Baby-Friendly Carrot Cake
To be honest, I had never even had carrot cake until I decided to make one. I knew it would include grated carrot because I had seen pictures of carrot cakes. Whenever I’m coming up with something baked, I start with a basic base for a cake, muffin, pancake, cookie, etc.
These turned into carrot cake muffins because I don’t have a nice cake pan. Additionally, I always start with a half recipe, in case it doesn’t work out! These, however, did work out. And they were very tasty!
We enjoyed these two ways. The first way was as a cake, with a buttercream (sort of) frosting. I think it would have been better had I split the cake and put some frosting in between two layers of the cake. With a swipe on top, it was almost unnoticeable.
The second way we had these was as muffins for breakfast. I heated them up briefly then spread a little butter inside. THIS was my favorite thing. I could have eaten a million.
Now, if you want to go the cake route, please recognize that these are not super sweet or anything. But that’s because these aren’t meant to appease the appetites of adults! This is perfectly sweet for a baby, especially for a first birthday or other special occasion. And if you want to add some extra sweet for adults, make (or buy) some legit buttercream or cream cheese frosting and add that to the adult versions!
Allergies – If you’ve got an allergy concern, I will address most of them underneath the recipe!
BABY-FRIENDLY CARROT CAKE (Makes 12 muffins or one 9-inch cake)
If you want to split the recipe in half, see my little note underneath the ingredients list!
- 2 cups (453 g) all-purpose flour (gluten-free worked fine for me!)
- 2 tsp (9.5 g) baking soda (you can omit this, but yours won’t be as fluffy)
- 2 tsp (9.5 g) ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs + 2 egg whites (or just 3 eggs, if you don’t feel like separating!)
- 2 bananas (the riper, the better)
- 3/4 cup (177 mL) melted coconut oil (sub vegetable oil)
- 3/4 cup (177 mL) milk (whole, unsweetened plain almond, or unsweetened plain coconut)
- 2 large carrots, grated (use as much as you want, depending on how much carrot flavor you want!)
- 2 tbsp (28 g) shredded unsweetened coconut
NOTE: Most of these are straight-forward for splitting in half. But if you want to split 3/4 cup in half, you’ll use 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, gently combine the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.
- Add and stir in the eggs.
- Add in the bananas, oil, and milk. Mash the bananas, and mix everything together.
- Finally, add in the grated carrots and coconut, and stir to combine. (At this point, if the batter seems a little too runny, you can add 1 tbsp flour at a time, until it reaches a thicker consistency. It’s not thick like cookie dough, and it shouldn’t be as runny as pancake batter.)
- Spray a muffin tin or cake pan. Pour in the mixture until almost filled to the top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a fork or toothpick comes out cleanly.
- Remove from the containers and let them cool on a wire rack.
If you want to add frosting, you’ll want to let them cool completely. While they cool, make this simple frosting!
- In a bowl, beat 1/4 cup (57 g) of softened butter (unsalted is preferred but not necessary).
- Mash a banana into the butter.
- Finally, stir in 1 tsp (5 mL) of vanilla extract and 2 tbsp (28 g) shredded coconut flakes.
- Place the bowl into the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, to firm up a bit.
Allergies and Substitutions!
- EGG ALLERGY: You can substitute 1/2 banana per egg in the recipe. (See #4 below!)
- DAIRY ALLERGY: Non-dairy butter would work for the frosting. For the cake, just use coconut or almond milk instead!
- FLOUR: Gluten-free flour should work fine. I am not sure that coconut flour (or almond meal or tapioca or any other flours) would work as well here, unless you were making a small batch.
- BANANAS: If you’re substituting a banana for the eggs, then you’re looking at FOUR bananas for this recipe! That’s a lot of banana! (See my post on constipation, if that’s something you’re worried about.) If you want to get rid of some of that, you can swap the 2 bananas in the cake recipe for 1.5-2 cups of unsweetened applesauce. Start with 1.5 cups and add more as necessary.
- APPLE! Add in some grated apple if you want a little extra sweetness.
- VANILLA EXTRACT: There are two types of vanilla extract. One has sugar in it (the imitation kind), and the other has alcohol in it (the real kind). Since the extract is NOT cooked in the frosting, I would only use the imitation kind and just be okay with the sugar! If you’re making the frosting for adults, then it doesn’t make a difference!
- COCONUT: The coconut is mostly for texture and a little for sweetness. You can add in extra banana, grated apple, unsweetened applesauce, or (if you want) refined sugar!