It has been a tradition in many families for their babies to have their first-ever taste of cake on their first birthday. For the first twelve months of their lives, these babies have been on super-strict diets, their mums religiously writing down each and every first food they have tried. Not only do some babies get to try cake for their first time on their birthday, some lucky babies even have their own special cake to mark their first big milestone. Obviously with limited coordination, these cakes usually get "smashed up" hence they've been affectionately termed Smash Cake.
Smash cakes have become extremely popular in the past few years, and have even almost become, dare I say, a rite of passage, into free-eating and toddler-hood. It is because of this "free-eating" that I was super surprised when we were approached by a super-health conscious, yet very fun mummy, for her daughter's first smash cake. Not surprising though, she asked us to create a delicious, but not-so-naughty version for her soon-to-be one year old.
Baby Kira and her older sister have been very fortunate to be raised on mostly organic produce and natural products. They try to only eat organic, their clothes are lovingly washed with organic detergents, they even sleep on an organic bed! To capture the magical memories of baby Kira and her first "natural" smash cake, they had commissioned their very talented sister in law, Amanda Lui, from Amanda Lui Photography to do their photoshoot.
To make this cake, we used a recipe from a London-based baking blog called Bake, and re-created their Wholemeal, Honey and Vanilla Sponge. We used wholemeal flour, reduced the sugar, supplemented the sugar with honey, natural yoghurt and vanilla beans. The aroma and taste of the cake was beautiful, a delicate honey flavour with a gorgeous texture from the wholemeal flour. We tripled the batch as we like our cakes at Cake Me! to be high and grand, and a smash cake is no exception.
Instead of a lemon curd filling, we used cream cheese to create a healthier cream-cheese "frosting". Kira's mummy insisted on zero-sugar frosting, so the cream cheese "frosting" is actually pure cream cheese. Yes, no sugar, no stevia, no spendour, no equal or any other sugar alternative!! Might sound a bit strange (and stinky!) but it is actually pure genius. Kira loves cheese and wouldn't realise that frosting is meant to be sweet in the first place.
For the ombre effect, we used natural colour paste by Creative, so it's free of artificial additives and preservatives. It's also made in Australia. When we first sourced the paste, we were worried that being "natural" that the colours would be muted, however we were pleased with how the colour turned out, deep pink where it was supposed to be, light and pastel-ly on the top. One thing we noticed when we opened the bottle was that the natural colour "paste" was runny up the top and gluggy at the bottom. Fortunately the colour seemed to mix fine with the cream cheese. We haven't tried the paste on fondant, but hopefully after a good stir, the paste would work well on fondant too.
Baby Kira had a wonderful time at her photoshoot. She looked so adorable in her pale pink onesie trimmed with black polkadots. She dug into her cake and loved it (even mummy and daddy got to enjoy the delicious cake off-camera). Unfortunately for big-sister Caitlin though, she was so excited about eating the "icing" not knowing that it was a hundred per cent cream cheese and zero sugar. Making the most of this rare sugar opportunity (her mum said she could, "Go for your life!!"), she took a huge chunk of what she thought was pink icing and put it in her mouth! Needless to say, she was not too impressed. Lucky for Caitlin though, her mummy let her indulge in the flame of the fondant candle.
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