A long-standing tradition in my family, which we continued with Chace, is to put the cake in front of the child on their fist birthday and let them have at it. It's a messy tradition, to be sure, but it's also a lot of fun to see what the baby will do with the cake- eat it, throw it, or both. We have pictures of three generations, my mom, me, and now my son, multilating their first birthday cakes!
If you're looking for a healthier alternative I have a delicious recipie for whole wheat buttermilk chocolate cake. It's sweeted with maple syrup so there's no refined sugar, and it can be made with carob powder too. Very tasty!