This Healthy First Birthday Cake is a carrot, banana and apple cake made with no added sugar. Using a combination of almond flour and oat flour, it’s packed with wholegrains, healthy fats and naturally sweetened with fruit.
A few weeks ago we celebrated the twins’ first birthday! I actually cannot believe that a whole year has gone by since their birth. It’s been an absolute whirlwind – the cliche is 100% true, the days are long but the years are short. My babies are almost toddlers.
The whole birthday came with a cascade of mixed emotions for me. In case you don’t know, my twins were born 9 weeks premature, at 31 weeks and 2 days gestation, by emergency c-section. It was one of the most scary and upsetting days of my life, and then the boys spent 7 weeks in hospital. (You can read more about them in this blog post). So even though we celebrated their birthday on 9 January, their actual due date was 11 March!
Does that mean I’ll probably have to come up with a “second first birthday cake”? Yes, I think so. But for now, let’s celebrate the positive and enjoy this Healthy First Birthday Cake.
This is a recipe for a carrot, banana and apple cake with no added sugar. The fruit and vegetables in this cake add plenty of natural sweetness. The flours used in this recipe – almond flour and oat flour – also have a naturally quite sweet taste, so the combined effect produces a cake that’s yummy enough without needing to add sugar.
While you can buy oat flour in some shops, if you have a food processor or even just a small blender like a Nutri Bullet, it’s so much easier and cheaper to make your own.
- Pop a cup or two of rolled oats in the blender.
- Process until you get to a coarse flour consistency – it won’t be as smooth as wheat flour but will feel like a dry almond flour.
- Store in an airtight container, you’re done!
The reason I wanted to make this cake for my babies is because healthy eating guidelines recommend avoiding foods with added sugars for children under 2.
Now, I’m actually NOT a super strict parent who won’t give their babies a small taste of foods that have added sugar. Try stopping two little boys from grabbing whatever food is near them when you’re out and about! It’s impossible, and now that they’ve been exposed to all the common allergens, I’m not too worried about it.
However, being the healthy foodie that I am, I love a recipe challenge like this, and I also loved the idea of making something they could just go to town on. It pretty much ended up being their lunch the day of their birthday party (plus I made a few test cakes that we all ate before that, too!).
Right up until the day of their party, I was worried that this cake might not be that tasty. However, lots of people at the boys’ birthday party ate the cake, not just the babies, and no leftover cake came home with us, so I’ll take that as a good sign 🙂 I hope you like it too!
I’ve popped a picture of the cake as I made it for their birthday party below. I used four mini cake tins and made two lots of the batter, then stacked the cakes. They are iced with a mixture of cream cheese, ricotta and a touch of vanilla bean paste, for a sugar free but totally delicious icing.
If you make this cake, take a snap and tag me on Instagram, you can find me over at –> @moniquecormacknutrition. I also think this recipe would work great as muffins, that’s what I’m planning on doing next time!
p.s. I’m sorry but I’ve not come up with a nut free version of this cake just yet! I understand that some children can’t have nuts – or can’t have nuts in a school lunch box – so I’ll try to come up with a nut free version soon!
- 75 grams almond meal – 3/4 cup
- 75 grams oat flour – slightly over 3/4 cup
- 50 grams coconut flour – 1/3 cup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 2 large bananas – as overripe as possible, approximately 180 grams
- 1/2 cup apple puree (use unsweetened, plain apple puree)
- 1 large carrot
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil, or melted butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Line a baking tin with baking paper – I recommend a smaller tin, either a 20cm round or 20cm square.
- Combine almond meal, oat flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside. Grate the carrot and set aside as well.
- Mash the two bananas into a puree. Add the eggs to the bananas and whisk together. Then, stir in the apple puree, oil and vanilla.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients mix. Stir, then fold in the grated carrot.
- Scoop the batter into the lined baking tin, smooth the top down and then bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the cake feels firm to touch in the centre and the edges are browning.
- Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before adding any icing so it doesn't melt off! The cake can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days, though I find it lasts longer and keeps much better without icing, so if you're making it in advance add the icing on the day you want to eat it. You can also freeze the cake (without any icing) for around 3 months.