10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (2024)

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Table Of Contents

  1. For the Record…
  2. More Allergen-Friendly First Birthday "Cakes"
  3. Grain-Free Brownies
  4. Nectarine Squash Pops
  5. Homemade Gelatin or Gummies
  6. Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse
  7. Easy Apple Crisp
  8. Baked Apple Bread(less) Pudding
  9. Grain-free Coconut Muffins
  10. Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Butterscotch Pudding
  11. Neopolitan Ice Cream Cake (Grain-free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)
10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (1)

When is a cake not a cake?


10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (2)



  • 1 c. pureed orange vegetable (sweet potato, squash, pumpkin – preferably not canned, but in a pinch, go for it)
  • 1/2 c. coconut cream concentrate (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!)
  • 13 Tbs. maple syrup (as little as possible for little ones!)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. cloves


  1. Soften coconut cream by placing it near the stove while cooking or in a bowl of warm water (in the tightly closed jar).
  2. Measure all the ingredients into a food processor (or Vitamix or Blendtec Twister jar).
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Scoop/pour into muffin tins, small cake pans, or small bread pans.
  5. Freeze for a few hours.
  6. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to soften in order to slice into cubes (if you used a rectangular pan). The muffins cups will pop right out with a little warm water on the bottom.
  7. Store leftovers in the freezer.


* Thanks to Purely Twins for the great inspiration!

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I don’t know the real answer to what surely sounds like an 8-year-old boy’s favorite joke, but my answer is this:

When it doesn’t have any flour or sugar.

Flour and sugar – often more sugar than flour – define the art of baking a cake. As much as I desire great pictures for my babies’ first birthdays, flour and sugar just aren’t on the list.

In fact, with baby no. 4 here, a big part of me just wanted to skip celebrations and not add anything else to my to-do list. He wouldn’t know any different, right? But Mommy Guilt kicked in and I realized that he’d be on to me when he was older because there would be no pictures.

So JUST to get pictures of a one-year-old birthday cake on a high chair tray, we had close family and godparents over for a “party.”

Which meant I had to figure out a “cake.”

Baby Gabe hadn’t had grains yet, since his gut doesn’t have the enzymes to digest them. (We start our babies off with real food, but simple.) He seemed to have an unfortunate reaction to eggs multiple times, so I’m still scared to feed those to him! (I just haven’t had a day where I wake up and think, “Yeah, today I’d be totally cool with a vomiting baby for 24 hours. I got nothing better to do…”)

He had done dairy, but I didn’t see the point in giving him much sweetener if any.

Even though I’ve been talking with Catherine Clinton of WellFuture, one of our sponsors, about how new research says not to worry about introducing allergenic foods early, I can’t seem to shake the habit from what I was told ten years ago with baby number one.

I was on the hunt for the perfect, allergy-free first birthday “cake” and found just the recipe!

Related:Beginning a Gluten and Dairy-Free Diet

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (3)

It made for a darling photo shoot, both with and without Gabe. 10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (4)

And SO so yummy.

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (5)
10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (6)

For the main “cake” with the candle, I topped it with a probiotic frosting made of homemade yogurt cheese, a splash of vanilla or almond extract, and a tiny bit of maple syrup (although none for Gabe, why bother?). That would obviously make it not dairy-free, but it totally didn’t need it (see above). Those little circles made in muffin tins were also delish!

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (7)

The best part of the night was when he was holding a chunk and it got too cold for his hands and he didn’t know what to do! He just cried but kept a tight fist on the fudge! Everyone was cracking up.

If serving something frozen to your baby sounds a little cold-hearted (it’s funny! Really!), the same mush would go awesome into a Squooshi pouch and be delicious and nutritious.

For the Record…

It wasn’t always this “clean” at the KS house.

It wasn’t always the “KS” house! This is my oldest son’s food coloring laden birthday cake, from a box mix:

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (8)

Ok. So not that. Established?

More Allergen-Friendly First Birthday “Cakes”

I asked blog colleagues of mine if they had any ideas for healthy birthday treats for a one-year-old so that you all have more than just one to choose from, and they delivered!

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (9)

Grain, Nut, Egg & Refined Sugar Free Cupcake

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (10)

Wow! Recipe from Raising Generation Nourished

Grain-Free Brownies

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (11)

Recipe from Natural Fertility and Wellness

Nectarine Squash Pops

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (12)

Recipe from Just Take a Bite

Homemade Gelatin or Gummies

You could totally stick a candle in this, or a “bowl” of fruit gummies!

Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (14)

Recipe from Naturally Loriel

Easy Apple Crisp

My recipe – so easy – slow cooker, bake it, stove top, whatever! Free downloadable printable! Skins off for little ones but I’m usually lazy and leave them on…

Baked Apple Bread(less) Pudding

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (16)

Recipe from Simple Abundant Life (does contain eggs)

Grain-free Coconut Muffins

My recipe! We made a quadruple batch into a 2-layer cake! (does contain eggs)

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Butterscotch Pudding

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (18)

Recipe from Just Take a Bite

Neopolitan Ice Cream Cake (Grain-free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (19)

Recipe from Just Take a Bite

What did you do for your kids’ first birthdays?

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

Category: Real Food Recipes

Tags: birthdays, dairy-free, desserts, egg-free, fall, gluten free, grain free, kid-friendly, maple syrup, nut-free, party food, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes

10 Alternative First Birthday Cakes {Pumpkin Fudge Recipe} (2024)


What is a good alternative to birthday cake that is not sweet? ›

If you are not into sweet desserts at all, savory options like potato chip cupcakes, pepperoni pizza cakes and luxurious birthday burgers are all interesting cake alternatives.

What is birthday cake fudge made of? ›

Birthday Cake Fudge is a rich and creamy combination of white chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, butter, cake mix, and sprinkles. A delightful treat that combines the classic flavors of birthday cake with the richness of fudge!

What can you have instead of a birthday cake? ›

Top 20 birthday cake alternatives
  • Birthday cupcakes. ...
  • Funfetti cheesecake. ...
  • Salted caramel & hazelnut banoffee pie. ...
  • Meringue wreath. ...
  • Profiteroles. ...
  • Cookies & cream fridge cake. ...
  • Ultimate lemon meringue pie. ...
  • Chocolate sandwich cookie ice cream cupcakes.

What can I give my 1 year old instead of a birthday cake? ›

Banana Coconut Chia Pudding

Chia seed pudding is a perfect healthy birthday cake alternative because you can create any number of flavor combos. It's a cinch to make and is filled with fiber and protein. We love that Clean and Delicious offers four different versions from which to choose.

What flavor cake does kids like? ›

Vanilla Flavor is Common

Other than chocolate, this is another common cake flavor option to order on your kid's birthday. Getting personalized cakes with their favorite fairytale character picture on the cake would be nothing less than a big surprise.

What happens when you bake a cake without sugar? ›

Sugar helps cakes stay moist after baking. A completely sugar-free cake will dry out quickly, so wrap cooled cakes in cling film to prevent moisture loss.

What makes birthday cake flavor taste like birthday cake? ›

If you've ever wondered about what exactly birthday cake flavor is, you're not alone. The short answer is vanilla and sugar; a longer answer involves Proustian memory, white cake, butter, and rainbow sprinkles.

What's the difference between fudge and fudge cake? ›

A fudge cake can be either brown chocolate cake, or white chocolate fudge cake. Despite its name, it does not contain fudge. It instead seeks to mirror the taste of chocolate fudge. It is commonly eaten at celebrations, parties, or gatherings.

What is lazy cake made of? ›

This no bake dessert recipe includes a handful of simple ingredients that can be found in your pantry: biscuits (cookies), butter, sugar, and cocoa powder, combined together then rolled into a log in a plastic wrap, and served after freezing.

What is a smashed birthday cake? ›

an event at which someone, especially a baby on its first birthday, is photographed eating or playing with a cake in an untidy way : A cake smash is the new way to celebrate your baby's first birthday.

What is the healthiest cake to eat? ›

What Type of Cake is Healthy?
  1. Angel Food Cake. Angel food cake is healthy because It does not contain egg yolk and butter. ...
  2. 2 . Flourless Chocolate Cake. ...
  3. 3 . Protein Mug Cake. ...
  4. 4 . Homemade Strawberry Shortcake. ...
  5. 5 . Sugar-Free Carrot and Date Cake. ...
  6. 6 . Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. ...
  7. 7 . Cheesecake. ...
  8. 8 . Red Velvet Cake.

How can I make my birthday special without money? ›

Creative & Edible Birthday Gift Ideas
  1. Play, sing or write a song.
  2. Make a music playlist or “mixtape”
  3. Gift a poem.
  4. Create artwork.
  5. Craft a handmade card.
  6. Send a handwritten letter.
  7. Choreograph a dance or do a Tik Tok video just for them.
Aug 3, 2020

What can you have instead of cake at a baby shower? ›

Baby Shower Dessert Table Food Ideas
  • Cookies. These are easy to customize and you can use your favorite recipe. ...
  • Cake pops. ...
  • Cupcakes. ...
  • Brownies or blondies. ...
  • Chocolate truffles. ...
  • Monkey bread. ...
  • Ice pops. ...
  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Apr 7, 2021

What is a smash cake for kids? ›

What is a smash cake? In case you're unfamiliar, a smash cake is basically a tiny cake meant to be relished by your kiddo on her first birthday. And since 1-year-olds are pretty much lawless, that means she'll likely dig in by using her fingers, or "smashing" her face into it the second it's placed in front of her.

What can I give instead of cupcakes? ›

Mini muffins: Carrot, blueberry and banana are all great choices. Use all or part whole-wheat flour or add ground flaxseeds for a nutritional boost. 4. Banana bread: Cut in slices like cake, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with fruit salad.

What can I use instead of a first birthday cake smash? ›

Another option for the non-mess-averse person could be ice cream or popsicles: there's something about the progression of the meltiness covering those sticky little dimples and rolls! If you have no issue with sugar but just aren't into cake, you can do pie, donuts, and cookies, there are so many fun possibilities.


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