When the office buys you birthday cake you can’t eat…

It was my birthday this month. I always struggle with my birthday. I never want stuff. It’s just so soon after Christmas and I never want much for Christmas presents either. I’m a nightmare to buy for. Despite all this my family and friends came up trumps yet again with beautiful and thoughtful gifts like a new colourful smart scarf, a mini cooper driving experience, a shopping trip, a meal out, books, books, more books, tea towel (not sure why I love tea towels… but I do) a day out in London and loads more. The things I cherished most were the special cards with notes from my nieces and nephews and the funny unexpected gifts like the rude tea or rather wine or beer mat from a friend at work. You all know who you are if you’re reading this.

But I also got given a special cake with candles and everything to blow out on my birthday at work. It was a lovely kind thought, everyone sang Happy Birthday to me and the other three birthday people in the office that week… but I can’t eat this cake…

NOT #FreeFrom Birthday cake from my colleagues at work

NOT #FreeFrom Birthday cake from my colleagues at work

I didn’t really make a fuss about that because the card with all the lovely comments made my day anyway. That would have been enough. There were over five birthdays, one after the other, in our office so the place was awash with birthday cake. Everyone gets their own cake bought for them.

What was sad was that no one really thought to ask if I would be able to eat a normal cake, let alone whether I even wanted a cake. This cake then sat on the side in the office and nobody ate it, because there were at least four others on the go at the same time. What a waste of cake.

I knew there would be cake for the others, I didn’t expect one myself, so I brought in my own safe, freefrom home-made chocolate brownies.

Home-made freefrom chocolate brownies to share with the office

Home-made freefrom chocolate brownies to share with the office

I didn’t just bring these in, I shared them with everyone. They disappeared so quickly that some colleagues didn’t even get a piece. (I will admit now, I did make sure I had more than my fair share before handing them around, because I could have predicted this.)

They all loved it and declared it moist, tasty, just like normal brownies and far superior to the brownie bites that were bought from Morrisons for our Treat Tuesday meetings (which I have never eaten because they contain wheat, dairy and nuts).

I enjoyed sharing my home-made cake (kind of) but I should really ask not to be bought one next year because it did upset me a bit just to see it wasted. My colleagues do know about my allergies, having to ensure some food is suitable for me at every office event involving food.

Spot the allergen free food... A plate of salad and chicken.

Spot the allergen free food… A plate of salad and chicken. Thank goodness for the fruit

Sometimes this doesn’t really happen either but I can usually eat the salad and the fruit! I’m not going to starve to death from missing out on one meal and have usually brought food in anyway.

I haven’t told them yet, about the cake I couldn’t eat. I’m too embarrassed, having not mentioned it at the time. And I do appreciate that someone went out to the shops specially to buy it. Maybe this blog is my guilty way of letting them know. Someone from the office will read this and the gossip/rumour mill will crank into gear.

I loved the card and the kind wishes from everyone. That’s all I really wanted… oh and maybe lunch and a drink in the pub. Now THAT would have been very welcome 🙂

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. http://www.whatallergy.com was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. Would you share the brownie recipe, I miss cake!

    • Ha Ha. Yes I can do. It was a bit of a cheat, from a brownie mix. Need to wrack my brains… which brand? Gah I’d know it if I saw it.

  2. Somewhere I have a proper recipe for very good Brownies. I will look for it this morning

  3. Happy birthday to you….

    Has a right time trying to find chocolates that are gf and no nuts….so that I could pass around the office here for my birthday. Usually I make gf cakes…but honestly couldnt be bothered…too much other stuff going on….and I knew my efforts are not appreciated either…..so the choccies would do…or so I thought. Bought Lindor…a highly reputable brand that certainly passed my taste tests…but offering them out…anyone would think I was offering arsenic…..
    Did have a lovely evening dinner out….just dont buy hats…ok??

    • Hi Janet, I know the feeling. I hate it when people comment about ‘How awful for you having to eat that nasty fake cheese. I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.’ Well no, nor would I if I could actually eat real mature cheddar without triggering anaphylaxis. or my particular favourite, ‘ your lunch looks rancid’. Hey thanks so much. I don’t choose to have these allergies. My colleagues were really positive about the cake I made though so at least they did appreciate it. Glad you had a nice meal out. And why should we not buy hats? Everyone loves a party hat don’t they? 😉

      • Hats are for weddings…..OK??
        Am looking for a Prince Charming…but they are rare….

        • HAHAHAHA that’s funny. Thanks for making me smile today. Hats should be for any day! Not just weddings. I won’t buy a hat yet though since Prince Charming obv. hasn’t yet made an appearance. Good luck with that! You need to fine a #freefrom Prince charming!

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