Saturday, October 29, 2016

"Baby Cake"

For Breck's First Birthday, I wanted to find a recipe for a cake that had nutritious ingredients, no refined sugar, and that tasted great.  I scoured the internet for a recipe that I might fit and finally landed on this one (which that blogger adapted from this recipe).  I modified it slightly to make it gluten free!

I have made this recipe (sans frosting) 6 times since Breck's birthday because he loves it and WE love it!  It's a snack I feel good about serving to him, and I feel good about eating myself.  The birthday cake version inludes the cake recipe, frosting, and halved blueberries for the "one" on top.  But when I'm making it for every day eating, I just make the cake, minus the frosting!  Sometimes I add blueberries to the batter itself, which is also delicious.  The way Breck likes it most is straight from the freezer.  I cut the cake into small slivers and freeze it so that I can grab a chunk that he can hold and suck on and then eat.  It's great for teething babies who need something cold to soothe their mouths!  If you don't want to freeze it, it's also great refrigerated for up to a week.

I have only ever made this recipe using 2- 9 inch round cake pans, but I am sure you could adapt it to a 13x9 pan (and add some cooking time), or 2- 8 inch square pans.

I apologize for not having any pictures!  I have pictures of Breck with the cake that you can check out if you're friends with me on facebook, but I forgot to take any of just the cake itself!

Without further ado...

Baby's First Cake (barely adapted from FitMamaRealFood)

5 ripe bananas
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce- sit out for a bit so it's not cold!
3 T coconut oil, melted
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 c gluten free flour (I have used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour and Namaste Foods flour with success)
3/4 c oat flour
1 tsp cinnamon

8 oz cream cheese (I used full fat)
1/2 c apple butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 T maple syrup (optional- I liked it because it made the frosting a little less tangy)

halved blueberries to make the "one" on top if you're making a first birthday cake

Grease 2-9 inch round cake pans with coconut oil, then cut out parchment paper circles to fit the bottom of the pans and put the parchment in.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix bananas, applesauce, and melted coconut oil, and vanilla with hand blender til smooth (a few banana chunks are ok).  Add baking soda, gluten free flour, oat flour, and cinnamon and blend again til smooth.  Pour batter into pans, splitting it evenly between the pans the best you can!  At this point you can add fruit to the batter if you'd like!  (I have been adding frozen blueberries- just note that this will add some baking time).  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cake is no longer jiggly in the middle.

If you are NOT making a layer cake and do NOT want frosting, just let the cake cool and then cut into pieces.  If you are going to store it in the fridge, cut pieces as big as you want.  If you are freezing it, cut it into slivers of whatever size your baby can handle!

If you are making the layer cake and/or frosting your cake, continue reading!  To make the frosting, make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature.  With a hand mixer, blend it with the apple butter, vanilla, and maple syrup.  Mine was a little chunky but tasted delicious and Breck did not care one bit!  Supposedly using room temperature cream cheese helps with this problem but it didn't for me this time.

Let the cakes cool in the pans.  If you are making a layer cake, use a bowl of whatever size you'd like as a "cookie cutter" to cut out 3 circles for the layers.  Place the first layer on a flat surface lined with a piece of parchment paper that is bigger than the cake itself (this allows for easy transfer once you want to serve it to your baby).  You will have pieces leftover after cutting the circles- just break up the rest of the cake and refrigerate or freeze the scraps!  I ended up using letter cookie cutters to cut out the first initial of Breck's baby friends' names so that they could enjoy their own cake at the party!  Then I froze the remaining pieces.

Frost the first layer, place the second layer on top, frost that, place the third layer on top, and frost the whole thing, including the sides.  Decorate with halved blueberries in the shape of a "1."

I hope your little one enjoys it as much as mine did!

*This post is dedicated to my friend Megan, who let me bake the cake for Breck's party (along with a variety of other baked goods) in her oven because mine stopped working 2 days before his party!  Her son and Breck taste tested the cake fresh from the oven and both of them gobbled it up!

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