookies that I send to school! ( No I didn't send them to school ! He had severe allergies and we were not allowed to send anything to school that year )
But now I'm sitting here looking at my bottle of pure almond extract and there is almond oil in it!
Is there different almond extract, like an artifical? I have artifical vanilla and it just says flavoring, no vanilla in it.

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cakesbycathy Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 2:51am
post #8 of 22

Please tell me you made her pay for the second cake also.

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Miffy Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 1:18pm
post #9 of 22

Thanks for the sympathy! Had a cry over this one. Actually thought I wouldn't make a cake again. The thought of what could have happened still makes me feel sick!
I was silly and didn't charge for the extra cake. I only put a few flowers on the second one, nothing like the first one.
The ingredient listing on my almond essence states there is almond oil yet when I checked out the website it stated that it was 'non allergenic'. Not sure what that means?
The lady has offered to help me write up an allergy list for future clients, so this doesn't happen again. I'm not too keen on doing another, but then again this was this little girls first 'proper' birthday cake and she was so happy.

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varika Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 1:33pm
post #10 of 22
Originally Posted by cookiemama2

Is there different almond extract, like an artifical? I have artifical vanilla and it just says flavoring, no vanilla in it.

Artificial vanilla flavoring actually has the stuff in it that makes up the main flavor of vanilla, called vanillin. It's just extracted from wood--oak, I think--instead of from vanilla beans.

I don't know about almond extract. I actually don't use it at all--I've tried twice--because me and my family don't care for the flavor. It tastes a little too liquorish-like to us.

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JodieF Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 1:47pm
post #11 of 22

A person with a nut allergy cannot have almond extract. Period. There is imitation almond extract that is allergy safe. HOWEVER, as someone with a nut allergy, I can tell you that I wouldn't eat anything that had a scent of almond, even if you swore on a stack of Bibles that it was imitation.

I only use vanilla.


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Amy729 Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 1:53pm
post #12 of 22

I only use imitation almond flavoring. Don't want to take a chance that someone with an allergy could accidentally eat icing or cake with the real flavoring.

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Miffy Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 2:03pm
post #13 of 22
Originally Posted by Amy729

I only use imitation almond flavoring. Don't want to take a chance that someone with an allergy could accidentally eat icing or cake with the real flavoring.

I thought that almond extract was the real one and almond essence was ok. I am just going to avoid almond totally from now on. Not worth the stress of the accidental eating!

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sara91 Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 2:11pm
post #14 of 22

If you are going to make cakes for people with nut allergies (very serious) please be careful to read all the fine print on your ingredients. Many include the statement
' This has been made in a factory that also uses nuts'

Usually many brands of chocolate will have this.

I don't make nut allergy cakes as I can never guarantee all my ingredients are nut free. If you have nuts in your bakery kitchen this is a big problem as the tiniest whiff of a nut can cause reactions. what if your equipment is not completely sterilised?

A girl almost died from a kiss from someone who ate peanuts earlier that day.

Scary stuff.

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mbelgard Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 2:14pm
post #15 of 22

Unless you keep a nut free kitchen there is always the possiblity of traces of nuts getting into your food no matter how well you clean the kitchen. Once your mixer has made a batch of peanut butter filling, cookies, brownies, etc it is equipment that has processed nuts and is contaminated.

That's why Little Debbie has allergy notes on their products that don't have nuts about them being processed in a facility that also handles nuts.

I believe that other allergens have a tendency to stick around as well but I'm not sure.

Personally I would never attempt to do any nut allergy since they can be so severe. Even if the person ordering says that their child's allergy isn't bad you wouldn't want them telling another mother that the cake is nut free when that child will die if they touch a tiny bit of nut.

If I were you I would call the mother and inquire about the severity of the child's allergy before you continue with the cake. If it isn't severe make sure that she knows there could be traces and to NOT tell others that it's allergy free.

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Miffy Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 2:18pm
post #16 of 22

I think I will avoid all nut allergies. Happy to deal with dairy intolerance, not nuts!! The girl I made the cake for was ok with traces of nuts on the production line. Remember I didn't know she had a nut allergy!!

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Amy729 Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 2:29pm
post #17 of 22

I also do not specifically make allergy free cakes. I just use the imitation almond as a little extra insurance. I would never take on the responsibility of claiming to be allergy free.

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JodieF Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 4:56pm
post #18 of 22

Actually, the girl didn't die because of the "peanut" kiss. She died from an unrelated asthma attack. Here is one article about it. There were quite a few when I Googled it.

I appreciate all your concerns about making a cake that is nut or peanut free (totally different allergies, by the way). It can be a scary situation.

As someone with some food allergies though, it's ultimately MY responsibility to be sure what I eat is safe. It's the responsibility of the person with allergies, or the parent of that person, no one else. If the allergy is severe, no one is going to take a chance and eat something they didn't make (and have control of the ingredients and where it was produced). I promise you, that's just not going to happen.

You really don't have to worry about someone with a severe life threatening allergy eating your cake if they attend a party or wedding where it's served. They're not going to eat it...period....unless they are total idiots. No tasty looking food would be worth the risk. And, again, for those of you that use imitation almond, I promise they won't eat that either, even if reassured. If I smell any almond, I'm not going to eat it, no matter what you say you used.


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angelicconfections Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 2:39am
post #19 of 22

I just had a prospective bride ask me last week if she could get a cake that was nut free b/c her nephew is allergic. I told her in all honesty that I could not promise this. I told her I could be very careful, clean all my equipment but still would not be able to say it was allergy safe. If something happened I could be held liable not to mention the guilt. How it would be if a child, or anywone was hurt?

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sweetcravings Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 2:09am
post #20 of 22

I totally agree with JodyF...anyone who takes their allergies seriously wouldn't risk eating something in which they can't 100% guarentee is safe. My son has severe allergies and i would never just say "go ahead have it" if i don't know everything in it and how it was made. I also agree about her statement about fake almond extract. I would never have given it to my son fake or not, better to avoid it all together. Thankfully that is one of the nuts he has outgrown recently.
Allergies are not to be taken lightly, but unfortunately some people who have them have alot to learn and have been known to take risks. I hear about stories of this often and just shake my head. My son has severe allergies and i certainly have taught him not to take risks at all with food. I often say, "it's not worth your life"...he agrees and knows better. Putting some sort of statement on your orders that indicates that your icing etc.. contains nut extracts etc.. is wise so that you have protection...i would go as far as to have them initial that statement so that they can't deny they read it.
To the OP..sorry to hear this gave you such stress. You really should've charged the women for the redo, but i guess you live and learn.

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TheDomesticDiva Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 9:08pm
post #21 of 22

At least you tried to pay attention to the things she told you about!! My son's preschool has a strict "No nuts" policy. None at all in anything. So you can imagine my surprise when I came to pick up my son and the mom of one of the students had brought in cupcakes for her son's bithday that day. She said to me, "I really hope the kids liked them. I put a lot of almond extract into them because it's a comfort thing to me because my mom used to put it in everything." I couldn't quite control my thoughts before I told her that there was a no nut policy for a reason, and that I am allergic to almonds, and my husband is allergic to walnuts and pecans. But I supposed my son MUST be fine since they hadn't called me to the emergency room yet. She looked like I'd slapped her.

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Karema Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 1:20am
post #22 of 22

I'm sorry but I would have charged her for the second cake. Not to be mean but how was that your fault? That mom should have known better. Then she had the nerve to say she would help you make a list for allegies. How about she pay you for all the extra time you spent making her another cake?

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