Let’s face it: none of us wants food allergies to impact our lives. But one of the most rewarding aspects of being part of the food-allergic community is that it is, in fact, a community. We are here to help each other and learn from each other – which is why I was thrilled to receive a question recently from a mother of a food allergic child in Michigan. She had seen our new line of cupcakes on our website and wanted to know how we were able to get our vanilla cupcakes to turn out so beautifully without eggs.
Her question really resonated with me: yellow cake has been one of my biggest challenges! I seemed to nail down my formula for chocolate cake rapidly, but when it came to vanilla/white/yellow cake, it seemed to take forever to get it right. So, I felt her pain and wanted to help.
Three overall lessons I’ve learned from being a commercial baker are:
(1) Don’t be afraid to throw away batter or finished product. Trial and error is really the only way to get your recipe right.
(2) When you try a batch, and realize your recipe isn’t quite right, only change 1 thing the next time.
(3) Take notes about what you tried so you can hone in on what the problem is and not duplicate your mistakes.
Since our ingredients are published on our website and product labels, I’m not giving away any trade secrets in publishing my answer to the customer’s question. I’ll even share my “Ah ha” moment: oil works better than butter as your fat for vanilla cake. It seems that without the leavening power of eggs, the batter struggles to rise under the weight of the butter. Believe me, I really wanted to use butter because the flavor is so much better, but, for me, the cupcakes cratered with butter in the batter.
One other thought: play with the level of your baking powder. I found that too much made the vanilla cupcakes rubbery. Remember, though, when you try a batch with a lower level of baking powder, don’t change anything else in your recipe!
For those of you outside of Southern Cal, we hope to figure out how to ship our egg-free cupcakes in a cost-effective manner one day soon. Until then, happy baking!