Baby’s 1st Birthday Cake: Traditional or Healthy?


Mason’s first birthday is August 19, which means I’ve been thinking about his first birthday party for the last six months. We’ve decided to have a rooftop cookout, and now I’m pondering the menu. Should we keep it simple and just grill burgers and veggies, or should we grill some shrimp and chicken too? Which cookout sides should I make?  What will everyone want to drink? I have tons of recipes in mind, so it’s just a matter of narrowing down my list. But what about the cake?  Should I make a traditional frosted birthday cake for Mason, or should I make him a healthier cake that’s more like a fruit muffin? What kind of cake did you serve for your babe’s first birthday, or what kind do you plan to serve?

Please weigh in — I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. by Shelly Malicote

    On July 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I’ve been thinking the exact same thing! I think its awesome to be more creative & healthier. I think I’ll def start going with this idea. I have been thinking about an out of the box healthy bday cake for my sons 2nd birthday. Thanks for the amazing idea:) I say go for it. Its sure to be a hit!

  2. by Berit Thorkelson

    On July 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Exciting! It’s such a personal thing. Food-wise, we looked at this as the first time Roy would be eating any adult food (not my few-ingredient organic pureed concoctions) and so focused on something easy that we were excited to introduce him to, but that others would like, too: pizza. For the cake, we did box cupcakes with pretty sprinkles because, what the hell… it’s a birthday. Also, I’m not much of a baker. If you enjoy baking, go for the healthy one! My only advice would be to keep things as simple as possible so you can relax and help Mason take in his big day (so puzzling, having everyone you know singing at you) while doing the same yourself (after all, year one is a HUGE accomplishment for all of you). Congrats.

  3. by Kristin

    On July 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I’ve been wondering what to do as well. I feel like I’ve put so much effort and thought into my daughter’s food that to give in on her birthday and feed her a sugary (albeit delicious) cake would be wrong somehow. Still not decided. I mentioned it to friends and the in-laws and they wonder why I’m even considering th healthy option. I still have 2 months so we will see.

  4. by Lily

    On July 15, 2011 at 10:18 am

    My twin girls are turning one on August 2nd, and I’ve been struggling with this decision for the past couple of months! Buy or bake? Nutritious or traditional? I decided to compromise. I’m going to bake one small cake in a 6″ pan and just cut out an appropriate size in a cool shape – butterfly, heart, etc. That way I can control what is in it – whole grain flour, cream cheese frosting, etc. – but it will still be a conventional cake. For the rest of the cake for everyone else I’m buying from a local bakery. Since they are turning 1, they are never going to remember this. So I’m not putting a lot of time and effort into decorating, theme, etc. Keeping it simple.

  5. by Michele Koehn

    On July 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    We had a traditional cake for both of our kids. Both of them I made so I knew what was going in them and could control how much frosting was on top. My oldest had just a round cake. My youngest had a cookie monster cake which was round like his face and of course blue frosting which turned everything blue LOL. He loved his cake which was a memory for us to keep forever. He will be able to look back at pictures and see how much fun everyone had and how cute he was covered in blue frosting!

  6. by Alice

    On July 18, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I had a traditional birthday cake for my kids. My son’s was a strawberry and cream cake, and he loved picking out the strawberries to eat them. Congratulations to the birthday boy!

  7. by Heather

    On July 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    I love all of these great ideas — thank you so much! If you have photos of the cakes/cupcakes, please share them on High Chair Times on Facebook:)

  8. by Anahi

    On July 26, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    For my daughters 1st birthday, we sid not hold back on anything. I made different foods. The cake we did a tradiinal cake. Chocolate with fresh strawberries and strawberry glaze. We had coolwhip for frosting. After all she only turns one, once! And i gave her tastes of it not a whole lot of it. This october my son will be 1. Im thinking of doing a traditional cake for him too. They dont get sweets on a daily basis so i dont see any harm in it.

  9. by Kim

    On August 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve been debating this same issue for MONTHS and my little boy won’t be 1 until October 18th, but I’m a baker. I’m thinking of just making a peanut butter oatmeal banana “cake” with raisins and then do a tiny swirl of cream cheese frosting with a sprinkle of brown sugar. I’ll make something decadently delicious for the rest of the guests, and possibly something gluten-free if I end up inviting anyone who has allergies. Maybe honest-to-goodness Key Lime pie for everyone else? It’s so close to Halloween that I could probably cheat and do pumpkin pie and no one would mind… and I could sneak a little piece to my little boy, too.

  10. by Heather Morgan Shott

    On August 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Anahi & Kim: Both of your ideas are fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing! Anahi — If you have a photo of your cake please share it on High Chair Times’ page on Facebook!