Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Put It In The Oven For Baby And Me...

Whilst I was delayed at the airport I got the great news that one of my dearest friends had given birth to her second child, a baby boy. It's been a week since I got home and I've been dying to see them both, so I just had to drop her off a little something to say congratulations.

Now I love giving cupcakes as gifts but my friends daughter has an allergy to eggs so this created a bit of a challenge. I know there are a few recipes for baked goods that don't include eggs but I had my heart set on making something a bit special. I also knew that I really wanted Anna to be able to have the same as everybody else, so I set about finding an egg-free recipe.

I did a bit of searching on the web and I was quite surprised to find tons of great egg free cake recipes all with really simple ingredients. In the end I settled for this really simple Vanilla Sponge recipe courtesy of **Jubes** on This recipe is egg, dairy and nut free and can also be gluten free if you use the right flour, baking powder and bicarb. Please note that the baking times and quantities of cakes made may not be completely accurate as the original recipe makes 1 cake rather than cupcakes.

Vanilla Sponge Cake

Makes approx 24 cupcakes or 1 cake

1 1/2 Cups Plain Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Oil
1 Cup Water
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp Vinegar or Orange Juice (I used vinegar as it was all that I had)

1. Preheat the oven to 180c and line a round cake tin (or muffin tin, I wouldn't recommend using silicone, use a tin with paper cases, I tried both and this gave the best result).

2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Use an egg whisk to aerate - there is no need to sift the dry ingredients.

3. Use a mixing jug, beat the oil, water, vanilla and vinegar together. Mix well.

4. Make a well in the flour mix and add the wet mix. Beat this together slowly and when mixed through beat with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes.

5. Pour the mixture in to the prepared tin. The mixture should be the consistency of a thick batter. Cook 45-60 minutes (for cupcakes I would reckon on 30-45 minutes, or until they go golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean)

6. When cooked, remove the cake from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before turning out to cool.

7. Decorate as desired.


I decorated these with buttercream (Kate Shirazi's recipe 100g butter to 225g icing sugar, with a few drops of blue colouring, beaten until smooth) and some pearl swirls. I decided after my last piping attempt to go for something a bit more modest and I think it looks simple but very effective. I love the way the buttercream looks like squidged out playdough : )

I have to say that I wasn't really sure about how the egg-free sponge tasted at first. Ironically I thought it tasted very eggy, very dense and tasted like a doughnut, not particularly unpleasant, it just had a bit of a strange aftertaste. I did however make another batch of plain cupcakes just in case they were no good, but I sooo badly wanted them to be really nice. In the morning I tried them again and for some reason they tasted a lot better and the aftertaste was gone. Weird?

In the end I was really pleased with these, both aesthetically and with their flavour. I'm really pleased that the recipe came through in the end. I feel that it's a bit like diet food being stereotypically rabbit food, why should you have to compromise on flavour?? I hope that these prove otherwise.

I'm also pretty proud of these on a personal level, I wanted to make them look like something from a high-end bakery and I think I didn't do too badly! I just hope that my friend enjoys them : )

Lastly, I wanted to give a mention to a very relevant blog that I read called Speedbump Kitchen , it's written by a Mum with a daughter that has various food allergies, so check it out for many more allergy recipes!


Leslie said...

Love the cupcakes! The DO look very professional!
I dont think I have ever baked ANYTHING without eggs! I might have to give it a whirl!!
Thanks for your comment on my Scarf! I was feeling a bit HIP yesterday!

Stephanie said...

Those look wonderful! What a sweet friend that you would go so far to give a nice gift. I'm sure your friend and her daughter will love them!

Meg said...

I want to try these! They look so delicious and as light as air!

Kristen said...

Those look delicious!!Nice job of decorating too :)

Lauren said...

they look lovely! we also have something here called egg replacer that can work in recepies in the place of eggs. I've had great success with it when baking for vegan friends.

Divya said...

That looks cute and dainty!
Beautiful creation!

skinnymum said...

What a thoughtful gesture! Bet your friend must be thrilled.

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

They look so pretty Hayley. Absolutely gorgeous.

Maria said...

Hayley these are so cute!!


Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

Lovely is the word !

Speedbump Kitchen said...

Above and beyond the call of duty, what a nice gift! Can you move to my neighborhood? I've baked something similar, using soymilk thickened with that bit of vinegar. The sponge cake alone isn't so tasty (you never realize how much flavor butter and eggs give until they are gone!), so I always try to use a lot of vanilla or lemon oil so it tastes like something other than flour and sugar. Tons of frosting on top is always a good idea too!!