The Best Bake-Sale Cake EVERYONE Can Eat

Having a cake sale, whether it’s in school as a PTA fundraiser, or in the office to celebrate a birthday, is a simple idea in theory but in practice they can be an absolute minefield.

It’s totally understandable that schools need to be careful when the full gamut of dietary restrictions and allergies can be present - some of which many parents probably have no idea about. And school’s aren’t the only places - the same applies to any sports teams or social clubs people can be a part of, and even the office.

Many of us are aware of peanut allergies, but did you realise that tree nuts and peanuts are different allergens? And while some people may consider gluten-avoidance a ‘trend’, wheat/gluten allergy and coeliac's disease are very much real. Furthermore, there's egg, milk, dairy and soya which are all real allergens that can easily make their way into cake recipes without us even noticing.  

Which is why we’ve come up with a recipe that is gluten-, egg-, dairy-, nut-, soya-free AND vegan so anyone, whether it’s a kid at school or a colleague in the office, can still bring in a cake and enjoy the celebrations. 

Before we get to the recipe we just wanted to go through a few alternatives that you can consider when looking for recipes.  Not all substitutes are equal, or can be direct replacements, but these are ones we’ve tried and used in our bakery and home kitchens and so recommend if you wanted to experiment a bit.

Common Cake Ingredient Substitutes

Butter Substitute

Instead of recipe with butter, try a recipe with oil in. You can’t directly substitute oil for butter as they’ve got different smoking points - butter is a solid at lower temperatures than oil so directly substituting them would mess with the baking process. But oil can help keep the cake moist for even longer than a butter-based recipe, as well as contribute to its richness. Oil-based recipes also tend to have a lower fat content than butter-based as you need far less oil than butter. So although you can’t just replace them like for like, you don’t need to be reluctant to try a recipe that uses oil instead. It’s what’s we use in our much-loved and super popular Hero Sponge!

Hero Sponge

Oat Milk

The role of milk in a batter is to make the texture lighter and moist, and batter a bit more robust.

For obvious reasons cow's milk, almond (nuts) and soya milk can be problematic ingredients. Try oat milk instead! Oat milk can activate the other dry ingredients in a similar way to any other milk substitute. It's actually our favourite milk substitute for hot drinks too.

Egg Substitute

Instead of egg, try banana or apple sauce. Eggs are mainly a binding agent in a cake batter, but the proteins in it also add structure and body. Banana or apple sauce can be alternative binding agents, although they can sometimes add a bit of flavour too so might not always be appropriate. Protein powder is another alternative to consider but make sure you mix it thoroughly to fully distribute it in the mixture.

Flour Substitute

Instead of wheat flour, try gluten free flour with some added xanthan gum. Gluten-free products as alternatives aren’t new, and many people who follow a gluten-free diet will probably have their preferences. When it comes to baking with them, adding some xanthan gum can help the flour hold the cake’s structure better. But you'd have to be careful with how much xanthan you add - too little and it's pointless, too much and it's a gummy mess. 

Gluten Free Eggless Vegan Vanilla Sponge Recipe

Obviously we’re believers that everyone deserves great cake, and whilst we’d love you to order from us for every occasion we know that’s not always possible. We aren't able to create true allergen free cakes on our premises as we handle wheat, egg, dairy, nuts, peanuts and soya on our premises.

So this step-by step recipe will help you create the most delicious vanilla sponge and prove that a school-friendly cake really does exist.


However, before you dig in don’t go thinking that vanilla is the only option for a gluten-free, eggless, dairy-free vegan cake. We’ve put our years of experience to good use and have written a range of Hero Sponge recipes (that you can buy and download) which all take account of different allergens. Aside from how easy (and cost efficient) it is to make, one of the best things about our fully free-from Hero Sponge is how versatile it is - there’s 5 different flavour variations in our egg/gluten/dairy-free recipe, although of course you can experiment too, and you can use it to make cupcakes or traybakes too. It’s ‘Hero’ title is certainly well deserved. 

Leave a comment (all fields required)

Comments will be approved before showing up.