Upon thinking about birthdays, fun, gifts, and cake are the three foremost things people ponder. The birthday cake is a particularly special tradition within many cultures, making it an integral part to any celebration. Cake come in many shapes, sizes, and types, but some people find that there are an ever increasing number of restrictions on what type of cake or dessert they can have for their special day. With food allergies and preferences on the rise, selecting alternatives to the traditional birthday cake is becoming an ever greater necessity. Fortunately selecting alternatives is a grand adventure to embark on during someone’s annual celebration!
Dairy alternatives present a challenge because many dessert items include butter, milk, or cream. Alternatives for these items often use almond or soy milk, or even substitute shortening for butter. Yet, one alternative to a traditional cake is to prepare a dairy-free chocolate mousse. Using coconut milk and dairy-free chocolate, an ultra-rich custard is prepared and enjoyed by everyone.
Intolerances or allergies to gluten present a more difficult challenge than dairy because the properties in gluten are not easily replicated with other materials. When this challenge is raised a keen sense of adventure is the best thing one can have. Offering ice cream parfaits with gluten-free cookies makes a delicious and beautiful dessert that guests can have fun building together. Fruit compotes, shaved ices, fruit stews, and chocolate ganaches are all excellent alternatives that work together to create elegant and delicious sweets for anyone with or without a gluten sensitivity.
More people need to avoid nuts in their various forms, especially peanuts. Doing this is less difficult than dairy or gluten when it comes to cakes and pies. For most people it simply means making sure that the ingredients are void of any tree or ground nuts like cashews or peanuts. For others with a more severe allergy it means no contamination whatsoever. In the latter cases, making a homemade cake or dessert is usually the best option. For that rich flavor that is so enticing, try an olive oil cake recipe or something with a rich mix of flavors.
Just as with any dietary restriction, the best idea is to stay flexible. Sticking to the traditional notion of cake and ice cream severely limits the different types of delicious flavors that can be experienced for a birthday party. With a little bit of creativity, the most enticing of aromas and tastes will make any alternative birthday treat a great memory and a often-used recipe!