Each new year of your baby's life is cause for celebration!
Now, like it or not - it has become normal in our society to celebrate these life events with sugar loaded cakes and goodies, even though it is no secret anymore that sugar is linked to a gamut of short and long-term health problems, not to mention behaviour issues in kids. The more sugar you're exposed to, the more you also want to have, due to its addictive nature, yes you must have heard that it has been compared to cocaine.
So we might want to reconsider offering sweets to other people's children. You're not doing the parents or the child any favor. Always ask the permission from the parents first.
"When young children routinely indulge on sugar-laden foods, their taste buds become conditioned to crave sugar, creating unhealthy habits that follow them into adulthood." says a Huffington Post article. I was that child growing up and it took me a long time to get rid of my sugar addiction.
Sugar comes in all sorts of hidden forms too. Added to baby cereals, sauces, bread, almost any packaged food it is hard enough to avoid. Therefore whenever you are able to offer a healthier alternative, it will be worth it.
And while birthday cakes are gorgeous and a really fun way to celebrate, most of the time they are sugar bombs! There must be an alternative to teach our kids it's not a MUST to celebrate everything in life with sugar?
- Celebrating with fun family events rather than overeating on sweets and cakes, like a special outing or activity that your little one will remember forever.
- Baking a healthy birthday cake, with organic, real food ingredients and naturally sweetened. Read below and enjoy! Yes - you can still have a beautiful colorful and tasty cake that everybody will love!
Take a look at our previous dairy free, grain free, (refined) sugar free (when fondant is removed before serving) creations:
Organic Real Food Birthday Cake
- Dairy free, Grain free, (Refined) Sugar free -
(adapted from Grain, Dairy & Refined Sugar Free Smash Cake on The Urban Poser)
Steps before you get baking
1. Choose a theme for your cake by doing a simple search on Pinterest of whatever your little one is into currently, but in the form of a sugar fondant cake. We have made a Princess Castle, Maya the Bee and Ladybug cake (in this recipe) before - simply by getting inspiration from Pinterest for the shaping of the coloured fondant and using our own healthy recipe for the sponge cake filling inside. Choose one with lots of step by step pictures of shaping the fondant. Yes, the fondant is 100% refined sugar BUT the secret is that we will remove it swiftly before serving, it's just for the show and nice pictures really, and to make your little one smile as it will look awesome!
2. Estimate the amount of sponge cake you'll need after choosing your theme. See guidelines below.
3. Buy your ingredients and if needed baking forms/pans. We used stainless steel round mixing bowls in this recipe to get the roundness we needed for the ladybug's body and head. Also make sure that you have a nice big rolling pin.
4. Get baking!
The below is enough for 2 x round 10 cm mini-cakes. Depending on the theme and size required for your cake - adjust the quantities below.
- 1/2 cup 60g coconut flour sifted
- Pinch of Himalayan salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 5 Large organic, pasture raised eggs
- 1/2 Cup organic Coconut oil
- 90 ml Honey/maple syrup (both provides natural sweetness)
- 1 Vanilla bean pod
- 1 Teaspoon organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Organic Raspberry Jam with no added preservatives/sugars (to spread after baking)
- Coloured Sugar Fondant - depending on your theme. (available in Luxembourg from Hema, most grocery outlets, Gam Vert etc).
- Corn Starch (for rolling of Sugar Fondant)
- Powdered Sugar (for rolling of Sugar Fondant)
In order to produce 1 x 20 cm and 1 x 28 cm round cakes (see metal bowls we used below) we had to multiply the above quantities 3 times.
Baking the Cakes
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius, grease pans with coconut oil.
2. In a small bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together and set aside. Then separate 2 of the eggs (yolks
from the whites), setting the whites aside.
3. Scrape out the vanilla "caviar" from the bean into a tiny bowl, by using a sharp knife. Add half a 2.5-5ml of hot water to the vanilla caviar in the bowl to make a light paste.
4. In a large bowl whisk together the 3 whole eggs, two egg yolks, coconut oil, honey or maple syrup, vanilla paste and apple cider vinegar until they are well combined. Then whisk in the flour mixture till completely smooth, with no lumps.
5. In another bowl beat the egg whites till soft peaks form (looks like softly whipped cream). Gently fold the egg-whites into the batter till there is only a few streaks of whites visible.
6. Divide the batter into each prepared cake pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until the tops springs back when lightly pressed. Allow the cakes to cool for 5-10 minutes, then carefully remove from the pans and cool completely.
7. If needed or desired, trim the cakes so that they are level. Then cut them in the sponge cake shapes you require for your chosen themed Sugar Fondant cake from Pinterest.
Decorating the Cakes
This is the fun part! We used these picture instructions to create our Ladybug.
1. On a clean, smooth surface, sprinkle a mixture of corn starch and powdered sugar.
2. Spread the Raspberry jam all over the top and sides of the cakes. This helps the Sugar Fondant to stay put and enables for easy removal of the Fondant before serving.
3. Open up your chosen Sugar Fondant Cake recipe and start rolling, shaping and playing with the sugar fondant by looking at the pictures in your recipe and using your imagination. The 1st step usually is to roll it out thinly and then to place it over the cake to cover.
4. Use your hands with a few drops of water to smooth the surface and eliminate the dustyness from the cornstarch mixture.
The rest of the steps are like playing with clay dough! Seriously, it's so much fun and doesn't have to be perfect at all. We always manage to use normal kitchen utensils to get special shapes/imprints where needed. Toothpicks are also very useful if your decoration requires thin, long standing-up shapes that won't hold on their own (like the antlers of our ladybug cake).
And voila! Time to party!
Take lots of pictures and after the candles are blown out, cut cake to serve and simply remove the sugar fondant from each portion before handing over to the little guests.
More about the Author:
As mother of two darling babies, Certified International Maternity & Parenting Institute Perinatal Coach
& Educator, Holistic Pregnancy & Child Sleep Practitioner and Happiest Baby on the Block Educator, Marise Hyman provides worldwide maternity and sleep coaching for expecting/future/new parents through Marise Hyman Maternity Coaching – setting them up for success, so they can sail into their new lives with confidence!
She is also the founder of the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep asbl offering a variety of social and educational events in Luxembourg designed so parents can make the most of becoming and being a new parent in the modern world today.