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Healthy Birthday Cake Recipes

Updated on September 29, 2014

Healthier Recipes for Birthday Cakes

The first year of my daughter's life was so fascinating. And her first birthday was quite a celebration. When it came to making her cake, I decided that I wanted to continue her healthy eating habits and make a cake that was on the healthier side - well, as healthy as cake can be. :)

For me, keeping the sugar content low was most important. And I also wanted to leave out artificial colors and preservatives. So, below is the recipe we used for her first birthday, as well as other lower sugar recipes for birthday cakes. Enjoy!

Sweet & Natural Baking

Sweet & Natural Baking: Sugar-Free, Flavorful Desserts from Mani's Bakery
Sweet & Natural Baking: Sugar-Free, Flavorful Desserts from Mani's Bakery

Mani Niall has become famous for the beautiful yet indulgent desserts sold at his Los Angeles bakery. In Sweet & Natural Baking, Niall explains how to make naturally sweetened treats using only whole grain flours. (Some are also low fat, but that's not a particular objective in this book.) Carefully detailed instructions should guide you to perfect results for baked desserts, including cookies, muffins, scones, pies and cakes. There are useful descriptions of ingredients to help anyone unfamiliar with using whole grains and sweeteners such as concentrated fruit juice and maple syrup in baking. Mouth-watering photos show why Danny DeVito, Roseanne, and rock groups have made Mani "baker to the stars."

 

Applesauce Spice Cake

1/2 cup molasses

1 cup applesauce

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cloves

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1-3/4 cup flour

1 tsp ginger

Mix the molasses and applesauce in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Bake in a nonstick 8 x 8-inch baking pan or one sprayed with a non-stick spray, in a 350° F for 30 to 45 minutes, or until it tests done.

**The batter may be a bit dry and you may need to add more applesauce or a bit of water. Try adding 1/4 cup of applesauce first then gradually add a bit of water by tablespoon**

[via Healthy Baby's First Birthday Cake Recipes, Sugar Free & Egg Free Baby's First Birthday Cake Recipe Ideas]

Frosting:

I just combined organic vanilla yogurt and cream cheese to the consistency I was looking for.

I made a round pink cake as requested by Syna.

To get the natural pink color I reduced the liquid from a can of beets and added a tablespoon to the frosting.

Here's the recipe for the cake and whipped cream frosting:

Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake (adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours)

Makes one 9-inch layer cake

For the Cake

2 ¼ cups cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk (use buttermilk if you want to intensify the lemon flavor)

4 large egg whites

1 ½ cups sugar (I actually used 3/4 cup)

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

For the Whipped Cream (double this if you want to cover the whole cake with whipped cream)

1 cup heavy cream, cold

1/8 cup sugar

2 tbsp raw wild flower honey (or another flavorful honey of your choice)

For Finishing

2/3 cup strawberry jam, stirred vigorously to loosen (feel free to use another flavor of jam)

Method

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment paper.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.

4. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl whisk until the sugar is moist and fragrant.

5. Add the butter to the lemony sugar mixture and working with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light and fluffy.

6. Beat in the lemon extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.

7. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk-egg mixture, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.

8. Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.

9. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber or offset spatula.

10. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch - a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, take them out of the pans, and peel off the parchment paper. Invert the cakes so they are right side up and cool to room temperature. The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months.

11. While the cakes are cooling, whip heavy cream to soft peaks, then add sugar, slowly, continuing to whip. Once sugar is incorporated, add honey in a slow stream to the mixture. Make sure the honey gets incorporated by scraping the bottom of your bowl well, as the honey will sink to the bottom. Whip cream to stiff peaks and set in the refrigerator until you're ready to assemble the cake.

12. Once the cake layers are cool, place one layer on a serving plate. Top that layer with the strawberry jam. On top of the jam, spread 1/3 of the whipped cream. Place the second cake layer on top of the whipped cream and top that with the remaining whipped cream. Enjoy!

Other Healthy Cake Recipes

Fresh Fruit Cake

Layer sponge cake with strawberries and peaches (or any favorite fruit) and whipped cream frosting. Mmmm...

Do you have a favorite healthy cake recipe?

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    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 3 years ago

      Great lens, thank you for the ideas. Last year when my son turned 3 years old, I made a chocolate banana cake for him. This time he is asking for a green colored cake, I am wondering if I have to go for a store bought cake or use food color or what.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love your applesauce spice cake recipe. That's the type of cake I make most. I am very sensitive to sugar so I don't even bother with icing.

    • profile image

      acreativethinker 5 years ago

      Great lens. I like to use egg whites in my cakes and muffins too. They all look

      so yummy! Take Care. :)

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Wow! I admire your effort, especially the beets colouring.

    • Yourshowman LM profile image

      Yourshowman LM 7 years ago

      Yummy Lens.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      I had to check out your beet juice frosting idea. I very seldom make desserts, but do like to have muffins and cupcakes in the freezer for sweet tooth moments. I'd like to try the applesauce cake. It sounds yummy!

    • anmatt lm profile image

      anmatt lm 7 years ago

      I enjoyed this lens, especially the first cake recipe which had no sugar or fake sugar substitutes. Have you heard of Rapadura or Sucanat? Those are more whole, less refined sweeteners derived from cane--sugar without all the good stuff stripped out. I figure you could substitute one of those or even honey for sugar in all your recipes that have sugar and have them turn out great. I'd love it if you could post your applesauce spice cake recipe (the one with no sugar) to my lens called sugar-free-halloween, as I'm collecting recipes that do not use refined sugar.

    • Janet2221 profile image

      Janet2221 7 years ago

      This lens has been featured on the Kid's Birthday Party Club blog! :)

      http://www.kids-birthday-party-club.com/?p=221

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 7 years ago from Concord VA

      Thanks for these great healthy cake recipes.

    • hlkljgk profile image
      Author

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      @TreasuresBrenda: i cut the sugar in all my dessert recipes in half...

    • hlkljgk profile image
      Author

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      @encouragingwords: thanks!

    • hlkljgk profile image
      Author

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      @AtHomeSource LM: thanks!

    • AtHomeSource LM profile image

      AtHomeSource LM 7 years ago

      I've got a great recipe!

      Chocolate muffins with agave syrup. If you want to frost them just mix 4 squares melted unsweetened chocolate, 1 tablespoon melted butter & 1/2 cup agave syrup until smooth.

      here's the recipe:

      http://agave-recipes.blogspot.com/2010/04/agave-ne...

    • encouragingwords profile image

      encouragingwords 7 years ago

      Love your lens and featured it on Polka Dot Party Supplies Perfect For Every Occasion!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      I love the idea of a healthy cake! Since I love just about any fruit, a fruit cake like the one you have featured would appeal to me. Of course, they all sound delicious.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      I do have a cake that I consider healthy (my carrot cake) although I know it has lots of sugar I take comfort in knowing it also has carrots, pineapple and nuts.

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      Great lens 5* My favorite healthy cake would be carrot cake. I don't like the regular carrot cake icing so I always eat it non-iced.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      Great idea to cut too much sugar from the diet. Had to laugh at beet juice in the icing!!

    • Janet2221 profile image

      Janet2221 7 years ago

      Wow, beet juice to add some pink color to your icing! Never would have thought of that. Love the ideas here. Thanks for adding this to the Kid's Birthday Party Club. :)

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      It is wonderful healthy and cake can be used in the same sentence. This all sounds yummy!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      Ooh, you're making me hungry! Sounds so good.

    • whitepines1 profile image

      whitepines1 7 years ago

      Great idea! We try to keep it healthy, too, but our 1st birthday cakes are always the free ones from the bakery for turning one! I never thought of doing a healthy first cake.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 7 years ago from Canada

      wow.... you not only managed to get your article done quickly - you also did an amazing job! I get to be the first person to polish up your lens with stars :)