Baby Friendly Smash Cake Recipe

Baby Friendly Smash Cake Recipe

In my cake baking days, I received so many “healthy” smash cake requests, and I remember thinking to myself ” A cake is a cake and it’s not meant to be healthy. Nothing will happen to the baby if they try a bit of sugar”. Now fast forward to today, that I am actually a mom, I was scouring the internet looking for healthy recipes because God forbid I give Hazel a bit of sugar… the irony doesn’t elude me, I have to say.

I am extremely picky when it comes to certain ingredients, mainly shredded coconut and coconut milk, I can’t stand the taste. So I was looking for options that didn’t call for coconut. I also wanted something with as few ingredients as possible. I saw quite a few recipes that called for 3 or 4 different types of flour and all sorts of ingredients that are not pantry staples at my house. Everything I found online had either all sorts of uncommon ingredients, or coconut. I was about to just stick to regular cake, but, as luck may have it, a mom friend of mine shared a healthy muffin recipe that was just perfect. It contains no added sugar and uses fruits and dates as natural sweeteners.

I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it my own and here is what I came up with:

Orange & Date Cake (or muffins)

Yields: 24 muffins or three 5 inch cakes

Storage: 3-4 days in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer

Ingredients:

Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/2 of cup of finely chopped dates
  • The zest of one orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbs canola oil
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups of baby cereal (I used Gerber’s organic oatmeal cereal – use the cereal of your choice
  • 2 tsps baking powder

Frosting

  • 1 cup of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of greek yogurt
  • 3 tbs maple syrup or, if baby is over 12mo, pure honey

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F
  2. Line a 24 muffin pan with paper liners or grease three 5 inch round pans
  3. In a blender or food processor, blend together the orange juice, water, chopped dates, eggs, oil and orange zest
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Slowly add the wet ingredients until the mixture is fully incorporated. You can use a wodden spoon, spatula or hand held mixer to do this.
  5. Pour the batter into the muffin pan, making sure you fill each mold 3/4 up to the line. If you are baking a cake, divide the batter into three equal parts and pour into your cake pans.
    • For muffins: bake from 12- 15 min
    • For 5 inch cake pans: bake approximately 30-35mins
  6. Once baked, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack before frosting.

Frosting

  1. With the use of a hand held mixer or a whisk (whisk attachment on a stand mixer), beat together the greek yogurt, cream cheese and maple syrup.
  2. Frost or pipe as desired.

To decorate the cake, I made a #1 cake topper using pale pink fondant. I added a few little fondant flowers and used Fancy Sprinkles Prism Powder to add a touch of shimmer. I also sprinkled a bit of Fancy Sugar to add a dainty touch of color.

Now tell me, are you team healthy cake or do you prefer a more traditional, sugar full cake for a smash cake? No judgement here, I am strong advocate of “everything in moderation”!

How to plan a Peter Rabbit Party

How to plan a Peter Rabbit Party

When Hazel was only a few months old, I already knew that I wanted to do a Peter Rabbit theme for her first birthday. In all honesty, I don’t particularly like cartoons or any cartoon themed party set up. I like things to be a little bit more elegant and classic. Peter Rabbit has just the perfect amount of whimsical and yet, it remains such a classic children’s book. I love that all of the imagery in the book seems to be water coloured, with very muted down tones, and just a touch of realism, as opposed to the super bright and weird looking cartoon characters these days. I know that once Hazel is older, I will have no choice but to host a birthday party with her favorite cartoons, but, since she still doesn’t have an opinion yet, I will continue to chose classic and timeless themes – while I can!

The Set Up

Due to covid restrictions, we did a very small get together with family and just a few friends. I decided to do it in “Hazel’s Garden”, better know as our back yard. This, to me, went perfectly with the Peter Rabbit theme, since the animals live “outdoors”, and it also tied in with the element of Mr. McGregor’s garden. I wanted something really feminine, so I added the floral element and chose gingham fabrics in soft pastel colors. I found the pastel tones went really well with the colors of the imagery of the books.

For the main table, I went with a neutral tablecloth (beige), as I was going to be adding florals and other colored elements. I figured if I used a colored tablecloth, the other elements wouldn’t pop as much. I bought a gingham table runner in pastel blue at Dollarama, it was just $4 and it really helped me set up the stage for the centerpieces. Along with the table runner, I also found really cute bunny figurines and a citronella candle to help repel mosquitoes. It is summer time and mosquitoes are everywhere these days! As for the floral centrepieces, I collaborated with Studio Foliage in Pointe Claire. They created the beautiful vases in what they called “jam jars”, and they chose a selection of florals reminiscent of a secret garden in soft hues of pink, blush, purple and whites.

Since I knew the theme very early on, I was able to get a lot of elements during easter time, when bunnies are all the rage. I scored the beautiful Peter Rabbit paper plates and the bunny shaped bowl at Winners/Homesense. For those of you in the US, these are the equivalent of a T.J. Maxx /Marshalls or Ross. Because the paper plates were square, I was not able to find a charger plate that would work. All the charger plates I own are round or they didn’t really go well with the other colors. So I decided to leave it as is and place the napkins over the plate to create a bit more depth, as opposed to leaving it flat. Finally, I added a few books from “The World of Peter Rabbit” set by Beatrix Potter to tie everything together.

The napkins I chose where a gingham fabric with a mix of pastel colors. They come in a set of 8, and I figured they will become my easter napkins later on. I bought them on Amazon and I have added them to my Amazon Canada Storefront as well as my Amazon US Storefront in case you want to purchase them. They also have a matching tablecloth in different sizes, but I opted not to purchase it, I felt it would be too much gingham and the other elements wouldn’t stand out as much if I did.

I used a beautiful yellow flatware set that has clear handles. I thought it matched really well with the colors of thee books, paper plates and napkins. I used melamine water glasses and rimmed them with some sprinkles from Fancy Sprinkles – if you are interested in purchasing any of their sprinkle blends or molds, you can use the promocode SUGARANDSTORYTIME for 15% off your purchase.

The Sweets Table

I decided to do the sweets table and food table indoors – honestly, I wanted to avoid the heat and the bugs!

I used our tall glass table and set up the Peter Rabbit cake (read more about the cake here), the sugar cookies and the Suspiro Limeños (a Peruvian custard topped off with a sweet meringue). I purchased some cute label templates and I used them as labels for the Suspiro Limeño. To decorate everything, I added the hand made banner and 3D “ONE” made by Creations by Jazzmine Rose, the beautiful florals by Studio Foliage, and added a few Peter Rabbit books and cute ceramic bunny.

Other Small Details that Completed the Set Up

One of the statement pieces that I purchased from Zadabug, was a beautiful, embroidered set that included a banner for Hazel’s high chair and a crisp and delicate bib. Both pieces are made out of linen and are embroidered with Hazel’s name and one of Peter Rabbit’s sisters (they wear a pink coat and Peter Rabbit wears a blue one). Ronda, the shop’s owner, was kind enough to gift us two additional pieces to complete the set, a party hat and a linen towel for the guest bathroom. I intend to save these pieces as heirlooms for Hazel, who knows, maybe her children or grandchildren will be able to use them in the future.

Needless to say, this entire birthday party was a huge labor of love that would not have been possible without the help of my husband, my mom, my family (who drove 6 hours to make be here for Hazel), and, of course, without the help of some pretty amazing suppliers who give their all to make their beautiful creations!

Now tell me, how would you have made this party different? Are there elements that you would have liked to see, or maybe things that you wouldn’t have included?

Peter Rabbit First Birthday Cake

Peter Rabbit First Birthday Cake

Hazel’s Birthday Cake has been by far my absolute favorite cake to make to date.

Initially, I was planning on doing a three tier cake, where the top tier would have a hand painted image of Jemima Puddle-Duck, similar to the hand painted Peter Rabbit from the middle tier.

I wanted Hazel’s birthday to have a touch of femininity and I figured the best way to do it was to include a lot of florals. For that reason, I decided that the bottom tier would be full of tiny, delicate and dainty flowers. It took me just over 8 hours to make and attach each one of the 600 flowers. I used the Wilton Fondant Imprint Mat Floral set (you can find it on my amazon storefront under “Baking Essentials”) to add a little dimension to each flower. I then brushed them with Fancy Sprinkles Champagne Rose Gold Prism Powder to add a subtle shimmer (I’ve linked it at the end of this post).

As it usually happens when you are planning an event, I left the middle tier to the very last minute, so I had to scramble to hand paint (free hand) the Peter Rabbit. I used Wiltons gel food coloring to create a washed out water color effect, added a fondant fence, and topped it off with a couple of floral details.

The cake was looking like it was missing a little something, so I made a fondant cake topper using a #1 cookie cutter. I used a silicone mold to spell out HAZEL using fondant.

The beautiful paper block letters spelling O N E right under the cake were made by the amazingly talented Creations by Jazzmine Rose, she is a local Montreal mompreneur and you can find her on Instagram.

Here are some useful links for you to find the items I used to make this cake:

Amazon Canada

Amazon USA

Fancy Sprinkles – You can use promocode SUGARANDSTORYTIME to get 15% off your entire purchase.

Please note that I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases on Amazon and Fancy Sprinkles.

What is your favorite thing about this cake? What would you have done differently? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to know.

First Birthday Peter Rabbit Invitations

First Birthday Peter Rabbit Invitations

For Hazel’s birthday invite, I decided to purchase a fully customizable template from Etsy. I found the perfect one from Best Celebrations, not only is the template fully customizable, the template includes an invite for a first, second and third birthday. You can send it out to your local print shop, or print it at home.

I had a beautiful, organic looking, thick cardstock so I decided to print everything at home. I decided to personalize the envelope using the “Thank You” template, which I modified to include each guest’s name.

I think it turned out beautifully, don’t you agree?

The Ultimate Peter Rabbit Loot Bags

The Ultimate Peter Rabbit Loot Bags

Due to Covid Constraints, we are not able to have a huge celebration as I would have liked to for Hazel’s first birthday. I made it a point that even if it was just us, Hazel would have a gorgeous party. Here in Quebec, the government has announced that we are able to hold small reunions of up to 10 people in our back yards, so we were not able to invite all of Hazel’s little friends – little friends which she has yet to meet – thanks covid! To me, attention to detail is key, which is why I’ve planned out every single detail, including the loot bags (party favors) that her would be attendees would have received.

We kept only those of the few friends that will be coming over and we dropped the others off at her friends’ homes with a little note saying “Hope we can celebrate my birthday together next year! Love, Hazel!

Here’s what’s in the loot bags:

  • Plastic reusable basket (from Dollarama)
  • Custom hand made carrot (from Decoluz)
  • Carrot shaped hand sanitizer (From Dollarama)
  • Bubbles (from Dollarama)
  • Custom sticker label for bubbles (Etsy: Best Celebrations) – printed at home on Avery Sticker Label paper (I have put it in my amazon store under the “Peter Rabbit” idea board).
  • Yummy goodies inside the bag: applesauce, fruit juice, rice krispies squares, tootsie roll lollipops, peanut free chocolate (kit-kat, smarties, coffee break, aero), rockets.

I have created an idea board on Amazon with my favorite finds to throw the ultimate Peter Rabbit Party. Check it out:

Amazon Canada

Amazon USA

Please note that as an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

What else would you have included in the loot bags? Leave your comment down below, I’d love to hear your ideas!