Prior to March, I spent a good bit of time fantasizing about Isla’s first birthday party. Her birth was so special, and although I’m sure it will be very emotional, I wanted to make her first birthday really special. Due to Covid, those dreams are sadly gone. We are hoping the weather will be nice enough to have some immediate family over for her cake, but are planning for a Zoom first birthday cake smash, and the rest of the day will just be our little family celebrating alone. I know Bill and I can make the day special, and in a way it will be nice for it to just be the three of us together celebrating her birth, but I can’t help but feel a little sad about it.
I have been struggling with a cake recipe to make for her. We are loosely following Super Nutrition For Babies as our guide to starting solids. Isla is still primarily breast fed. She will try most foods, and has a few she seems to really like, but mealtime is mostly playtime for her. Right now she really likes avocado and banana, and she also likes zucchini, baked apples, scrambled eggs, chicken, watermelon, and Japanese sweet potatoes.
I wanted to make a cake for her that didn’t have grains or sugar, and relatively few ingredients. I looked around online for some recipe ideas, but I really couldn’t find anything that worked for what I feel comfortable feeding her. I decided to try my best at making a simple cake that would be similar to banana bread. I also wanted to make sure the cakes would be moist, and something she can easily smoosh around and won’t be dry or something I would worry she would choke on.
I tested this recipe twice, and after the first time, I knew where the recipe needed a few adjustments, and it was perfect on the second try! I used two overly ripe bananas, two eggs, vanilla, ghee, baking soda, and cassava flour for this cake, and I added our Apple Pie Spice to add a touch more flavor. Isla’s birthday is November 1st, so this cake is perfect for a fall birthday.
The first time I made this cake I forgot to add baking soda, and the cakes turned out kind of like thicker pancakes. For the second try, I added a small amount of baking soda, and I separated the eggs, and whipped the whites into a stiff meringue and folded the cake batter into the egg whites to get more rise into this cake. Those two adjustments were just what the cake needed.
I use two small tart pans to bake the cake. I actually used 3, but after baking the cake, I realized pouring the batter evenly into just two of the tart pans bakes perfectly for two small cakes. The other thing I did was use an English muffin ring to cut the cakes into a slightly smaller round cake. This is optional, and would just be preference.
I am able to eat dairy without it bothering Isla, I often roast veggies for her in grass-fed butter, and I have also introduced a little yogurt for her as well. She didn’t like the yogurt at all, but she seems to do just fine with dairy, so my plan for her frosting is whipped organic grass-fed heavy cream. I don’t feel like I need to do a dairy-free frosting for her, and I like that whipped cream will be simple and doesn’t need any other ingredients added to it to make a great cake frosting. When I tested this cake, Bill and I ate it, so I added a few drops of stevia to the whipped cream, but I probably wont do that for Isla. She doesn’t get sweet things besides fruit, so I don’t think she will mind some unsweetened cream on her cake.
This cake turned out really well, and Bill and I both really enjoyed eating it ourselves. I think it is the perfect baby smash cake, and something full of nutrition that I feel comfortable feeding to my sweet baby.
If you have a birthday coming up for your baby, give this cake a try! It’s easy, healthy, and delicious!