This recipe for Baby's 1st Birthday Cake is free from refined sugar, and the sponge is sweetened only with fruit. The cream cheese frosting is sweetened with agave nectar, which is a natural sweetener from the agave plant. It's very much like a banana bread, and at my son's first birthday party both the kids and adults loved it! So it's officially a kid approved healthy cake!
When my little boy turned one I decided I wanted to make a healthy first birthday cake for him. He's not eaten any refined sugar since I started weaning him, and although of course he will have sugar eventually, I want to wait till he's a bit older. He's already an absolute fiend for fruit, so I feel like he's inherited my sweet tooth and will go nuts when he tries sugar!
How to make Baby's 1st Birthday Cake
Make the date puree first by soaking the dates in boiling water for 15 minutes, then blending them with a stick blender. In a mixing bowl, add the self raising flour, plain wholemeal flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
In another bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, eggs and milk. To the flour mixture, add mashed bananas, the date puree and the oil/egg mixture.
Then add the grated apple, and divide the mixture between the tins.
Bake the 8" cakes for 40-45 minutes, then do the same for the 6" mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes.
To make the frosting, mix together the butter and cream cheese, then mix in the vanilla extract and agave nectar. Level off the cakes with a cake leveller or a knife before you stack them.
Spread the frosting onto the first layer of cake, then add the second layer and cover the whole cake in frosting. As you are stacking another cake on top, add dowels for support so the cake doesn't collapse.
Also use a cake board underneath the 6" tier for extra support. Add the 6" tier and cover it in the cream cheese frosting. To decorate the Baby's 1st Birthday Cake, placed berries all around the cake, and a 'one' sign of course!
Can this cake be made as one tier?
Yes! Check the recipe card at the end of the post, I've separated the ingredients for the 8" and 6" tier so you can easily make only one of them.
Can this cake be made gluten free?
I've not made this cake gluten free, but I'm sure it'd work well with a gluten free flour blend. You may need to add a little bit of extra moisture as gluten free flour can be drier, but this is a very moist cake anyway.
Can this cake be made vegan?
You can replace the eggs for chia or flax eggs if you need the cake to be egg free, and also use a plant milk to make it vegan.
More tips for making Baby's 1st Birthday Cake:
- This cake can be frozen without the frosting for up to 3 months. Wrap it up well to prevent freezer burn.
- I grated the apple to add it to the cake, you can also dice it if you prefer. I used pink lady apple as it's sweeter, but you can use any apple you like.
- If you are making this into a two tier cake like I did, you'll need to insert dowels into the bottom tier, and use a cake board between the two tiers. This is essential for maintaining the structure of the cake and will stop it from collapsing.
- I used agave nectar to sweeten the frosting, but you could also use maple syrup. Please do not use honey if your baby will eat this cake before they are over 1 year old, or if there will be any younger babies eating it. This is because honey should not be given to babies under the age of one, as it can cause serious illness.
- I used a mixture of self raising and wholemeal flour, if you want to use all self raising then omit the baking powder. It isn't recommended that babies have too many whole grains, so I wouldn't recommended making this cake with all wholemeal flour.
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- 8" cake tins
- 6" cake tins
- Cooling rack
- Round cake tin liners
- Agave nectar
- 6" Cake board
- One Cake Topper
- Freeze dried raspberries
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More refined sugar free/healthier recipes...
Baby's 1st Birthday Cake
For the 6" cake
- 85 g Dates dried
- 75 ml Boiling water
- 80 ml Vegetable oil
- 2 Eggs large
- 2 Bananas mashed
- 1 Apple grated
- 85 ml Milk
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 185 g Self raising flour
- 115 g Plain wholemeal flour
- ½ tsp Baking powder
For the 8" cake
- 150 g Dates dried
- 130 ml Boiling water
- 140 ml Vegetable oil
- 4 Eggs large
- 4 Bananas mashed
- 2 Apples grated
- 150 ml Milk
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 330 g Self raising flour
- 200 g Plain wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
For the frosting
- 400 g Full fat cream cheese
- 200 g Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp Agave nectar or maple syrup
- Berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries) optional
- Freeze dried raspberries optional
- You can make either the 8" or 6" cake first, the instructions are the same for both, or make both cakes at the same time if you have enough oven space!
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line two 8" cake tins, and two 6" cake tins (that are at least 2" deep)
- Place the dates and boiling water into a bowl and leave them to soak for 15 minutes
- Puree the dates and water together using a stick blender or food processor
- In a large mixing bowl, weigh out the self raising flour, wholemeal flour, baking powder and cinnamon
- In a second mixing bowl, mash up the bananas then add the eggs, vegetable oil and milk. Whisk everything together
- Pour the banana/egg mixture into the bowl of flour, along with the date puree, and mix until combined
- Stir in the grated apple
- Divide the mixture between the tins, using scales for accuracy
- Bake the 8" cake for 40-45 minutes or until a thin skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Bake the 6" cake for 25-30 minutes or until a thin skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool fully
- To make the cream cheese frosting mix together the butter and cream cheese until combined, then stir in the vanilla and agave nectar
- Use a cake leveller or a knife to level off the cake if they have domed at all, or the top of them is not flat
- Place the bottom 8" cake layer onto a cake board, plate or cake stand
- Spread cream cheese frosting over the cake, then add the second 8" layer and cover the whole cake with the frosting
- Insert dowels into the cake (only necessary if you are adding a second 6" tier)
- Place the bottom layer of the 6" cake onto a cake board and spread with frosting, then add the top layer. Place the whole 6" cake on top of the 8" cake
- Cover the entire 6" cake in cream cheese frosting, making sure to cover the join between the tiers
- Add berries of your choice. Please note that cut berries will run their juice into the frosting so don't cut the berries in half if you're not ready to serve the cake yet
- Chill in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up the frosting before serving
- Store any leftovers in the fridge and eat within 3 days