|

How to Make a Low-Sugar, All-Natural Healthy First Birthday Cake

Healthy First Birthday Cake recipe featured by top LA lifestyle blogger, Posh in ProgressFor Rocco’s first birthday cake, I set out to find a healthier alternative to the ‘smash cake’ tradition. I was overweight as a young adult, so introducing my son to healthy foods and building a solid foundation of good nutrition is very important to me. Since beginning solids six months ago, I’ve all but avoided giving him processed foods or foods high in sugar.

Healthy First Birthday Cake recipe featured by top LA lifestyle blogger, Posh in Progress

He loves applesauce, so I searched for cake recipes that highlighted one of his favorite foods. He also has a thing for string cheese, so I figured cream cheese frosting wasn’t too far of a stretch.

Healthy First Birthday Cake recipe featured by top LA lifestyle blogger, Posh in Progress

The recipe is far from a traditional birthday cake, but the cake itself was quite moist and reminded me of low-fat banana bread.

Although I wanted a no-sugar recipe, I did add a ½ cup of powdered sugar to the frosting; the cream cheese flavor was too strong and not nearly sweet enough without a bit of added sugar.

Healthy First Birthday Cake recipe featured by top LA lifestyle blogger, Posh in ProgressRoc's-1st-Cake-004Healthy First Birthday Cake recipe featured by top LA lifestyle blogger, Posh in Progress

I decided to decorate his cake with Cheerios, because they are one of his favorite foods and I thought he might be more apt to touch the cake if he saw something familiar.

Healthy First Birthday Cake recipe featured by top LA lifestyle blogger, Posh in ProgressHealthy First Birthday Cake recipe featured by top LA lifestyle blogger, Posh in Progress

When we first set the cake down in front of him, he immediately reached for the number one candle, like my husband predicted. He tried to chew on it, but quickly threw it to the floor. He grabbed a couple of the Cheerios but also dropped them on the floor after feeling the odd texture of the frosting. Jade hand-fed him a Cheerio so he would be familiar.  From then on, he slowly ate cheerio after cheerio. He never dug into the cake, so I handed him a chunk, which also quickly landed on the floor (see the pattern?). But he had fun picking off the Cheerios and eating them one by one.

Healthy First Birthday Cake recipe featured by top LA lifestyle blogger, Posh in ProgressHealthy First Birthday Cake recipe featured by top LA lifestyle blogger, Posh in ProgressHealthy First Birthday Cake recipe featured by top LA lifestyle blogger, Posh in ProgressHealthy First Birthday Cake recipe featured by top LA lifestyle blogger, Posh in ProgressHealthy First Birthday Cake recipe featured by top LA lifestyle blogger, Posh in Progress

In the end, our healthy cake experiment was a success. Rocco may have more readily consumed a sugar-laden and processed cake, but I feel good about my decision to give my son a healthier first birthday cake alternative to start him out on a strong nutritional footing.

Healthy first birthday cake recipe Adapted from Oh Everything Homemade

All Natural Healthy First Birthday Cake Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs

For the Frosting

  • 1 cups (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) apple sauce
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Mash the bananas in a medium bowl. Mix the mashed bananas, applesauce, eggs and vanilla together.
  2. In a separate large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
  3. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated.
  4. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Spread the batter into the bottom of the pan.
  6. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool the cake, then use an overturned 4-inch round bowl to cut out 3 small cake rounds.
  8. Prepare the frosting as directed. Add a thin layer of the frosting in between each of the three layers. When all layers are stacked on top of each other, cover the cake with the remaining frosting and decorate as desired.

For the frosting

  1. Soften the cream cheese.
  2. Beat the cream cheese with the apple sauce, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy.
  3. Decorate as desired.

17 Comments

  1. Tina Butterfield says:

    how would you do smaller portions?

    1. Hi Tina! You could definitely use this recipe to make cupcakes (or mini cupcakes!). Another idea would be to bake it in the 9×13 like I did and then use a smaller cookie cutter to make smaller cakes. Hope this helps!

      1. Tina Butterfield says:

        Thank you I’m going to try this, it’s healthy and looks for her to eat.

  2. Just finished making this and it tastes great! I had some almond flour on hand so I used that instead of the whole wheat. I’ll be eating the spare bits of cake and I know my daughter will enjoy it at her first birthday. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! And a BIG happy first birthday to your daughter:)

  3. I’ve got a 6×4″ round, how long would you think to bake that? This sounds perfect btw, I may experiment with a bit of cocoa powder.

    1. Hi Tracy,

      I’m sorry I don’t have a great answer for you on oven temps, since they can vary so much. Maybe just try 400 for 15-18 minutes? If it seems to be cooking to quickly, you could try 375 for ~20 minutes. Let me know how it turns out with cocoa powder! 🙂

  4. Hi, If i were to leave out eggs, is there anything else which i could add to make the cake fluffier? I’m worried about an allergy to eggs.

    1. Hi Sharoon, I’m not sure. I’ve read that replacing the eggs with oil and baking powder might work. Good luck!

  5. Frosting was awful – lumpy and not at all the right consistency 🙁 Be warned!

What do you think?