So, a few things before I share this recipe with everyone:
- I am not a nutritionist. I am not a doctor. I am a mom who likes to cook. That being said, I do know a little about things like calories, sodium, sugar intake etc.
- I have no problem with sugar. I like sugar (a little too much). And, I don't think it is a bad idea to introduce sugar to a child as long as it is managed. That being said, my son had not had sugar other than fruit (a whole different type of sugar) and exactly one bite of vanilla ice cream before he turned one. I didn't want to load him up with sugar on his birthday.
- I like cake. I love making cakes. I someday hope to share that love with my son. I wanted him to have a little smash cake on his birthday... so, I came up with a recipe that was tasty but didn't load him up on a bunch of unnecessary fats & sugars.
- This is not gluten free. It is not dairy free. It is not vegan. It is not made with super awesome, healthy grains. This could be a whole bunch healthier. Personally, I probably wouldn't eat it then.
Now that bit is over with... this cake was TASTY. The cake was basically a normal easy cake recipe where I substituted banana for sugar and applesauce for oil/butter (another thing I wanted to cut back on in his first treat). The frosting was whipped cream cheese with a touch of vanilla and a touch of powdered sugar. The cake consistency was close to muffin rather than cake. But, it was a small price to pay when cutting out butter/oil!
(The smash cake did have a food coloring spray to make it yellow. I opted out of putting it on the cupcakes that all the other kids were eating.)
Funny thing about this cake... everything on the sweets table was melting in the sun at my little man's party. Everything but this cake. They looked and tasted perfect the entire time! Thanks to Motormouth Studio for the pics!
Kid-Friendly Banana Cupcakes
Estimated Time: 28-25 minutes, Approximately 24 standard sized cupcakes
- 1 cup smashed and strained banana
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 cups cake flour
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Prep cupcake tin with liners
- Sift (I like to throw my dry ingredients in a food processor instead of sifting) flour, baking powder, and salt together in one bowl.
- In another bowl, mix together the apple sauce, banana, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Whisk just a little bit so that they are fluffy.
- Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the apple sauce mixture.
- Spoon batter into cupcake liners (a hefty amount, but not too full... about 3/4 the liner works great)
- Bake for approximately 18 to 25 minutes. The bake time varies with different ovens. If a toothpick is put in the center of the cake and comes out clean then the cupcake is done!
- Let cool and top with frosting. Right before serving add a slice of banana to the top.
Now, I couldn't go and make a healthier cupcake and then top it with sugary frosting. But, come on.. a cupcake just ain't a cupcake without frosting. So, I opted to put a dollop of whipped cream cheese frosting on top. I made WAY too much frosting. So, if using this recipe plan on either putting on more frosting per cupcake, attacking frosting with a spoon, or saving it to go on a batch of cinnamon rolls!
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 Large bowl, 1 kitchen mixer (hand held or standing work... you could do it by hand and not powered, but you have to have more muscles and time than I have!)
- 2 packs of cream cheese (pretty sure that is 16 oz) at room temperature (very important)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (this is significantly less than regular icing)
- Whip cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy.
- Mix in vanilla and powdered sugar until incorporated.
- Put in piping bag and pipe a dollop onto each cupcake
If you end up making these cupcakes (or a variation) I'd love to hear about how they turned out!