Baby's First Birthday: Paleo Birthday Cake for Year One and Beyond

A question I get asked ALL the time is what to make for baby’s birthday celebrations. 

And I totally get it. You want to celebrate baby’s big milestones (and let’s be honest, it’s your milestone too!) and don’t want to skimp on a fun treat. But you also don’t want to stray from your core values and preferred way of eating. 

I feel the same way, and so I’ve invested time in finding recipes that are grain-free and free of refined sugars, while also providing a blood sugar balancing dose of healthy fat. And I’m sharing my wins with you!

These recipes are all from or inspired by Elana Amsterdam, a longtime friend of the Serenity Kids family and my personal gluten free baking inspiration for a decade now. Why do I love her recipes? Because they are all delicious and every recipe of hers works out every time!

Della’s First Birthday Cake

For Della’s first birthday, we opted for this vanilla birthday cake, swapping out the chocolate frosting for an unsweetened whipped coconut cream, flavored and “sweetened” with vanilla and dyed using a natural plant based food coloring like this one from Supernatural


Ingredients

  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 9 large eggs
  • ½ cup salted butter, melted
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Pulse coconut flour and baking soda in a food processor
  2. Pulse in eggs, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla
  3. Grease two 6 inch springform pans
  4. Pour batter into prepared cake pans
  5. Place cake pans on a baking sheet, then bake at 350°F for 25-35 minutes
  6. Cool and frost

Della’s Second Birthday Cupcakes

Della’s second birthday happened during the pandemic, so I opted for cupcakes (less contact!). For frosting, I used the same simple whipped coconut cream sweetened with a little vanilla for the icing. Della took one little bite of cupcake and licked the whipped cream off. But the adults all loved them!


Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup finely chopped strawberries

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, pulse together coconut flour, salt, and baking soda
  2. Pulse in eggs, honey, and vanilla until thoroughly combined
  3. Remove blade from food processor, stir in strawberries by hand
  4. Line 9 muffin cups with paper liners and scoop ¼ cup batter into each
  5. Bake at 350°F for 24-26 minutes
  6. Cool and serve with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

A Tried and True Option For Coconut Lovers

I haven’t made these for Della’s birthday yet, but I’ve probably baked a few hundred of these coconut cupcakes for other occasions because they are so easy and I LOVE LOVE LOVE coconut! I’ve done them with the key lime frosting Elana recommends, I’ve dipped the tops into a chocolate glaze, I’ve topped them with chocolate buttercream frosting, but mostly I eat them frosting-less. It’s less messy to take to potlucks and less sugar is always better. The cupcakes are super rich and stand alone without needing frosting, IMHO.


Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup agave nectar or honey
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl blend eggs, coconut oil and agave nectar with a hand blender
  2. Blend in coconut flour, salt, baking soda and shredded coconut
  3. Allow batter to sit and thicken just a bit
  4. Line a muffin pan with paper baking cups
  5. Spoon ¼ cup cupcake batter into each cupcake liner
  6. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes
  7. Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes
  8. Frost with Key Lime Icing and serve

And My Personal Favorite

And because mamas have birthdays too, I’m including one of my own personal favorite cakes. I baked this German Chocolate Cake recipe for my birthday last year. It takes time, but my Serenity Kids team thought it was just as good as super gluten-y, sugar-y, dairy-filled cakes!


Ingredients

  • ¾ cup coconut flour, sifted
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 cup palm shortening
  • 1½ cups agave nectar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine flour, cacao, salt and baking soda
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric hand blender, blend eggs, oil, agave nectar and vanilla
  3. Add dry ingredients into large bowl and continue to blend
  4. Oil two 9-inch springform pans and dust with coconut flour
  5. Pour batter into pans and bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes
  6. Remove from oven, allow to cool completely then remove from pans

Staying True to Our Values

I love that there are delicious treats that can allow us to celebrate in a “traditional” way while also staying true to the approach to eating that makes our bodies feel their best. 

I know there will be new challenges as Della grows up, and we’ve already started navigating conversations around and approaches to treats at the holidays. But as always, we’ll bring you along for our ride. And we want to hear from you along the way too - your questions, your challenges, and your wins!


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