With changing diets and more widely available allergen free foods, more and more couples are looking for allergen free wedding cakes. However, the world of allergen free cakes is often a bit more complicated than just finding a baker who can make a cake without the particular ingredient, e.g. a gluten free wedding cake. This post will help you navigate the world of allergen free wedding cakes so that you can make sure you are getting exactly what you need and don’t risk harming any of your guests.
What does allergen free mean?
Although there are of course thousands of foods that people might be allergic to, there are 14 common allergens which food businesses need to monitor. When it comes to your wedding cake, it’s likely that the following allergens could be present, depending on recipe and design: milk, eggs, wheat/gluten, soya, peanuts, tree nuts, and sulphites. A number of wedding cake makers have developed recipes which exclude one or all of these ingredients, but retain the structure and flavour of a traditional wedding cake. This means that they can offer allergen free wedding cakes to couples and their guests, which taste exactly as expected, for all guests (regardless of allergies) to enjoy. In some cases, cake makers themselves avoid these allergens in their own home (kitchen) and therefore can offer couples a wedding cake that avoids the ingredients and can be reasonably considered to be trace free as well.
Ordering Allergen Free Wedding Cakes
If you are looking for allergen free wedding cakes, it’s really helpful to start by considering what you really need:
- Do you want your entire wedding cake to be allergen free or could you just have 1 or 2 tiers that are allergen free? Depending on your guests’ allergies, you may need to have different allergens excluded in different tiers
- Are your guests allergic or intolerant to the ingredient, or do they have another medical condition which means they need to exclude certain ingredients e.g. coeliac? These are quite different and you can find more information here. Most wedding cake makers will be able to help with food intolerances, where it is more likely that trace amounts would be fine, but you are going to need to use a wedding cake maker with an allergen free kitchen if your guests are truly allergic
- How important to you is it that you have an allergen free wedding cake? In most instances, it will be more expensive to have some or all of your wedding cake made without allergens by a bespoke wedding cake maker. You may therefore choose to have one allergen free tier for guests, purchase a small allergen free cake from the supermarket or offer an alternative dessert
One thing that’s really important to be clear about is whether your guests have a medical reason for avoiding a certain ingredient, such as an allergy or intolerance, or whether it is a dietary decision to avoid a certain ingredient, such as a low gluten diet or vegan diet. Some cake ingredients are not naturally vegetarian, but alternatives can be easily used if necessary, however, it’s much harder for wedding cake makers to create allergen free wedding cakes as it requires different recipes, especially if they don’t always bake allergen free.
When you start looking for wedding cake makers, there are a couple of other things that it might be handy to tell or ask them:
- Firstly, it’s really important to tell the wedding cake maker exactly what you need when first enquiring e.g. 4 x guests who are gluten intolerant, 1 x guest allergic to eggs, and a completely vegetarian menu. That way, they can be honest with you about whether they can meet those needs, and tell you the best way to achieve that e.g. 1 egg free tier made with gluten free flour
- If some of your guests are dangerously allergic to certain ingredients, and you would like to provide them with an allergen free cake, I would certainly recommend using an allergy free specialist wedding cake Don’t be afraid to ask what precautions they take to ensure their kitchen is free of stated allergens
- Even if you aren’t planning to have an allergen free wedding cake, or think that the allergen may not be relevant to the cake maker, it’s really important that you let your wedding cake maker know of any guest allergies, so that they can make sure the cake will be safe for them to eat
- Make sure to ask your wedding cake maker what information they give on the day about allergens. Some cake makers may produce full allergen statements for the venue/caterers, others may provide you with a cake/flavour menu noting allergens, and some may just provide that information via a sticker on the cake boxes. If you know that it is important to your guests with allergies, you can let them know in advance how/where they can find that information on the day
Allergies and intolerances can add a little bit of complexity to your wedding cake planning, but it certainly doesn’t mean excluding guests from enjoying your cake anymore. There are so many wedding cake makers that can offer allergen free wedding cakes which look and taste exactly the same as their allergy filled relatives! If you are looking for an allergen free, vegetarian or vegan wedding cake in Surrey, and the southern Home Counties, do get in touch to see how I can help! Good luck and happy planning!
With love from lila xx