The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 21 November 2014

Apple & Carrot (First Birthday) Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Baby girl has officially bid farewell to her infancy as she celebrates turning one year old this week. We had a low-key celebration with just the four of us and a healthy birthday cake. I feel a little guilty not doing anything bigger, but then I am reminded that we already had an early celebration with our family when we were in Sydney last month. I wanted to make a small cake for baby girl to dig into, and when I tried looking for the recipe I did for my son's first birthday (quite a few years ago, though it seemed only like yesterday), I found that I failed to post it up on my blog. So I had to search once again on the internet, looked at four or five recipes, and picked out the one that used the least amount of sugar. I then cut down the sugar even more (80%!), and used a little bit of honey to celebrate the fact that baby girl can now safely consume honey (a known source of bacteria spores that causes botulism, hence not recommended for babies under 12 months old). Though I reduced the amount of sugar, the 6-year-old loves it and hubby said it was fine. Baby girl and I prefer the cake without the cream cheese frosting but hubby and son like it with. My recipe below is a modification of this carrot & apple cake recipe, and there was enough batter for a small heart-shaped cake pan and a dozen muffin cups (or two 20cm round cake pans). The resulting cake and muffins were moist and dense, perfect as a healthful treat - or a baby's first birthday cake. If I were to make it again, I would stick to my usual muffin-making method of mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately before combining the two mixes, which ought to reduce the amount of mixing and hopefully yield a more tender crumb.

Apple & Carrot (First Birthday) Cake


Cake batter
300g self-raising flour
100g carrots, peeled and roughly grated
25g brown sugar
25ml raw honey
125ml light olive oil (any oil with mild flavour is suitable)
3 small apples, peeled, cored and roughly grated
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cream cheese frosting
150g cream cheese, taken out of refrigerator to soften slightly
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon yogurt
(optional - 2 tablespoons icing sugar)


1. Preheat oven to 160degC (180degC for conventional oven). Grease two 20cm round cake pans (or one small cake pan and a 12-cup muffin tray).
2. Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and mix everything together until well combined (I used my hand mixer on low speed).
3. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until cake feels springy to the touch or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted (if making muffins, check after 20 minutes).
4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes in the cake pans. Carefully remove cakes from the cake pans and cool on a cooling rack.
5. To make frosting: mix the cream cheese, vanilla extract, yogurt and icing sugar (if using) until smooth and well combined.
6. Frost the cake as you wish (or not), and enjoy like my daughter did!

The dense, moist texture of the cake:

1 comment:

  1. How lucky to have you bake a cake! It looks yummy and she looks like she is enjoying it.