A foolproof gluten-free & vegan cake to make with small children

As someone who's made cakes all her life, I'm pretty savvy when it comes to cake mixes. When I was little they were regarded as a complete cheat, unless you were American, in which case it was the only way to make a cake (and somehow the Americans who lived near me made them taste fabulous).


But these days there isn't always time to do everything from scratch, particularly if you have small children dashing about the house.


So I was pleased to find Creative Nature's rich chocolate baking mix, especially as it's free from all 14 allergens, which means both coeliacs and vegans can enjoy it to their heart's content.


I bought it because I knew I'd need a quick activity to do during lockdown. The children are still really young (3 & 4 years old) so their attention span doesn't hold for too long. Trying to make a "proper" cake might be pushing things a bit. Plus I don't really like the idea of raw egg being smeared about the place.


So the packet mix looked pretty good, especially as it boasted cacao powder, my all new BFF.


I must admit, I still harbour memories of bad baking mixes so I hesitated when buying it. But I figured if the cake turned out like a flat pancake then the children probably wouldn't care and, crucially, I wouldn't have to eat it.


Now here's the genius bit. This is advice a friend gave me a few years ago and I'm desperately grateful:

Rather than get the children to take it in turns to do things, you simply give them each a bowl and get them both to do everything.

So two bowls and spoons came out and the packet mix was halved between them.

All we had to do was add oil and milk*.

And that was it! No sieving, no cracking open delicate eggs and then having to chase a piece of egg shell around the bowl for 5 hours. No mixer - just a spoon. (This made me wary. More on this later.)

* I chose soya, if you're wondering.


A very happy 3 year old

Some enthusiastic stirring went on and, before I knew it, the mix was ready to go in the tins.


For those in need of a tea break at this stage, let me tell you I was granted a good ten minutes whilst the children watched their cakes in the oven. Bliss!


Never underestimate the fascination of a bake rising!

Of course, it helped that they each had a spoon to lick.


Twenty minutes later, two perfectly formed 6" round chocolate cakes came out of the oven. I was surprised. Surely these couldn't taste good? After all, they hadn't been beaten properly.


The smell was fantastic, though. So dark and chocolatey. And it wasn't long before pleas to try their cake had turned frantic.


And whaddya know? The cake was utterly gorgeous. I'd never have known there weren't eggs in it. It certainly didn't taste inferior. And everyone wanted seconds.


In the time it took to get my camera, he'd already finished his slice of cake.

The next day my son asked earnestly, "Mummy? Can we bake a chocolate cake again?"


I think that's called success.


This is not an ad. Everything I have written is honest and genuine. The big beaming of my children in the pics say it all! To see more gluten-free goodies you can make, click here.

Hi! Great to have you here...

My name's Ali and I began this blog to help people with coeliac disease and IBS have a better, healthier lifestyle. 

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Ali Walsh

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