Healthy First Birthday Cake


I can’t believe my littlest baby just turned one, it all happened too soon! I tried to savor every moment, but it still flew by in the blink of an eye. While I’m happy to bid farewell to sleepless nights, constant spit-ups and hourly diaper changes, I’m a little nostalgic for the small snuggly babies I once held. Attilio, or “Baby Tito” as his sister somewhat affectionately calls him, now more closely resembles a baby gorilla in stature than a newborn human, and often acts more like one too.

I wanted to make my baby gorilla a birthday cake of his very own, for him to eat with his hands and smash and destroy at will. However, I didn’t want to give him an overdose of butter and sugar on his first birthday so I made my healthiest, most baby-friendly cake to date. It’s actually not even a real birthday cake, but a healthier version of banana bread with a light veil of cream-cheese frosting. Fortunately, Attilio has never had a real cake, and didn’t know the difference. He attacked it with gusto and glee, and I was even able to salvage a few pieces for our breakfast the next morning.

This is a fantastic recipe that I urge you to try it both as a healthy birthday cake and as a breakfast treat. Either way, remember to slow down and savor every bite, because it  too will be gone all too soon!

Whole-Wheat Banana Bread

recipe adapted from 100 Days of Real Food
  • 2 ¼ cup (270 g) whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup (60 g) plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup (90 g) maple syrup (you my also use honey)
  • 2 eggs
  • ? cup (70 g) coconut oil (you may also use olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour a loaf pan (if making banana bread). I used a 6 inch (15 cm) cake pan that was 3 inches (8 cm) deep to make the birthday cake.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl mix mashed bananas with yogurt, maple syrup, eggs, oil, and vanilla.

Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until blended. Do not overmix. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake large loaf for 40 – 50 minutes or until it comes clean with a toothpick. I cooked the small round cake for about 35 minutes.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz (225 g) cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
  • 4 tablespoons (80 g) maple syrup

Beat together the softened cream cheese and the maple syrup until creamy. Refrigerate until firm enough to spread. Decorate the cake as desired.


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