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Cake for 1 year old Baby? (Allergen free)

So I don't have any babies, but what I hear from friends is that they can't have any fun stuff until they get a bit older. Stuff like nuts, eggs, honey etc. A friend of mine recently welcomed home her sister's newly adopted baby boy who will be turning 1 year old in a couple weeks. She'd like to bake a birthday cake that is safe for baby and still yummy for other guests. But how....? I promised to find her a recipe for cake and frosting that the new over-protective parents will be glad to feed to their son, but... I'm having trouble! Everything has eggs or sugar or dairy or sharpy pointy objects and marbles! Help!

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  1. I believe they can have all those things, though the honey cannot be raw. So I suggest a regular cake and don't let the baby have much.

    1. Ow, definitely don't make a cake w/ sharpy pointy objects or marbles, even for non-babies.;-) Babies shouldn't have nuts but the rest of regular cake ingredients are fine. If you want to please over-protective parents, a carrot cake might be a good way to go (no raisins). Egg, sugar, dairy are fine. But, some parents are pickier than what doctors recommend and it might be a good idea to ask first. I know some don't allow white flour or sugar.

      1. I thought they did away with all of those restrictions on allergens that were in place when my 5 yo daughter was a baby. What do I know. I feed my 10 month old everything. Let him eat cake! :-)

        In order to be fully responsive though - IIRC What to Expect the First Year (written by the same fearmongers who brought us What to Expect When You're Expecting) has a first birthday cake recipe that is based on a carrot cake recipe.

        5 Replies
        1. re: MrsCheese

          Pish-tosh. I imagine their next compilation of unwise restrictions will be entitled "How to Raise an Auto-Immune Kid", with all sorts of recommendations for sterilizing the child's life so he is overwhelmed by every stray animal hair, drop of milk, and speck of peanut dust.

          How about an ice cream cake? Simple sponge cake in a jelly roll/sheet pan, softened ice cream of your choice, your choice of frosting, and refreeze. Another attractive IC cake is to line a large bowl with plastic wrap, fit slices of store-bought jelly roll inside to line it evenly, then fill the remainder with one or more layers of ice cream. Refreeze.

          1. re: MrsCheese

            I know tell the expectant mothers I know to *get rid of* What to Expect...while I'm all for good medical-based information, that damned book will make you spend every minute of your pregnancy worrying about every twinge and flicker you feel (and given the number of twinges and flickers one feels during pregnancy, that's a LOT of worrying when you should be enjoying and treasuring this time in your life. Fearmongering is NOT helpful. (I threw my copy away rather than give it to someone I love!) (The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy, on the other hand, was funny and informative and reassuring....and highly recommended)

            By one year, babies should be eating cereals (Cheerios, anyone?)and toasts and scrambled eggs anyway, assuming normal development and a lack of abnormal allergies.

            Bake a simple white or yellow cake and frost it with a cooked buttercream or similar (who needs to start their palate by eating a gob of sweetened Crisco?) -- or a lightly sweetened stabilized whipped cream.

            1. re: sunshine842

              The explanations of development were helpful, but that diet, oh my, that diet was vile! I couldn't choke down that stuff while expecting (bitter greens and whole wheat for a woman with morning sickness? Please!) And all the while I kept wondering if my kids would turn out okay thanks to the book's dire warnings about folic acid, etc.

            2. re: MrsCheese

              FWIW, my friend, who is a fairly competent baker, made that What to Expect cake and it was terrible. I think everyone's went into the trash, except for the icing which was okay.

              1. re: MrsCheese

                Carrot cake is very common (maybe because the first birthday cake is often the kid's first exposure to sweets, and we can pretend it's healthy?) -- leave out the nuts if you're worried about allergies, but everything else should be safe for most babies and older kids. I used Alton Brown's carrot cake recipe for my older son's 1st birthday, but there are plenty of good ones out there.

              2. By one, thre are few things to avoid. Friends of mine have used that as the time to intro chocolate, a previous no no. I have great pics of all 3 with their hands in the cake and happy as can be. Confirm with the parents there are no existin allergies, then I say chocolate all the way!

                At this poin it's less about allergens (if none exist) and more about choking hazards :)

                1. First birthday cakes are really for the adults and older children. The baby will have, at the most, three bites. I'd do a simple sponge cake, not too sweet. Unless the parents really don't want him to have eggs (which, I'm pretty sure are okay at this age), just go ahead and make a sponge cake. If you really must, make a "safe" cupcake for the baby and don't frost it.

                  1. We have a baby who will be turning one shortly... Such a relief he didn't have a reaction once our Dr said it was ok to give him eggs! Phew. (keeping our fingers crossed for peanuts now..) My concerns these days are nuts (so no store bought cake mixes which may contain nuts), honey - which I understand babies shouldn't have raw or cooked due to fears of botulism and citrus/berries.

                    He recently had a bite of home made chocolate cake when it was my birthday...and of course he loved it.

                    If the baby was only recently adopted, then i would think that the parents are still quite hyper sensitive and concerned for their child. It's still all so new. So, might be a nice idea to keep everything on the safe side so as to not cause any concern.
                    What about a shortcake? No egg needed and only a little bit of sugar. (mostly just butter and flour!) Instead of strawberries, you could use peaches (or bananas or blueberries - which are ok). I bet you he would love the whipped cream. If I were to feed that to my son, I would have to mash it up quite well as he's still got a strong gag reflex when it comes to texture - so the whipped cream would really help for this!
                    Good luck.

                    1. It's TINY infants who can't eat honey because of the danger of botulism - their gut isn't acidic enough yet to kill the toxins. And it's fine if it's cooked. No nuts because they might choke on them. That I can understand. But a plain white cake with frosting is just fine at any age once they know how to handle solid foods.

                      1. we got our daughter a cake from publix...the regular cake was for the rest of us...and they give u a "baby sized" extra cake ...

                        she proceeded to eat/wear most of it...

                        but she had fun doing it...

                        but we werent worried about anything...

                        i dont think u will know if they allergic to anything unless they try it......

                        like me for instance...i didnt eat nuts for the longest time.any kind --any way...i thought i didnt like them...
                        turns out my mother was so afraid i would choke on one she told me i didnt like them and had ingrained that so deep in me it was until my late 20s early 30s that i find out i actually like them and am not going to die horribly from choking on one...