What do you do when you have a plan to make a healthy sugar free cake for your kid’s third birthday and he insists to have a Spiderman cake? Tough decision which in my case ended up with a hybrid cake: Healthy Coconut Date cake with totally unhealthy Spiderman Decoration.
Like many other mothers, I wanted to bake my son’s birthday cake on my own. Like many other mothers this year again I did not have enough time for baking, let alone for elaborated designs. I literally baked and decorated the whole cake in 1 day. Knowing in advance that I would have a very limited time, one week before the day I ordered Spidermen prints on edible fondant paper. An advice from me: the edible prints are always the easiest solution for impressively looking cakes and cookies, with almost no possibility for a fail.
But why Spiderman? I really don’t know! It was about 2 months before the birthday when I asked my son what kind of cake he would like for his celebration. “Spiderman cake”, he said without thinking. So I started looking for Spiderman designs to use as inspiration. I didn’t find anything that I liked enough. In a few weeks I asked him again about his choice of cake, hoping that he would have changed his mind in the meantime. Again he said immediately: Spiderman! I was surprised because he didn’t even have a Spiderman toy at the time, just one sweatshirt and a pair of sneakers. I asked the same question for the third time just a week before the birthday and again I received the expected answer. So I knew that I couldn’t escape from the superhero: I just had to prepare a good looking Spiderman cake!
In order to make the cake more impressive and my life even easier, I also bought a plastic Spiderman figure (which costed unbelievable amount of money for its size). I also decorated some of the Christmas cookies with superhero comic prints.
As I mentioned already, the cake base and the frosting between the layers were all healthy. No refined sugar or flour, only good ingredients. At first I wanted to bake a completely vegan cake but then I decided to add some eggs to the second cake base (one base seemed too small for the cake I was planning). I also used ricotta in the frosting. However if you want to bake a vegan cake, you can use only the recipe for the first cake base and prepare a frosting based on avocado.
The colourful decoration normally is made of fondant or sugar paste. And in order to cover the cake with fondant you need to put first a tone of buttercream frosting. Both are quite unhealthy products which are in absolute contrast with the otherwise healthy cake. However the hybrid status of the cake did not create any drama for us: I simply removed the fondant coating out of each piece given to my son. The buttercream frosting was stuck to the fondant so it was easily removed as well. At the end it was a win-win situation: we ate the healthy cake and enjoyed the beautiful designs without eating them. Still, if you love the taste of fondant, feel free to eat the whole thing – every piece of the cake slice is edible.
This year we didn’t plan a kids party due to the fact that our son had been almost constantly sick for more than 2 months. We couldn’t take the risk to get a new virus. So we stayed home, had some really fun time with presents and balloons and then had a nice lunch at a restaurant. His grandma and nanny were also with us and they made the day even more fun.
And that’s how we organised a fantastic Spiderman themed party without much elaborations and decorations – just with a cake, cookies, a bunch of balloons and some nice presents! My son was really happy and at the end that was all that mattered on that day!
Healthy Coconut Date Cake
For Cake Base 1:
- 350 g fresh dates, pitted
- 50 ml hot water, if needed
- 130 g whole grain spelt flour
- 100 g shredded coconut
- 400 g coconut milk, or 200 ml milk + 200 g plain yogurt
- 60 g coconut oil, melted
- 1,5 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For Cake Base 2
- 2 eggs
- 200 g fresh dates, pitted
- 50 ml hot water, if needed
- 180 g plain yogurt
- 50 g shredded coconut
- 200 g whole grain spelt flour
- 1,5 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 50 ml olive oil
For the frosting:
- 55 g butter, softened
- 250 g fresh ricotta
- 100 g liquid honey
- 1-2 tbs greek yogurt or heavy cream
Cake Base 1:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line the bottom of a 17-18 cm (7 inch) cake pan with a circle of baking paper. Grease well the pan inside.
- In a bowl combine spelt flour and baking powder and set aside.
- In a food processor puree dates with the hot water (if you need it) until almost smooth. Add the shredded coconut and the coconut milk (or the milk and the yogurt) and process for 1-2 minutes. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Add coconut oil and vanilla extract and mix with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until homogeneous. Carefully fold in the flour and baking powder until absorbed.
- Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Let the cake base cool to room temperature before assembling.
Cake Base 2:
- While the first cake base is in the oven, prepare the batter for the second one. Line another same sized cake pan with parchment paper and grease it afterwards.
- In a bowl combine spelt flour and baking powder.
- Puree the dates with the hot water (if needed) in the food processor. Add the shredded coconut and the yogurt and blend for 1 more minute.
- With an electric mixer beat the eggs for 5-10 minutes, until thick and pale. Add olive oil and beat for one more minute, until absorbed. Add vanilla extract and the date mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined. Add the dry ingredients, folding gently until absorbed.
- Bake the second cake base for another 40-45 minutes or until almost no crumbs are found on the wooden tester. Let cool until room temperature.
- In a large bowl beat the butter until fluffy. Add honey and beat for 2-3 minutes, until combined. Gradually add ricotta and beat until smooth. At the end add the greek yogurt and beat until the consistency becomes fluffier.
To assemble the cake:
- Using a long serrated knife cut horizontally the 2 cake bases in 3 layers each. Place 1 layer on a serving plate and cover it with frosting. Place another layer on top. Continue the process until finishing all layers.
- Decorate the cake as desired.
- Note: If you want to cover the top and the sides of the cake with the same frosting, you need to double the ingredients. Otherwise you can cover the cake with buttercream frosting and fondant, as I did.