Dr. Word’s Allergy Friendly Valentine’s Day Cupcakes!

Dairy & Egg-Free Cupcakes

Approximately 2.5% of children suffer from cow’s milk allergy and approximately 1.3% of children suffer from egg allergy, making them the greatest causes of food allergy in children (greater than both peanut and wheat combined). Therefore it is not surprising that as an allergist I frequently have to tell parents of young children that their child has either or both of these allergies. As these diagnoses are often made before a child’s first birthday, parents often ask me “well what about our little one’s first birthday cake?” For years, I have mentioned great online sources for recipes, but never with the confidence of knowing the recipes found online were any good. As a mom who loves to cook and especially bake, I decided it was time to put a few recipes to the test.


Charleston Allergy (2009) Little Boy Close            Charleston Allergy (2008) Allergy Free Cupcakes - Little Girl Close

I decided to try and find a recipe that was both dairy and egg free to use for cupcakes. I wanted the recipe to be simple enough to make with ingredients easily found in the grocery store. I also wanted the flavor and texture to be delicious, perhaps so much so that one would never know it was an allergy friendly recipe. I googled for dairy and egg free cake recipes and then sifted through the results looking at ingredients, instructions and reviews. Ultimately, I decided to try one vanilla and one chocolate cake recipe.


The vanilla cupcake recipe below is adapted from the Loving it Vegan blog. The original recipe is for cake so below is the recipe as I used for my cupcakes and it makes one dozen. We use almond milk at home already, so I chose to use that in lieu of soy milk. In addition, I used canola oil in lieu of olive oil to keep the color of the cake lighter.

Charleston Allergy Egg & Dairy Substitute Cupcake Recipe


– 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

– 1 cup sugar

– 1 tsp baking soda

– ½ tsp salt

– 1 cup Almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)

– 2 tsp vanilla extract

– 1/3 cup canola oil

– 1 Tbsp white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift flour into bowl then add remaining ingredients and whisk until just blended. Divide batter among cupcake tins lined with paper liners or sprayed with non-stick spray. I use an ice cream scoop for cupcakes and muffins to ensure equal distribution.

Charleston Allergy - Allergy Free Vanilla Cupcake Batter

Bake for approximately 25 minutes (tops lightly browned and spring back with gentle touch). Let cool then frost.


The chocolate cupcake recipe below was adapted from the Milk Allergy Mom blog and it makes one dozen cupcakes.


– 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

– 1 cup sugar

– ¼ cup cocoa powder

– 1 tsp baking soda

– ½ tsp salt

– 1 tsp white vinegar

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 1/3 cup canola oil

– 1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift flour and cocoa powder into bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk just until blended and no large lumps remain. Distribute batter into muffin cups either lined with paper liners or greased with non-stick spray. Bake for 25 minutes (tops lightly browned and spring back with gentle touch). Let cool and frost.

Charleston Allergy (2007) - Egg and Dairy Free Cupcake Recipe Little Girl


For the frosting, I decided to create my own recipe instead of using one online. I have always loved the Magnolia Bakery buttercream frosting recipe for my cupcakes, so with those general proportions in line I created the following, which could be adjusted for consistency.


– 8 Tbsp vegan butter

– 1 ½ tsp vanilla

– ¼ cup almond milk

– 4 cups powdered sugar

Cream vegan butter in electric mixer on medium speed until softened. Add vanilla, almond milk and powdered sugar. Mix on slow until incorporated, then increase to medium speed to give icing more volume. At this point, can add either almond milk or powdered sugar for desired consistency. I like to pipe my frosting through a bag and therefore prefer thicker icing. If using a knife to spread, thinner consistency would be easier.

Charleston Allergy - Allergy Free Cupcake Recipe Frosting

Once the cupcakes were all baked and frosted, it was time for a taste test. The first taste test was at home with my husband and children. My children loved the cupcakes! My daughter tried the vanilla and my son the chocolate. My daughter loved the vanilla cupcake both without frosting and with it. My son loved the icing more than the cupcake – despite it being dairy free. My husband tasted both cupcakes and thought the vanilla was better in terms of texture. I loved both as well and while I typically prefer chocolate, I also loved the vanilla cupcake more. The texture and flavor was perfect. Also both the cupcakes and frosting did well staying at room temperature (was worried frosting might lose height) and in the refrigerator overnight. The last of the cupcakes was eaten 3 days after baking and still tasted fabulous!

Charleston Allergy - Egg and Dairy Free Valentines Day Cupcake Recipe

I also took cupcakes to work for our staff and nurses to try. Once again, they cupcakes were universally loved. Two of the staff liked the chocolate better, but everyone else preferred vanilla. Most everyone agreed they would never have known the cupcakes and frosting were dairy and egg free. I will definitely be using these recipes again – especially the vanilla cupcake! Looking forward to bringing you more reviewed recipes in the future!

Did you try one of these recipes? Tell us about it in the comments!

One Comment
  1. Reply

    Great Recipe!

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