Allergy Friendly Easter Cake with “Buttercream” Frosting

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Paleo, Seed Free, Vegan

In the midst of us living through history in the making right now, I needed a little happy baking for my 3 boys.  I wanted to find something that was simple and easy for everyone to try with limited ingredients and this buttercream and this Easter basket/egg cake design fits the bill!

I’m only making one of our traditional Italian Easter desserts this year, Pasticceria di Grana (Wheat Pie) which has nothing in it Casey can have but we really need something in our lives that is familiar!

This buttercream is super easy and can made in 10 minutes with most staples in the pantry.  I have been using this recipe for 20 plus years professionally, just scaled down for home use.  You can use any cake recipe you like to make any size round cake for the shape of the egg or basket, whichever you choose to use.  You can also use my Perfect Yellow Cake recipe here on the site or for a vegan version my Depression/Wacky Cake: 

Let your imagination run and just have fun!  Enjoy your holiday season and please be safe and well. 💙

**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**

 Ingredients and Substitutions 

Butter/Shortening – I use a mixture of Fleischmann’s unsalted margarine sticks and Spectrum palm shortening as those are safe for Casey.  You can use any vegan or regular butter you choose as well as safe shortening.  If you opt to use all butter just note it will be softer and more difficult to work with.  Make sure it is not room temperature when you begin to work with the buttercream or it will not hold shape.  I don’t recommend coconut oil in this recipe.  For a Paleo option you can use all Spectrum or a mixture of Spectrum and ghee.

Confectioner’s Sugar – I use Domino or Wholesome brand which is also great for a Paleo option because Wholesome is corn free.  Note the sugar has to be sifted before using to avoid lumps.  

Milk – Either safe milk alternative or regular milk is fine for this recipe, it’s very versatile!! Room temperature is better so the fat can absorb it.

Cutting the egg/basket shape:

  1. Try not to use a fresh cake, refrigerated is better for icing and cutting. A soft cake will drag crumbs through the buttercream and is not strong enough for cutting.
  2. To make the oblong shape, a center strip needs to be cut vertically from the round cake. Any size round will work, the only thing that changes is the width of the center piece.  It should range from ½” to 1” depending on how large the cake is.  For reference, I used a 9” cake pan and cut a 1” wide strip.  If you are making a two layer cake, stack the cakes on top of each other when cutting so it’s even on all sides.  Note you will need more icing than this recipe calls for if doing a two layer cake.  Push the two halves together to make the oblong shape.  If the middle strip is too wide, the egg will be too long, too narrow and it will stay circular in shape.
  3. Hang on to the center strip to patch the center to make it wider in case you cut too narrow.
  4. When you are ready to ice and decorate the cake, turn the cake upside down so the bottom is the top. The flat bottom will give you a level top to ice. If doing two layers fill the center first.
  5. “Crumb coat” the cake with a thin layer of buttercream to start. A crumb coat is a first layer that is put to hold the crumbs in place to make the final coat clean and smooth. Chill the crumb coated cake for about an hour. If you are comfortable doing the whole thing start to finish without crumb coating, go ahead!
  6. When the cake is chilled, color the remaining icings to the colors you want and create your masterpiece! Be sure the icing isn’t too soft before icing or it will melt/fall off/not hold its shape on the cake. 

Pro Tips!

  • If you don’t have any decorating bags, you can fill a Ziploc bag and cut the corner to pipe. Start with small cuts, you can always cut smaller but can’t go back if it’s too big a cut!  A straight cut is ideal for dots and lines, an upside V cut on the tip will make a leaf shape, and the tip cut on an angle can make a flower bud or rose.
  • Start lightly adding food colorings. The colors can become more intense that you intended quickly.  You can always add more but can’t take away.
  • Have a basic plan before you start so you don’t waste your buttercream. 

Allergy Friendly Easter Cake with “Buttercream” Frosting

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Paleo, Seed Free, Vegan

Author: Katie Martino Lopez

Prep Time: For buttercream -10 minutes


Cook Time: N/A

Total Time: For buttercream, 10 minutes

Yield: 2 1/4 lbs. buttercream, enough for 1-8″ cake


  • 8 ounces vegan or regular butter
  • 4 ounces shortening
  • 1 lb. 4 oz. confectioner’s sugar (about 4 ½ cups), sifted after measuring
  • 1 ¼ oz. (about 1 1/8 c.) safe or regular milk, room temperature
  • ½ tsp. lemon juice
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbls. water (optional for softer buttercream)


  1. In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening and sifted confectioner’s sugar until well combined. Scrape down often to ensure there are no lumps of fat.
  2. Add the milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
  3. Add optional water for a softer buttercream.
  4. Use immediately or if saving for later use, chill. If buttercream is refrigerated because it is too soft, stir often while chilling.
  5.  SEE ABOVE for notes on cake assembly.

Recipe Notes

  • Buttercream can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 3 months.
  • If chilled, mix again with the paddle attachment before use.
  • If using vegan butter, the food coloring may bead up a due to a high oil content.



As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…

Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.

And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!

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