Vegan birthday parties: make the cake

December 7, 2009

Vegan birthday cupcakes by stevendamron

"Vegan birthday cupcakes" by stevendamron

As part of birthday party week, Amy writes in with her techniques for safely navigating invitations to non-vegan friends’ celebrations:

“We always pre-eat. For my kids parties, we have decedent all vegan spreads, if people want to help and make a dip or dish, they know vegan is required. For family parties, I always offer to make the cake, I am a cake ninja, want a vegan Elmo cake, or a stand up rubber ducky, I am your girl. People are shocked my vegan cakes taste better than a costco cake, plus they are cuter. I also always bring a dip or other snack to go out before the meal, we also bring a sidedish. I always ask the host what to bring.”

So many great tips here:

Pre-eat. This is the advice you see even for grown-up parties so you don’t overeat, but guess what? It’ll also save your child from going hungry if it turns out there’s nothing to eat (and that’s not gonna happen, because this week is going to ROCK OUT with tips and tricks!)

Ask what to bring. Instead of starting off with a whole “Oh, little Jimmy’s vegan, so here are a bunch of rules blah blah blah” (and I do mean blah blah blah because your host might well be thinking that by this point) start off with an offer to help.

This is another one of those things that work for all kind of parties, not just the ones with Dora and Spongebob all over the place. The key is that you’re bringing something to help the host out. You’re not rejecting their food (by saying it’ll be vegan you’re being even more helpful because it’s something that more people will be able to enjoy) and you’re not taking over the catering (which some parents might welcome, but might threaten others.) You’re helping them, and you’re helping you and/or your child.

Make the cake. The cake is central to a birthday party, and the best way to make sure the cake is vegan friendly is to make a vegan friendly cake. Amy does this for family parties, but I’m wondering if one could actually get away with bringing a cake to someone else’s party.

This is advanced stuff, so I’d recommend you definitely ask the host first! It might turn out to be a huge help to the parents who are on the hook for making everything else work out. If you can swing the Elmo cakes and other fun designs, be sure to take a few pictures and put them on a free Flickr account so people can know what an amazing offer they’re getting.

Like I said, this is an advanced technique that won’t work in all cases, but vegan cake is a HUGE outreach tool – people really can’t believe that baking’s possible without milk or eggs, and it’s going to plant a lot of seeds in a lot of minds.

What about you? Have you ever brought a cake to someone else’s birthday party? Do you think that could work? Let us know in the comments!

(Photo by stevendamron)

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Steph December 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Don't forget to make it the best darn cake you can – spare no expense for these outreach opportunities!

jasondoucette December 15, 2009 at 6:20 am

I don't think I'm going to start one, but where's the “kick ass vegan cakes” website? I think the problem is that the whole thing about vegan cakes is that they look just like regular cakes, so maybe there's no need for a specific site versus basic baking techniques to make the non-egg masterpieces…

veganmomma January 12, 2010 at 7:32 pm

I've made some pretty fun cakes for my own kids birthdays (http://growingupveg.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_arc…), but never offered to make someone else's. It is definitely an idea to keep in mind. I noticed that Amy mentioned a stand up cake and wondering if it would be possible to get the recipe. I haven't attempted a 3D cake (unless it was tiered) and have been wanting to try one.

jasondoucette January 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm

That digger cake is a lot of fun, thanks!

veganmomma January 13, 2010 at 3:32 am

I've made some pretty fun cakes for my own kids birthdays (http://growingupveg.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_arc…), but never offered to make someone else's. It is definitely an idea to keep in mind. I noticed that Amy mentioned a stand up cake and wondering if it would be possible to get the recipe. I haven't attempted a 3D cake (unless it was tiered) and have been wanting to try one.

jasondoucette January 13, 2010 at 3:52 am

That digger cake is a lot of fun, thanks!

erinandviolet March 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm

As an adult, I have brought cupcakes to a party that had non-vegan cake. That turned out pretty well, although the host actually makes cakes for a living and I felt a little weird about it. One person asked what “vegan” cupcakes meant, and the host said, “Oh you know, there's no chicken in it or anything!” It was a coworker who I'm not close with, so I just laughed it off and we haven't socialized since. I don't think it's that offensive, but there will be situations like that where the host feels they are offering something really special, and bringing cake is a bit rude to them. My closer friends always know I'm bringing desert though, and have come to expect and enjoy that. Even a friend who loves to bake is always happy to try what I bring too.

For my baby shower I made a pretty cool pregnant lady cake that was vegan and was a total hit!
I am going to try to embed the pic…
<img src=http://lh6.ggpht.com/_-zVP4rUcZ_s/S56mG1V8ZTI/AAAAAAAAARY/bNfHwP251Ow/s400/IMG_0587.JPG>

erinandviolet March 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Let's try that again. Here is a link to the picture
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/9xIMZRNtaK

jasondoucette March 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Wow, that cake is epic. Thanks for raising the bar for the rest of us 🙂

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