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
- 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
- 1 cup of cream cheese
- 1 cup of greek yogurt
- 3 tbs maple syrup or, if baby is over 12mo, pure honey
- Preheat your oven to 400F
- Line a 24 muffin pan with paper liners or grease three 5 inch round pans
- In a blender or food processor, blend together the orange juice, water, chopped dates, eggs, oil and orange zest
- 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.
- 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
- Once baked, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack before frosting.
- 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.
- 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”!