Healthier Smash Cake Recipe {Hannah’s Purple Polka Dot 1st Birthday Party}

A healthier smash cake recipe, made without butter or refined sugars. This easy whole wheat banana cake is sure to be a hit with your birthday girl or boy! Plus, I’m sharing photos and ideas from Hannah’s Purple Polka Dot 1st Birthday Party!

Plus an easy, how to VIDEO

A healthier smash cake recipe, made without butter or refined sugars. This easy whole wheat banana cake is the perfect first birthday cake! With a VIDEO!

A couple of weeks ago our sweet Hannah turned one! I’m not sure where the past year has gone- it seems like just yesterday that I was announcing my pregnancy and her birth.

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Hannah’s first birthday brings up lots of mixed feelings. I’m sad that we are past the baby stage, but at the same time she is so much fun right now! She’s walking all over the place, she loves to play in her play kitchen, and she’ll try to climb up the stairs any chance she gets. Hannah isn’t saying many words yet, but she does say “Ma ma ma,” which I of course love. And she is such a sweetheart, with her big smiles, laughs, and goofy grins. She gives me big hugs when I pick her up and my heart melts each time she wraps her arms around my neck. <3

A purple polka dot first birthday party! Plus a healthier smash cake recipe, whole wheat and refined sugar free.

We celebrated Hannah’s birthday with a Purple Polka Dot Party! The purple polka dot theme was inspired by the dress that Julia wore on her first birthday. I knew I wanted Hannah to wear the same dress, and I wanted a 1st birthday theme that was easy to work with, and purple polka dots definitely were!

The Cake

A healthier smash cake recipe, made without butter or refined sugars. This easy whole wheat banana cake is the perfect first birthday cake! With a VIDEO!One of the most important parts of a birthday party is the cake, right? I’ve been thinking about Hannah’s birthday cake for a long time. Since Julia and William’s first birthdays, I’ve really changed the way that I cook and especially bake for my family. These days, I use refined sugars sparingly, subbing them with honey, pure maple syrup, and other natural sweeteners whenever possible. I usually use whole grains rather than white flour, and incorporate lots fresh fruits and veggies into our meals.

We haven’t given Hannah anything sweeter than fresh berries or a whole grain, honey-sweetened breakfast cookie. So giving her a sugar-filled cake for her first birthday didn’t make sense to me. I knew that she’d love a healthier cake just as much. (And she did!)

A healthier smash cake recipe, made without butter or refined sugars. This easy whole wheat banana cake is the perfect first birthday cake! With a VIDEO!

This healthier smash cake is made with ripe bananas and applesauce. Both of these add moisture and take the place of butter, and the banana adds lots of sweetness too. In addition to the banana, just ¼ cup of pure maple syrup brings a little more sweetness to the cake.

This cake is 100% whole grain. I’ve used white whole wheat flour, but regular whole wheat would work as well. The texture might be just a little denser. This Healthier Smash Cake reminds me of a healthy banana muffin. It’s not light and fluffy like a traditional cake, but it is definitely delicious! We served our guests this Light and Fluffy Vanilla Cake, but I don’t think anyone would have complained if given a healthier banana smash cake cupcake with fresh whipped cream. 🙂

A healthier smash cake recipe, made without butter or refined sugars. This easy whole wheat banana cake is the perfect first birthday cake! With a VIDEO!

I’ve made you a video to show just how easy this cake is to make! You’ll notice I use a blender to puree the banana with the other wet ingredients. I tested this recipe both with the blender and with using a fork to mash the banana and the blender cake was much, much better.

I baked the cake in two of these mini 4 ½-inch springform pans. They worked perfectly! You can also use this recipe to make cupcakes, which I tested as well. You’ll get 7 cupcakes from one recipe and can double the recipe if you need more.

Natural (no food coloring) colored purple frosting with blueberries. A healthier smash cake recipe, made without butter or refined sugars. This easy whole wheat banana cake is the perfect first birthday cake! With a VIDEO!

The frosting for Hannah’s cake is something I debated and experimented with quite a bit. Originally, I thought I’d make a cream cheese and Greek yogurt frosting, but I couldn’t find a refined sugar-free version I was happy with. I finally settled on using unsweetened, freshly whipped cream. It worked great, and Hannah loved it.

I tinted the whipped cream purple for Hannah’s birthday cake with a homemade blueberry sauce, which I’ve left directions for in the recipe below. If you want to avoid food coloring, you can get creative with natural food colorings made with real foods. I haven’t experimented beyond the purple yet.

A healthier smash cake recipe, made without butter or refined sugars. This easy whole wheat banana cake is the perfect first birthday cake! With a VIDEO!

If you’re looking for a healthier cake for your little one’s birthday, I hope you’ll give this one a try! I’ve tested and retested it until I was completely happy with the results. Let’s just say a lot of healthy banana cake has been eaten around here lately. 🙂

The Purple Polka Dot Party

I had fun with the Purple Polka Dot Party theme! If you’re here just for the cake recipe, keep scrolling and you’ll find it below.

A purple polka dot first birthday party! Plus a healthier smash cake recipe, whole wheat and refined sugar free.

It’s become a tradition for me to make the kids a birthday banner each year. It was really easy to incorporate both purple and polka dots into this Happy Birthday sign. I used a circle cutting tool to cut out the circles in various colors, and my sister, Lisa, made the letters for me using her Silhouette Cameo. Mini clothespins are my favorite for attaching the pieces of the birthday sign to a ribbon for hanging.

A purple polka dot first birthday party! Plus a healthier smash cake recipe, whole wheat and refined sugar free.

I bought some purple and white polka dot tablecloths and some tissue flowers in pretty shades of purple. My mom picked up the plants and put them in purple boxes with tissue to help decorate the tables.

I knew I wanted to incorporate a monthly picture of Hannah into the party decorations somehow. I ended up buying a big picture frame and to hold a collage of pictures. I love the way it turned out, and now we can hang it in Hannah’s room. We displayed the pictures on the dessert table.

A purple polka dot first birthday party! Plus a healthier smash cake recipe, whole wheat and refined sugar free.

At first she wasn’t quite sure what to do, but then Hannah figured it out and dug right into her cake!

A purple polka dot first birthday party! Plus a healthier smash cake recipe, whole wheat and refined sugar free.

A purple polka dot first birthday party! Plus a healthier smash cake recipe, whole wheat and refined sugar free.

Happy Birthday, Hannah! We are so excited to see all the ways that you will learn and change over the next year. We love you sweet girl!

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Healthier Smash Cake Recipe {Hannah's Purple Polka Dot 1st Birthday Party}
 
A healthier smash cake recipe, made without butter or refined sugars. This easy whole wheat banana cake is the perfect first birthday cake!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: makes a double layer 4 ½-inch cake, or one 6-inch cake, or 7 cupcakes
Ingredients
For the Cake:
  • butter and whole wheat flour for the pans
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium ripe banana (about 3 ounces)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup milk (whole preferred)
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For White Whipped Cream Frosting:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
For Purple Whipped Cream Frosting*:
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Directions
Make the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the cake pans and lightly dust with whole wheat flour, tapping out the excess. (I used two 4½-inch pans. You can also use one 6-inch pan or make cupcakes.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Place banana, applesauce, milk, and maple syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl or large liquid measuring cup. Whisk in the egg and vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry and mix with a rubber spatula or spoon until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; it's ok if there are a few bits of flour still visible in the batter.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared cake pans. Pans should be just over half full with the batter. Bake for about 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (Cupcakes will bake for about 14-16 minutes.)
  6. Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Then, gently run a knife around the edges and carefully transfer to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
To Make White Whipped Cream Frosting:
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream until it is the consistency of whipped cream. Frost cake as desired.
  2. To frost a double layer cake, first add a spoonful of frosting to the top of the bottom layer. Place the second cake layer on top. Using an offset spatula, spread frosting over the top of the cake and then down the sides.
To Make Purple Whipped Cream Frosting:
  1. Place frozen blueberries and water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring often, until blueberries soften and burst, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Transfer blueberry mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. Place in a bowl to cool completely.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream until it is the consistency of whipped cream. Gently fold in the blueberry mixture. Frost cake as desired.
  4. To frost a double layer cake, first add a spoonful of frosting to the top of the bottom layer. Place the second cake layer on top. Using an offset spatula, spread frosting over the top of the cake and then down the sides.
*If you plan to make the purple whipped cream frosting, you will want to get started on it ahead of time as the blueberry mixture needs to cool completely before being mixed into the whipped cream.

A healthier smash cake recipe, made without butter or refined sugars. This easy whole wheat banana cake is the perfect first birthday cake! With a VIDEO!

A purple polka dot first birthday party! Plus a healthier smash cake recipe, whole wheat and refined sugar free.

 

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