Press kit: Q&A with Kelly Rudnicki

Agate Surrey

Q&A with Kelly Rudnicki,
the “Food Allergy Mama”

You got started as an allergen-free baker largely because your oldest son, John, developed food allergies. How did you go about transforming normal recipes into allergen-free recipes?

My son John was officially diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies near his first birthday. With his dairy, egg, and nut allergies, I knew I couldn’t buy a fun, whimsical cake at my favorite bakery to celebrate his birthday. I searched high and low for allergen-free cake recipes, but the ones I tried lacked flavor and were dry. As a self-proclaimed sweets freak, I was disappointed that my son wouldn’t be able to enjoy all the great treats that come with childhood. At that point I decided to take my favorite recipes and convert them to be allergen-safe and delicious.

What is the most difficult part of reworking recipes to be allergen-free?

Baking is a science, and when you take out a crucial ingredient like eggs it can drastically change the taste and texture of the finished product. Even tweaking the measurement of one ingredient affects the overall recipe. Through lots of trial and error I found that some of the best substitutes are the cheapest and most natural, like water.

Did your children have a say in the recipes you created for this book?

Every recipe in the book is loved by not only my children but by the children in my neighborhood. They were my focus group and gave complete honesty in taste-testing my recipes. If they devoured one of my cakes, muffins and cookies without skipping a beat, I knew I had a winner.

Will people who do not have food allergies also enjoy the recipes?

I love desserts and it was very important to me that every single recipe was utterly delicious. They had to taste as good, if not better, than the real deal. Time and again I hear from friends, family, and my blog followers that no one suspects they are dairy, egg and nut free.

What is your most requested recipe at home?

All four of my children have their favorites, but hands-down the most requested is my chocolate chip cookie recipe. I make these cookies at least once a week, if not more often.

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