Cake; the ultimate people pleaser and the tradition which in an age of kicking them to the curb still floats everyones' boat. Everyone loves cake. But how can you make it work for all of your guests, regardless of their food allergies? It's a very real issue right now, with more and more people experiencing adverse reactions to many of the core ingredients used in creating wedding cakes, and in our eyes, no one should miss out, but where do you even begin?! Thankfully, we've managed to call in an expert to offer you all of the advice you need. Bee's Bakery has taken the baking world by storm thanks to epic, delicious creations, and Bee is an absolute fountain of knowledge when it comes to plant based cakes. I'm going to guess that her microbiology and medical science pre-cakey experience has a part to play in her championing of the alternative bake, so there's not a more perfect lady for the job of chief advice giver!
Are plant based cakes the future?According to Allergy UK*, up to 20% of the UK population experience reactions to foods including dairy products, wheat, eggs and nuts. Providing different food options for wedding guests with special dietary requirements can be a stressful and costly undertaking, and a logistical challenge for caterers too. It’s particularly tricky when it comes to wedding cake, as traditional recipes contain many, if not all, of these ingredients. At Bee’s Bakery, we’ve seen a huge increase in requests for non-allergenic cake recipes in the last few years. As a result, I’ve had to become a bit of an expert in ‘alternative ways to bake’ and by far my favourite way is plant-based baking. I’ve been selflessly committed to this cause, testing, tasting and finalising tens of recipe for that one perfect plant-based bake. What a job! Our most popular plant-based recipe this season, and one of my all time favourites too, has to be our chocolate and avocado cake recipe, which is dairy and egg free, and I will show you how to make it here!
Traditional fruit cakes are rarely ordered these days, and there has definitely been a move towards ‘plant-based’ recipes for several reasons. A desire to offer a more nutritionally and environmentally sound option for guests. A need to cater carefully for those with allergies and a wish to offer a beautiful cake with ‘wow factor’ cake by choosing a recipe most guests will never have tried before. I have a real passion for allergen-free and plant-based baking, and after testing hundreds of recipes I can confidently say that I know the score on this front! I've included my top tips below, but you can also find more of my tips for making cakes with the wow factor, and catering for dietary requirements in my book, Bee's Adventures in Cake Decoating.
Bee's Top Tips
- Choose a cake designer that can incorporate a specialist cake recipe within an existing design – so you can have the look and style of cake you like best, whilst catering to your guests needs.
- Consider ordering one cake in a recipe that avoids several food allergens to keep costs lower.
- Surprise your guests with a new plant-based recipe and move away from traditional fruitcake or victoria sponge.
- Consider a multi-tiered cake, one tier for your favourite recipe, one for your partners favourite and one for those with dietary requirements.
- If you or friend is baking your wedding cake ask your guests with allergies for their recipe recommendations to shortcut the process. Test the recipe in advance, so there are no disappointments on the day. Adapt your existing recipes to remove allergenic ingredients, for example, you can replace eggs in the recipe by using a flax egg, or chia egg. Try mixing your own gluten free flour bend to avoid that sandy aftertaste of some pre mixed blends. Ensure you check labelling carefully.
- Consider the environment in your recipe and decoration. Plant based recipes and locally sourced decorations such as edible flowers reduce food related emissions. We use and love edible flowers from Maddocks Farm in Devon, UK.
Not content with producing amazing baked goods, and educating us about plant based cakes, Bee is also the author of two brilliant books. Her most recent, Bee’s Adventures in Cake Decorating, is available now, and you definitely need it in your collection.