Birthday ideas…

Email from a reader:


My son is turning two in just a couple weeks. We have moved to the whole foods lifestyle as a family now. I have no problem breaking the rules on occassion, the problem is that my son cannot handle white flour. It consitpates him beyond words, he got that honest from Momma!

So, I am looking for an alternative to the normal birthday cakes. We tried one some time back that was a store box mix, but from Whole Foods and made with whole wheat flour. It was aweful! It was likely rancid, which would account for the really strange taste. We are used to whole grains, but I am sure the less than fluffy cake was a shock to our taste buds.

I was thinking maybe I could even make a whole grain banana bread and figure out some type of frosting to put on it. Would anyone have a recipe that would fit the part? Or any other ideas???



22 thoughts on “Birthday ideas…

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  1. I have found a lot of good recipes on for cakes and things, and I just healthify them the last little bit by using whole wheat flour, coconut oil or applesauce, and sucanat or turbinado. The cake is a bit heavier (and takes a little longer to cook), but it still tastes yummy. Here are some of the ones that have worked well for me (remember to “healthify” if you like): – super moist chocolate cake- I used 6 Tbsp applesauce instead of the oil here and it worked great – pineapple upside down cake – zucchini brownies with frosting – this one has a great frosting recipe that could go well on a different cake

    My friend Tammie also makes some healthy cakes that are on her blog – – and they are really good too, I know she has a lemon sauce that she uses as frosting sometimes.

    Nothing may come out as light and fluffy as regular cake, but after you get used to not eating it anymore, I have come to prefer the heavier taste of whole wheat flour and the regular tastes like fluff…

    Good luck!

  2. There’s a book at my library called “Sugar-Free Toddlers”. It doesn’t use artificial sweeteners, but usually uses fruit and things like that. The recipes also use fruit juice concentrates, and some people object to that. It has a recipe in it for birthday cake that looks pretty yummy to me.

    The author advocates the use of dairy milk a lot. If you don’t use dairy milk it’s easy to substitute, we often do.

  3. Kari, you could make Robyn’s Chocolate Beet Cake. It is to die for! I served it just recently as a birthday cake and everyone loved it. It’s made with whole wheat flour, coconut oil, eggs, chocolate powder so it is completely healthy.

  4. Dear Kari, well done for converting to wholefoods! I make a chocolate cake with raw cocoa flour and wholemeal spelt flour and use the following ingredients for the frosting: raw cocoa flour, organic coconut oil and agave syrup. It is delicious and very suitable for a special occasion. Carmela

  5. Hi Kari!

    I might be breaking the rules here (if so, I apologize!) – but how about an ice-cream cake? Or, perhaps a store with a really good natural foods section might have an ice-cream alternative cake? I do love the idea of a really good whole grain carrot cake too. Or whole grain muffins with icing?

    Also, just to add some other ideas to the mix (has nothing to do with flour): I have made a chocolate mousse kind of dessert that is pretty neat – whip up some silken tofu and add melted chocolate and then let it chill. Even my father in law didn’t know it wasn’t dairy based. 🙂 Just another dessert idea!

    If I see any cool looking recipes I’ll share them. But I just wanted to throw out the idea of the ice cream cake before I forgot…



  6. Pamela’s products are amazing! My son can’t have wheat and these are wheat free. The chocolate cake and the chocolate frosting are incredible!!!

  7. Sounds like your little guy could have gluten intolerance, so you might try using almond flour go to or for a flourless cake try for cakes using black beans or white beans or http:// . I also use coconut flour for alot of my baking, but this can be a little trickier to use.

    Betty Crocker has new gluten free mixes out and Pamela’ products are good too. But, like you, special occassions only should be the rule.


  8. I make this recipe all the time with whole wheat. I usually do half WW and Half white flour but I don’t see why it cannot be done all WWheat.


    2 cups WW flour

    1-1/2 tsp baking powder

    ½ tsp baking soda

    1 tsp cinnamon

    ½ tsp salt

    ½ cup buttermilk or milk

    2 eggs

    1-1/2 cup mashed bananas

    ½ cup oil

    2/3 cup sugar

    1 cup chopped nuts

    ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)


    Mix dry ingredients first

    Add the rest of ingredients

    Bake at 350F for 45min- 1hr depending on the oven and type of pan. I use the pan with the whole in the middle. It cooks faster.

  9. I just purchased a recipe book written by the proprietor of Babycakes, a now famous vegan gluten-free bakery in New York. One look at the ingredients and you will see that everything is safe and healthy. I made the vanilla cupcakes which were a hit with the grown-ups but less so with the kids as they thought it not sweet eoungh (and that is easily fixed), but my kids are still transitioning so have don’t have the refined tastebuds of those eating more whole raw foods. Also I did not frost mine. It’s a great cook book for mostly raw/whole foodists to have around. Apparently Babycakes cupcakes were voted best in New York amongst a field of all types of cupcakes, not just vegan or gluten-free, so I think that says something about the texture and taste.

  10. If you go the ice cream route Purely Decadent makes a really delicious coconut milk ice cream. You have to read the labels because they also make some ice creams out of soy. Just make sure it says made with coconut milk. It is really yummy, especially the chocolate one. You can definite buy several flavors and make a several layer ice cream cake. Good luck and happy birthday to your little one.

  11. WOW!!! Thank you everyone for all the great ideas!!! I doubt I will have trouble figuring something out with all these great ideas.

    We do use whole grains and whole wheat, but I just try not to give my little ones lots of products with flour. Even the whole wheat flour will constipate. We don’t do soy products either, since they tend to react the same with soy as they do with dairy…not good. So, the dairy ice cream cake is a no go. My kids love ice cream, but what it does to their bodies is not good, so I only give in once in a while to that temptation!

    Thanks again, yall!


  12. I suggest you google ‘Thermomix’…it is the most amazing kitchen appliance I have ever come across. It is so advanced in its cross section of functions. You can cook in it, make jam, grate cheese, make yoghurt…raw ofcourse, mill nuts and seeds and fresh herbs, and yes make cakes and biscuits and bread dough and even mill your own whole wheat flour to add to your recipes. What prompted me to respond to your question regarding cake mixes is that the Thermomix comes with its own cookbook and more are available, that contain wonderful recipes for all manner of sweets that would tempt your little man. You can make chocolate alternative and your own peanut butter and sorbet in seconds. In fact most of the functions take only seconds…I kid you not! I honestly could not do without mine now. You don’t ever need to replace juicers or bread makers or food processors or coffee grinders again. It even makes a fine Capuccino. Good hunting. Jodie.

  13. I made a birthday cake this week, I used my normal recipe substituting butter for shortening, 100% white wheat flour for the white flour, sucanat for the sugar, and high omega eggs for the normal eggs. It tasted better than usual. I Note: I never need to use any white four at all when using freshly ground (at home right before baking) white wheat flour, the texture is great without it.

  14. I would have him tested for gluten intolerance and celiac disease (now it is a simple blood test)

    My daughter had terrible stomach aches and constipation when she was young and now, at the age of 27, and many years of stomachaches, weight loss, and depression, among other ailments, she has been found to be gluten intolerant. We are waiting for the test to see if she has celiac disease. Maybe we could have avoided these 20 years of sickness and heartache had we known. I would insist that the doctor test my son for celiac.

    I have fibromyalgia. If my daughter has celiac, I am going to be tested for it also as it is genetic.

  15. You could try Robin’s Beet cake recipe. It’s even chocolate! She blogged about it a few days back, but here it is.

    Chocolate Beet Cake

    3 eggs (organic, range fed)

    1 1/2 cups Sucanat (dehydrated, unrefined cane juice)

    3/4 cup coconut oil

    1 tsp. vanilla

    1 3/4 cups pureed, steamed beets (about 4 med. beets,

    peeled, chopped, steamed 20 min.)

    1/4 cup baking cocoa (nonalkalized) or raw powdered chocolate

    2 cups whole wheat flour (soft white wheat, ground fine)

    1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

    1/2 tsp. sea salt

    Puree steamed beets in BlendTec Total Blender, then add eggs, Sucanat, oil, and vanilla. Add chocolate and other dry ingredients, blend until smooth. Pour in 9″ x 13″ oiled pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

  16. Like the other Michelle, I bought the Babycakes cookbook and made the vanilla cupcakes (the whole book is just amazing looking cakes, cookies and dessert recipes, all vegan.) Everyone who tries the vanilla cupcakes them loves them. They are dairy, wheat and sugar free. Made of garbanzo/fava bean flour, and sweetened with agave nectar. My 4yr old loves them, as do my adult non-vegan friends. I bought the cookbook specifically for my son’s birthday party two months ago, because I wanted to make cupcakes and treats I could feel good about serving to little ones.

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