Hi friends! I can't even believe I'm writing this but at the beginning of August my little boy O, turned one! One! I just don't know where the time went. I blinked and my teeny tiny 4 pound premature baby is now a 19 pound little man who is on a mission to explore and destroy every single thing we own! It's exhausting chasing after two little ones but I'm loving every minute and just trying to soak it all in because I know that in a few years I'm going to miss these days when the house was in total chaos and my most important job was playing and loving on my babies!
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To celebrate O's first birthday I decided on a Little Man or Gentleman's Party theme. I'm constantly calling him my little man so it's very fitting. I knew that I wanted mustaches and bow ties as part of the decor so I scoured the internet trying to find what I could that would match the vision I had in my head. The plates and napkins I was able to find on amazon and I used them as the inspiration for the party colors. I also purchased a pack of multi-colored bow ties and adhesive mustaches for our guests to wear. It was really cute to see the adults getting into the spirit of the party! I spent a lot of time cutting out and making the banners, centerpiece decor etc. I made the little ribbon skirt that was around O's highchair for his cake smash and I have to say that I loved how it turned out! I know I may have gone just a little bit overboard for a one-year-old's birthday party, but I really enjoy trying to make things fun and festive. Plus, he's the second child, which means he just doesn't get as much attention as my first did, so there's some mother's guilt thrown in there as well!
When it came to the food, I kept it simple and served a combination of foods that do and do not follow my dietary restrictions. I made a really delicious, BBQ Pulled Chicken. My husband and I spent many days working together to try and perfect this homemade BBQ sauce that's Paleo and follows the SCD diet. I have to say...it's amazing! There's talk of trying to sell it, we'll see. We had over 20 people for the party so it was so easy to just put the chicken in the crock pot first thing in the morning, pour the BBQ sauce over it and just let it cook away. We shredded it once it was done cooking, transferred it to a warming tray and that was it! I loved that it was so stress free. For sides, I served my Broccoli Dip (Broccomole) with sliced peppers and chips, fresh fruit and a potato salad.
For desserts we had some chocolate chip cookies available and I baked three different cakes! We had a traditional yellow cake with my lemon curd filling, a lemon cake made with almond flour and my lemon curd for the filling and O's little smash cake which was my coconut flour vanilla mug cake recipe with a blueberry jam filling. All three cakes were frosted with a refined sugar free vanilla buttercream, which I tinted green by adding some juiced spinach!
Alright, back to the smash cake. I love the idea of a smash cake but I don't love the idea of all that wasted cake! I also don't like that we typically spend the first year of a babies life making sure to give them the healthiest start possible just to then turn around on their first birthday and fill them up with refined sugar, artificial ingredients, preservatives and all kinds of other things. So, I decided that my coconut flour mug cake would be perfect for O's first cake. It's big enough to make a statement but small enough that I don't feel guilty about any extra cake left over. It's also made with only 7 ingredients! The recipe calls for honey, however, you're not supposed to give honey to children under the age of one. I got the all clear from my pediatrician before giving O the cake but if you're nervous about it just swap out the honey for maple syrup.
I made the blueberry jam filling the day before to make sure it had enough time to cool and thicken before using in the cake. It's a super simple recipe! Place 12 ounces of fresh blueberries, along with water and honey in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it begins to boil, lower the temperature to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender until the blueberries are smooth then strain into a bowl to remove the seeds. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools. No need for pectin, cornstarch or any other thickener!
You're going to make your cake according to the directions found below, and while your cake cools, you can go ahead and get started on the frosting. I'm telling you now, this frosting is a labor of love but it is SO worth it! The absolute biggest thing to make this frosting a success is to make sure the egg whites and butter are at room temperature! I typically leave the butter out on the counter over night just to make sure. Place your egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of your electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on high until soft peaks form. While your egg whites are beating you're going to heat your honey (or maple syrup) in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer reads 240F. If you don't have a candy thermometer that's ok, take you're saucepan off the heat when the honey bubbles and froths like the picture above. By this time the egg whites should have formed peaks. With the mixer running you're going to slowly pour the hot honey into the bowl with the whipped egg whites. You're mixture might look runny, that's ok. Keep the mixer running on high and continue beating for at least 20 minutes. At the end of 20 minutes your frosting should be thick and glossy looking. Before continuing you need to make sure that the frosting is at room temperature. Once at room temperature place your mixer speed to medium and add your softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time to the frosting, making sure the butter is incorporated before adding the next tablespoon. Add your vanilla extract and spinach juice. You should have a beautifully thick frosting! If it's runny it means your frosting wasn't cooled enough before you added the butter. Just place the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes and then re-whip.
Now it's time to assemble your cake! Take the cake out of the mug, cut in half and place the bottom half on whatever tray or cake stand you plan on using. Place frosting in a piping bag and pipe frosting along the outer edge of the cake to make a circle. Now place the blueberry jam inside your frosting circle (I find this technique helpful in making sure my blueberry filling doesn't leak out and tint my pretty frosting purple). Place the other half of the cake on top and frost. I am by no means a professional at frosting cakes, as you can tell by the pictures, but I did my best! Maybe I'll take a class at Michael's or Joanne Fabrics!
In the end, you should have an adorable mini smash cake that is a much healthier option for babies first cake! O, absolutely LOVED his cake, which is exactly what I wanted!
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Healthier Mini Smash Cake
Coconut Flour Vanilla Mug Cake
- 2 Tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 Tbsp coconut milk, room temperature
- 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 12 oz fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup water
- 2 Tbsp honey
Refined Sugar Free Buttercream Frosting
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1 cup honey
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp spinach juice
Coconut Flour Vanilla Mug Cake
- Combine the coconut flour and baking soda in a mug that has straight sides.
- In a small bowl mix egg, coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla and honey.
- Add the wet ingredients to the mug and stir well. Allow to sit for 1 minute (this allows the coconut flour to absorb some of the liquid) before stirring again.
- Place mug in the center of the microwave and cook for 2 minutes.
- Place a saucepan over medium-high heat with blueberries, water and honey. Stir occasionally.
- Once the mixture begins to bubble and boil reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender, or transfer to a regular blender, and blend until smooth. Strain into a bowl to remove the seeds.
- Allow to cool before storing in the refrigerator. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Makes about 1 cup of jam.
Refined Sugar Free Buttercream Frosting
- Place egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on high until peaks form.
- Heat honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer reads 240F or the honey begins to bubble and froth.
- With the mixer still on high speed slowly pour the honey into the whipped egg whites. Continue beating on high until the mixture is at room temperature, about 20 minutes.
- Reduce mixer speed to medium and add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the vanilla extract and spinach juice or food coloring. (If the frosting is runny simply place in the refrigerator until chilled and beat again.) Makes 3 cups of frosting.
- Remove cake from mug and cut in half. Place bottom half in serving tray or cake stand.
- Use a piping bag to make a ring of frosting along the edge of the cake. Fill the middle with blueberry jam. Place the top on the cake.
- Frost as desired. Cover and store cake in refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
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The frosting recipe was inspired by Ina Garten's Chocolate Buttercream Cake.