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Calling all party animals! Come one, come all! We’re celebrating BIG time in our house this week, and we want you to join in on the fun! Our sweet baby girl is turning the big ONE, and we’re going out with a bang! Or, should I say a “smash”… 😉
These past few weeks I’ve been a busy bee putting together all of the details for her birthday party. Before I go any further, I know what you’re probably thinking. Why go to the trouble? She certainly won’t remember it! And, yes, that’s true. However, I never turn down the chance to par-tay! I love to celebrate others, and my baby girl deserves something really special! (Stay tuned for a post with party details. It’s going to be a hit!)
I’ve noticed that “smash cakes” have gotten increasingly trendy over the last several years. Even though I cringe big time at messes, there’s still something oddly adorable about watching your kid tear up a cake on their special day. The mess won’t last, but the memories will! So I decided that I’d stay true to the trend and get a smash cake for my daughter’s birthday. It’d all be fun and worth the mess in the end, right?
One little problem: I’ve never really allowed my daughter to have sweets. She’s had the occasional nibble of cake and ice cream here and there, but a smash cake is on a whole new level of sweetness. I really can’t even imagine her diving into that much sugar at one time. All I can think about is how much of a tummy ache eating that much icing would give me. Imagine what it could do to her little tummy! I knew I had to do something. I wasn’t willing to give up my vision of having a smash cake, but I also wasn’t willing to fill my baby’s tummy with processed sugary frosting and cake. No, sir!
So I took matters into my own hands and created the best of both worlds. I knew there must be a way to make a healthier version of a cake her to have that wouldn’t leave her bouncing off the walls and/or with an upset tummy. Thus, a guilt-free version of the “smash cake” was concocted!
When I created this recipe, I really wanted to implement the idea of “less is more”. I knew that I could accomplish my goal by using a few fresh and minimally processed ingredients to make something really great as opposed to a packaged cake mix with a slew of additives that I can’t even pronounce. After all, I want to fuel my baby’s body with good and healthy things!
So I put my baker’s cap on and went to work. I created a heavenly little carrot cake that was perfect for the occasion! You can find the recipe below:
Guilt Free Smash Cake: Carrot Cake
- 2 cups very thinly sliced carrots
- 3/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups all purpose flour you can use whole wheat if you prefer
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tbs vanilla extract
- 1 Tbs cinnamon
- 1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
- 2 1/2 cups organic apple juice
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 2 Tbs baking powder
- Vegetable Oil Spray
- 8 oz Cream Cheese low fat
- 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt
- 1/4 cups powdered sugar (more or less to taste)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Food coloring (if desired)
- Grease 2 9 inch cake pans with cooking spray, Preheat oven to 350 F
- In a large saucepan, combine carrots with 1 cup apple juice
- Bring carrots to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer until tender (10 - 15 minutes)
- Puree carrots in a blender until smooth
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well
- Add remaining apple juice and all other wet ingredients one at a time
- Pour batter into cake pans and bake for 30-40 minutes *or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean* Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your pans
- Frost with icing when cooled
- Using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese and yogurt. Slowly add in remaining ingredients. Serve immediately
Aside from the amount of sugar that a typical smash cake has, another initial turn off I had from the whole cake ordeal was the clean up process. I knew there would be icing EVERYWHERE! Ugh, I still shudder at the thought of the stickiness. Not only does the icing and cake get all over the baby, but it’s also going to get all over you. (I’m only speaking from experience here!)
I already wasn’t too thrilled about probably having to break out the hose and baby wipes to clean things up, but what really had me concerned was whether or not the cake would come out of her outfit. I’ve had a certain little onesie in mind for her to wear during her birthday for the longest time, and I really didn’t want it to get ruined. I’ve had bad luck and misfortunes in the past with certain foods not coming out of my baby’s clothing, and I feared this would be no different. I could purchase those big dog chemicals and stain treatments, but at what expense? I hate keeping those sort of things in my house around my daughter. Who knows what’s in them? Plus, how could I even be sure they work and won’t damage her delicate clothes?
Then I heard about this brand new product that hit the shelves, and my teetering about whether or not I really wanted to give this whole “smash cake” thing a go had been shifted and given the green light!
There’s a new kid on the block in the laundry detergent world, and it takes the worry out of messy occasions by offering a powerful clean without added harsh ingredients. Talk about a detergent after my own heart!
“all® fresh clean Essentials™ is a sulfate free detergent that only contains the essentials to get the deep clean you really need. I love knowing that they, too, believe that less can be more! To make sure I had detergent on hand on smash cake day, I visited Walmart.com and stocked my cart with the detergent.
These days I find it SO much easier to pare down on my store trips and instead do my shopping for the essentials online. I never worry about empty shelves, checkout lines or a squirmy toddler fussing inside the store. Plus, this way I KNOW I’ll be able to snag my very favorite scent – all® Fresh Clean Essentials™ Fresh Scent. It smells like a dream, y’all! (I’m currently fighting the urge to strip all the curtains off of my walls and wash them just so they’ll smell amazing, too!)
If you prefer something that’s not heavy on the scent, be sure to look for the all® Fresh Clean Essentials™ Fragrance Free label! Once we were finished taking her “smash cake” photos, I tossed her outfit in the wash. First, I pre-treated a few of the stains by rubbing a small amount of detergent on the problem areas (per instructions), I then filled up the cap with the proper amount of detergent, poured it into the washer and let it do it’s thing!
And wouldn’t you know it, there were no stains left behind at all! From here on out, I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing I don’t have to fear stains. I can let her be the adorably messy little tot that she is. No more thoughts of missing out on fun and memorable moments! By cutting things down to the essentials (like baking a healthier cake and choosing all® Essentials™ for cleanup), my daughter and I are making memories – one messy moment at a time!
Have there been any moments in your life where you were hesitant to let your kids just be kids because of stains? Maybe you’re like me and didn’t want them to have something because you felt like it was too sugary or full of unknown ingredients. What are some ways that you adapted and made the best out of the situation?
Click here for more fun ideas on paring down to the essentials and letting kids be kids! There’s lots of neat ideas for play time activities and a few fabulous cleaning tips, too!