Grain-free Coconut Banana Birthday Cake
STELLA’S GRAIN-FREE COCONUT BANANA BIRTHDAY CAKE
I can’t believe little Stella turned 1 in June and the calendar continues to pick up momentum with each passing moment. In preparation for our celebration of her first year of life, I wanted to create a cake that would be nourishing and supportive yet enjoyable and fill the nostalgia of the ever epic “cake smash”!
As Stella was an emergency C-section I have been uber sensitive about supporting her microbiome. I decided to keep grains out until she has cut her molars or around age 2 when her digestive tract is developed and her intestinal lining is intact. I want to ensure she has an advanced GI tract that can tolerate a challenge to her gut lining with more enzymes and a healthy bacterial population. Stella’s diet is also free of dairy I have seen far too many clients with ENT concerns including ottis media recurrent ear infections largely tied to the baby’s inability to clear mucus or buildup of fluid in the inner ear. As dairy is a great contributor to mucus formation and build up I choose to avoid it in my child’s diet at this time.
Stella started baby led weaning at 6.5 months with avocado. We bypassed purees and spoonfeeding to allow Stella to experience foods and textures as her system was ready. At 5 months we began stimulating her senses by providing her scents to stimulate digestive enzymes and gastric juices, then at 6 months we provided pieces of avocado for her to smash and attempt to put in her mouth. After many days of a gag-like reflex her system started to accept the pieces of solids and she began to enjoy avocado. In fact I greatly attribute her sleeping through the night to having ⅓ avocado before our bath and evening breastfeeding. The high fat really held over satiety and blood sugar stability which really made the whole household more peaceful with 9-11 hours of sleep each night!
Following avocado, I introduced steamed sweet potato with drizzled coconut oil always focusing on nourishing whole foods paired with high fat intake. She was largely exclusively breastfed through 8 months as it took her a while to effectively eat solids.
I will do a future blog on her progression and my recommendations for the Baby Led Weaning process but let’s talk about cake!
For her birthday, I wanted to stay within her dietary focus of whole non-processed foods and keep the refined carbohydrates out. I found 2 recipes that I used to modify Stella’s First Birthday Cake: Rubies and Radishes which led me to Nourished Kitchen for the original and inspiration for frosting! I am happy I added the almond flour as Stella has not had any dry food like this so the coconut flour was cakey enough and the nut flour added much desired moisture. The texture of my cake was maybe of a glorified banana bread but delicious nonetheless.
The original recipe is stacked as a 2 layer cake, but we used it to have one for Stella to get into and photo ops and the other for the adults. Honestly not a crumb was wasted!
Coconut Banana Birthday Cake
(adapted from Nourished Kitchen)
Food-as-Medicine: This birthday cake provides a nice dense texture with a moderate natural sweetness from mineral and B-vitamin rich maple and banana. The eggs provide healthy fats and protein as well as vitamin D, choline and DHA for brain development. Most cakes will cause a rapid spike in blood sugar from the excessive refined carbohydrates; however this cake is rich in healthy fats and protein to blunt glycemic spiking and provide whole body health. Cake is a time for celebration but it can also be a source of nourishment!
1 dozen eggs
2 cups coconut milk (I used this brand which is guar gum and carrageenan-free)
1/3 cup dark amber maple syrup
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 ½ very ripe bananas
1 3/4 cups coconut flour
¼ cup blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Coconut oil for greasing the pan (this is my favorite brand)
Preheat oven to 350F and grease 2 9” round cake pans with the coconut oil. In a mixer, combine the eggs, coconut milk, banana, maple syrup, and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients to the mixer with the banana blend. Spread the batter evenly between the 2 greased baking pans. Bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool prior cutting out of the pan.
For the Frosting
2 cups coconut butter (Note, this is different from coconut oil!) I used this one
⅓ cup virgin coconut oil, melted
⅓ cup dark amber maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1 Tbsp steamed beet, smashed and chopped fine
Place all ingredients in high speed blender. Mix well until combined thoroughly. Spread on cooled cakes with spatula. Optional: pending thickness and spreadability you may place frosting in jar in fridge to stiffen some and then spread onto cakes.