6 Feb 2013

baby's first cake

I realise this may make me seem like some sort of health-crazy kill-joy mama... but I wanted Reu's first taste of cake to be one that would actually be a nourishing meal... not that I am against sugary cake (or the loveliness of indulging in a sweet treat on one's birthday) but that I do feel quite passionate about bringing my little one up on wholesome foods, and refined sugars and flours aren't really what his body needs at this young age, especially with him getting sugars already in the form of fruit, breastmilk and even some vegetables... that and I liked the idea of making a cake he could continue to eat on the days after his birthday as a little mid-morning or afternoon snack. So I invented a cake without added sugar, that is actually rather delicious, and not only the babe thinks so - we adults do too!

It is essentially a carrot cake with the addition of almond meal, banana (Reu's fav) and pineapple too - along with wholemeal flour, wheatgerm, spices, vanilla, real butter and eggs. Reu has been happily eating eggs for the past few months so I didn't worry about him being allergic to them though I realise some babies are and so maybe finding vegan alternatives would be necessary...

I've listed the recipe below including the various known health-incentives (though I am in no way a dietary expert) of the different ingredients for those of you who are interested -

- baby's first (healthy) cake -

1 1/2 cup wholewheat flour (fibre, manganese, magnesium)
1/2 cup ground almond meal (vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, manganese, protein, fibre)
1/3 cup wheat germ (vitamin E, folate, thiamin, zinc, magnesium, fibre)
1 large carrot, grated (vitamin A, B, C, E, K, folate,  manganese, potassium, fibre)
1 ripe banana, mashed (vitamin B & C, potassium, manganese, fibre)
1/2 cup of un-sweetened crushed pineapple (vitamin B & C, folate,  manganese, fibre)
zest & juice of 1 orange (vitamin B & C, antioxidants, calcium, fibre)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (manganese, fibre, calcium)
pinch of ground allspice
1 tsp vanilla bean
4 eggs, separated (protein, selenium, choline, vitamin B & D, iodine)
200g real butter, softened (vitamin A, D, E & K, iodine, antioxidants, selenium, essential saturated fat)

**optional** handful of blanched whole almonds for decorating the top

Preheat oven to 180'c. In a bowl mix together flour, almond meal, wheat germ, baking powder and spices.

In another bowl beat butter vigorously with a spoon (or mixer) for a few minutes, then beat in egg yolks one at a time, followed by grated carrot, banana, pineapple, orange zest and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate bowl beat egg whites until firm peaks form, fold egg whites gently into main mixture. Grease and line a cake tin such as a loaf tin, pour in cake mixture and decorate top with blanched almonds (if you are going to leave the top un-iced) and bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool in tin.

And while I think this cake is marvellous just as it is... it is also super toasted with a bit of butter or iced fancy-style with cream cheese and dotted with sliced fresh bananas - a drizzle of honey would be nice too!


  1. That cake looks and sounds lovely! :)
    I love the idea of a sugar-free cake, and love the fact that you care enough to want your baby's first taste of cake to be out of a healthy one. Lovely!

    1. Thanks :) I am happier still that he thinks its delicious too!

  2. Totally understandable how you would want to make sure your baby is not getting too much sugar. As someone with diabetes I totally understand that. I've saved your recipe (thanks for sharing it) as I'm always looking for yummy, healthy (healthier) treats. x

  3. It looks yummy! Thanks for posting the recipe, I think I will try it out on my husband this weekend! :) (baby girl is still too young for cake).

  4. This totally reminds me of me with my first -- I think it was even a banana cake that I made -- not my own recipe though. I'm glad you can share your feelings without fear of criticism. I felt like the world was against me on the "wait for sugar" thing and could never have written it in a blog at that stage in my life -- I am grateful that you can so other mamas who feel similar can not feel alone. What a sweet lovely day.

    1. Aw thanks Heidi, its really nice to know other mamas feel the same way xx

  5. That's great!
    I'm all for refined sugar-less cakes.
    Good on you for having the intention of bringing him up on wholesome foods. That is so important.

  6. Hi Em! This is so great! Happiest of birthdays to your sweet little one! He is just too cute! Less sugar is the way to go- and the cake looks so yummy! You have such a way of creating things that are just beautiful! Hope you are doing well my sister! May the Lord's love be shining bright in your heart!

  7. Happy birthday to the wee wild 'n curly redheaded king Reu!!! What a wonderful sentiment behind your nourishing cake. xoxoxox

  8. I was just talking yesterday about wanting to buy some wheatgerm. I hadn't realized it's not included in most whole-wheat flours. When I get my hands on some: this cake, possibly for breakfasting.


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