Cakes are a central part of many celebrations, from kids' birthdays to weddings. For those with severe peanut allergies, though, eating a slice of cake is almost unthinkable. Baked goods present a significant risk. Even if the recipe does not include peanuts, the cake may have been baked somewhere that also handles peanut products. Cross-contamination is common when cakes are baked with the same utensils and surfaces being used for recipes containing peanut products. Because of this, many people with severe peanut allergies avoid eating any baked goods unless they know where it was baked.
If you have peanut allergies or are purchasing a cake for someone who does, locate a peanut-free bakery. These are bakeries committed to avoiding products that contain peanuts in an effort to make their baked goods safe for those with allergies. There are peanut-free bakeries in many major cities offering everyday baked goods as well as special-occasion cakes.
If you can't find a peanut-free bakery to meet your needs, consider baking the cake at home. Here, too, you'll need to avoid cross-contamination. In addition to making sure all surfaces and utensils are completely peanut-free, you'll also want to start with safe ingredients. Check the labels on everything – the flour, the chocolate chips, the frosting -- to make sure it is safe for those with peanut allergies. Some of the most popular boxed mixes for making peanut-free cakes include Cherrybrook Kitchen, found online and in select grocery stores. Some varieties by Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, and Pillsbury are processed in peanut-free facilities, although not all are.