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Go Bananas for Baby’s First Birthday!

Go Bananas for Baby’s First Birthday!

By Cheryl Meister


While parents are in no hurry for their babies to grow up, they can not wait for that first birthday.            And why not? It’s the delightful celebration of twelve months of joy, learning and loving. So party it up and celebrate with an easy and delicious, all natural banana cake for your baby’s first birthday. Who knows? You may go bananas and be inspired to have a jungle-themed birthday gathering that will have your tot going ape!

Of course, no theme is necessary because your baby is the star of the day. Read on and be persuaded to avoid the temptation to bake and ice fancy layers, fumble with fondant or order expensive bakery cakes painted with cartoon characters.

Do not forget to have the camera ready because that smile on your baby’s face as they first spy that sweet confection is priceless, second only to the joyful giggling that will follow as tiny icing filled fists swing through the air in joy.


The Party

One-year-olds are easily overwhelmed, have short attention spans and are happiest at home. So relax and enjoy this milestone at home surrounded by select family and friends.

A few hours of company, cake and beverages at the time of the day your baby is happiest is best. If you want to do a meal, a brunch of made ahead oven French toast with fresh fruit or an early evening crock pot supper is nice.

Keep it simple and do as much as you can ahead so you are not stressed on the special day. Remember, stress is contagious! Do not fret, as you will have many chances to kick out fancy five course meals or do clown and pony parties in the years to come.

This year, spend the time with your baby and fuss less. Start a tradition and buy a beautifully decorated glass or ceramic cake plate that you can bring out for family birthdays and special occasions.

The Cake

When planning the cake, keep it healthy, yet yummy and pretty. Consider a carrot or applesauce cake or the sugar-free banana cake featured here.

A single layer is best and can be decorated colorfully with bright candy confetti and a large number “1” candle. Try cutting a 9x13 cake into a #1 shape. Fresh whipped cream or cream cheese icings are great for avoiding the dye and sugar-induced meltdown experienced by many an “overcaked” one year old!

Not into bananas? Try the applesauce cake (see source link below), topped with cinnamon cream cheese icing (yum). If you have a large crowd, or older toddlers in attendance, add a dozen mini-muffins or cupcakes to fill the table.

Tiny melon ball scoops of frozen yogurt bring fun, flavor and color to the party table. Smile and pat yourselves on the back, Mom and Dad, for a job well done. Oh, and go give that baby a big icing covered kiss!

Happy first birthday and happy eating!


Goin’ Bananas Birthday Cake

  • Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  • With electric mixer, beat together 2 / 3 c. mashed banana and 1 / 2 c. softened butter until creamy. Beat in 3 / 4 c. water.
  • In a separate bowl, beat 3 large eggs until very foamy. Beat into banana mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together 2 c. unbleached flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. cinnamon.
  • Add to banana egg mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in 1 c. chopped walnuts (optional*) and/or 1 / 2 c. raisins, if desired.
  • Spread batter evenly in pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Serves 8-10. Adapted from the recipe at www.grizzlybird.net/greenparenting.html.

*Caution: Many physicians recommend children under 1 year not be given nuts (or strawberries), due to high allergy possibilities.


Real Whipped Cream Topping (Be sure to cool cake completely before icing.)

  • Beat 1 cup of chilled heavy cream on high until thick peaks form.
  • Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 2-3 tbsp. super fine or powdered sugar; beat 1 additional minute.
  • Spread thickly onto cake (up to 2 hours before serving) and refrigerate.

Add-ins: Stir banana slices into topping and/or top with sprinkles, shaved chocolate curls or crushed Oreos or gingersnaps.




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