This cake was a huge hit at our family party for Sausage’s second birthday. I’ve adapted the recipe from Nicola Galloway’s excellent book Feeding Little Tummies. I highly recommend this book for any one with babies or toddlers in the house. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to feeding tots, and this book is crammed full of easy recipes for meals, snacks and parties. Nicola is a trained chef and nutrition consultant and is big on making healthy food tasty.
I love this book as Nicola keeps sugar in her recipes to a minimum, and I am firmly back on the sugar-free wagon. I wanted to have my cake and eat it too, so I used a sugar substitute* and was thrilled with the result. The cake is very dense and moist, and was well-received by everyone at the party.
The recipe makes a smallish cake so to make one like the picture above, double the recipe.
Low Sugar/No Sugar Birthday Cake
1 1/2 cups flour (could use gluten-free flour)
3 Tbsp cocoa (or cacao powder)
1/3 cup sugar/alternative sweetener (I use Erythritol)
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp white or cider vinegar
5 Tbsp neutral cooking oil
1 tsp natural vanilla essence
1 cup water
1 banana, mashed
1/3 cup finely grated carrot or zucchini, excess liquid squeezed through sieve
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and lightly grease a 22cm/8.5in round cake tin.
Sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda into a large bowl. Add sugar/substitute and stir to combine. Make 3 wells in the dry ingredients and pour vinegar into the first well, oil into the second, and vanilla into the third. Pour the water over and stir to combine. Fold in the mashed banana and strained vegetable.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Decorate with fruit and cream.
* Even though I use some sugar substitutes (the only ones I recommend are erythritol, rice malt syrup, stevia and occasionally dextrose) I remain uneasy about them. Sugar is bad, but I don’t think that the substitutes are really that much better. So moral of story: make treats occasionally. Party food is for parties and all that.