Healthy Birthday Cake

Updated on February 21, 2007
J.F. asks from Twin Falls, ID
17 answers

my girls will be one year old the end of march, and i'm trying to figure out what to do for a cake for them. they have been slow to start solids, and have just recently started stage 2 foods, but only under a very watchful eye, because they don't always CHEW. i make all their foods, and do as much organic foods as possible. they haven't had any sugar at all, and are on lactose free formula, because of tummy issues. sooooo....i want to make them each a little cake to dive into, but am at a loss as to WHAT KIND to make. i'm not sure if i should make it with rice/soy milk, or if i can even do that and still have it turn out right. also, frosting is going to be tough, because it usually is pretty creamy. i want them to enjoy their cake, but i don't want them to go into a sugar coma or have terrible tummy aches that night! does anyone have any recipes? i was thinking of an applesauce cake or something like that. maybe without frosting, or would that totally suck? i'm sure they won't remember any of this at all, but i always pictured their first birthday party pictures having them with cake and icing all over their faces! thankss so much, ladies!

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So What Happened?

thanks so much everyone! i'm really excited to try out these recipes!!! i love the jello idea! i think that in addition to cake we'll do a jello treat. their theme is "ladybugs", so i'm going to do red jello in clear cups with black polka dots on them! i'll be sure to post a link to some pictures after the big event!! thanks again, and keep the ideas coming!! (i need all the help i can get!)

Featured Answers



answers from Lincoln on

I totally agree with you- Just because they are having a birthday they don't need to learn about sugar loading. I made carrot cake cupcakes for my sons birthday. I used applesauce to sweeten it. My son is now 2 and loves fruit and most healthy foods. I let him have treats, on special ocassions, but he gets too hyperactive with sugar. I hate when people tell me, it wouldn't affect him so much if I gave it to him more often. I just don't see the logic in that. I will e-mail you the recipe.
Good luck and happy birthdays

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Great Falls on

Usually, the kids don't eat that much cake. They wear it. I wouldn't worry about sugar shock but you can find recipes on the internet. It's fun to watch them eat cake with the frosting but if you don't want them to have sugar then make them something healthy. It doesn't have to be a cake.

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answers from Omaha on

First of all, congratulations on your thriving twins!

An applesauce cake is a good way to go. You could add some unsweetened whole milk (organic) yogurt too (usually yogurt is tolerable to most lactose intolerant people because the lactose in it is often offset by the acidophilous and is kind to the tummy). That might add some fun to the whole experience for them. You should also know that it is possible to bake with rice and soymilk-- I am sure you can find a rice/soy-milk recipe online. The measurements may be a little different, but I have done it before (I am lactose intolerant too!) with some success.

I understand where you are coming from. My twins were also a bit slow to take on solids and were in the habit of not chewing their food many times when they approached 1. BUt the cake, in my experience, really was more of a tactile experience (they got it in their hair, hands, on their clothes) rather than a eating experience. So, chances are your twins may not even eat much of their cake-- especially if it is offered to them on a reasonably full stomach. (We made sure our kids had eaten before digging into the cake/yogurt combo. They ate some and wore the rest.)

Don't worry so much about what their pictures of their 1st birthday will look like. I am sure they will enjooy themselves that day no matter what you put in front of them... Children at that age are really more about the tactile experiences anyway. And I am sure they will enjoy exploring with a new food.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Of course when it comes to food I have a response, :)
One idea may be blueberry cake or muffins with whipped cream "frosting". When my daughter was little I sent muffins with whipped cream "frosting" to Sunday school. You can get heavy or light whipping cream and add the amount of sugar you want to use as you whip it. Children need fat in there diet anyway so it's not so bad. You have to add color while you are whipping the cream, not after. I would whip it to almost butter consistency then you can pipe it or spread it and remember to keep the cake in the fridge until you are ready to eat it. Pink looks GREAT! One thought is that most cake has less sugar then muffins. One year we bought a pkg. of care bears toys and set them on the cake to look like care-a-lot. Good luck and have fun. One last tip is if you frost the cake with real frosting, just put it on thin. Another tip is that you can say do a pond with animals and only use frosting for the pond, you get the idea, use frosting as a decoration, you don't always have to COVER a cake in frosting. ENJOY!

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answers from Casper on

You can always use lactose free milk product.

1/2 c Butter; softened
1/2 ts Baking soda
2 Eggs
1/4 ts Salt
2/3 c Apple juice concentrate
1 lg Apples; peeled/chopped
1/2 c Applesauce
2 c Flour
2 ts Baking powder
2 ts Cinnamon, ground

Creamy Topping:
1/2 c Cream, Heavy
1 ts. Vanilla
1/4 ts Cinnamon, ground

Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter in large bowl until creamy. Blend in
eggs, juice, and applesauce. Combine dry ingredients. Gradually add
to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in appls. Spread
batter evenly into greased 8" square baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes,
until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack. Cut into squares. Serve warm or at room
temperature, with Creamy Topping if desired.

Creamy Topping: Beat cream in small bowl at high speed of electric
mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in vanilla and cinnamon until stiff
peaks form.

Nutrition information per piece: 229 calories, 4 gm protein, 34 gm
carbohydrate, 8 gm fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 289 mg sodium, 1-1/4
diabetic starch/bread exchange, 1-3/4 diabetic fat exchange, 1
diabetic fruit exchange.

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answers from Boise on

You can try a carrot cake recipe, exchange the white flour for whole wheat (assuming wheat is ok for your girls) and change the milk for lactaid milk. (i think that's what it's called, i'm supposed to get some for my son, but i'm waiting for his formula to run out first). My son never had sugar until his birthday (hasn't had much since). I decided the crack-baby experience was part of the fun and let caved to his father's demand of dark chocolate cake and icing (fab for pics). If you go that route, learn from my mistake and do it AFTER nap. Yes, my son devoured the choc cake, and yes he ran around like a maniac for about 2 hours after, but we didn't have any tummy trouble and when the sugar blues hit we strapped him in and drove home (partay at g-mas). If that's unacceptable to you, there's a less refined sugar (I always forget what it's called) at winco. It's less of a straight shot into the system, to bake with. I refuse to allow anything chemical so I don 't ahve much experience with artificial sweetneers. I say if it doesn't grow, my kids can't have it.

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answers from Boise on

My son suffers from several food allergies so I had a very difficult time deciding what to do for his birthday cake. I finally found an organic chocolate cake mix at Fred Meyer. I used applesause instead of the eggs and chocolate rice milk instead of the regular milk. I then topped it with strawberries. It was so delicious that my other boys wanted nothing to do with the "regular" cake and instead helped devour the "special" cake. I hope this helps.

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answers from Lincoln on

Hi J.! If you have the book "What To Expect The First Year" (authors of What to Expect While You're Expecting) they have some great, sugarless recipes for 1st bday cake and icing as well.

They also have some other great meal and snack recipes. They call it the "Best Odds Diet" You may be able to Google it and get them off the web. I'll give you the icing recipe, the others are too long to write. :-) If you want them just message me and i can scan them onto the computer and send to your email!

Cream Cheese Frosting (without the sugar)
1/2 c. apple juice concentrate
1 pount light cream cheese
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1.2 C. chopped raisings
1.5 tsp unflavored gelatin

1. Set aside 2 tblsp of juice concentrate
2. Process remaining juice, cheese, vanilla and raisins until smooth (in blender or food processor) Transfer to mixing bowl
3. Stir the gelatin into the 2 Tblsp of jiuce in a small saucepan, let stand 1 min. to soften Heat to boiling and stir to dissolve gelatin.
4. Beat gelatin mixture into cream cheese mixture until well blended. Refrigerate just until frosting begins to set (abt. 30-60min.) Frost the cake

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answers from Cheyenne on

My husband made a great all natural very healthy cake for the twins when they turned 1, with a cream cheese icing. THey had it EVERYWHERE! You can see the pics at and click on "1st birthday"- a yummy and messy cake- good for pics!

If you want to send your email address to me at [email protected], I will have to get the recipe from him, but it was time conuming to make, but all "real food" and no sugar.

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answers from Omaha on

My daughter was 3 months early as well,2.2lbls..77 day stay in nicu.
we didn't do a cake with her on her first birthday, we did jello with whipped cream on top.
i put them in individual cups for everyone and gave her hers with a candle on top. she didn't blow it out,, we helped her.
but she did dig into the jello. not sure if that's something they would be able to eat or you'd want them to. they do have sugar free jello.. that's an option.
sorry i don't have any suggestions on the lactos issues for a cake or frosting. i hope someone can help you with that. :-)
my daughter just had her 2nd birthday and a friend who makes cakes made her a princess castle cake.. very cute.
i can send you a pic if you want the idea for their 2nd birthday. .just email me.
garyntina at cox dot net
good luck,,, ;-))


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answers from Des Moines on

For my son's 1st bday we made a carrot cake and I made whipped topping. the Cool Whip stuff is much sweeter. the homemade stuff you can get the same feel of icing/topping but it isn't nearly as sugary. You can buy boxed packets for it in the baking isle. We also did ours in the form of cupcakes. We glopped the whipped cream on top so he could smear to his hearts content. However, we have the texture-sensitive kid and the moment he touched it, he looked at his hand and held out saying "dirty, mama". So he didn't get very messy.

For my dau. we did the same thing but I put some apple pie filling in the middle.

Nothing says you have to do the cake thing. You could opt for more of an activity like getting a bit cookie and letting them dump sprinkles and again homemade whipcream. you can make different colors with food coloring and put them into zip lock bags. Snip off a tiny corner and let them squeeze it out. then they get to eat the cookie when their done.

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answers from Cedar Rapids on

Hi J.,

I understand the desire to have a healthy birthday cake, and considering the whole childhood obesity issue, I certainly don't want to encourage you to give your girls something you don't feel comfortable with. There are all kinds of recipes out there using rice flour, wheat flour, or no flour. You might want to do a search for diabetic and lactose free cake and frosting recipes. That would certainly be a great alternative for you.

Another great option is an angel food cake (or angel food cake cupcakes!) with mashed up raspberries or blueberries -or peaches or cherries - you get the idea! and maybe a little light whipped cream. I'd stay away from strawberries until they're two - unless your doctor says it's OK or you've given them strawberries already.

Or, if you don't want to go either of those routes, you can do what we did (we were the same way with our son's first birthday). We made cupcakes (so i knew what went into them and I used splenda for baking instead of full boar sugar) and he got his own cupcake (with little icing) with a candle in it. That way we could limit the amount he would consume without making any special recipe. And frankly, he didn't like it all that well anyway!!! He would have preferred green beans or peas. ;)

Keep your kids away from refined sugar as long as you can. We have relaxed our "no sugar" policy since then and we deeply regret it. At the same time, you don't want to stress yourself out and never let them have it or they might go stir crazy when they do get it (because they EVENTUALLY will!)

I have a hunch that if we hardwire our kids to enjoy natural sweet foods like fruits and veggies that they will prefer them over refined sugar treats. It has worked with our son so far. He likes sweets but he would choose his peaches or cooked carrots over a cookie still at this point.

Anyway, enough of my soap box (sorry about that!)

I removed the link I sent you after I looked at some of the ingredients...



answers from Sioux City on

cupcakes... that way they can both have a little without having too much. and if you are having a party there are fun ways to decorate with cupcakes.. just an idea.



answers from Missoula on

Hi J.,
My sister is a cake decorater and she does special cakes all the time. I bet if you called and talked to someone in a bakery (the cake decorater) they could probably come up with something. Good Luck




answers from Davenport on

i think an applesauce cake would be okay its not going to be harsh on them and it will be natural and it should be fine the frosting well im not real sure about that um maybe check with a dietician at a local hospital about that one and good luck



answers from Pocatello on

I would try making a cake that has a fruit base, like a pineapple cake or mandarin oranges. For frosting you can also use a whipping cream base (made straight from cream) and add a sugar free vanilla or even chocolate pudding. Look at or for great ideas. Just search sugar free cakes.



answers from Lincoln on

Try using organic stuff for the cake. I'm not sure what all they make in the way of organic stuff (cake stuff, etc.)

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