Hooray, it is your baby’s first birthday! Your little one has probably marked off some major milestones in this first year…her first smile, her first tooth, and maybe even her first step. And now it is time for her first birthday party, and her first birthday cake!  If her exposure to sweets has been limited up to this point, this may not be the time to hit her with all of the processed sugars and preservatives found in a traditional cake. Try one of these healthier cake options instead.

The egg-free cake

Most health experts recommend that babies do not eat egg whites until they are 12 months old. So if your baby has not yet had whole eggs by her first birthday party, this may not be a good time to give them a try. Egg substitutes won’t help, as most still contain eggs. Instead, look for vegan cake mixes and frostings that are free of all animal products. Or search the web for a good homemade vegan cake recipe such as this Vegan Chocolate Cake that uses simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. 

The low-sugar cake

If this is your baby’s first taste of sweets, you might want to cut back on the sugar a bit to avoid giving his system such a shock. If you are making the cake at home, simply reduce the amount of sugar your recipe requires. Another option is to choose a fruit based cake, such as banana cake, applesauce cake or carrot cake. Cakes that contain fruit usually have less sugar. If you are having the cake made, just ask the staff at your bakery to reduce the sugar as much as possible.

Healthier frosting

Look for healthier frosting choices like organic yogurt thickened with cream cheese or a traditional cream cheese frosting. Or try dusting the cake with powdered sugar instead of frosting. You can also use homemade whip cream instead of the traditional frosting. Homemade whipped cream is very simple to make and it uses much less sugar than the frosting you will find at the store.  To make it, beat 1 cup chilled heavy cream with an electric mixer until it thickens. Add one teaspoon vanilla and two tablespoons sugar, and continue beating until soft peaks form. Turn the beaters off and pull them up. The whip cream is ready when it forms stiff peaks. Keep refrigerated. Makes 2 cups.

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