Apple birthday cake with lemony cream cheese frosting
*This recipe can make cake, cupcakes or muffins
Looking for a great two-layer cake recipe that’s sugar-free and perfect for babies just starting out with complementary foods? Look no further. The flavour combination of apples with the lemony cream cheese frosting is just subliminal. What’s more, my almost 4-year old daughter made this cake with just a bit of help from me so you can too!
Please note that raw apples are a choking hazard for babies so be sure to offer them cooked like in this recipe.
This recipe can also be used for a birthday smash cake. The main ingredients are apples, whole wheat flour, butter, cream cheese and dates. I make a date paste and use it instead of refined sugar. This recipe is great for babies from 6 months old because the texture is so moist. Please note that this apple birthday cake does contain potential allergens (wheat and cow’s milk) so be sure to have introduced these to your baby before trying this cake.
Before introducing complementary foods to your baby, it’s important that you proceed safely no matter which approach you opt for. Some parents opt for baby led weaning (BLW) and some for the traditional approach to solids and offer purees. Be sure to obtain your information from a trusted source like my online course for introducing foods to babies here.
BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow’s milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.
This is what the cakes looks like coming out of the oven:
Apple Date Cake with Lemony Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup dates, pitted
½ cup water
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour (can also use all purpose flour, could probably work with gluten-free flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup milk (any kind, I used cow’s milk)
1 ½ cup apples, cored, coarsely grated
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the dates and water for 4 minutes. Blend the date mixture in a blender or hand blender to obtain a thick paste. In a large bowl, add the date paste, butter, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and milk. Fold in the apples. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans with the butter and separate the cake batter into the 2 pans. Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and then add the frosting.
* To make cupcakes or muffins, transfer to greased or lined regular muffin moulds and bake for 22 minutes.
Frosting (double the following recipe for extra frosting)
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup maple syrup, optional
1 tsp vanilla
Zest of 1 lemon
Beat all the ingredients together and frost your cake. Don’t forget to put some in between the 2 cakes! If you love icing, double this recipe.