"I should have given her a cheesecake," Deschanel lamented.

By Hollee Actman Becker
September 01, 2016
zooey deschanel on jimmy kimmel
Credit: Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube

When my daughter turned 1, my brother decided to surprise her by showing up on her birthday dressed as her favorite TV character at the time—Elmo. As he strolled into the party decked out in the big, furry red suit, my husband and I eagerly anticipated our little one's joyous reaction.

Instead, she burst into tears.

One-year-olds are so hard to please, aren't they? Just ask Zooey Deschanel. The actress stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! this week to promote the upcoming season of New Girl and chat about her daughter Elsie Otter's recent first birthday.

"So did you have a big birthday party for your daughter?" Kimmel wanted to know.

"Not really," Deschanel said. "But I did make her a cake. I made her a little heart-shaped cake that didn't have sugar. I put just mashed banana in it."

"Oh no...really?" Kimmel responded, pretty much reading our minds.

"She's so little," Deschanel replied, defending her decision. "You know, there's a lot of sugar in cake. And then I whipped up some coconut cream and I put it on top. It looked like a cupcake."

OK, that sounds a little better. But still.

"So we're like, 'All right, here's your cake! Happy birthday!,'" Deschanel recalled. But Elsie wasn't having it. She dipped one finger in, tasted it, and then shook her head.

"Not at all interested," Deschanel explained.

Can't say that we blame her.

The quirky star then went on to to explain to Kimmel how she grew up in a pretty strict home where her TV access was restrained and she wasn't allowed to watch cable.

"My mom would always find me watching cooking shows on PBS," she said.

"Is that where you learned to make that crappy cake?" Kimmel shot back.

"Exactly!" Deschanel said.

Aw, don't worry, Zooey. There's always next year. Two words: Think chocolate.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and a mom. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Twitter at @holleewoodworld.