Imagine a table laden with baked treats. Home-made cupcakes slathered with icing. Chewy biscuits full of chocolate chunks. Muffins bursting with berries. Brownies and fairy cakes and hedgehog, oh my.

Now imagine you can’t eat any of it.

For many people, it’s not such a stretch. Almost one in five Australians have at least one allergy, which is among the highest rate in the developed world. Not all of these are sensitivities to wheat, eggs or dairy, but they’re common enough to keep in mind next time you’re baking for a crowd. Plus, don’t forget vegans, who choose not to eat any animal products on ethical grounds.

Everyone should be able to enjoy delicious baked goods. Here are some inclusive recipes that are so tasty you won’t know the difference.

Mountain Dew cupcakes (egg-free) via Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Soft drink in baked goods is not as unusual as it sounds. People put lemonade in scones, remember? These cupcakes are light, buttery and ridiculously simple.

  • 1 packet of plain cake mix
  • 350 mL Mountain Dew
  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Boiling water
  • Food colouring, if you like

Stir the Mountain Dew into the cake mix a bit at a time until well combined. It looks really runny but that’s okay. Pour the batter into a muffin tin lined with patty papers. Bake for 30 minutes on 180 degrees, or until the cupcakes are golden brown and spring back when you touch them.

Let them cool. Mix the butter around in the icing sugar and add a little slurp of boiling water. Keep stirring and add water a little bit at a time until it looks like icing. Add one or two drops of food colouring, if you want – pink or green looks cute. When the cupcakes are cool, ice them and serve. Make your guests try to guess the key ingredient.

Peanut butter choc-chip biscuits (gluten-free) via

There are way more fancy gluten-free products available now than there were even a few years ago. There’s gluten-free pasta, gluten-free pies, gluten-free pancake mix, and gluten-free flour for baking. It’s great, but sometimes it’s worth using a recipe that leaves the flour out altogether rather than trying to replace it. If you’ve eaten a lot of gluten-free baked goods, you’ll know what I mean. This recipe is super easy as well.

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (aka baking soda) (but not baking powder!)
  • 1 egg (lightly beat it first)
  • 1 cup dark choc bits

Mix all the ingredients together. Line a tray with baking paper, then spoon little balls of the mixture onto the tray. Make sure to keep them small and space them out because they will spread a lot in the oven. Press the tops lightly with a fork. Bake for ten minutes on 180 degrees or until golden brown. They will still be really soft when you take them out of the oven, which is fine — just let them cool on the tray and they will firm up nicely.

Chocolate cupcakes (vegan) via Vegan Cupcake Recipes

Look, I don’t really believe it’s a cake if it doesn’t contain butter, but these are pretty close.

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil (don’t be tempted to use olive oil, now)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 2 cups of icing sugar
  • 1 more tbsp of cocoa, for the icing
  • Hot water

In one bowl, mix the flour, sugar and bicarb soda. In another bowl, mix the cocoa, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Add them together. Then add the water a little at a time and stir well. Pour into a muffin tin lined with patty papers and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees.

Let them cool. Mix the icing sugar and cocoa together, then add hot water a little at a time. Don’t add too much water or the icing will get all runny — try to keep it nice and thick (did I mention there’s no butter in it?). Serve to grateful vegans and everyone else.