Art Thou Cakes Alternative Ingredients in Cake Artistry for Food Intolerance

Art Thou Cakes Alternative Ingredients in Cake Artistry for Food Intolerance

My post today was inspired by a comment made by one of my readers, Emily, from my post about royal icing being the queen. She had asked bout using alternative ingredients in place of egg whites. I promised to write a post specifically for this and about using alternative ingredients in Cake Artistry for food intolerance.

I used to work at a natural medicine college, where I learned about the holistic make up of my health.

From as young I as I remembered, eating dairy or gluten always left me with side effects. Dairy made me sprint to the bathroom, and gluten caused me to bloat so much; my stomach hurt. I found that I was losing energy, not sleeping well, and often blamed it on work related stress etc.

Fortunately for me, all my colleagues were practicing naturopaths, who advised me to get a hair test in our clinic. I took their advice and what I suspected all along was confirmed. I am both, dairy and gluten intolerant, as well with egg, banana and a few other foods.

Once I understood and accepted this knowledge, I tried my best to refrain from any gluten or dairy products (okay, to be honest, I actually really struggle with this – I love cheese and hot white bread).

I have used a great recipe e book ‘Grave Bakery Gluten Free Cook Book‘ – this is a great starter for desserts that do not to include: gluten, grains, peanuts, refined sugars and soy.

I also, researched alternatives to what foods I could tolerate and ones that I couldn’t. I also gained a lot of knowledge about the range of alternative ingredients that I can utilise in cake artistry, to help those who have food intolerance, like myself.

Egg White

Even if you are not intolerant to eggs, you may still hate that ‘eggy’ taste in meringues or other light cakes. I dislike sponge cake and pavlovas, only because of the strong egg flavor, I only include sponge cake in my Christmas trifles and pavlovas are always smothered in fresh cream, with layers of fruit.


A lovely alternative to egg, is aquafaba,(further information can be found on the Vegan Society’s page).This is the name given to legume brine.

It is by far the cheapest and most perfect replacement for egg white. The brine can be drained straight from the can of legumes or chick peas. The other way to get this liquid is from slowly cooking dried beans in water for a few hours, until the brine becomes like the egg white consistency (of course it needs to be cooled first).

Other acceptable aquafaba is water from packaged tofu. The measurement of aquafaba per egg is 3 tablespoons (although according to the Vegan Society, this is not a hard-fast rule).

Aquafaba can be whisked and layered into sponge cakes, meringues and pavlovas. This liquid is also just as delicious and effective in creating meringue type buttercream icings.

Aquafaba can also be an alternative to using meringue powder (which is dried egg white powder) in royal icing.


Okay, I know that this ingredient is really for baking, rather than for cake artistry/decorating, however the information is still useful for those who need an alternative for gluten/wheat.

You can purchase gluten free flour from the stores, my favourite is the Namaste brands. Remember that food intolerance vary in levels to how much a person can handle, and for those who are high (such as celiac disorder), it would be better to make your own mix of flour.

12 alternative flours:

  1. Chickpea flour
  2. Quinoa flour
  3. Buckwheat flour
  4. Sorghum flour
  5. Almond flour
  6. Rice flour
  7. Tapioca (also known as Starch flour or arrowroot flour)
  8. Potato Starch
  9. Xanthum gum (guar gum) – this is also used together with fondant in creating toppers or pasting icing decorations
  10. Coconut flour
  11. Polentia flour
  12. Chestnut flour

Each flour type has their own specific taste and texture and I suggest that you research recipes, that are suitable to what you are creating/baking. Some have a stronger smell than others and could easily be disguised with natural flavourings.


Here are 5 alternatives that can replace dairy products:

1 – Milk

  • Cashew Milk
  • Rice Milk
  • Soy Milk – if you are not allergic to this of course
  • Almond Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Hemp/ Flax Milk Again, as with flour, these different milk substitutes have varying effects on the recipe being used. For much thicker consistency, I suggest using coconut milk – which also can be bought from organic stores without flavours.2 – Butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable spreads (not a fan of these)
  • Avocado (mashed) – this is only good when the recipe is an uncooked food – great as a chocolate cake icing

3 – Cheese

4 – Whipped Cream

  • Thick coconut cream – whipped

5 – Condensed Milk

  • Mix Coconut milk and maple syrup (yum)


I use pure organic maple syrup (you are lucky if you live in Canada, because these are so expensive anywhere else)

I have friends who are from Canada and they gave me a taste of their mayple syrup bottle (specially delivered from Canada to New Zealand) – after that I came back home and threw away any fake syrups in the cupboard. I never bought any more non-pure, maple syrup again.

The other organic sweetener, that I use as a subsitute for sugar is 100% pure honey, now that is one thing that I can say I am blessed for, living in New Zealand. Our honey is among the best in the world, especially Manuka honey, which is renowned for its healing properties.

You can also use stevia, isomalt or coconut raw sugar too, as an alternative to using white sugar.


Now, if you are following a specific diet or health program, you will be able to find just about every type of food can be substituted, however, for the sake of cake artistry, I have only listed the main food items that I would use as alternatives in my cake artistry.

I do not get much cake art orders that require gluten free or dairy free products and I certainly do not profess to be a pro in this area.

It is my intention that this may help a reader find some alternatives to their own food intolerance, especially when creating cake art.

Please comment or share your own experiences with food intolerance, so that I can learn and that it may further help other readers as well.

Until my next blog,

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11 thoughts on “Alternative Ingredients To Use For Food Intolerance

  1. When I read about alternative to milk in your article, I paused a bit, are you serious about these alternatives? I never heard of cashews milk before, let alone rice milk.Anyways, life’s good when there are options. Yeah, Canada is Maple headquarters of the world:)Is Manuka Honey monofloral? I meant, do they feed on only one type of flower?

    1. Manuka Honey is monofloral – it has a unique flavor and flower, the bees honey used is only from the bees that are attracted to Manuka. Cashew milk is gorgeous in coffee as well as in cooking or even in cereals. Cashew juice is strained to get the milk. There is a process and it can be made at home. However, cashew nuts are so expensive, store bought cartons are probably more affordable.

  2. Nice write up there Ilaisaane. Thanks for showing the different recipes needed to make laces that give our cake the ‘wow’ look. From your careful descriptions, one will know you have great passion for what you do. Making cakes with stunning look can be very hard at times, but with passion foe it, I say it becomes ABC. 

  3. This is incredibly informative. My boss is intolerant to gluten and is always looking for new ingredients and meal, this will help her so much! I was unaware just how many alternatives there are for products that I use everyday. Have you personally used some of these ingredients for your cake artistry? Just curious about sweeter tasting alternatives. 

    1. Hi again Alisha,
      your boss should be able to find these alternatives very helpful and yes I have used some if not all the recipes for someone who has requested a gluten free/dairy free cake. In the sweeter alternatives, if you are not so sure about honey or maple you can still use stevia or something similar bought from the shops. However, I prefer natural rather than manufactured, for personal reasons.

  4. Love the alternatives that you have suggested, Ilaisaane! I have an alergic reaction to sea foods, particularly shell fish like lobster, mussels and prawns. I am a vegan and now you have shown me some new alternatives to add to my diet.

    Thank you for your great insight!

    1. Hi Paul,
      My husband also has an allergic reaction to seafood also, and I totally understand. I am not vegan and know how limited this way of eating is, so it is nice to know that I have added to your list of alternative foods 🙂 Try some and please come back to let me know what your thoughts are. Enjoy your day 🙂

  5. This is such a great list of substitutes! I’m prediabetics so I can’t have sugars and normal flour, but I could use almond flour to see how it goes. My husband is lactose intolerant so we might try coconut milk or one of the other alternatives with the almond flour. Do you think the chickpea flour could add a weird flavour to the cake? I’ve been experimenting with coconut flour and I didn’t like the texture in the end result but I might try next time with almond or chickpea flour. But here you have shared so many options to try! It’s great! Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Thais, first of all thank you for visiting my post. Almond flour is a great alternative, chick pea can have a certain taste about it, but again as stated in my post, it can be masked with natural flavouring. To be honest, the tastes that we all grew up and are used to, becomes what we call ‘normal’, but after using an alternative for a length of time, will help us develop a preference for it and it soon becomes a ‘normal’ taste. Coconut milk is a delicious alternative to milk if you buy organic and unsweetened. Let me know how you go, with both ingredients 🙂

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