A Year in the Life
Then in a blink, it was time to let Emily enjoy all my favorite foods as we began baby-led weaning. No surprise at all, she was a natural foodie baby and loved everything I gave her. If you don't already, follow me on Instagram where I often share pictures of what she is having each day. Right around 6 months, was the moment I am sure the world started spinning faster and time sped up because the next thing I knew, it was less than two months until her first birthday and it was time to plan to celebrate a whole year of her life.
To Smash Cake or to Not Smash Cake?
I must be honest, I was not even originally planning on having a smash cake for Emily's birthday. I just didn't see all the hype, and since she is such a fantastic eater, I didn't expect there to be any smashing. BUT after attending a few of her friends first birthdays I couldn't help myself. I wanted her to experience that as well, and then one day we can look back at those pictures and I can share the whole crazy day with her.
When I finally decided to have a birthday cake for Emily, I knew two things right away.
- I will be making it from scratch.
- It will use my most favorite flour ever, Otto's Cassava Flour.
Recently, I shared this AIP Chocolate Mug Cake recipe which was in inspiration for the cake. I decided to remove the sweeteners from the cake and add applesauce. This required a little adjusting of the other ingredients. For the frosting, while I knew a simple coconut cream frosting would work just fine, I really wanted something that was more frosting like in texture. While Emily does not eat strict AIP (she does eat eggs and many other paleo foods), I decided to keep this as an AIP cake so that I could use it for other occasions.
I have tested this recipe three times now and Emily has had it twice. I can say for certain it's a winner for both mommy and baby. What I also love about this cake (having tested it so much) is that both the cake and frosting can easily be separately made ahead and assembled wherever you need them. Or you can make then entire cake ahead, freeze it, and travel to your destination. For Emily's birthday, I made the cake and frosting two days before the party and kept them in the fridge. Then the day before, I put the cake together and froze it and drove to my parents house (2 hours away) and it kept in their fridge until the party the next day. It turned out perfect!
Emily's Birthday Giveaway
Not only am I sharing this delicious birthday cake recipe with you all, but Otto's Cassava Flour has so graciously agreed to giveaway a 5 lb bag of cassava flour to help celebrate Emily's birthday. To enter for a chance to win a bag of cassava flour comment below who you plan to make this birthday cake recipe for next! The winner will be chosen on
Sunday, April 23 at 12:00 pm EST. (for U.S. participates only). This giveaway is over and the winner has been selected. Thank you for all those who entered.
Single Serving Chocolate Birthday Cake
- 3 tablespoons cassava flour
- 1 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon carob powder
- 1/4 teaspooon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon applesauce
- 3 tablespoons full fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons cassava flour
- 1/2 cup of palm shortening (tallow or lard can also be used)
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
Option: fruit juice or vegetable juice to color frosting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 4-oz ramekins or a muffin tray.
- Start making the cake batter by sifting the cassava flour, coconut flour, carob powder, and baking soda into a large bow. Whisk to fully combine.
- Add applesauce, coconut milk, and avocado oil and stir to incorporate all ingredients.
- Evenly distribute the batter between the two greased ramekins or two muffin molds. If using ramekins, place them on a sheet tray so they are easier to take in and out of the oven.
- Place cake batter in preheated oven and back for 25 minutes, or until they pass the tooth pick test (stick a tooth pick in the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean, they are done)
- While the cake is baking, you can get started on the first two steps to make the frosting.
- In a small sauce pan, combine coconut milk and cassava flour and warm over medium low heat. Stir until it turns into a paste, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to a fridge safe bowl with a lid, and place in fridge
- Using a standing mixer with whisk attachment or a large bowl and a hand-mixer, add the palm shortening and maple syrup to the mixer or bowl and whip on high until it is light and fluffy and peaks begin to form. About 10 mins. If it gets too soft and melted, place in fridge for a few minutes to firm up.
- By now the cakes should be done. Remove them from oven and let them sit for 5 minutes undisturbed. Then carefully remove them from the ramekins or muffin tray and place on cool rack. You will want them completely cooled before your frost them. If you have time, you can allow them to cool at room temperature, or you can place them in the fridge or even freezer to cool faster.
- While the cakes cool, finish preparing the frosting. Remove the coconut milk/flour paste from the fridge, be sure it is completely cooled. Add the paste to the bowl with the whipped palm shorting, and mix until fully combined and fluffy. About 10 mins.
- Once cake is cooled it's time to decorate. Carefully slice the two cakes in half, making four even layers. Begin building your layers. Lay the bottom layer of cake on wax or parchment paper (so you can easily move it to another surface after it's assembled), then add some frosting, then another layer of cake, and so on until you have built your 4 layers.
- If you want to be fancy, you can first do a crumb coat. Which means you use a light layer of frosting all over the cake. It is just enough to catch all the crumbs so that you don't see them when it is fully frosted. If doing a crumb coat, place cake back in fridge or freezer to allow the frosting to set before doing the final layer of frosting.
- Now you can be as creative as you want. You can simple use a knife and cover the full cake with thick layer of frosting. You could use a piping bag and make a fun design. You could even mix in a little fruit or vegetable juice (a 1/4 tsp or less) to color the frosting. Similar to what I did for Emily's birthday.
Note; If frosting gets to soft, simply place in fridge or freezer to let it firm up a little. Or if you leave it in the fridge too long and it is hard, use standing mixer or hand mixer, to whip it back to fluffy goodness.
Note 2.0: The cake and frosting can be kept in fridge for up to 3 days. Which means, you can make the cake a few days ahead and not stress about it as you finish all other preparations. Or maybe you all aren't procrastinators like myself?