Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Healthy Smash Cake

This Smash Cake is made with less sugar and more whole grains for a healthier celebration on your little one's first birthday.
Offer a one year old a lower sugar and fat Smash Cake at First Birthday

I have been dreaming of a healthy Smash Cake recipe for Lil Man's first birthday since he was born.  In case you didn't notice, I have a HUGE sweet tooth (I know what you must be thinking given I am a Registered Dietitian). In view of my sweet tooth, I am making all efforts to cautiously introduce sweets to my son, and a sugar-filled first birthday cake is not part of my plan.

Do I plan on ever offering him a sweet treat?  Absolutely!  Complete avoidance or restriction does not help build a healthy relationship with food.  But I do hope to familiarize him with many other more nutrient dense foods before I go overboard on the sugar introduction.

A few weeks prior to Lil Man's First birthday party I started experimenting in the kitchen on a healthy (and edible) smash cake.  My goal was to keep the sugar amount minimal, add whole grains, and skip the sugar-sweetened icing.  I was able to meet all of my baking goals!  Only a small amount of maple syrup + 2 tablespoon sugar was used as a sweetener.  Greek yogurt served as the icing.  The flour source was a whole wheat flour for added fiber.

I searched Etsy for the perfect cake topper to complete the look I had in mind.  I found the cake topper from MyHoneyBee Boutique. I also ordered the high chair banner from Little Maisie.

So how did Lil Man like the Healthy Smash Cake?
I actually made the cake twice.  Once for pictures a week prior to his birthday, and the second time for his birthday party.  The initial introduction (at the pictures) to the smash cake was disappointing.  He screamed the minute I put the cake in front of him and never let up. And shoving a piece in his mouth did not help!  As for the second attempt, we still had some screaming, but perhaps its was a bit less.  He again ate NONE of the cake.  Another good smash left for mommy to eat (and that I did).

Ironically after my effort of creating and baking a healthier smash cake, on his birthday Lil Man was offered a cupcake at school.  One of the other moms brought in cupcakes for the little ones (her son has the same birthday).   Yes,  I had a bit of a "dietitian mom" moment when I walked into the school and saw the cupcakes sitting on the counter.  I debated a few minutes on how to handle the situation and decided the compromise was to ask the teachers to remove the icing on my son's cupcake.  Was I to deprive my son of a cupcake on his birthday when all of his friends were getting one too?  I guess this is just the beginning of my battle with sweet treats at school.  In case you missed it on Instagram I purchased puzzles and crackers for the Halloween Party at school.

Stay tuned for the complete details on Lil Man's first birthday party!  We had an absolute blast planning his "Up, Up, and Away Party"!

What are your thoughts on offering toddlers sweets?

Your family's dietitian,
Healthy Smash Cake
by Kristen Smith
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients (1 small cake)
  • 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c + 1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp low sodium baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 c whole milk, room temperature
  • 1-2 5 oz containers of Greek yogurt (Full fat vanilla or plain)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Spray a small glass pyrex bowl (the type with a flat bottom) with non-stick cooking spray
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, maple syrup, sugar, applesauce together; add in eggs, vanilla, milk
4. In a separate small bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt
5. Gradually combine the flour mixture with wet batter until completely mixed together
6. Pour batter into glass bowl
7. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 40-45 minutes or until cooked through (can test center with toothpick)
8. Let cake cool completely
9. Evenly spread Greek yogurt on top and side for "icing"
Tip: A full fat Greek yogurt is more desirable for sides of cake (I used a vanilla flavored for top and a plain full fat for sides)
10. If desired top with fruit (or any other toppers)
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  1. ahh, that cake is soo pretty! What a shame that your lil guy didn't like it. But I'm sure it is delicious! and also, it's probably a blessing that he doesn't want to eat cake, right?

    1. Thanks! Yes I agree not liking cake may not be a bad thing!

  2. So, I tried this for my lil's first birthday. I think there is a misprint in the recipe. I think it should be 2 tsp for the baking powder instead 2 TBSP.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. So sorry for this - I have been trying to refer to my notes and find original recipe. What about of baking powder did you use? Thinking the maple syrup may warrant a bit more baking powder...



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