I went a little crazy planning Samuel’s first birthday party. One of the things I was very interested in doing was making a baby friendly birthday cake for him. No judgement to parents who choose to give their children regular cake, but I didn’t want to load Sam up on sugar before nap-time; we struggle enough with nap-time as it is! So: I searched for a tasty and healthy alternative for our little man.
After trying a couple of different recipes, I settled on a sugar free banana applesauce cake with Greek yogurt and cream cheese frosting. It was more like a banana bread than a cake, but the fruit sweetened the cake without all of the sugar.
This cake turned out a bit dense compared to your usual birthday cake, but not so dense that Sam couldn’t get his fingers into it. Additionally, the frosting I made did not act like regular cream cheese or buttercream frosting, so I didn’t try to make the cake look perfect. With a little bit of colored sprinkles on top of the cake, it turned out pretty darn cute!
When baking this cake for the party I made two batches; one batch baked in a 9×13 pan and another batch baked in a mini cupcake pan to make baby cupcakes for the party. When I used the mini cupcake pan I only made 24 cupcakes and poured the rest of the batter into a 9-inch round cake pan. I will try to make sure I tell you the baking times I used for each baking option.
Let’s get started!
Baby's First Birthday Cake
- 4 ripe bananas
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- Sprinkle of cinnamon, optional
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, optional
Mash bananas in a medium bowl. Mix in applesauce, eggs, and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, and cinnamon together. Add flour mixture to wet mixture. Stir until just combined. Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spread batter into pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool, cut, and frost.
For frosting: Whip all ingredients until smooth and well combined.
Here are our cast of characters for the cake: bananas, applesauce, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, and whole wheat flour to pull it all together.
In a mixing bowl combine your whole wheat flour, cinnamon, and baking soda.
And in a separate bowl mix your mashed bananas, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla.
Gradually add in the flour mixture into your bowl of wet ingredients until they are combined, don’t over mix.
Like I said, this looks a lot like banana bread to me, and it smells pretty good too!
Pour the batter into a greased baking dish and bake in a 400 degree oven. Check your 9×13 pan at 20 minutes; depending on how big your bananas were, this pan could be done at 20 minutes. Mine baked for 25 minutes before I was satisfied with it. If you use a mini cupcake pan check the cupcakes after 10 minutes. Mine were done at 12 minutes. The round cake pan baked for 20 minutes, but I would check it after 15 minutes, if I were you.
To test for done-ness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, then you are good to go!
Note: when using the mini cupcake pan I tested this recipe with liners and without liners – the cupcakes stuck to the liner but popped easily out of the greased pan without a liner. Don’t you hate it when you lose half of a cupcake or muffin because it stuck to the liner? Me too! I decided to bake the mini-cupcakes in a greased pan and set them in the liners once they were finished cooling.
Here is the 9×13 pan fresh out of the oven. It smelled so good! Did I think to take photos of round cake pan or the mini-muffin pan? No – but you get the idea. Originally, I had planned to cut the smash cake out of this pan, but the round cake baked a little more evenly and I decided to cut Sam’s smash cake out of that one instead. Did I think to take a photo of that either? No. What I ended up doing with the 9×13 pan was cutting it into very small squares and freezing them as an easy snack for Sam later on.
I used a clean round tupperware lid as my guide to cut out the smash cake. You can cut your cake however your see fit: three layers, one layer, squares, or crumb it up and turn it into cake pops. Go crazy!
Now we need to make the frosting to cover our cupcakes and smash cake!
All you need is vanilla Greek yogurt, cream cheese, cinnamon, and powdered sugar, which is completely optional. Pictured above I have enough to make two batches of frosting. I found that this frosting went a lot father than I had anticipated, but I didn’t mind snacking on the leftovers!
Toss the cream cheese and yogurt into a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Make sure the cream cheese has had time to sit out and soften or else it will be difficult to cream the two together completely.
I didn’t leave my cream cheese out quite long enough, see how it is still a little bit lumpy? After adding the remaining ingredients I continued to beat it until I got as many of the lumps out as possible.
This part is completely optional but I decided to add just a little bit of powdered sugar as well as cinnamon. The cream cheese and yogurt mixture tasted good on its own, but I didn’t want to completely deprive Samuel of something sweet at his birthday party.
If I had to guess, I’d think he likes it! You can easily see why I didn’t take too much time to decorate the cake before handing it over to Sam.
You can see the baby friendly cupcakes squeezed right in the middle of the table. Aren’t they cute? They were a big hit with the little ones, and even some of the adults.
This recipe was a nice surprise! I am very pleased to have been able to give Sam a delicious, yet healthy cake for his birthday. He enjoyed this cake at his party and he has thoroughly enjoyed the snack sized portions I froze.
If you try this recipe leave me a comment down below!