Friday, September 14, 2012

Foodie Friday: Healthy First Birthday Cake

The thought of a healthy cake for a first birthday had never really occurred to me. It is their first birthday, isn't that traditional time to feed them a healthy dose of unhealthy goodness? And then a friend mentioned on Facebook that she was looking or a healthy recipe for her daughter's first birthday. I also received a baby development email addressing the same topic. Hmm, interesting. After thinking about it, I figured I would give it a try. I did a quick internet search and found a page devoted to first birthday recipes at Wholesome Baby Food. I chose to go with the carrot cake in order to make use of some of the carrots from our garden. It was a bit involved, but I figured it was worth the effort to offer my baby something healthy on the occasion of her first birthday.

And healthy is what we got. The cake was very dense and really tasted more like a nutritious muffin than anything else. It wasn't bad, but I really wouldn't classify it as a birthday cake. The redeeming thing about this cake was the delicious whipped cream cheese frosting. That was delicious. I really should have added more. (But then I wouldn't have had it to spread on my Vanilla Waffers as a nap-time snack!)
In the end, I would say, if you are looking for a birthday cake, make a birthday cake. If you are looking for nutritious, make this. You may say that a baby wouldn't know the difference, but Cream did. She would chew it and then spit it out. It was amusing.

Baby's First Birthday Cake (Carrot Cake)

2 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 1/2 cups apple juice concentrate (you may use slightly less)
1 1/2 cups raisins
Vegetable Spray/Shortening
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 Tbsp low sodium baking powder
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Prep: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two 9 inch square cake pans with waxed paper and spray the paper with vegetable spray/shortening.

1. Combine the carrots with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the juice concentrate in a medium size saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, 15 to 20 mins. Puree in a blender of food processor until smooth.
3. Add the raisins and process until finely chopped. Let mixture cool.
4. Combine the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups juice concentrate, the oil, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla; beat just until well mixed. Fold in the carrot puree and applesauce. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.
5. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 mins. Cool briefly in the pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. When cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting below or sprinkle a wee bit of powdered sugar if desired.

Whipped Cream Frosting

Makes 1 frosting for a 2 layer cake 
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened1 cup white sugar1/8 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Directions1 In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar salt and vanilla until smooth. In a small bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I still think this was a fabulous idea! Homemade carrot cake was a good idea and I actually think they would have a better chance of liking it than something sugary since they're not used to eating food like that.