Sunday, January 12, 2014

Leo Turns One

When you become parent, every other parent tells you that time flies when you have a baby.  And it gets really, really annoying. But they're right.  And then you realize…you are now that parent that says it to your pregnant friends.  ha!  It IS hard to believe that it's been a year since we had our tiny, fragile Leo and now he's such a big, strong, smiling, funny, smart little boy.  He loves to play with toys that make noise and music, eat leaves and tiny pieces of paper off the floor, rock back and forth to Stevie Wonder, make beats on his high chair tray, take dirty bottles out of the recycling bin, empty the office trash can, rip up important documents, unplug power cords, change the channel to CSpan on the TV, chew on straws, make funny noises, play Peek-a-boo, push buttons on Daddy's laptop, say Da Da when he's happy, and Ma Ma when he needs something. 

People that know me…know I LOVE a good theme.  January themes are hard!  Snowmen?  But I found inspiration for this Airplane Themed Birthday Party on Pinterest and loved it.  Then I started pinning away and getting grandiose ideas of remodeling our house.  It's a lot of pressure to try to be Pinterest Perfect.  I had many projects in mind that I was sure I would have time to do (i.e. gluten-free Cloud Sugar Cookies) that either completely bombed or I ran out of time for.  It's just not realistic and I my poor tortured husband convinced me at midnight (after folding 40 paper airplanes) that it was time for bed.  OK.  You win, Stupid Pinterest.

Once I let go of the fact I couldn't pull off a donut tower with Leo's face taped onto toothpicks…I relaxed and had fun.  I loved having our first "kid party"!  We had 4 couples and 8 kiddos come over to play and celebrate with us.  It is so wonderful to have friends in Nashville that feel like family.  Thank you Sullivants, Knowles, Mitchells, and Chaffers for being in our lives!

The thing about Leo's birthday that I toiled over the most was his cake.  I know it's tradition to let kids have their first taste of sugar on their birthday…but I just couldn't do it.  He's never had sugar (other than fruit) or any grains. He also has an egg allergy.  I did a lot of researching on gluten-free, vegan, paleo, sugar-free blogs and still couldn't find a cake that didn't have something in it I wanted to avoid.  So I concocted my own.  It's not pretty…and it's not sweet…but it looked like a cake and did the trick.  ha!  Leo loves bananas and will pretty much eat anything that you put in front of him at this stage in his he enjoyed it.  And mama was happy.  (See recipe and other links below)

Leo's Banana Smash Cake Recipe
grain, gluten, egg, dairy, sugar, and nut free

Preheat oven to 375
Grease cake pan with coconut oil

1/2 cup organic coconut flour 
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup organic coconut oil 
1 banana
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 Tb. potato starch 
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Melt coconut oil.  Then put coconut oil, banana, applesauce, lemon juice, and vanilla in blender to puree'.  Add to dry ingredients and mix on low speed until smooth.  Bake in small round cake pan (I did 2 thin layers but you could also do one)  for 20-25 minutes until firm on top.  Texture will be more like a muffin, not a fluffy cake.

11 ounces of Culinary Coconut Milk (aka Coconut Cream)
1 Banana
1 tsp vanilla
1 drizzle of local honey (optional)

Blend until smooth in blender and put in refrigerator for at least 1 hour until thick.  Ice cake within 1-2 hours of serving.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy!  We love you to pieces!

Theme Inspiration:  The Vintage Pearl
Paper Airplane Wall:  Printer Paper & Duct Tape
Paper Airplane Onesie:  Dirty Hippie Studios on Etsy
Party Invitation:  Room 1117 on Etsy
Round Helium Balloon:  Shindigs & Celebrations
Instagram Prints:  Printicular iPhone App (prints to Walgreens)


  1. Can I use this recipe on my blog if I put the link to your blog?

  2. If I didn't have potato starch could I use corn starch or any other ingredient?

    1. Sorry for the late reply! Did you try it? I bet it would work!

  3. My daughter has an apple allergy in addition to dairy. Is there a substitute for applesauce I could try?

    1. Sorry for the late reply! Did you find a good alternative? If she can tolerate eggs you could add an egg instead of the applesauce. I hope it turns out for you!

  4. So cute! What are your letters made of on the time flies photo banner?

    1. Hi! They are actually just silver cardboard letters I found at the Dollar Spot at Target! I bet you could find similar ones at a craft store. Thanks for reading!

  5. Hi!
    I tried to write a comment but I am not sure if it went through. I am desperately searching for a smash cake recipe for my son's first birthday party in September. He is on GAPS so we are limited in regards to ingredients. I have not introduced eggs or nuts, so I haven't found many good recipes, except this one! I'm pretty comfortable with all of the ingredients except for potato starch. He has never had it and I don't know if he'd react to it. Can you tell me what its purpose is in the recipe? Is there a substitute or can I leave it out? Thank you!
    Precious baby by the way!

    1. Hi, Carrie! You could leave out the potato starch and maybe add a bit more coconut flour if it needs thickening. I've found that Nutiva brand coconut flour works best for baking. The Let's Do Organic brand doesn't always turn out as well. Hope it's a success for you!

  6. I've been searching the web for a month looking for a grain free, egg free, sugar free recipe for my son's birthday and am so happy I found this! Wondering if you think aquafaba in place of or in addition to the applesauce would make a lighter cake?

    1. Hi, Monica! I've never baked with that...but it might! If you switch out the applesauce, maybe add in a little extra honey since it already is not very sweet at all. I hope it works out for you! Happy Birthday to your little guy! :)

  7. Can this be made into cup cakes instead or would I need to change so something?

  8. Hi! On the Time Flies string of photos with clothespins, did you have the pictures printed on specific paper so the photos didn't curl at the ends? Thanks!

  9. I love this theme by the way. All your ideas are adorable!!!