Recently my daughter turned two and we celebrated with a picnic lunch followed by a not-so-average birthday cake. Being a health conscious Mumma and while my now toddler's gut microbiome is rapidly developing, I am determined to create nourishing options, even on special occasions.
This microbiome development is most critical during the first three years of life, setting up a healthy gut and balanced immune system for years to come. There are many ways you as a parent can also support your little ones gut and immune health. Read more on this topic in my baby health book, Thriving Bubba.
If you're following the gut friendly food introduction plan in Thriving Bubba, you can try this cake recipe for your bub from 12 months (without the frosting), or 15 months with the frosting, which is made from soaked cashews.
This recipe can be doubled, to bake two cakes which sit on top of each other, with frosting in the middle- this is what I did in the image above. It is a dense (filling) cake however, so otherwise use the single recipe and you can optionally cut it in half (very carefully), to add frosting in the centre.
Want to get baking already? Here's how you too can create this healthy celebration dish.
For one cake (image is two cakes and double the frosting recipe)
What You'll Need
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 - 3/4 cup coconut sugar, depending on your sweet tooth
1 1/2 cups finely grated zuchinni
Zest and juice 2 lemons
1 1/2 cups tiger nut flour, sifted*
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1 1/2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 cup raspberries, sautéed with 3 tablespoons water, cooled and either mashed with a fork or pureed.
1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked for 4 hours
2/3 cup chilled coconut cream (turn your can upside down in the fridge for 2 hours and then use the solidified cream for the recipe)
Juice 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 tablespoon frozen blueberries (optional, for a speckled purple finish)
*Tigernuts are prebiotic rich tubers, which therefore provide fuel for the beneficial bacteria of your gut. Being a tuber, it is naturally grain, gluten and nut free, so the flour is a nourishing baking alternative. I find some brands too grainy, so I use this brand from Naturely Shop. You can pick up some too, using discount code Glowing-Mumma.
What You'll Need To Do
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C and line a cake tin with baking paper.
Add the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar and eggs into a large bowl and whisk together.
Mix in the zucchini and lemon (rind and juice).
In a seperate bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix well. Once combined, add into the wet ingredients and mix well.
Pour into your lined cake tin and bake on 180 degrees C for 30-40 minutes, or until cooked through.
Allow to cool and cut the cake in half horizontally. Set aside so the that one cut edge is facing down (frosting will go on the other side).
But if you plan to bake two cakes, you won't need to cut them in half, as the frosting will go between the two cakes. In this case, face one of the cakes upside down (so the top of the cake will be the flattest side).
Time to make your frosting.
Drain soaked cashews and add them into a high speed food processor and blend until they are smooth. You may need to stop often to scrape the sides.
Add the cooked berries, coconut cream, lemon, coconut oil, honey and vanilla and blend until the pink/ purple colour is even throughout the frosting mixture. If you want a speckled finish to the cake frosting, add in the frozen blueberries and blend for a further 15 seconds.
Now it's time to ice your cake. Using a spatula, add the icing to the middle of the cake, before placing the second cake (or top half of the cake) on top. Continue to dollop the frosting on top of the cake and use the excess to cover the sides. Smooth it over and decorate to your fancy.
Enjoy straight away, or refrigerate if the celebration is later on. If you're lucky enough to have left overs, this cake freezes well too.
Do you want further guidance for supporting the gut health of your little one? Head here.