Faye had a birthday earlier this month. We didn’t do a party (we actually had one planned, but due to my mom not being able to make it, we cancelled), but we did just do a little celebration one night at our house. We played ball in the yard, cooked steaks on the grill, and played on the porch late into the evening. It was perfect.
I made Faye a “smash cake” since it was her first birthday. She has definitely had her fair share of sugar already, but since she was going to consume such a large amount, I decided to make her cake homemade. I just really didn’t want to clean up throw up that night. I found an awesome recipe for a “healthy” smash cake. It is posted it below. It substituted bananas and applesauce for the sugar, and it was really a great alternative option. However, I did just buy the Publix bakery icing, so she definitely wasn’t short on sugar that night.
I’ve been told the way that children go about eating their smash cakes on their first birthday will show a lot about their personalities, and who they are going to be. As soon as we put the cake on her tray, she took one little finger and swiped the icing off the top of her cake. She didn’t smash it. She barely even touched it at the beginning. She very consistently, yet slowly swiped icing for the next 10 minutes. After all the icing was off of the top, she then picked up the cake and began to eat it like a sandwich. She knew exactly what she wanted, how she wanted to get it, and never missed a beat. Let’s just say she doesn’t like to waste her time!
Maybe we will get around to throwing her an actual party one of these days, but for now, we will be just fine with the memories from that sweet little night. Who knew celebrating a one year old could be quite so fun?
Healthier Smash Cake
Serves: makes a double layer 4 ½-inch cake, or one 6-inch cake, or 7 cupcakes
(I didn’t have one of these pans, so I used a rectangular loaf pan and cut the loaf in half to have the double layer)
A healthier smash cake recipe, made without butter or refined sugars. This easy whole wheat banana cake is the perfect first birthday cake!
For the Cake:
- butter and whole wheat flour for the pans
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 medium ripe banana (about 3 ounces)
- ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup milk (whole preferred)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the cake pans and lightly dust with whole wheat flour, tapping out the excess. (I used two 4½-inch pans. You can also use one 6-inch pan or make cupcakes.)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- Place banana, applesauce, milk, and maple syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl or large liquid measuring cup. Whisk in the egg and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry and mix with a rubber spatula or spoon until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; it’s ok if there are a few bits of flour still visible in the batter.
- Pour batter into the prepared cake pans. Pans should be just over half full with the batter. Bake for about 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (Cupcakes will bake for about 14-16 minutes.)
Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Then, gently run a knife around the edges and carefully transfer to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.