2016 · Baking · Birthday · boy · Cake · Celebrations and Holidays · Food, Recipes and Kitchen tips · Kelvin · Kid friendly · kids · Nutrition and Health · Purees · Recipe · recipes and kitchen tips · toddler · Toddler Recipes

Birthday Cake {Kelvin’s} // Carrot Cake worthy of “HEALTHY”

It is all about the cake. Am I right? Little Kid parties are really exciting – presents are great too, but there is something about cake that, well… takes the cake!

healthy birthday cake bw

But – you all know me, I am one to:

  1. Bake something myself because it is so much more fun and
  2. Try and incorporate at least one “healthy” ingredient into it {if not more} with the attempt to at least make the overall product a tad healthier… or at least create something worthy to be dubbed “healthy”, that would not otherwise be!

So, when it is my littles birthday I try and combine both of those with something that they will love and be excited about… because I feel better that we are celebrating their life with something that is actually going to give them some sort of benefit…and taste good too!  It may not be a literal benefit per se, but at least hopefully not a detriment. I know, I know – I’m the weirdo mom, THAT MOM…because there is a vegetable in his cake, and a few other modifications but I’m ok with that.  I feel good knowing that I made an effort to create something special and healthy that he can have for even a few days past his birthday.

Before you think I am too overly crazy… I am talking about eating cake and vegetables at the same time. Sounds crazy – but why not live a little.  You could eat this cake for breakfast and be far ahead of many other people.  I’m not just now admitting that I ate cake for breakfast. ok?
healthy birthday cake slice

For a little birthday dessert history, visit the links below! Maybe something else sounds better or you have a little younger kiddo you are wanting to come up with a special dessert for.

For his 1st birthday dessert, I made this healthy smash cake

For his 2nd birthday dessert, I made this healthy toddler birthday cake

For his 3rd birthday dessert, I made these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes

Since Kelvin was turning 4 (I can’t believe it) and was so very thrilled about his party, I wanted to step it up a little and make more of a “legit” cake with an “all-boy” in mind. We all know that kids notice so much around them… other cakes at the store… they see pictures on TV and books and wherever else little eyes go…there is so much excitement about birthdays… and CAKE.  So I knew that I could not make just a regular {boring} looking cake with no decor at all and expect him to feel extra special.  Not that cake would ever really be boring, but you follow me I am sure.  I did not want to cover the cake with artificial decor so went with something he could actually PLAY with – even while eating his cake!  If I can get the picture, I will post one of him eating his slice with the dump-truck full of sand right on top. machine cake

 

Kelvin’s Healthy Birthday {Carrot} Cake

Here is what you will need for the CAKE:

  • 3 cups finely grated fresh carrots
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple (*If you want to use canned, make sure to drain it!)
  • 1.5 cups cake flour (or all-purpose would suffice)
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1  teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2  teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups raw honey
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup softened butter (not hot)
  • 1 cup pureed carrot (baby food is easy… 4 – 4oz jars from the store and done, or you can make it too if you have the time)

***scroll down for the frosting recipe… you will also need a “sand” or “dirt” if you want to make a similar cake. I ground up 1 package of graham crackers and 1.5 cups of pecans in my blender to make it look more sandy than dirty. Plus I was trying to not go with something that went with the carrot cake theme.  The pecans help make it somewhat moist and workable and are also oh-so-good!  You could use Oreos for dirt if you have a chocolate cake for the dirt! It is endless really!

{This makes ALOT of cake – 2 half sheet pans to be exact (13″x17″ size) … that is how I got all my layers.  You could do several cupcakes, 4 round pans, 4 squares or any other combination if you would like to experiment some.  It is also perfectly normal and to HALF this entire recipe. We had a smaller group and we had plenty of leftover… so if you have a larger group it would be about right.

Here is how ya do it!

  1. Combine the 3 cups finely grated fresh carrots with the fresh or drained pineapple and lightly stir in 1.5 cups of flower – would  be easy to use the cake or regular flavor to keep track of how much flour is left. (this is where you could also stir in some chopped walnuts or raisins – probably a cup of each if you want!) – set this deliciousness aside as well.
  2. In a larger bowl, combine the dry ingredients… the remaining flour (3 cups), cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt – set that dust bowl aside as well. You may be tempted to stir it over and over and see how the dark combines in the light – it’s ok. Do what you need to do man.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Beat eggs and raw honey until combined extra well and mix in applesauce, coconut oil and butter.  You could use something else for these 3 if you wish.  Then stir in the pureed carrot until well combined.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet until combined but don’t over-mix. Then gently fold in the carrot mixture.
  6. Divvy the batter between the pans you have chosen.  I baked mine in 2 half sheet pans so I could cut layers and carve the sand quarry out of them. Bake at 350 for about 22-25 minutes per pan.  I did one at a time because my oven racks would not separate conducive to 2 large pans.  After baking, let cool completely on a rack.  Then put them in the fridge until totally chilled. Once they are completely chilled is when you can start assembling the quarry, I mean cake. It’s easier to deal with cold cake when you are cutting and frosting etc.
  7. This is where you can refer to the frosting I made down lower in the post – or use your own.

The next few pictures looks like a scary movie unfolding – it is often late at night when I can get something accomplished and it is dark and messy in the kitchen for my phone to take good pictures…bare with me.  Or is it bear with me? Sometimes mommies need to roar, so maybe bear works. Or wait – I’ve never known a bear to roar… but then again I have never met a bear. I guess a lion that would roar? I’m not even lion right now, I am a dork.

I did 3 layers with frosting between each, then with the 4th, I cut out some shapes to add some holes/hills etc. Then lightly covered the whole cake and the sides with frosting.  I then covered the cake and put the whole thing in the fridge overnight for the finishing touches before the party. I figured it would be hard to cover the cake with all the decor on top for the transfer in the car and all.

***Frosting:

You can get as healthy or unhealthy as you want with frosting. It can get pretty wild either way! I’ve frosted a cake with greek yogurt before… So whatever you are going for here will determine your frost-factor.  I needed something that tastes good, fitted the theme of the cake, was somewhat smooth and performed like a glue as well – so this is what I did… If you made a smaller cake you won’t need this much frosting but… 1. I was not sure how much I would need when I made the cake and 2. I was not sure how much I would eat before it made it to the cake.

  • 4 – 8 oz packages of cream cheese – room temp
  • 2 – sticks of unsalted butter – room temp
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup very drained pineapple
    • (optional, but it adds a bit of sweetness without being too overpowering. Take note that the frosting won’t be super smooth if you use pineapple. I made one batch of frosting WITH it to use as the glue between the layers, then made another smaller batch without it to smooth over everything to give it a more finished and pretty look – decide which you prefer.)
  • 4 Tablespoons raw honey or 1/2 – 1 cup powdered sugar

*beat it all together like crazy or like a boss or a crazy boss and assemble the layers of the cake how you like.  It is really fun to just see what you come up with and let your imagination go!
IMG_0233

Look how happy the little guy is to see the cake in progress.  (Do my hands really look that alien-like?)

Once all the cake is frosted you can come up with what you want on top… I tried to place the sand around to make it look like the machines were busy doing what they do.  He was super happy and excited about it all and could not help but try and dip into the sand.   It was hard to get the finishing touches done without him seeing it, but it really was so fun for him to see it unfolding.

final cake KWbwcom

 

Happy Happy Birthday my sweet boy!  Hopefully those trucks are outside collecting really dirt and mud in no time! 

happy boy with his cake

 

 

 

 

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