Baby's first birthday cake sweetened with maple syrup, low sugar from The Fauxmartha

Monday’s are much too frequent these days. Somehow 52 of them have passed, and I have a 1 year old. During bath times I always say to Hal, “Remember your first bath when you were teeny tiny, and this towel nearly swallowed you whole?” She looks at me with a smirk—that I know when she’s 10 will be accompanied with rolled eyes—like, “Mom, stop it. I’m a big girl.” Where did this 8 tooth, food loving, sassy lady come from?

Baby's First Birthday Cake | The Fauxmartha

In my head, I planned a huge party to commemorate her first year of life. It turned out to be nothing more than a pinterest board and a cake. Our family came into town to celebrate. We walked around Lake Harriet and tried to convince everyone to move north. We ate arepas. And ended the day with homemade pizza. It was perfect, though far from my board compiled of party animals, polka dots, and pop tarts. There’s always next year. I wish I could tell you Hallie loved her maple sweetened cake as much as her mama. (See below.) She poked holes in at at best. And then we realized after pulling her out of her highchair, she had a little fever. Poor girl! I’m convinced she would have eaten more had she felt better.

Baby's First Birthday Cake | The Fauxmartha

Now about that cake (the one that I ate most of)—it’s maple sweetened for the first time mom who’s postponing sugar as long as possible. Though, I think Kev will fix that situation for her sooner than I’d like. I stole additional sweetness from half a ripe banana and freshly squeezed orange juice. Hal loves both to the moon. She eats cheese like it’s going out of style, so I went with a maple sweetened cream cheese frosting. I took styling inspiration from the oh so talented Molly Yeh. PS—remember these mini anniversary cakes I used to make?

Baby's First Birthday Cake | The Fauxmartha

Maple Sweetened Baby Cake
Serves: 4-inch 4 layer baby cake
 
A word I never gave a second thought to before becoming a parent—weaning. For the first year of life, it's one introduction and weaning after another. So as I gave Hal her first real taste of dessert, I thought I'd wean her into the world of sugar with this maple-sweetened baby cake. Though it technically makes one tiny cake that the baby will poke holes in at best, it's highly palatable. The crumb of the cake is much more akin to banana bread than cake. Feel free to make the cake smaller so you can get 2 mini cakes out of it. Because you'll want some cake sans holes too.
Ingredients
  • Cake
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/4 c. oat flour*
  • 1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup, plus more for assembly
  • 1/4 c. orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 c. whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • Frosting
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Make the cake. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of a 8" square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a small pan, melt butter. Mash the banana into the butter. Stir in maple syrup, orange juice, milk, and egg until evenly incorporated. Pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until center of the cake springs back when pressed. Allow to cool completely before assembling.
  5. Make frosting. In a small bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until evenly combined. Add in maple syrup one tablespoon at a time.
  6. Assemble the cake. Using a 4" biscuit cutter, cut out 4 circles for the layers. Save the leftover for yourself.
  7. Place bottom layer on a stand or plate. Brush a thin layer of maple syrup to add moisture and sweetener into the cake. Add a thin layer of cream cheese. Stack additional cake layer pressing on the center to even out. Repeat until all the layers are used.
  8. With the remaining bit of cream cheese, lightly ice the outside of the cake as your would dirty ice or crumb coat your cake. Chill until serving. Allow to sit out 10-20 minutes beforehand. Garnish with sprinkles just before serving, if desired.
Notes
*You can purchase oat flour, however, you can just as easily make it in a food processor or high powered blender by grinding the oats.

• For all the second time+ moms or for the non-crazy moms, add 2 tablespoons or so of pure cane sugar into the batter.

Sources: I planned on using this beautiful “1” cake topper but I made my cake too small. I’m saving it for her double digit birthdays. The beeswax candles were gifted to us a couple years from Sarah. I told you I save everything. The cupcake stand, which I can’t find online, was a gift from my mother-in-law. Perfect for a mini cake!