Okay guys! I’m just going to do one more post related to my baby’s birthday and then I’ll get back to all the other healthy recipes. I debated on whether I should share this, but as my little baby’s birthday approached I desperately wanted to make her something that was healthy, but still yummy. I mean, I wanted her to dig in and go back for more (and more and more). I figured that there might be some moms out there that are (or will be) in the same boat, so I’m sharing a baby recipe for all you moms out there.
This cake is seriously a keeper! The great part about it, besides that it actually tastes good, is that it is made with whole wheat flour and has no sugar. It’s sweetened with apple juice and applesauce. The outcome tastes a lot like a healthy carrot muffin. It’s TOTALLY edible. Beau and I have secretly been eating the leftovers for breakfast (I guess it’s no secret anymore . . . ha, ha!). My little baby doll has been eating the leftovers after her lunch most days. In fact, she saw me take it out of the fridge to take a picture of it and totally cried when I put it away without giving her some. So, her wish was granted and she got to eat her leftover cake for lunch AND dinner (and, I may have had a little bite right along with her)!
And, if that doesn’t convince you that she liked it, maybe this will!
It is baked in a 9×9 pan. This gives you the liberty to assemble it as you wish. I decided I wanted to make a layered cake, so I cut the finished cake in half, and then I trimmed it down to two small-ish rectangles. I put a layer of frosting between my two rectangles/layers, frosted the entire outside, and topped it with strawberries (she LOVES strawberries and that was also the theme of her birthday party). That all being said, you can simply cut a small piece and frost that. Or, you can frost the entire 9×9 cake just as it is. Or, you can get as creative as you want in any other way.
So, if you’re kind of like me and you’re trying to spare your baby from sugar as long as possible and you like to make your own baby food (I try to make my own as much as possible because I know EXACTLY what is in it . . . and it tastes way better), add this baby cake to your files. You’ll be pleased with the tasty results as well as the pleasure your baby will get from it.
As I quick little side note: If you haven’t introduced your baby to egg whites and wheat yet, you may want to check with your doctor to verify if it’s okay to feed this cake to your baby. If it’s not, then you might want to save this recipe for the second birthday (or another occasion). This is more of a precaution for allergies and such. I will say that I didn’t get my doctor’s “official” verification, but I had tried eggs and wheat on my baby before her birthday and she didn’t show any signs of an allergic reaction. Thus, this cake treated her just fine.
Baby’s First Birthday Cake
Adapted from “What To Expect The First Year”
1 1/4 cups shredded carrots
1 1/4 cups apple juice concentrate
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ (found near the hot cereal in grocer store)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
Baby’s Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 cake pan with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine the carrots with 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the juice concentrate in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium and simmer, covered, until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the carrot mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add the dried cranberries and process until finely chopped. Set the mixture aside to cool.
Combine the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons of the remaining juice concentrate, oil, whole egg, egg whites, and vanilla and beat just until well mixed. Fold in the carrot puree and applesauce. Pour batter into prepared cake pan, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 40 minutes. Place on wire rack and let cool briefly in the pan, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.
When cool, frost as desired with the Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below).
Store any leftovers, loosely covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Baby’s Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from “What To Expect The First Year”
4 tablespoons apple juice concentrate
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
Set aside 1 tablespoon of the juice concentrate. Process the remaining juice concentrate, cream cheese, vanilla, and dried cranberries in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Stir the gelatin into the reserved tablespoon of juice concentrate in a small saucepan; let stand to soften, 1 minute. Then, heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the gelatin.
Beat the gelatin mixture into the cream cheese mixture until well blended. Cover and refrigerate just until the frosting begins to set, 30 to 60 minutes. Then frost the cake as desired.
Makes enough to frost one 9-inch-square cake.