1st Bday cake – healthy and tasty

The 1st bday cake might be a tricky find. You want your little one to taste it (if not even play with it) so you have to pay attention to the ingredients’list. Since you started with solid foods you’ve been careful not to give him sugar or salt or cow milk. At the same time you would like to offer to the rest of the party a tasty and inviting cake. Tricky, I told you 🙂

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That’s why even if my little Alex is not 1 yet, I’m already testing and trying 1st bday cake ideas for his birthday! and when I find a good recipe to put in the short list, it’s time to share it with you!
Today I prepared an apple, banana&yogurt cake: tasty, delicate and soft. No egg whites (they might be allergenic if you haven’t introduced in his diet yet), no butter, no milk, no sugar.

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Simple ingredients, totally baby proof 🙂

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We start cooking the apple chopped in pieces in a pan with 1/2 cup water, a piece of lemon zest and a small cinnamon stick. If you do not find a cinnamon stick, also 1/8 tsp of cinnamon will work.

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Let the apple cook for 15 min, up until it is nicely cooked. Remove the lemon zest and the cinnamon stick. Place the apple in a long container with the banana and the yogurt and mix it with an immersion blender in order to obtain a nice puree.

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In a large bowl, wish together the egg yolk with the agave (it’s optional. the banana will give a natural delicate sweet flavor to the cake. if you want you can skip the agave) and the oil. Add the banana/apple/yogurt puree.

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Mix everything and slowly add the dry ingredients: flour, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda. The cake is ready to go in the oven at 400 F. for 25 min.

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While the cake is cooking we can prepare a baby icing mixing together some cream cheese, apple sauce and 2 tsp of vanilla extract.

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It’s time for the final decoration. I decided I wanted to go with a mini multi layer cake (2 layers) and with the quantities I mentioned I prepared 2 mini double layers cakes. Using a large glass I cut out from my cake 4 circles (I served the leftovers for breakfast the following day!!)

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Using a cake stand to help me I started covering my first layer with the icing and I placed my second layer on top and finished the icing decoration. To give some color to my cake I used some tiny colored confetti on top, so tiny that they can melt in your baby’s mouth without any choking hazard.

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And my mini double layer banana&apple cake is finished, ready to be tasted!

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This is a healthy and delicate option for a 1st bday party, good for your little one and for the rest of the party too!

Enjoy! ciao, b

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59 Responses to 1st Bday cake – healthy and tasty

  1. Ruby Romail May 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Hi can I use self raising flour in this receipe?

    • Barbara Lamperti May 1, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

      Hi Ruby!
      yes you can. if so you can skip potato starch, baking powder and baking soda. Let me know if your little one likes it!! ciao, b

  2. Rachel May 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    Thanks for the amazing recipes. I find your youtube videos very helpful, especially since I am a first-time mummy. I am planning of preparing this cake over the weekend, for my baby girl. I am sure she is going to enjoy it 🙂

    • Barbara Lamperti June 4, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

      Hi Rachel! thank you so much for your message, I’m so glad you are preparing my recipes for your little baby girl, I really hope she will enjoy them as my little Alex does! ciao ciao, b

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  7. Debbie July 20, 2014 at 6:37 am #

    hello, what if i cant find potato starch anywhere? can i use cornstarch? if so, how much?

    • Barbara Lamperti July 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

      Hi!! you can substitute potato starch with cornstarch or arrowroot or tapioca starch in the same quantity (1/3 cup). Let me know if you need more info!! ciao!! b

  8. Eriol July 25, 2014 at 2:40 am #

    Hello! Would it be alright if i substitute the flour with whole wheat flour?

    • Barbara Lamperti July 30, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

      Hi! sure, you can do the substitution. The cake will result more dense and compact with whole wheat flour, less fluffy. I would definitely try the whole wheat version. For the quantities I would use just a bit more of 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour instead of 3/4 cup of all purpose flour. Let me know how it goes!! ciao! b

      • Huzaifa February 15, 2017 at 11:40 am #

        Hi. I also want to use whole wheat and skip potato starch.. is it possible? Did u try making a whole wheat cake?

        • Barbara Lamperti February 17, 2017 at 7:58 pm #

          Hi! yes, you can use whole wheat flour only. It will absorb more liquid, I will simply add one more tablespoon of yogurt to the mix.
          Let me know if you like it!!
          ciao, b

  9. Mandy August 11, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Is there a substitute for agave? Im not sure if I can get that…..
    My son turns 1 in a few months and his skin is so sensitive to some foods so to find this is a life saver :).

    • Barbara Lamperti August 14, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

      Hi! sure, if your little one is not 12 months yet, you can use dry dates or maple syrup to give extra sweetness. They are both allergy free and baby friendly! thank you so much for watching BuonaPappa. ciao ciao, barbara

  10. ain August 25, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Hi.. If im using raising flour, how much?

    • Barbara Lamperti September 3, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

      Hi! if you are using raising flour you can use the same quantity, but just skip baking powder and baking soda. Enjoy!!

      • Monami May 12, 2016 at 8:30 am #

        Hi If I am using self raising flour can I also leave out potato starch? What would be the quantity of self raising flour to be used?

        • Barbara Lamperti May 17, 2016 at 3:09 am #

          Hi! yes, you can use self raising flour, the same amount, just skip the baking soda and the baking powder. Leave the potato starch that gives extra fluffiness to the recipe. Enjoy the cake!! b

          • Monami May 21, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

            thank you so much…. its my baby’s first bday tomorrow and i will be baking the cake tomorrow itself 🙂

  11. Andreea S September 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    Hi, I tried your recipe but I did not have potato starch or self raising flour. I used whole wheat flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp dry yeast. It tasted great but I find it a little bit moist and thin. Can you suggest an alternative to potato starch to use with regular whole wheat flour? Also, I wanted to ask you about the olive oil, you mentioned it in the ingredients list but not in the instructions. You mix it with everything else right? Thank you, Andreea

    • Barbara Lamperti September 7, 2014 at 4:41 am #

      Hi Andreea!
      thank you for watching the video and trying the recipe!!
      If you do not find potato starch, corn starch can be a good substitute. The whole wheat flour will be fine.
      Cake too thin: the cake should raise 2 inches thanks to the baking powder + the baking soda. Did you use the baking soda too?
      Cake a bit moist: it might be the baking time. From oven to oven the baking time might change 5 minutes more or less. I’m using an old gas oven. I would suggest to cook it 5 min more.
      Olive oil: you’re right!! in the description in the blog I forgot to mention the oil. I already updated the blog. The oil should be added to the egg yolk + the agave. Thank you so much for noticing it!!!

      I really hope you will enjoy the cake! Let me know how it goes! ciao, b

  12. Simone October 10, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    My baby (and also many more babies) loved your cake!

    I wrote a bit about making it on my blog: http://www.smoonstyle.com/2014/10/first-birthday-bakes.html

    Thanks for the recipe!



    • Barbara Lamperti October 12, 2014 at 1:39 am #

      Hi Simone!
      I’m so so glad to hear that!! Thank you for choosing my recipe for your baby’s 1st birthday. I feel honored!!
      Happy belated birthday to your little one,

  13. stella October 30, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    thank you for the recipe, barbara! my LO is 5 months old yet i can’t wait to try this recipe for his 1st birthday 🙂
    about the colored confetti that u sprinkle on top of the cake, does it contain sugar? is it safe for 12 months old baby?

    • Barbara Lamperti October 31, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

      Hi Stella! I’m so glad you like the recipe! the colored confetti are made with sugar, yes. Considering the amount of confetti I’m using they are not harmful at all for a 12 months baby. You can always skip the confetti on top and just have a colorful candle! ciao! b

  14. Amie nichols November 18, 2014 at 1:46 am #

    Is there any adults that enjoy the taste of this cake i would like to make this cake for everyone

  15. Angela December 8, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    Hi Barbara,

    Thanks so much for your website and great recipes! I am a first time mom and was so happy to find your blog:) I recently tried your red lentil pure; my little one and the rest of the family loved it!! So yummy!! My baby is turning 1 on December 15 and we are having his birthday party next week. I am going try this cake for him. I’m wondering if the apple sauce used for the frosting should be unsweetened? I’m assuming that it should be, but wanted to double check.

    Thanks again,

    • Barbara Lamperti December 15, 2014 at 11:56 pm #

      Hi Angela!!
      sorry for the late reply and Happy Birthday to your little one!!! it’s today!!
      you might have already prepared the cake but the reply was yes, the applesauce should be unsweetened. Only the natural sugar that comes from the apples.
      ciao and enjoy the party!!!

  16. Mirella February 17, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

    Can I make the mixture, let in the fridge ans then cook it the day after?

    • Barbara Lamperti March 2, 2015 at 5:10 am #

      Hi Mirella,
      I would say yes. Just take the mix out from the refrigerator one hour before baking it to let it gradually reach room temperature and mix it again if the ingredients look like split apart. Let me know how it goes! ciao, b

  17. Raihan March 2, 2015 at 4:42 am #

    Hello Barbara! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe! I love watching your videos. I made this cake using self raising flour and the cake didn’t rise unfortunately. Turns out you must use baking powder even with self raising flour.

    • Barbara Lamperti March 2, 2015 at 4:46 am #

      Hi Raihan!
      Thank you so much for watching BuonaPappa!! you’re right, sometimes self raising flour doesn’t work exactly like regular flour + baking powder, it really depends form the brand and the “power” of the self raising. Try the other way (flour+ baking powder) and let me know if you like it! ciao!! b

  18. Miki March 28, 2015 at 8:20 am #

    Hi Barbara do we need to fridge our cake or is it good to be at a room temperature? Thanks. I m making this for my little girl. And we are bringing the cake to a party place. I m afraid that it will melt. Please advice.

    • Barbara Lamperti April 9, 2015 at 4:13 am #

      Hi Miki!
      I hope the reply is not too late for the party 😉
      My suggestion is to leave the cake outside the fridge, it can stay at room temperature without any problem. Either cover it with some plastic paper or place it in an air tight container. That’s how you keep the moist. I would prepare the frosting in advance and store it in the refrigerator. I would frost the cake right before going to the party or (if you can) directly at the party. If you need to frost the cake the day before I would suggest to place the cake in a cake container (the one with the tall lid) so that the frosting will not dry out too much. Let me know how it goes and have fun at the party!!

  19. Heidi May 8, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

    My boy cannot take any yoghurt. Is there any substitution about that? Thanks

    • Barbara Lamperti May 19, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

      Hi!I’m sorry about that. Is he allergic to milk? Is so you can use coconut yogurt, 100% vegetable. Otherwise you can substitute the yogurt with 1 apple and 1/2 banana. Basically you will use 2 apples and 1 full banana for the recipe. Let me know if your little one likes the cake!!! ciao, b

  20. Lis August 26, 2015 at 7:18 am #

    Hi, if im using wholemeal flour do u mean i use 1/2 cup flour instead of 3/4 cup? Just to clarify.

    • Barbara Lamperti September 1, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

      Hi! sorry if I was not clear 😉 You can use 1/2 cup wholewheat flour OR 3/4 cup all purpose flour. Ciao! b

  21. Durga October 14, 2015 at 7:37 am #

    can i omit agave in this recipe as i don have it? will it effect the taste or texture of the cake ?

    • Barbara Lamperti October 15, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

      Hi Durga! yes, you can skip agave. The cake will be lightly less sweet. Or you can substitute agave with vanilla paste or maple syrup. Let me know if your little one likes it!! ciao, b

  22. Aom March 14, 2016 at 5:59 am #

    What kind of cream cheese can I use. My son allergic to cow’s milk, Thanks

    • Barbara Lamperti March 15, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

      I’m sorry to hear that, allergies are no fun at all 🙁
      You have two options: you can use non-dairy cream cheese (I usually find it at Trader Joe’s) or you can prepare a tofu frosting. here you are the recipe: http://www.buonapappa.net/1st-birthday-cake-carrot-with-tofuvanilla-frosting/
      Another option could be to use coconut yogurt (drained very well to release the liquid and make it as much thick as possible) instead of cream cheese in the original recipe. I would suggest to try the three different options in a small quantity, test them and choose pending your taste and your son’s one. Let me know how it goes!! ciao, b

  23. Cora March 23, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

    What can I substitute the agave for?

    • Barbara Lamperti March 23, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

      Hi Cora!
      if your baby is older than 1 year (or around 1 year) you can use honey. Or two dates soaked in warm water to make them soft and finely minced in a paste. Enjoy! b

  24. Carmen April 23, 2016 at 10:07 am #

    Ciao B

    Qua in svizzera non si trova il backing soda é neanche il selfrising flour. Che cosa posso usare per fare questa torta? Mio figlio fa un anno questo lunedi! Tanti Saluti Carmen

    • Barbara Lamperti April 25, 2016 at 4:35 am #

      Ciao Carmen! puoi usare della farina normale, tipo “00” e sostituire sia la baking soda che la baking powder con un cucchiaino abbondante di lievito per dolci (la bustina di lievito vanigliato Bertolini, per intenderci). Tanti tanti auguri al tuo piccolo e buon festeggiamento!! fammi sapere se ti servono altre informazioni, b

  25. Steph June 28, 2016 at 9:53 pm #


    What yoghurt can I use for this recipe? Greek/natural etc?


    • Barbara Lamperti July 9, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

      Hi! I would suggest a plain greek yogurt = very creamy and without added sugar. Ciao!! b

  26. Sushmitha August 24, 2016 at 4:32 am #

    Hi it is an awesome cake recipe.. can I make the cake one day before? Or should I make on the same day..? If so how much time it takes to make the cake..?

    • Barbara Lamperti September 6, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

      Hi! yes, you can bake the cake one day before and store it in an air tight container on the countertop (if it’s not a super hot day). I would say 1 hour between prepping the ingredients and baking. While the cake is baking you can prepare the frosting and store it in the refrigerator. The day of the party you can assemble the cake and frost it. Let me know how it goes!! Happy birthday to your little one!!! ciao, b

  27. Natalie January 9, 2017 at 1:07 am #

    Hi, I love this recipe! I just had a question about the icing. When I made this, the icing came out too runny and kept driping off the cake. I added the cream cheese, apple sauce and vanilla extract as instructed. I’m not sure where I went wrong. Any suggestions?

    • Barbara Lamperti January 9, 2017 at 1:15 am #

      Hi Natalie! thank you so much 😉
      I’m sorry the icing was too runny. My first thought goes to the apple sauce consistency. Maybe the apple sauce was more liquid than the one I used and it ended up giving too much liquid to the icing. If you are making the icing again I would suggest to add the apple sauce a bit at the time so that you can check if you need a bit less than the suggested quantity. Also, a trick to “thicken” the icing is to place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 min. The ingredients will dry out a bit and it will be less running. Thank you again for watching BuonaPappa!!! ciao, b

      • Marcela Vandergriff March 17, 2017 at 3:46 am #

        Hi Barbara,

        I have baked this cake twice and for some reason it’s not fluffy, looks like a dense apple sauce in the middle, i used cornstarch on the first one and I left it off for the second but I received the same result, I followed all other institutions. Would you have any recommendations?? Thank you

        • Barbara Lamperti March 17, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

          Hi Marcela! I’m sorry to hear that. Let’s think about what happened, it looks like the cake was too moist from your comment. It might bee too much apple sauce.I used a small apple.You have few options: use a smaller apple compared to the one you chose the first time OR reduce the amount of water added to the apple at the beginning (from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup) OR reduce the amount of final apple sauce added to the mix (I would say add only 3/4 of the applesauce) OR add more flour to the batter 1 Cup instead of 3/4.
          I hope it helps, let me know!!

  28. Ida binanti June 21, 2017 at 12:44 am #

    Hi Barbara,the first time baker here.i don’t normally bake but i wanted To make my son’s first cake for his birthday this week.
    I tried to make Thai cake twice.the first one does not raise and a little hard(not moise enough) the second one I use smaller apple like you suggested to other mom but it doesn’t raise properly(only one side)
    What it could be goes wrong ?

    • Barbara Lamperti July 9, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

      Hi Ida! woohoo for testing new recipes!! brava!!
      sorry for the late reply, we are visiting family in Italy and I’m not always connected 😉
      issue = doesn’t raise enough/evenly.
      I would suggest to increase the baking soda amount to 1 1/2 tsp.
      Did you substitute any ingredient? which kind of flour did you use?
      Another difference might be in the oven (every oven runs a bit differently, mine is on the low side, I always need to add more minutes than the suggested ones…but it’s very old and doesn’t close properly..still, I love it and, like an old friend, I even love the defects!)
      I hope I was helpful!!!
      and, most important thing, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your little one!!!!


  1. 1st birthday cake recipe – banana&apple – baby food | Channll - March 30, 2014

    […] Check out the recipe and the ingredients on my blog:http://www.buonapappa.net/1st-bday-cake-healthy-and-tasty/ […]

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