Today is the last day of Izzy's first birthday month! And as a new parent, obviously I've been celebrating her all month long. Happy Birthday to my sweet, funny, full of personality Isabella! On August 6th, she turned ONE. It happened so fast like everyone says it does. But also slow, all at the same time.
The first year of life felt like it was about survival (for both Izzy and myself and Matt). Parenting comes with an amazing new love, severe lack of sleep, remembering to eat myself on top of making sure baby is eating enough and gaining enough weight. If that weren't enough, I also had to make sure I was drinking enough water to breastfeed, learn how to pump breastmilk in order to go back to work and bond with an entirely new human that is completely reliant on me. Which is really scary at times. I had many moments of fear and doubt as a new mother.
In this post I want to open up a little more about myself. I battle with anxiety and depression. I have been managing both of these since high school. Part of the reason why we decided to move to the mountains was that I felt it would help decrease my depression and anxiety. Jump forward to becoming a new Mom, of course I was worried about the typical known topics like Post-Partum Depression, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), baby's first cold, the flu season, safety in general, allergies, and for me the list never ends. Most of these are normal things to worry about with a newborn. But, what makes it a disorder is when it fills your brain with unnecessary fears. So, what does this have to do with Izzy turning one? At the one year mark, statistics say many of those fears reduce dramatically as well as the possibility of any of them actually happening. So, HORRAY! I am able to breathe a small sigh of relief.
A little more about me is that I am also a rule follower. So, when pediatricians say things like "don't put anything in the crib, no blankets, no toys, no pillows, no crib bumpers", I listen. Something they also say is not to give your baby any added sugar until their first birthday. So, naturally I followed this rule as well - even though being a bake shop owner it was very difficult! So, when planning her first birthday I couldn't wait to bake her a cake. But, I also still didn't really want to give her a ton of sugar. I love dessert (hence my job), and I want Izzy to love dessert too. But, I also want her to understand our motto at the bake shop - dessert in moderation. That's why our cookies aren't huge, our cupcakes aren't massive and we weigh our ice cream so the customer can choose the right amount for them at the time. But, when a special occasion comes around like your birthday, it's definitely worth celebrating and enjoying some cake. So, I decided to bake her a cake with a little less sugar by using organic coconut sugar. I added purple carrots for some added antioxidants, and of course I used natural food coloring to make it an adorable lavender color. Find the recipe below for this Purple Carrot Smash Cake.
Purple Carrot Smash Cake
Makes 4-inch Smash Cake
85 grams organic purple carrots
57 grams (scant 1/2 cup) organic coconut sugar
1/2 stick (57 grams) organic salted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 organic large egg
1/4 cup organic milk
85 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) all natural cake flour (like Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
227 grams (1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon) organic powdered sugar, sifted
a pinch of natural blue and pink dye to make lavender (I used ColorKitchen)
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water
India Tree's Nature's Colors Sprinkles (find here)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, grate the carrots.
Add the butter, coconut sugar and vanilla extract and mix on low until combined and there are no butter chunks.
Add the eggs and mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, and sea salt and whisk together.
Add the milk and the flour mixture into the carrot mixture. Mix on low until combined and you have a cake batter.
Line three 4-inch cake pans with parchment paper and pour batter evenly into each one, about 130 grams each.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Once the cake is cooled, remove it from the cake pans and start the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, water and blue and pink dye. Mix on low until all ingredients are combined, then speed mixer up to high for 1 minute or until light and fluffy.
First crumb coat the cake (find our crumb coating techniques here). Then frost it so there's texture on the sides. Sprinkle the top with India Tree's naturally colored white sprinkles.
Gluten Free - To make this cake gluten free (which I did at her second birthday party so I could eat it) replace the cake flour for 85 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) organic gluten free flour blend, my favorite is Namaste Organic Perfect Flour Blend.
High Altitude - Follow the recipe as noted.