Friday, October 15, 2010

Let Him Eat Cake!

October is my son's birth month and we have been planning his 1st birthday party for the last couple of weeks.  The biggest debate between my husband and I is whether to let Dylan dive into his cake and make a huge mess.  I feel like that it is a rite of passage.  So what if he gets a little messy?  It's all part of the fun.  My husband being a bit of a neat-nick, is worried about the mess that he will make during his party.  I say, "Let Him Eat Cake!"

Dylan will be diving into his very own Elmo themed cupcake.  We decided to order them from a bakery simply because my baking a decorating skills are lacking (to put it nicely).  But for those of you who may have food restrictions or simply want to make your child's first birthday treat a little healthier, here are a couple of alternatives.

Egg-less Chocolate Cake

* 4 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
* 3 cups white sugar
* 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 3 cups water
* 3 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 tablespoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, soda and salt. Add sugar and mix together.
3. Add oil, water and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
4. Pour into a 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

If you want less sugar and more fiber this Chocolate Zucchini Cake might work for you.  This one is kind of dense and not too sweet. And everyone will get a serving of veggies!

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 cups white sugar
* 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 4 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
* 3 cups grated zucchini

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil, mix well. Fold in the nuts and zucchini until they are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting with your favorite frosting.

Here are a couple of non-cake alternatives:

A trifle is a delicious layered dessert. It is a good alternative to cake for your baby's first birthday party.  A trifle is a combination of layers of cake, fruit and yogurt or cool whip in a clear bowl, according to A trifle is a great alternative to cake as it provides nutrition as well as sweetness and can be decorated to your liking with your favorite fruit.

Fruit pizza is a tasty dessert that serves as a terrific alternative to birthday cake.  Fruit pizza consists of a baked sugar cookie crust and a layer of strawberry cream cheese, and is topped with your child's favorite fruits. This alternative provides all of the flavor of a birthday cake, without all of the processed ingredients cakes include. If you wish, you can substitute whipped cream for the cream cheese. 

Read more: Alternatives for Baby's First Birthday Cake |

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