My child will *never* eat sugar.

And other famous last words.

No but really – for a while, I genuinely thought that if I really tried hard enough, Tuna wouldn’t even know what sugar was and would reject anything sweet because it’d just be so unfamiliar and abrasive to her untarnished palate.

And so, to that end, when I started thinking about planning her first birthday party earlier this year, I spent an alarming amount of time on Pinterest desperately searching for *the* perfect smash cake. Really, I wanted to give the kid a salad but that doesn’t make for the greatest photo ops – I mean look, the idea of shreds of lettuce in the hair sends some parents into hives (how ever will we get that out?! I just don’t think her organic, paraben and sulfate-free shampoo is capable!) but A and I both accepted that we needed this girl to have some fun and get messy. Even if it did go against every mess-phobic instinct I have.

I found an awesome smash cake recipe on this blog which I then played around with because the idea of that much cream cheese {albeit sugar free} frosting was more than me and my whole food tendencies could bear. Tuna went crazy for it. That party marked the end of the era of “strictly-whole-foods-no-sugar-paleo-only-hormone-antibiotic-free-organic-free-range-unbleached-unprocessed” eating. It’s almost like the moment after Tuna turned one, we heralded the delightful new era of “please-will-you-just-eat-something-for-the-love-of-God”. That era came hand in hand with the one where, if I didn’t want to share what I was eating, I literally had to hide somewhere out of Tuna’s eagle eye vision to enjoy it in peace, and to not show her just yet that Mama is a hypocrite that has a special little place in her heart (or stomach) reserved strictly for Mars bars.

Not too long before that, I remember my own mother giving me a knowing smile when I vehemently refused to let Tuna try a little bit of something that had a trace of sugar in it. She knew. But she had the courtesy of letting me see for myself that my efforts were futile as history would inevitably repeat itself.

The first time A convinced me to let her have French fries deserves its own blog post. Let’s not go there just yet.

It was one of Tuna’s best friend’s first birthday party yesterday. So I offered to bake the same smash cake, as his mother, who is my dear friend, was going through the same conundrum in which I found myself six months ago.

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It may look decadent, my friends, but alas, the ingredients are – well – essentially, a salad. Here is my adaptation of this recipe (sans cream cheese icing and replaced with something a little cray cray, but weirdly delicious!).

For the cake:

  • 4-5 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey

For the “frosting”:

  • 1 ripe avocado (no look, I’m serious)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1-2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. Mash the bananas. The riper the better. Throw in the {organic} applesauce, {extra virgin} coconut oil, and {pure all-natural gluten-free} vanilla.
  2. Separately, mix the flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
  3. Mix those babies together until all incorporated. It will look like your child’s uneaten bowl of porridge which has been left out for an hour in a warm and slightly humid room (read: not appetising, but just you wait!)
  4. Pour into two smallish greased pans and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 15-25 minutes.  I only had one round pan about 5-6 inches in diameter, so I did it in two batches and both came out looking identical even though one was sitting out for a little longer (these things stress me out when I bake).
  5. While you’re waiting for that magic to happen, throw the avocado, banana and cocoa powder into a food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate it if you have time, but this is not essential.
  6. Once the cakes have completely, and I mean *completely*, cooled, put a thin layer of the avocado frosting in the middle and stack one on top of the other.  You can then proceed to slather the frosting all over that pretty little salad cake of yours.

I decorated this cake with blueberries in an ‘H’ letter – you can do that with those little baby puffs, or raspberries, or whatever might taunt your little one to get messy.

And then of course, I went to the complete extreme and made some “grown-up” cupcakes just to make sure that I kept everyone happy. The ingredients to these little pieces of lemon cream cheese heaven should not even be alluded to given that they share a page with the most virtuous birthday cake I’ve ever baked.

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Note: Unfortunately the above cupcakes left me with an entire tub of homemade cream cheese icing which I decided needed a platform from which to be eaten. So red velvet cupcakes may or may not have been baked…

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6 thoughts on “My child will *never* eat sugar.

  1. My “baby” is 3 and a half now… but I’m going to read all your posts anyway, since we were sharing in office will I was pregnant with him 🙂 Great blog, and those cakes look amazing! 🙂


    • Haha! I’m sure there will still be some similarities despite their 2-year age gap 😉 Plus I’m planning to post recipes that he might enjoy too! Thanks so much for reading the blog!


  2. I started out fully intent on organic, whole food, made my own baby food, etc. when we adopted our first who is now four. From day one he was never a good eater. We kept at it for the first year, but then it went down hill from there. When we could see every rib on his back I knew we needed to just settle for getting calories in his body however we could. Thus hot dogs and chicken nuggets entered his world, two things I swore I would never feed my children. He was still eating homemade baby food and rice cereal when he was three because that was my only hope of getting any fruits or veggies in him.

    Funny how we go into parenting swearing all of the things that we will do right and then the kids seem to come out and say, “Oh, really?! Watch me break you of that hope!” There were so many things I swore my kids or I would never do. Then reality set in!

    Adopting our daughter two years later, I was a lot less freaked out with trying to make everything totally healthy and followed her lead a bit. Both are now healthy eaters and we are back to trying to keep everything as organic as possible, but it was a rough couple of years feeling like I was poisoning him just trying to get anything in him!


    • You’re so right! We have all these grand plans. But then we often learn the hard way that flexibility and moderation are the secrets to remaining sane! Thanks for reading the blog and for taking the time to comment!


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