Recipe Review – {Allergy Friendly} Chocolate Cake

My new friend Denise (who is helping to start up a food allergy support group with me) found out about an upcoming local event this Thursday (June 5th) there Lora Cipriano would be speaking.  Lora is a fellow local food allergy Mom who recently self-published a new cookbook titled “Children’s Allergy Free Recipes: No Peanuts, Tree-nuts, Or Eggs Used In These Family Recipes” in hopes that it would help other families facing the same food challenges.

After seeing she was speaking local, we immediately contacted her for a meeting to discuss our new group and see how we could support her new cookbook and if she would allow us to speak at her event.  Lora graciously agreed to let us “share in her spotlight” and also for me to share one of her recipes with you all.  (Thanks Lora!)

Although I had many trials with vanilla cake recipes for my daughters first birthday (which reminds me I still have to share my favorite vanilla cake recipe with you all,) I have yet to eat chocolate cake since we suspected my daughter had allergies (over 10 months ago), so that is immediately where my eyes turned to in her book, I think my mouth started to water before I even got the ingredients on the counter, and I knew if I didn’t bake this chocolate cake it would haunt me for days.

Although we are dealing with a couple additional allergies outside of peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs, I also knew that I could easily make one substitution and hit the ground running without having to make a special trip to the grocery store for additional ingredients.

Lora is a stay at home mother of a son with severe food allergies. She also runs an allergy free cookie business, called Twin Treats, with her twin sister, Leanne.  A portion of sales from Twin Treats is donated to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to aid in food allergy research which is also where my daughter is seen.

LorasBookHer cookbook includes over 40 recipes for parents seeking to cook quick and easy meals and snacks for children with food allergies (and those without food allergies). The recipes do not call for any peanuts, tree-nuts or eggs in any of the ingredients.  If you have additional food allergies you can always substitute out some of those ingredients as well, as I did with the dairy (buttermilk) in our cake.

In the cookbook, you will find recipes that kids of any age will enjoy, such as, healthy smoothies, delicious snacks, irresistible desserts and tasty lunch and dinner recipes. A few of Lora’s family favorites include Basic Muffins, Grammy’s Meatballs, Amish Eclair Pudding Delight and Philly Chili Cheesy Dip.

Now back to that cake – did I mention it’s a chocolate cake!?!  Since my daughter is at an age (14 months) where all she wants to do is run circles around me in the kitchen I decided to put her in my pouch while mixing up the ingredients for this cake so I wouldn’t make a mistake in measuring while chasing after her.  (I just make sure I take her out before placing the cake in the oven of course.)

The directions were easy to follow and only required one bowl to do the mixing in (extra bonus for cleaning up,) and makes one 9 x 9 cake .  I decided to double the recipe and freeze about 10 cupcakes in individual baggies for upcoming birthday parties (and for when nothing but a taste of chocolate will do I can just pull a cupcake out of the freezer, defrost overnight in the fridge or quickly in the microwave – you know in case of a chocolate emergency.)

The only ingredient I substituted for was the buttermilk, using coconut milk in place of the whole milk that the recipe calls for, and seemed to work just fine.  The timing was right on for our cake and cupcakes (30 minutes,) and it rose just like a cake should!


I debated on using icing on the cake and after cooling I decided on using my “tried and true” icing recipe (which I will be sharing later this week.)  The icing I use is a little more thinner than most, as you can tell below, but is super delicious.


For the cupcakes I went with half un-iced and just added a sprinkling of confectioners sugar on top, and half iced.  Check out how nicely the cupcakes rose and love the “crackling” on top – no need for icing on the cake or cupcakes if you want to save on calories, the cake is delicious just as it is!






Here’s an inside view of the cake, it turned out very light and moist, delicate and slightly springy – just what you’d want a cake to be.  The cake (and cupcakes) were delicious and  I will be adding this recipe into the mix of safe allergy-friendly desserts we can eat for sure!


The best part (aside from being allergy-friendly of course) is that Lora’s recipe is very easy to follow for anyone who isn’t super patient in the kitchen, or anyone who lacks the time for cake baking with a little one at their feet like me.

I am extremely pleased at my first attempt at an allergy-friendly chocolate cake for myself and my daughter, super easy, great tasting and we could both enjoy it without any worries!  Here’s my little one enjoying her first bites of her first-ever chocolate cake:


I am thinking next time I make this cake I want to try adding some allergy-friendly chocolate chips – yum, double chocolate chip cake – I might just have to try that this week because, well, I’ve eaten up all of the chocolate cupcakes I placed in the freezer for reserve – what can I say it’s been a stressful week 🙂

A big thank you to Lora for allowing me to share her cake recipe with you, you can pick up Lora’s book here which includes over 40 recipes for children with food allergies (and those without food allergies.)

Lora (and me and Denise) will be speaking this Thursday at our local Indian Valley Public Library, if you are in the area please come out to support Lora and her new book… I also heard rumors that she’s bringing some cookies to share.


Chocolate Cake

From Children’s Allergy Free Recipes: No Peanuts, Tree-nuts, Or Eggs Used In These Family Recipes, reprinted with permission
Makes 1 9 x 9 cake or about 12 cupcakes

1 and 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. In a large bowl, combine together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar.

2. Add buttermilk, water, olive oil and vanilla, whisk until smooth.  Pour batter into greased 9 x 9 square pan (or lined cupcake pan.)

3. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean.  Allow to cool before frosting.

Note: Make your own buttermilk by adding 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice to whole milk.  Stir and allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes before using.

{Additional Note: We are allergic to diary so I made my own buttermilk replacing the whole milk with coconut milk and it came out just fine.}

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  1. Reply

    They look really good, and she looks to be enjoying them! So cute. Glad you found something you don’t have to worry about and something she likes! 🙂

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