16 June 2009

Birthday Cake Recipe

Since our family is wheat and dairy intolerable and sugar makes the boys grumpy and irritable, we use spelt, rice milk and xylitol when we bake birthday cakes. Years ago we tried a 'healthy' birthday party. I made coloured eggs, rainbow bread and served a spread of fresh fruit. Was I disappointed? The children by no means thought it was a nice party. They were looking at my hours of creative thinking and hard work with expressions of: 'is this it??' That party cost me more than any of my 'normal' parties and I had to throw away every coloured egg and pieces of bread, they took one bite and nothing more. They didn't even enjoy the fruit!

We decided our children will always be restricted on sweets. With their birthdays we will start boosting their immune system the week before the party and let them enjoy a real party. But we never send packets of sweets home with the party quests. We made the cake, decorate it with lots of sweet treats and when that is finished, no more sweets!

Over the years I've experimented a lot with different cake recipes, spelt flour has less gluten content than wheat flour and consequently don’t rise as high as cakes baked with wheat flour. When I replace the wheat flour in recipes, with spelt flour, I always increase the amount of spelt by a third.

I have found this cake recipe gave the best result with spelt flour for a decorating cake:

Chiffon Cake

360g refined spelt flour
250g xylitol
15ml baking powder
3 ml salt
120ml olive oil
5 eggs, separated
180ml water
10ml lemon juice
5 ml grated lemon skin
2 ml cream of tartar

1. Cover the bottom of 2 cake pans (220mm in diameter) or one ring pan (100mm deep) with butter coated butter paper (sandwich wrap)

2 Sieve together spelt, xylitol, baking powder and salt. Make a hole in the middle of the ingredients.

3. Add olive oil, egg yolk. cold water, lemon juice and lemon skin (in this order) and beat together until smooth.

4. Add cream of tarter to egg whites and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold first mixture into stiff egg white.

5. Put the mix into the cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes, or for the ring pan 50 minutes at a moderate heat (180°C), if the cake feels spongy at the top, it’s done.

6. Let it cool down BEFORE loosen the cake from the sides.


Chocolate chiffon cake
Replace 40 g of spelt with 20 g cacao and sieve together with dry ingredients.

Pineapple chiffon cake
Replace the 180 ml water with 180 ml pineapple juice and decorate with pineapple mouse.


For decorating the cake we used two kinds of icing - Butter icing and Royal icing.

The butter icing is a soft icing and stays soft, used to cover and decorate the cake.

The royal icing hardens within an hour and we used it as ‘glue’. On the Cinderella cake we used it to ‘glue’ the party cones to the marshmallows for the towers and the tiles to the steps.

Butter icing:

100 g butter (we never used margarine)
250 g icing sugar
10 ml vanilla
rice milk

Cream the butter with icing sugar.
Add vanilla and little rice milk to obtain a soft, creamy icing.
Add colouring.

Royal icing:

1 egg white
3 drops of fresh lemon juice
175 g icing sugar, sifted

Beat egg white and lemon juice together, until foamy.
Add tablespoons of sifted icing sugar, until you can draw peaks.
Add colouring.

Enjoy decorating!

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