It's so hard to believe that a full year has gone by since our baby Mae was born. She's brought pure joy into our lives because of her happy spirit and the way in which she turns her two older brothers into mushy love balls when they're around her. Baby love is the sweetest and most innocent love--that's for sure! Mae has been a great eater since I introduced her to real food at around 6 months old, and I'm cherishing this stage of feeding; she's too young to talk back or have an opinion, and she happily gobbles up everything I put in front of her. I know this stage is fleeting, so I'm enjoying every mealtime moment!
And when it came to making her first birthday smash cake, I wanted to give her something that was both delicious, but that didn't have any artificial yucky stuff like fake coloring or refined sugar. In fact, this cake is free of oils, butter, refined sugar, and food dyes. Instead, it's sweetened with lots of fresh fruit and a touch of pure maple syrup. The result is cake that has more of a muffin-like consistency--it's certainly not light and fluffy, but it IS sweet and delicious. I used cake flour for the batter, but you could easily substitute the same amount whole wheat, white whole wheat, or oat flour.
In lieu of a traditional buttercream icing that uses an entire box of confectioner's sugar, I went for a whipped cream topping made pink by adding in 1/8 cup of defrosted-from-frozen raspberries. The berries turned the batter a pretty pale pink. I later tested the recipe with an equal part of defrosted-from-frozen blackberries which turned the cream a beautiful purple hue. You can add in a tablespoon of confectioner's sugar to the cream topping for sweetness (I did), or omit it all together.
Lastly, I baked this in jumbo muffin tins (it made 6), but this amount of batter would fill 2 4 1/2 inch circular cake pans.
Mae loved her smash cake and dipping her chubby little fingers in the frosting. I felt great about giving her something GOOD. The boys loved the cake too and their only complaint was about who would be the one to blow out her candle--ha!
Healthier Smash Cake Ingredients: (for the cake) 1 cup cake flour 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powde 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 medium ripe banana 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 1/4 cup whole milk 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 egg (for the icing) 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar (optional) 1/8 cup raspberries or blackberries, defrosted from frozen Directions: For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin tins or cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In a blender, add banana, applesauce, milk, and maple syrup and vanilla. Blend until completely smooth. Whisk in the egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry and stir until just combined; do not over mix. Divide batter evening among prepared pans. Bake for 14 minutes for standard cupcakes, 18 minutes for jumbo muffins, or 22 minutes for a 4 1/2 inch cake pan. Let cakes cool for 5 minute in the pan then transfer to wire racks. Cool completely before adding the icing. For the Frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream and sugar, if using, until soft peaks form. Add in berries, if using, and beat until hard peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use. Then use a rubber spatula to ice the cake. Store iced cake in the refrigerator to serve.