Last week was my dad’s birthday and Father’s Day, and at the center of my family’s celebrations was a chocolate and sunflower butter layer cake. My dad was really excited about it – before my peanut allergy was diagnosed my dad loved peanut butter, and since we’ve now eliminated all peanut products from our house, he has converted to sunflower butter. Try doing a search for chocolate and sunflower butter layer cakes (the kind of cake he requested for his special week) and you won’t yield nearly as many results as you would have by searching for peanut butter instead. Something I have learned about cooking and baking with food allergies, though, is that there are simple ways to make recipes more allergy friendly.
The recipe my mom and I chose to use for my dad’s cake was for a chocolate and espresso cake with peanut butter icing. Upon reading through the ingredients for the recipe, we realized that only the icing called for peanut butter and the cake was entirely peanut free. So we stuck with the cake recipe (which was from Damaris Phillips) and searched for a different icing recipe, ultimately settling on a recipe developed by the Sunbutter brand. To top off the layer cake, we sprinkled bits of chopped Suncups around the circumference of the cake instead of the chopped peanuts the original recipe had suggested. The result was a photogenic, delicious, and safe cake for our celebrations! So next time you find a recipe that looks great but contains your allergen, simply find other ways to make substitutions or even patch two or three recipes together.