After FIVE Years, I FINALLY Found It!
We first found out about Bella’s dairy allergy when she was 18 months old. Since then, I have immersed myself in learning how to cook without it, which has been somewhat difficult. For the most part, I can happily say that I’ve pretty much nailed her dairy-free diet. Except for one thing…
I dread going to birthday parties because there always comes a moment when the big, beautiful birthday cake is brought out, and my little girl collapses in tears. While she can get away with eating the cake itself, it’s the butter icing that she just cannot touch. One bite of it and she develops flu-like symptoms within hours, which inevitably leads to an infection, antibiotics, and neither of us sleeping for 10 days. So icing is a huge ‘no no’ in our lives! A fact that my sweet girl just hates.
Over the years, I have tried a variety of options. Icing sugar and water does not have the same effect as butter icing, so she’s never been a fan of it. We have tried dairy-free margarine, but this just tastes nasty. Then we tried coconut oil, which actually works as you can apply it when it’s soft and colour it however you wish, but then it dries out very hard and her friends have never taken to it. So it’s always been back to the drawing board for us…
And then we found it! My cousin experimented with a few options for us recently, and discovered coconut cream. Last night Bella and I made her birthday-ring cupcakes. I say ‘made’ very loosely, as I totally bought un-iced ready-made vanilla cupcakes, and all we did was ice them. Sometimes you just gotta be honest with yourself about your own limitations, and baking is just not my thing! We tried the coconut cream recipe and it actually works. While it doesn’t look exactly like butter icing, it is sweet, creamy, delicious, AND it made my daughter smile! So ladies and gentleman, we FINALLY have an icing recipe!
Coconut cream (I used two tins to ice 30 cupcakes)
Maple syrup (to taste)
Vanilla essence (to taste)
Gel food colouring
Refrigerate the tins of coconut cream overnight so that any water in the tin separates from the cream. Scoop out the cream and discard the remaining water. Add your maple syrup and vanilla essence to taste, and colour it however you wish. I used gel colouring so as to not get any lumps or flicks of colour that may be created from the powdered versions. Blend until you get the consistency you require. You may have to blend for a while to get the same high peaks as butter icing provides. Ice your cupcakes and return to the fridge so the cream doesn’t melt. Allow it to reach room temperature before serving.
My little SIX year old with her Beauty and the Beast coloured cupcakes. So happy!