This post is dedicated to my son, Dorian – because early on in his 9 years he told me that he was ‘lucky’ his Mom could bake special things for him and also sagely noted “Mom, did you know not all kids have funny parents?” (with a tinge of regret for those kids in his voice). So this is for you, my little love!
People that know me or have read past posts about my son, Dorian, know he had a really tough start. As a result of having several intestional stomas, and ultimately having some of his intestine removed, he was saddled with severe food allergies from the get go. I’m not talking eat a little cheese then get a runny nose, I’m talking full on Anaphylaxis-inducing-call-911-get-the-Epi-Pen kind of allergies. This is the list that he started with…
Luckily he subsisted on a robust diet of gravel and rubberbands. Actually, he was and still is a very adventerous eater. He developed a love of Indian food that has endeared him to Mrs. Bhati over at India Oven (in Tucson) since he was a toddler. I guess any kid that loves (spinach) saag and channa is A-OK with adults. Now, at age 9, he is only allergic to peanuts/nuts – and it’s not as severe as it was when he was younger. He has ever been kissed by the goddess of good fortune.
Anyway, regular meals were pretty easy – when he was young, I provided all his foods and we went to a core group of restaurants that we knew we could trust to give us accurate information about the ingredients. I applaud wait staff that take the time to talk with the kitchen staff about ingredients. We had some really awful experiences with people that just didn’t give a flip if what we gave our child might kill him. But for every bad experience, we had 10 good experiences. We even had a chef come out, talk with us and then made Dorian a special dinner that was not on the menu.
Desserts were another matter entirely. It’s easy now adays to find things that are wheat free, dairy, free, soy free, egg free, nut free – but to find all those ‘frees’ together usually meant you were at Home Depot looking at particle board. And unfortunately, much of the pre-made dessert foods he could eat tasted worse than I imagined particle board to taste.
As I love to bake, and was a baker for years, I was able to find an amazing recipe that I tweaked to make Dorian’s (and my) favorite cake. We call it Morning Cake. It is so amazingly delicious. It is also extremely versatile – from a moist banana blueberry cake to a pumpkin spice cake. We brought it to every birthday party he attended until he was 7 and we had it for most of his birthday parties too. Even after he was able to eat most anything, he asked me to please continue to make “Morning Cake” – it is associated with some of our most wonderful memories.
I want to share this incredible recipe – you don’t even need to have any food allergies to love it.
- ½ cup soft butter or soy butter
- 1 cup honey or sugar (I tend to use about ¾ cup if I’m using honey)
- 1 egg OR egg substitute (1 ½ Tbl oil + 1 ½ Tbl water + 1 tsp baking powder)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 ¼ cups of whatever mixture of oat/oatbran/flour you want – (I use 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup oat bran and ¼ cup flour)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce or 1 cup mashed over-ripe bananas
- 1 cup raisins, or blueberries or cranberries etc…
*Preheat oven to 325 degrees
* Cream butter & sugar (or honey)
*Mix together the egg substitute and add to creamed butter mixture (or add the egg if no egg substitute)
*Add vanilla to creamed mixture
*In separate bowl, combine dried ingredients
*Add to creamed mixture
*Add in the bananas or applesauce
* Add in any fruits or extras
*Pour into oil-sprayed pan or cupcake pan
*Bake until done – typically around 40 minutes for a cake, slightly less for cupcakes
Substitute 1 cup pumpkin pack for applesauce or banana & add 1 Tbl ginger for Pumpkin Ginger Morning Cake
For everyone that struggles with food allergies – I know the road can be rough and that a lot people don’t really understand what it’s like to live every day with anxiety about what you put in your mouth or what someone might feed your child. Or what it’s like to send your baby to school and know that they might possibly die because someone thought that the ‘no peanut’ rule was ‘stupid’ or ‘someone else’s problem’ … But know that there are a lot of us out there that do know what you struggle with – and you are not alone.