My son is turning 1 in two weeks, and I wanted to make him a homemade birthday cake. He has some food intolerances/sensitivities, so store-bought cakes are iffy. I used the First Birthday Carrot Cake recipe from Wholesomebabyfood.com, following almost exactly from it (I pasted the recipe below). I only made changes due to circumstances: I used regular apple juice instead of concentrate because I couldn't find concentrate. And I wasn't able to get a smooth carrot puree; it was a little gritty. I did a run-through last night, just to make sure I get it right. It wasn't a huge disaster, but it did not turn out quite as expected.
Here are my issues:
1. The cake is still a little wet in the middle. I don't know if this cake was meant to moister for babies, but I baked it a little longer to cook it through, and now the outside of the cake is firmer, but the inside is still a little wet.
2. The cake did not rise -- only just slightly. So it's kind of solid and heavy. I was kind of expecting a fluffier, lighter cake.
Baby's First Birthday Cake (Carrot Cake)
Read about Eggs and Your Baby
(Makes 1 double-layer 9-inch square cake; adapted from "What to Expect")
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 1/2 cups apple juice concentrate (you may use slightly less)
1 1/2 cups raisins
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 Tbsp low sodium baking powder
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
Prep: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two 9 inch square cake pans with waxed paper and spray the paper with vegetable spray/shortening.
1. Combine the carrots with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the juice concentrate in a medium size saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, 15 to 20 mins. Puree in a blender of food processor until smooth.
3. Add the raisins and process until finely chopped. Let mixture cool.
4. Combine the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups juice concentrate, the oil, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla; beat just until well mixed. Fold in the carrot puree and applesauce. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.
5. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 mins. Cool briefly in the pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. When cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting below or sprinkle a wee bit of powdered sugar if desired.