In Penny's birthday party post, I promised that I would post her cake recipe soon. Here it is! I love this cake because it has no refined sugar or refined flour, is sweetened with raw honey and apples, has healthy fruit, and is light and just a little bit sweet. It is perfect any time of day and rarely sticks around very long. I started with a Betty Crocker carrot cake recipe and made lots of big changes so that it's not really the same cake at all. Here's my healthy birthday cake recipe:
1 1/8 cup raw honey (local from groovy beekeepers if you can find it)
1 cup applesauce OR extra virgin olive oil (or some combination of the two that adds up to 1 cup). The EVOO will make for a denser, oilier cake, while the applesauce adds a bit more sweetness and a lighter texture. You can use your oil of choice if you don't like olive.
3 eggs (local pastured of course!)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups shredded apples (thank you, Vitamix!)
1 cup walnuts (optional). I leave these out because nuts and toddlers make me nervous.
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of one 13x9-inch pan or two 8-inch or 9-inch round pans with shortening, butter, or oil; lightly flour. In large bowl, beat honey, oil/applesauce and eggs with electric mixer on low speed about 30 seconds or until blended. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla and the salt; beat on low speed 1 minute. Stir in apples and nuts just until combined. Pour into pan(s).
Bake 13x9-inch pan 40 to 45 minutes, round pans 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool rectangle in pan on cooling rack. Cool rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. With the 13x9, I usually just leave it in the pan and frost just the top.
I used this whipped cream cream cheese frosting recipe, except I did not add sugar or salt. Instead, I used just a tablespoon or two of agave. Maple syrup or honey could be used instead.
I used these natural food dyes to color the frosting, but I do not really recommend them. I bought them last year to make Penny's caterpillar cake, and I still had some left over. The colors are not very bright, and it takes tons of dye to even get a pastel. The blue is a total waste and doesn't look blue at all, so you can only really make pink, yellow, or orange. Also, they are overpriced in my opinion. I will let you know if I find a better option, but I think pureeing berries would be a good thing to try.