When I started thinking about Everett’s first birthday I couldn’t help but be consumed by the cake. Should I make something sweet or more healthy? Will he still like it if it’s made with carrots and apple sauce and how can I make a cute mini cake?? I finally landed on an idea for a low sugar carrot cake for my baby’s first birthday cake. And lucky for me, because it would have been a little embarrassing otherwise, he loved it and completely dug into his cake!
I literally can not believe its already been a year! I can only compare this year to the feelings you get when it’s late at night and your desperately trying to keep your eyes open to watch a show you’ve been wanting to see. I did not want to miss any little detail of his first year, but many times I found myself in a bit of a fog (read more about that here). Every little change, sound, movement or interaction, I wanted to experience with full attention, yet the year sweeps past you and you can hardly recall all of the details.
From this year I will always treasure memories of his sweet noises, from a cooing baby, to a babbling little toddler; his giggles that make his belly jiggle, how much he loves to knock down blocks and turn the pages of a book himself, the long walks we would take, singing him to sleep,
waking up to him pulling on my nose and sticking his fingers in my mouth, watching him eat his first foods, understanding his first word “hi,” and watching him wave to every stranger and friend.
Everett is a joyful, spirited child who loves being around people, loves exploring, and loves his dog Henry. He enjoys when I take a break from cooking to dance around the kitchen with him and when I place his stuffed animals in random places around his room so he can go find them all. He splashes around in the bath and investigates every knob and handle around the house.
I could watch him grow and learn all day, if only I could keep my eyes open and alert for that long.
This first year was a gift and every day following will be too.
To celebrate our sweet boy’s birthday we had a grand party with cocktails, hors d’ourves and plenty of cake for the adults too. I made this classic birthday cake as well as a chocolate cake with caramel frosting so everyone had their fill of cake!
For his cake, I made a low sugar carrot cake with a raw cashew cream icing. I used a trusty Hamilton Beach stand mixer for the job and a food processor for the cashew cream frosting. I topped it with a little chocolate icing using leftover frosting from the adult cake, just in case he needed a little enticing to get into it (and what’s a first birthday without having chocolate all over your face!).
It was a perfectly whimsical and joyful party, in perfect image of our boy Everett!
Low Sugar Baby’s First Birthday Cake Recipe
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 tablespoon baking soda
- 1/4 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup oil (I use olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons apple sauce
- 1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup shredded carrot
- Preheat oven to 350 and line the bottom of 2 4.5 inch ramekins. Then grease the pans.
- Sift all dry ingredients, flour to ginger, in a bowl. In a mixer beat egg and sugar. Add in oil slowly. Beat the egg/sugar mixture on high for about 5 minutes (mixture should increase to almost double in size). Add in apple sauce and vanilla. Using a spatula, fold in dry ingredients then fold in carrots. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (cupcakes will bake in less time). Let cool then frost with Cashew Cream Icing
For the cashew cream frosting I soaked 1/2 cup cashews over night. Rinse and drain them next day then, in a high powdered blender, add 2 tablespoons coconut cream, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Blend everything together until smooth, then, place in the freezer to chill for 45 minutes. Use a small whisk to whip the icing before frosting the cake.
More Baby Food Posts:
A Guide to a Baby’s First Foods
HA! You guys are the coolest parents; these pictures of Everett so evidently LOVING going to town on this cake totally brightened my morning!
As a clean eater, this cake is def getting bookmarked. Can’t wait to find a reason to make it and overload on that ginger!
http://thatumamilife.wordpress.com – a clean eating bento blog. Japanese or Asian-inspired.
Oh, such beautiful pictures and such an amazing, beautiful milestone! Happy birthday to Everett and happy one year of mothering to you…
Thanks friend! It was so special, and unbelievable really, to celebrate his first birthday!
Love all of the photos! And you need to frame that family pic, so so precious. Thanks for letting us be a part of his birthday celebration, I sure love that little kid!
I’m so glad you guys made it to the celebration!! It was special having you there.
Such a sweet post! I’m glad you had such a fun time watching him devour the cake. You’re the cutest parents ever!
Thanks Kalyn! It was so fun to watch him dig into the cake (and it felt good knowing he wasn’t eating a lot of sugar!)
Perfect cake for the perfect birthday!
Thanks so much Debra!
I may have to make this for Asher’s bday – delish! And I love all of the photos. And we have to take them, don’t we? Or – like you said – poof! Time has flown and the memories are gone in a flash!
It’s crazy to even think about Asher turning one. He’s the baby of the group still!
ohmygod this is too cute! congrats! also, where is the recipe for the caramel frosting from?
The caramel frosting came from an old Southern Living Cookbook I have. Sorry I haven’t posted it yet!
Found this post while searching for a low sugar cake recipe for my little one’s 2nd birthday. Just had to say that we have the same high chair!! It was mine when I was little and my mom saved it all these years. Just thought it was a funny coincidence. 🙂
Christina, that’s awesome! We love the chair too. It was given to us from another family who’s children are grown! Happy birthday to your little one and hope he enjoys some tasty cake!
Can I omit the sugar, and will the recipe still work? Thank you.
Erin, I think it should still work fine with no sugar. Happy birthday to your little one.
I will be making this cake for my daughter. July 1st,my daughter will be one. I’m struggling with menu ideas but I’ve definitely decided on this cake. Great post!
Rayne, in case you need a few more ideas… for our little guys birthday I also made another cake for adults as well as two pinwheels- one filled with cheese and salami (thinly cut) and the other filled with nutella. They were fun and whimsical but also really easy! Here’s the nutella recipe one – https://www.thevintagemixer.com/2014/06/nocciolata-pinwheels-recipe/ Happy birthday to your sweet one!
Do you think I could pull this off with whole wheat flour? My littlest is 1 and I’d love to use this recipe but have whole wheat flour coming out of my ears at home 🙂
It should be fine. It may just be a little drier. Let me know how it turns out!
Great recipe! How long did you leave the cake out for? Will the icing still be ok if the cake is left out too long? I am thinking about using this recipe for my son’s 1st birthday. Please let me know. Thanks!
The icing will be fine if left out for a few hours! Enjoy and happy birthday to your little one!
Hi, I am planning on making this cake – it looks great! I don’t see a link to the recipe for the cashew cream frosting… I’m I just missing it?
Sorry about that! I included it on a more recent post and here is the specifics – For the cashew cream frosting I soaked 1/2 cup cashews over night. Rinse and drain them next day then, in a high powdered blender, add 2 tablespoons coconut cream, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Blend everything together until smooth, then, place in the freezer to chill for 45 minutes (to thicken and harden slightly). Use a small whisk to whip the icing before frosting the cake.
Hi, I would like to make this cake for my sons first birthday, but will be traveling a few hours away to family, how long ahead of time do you think I could make this cake and would it be best stored in fridge or room temp?(without icing, planning on icing and decorating once we arrive)
I would make it in advance and freeze it for the best results. Sometimes refrigerating cake dries it out but freezing it keeps it moist. Just defrost at room temp over night.