Safe Cake Flavorings?


Does anyone know of a safe cake flavoring? I'm taking a cake decorating class so my PA son can have a nice cake. Everyone else is using these fancy cake flavorings and, of course, I've discovered they are not safe. These aren't necessary for a great cake but it would be nice to have some options. Anyone have a brand or variety they trust?

On Sep 12, 2008

Do you mean frosting flavor? Or cake flavors?

On Sep 12, 2008

I mean the little bottles of concentrated flavoring you can buy in cake stores (or other places I am sure) that you can add to either cakes or frostings. Sorry I didn't make that clear in my original question!

On Sep 12, 2008

Try [url=""]Lorann oils[/url] -- you may want to call them since It's been a while since I've contacted them, but from what I remember, their oils are nut free (all flavors are chemically derived). I've used many of their flavors in making chocolates, and never encountered a problem.

I noticed that you live in Michigan -- I believe that they still have a store front in Lansing.

On Sep 12, 2008

It's been a few years since I contacted them (Lorann) but they told me that their products were not safe.

On Sep 13, 2008

You may want to contact them again...I'd be curious as to what other people find out. In March of 2008, they sent me files for each flavor I was interested in purchasing, a grid complete with the top 8, as well as sensitizing agents, latex, seeds, etc. -- all of which the oils were free from.

On Sep 13, 2008

Thanks DinaT. I will contact them. I noticed they have a PB oil so that always freaks me out a little but I'll see what they say. I'd probably buy online as Lansing is a bit of a drive for me. I'm actually pretty close to Novi, I'm in Waterford.

I'm just curious which ones you purchased. Were you happy with them? What did you use them in? I've never used these. I'm such an amateur when it comes to baking!

Thanks for all of your help!!

On Sep 14, 2008

Robyn --

I see they do sell peanut butter flavoring, but from what I understand, it is a chemically derived flavoring. A few links touching upon how artificial flavors are derived: [url=""]Flavor: wikipedia[/url] [url=""]How Do Artifical Flavors Work?[/url] Because these are proprietary compounds, they can't tell you what's in them specifically, just what's not (you'd probably have to be a chemist to understand the formulations, anyways)

Anyhow, after you contact them, please post what you find out.

I purchased the Cool creme dementhe and Orange Brandy Flavor for Chocolate and the strawberry, cherry, coffee, and peppermint oils. I'm an amateur chocolatier -- I've used them mostly for truffles -- to flavor the ganache (since most recipes call for alcohol, which I can't give to my 4 year old -- I'll sub with flavoring) or I've had great success using the mint and cherry to flavor chocolates (after melting, but before tempering). If I'm making a celebration cake, I like to decorate with a Swiss meringue buttercream, and I've added a few drops of the oils to flavor the buttercream. I prefer to use real fruits and fruit purees to add color and flavor to my candies and cakes, but I've just started to play around with these artificial flavors.

On Sep 14, 2008

Awesome DinaT!! I hadn't thought about them being an artifical flavor from chemicals. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't like that but in an occasional special cake, I think it would be fine. I will contact them this week and post their reply if they give me one.

Thanks again!!

P.S. You sound really talented. Here I am trying to bake a simple cake and you're doing fancy candies for your PA kid!! After mastering cakes, I thought about taking a candy class. Now you've really inspired me!!

On Sep 15, 2008

Another Michigan reply....I have also used the LorAnn oils, although not since we found out about ds's PA. (not because I thought they were unsafe, I just have not had much time to do chocolates) I used them to flavor chocolates (gifts for the holidays). My DS with PA is also allergic to dairy so he doesn't eat much chocolate and I have not been able to find a dairy free melting chocolate. I never thought of using them to flavor cake batter, but that is a great idea. I am always looking for ways to make unique cupcakes for ds that he likes and are not always the same.

On Sep 18, 2008

I'm so glad I saw this on here! I'm getting ready for my DD's (PA) 3rd birthday. I will be making the cake and have been trying to find some safe flavors as well. I called Wilton today and they informed me that the butter cream flavor that I have is "processed in a facility that uses peanuts/tn's". The melting chocolates that I have (but are unopened) say that they "may contain milk", but say NOTHING about peanuts. When I called them today, they told me those were also "processed in a facility...". So, where does this leave me? I realize that I could use real butter, but it will cause the icing to be an off-white color. I checked out that LorAnn link and it sounds pretty good----has anyone called them recently to see if they are 100% safe? Also, does anyone know if Wilton's icing coloring is safe? Thanks for any input.

On Sep 19, 2008

I am still waiting on a reply back from Lorann oils. I may have to call them since they are not answering my e-mail. I did hear from McCormick. They say all of their extracts are nut free. They have several flavors, including butter. My cake decorating teacher said these are similar to Wilton flavorings.

As far as Wilton's safety goes, I am trusting their coloring and meringue powder based on this thread: [url=""][/url] This may not be in everyone's comfort zone but I think it is acceptable for us. My PA son ate my first batch of frosting with no problems earlier this week.

I will post when/if I ever get a reply back from Lorann oils.

On Sep 20, 2008

I just have to throw my 2 cents in about food coloring -- having decorated my fair share of cakes, I've used many different brands of food colorings, and the best brand, IMO, is [url=""]Americolor[/url] The gel colors are nice, but I prefer the airbrush colors to mix in a buttercream (and, of course, to airbrush), and you won't get the change in icing consistency like you do with the gel colors; also, they are best for coloring royal icings, as well. Just out of curiosity, are you in a warm climate? If you ever have time, try out a Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe, it's well worth the extra effort to make -- white color, no greasy or gritty mouth feel, not sickeningly sweet, like powdered sugar/shortening recipes. I can post the recipe if you're interested. It pipes beautifully, and can stay out at room temp for a few days. Unlike a traditional Italian buttercream, the egg whites are cooked to a higher temp, killing those salmonella buggies.

On Sep 20, 2008

DinaT---that sounds awesome!! I'm a cake decorating "rookie", so I welcome any pointers/suggestions. We live in Kentucky, so it's mild right now----a high in the low 80's lately. That icing sounds great that it can store at room temperature for a few days! I will look for a dealer for "Americolor" as well. Thanks so much for the input and thanks in advance for the recipe! Lisa

On Sep 20, 2008

Lisa -- I posted the recipe under the recipe section. Some people are big fans of the grocery store type Crisco/nauseatingly sweet frostings (my DH is one of them), because that is what they're used to. I personally prefer a less sweet, silkier frosting (I can's stand that shortening layer on the roof of my mouth). Most commercial bakeries use the powdered sugar/shortening recipe because it's cheap, it keeps well, and it's easy to work with. I know Wilton instructors use it because it is the easiest to pipe onto cakes. Anyhow, I hope you will give this a try. Don't be scared of the technique -- please PM or ask me for any pointers if you'd like!!