HOME > Chowhound > Special Diets >

Discussion

Surar-free cake??? icing?? and no dyes??

Can someone help me with this?

I offered to make a cake for a first birthday cake for a special one year old. I have a nice banana cake kind of recipe but want the icing to stand up like a buttercream.

I am planning to try beet juice to turn the icing pinkish....
Any sugarfree genius out there have any ideas for me.

Thanks in advance

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Coconut cream - vegan, gluten free and you don't have to add sugar.

    However - it's best when you use it to ice the cake right before you serve it. It is no-where near as stable as you can make buttercream.

    1. Before you start baking alternative and sugar free cakes, you should get the green light from the birthday child's mother. First birthdays are usually a big deal and the family may be anticipating something quite different (in this case a more traditional cake).

      By the way, beet juice has a lot of natural sugar and as such beets are not recommended for diabetic people. I'm only pointing this out in case the child in question has some type of sugar allergy.

      1. A concentrated amount of many brightly colored fruits or veggies can serve as a dye for the frosting...but you may wish to go the pretty pink candles route instead?

        I'm not sure an exact buttercream consistency ditto can be achieved without sugar. As ultimate potato noted, a lot of good recipes are out there for lower sugar frosting (I like the coconut oil/coconut milk one on the "sheletthemeatcake" blog...but since they're coconut oil based, you have to watch them.

        1. I think a cooked flour frosting would probably work well without sugar - the recipe calls for sugar, milk and flour to be cooked together into a thick paste, and then butter is beaten in. However, since the flour/liquid offer stability and volume, you could probably substitute artificial sweeteners fairly easily. The flour defeats the purpose of keeping the frosting low-carb, but if you're only concerned about sugar, that could be an option. I have also made this type of frosting using fruit juice instead of milk, and I'm sure other liquids would work as well.

          1. Do the parents want you to make your special sugar-free cake for the entire party, or just for the toddler? If you're doing the typical 'face-smash' first birthday cake you could just make a toddler-sized one with the special recipe and make a more traditional birthday cake for the rest of the group - a one-year-old isn't going to know what they're missing out on!

            Here's a whole folder of 'sugar-free/gluten-free birthday cakes' from pinterest. I'm sure you can find a good frosting idea in there somewhere! http://www.pinterest.com/rollinskj/re...

            Btw I have yet to try it (I just sent for my free sample), but they make Swerve sweetener in a confectioner's sugar format. Here's somebody who used it in their birthday cupcakes - http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2013... Bear in mind that at ten bucks a bag, that frosting is going to cost a fortune!

            1. Thank you all for your replies. I made a beautiful square blue cake with white stensiling for the babies mom's wedding shower. I made a second one for my MIL's 80. It is especially beautiful and has 11 eggs and one pound of butter and two pounds of sugar int he icing alone....hahaha

              I actually thought when she asked me to make the cake that I would be repeating my famous two successful large square cakes chock full of sugar and refined white flour.

              Instead, I was asked to make something without too much sugar, using applesauce instead, or whatever she emailed me. No serious diabetes, just a baby being conscientiously raised.

              So, I am feeling the pressure to perform a beautiful cake that has natural products. One year old has not had any other than natural sugars up to now. I am feeling it is a bit of a tall order, so may make two. One banana cake with whole wheat and cream cheese flavoured with concentrated apple sauce and make it tiny so she can get her hands in and all over it and a second fabulous cake full of sugar for the adults.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybkvx...

              This super awesome rose swirl cake.....

              I offered to bring something, I will accept the challenge.
              sigh!

              7 Replies
              1. re: Paulax

                Since nobody is actually diabetic/allergic, mom just doesn't want to give baby refined sugar, you have a much easier job. You can use mashed banana/applesauce/honey/maple syrup for sweetness without worrying about the carb count, and I'm sure you can make a delicious cake with far less sugar. How about a cream cheese/coconut cream frosting sweetened with honey and/or maple syrup?

                Hummingbird cake springs to mind as being really yummy for all... here's a recipe for cream cheese frosting sweetened with maple syrup. http://www.primalpalate.com/paleo-rec...
                and here's a hummingbird cake with no sugar and no butter.
                http://sugarandcinnamon.com/2013/07/1...

                1. re: Kajikit

                  I am not an expert but what is the health benefit from using maple syrup over regular sugar? I only ask because I did a quick online comparison and the 1/2 cup of maple syrup called for in the recipe for cream cheese frosting actually has a higher calorie count than 1/2 cup of granulated sugar.....

                  That aside, maple syrup is an unique flavor and could work really well with a carrot cake / hummingbird cake.

                  1. re: Roland Parker

                    Personally I don't think there IS any 'health benefit'... there's a distinctly different flavour if you use honey or maple syrup but sugar is ultimately sugar - as a diabetic family, we can't use ANY of it. From looking at blogs to try to find diabetic-suitable recipes, I've found a lot of people who are into 'eating clean' and 'natural eating' and who are using honey, maple syrup, or other said-to-be-less-refined sugars in their recipes. Some of them sound delicious, but they're not diabetic... but the OP doesn't actually NEED a completely sugar-free recipe, she just wants low-sugar, more-natural etc. which gives her more options. (for a baby, I'd vastly prefer to give them a cake made with maple syrup than artifical sweeteners - I'll use them for us because we have no other option to create the 'sweet' taste...) I suggested a hummingbird cake because you can make it with very little added sugar of any kind - the pineapple, banana, and applesauce add a ton of sweetness on their own, and I could see honey or maple syrup enhancing it.

                    Oh, and I just remembered that it isn't safe to use honey in food for very young babies, because there's a danger of their getting botulism from their immature digestive tract. I think by their first birthday they're past the danger zone but I wouldn't want to swear to it... There's no safety prohibition against using maple syrup...

                    1. re: Kajikit

                      I just want to point out that fruits are a source of added sugars, and fructose is very efficient at promoting insulin resistance, and thus, diabetes.

                      Sorry to be Debbie Downer...

                    2. re: Roland Parker

                      According to http://nutritiondata.self.com maple syrup is mostly sucrose, with a little bit of glucose and fructose. I don't think there would be a significant difference, in terms of blood sugar metabolism.

                      I've heard advice to use grade B maple syrup for a higher mineral content. I guess that made me feel better about eating it, at one point, but, it seems like a silly way to get minerals, now.

                      If one's only goal is to avoid highly processed food, maple syrup might be the better choice.

                      1. re: johnseberg

                        Maple syrup is a highly processed food.

                  2. re: Paulax

                    Make the same delicious cake they love for the grown ups and the naturally sweetend small photo op cake for the birthday baby- the banana cake sounds like something a one year old would like, i would confim a parental ok before adding nuts though.

                  3. am not going to wade into the "healthy sugar" debate...

                    the baby will at best eat a few bites, but i'd be leery of using cream cheese or beet juice in her frosting, as the sour tang from the former and the earthy funk of the latter may not appeal. definitely ask the mom first if she will eat them. an alternative would be to whiz a few raspberries in the frosting for color.

                    whole wheat flour is no healthier than white, contrary to claims from certain groups, and babies certainly don't *need* any extra fiber, lol. you could forego wheat entirely and make a banana custard kinda thing, topped with fluffy whipped cream (use regular or coconut cream) or make a riff on flourless cake.

                    1. I have used well drained fat free vanilla Stonyfield Farm yogurt as frosting on carrot cake and ginger bread. That might be good with your cake. There is sugar in it but not a pound.