Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's Mickey! (and he's vegan!)

Actually, Mickey Mouse probably isn't vegan. After all, he is a mouse. Mice eat cheese. But that's beside the point. My point is... that this was my very first vegan cake!

It all started a few weeks ago when I was visiting with some friends from out of town and got a message on my phone from my facebook page from a lady named Nicci. I was very excited - I hadn't had a cake order in two months and was itching to get back to decorating cakes again. And then came the actual message. The person who wanted to order a cake from me had several requests - the cake had to be egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free and corn-free. Yikes! I almost sent this potential client to a gluten-free bakery (and I later discovered that among all of the birthday boy's allergies, gluten was not one of them), but I decided to give it a try. I asked my friend Ann if she knew of any good recipes that would work and she sent me one for Wacky Cake. I discovered that not only has this recipe been around for decades, but it is completely vegan. No eggs. No dairy. I did a test run and my kids and husband loved it. I even gave a piece to my mom when she came over one day and she didn't believe that it was vegan. I was set with the cake then, but still unsure of the frosting. After all - powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. Kind of hard to make frosting without it. I sent a message to Nicci telling her about my dilemna. She then informed me that her son's corn allergy was very mild so he should be okay to eat the frosting. Yay!

So, I made the two cake layers, got ready to make the frosting and something made me look at the  ingredients on the container of shortening. I almost fainted. Right there, ingredient number one - soybean oil. I went to the store to see if they had a soy-free shortening alternative (aside from lard - and really, who wants frosting made with lard? yuck!) and there was none. It was the day that Nicci's husband was supposed to pick up the cake and I just about had a nervous breakdown. I sent a message with many apologies, asking if perhaps her son's soy allergy was mild like the corn one. I then started looking for soy-free shortening online and found one - but just as I was about to call Whole Foods to see if they sold it, I got a message back from Nicci - the shortening would be fine, they could just scrape it off their son's piece of cake. Double yay!!

I got to work decorating the cake, and in the end was very pleased. The design is modeled after the party decorations with everything in fondant except for mickey's face, which is a fondant-gum paste mix. The cake itself is vegan chocolate, with vanilla buttercream filling and frosting.

I felt bad that the birthday boy couldn't have any of that yummy frosting, but I figure, with all of his food allergies, at least he gets cake!

Happy Birthday Bryson and I hope you had a wonderful day. (and next year, I'll make a cake with frosting you can eat - I promise! :) )