Since we found out for sure that my daughter has a peanut allergy, our lives have changed. We have to check every package, every baked good, every food item for peanuts and if they were processed in facilities which also have peanuts. With a peanut allergy, taking a chance with something is literally gambling with your child's life. This is especially hard when we are getting invited to birthday parties left and right, including my own kids' birthdays, my hubby's and mine!
It's a good thing I love to bake! I'd rather not chance most store-bought baked goods or even packages of mixes, since they either state that they are processed in a facility that also processes peanuts or they don't say anything (and that's a gamble, right there).
For my kids' birthdays, I found a cake recipe on allrecipes.com, a site I have used and loved for years. (My favorite part of the site is its interactive-ness, with commenters who give you tips and hints and substitutions.) For this recipe, I substituted butter for the shortening, which worked out fine. I've made cakes and cupcakes from this recipe, and both turn out great. It's easy to make, and really yummy to eat!
This weekend, I'm going to try this chocolate cake recipe for my birthday cake! I'll update after I make it to let you know if we like it.
I also stopped using muffin mixes or buying the delicious store-bought or bakery-bought muffins for the family, but we still love to eat muffins. A couple weekends ago, I used this recipe to make blueberry muffins, with a few modifications: I used 1/4 c. oil, added I think 1/2 c. brown sugar and put in extra blueberries. They were really delicious! In fact, I think we'll make them again tomorrow.