celebrating our youngest’s first birthday with a delicious no added sugar banana coconut cake recipe
Birthdays are special. I have wonderful memories of my birthdays while growing up, and I want to be able to provide this same experience for my kids too.
But here’s where it gets hard! Birthday parties are synonymous with too much sugar. All our hard work to feed our kids whole foods can go out the window in one hour. In come the sugary cakes and party punch and the sugar highs and crashes and tantrums that come along with them.
Finding recipes for treats that satisfy WITHOUT falling back into the sticky grips of processed sugar can be a great way to unify the two values of honoring tradition and maintaining our healthy food goals.
Sugar, particularly highly processed and artificial sugar, is really hard on our bodies. And it’s even worse for our kids’ bodies. The list of potential risks of eating too much sugar run the gamut from obesity and heart disease to mood swings and compromised immune function. But sugar is everywhere; it’s impossible to avoid completely.
Instead of demonizing sugar, we take the approach of reducing sugar consumption where we can and within the AHA recommended guidelines of 25 grams of added sugar per day for kids (and no added sugar for kids under 2), choosing better sources of sugar (like whole fruit, raw honey, and organic maple syrup), and cultivating healthy boundaries.
With sugar, quantity and quality are both important. Most products include sugar where sugar isn’t needed, and in recipes, sugar can be cut in half (if not more). The quality of sugar is also important where we stick to the most whole forms of sugar possible and avoid all artificial and low calorie sweeteners.
My youngest just turned one, and we wanted to give her a birthday experience that includes all the goodies, like a birthday cake! But we wanted to give her a cake that tastes delicious while including high quality ingredients with no artificial sugar and minimal to no added sugar. There aren’t many recipes out there like this.
Lucky for us my 13 year old stepdaughter, Kenz, who loves to cook and bake, set about creating a delicious and healthy no sugar added birthday cake for her little sister. Here is her No Added Sugar Banana Coconut Cake recipe. We’re so excited to share with you!
Baby’s 1st Birthday Cake
- 2-6" Cake Pans
- A variety of mixing bowls
- Electric mixer (or a wooden spoon and a strong, determined arm)
- A fork or potato masher
- 4 Ripe bananas (the riper the bananas, the sweeter the cake)
- 1/3 cup Grass-fed butter (softened)
- 3 Pasture-raised eggs
- 1/2 cup Full fat yogurt
- 1 tsp Vanilla (I used vanilla powder, feel free to use vanilla extract)
- 1 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1 Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup Grass-fed whole milk (half & half, 2% milk, coconut milk, or any other plant-based milks work as well)
- 2 cups Heavy whipping cream
- 2 cans Solid fat, no-added sugar no-guar coconut milk (liquid separated out)
- 1 block Cream cheese (8 ounces)
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/8 cup Organic maple syrup to taste (for those who don’t want a very sweet frosting, 1/4 cup for some sweetness, 1/2 cup for a sweet frosting)
- Thirty minutes or so before you begin, pull the eggs, milk, and yogurt out of the fridge. Letting these ingredients get to room temperature will help your ingredients to bond faster and easier.
- To get a more accurate measurement of flour, do not scoop the flour out of your container/bag with your measuring cup. Instead, use the spoon & level measuring technique to prevent getting too much flour.
- Only open the oven to check for doneness and take out your cake. Every time you open the oven, heat escapes and changes the way your cake will bake.
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 170°C.
- Prepare two cake pans by coating with butter.
- Mash bananas with a fork or potato masher in a large mixing bowl until relatively smooth.
- Cream the butter with an electric mixer. (If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can cream the butter by hand or melting the butter).
- Mix mashed bananas into the butter, then add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until everything is evenly combined. The batter should be thick but easily pourable. If your batter is too thick, add a splash of milk.
- Divide the batter into two prepared prepared cake pans.
- Bake at 350 F for 25-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely.
- Strain the contents of your coconut milk cans so that you only have the solids (meat/fat). Try to remove as much liquid as possible.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the coconut fat with the cream cheese until relatively smooth. Or mix it together by hand!
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream. Once it starts to thicken, add in coconut/cream cheese mixture and continue to blend until smooth.
- Once smooth, add in the desired amount of maple syrup. Incorporate with spatula.
- After the cake has cooled, frost and decorate the cake. I like to decorate with toasted coconut chips and sliced bananas. Serve chilled and enjoy!