Anyone Else Allergic To Your Own Cakes?

Business By FrostedMoon Updated 17 May 2013 , 5:33am by airheadkmt

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FrostedMoon Posted 12 May 2013 , 12:07am
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AI've been doing cakes for about 6 years, but it's only been a year since I made my business official and am baking regularly. Last year I suspected I had an allergy/intolerance to gluten and dairy, but I recently had testing done that showed I have a reaction to over 50 foods, including cocoa, vanilla bean, and baker's yeast. Even if it's gluten free and dairy free and corn free it still makes me I'll. Corn products make me incredibly itchy, and my doctor has advised I wear a mask when baking. Obviously I don't eat what I make, but it is so hard to know what is good and what isn't. Anyone else dealing with this? I refuse to give up baking, but it's tough.

9 replies
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odell319 Posted 12 May 2013 , 12:19am
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AI too have recently discovered I cant eat dairy. I don't make my buttercream from a recipe rather than taste and appearance. It sucks. My allergy/intollerance isn't to your extent. However I have never been tested and I know there is something more that is irritating my system. I cant give up baking though. I love it too much.

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Laurelj Posted 12 May 2013 , 2:31am
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ANot allergic in that sense but diagnosed with diabetes last fall, so technically allergic to grains and sugar. That is really hard for a baker :( My only saving grace was that 90 percent of my recipes are already developed and tested from prior years of baking. Now if I have need of a taste tester I simply rely on my daughter, or the rest of my family. Still though I have my days of baking where it is very hard and I do at times feel deprived. Oh well, sigh :-(

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jason_kraft Posted 12 May 2013 , 3:37am
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AI have severe allergies to eggs and nuts, so the first time I tasted cake was in my 20s when my wife did some research and created an egg-free/nut-free recipe. We ended up launching an allergy-friendly custom order bakery in San Jose in 2008, we sold the business to one of our employees in 2011 but it is still going strong.

Luckily my wife has no allergies, so she did all the baking and decorating. We created a portfolio of recipes to accommodate just about every allergy combination possible, including corn-free (which is probably the most difficult due to cross-contamination). One tip for corn-free products is to look for kosher ingredients, some Jews follow kosher rules that prohibit corn.

If you know the chemistry behind baking you won't need to rely as much on tasting, but you will still need someone else to be your taste tester if you want to create new products.

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Chellescakes Posted 12 May 2013 , 4:22am
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I have several allergies myself , lactose being one of them.I have an intolerance to corn, and shellfish and several grains like Rye although wheat and oats  are okay for me.Yeast and malt and too many mushrooms are not a good thing either.   The most difficult allergy in life that I have had to deal with is apple. It is in so many things even in things that you would not think have apple in them. I am an avid label reader and it takes a long time to do the shopping . 


I have found that my allergies actually have inspired me to find good alternatives and be a bit more creative with my recipes. But sometimes it just plain sux. 


I dream of eating apple pie , with Ice cream. 

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Elennom Posted 12 May 2013 , 5:34pm
post #6 of 10

AI have anaphylactic reactions to eggs (fatal allergy) so I bake completely vegan cakes and have over the years got to very yummy "chocolate fudge" cake and a fondant which are allergy free and most people can't taste the difference to regular cake. I'm currently sorting out doing my own 6 tier wedding cake in vegan chocolate and "fondant" with a form of sugar flowers and royal icing. I'm also doing a batch of vegan wheat and gluten free cupcakes for a coeliac friend coming to the wedding. I'd love to do it professionally but don't know where to start. Usually if I have to use flower paste to make wired flowers (contains egg) I wear gloves and use separate tools etc as even touching a knife that's touched icing containing egg white will kill me

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The Sugaree Posted 12 May 2013 , 6:57pm
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AMy Husband (the baker), is diabetic so he cant enjoy ANY of his work. Myself, I have multiple titles; owner, decorator, and my favorite, TASTE TESTER! ;)

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FrostedMoon Posted 12 May 2013 , 7:41pm
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Thanks all.  It's good to know I'm not the only one.  I've had people encourage me to start to specialize in allergen-free cakes, but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a cake/frosting/fondant recipe that doesn't have something I react to in it.  I would be starting from scratch for all of my recipes and I have a decent customer base building that already know my products as is.  I have my husband taste test when I can, but he's not very good at specifics.  He basically says "tastes good to me" for everything.  I've made cakes for friends to taste, but they aren't much more specific.  When I taste something I know it might benefit from a pinch of salt to bring out the flavor, or that the mouth feel isn't quite right, or the flavors don't meld quite the way I want them to.  I aspire to be an all scratch baker, but I just don't know how to make sure they are as good as the doctored mix recipes all of my customers currently adore, let alone make scratch allergy free baked goods that taste great. 


Chellescake, I can totally relate.  Corn has been one of the toughest for me as many many vegan ingredients and recipes include corn or a corn derivitive in the ingredients.  Same thing with wheat gluten, which is also a problem for me.  I've been lactose intolerant and a vegetarian for 23 years so reading labels isn't new to me, but it does suck sometimes for sure.  It's not uncommon to find me quietly cursing my way through the grocery store as I put packages back on the shelf after reading the ingredients.  As a bizarre twist of fate, my husband happens to not be able to eat any fruits, vegetables, or nuts.  With the exception of nuts (which neither of us is supposed to have) we are exact opposites in what we can eat.  Trust me, with a 4 and 6 year old added in to the mix, dinner is a blast at my house! ;)


Jason, thanks for the tip to look for Kosher .  Cross contamination has definitely been an issue for me, so it's not uncommon for me to react to something that according to the label should be fine.


odell319- there are A LOT of great dairy free recipes out there for both cakes and frostings!  Check out vegan recipes and I bet you could use vegan ingredients to taste test your way back to dairy free frosting that works for you.  Just be aware that some products say dairy free, but they still have casein in them, which is a milk protein that some people (me included) are allergic to.  


Thanks again everyone!  Sometimes it seems silly to pursue something that can potentially make me so sick, but the success of my business so far helps me feel it's worth it!  Knowing that others out there are faced with the same issues and still push forward helps even more.

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BakerBee7468 Posted 13 May 2013 , 3:50am
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I'm lucky. I don't have any food allergies at this point that i can't easily avoid. I'm allergic to seafood. Fish and shell fish. I may have a nut allergy but it only happened when i ate them right from a can of cashews and not a product made from nuts or exposed to nuts. I can have reese cups for instance. I love baking so i feel your pain for those of you that are allergic to many of the ingredients involved in the process.

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airheadkmt Posted 17 May 2013 , 5:33am
post #10 of 10

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease back in August.  Thankfully my sweet husband is all to available to taste any scraps :D  I actually have to wear a mask when I mix....mainly because I believe that my mixer only has two speeds...on and off.  Usually results in flour EVERYWHERE!!

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