Ugly Cake
Jun 2nd, 2009 by Alice

via my friend Corinne Cooley

  • 1 ½ Cup Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Carob or Flour (or cocoa powder)
  • 1 Tsp Baking soda
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 ¼ Cup Water
  • ¼ Cup Canola Oil
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp Vinegar


Mix dry ingredients in 8in circle pan or 9x9in square pan.
Mix wet ingredients. Stir into dry ingredients.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350°F

Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes


The cake turns out moist and yummy – it is originally from a vegan cookbook. It is also closely related to a recipe my mom calls “Atomic Cake” – because it is super-fast to make.

This is the world’s easiest and most flexible cake recipe. Double it. Triple it. Make it into muffins. Top it with brown frosting and as many colors of sprinkles as you can find (this is where the name “Ugly” cake comes from).

Butter or Shortening Replacement – Palm Oil
Jun 2nd, 2009 by Alice

With a milk allergy and a soy allergy I used to cringe every time I saw “butter” or “shortening” listed in a recipe. Even the phrase “milk-free, soy-free margarine” made me laugh out loud. I couldn’t find a single instance of that ephemeral substance in all of Seattle. I made do with canola oil* until I found this:

Spectrum Shortening (Palm Oil)

Spectrum Shortening (Palm Oil)

Palm Oil. I buy Spectrum brand. It’s a solid fat that has neither milk nor soy. Yes! Also, I don’t have to adapt the amounts.

*When using canola or olive oil instead of a solid fat you need to reduce the amount of oil or you food gets … oily. I usually start with about 3/4 oil for every 1 cup of butter/margarine/shortening called for.

Yum! Let’s Eat!
Jun 2nd, 2009 by Alice

Good morning.

My name is Alice, and as some of you already know I have a lot of very severe food allergies. I am lucky to have found a husband who also has a lot of very severe food allergies, and a group of friends who are extremely understanding and supportive.

This is a collection of the recipes we have cooked together. They will NEVER include nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, beans, peas, fennel, licorice, anise, balsamic vinegar, apricot pits (yes, pits), and shellfish. Also, for now we’re avoiding soy, so many of the recipes will be mostly soy-free (the occasional lecithin slips in since soy is a minor allergy for us at the moment). There are some salmon recipes, but other fish are currently in the “no” column.

If you choose to make any of these recipes you are responsible for your own safety.

Choose ingredients that are safe for you. Read the ingredients every time – and yes, you can do it. We’ve been reading ingredient labels (or our family has for us) for nearly 30 years, it gets tiresome, but it has saved us from some un-fun trips to Urgent Care. I can share my successful ingredient finds with you, but ultimately your safety is your responsibility.

After I reel off that list of food allergies I am often asked “What do you eat?!” as if the list above encompasses all known food items. It doesn’t. I eat mostly the same food as everyone else, the big difference being Jason and I cook almost all our own food. We don’t go out for burgers and fries, we make them. We don’t pick up a grilled chicken and a salad at the grocery store on a busy night – we get the ingredients and start cooking. Well, he does. I bake.

Anyway, whether you’re new to food allergies or an old hand, whether you’re just striking out on your own and learning to cook safe food for yourself, or whether you’re just interested in some new foods (maybe you don’t have food allergies), I hope you find something yummy here.

Some of these recipes are highly modified, but most only slightly. It is amazing what you can do just by trying. Sometimes you’ll fail. Sometimes you’ll make something wonderful.

The only food I haven’t managed to truly replace in my life? Ice cream. Sorbet just isn’t the same. I’m still working on it, and maybe someday I’ll get it right.

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