This cake is almost sugar-free because although there's no sugar in the actual cake, the frosting has a little and I used M&M's to decorate it and, well, I'm pretty sure that M&M's contain just a little sugar...
But hey, birthdays only come around once a year, right? And I figure if we're eating well on a regular basis, then a little unhealthy fun for a celebration isn't going to hurt anything...too badly, at least. [grin]
I was pretty pleased with how this all turned out, but I will say that the frosting choice, while tasty, did not hold up perfectly in the summer heat of the park. You might want to use a stiffer frosting, or add some more sugar to help keep it from getting a little melty if you'll also be outside.
I tweaked the ingredient amounts so that this would fill a 9x12" glass dish. I then made three of these, which resulted in the one cake for guests and the smaller cake for Gv.
Cake (for a single layer)What You Need
4-5 ripe bananas
1 Tablespoon chia seeds, plus 3 Tablespoons water (we get these )
3 Tablespoons coconut oil (here's some to try )
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used this one )
1 teaspoon cinnamon
What You Do
1. Mash the bananas in your stand mixer (get one here ).
2. Soak the chia seeds in the water in a small bowl.
3. Add the chia seed mixture and all the other cake ingredients to the stand mixer bowl and mix until combined.
4. Pour the mixture into a greased 9x12" glass dish and bake 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees (until an inserted toothpick comes out clean).
5. Let cool completely before frosting.
FrostingWhat You Need
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 can full-fat coconut milk (refrigerate this at least overnight, although I suggest just keeping a can in there at all times so there's always one cold enough)
What You Do
1. Open the can of coconut milk and empty just the solid portion into a bowl (you can use the water for something else). Whip this blob into whipped cream using a hand mixer (this one's on clearance! ).
2. Mix the cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar in your stand mixer bowl.
3. Fold in your whipped coconut cream.
1. In your clean 9x12" dish, plan out your rainbow with the M&M's. I started in the middle and at the top with the red and worked my way down, adding one in each hand/to each side and then repeated this process with the other colors. You could also use Skittles for this and get true purple instead of brown, but I don't like Skittles and I do like M&M's.
2. Place your first cake layer on whatever you'll serve it on. Since I knew I'd have to transport the cake to the park, I first tried putting it in a large baking pan with wax paper underneath so I could lift it easily. I soon realized that plan wasn't going to work and ended up constructing it on a wooden cutting board and then "building" my own walls to protect it. Frost this first layer:
3. Cut out layer two (I just used a metal spatula to cut out a rectangle) and place it on top of the first layer. You can see that I didn't do this step gently enough because the left side broke, but it really didn't matter, since it was inside and all got covered in frosting anyway.
4. Frost this layer:
5. Fill your piñata space with M&M's, or whatever you're using:
6. Place the third cake layer on top and frost it, along with the sides:
7. Recreate your rainbow pattern on the cake with your M&M's (I put the "M" side down. I found it was more difficult to place them on the frosting than I'd expected, but it wasn't too bad). I also added M&M's in a band around the bottom, but there weren't enough yellows for this - there were probably 1/3 of the number of yellow M&M's in a giant bag, compared to all the other colors!)
8. Like I said earlier, I had to get creative and "build" some walls to transport the cake to the park. I just cut cardboard strips, covered them with foil, slid part of the foil under the cake, and pinched the walls together at the corners. I made the walls high enough so that I could cover the top with foil and it wouldn't touch the cake. It worked really well!
9. Here's the cake, all cut open, at the party. The M&M's had started to melt a bit (especially inside the cake) as well as the frosting, but it held up pretty decently, considering it had spent the day in the heat with only an empty cooler to protect it a bit.
For Gv's cake, I just used the portion I'd cut out from the 2nd layer. I cut that portion in half and frosted and stacked it, then covered it in rainbow fruit. I'd imagined creating a cuter rainbow on this cake, but with all the running around I did the morning of the party, I completely forgot about adding the fruit and so just grabbed some off the fruit platter just before cutting the main cake. The funniest part of it all is that Gv fell asleep before cake and presents at the party, so we ended up just bringing her cake home, where it sat in our fridge for over a week before we found time to give it to her!
Have you seen a piñata cake before? I hadn't, until this one. You could get so creative with this idea - filling it with other candy or sprinkles!
Do you enjoy making your child's cake yourself, or prefer to just get one from the store? I'd love to hear about it - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.
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