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healthy birthday cake?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
What do y'all use for birthday cakes? Do y'all actually bake a cake or substitute it entirely? Do you have any cake recipes that are vegan, vegetarian, and/or gluten-free? We also want to avoid sugar--that's actually our biggest concern. Thanks!
post #2 of 24

Hmm. Sounds like sawdust.

 

Why not just serve fresh fruits? You can puree them and then freeze them in the pan that would give it some sort of cake shape. 

 

However, my friend served this for dinner the other day and it was good. Not like "OMG best thing I ever ate" to me, but I make descendant cakes soaked in whine and layered with three different  fillings. So, my palate is very hedonistic.

 

However, for sugar, gluten vegan cake, it was good.  My friend topped it with blueberries and raspberries.

 

 

 

http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2009/02/gluten-free-vegan-sugar-free-chocolate.html

post #3 of 24

Let me introduce you to Elana's pantry. http://www.elanaspantry.com/

 

She mainly uses almond flour though she does use some coconut flour. Her foods are delicious and healthy. Right now my kids' favorite is her orange cake--primarily oranges, almond flour, and honey. We  use chocolate frosting though you probably don't even need frosting.

 

She has TONS of other recipes. All healthy (I use honey instead of agave) with the possible exception of the honey/agave, but it is a birthday cake, afterall.

post #4 of 24
I second Elana's Pantry. Almond flour has a natural sweetness that allows you to use less sweetener. My children love this chocolate cake: http://healthyindulgences.net/2009/05/healthy-chocolate-cake-with-a-secret/. It is made with puréed beans! It is moist and delicious. Honestly, the baked items we make now taste so much richer and more complex. This lady's blog actually very seldom uses any kind of GI impact sweetener. Mainly combos of stevia and erythritol, and she has a helpful explanation of the various sweeteners on her blog, as well.

If I can get in the kitchen this morning, I am going to make an easy blueberry cake. I used to make it into muffins, but this is even easier!

Dry ingredients: 2 1/2 cups of almond flour and 1 tsp baking soda (mix together well)
Wet ingredients: 1/3 cup honey or agave, 1/4 tsp vanilla stevia, 2 large eggs, 3 Tb melted butter or coconut oil, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (mix together well)

Unite all ingredients, and then fold in 1 1/2 - 2 cups of frozen (or fresh) blueberries. I like the organic wild blueberries bc they are so small and cute and disperse well in the batter.

Bake in a rectangular pan at 350 for 35 minutes or so. 25 minutes for a muffin pan. It makes about 10 muffins.

Oh! I just want to add that many recipes I find for GAPS or paleo baked items are just not sweet enough for my kids. So, I tend to just add 1/4 tsp of NuNaturals vanilla stevia to most recipes. It makes stuff so good! My kids call them magic drops! LOL! And, when mixed with other sweeteners, it doesn't have any sort of aftertaste.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantora87 View Post

What do y'all use for birthday cakes? Do y'all actually bake a cake or substitute it entirely? Do you have any cake recipes that are vegan, vegetarian, and/or gluten-free? We also want to avoid sugar--that's actually our biggest concern. Thanks!


Cakes can be made in a healthy way. It's not very clear in your post what exactly you are looking to avoid. Dairy? Gluten? Both? Sugar you clearly state you want to avoid. I think more information is needed.

What needs to be avoided?
What do you *want* to avoid?
What kinds of sweet things does the birthday person like?
What foods does the birthday person hate?


With my son, since we both have food allergies/intolerances, we ended up focusing more on a fun activity, rather than a cake. For instance, spending an evening bowling. It really depends on the wants of the birthday person, in my opinion.
post #6 of 24
post #7 of 24

For me I went the lazy route and called up the local GF Bakery bc they also do everything dairy free which is what I needed for DD. My friend bakes amazing things, and while she tries to do dairy free, it's not her thing, so I let her do "regular" cupcackes for everyone else at her request and had the bakery do a mini cake for DD. 

 

Oh, and the bakery doesn't use refined sugar, just natural stuff.

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks , y'all! As for what I want to avoid.. sugar is the biggest, like I said. This is for a 1-year-old's birthday party. We don't have any specific allergies/sensitivities, I'm just trying to find healthier options. We're wannabe gluten-free vegetarians, but we're not super strict. But my DS will only have had breast milk & plant foods (mostly raw) for his first year, so I don't want to introduce too many new things with the cake, but I do want it to be something the guests will enjoy....
post #9 of 24
You could substitute sugar in a recipe with real maple syrup...
If this suits, then substitute 3/4 cup of maple syrup for every 1 cup of sugar.
You may also need to reduce any liquid in the recipe by about 3 tablespoons for every 1 cup of maple syrup used.

Also, I found this article about baking gluten-free helpful, since I'm new to this type of cooking:
http://allrecipes.com.au/how-to/12/gluten-free-baking-and-cooking.aspx
post #10 of 24
Maple syrup has a strong flavor and you need to reduce the liquid.

Healthier options. Hope this helps.

Start with a cake recipe you like.

Substitutions for flour.
Substitute the cake flour for whole wheat pastry flour and/or oat flour. Not gluten free, but for a first substitution, probably easier.


Substitutions for milk.
Rice milk.
Oat milk.
Nut milk (adds a nutty flavor). There are a few possibilities for the nut. I've read cashew is best for baking, but haven't tried it.



Subsitution options for sugar.
Cut the sugar down to a quarter of the recipe instructions. No one will notice the difference, in my experience.
Either make the cake with the reduced sugar, and leave it at that, or substitute honey or brown rice syrup for the sugar. Yes, there is the arsenic concern for the brown rice syrup. I don't have any experience with other sweeteners. At my natural food store, there is date sugar and stevia. I don't know how much flavor either carries, or much at all about stevia.


When putting the ingredients together, combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and wisk to combine.
Combine the wet in another bowl, and wisk together.
Add the wet to the dry, stirring with a wooden spoon.
Pour into the oiled pan or pans, and bake.
post #11 of 24

I just read a recipe for a banana bread that uses coconut flour and bananas, but it isn't vegan as it uses eggs.  If you can get locally raised eggs, then maybe that isn't as much of an issue for you.

 

So it is bananas, some sort of fat like coconut oil or butter, 4 eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut flour, baking soda and salt.  Here is a link to the recipe http://www.primallyinspired.com/no-sugar-no-grains-easy-and-amazing-banana-bread/

I have friends who did a raw birthday cake with lots of chopped dried fruit, nuts, and carob powder.  It may have had added date sugar in addition to chopped dates, I'm not sure about that.  But with dried fruit, the sugar content is higher.  But it was also very rich, so we only had tiny slices.  She put edible flowers on it too.

 

I've done strawberry shortcake with the biscuit type of cake for birthdays before, and you pretty much have to use flour.  Even if you use whole wheat flour to make the biscuit part, it's not that big off a difference from white flour, you know?  Unless you could do something with nut flours/coconut flours.  You don't have to use any sugar in the biscuit part, but generally people want sugar in the strawberries, unless you can get really ripe ones, or add some mashed bananas.  But then at that point, it's probably just better to make some sort of gluten free pancake instead, and serve fruited pancakes.  

post #12 of 24

This is not for cake, but for icing, if you decide to use any...

 

My sil told me she used a mashed avacodo plus organic icing sugar/ powdered sugar & vanilla ext for icing & it looks green, but tastes great!

 

We tried it with a chocolate icing kit from the healthy foods store (basically it was just raw cocoa powder & organic icing sugar); it was rich, chocolately and wonderful-- we topped a hazelnut cake with it ( I think the hazelnut cake recipe was from foodnetwork).

 

An added bonus, avacodo icing doesn't melt in the heat like butter or shortening icing, so it's good for oudoor parties/ picnics.

 

(re the PP who said reduce to 1/4 the amount of sugar called for... she's right! One year we had guests for Thanksgiving & I completely FORGOT the sugar in the pumkin pie--- with a dab of lightly sweetened real whipped cream, no one even noticed!)

 

Let us know what you try!

post #13 of 24
Another icing idea-

If you let canned coconut milk seperate in the fridge the solids will float to the top, you can scoop it out (leave the liquid behind tobyse for smoothies, cereal, whatever) and whip it until light and fluffy. It's lightly sweet and creamy, and totally perfect for spreading on cakes or dipping fruit into, or just for eating.

Avacado pudding is really yummy too. Avacados, really ripe bananas, and cocoa, you can add honey to sweeten to taste.

Also a REALLY ripe plantain and a couple bananas mushed together makes wonderful pudding as well. I like a little coconut sprinkled on top.

While neither of those is "cake" they are sturdy enought to hold a candle, and would be awesome with the coconut cream "frosting", and would make an awesome sensory experience for a one year old!
post #14 of 24

For our son's first birthday I made cake for the older guests and these for the toddlers. If you want them gluten free just buy gluten free oats:

 

 

Healthy Banana Oatmeal Sponge Cookies for Kids Recipe #97312

I will warn you, most adults will not like these cookies because of the finished texture, which is spongy, but if you are looking for something super healthy for younger kids, this is the recipe for you. You can't get much healthier than these, and the young ones will eat them up!

by ludeluh

12-18

cookies

time to make 25 min 10 min prep

1          cup mashed ripe bananas

2          cups oatmeal

1/2       teaspoon vanilla

1/4       cup applesauce

1/3       cup raisins

1/2       teaspoon cinnamon

 

   1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

   2. Mix all ingredients until moist.

   3. (I use old-fashioned rolled oats, but imagine you could use quick-cook oats instead).

   4. Mixture will be gooey and sticky.

   5. That is normal.

   6. Drop by tablespoonful onto ungreased baking sheet.

   7. Flatten to desired thickness and shape, as cookies WILL NOT spread on baking.

   8. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

   9. Remove to wire rack to cool.

 

© 2007 Recipezaar. All Rights Reserved. http://www.recipezaar.com

post #15 of 24
I haven't used eggs for years. They are not really needed in a cake. Just olive oil and a milk substitute and vanilla.

Bananas and oat flour both help keep the cake moist.

I, too, am curious. Do any of these suggestions sound good to you?
post #16 of 24

What about an apple crisp sort of thing? It's nicer with sugar but absolutely not necessary. Put minced apples in the bottom of a non stick pan, then add the crisp/cake part of it (mix together apple juice and pastry flour and lots of oats (wholemeal or white, your choice) and sugar if you like) and spread that on top of the apples. We like to stir in some cinnamon as well. I bake it at 350 F for about half an hour. You could do this with other sorts of fruits as well. Anyway this recipe is free from added sugars, oils, animal ingredients (and gluten as well, if you use certified gluten-free oats and skip the flour). DH and I usually serve it with some sort of liquid sweetener like golden syrup or honey, but I would leave it off a young child's portion. 

post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Haha, how about *all* of the ideas sound good! Shouldn't be reading this while hungry. wink1.gif His birthday is months away, but I'll probably experiment with several of these ideas in the meantime. We love baking! DH and I are big chocolate fans, so the final recipe will probably be chocolatey. (We've also done the whipped coconut milk--sooo delicious and guilt-free! Hadn't thought of using it as icing though!)
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mum4vr View Post

My sil told me she used a mashed avacodo plus organic icing sugar/ powdered sugar & vanilla ext for icing & it looks green, but tastes great!

We tried it with a chocolate icing kit from the healthy foods store (basically it was just raw cocoa powder & organic icing sugar); it was rich, chocolately and wonderful-- we topped a hazelnut cake with it ( I think the hazelnut cake recipe was from foodnetwork).

An added bonus, avacodo icing doesn't melt in the heat like butter or shortening icing, so it's good for oudoor parties/ picnics.

DS thanks you for this idea. We had green icing with chocolate sprinkles on our cupcakes today eat.gif

Another idea is adding vegetables into the cake mix - like sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini and/or carrot.
post #19 of 24

Your DS isvery welcome C:

 

I used the chocolate one with older children, but I thought of how fun and easy it could be with a safari, dinosaur, or zoo theme cake-- the green is just right for sticking little animal figures in & your decorating is almost done & doubles as party favors!

post #20 of 24

does the avacado frosting turn color over time?  how long does it last between making and eating?love this idea...
 

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