You have probably seen the photo meme of the baby boy eating the blue cake with the words “bring me another smurf.” I admit that I laughed when I saw it on Facebook. The joke about the smurfs was funny. And first birthdays are so special, particularly to the parents. Everyone has the classic baby-in-the-highchair-with-cake-on-the-face photo; it is like a rite of passage.
I wanted to make a special 1st birthday cake for my baby boy too, but set out to do so without the artificial dye. Artificial colors, like the blue dye used to make the cake in this meme, are derivative of coal tar and linked to health concerns. Some studies found there are short term effects like migraines, anxiety, and hyperactivity. Other studies found links to food dye and cancer. Some artificial food dye, such as yellow #5, are banned in Europe but found throughout the grocery store in the United States.
The parameters for my cake were 1) have nothing bad 2) have some redeeming nutritional value and 3) taste so good everyone will eat it. We ended up making a Parsnip and Carrot Cake. This is a wheat free and dairy free recipe. It was hugely successful. Why Parsnip? Like carrots, they are tuber vegetables rich in fiber, Vitamin B, and Folic Acid. They also have a natural sweetness that allows for less sugar added to the cake.
I encourage you to try your own Parsnip and Carrot Cake.
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp palm oil or coconut oil
- 1 ½ cups grated parsnip
- 1 ½ cups grated carrot
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- 1 Tbsp coconut flour
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a cake pan. I used three little ones. I wanted Joe to have his own cake, and I had to make a special allergen free version for Andrew (the frosting I made had dairy so I made a special dark chocolate frosting for him).
2. Grate parsnip and carrot finely. Sophie helped with this part on a plastic grater.
3. Combine eggs, parsnip, carrot, oil, syrup and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir to form a batter.
4. Combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and spices in a small bowl.
5. Mix the dry and wet together into a very thick batter.
6. Pour into your cake pan (s) and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
I used a homemade cream cheese frosting. I had to throw out some of my rules for this part.
1 stick butter (softened)
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
2-3 cups of confectionery sugar (stir in until you have the right consistency)
Sprinkles are naturally colored sprinkles by India Tree.
Don’t forget to share.