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bake me a cake as fast as you can

my baby is turning one. don't get me started on just how fast time passes.

i want to make a cake, but it needs to be something she can eat. that means my go-to cake, the delicious galleygirl tart with sour cherries (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/281699) is out, since she's never had sour cherries before, and i'm not so sure she'd be a fan.

the general rules:
no choking hazards (that eliminates carrot cake, because who wants to eat carrot cake without walnuts? not me. but carrot cake would probably otherwise be ideal
)no honey
no chocolate
not too fussy (i want to spend time with the girl way more than i want to make an elaborate cake for her)
no citrus
ideally would incorporate peaches, since they're so great these days, and she's a big fan

oh, and no need for cutesy shapes, lots of icing, etc--she won't know the difference. i anticipate making her her own cupcake-sized individual portion to pulverize, and a larger cake for the adults.

any tried and true recipes you'd recommend, or old chowhound threads you've bookmarked would be much appreciated.


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  1. And remind me...There's a rose watery epicurious cake, a ground hazelnut cake from Goin's SSaL, and the famous Sir Gawain cake all circulating around in the back of my head. Those might be possibilities--any thoughts on those?

    1. How about a banana cake? There was one on Epicurious that I tried and it was delicious! I think it uses cream cheese frosting, but that can be left out for the baby. Most kids like mushed bananas, and the adult version could include chopped nuts pressed into the sides for garnish / taste.

      1. How about keeping it simple with homemade angel food cake? Plain or with a little icing/glaze for the baby while the grown-ups can be gussied up any way you like. Seasonal fruit is an easy and tasty accompaniment.

        1. To me a kid's birthday cake is usually a yellow cake with chocolate icing or a white cake with pink strawberry icing for a girl.
          A winner I once made was a banana cake (silver palatte receipe) with a white chocolate and cream cheese frosting (not sure which receipe I used for that but the combo was excellent on the banana) with a curious george decal on top.
          My nephew was quite a bit older though the cake is more for the adults than the kid at this age.

          1. I've got a recipe that I love for a really easy and healthy cake so here goes:

            Ingredients (for a small cake, approx 5 slices):
            -1 small pot of light or full-fat cream cheese
            - 1 pot (using the cream cheese container) of brown sugar or molasses
            - 1 1/2 pot of wholewheat self-raising flour
            - 1/2 tsbp baking powder
            - 2 eggs
            - chopped dates or other dried fruit (optional)

            Cream the cheese and sugar together until smooth. In a bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. Add eggs and mix well. Add cream cheese mix and chopped dates. Pour batter into small, greased cake tin. Bake in moderate oven for 40 minutes or so.


            1. cream cheese pound/bundt cake with grilled peaches =)

              1. You can make galleygirl's cake with peaches, and leave out the tart cherries. I've also used peaches in pineapple upside down cake, with a recipe for fresh pineapples from food network. And, I have a REALLY simple and delicious peach cobbler recipe, along the lines of galley girl's tart, that I can post if you want. It's from the SF Junior League A La Carte cookbook.

                3 Replies
                1. re: chowser

                  i would love a recipe for a really simple and delicious peach cobbler, thanks.

                  it's also a great idea to sub peaches for the sour cherries. i recall, back in the day when everyone was baking the galleygirl and sir gawain cakes fast and furious, that there was some discussion about one or the other being better for different fruits. given the cognitive decline that comes with parenting a one year old, i don't remember anything more than that. can someone refresh my memory?

                  1. re: rose water

                    answering my own question
                    cake too soggy with peaches: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/421383
                    cake fantastic with nectarines and cardamom: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/279181
                    the cake and many variations thereof (including peach): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/420779
                    the famous cake itself: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2790...
                    and more: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/280336
                    as apple upside down cake: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/281329
                    and a SG cake GG tart comparison: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/281387

                    1. re: rose water

                      As with galleygirl's tart, the sum is much better than the simple parts. It's excellent with vanilla ice cream, especially if warm but still good if cold. It's a nice summer treat. I parboil the peaches to remove the skin. It's not necessary but I don't like the texture of the skin baked in. But, others have liked it that way. It's called a cobbler but it comes out like a cake.

                      Peach Cobbler
                      3 c fresh sliced peaches
                      1/2 c sugar
                      1/4 tsp mace
                      6 tbsp butter
                      3/4 c sugar
                      1 c ap flour
                      1 tsp baking powder
                      1 c milk

                      Preheat oven to 350. Toss peaches w/ sugar and mace. Melt butter and add to 9x13 pan. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder. Then gently stir in milk. Pour mixture on butter into dish. Top w/ peaches (will sink). Bake 1 hour.

                  2. The banana cake from the Cake Bible is really delicious and easy to make.
                    Or you could make a white cake, and a whipped cream/peaches filling.

                    (By the way, I think that honey in baked goods is fine for babies, even under a year.)

                    Congrats on this big birthday!

                    1. The rose watery cake from Epicurious is the Persian (!) Love Cake, with a cardamom and lemon white cake and rose water-and-saffron-flavored whipped cream frosting. A pretty cake that a one-year-old would make a pretty mess of!


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                        yes, exactly, thank you! it looks and sounds delicious. but alas, beating egg whites until soft peaks form and cutting parchment paper rounds is so not going to happen...maybe for her 15th birthday :)

                        1. re: rose water

                          I used this cake recipe and used my own simple icing. Not as good, but it was quite tasty.

                          3 cups powdered sugar; 1/4 cup butter; 4 tablespoons milk; 1/8 teaspoon salt
                          Beat all until smooth. I added some juice from blueberries that I made for the adults to color the frosting. It was sweet not too sweet easy, quick. For the adult I sauteed the blueberries and then added some gran manier and fresh raspberries and drizzled the fruit over the cake which was really good.

                          NOTE: making the cake I used ground cardamon, I did have whole and I used just plain ol' sugar. I just didn't have the time to go out and buy these. I used what I had. I was still very good and enjoyed the cake.

                          I decorated with some pretty dollops of whipped cream and some candles and I used some flowers just to make it pretty.