Fun with Grandad

Pretty In Pink: Let Her Eat Cake!

The Smash wouldn't be a proper 1st birthday party without it! While planning this party, I knew I wanted McKinley to have some sort of "healthy" smash cake, I just didn't know it would be made with agave nectar, applesauce, and colored with beet juice:)

Up to this point, McKinley has not had any kind of sugar (except from fruit). We try to eat very "clean" in our house and have always known that is how we want to feed/raise M. So when it came to the 1st birthday cake I was torn. Do I feed my child a healthy, possibly terrible tasting cake or do I give in and feed her the traditional cake?

I decided I would search and try a few "healthy" birthday cake and frosting recipes, but also told myself it was okay to order a cake from Publix if everything totally failed. I tried a few recipes and finally found one here that had healthy ingredients and tasted really good. The frosting recipe does have powdered sugar, but it calls for about 1/2 of what other recipes have.

Once I had the cake and frosting figured out I could focus on the fun part...the decorations!

Making this cake was very time consuming, but in the end it was totally worth it. McKinley absolutely loved every bite! 

(The recipes for both the simple cake & frosting are at the end of this post.)

Time to take the cake away...

Let the clean up begin!

Needless to say, McKinley LOVED her first taste of sugar. She would have probably eaten the entire cake if we had let her!

In case any of you are curious, the main cake was good ole' sugar filled, artificially flavored, calorie laden cake. I didn't want to deprive any of our guests from the traditional birthday cake. I did use the same frosting recipe for both the smash cake & main cake.

Below are the cake & frosting recipes I used from One Charming Party:

***Since we didn't want any surprise allergic reactions during her party, we fed McKinley strawberries a couple weeks prior to her eating the cake.***

Simple Cake:

2/3 cup coconut milk (original recipe calls for rice milk)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup light agave nectar
1/3 cup applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

I added:
1/2 cup of finely chopped strawberries

Preheat oven to 325. Cut 2 circles from parchment paper to fit 2 six inch round cake pans (I used Wilton's Cake Release instead). Lightly oil and flour the round cake pans and place parchment circles in the bottom. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes to curdle (mine never did and it still turned out fine). With a stand or hand mixer, beat in agave nectar, applesauce and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until smooth. Mix in the strawberries. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of both cakes comes out clean. Let pans cool for 30 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack. Once both cakes are completely cooled, stack (with a layer of frosting or organic jam between cake layers) and frost.

Frosting: (I tweaked this recipe a bit. See original recipe here)

1 cup butter, room temperature (original recipe calls for 1/2 cup shortening & 1/2 cup dairy free margarine)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup coconut milk (original recipe calls for rice milk)

For light pink frosting add:
1 1/2 tablespoons beet juice (from can of beets)

Beat the butter until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and coconut milk. Beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy and not gritty. Mix in beet juice until frosting is an even light pink.

*This frosting recipe makes enough to frost between, crumb coat and frost completely 2 six inch cakes.

Pretty In Pink: McKinley's 1st Birthday Party

 For months I have been  planning, organizing & crafting McKinley's 1st birthday party. The big day finally arrived and it couldn't have been more perfect! Everything turned out just like I had envisioned! McKinley's dress fit perfectly, the decorations looked great, the food was yummy, the cookies finally turned out, the cake didn't cave in on itself and best of all... NO MELTDOWNS (by me or McKinley:)! 

I was definitely exhausted after the party (by no one's fault buy my own), but all the work was totally worth it. I know McKinley will not have any memories of this day, but she had a blast! She enjoyed all of her presents, she loved looking at all the pictures of herself and she loved the cake. 

McKinley's Pretty In Pink 1st Birthday Party:

McKinley took it upon herself to get the party started. Shortly after everyone arrived, she crawled over to the gift pile and started opening presents. This time (unlike at Christmas) she was way more interested in the present than the tissue & wrapping paper.

The entire house was decorated in pink for the party!

The weather was perfect for grilling and partying outside!

McKinley is blessed to have all of these wonderful people in her life!

Of course I couldn't let our guests leave without a party favor!

What a fun day! I still can't believe that our baby girl is 1 year old! Now to start planning her 2nd birthday:)