We are so excited to have Amy back with another healthier kids recipe to share! Her Make Ahead Banana and Oat Bars went wild and we think you will love today’s even more! Amy Palanjian is a writer, editor, recipe developer, and crafter for magazines, books, and websites. She’s also mama to a very energetic toddler and she shares realistic, yet wholesome recipes and feeding tips at Yummy Toddler Food which is incredible! You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook as @yummytoddlerfood. Welcome back, Amy!
“When my little girl turned one, I was filled with emotions. I couldn’t believe that a year had passed since she was born and that she was walking, starting to talk, and eating all sorts of delicious foods. We planned a family party to celebrate the milestone and while I kept the theme to a very straightforward “Birthday!”, I spent a lot of time thinking about the cake — find all my cake conquests here.I wanted to give my girl a first taste of cake that was naturally sweet, soft enough for her to easily eat, and flavorful. I wanted to make one cake that we could all share, just like the way we eat our regular meals, so I spent a lot of time researching recipes and eventually settled on this Apple Cake. It was a huge hit and we liked it so much that I made it twice so that our extended family could try it! Since then, I’ve tried to create a few other cake recipes that are appropriate for toddlers, yet delicious enough for the whole family. There’s a Banana Cake that we love (and often make just because) and now there’s this Sweet Potato Apple Cake.
This cake, which has a delicate crumb and natural sweetness, is moist, rich, and immensely satisfying. It has a base of ground oats, roasted sweet potato, and apple butter, so it’s naturally gluten- and refined-sugar-free, yet it’s filled with flavor. It holds its shape and is easy to make, yet it’s soft enough for little ones. It pairs perfectly with a maple-sweetened cream cheese frosting and it’s completely delicious chilled, so you can make it a full day ahead of time.
So whether you have a first birthday to celebrate, are serving a family dinner to a group of all ages, or you just want to serve up a healthy and comforting dessert to your family, this cake is for you.
Sweet Potato Apple Cake
Plan to roast the sweet potato the day before you want to make the cake, or at least two hours before, to give it time to cool down after it’s finished cooking. You can also steam it, which takes slightly less time, but you will lose some of the flavors of the natural caramelization that occurs with roasting.
1 cup rolled oats, ground finely in a food processor
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup roasted, cooled, and mashed sweet potato
1/4 cup no-added sugar apple butter
1/3 cup brown rice syrup at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans.
2. Stir together the oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl; Set aside. In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs and butter together with a hand held mixer for about 1 minute. Add the sweet potato, apple butter, brown rice syrup, and vanilla. Beat until well combined. Add the oat mixture and beat until just combined. Pour half of the batter into each cake pan and smooth with a spatula.
3. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges are slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in pans on a rack for 30 minutes. Carefully remove cakes from pan and let cool fully on a wire rack.
4. To make the frosting, beat cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, and maple syrup in a medium bowl with a hand held mixer until fluffy, about 30 seconds. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary.
5. Place one cake carefully onto a cake plate or serving plate. Spread a thick layer of frosting on top, smoothing to the edges. Place the second cake on top of the frosting and press down slightly. Spread on enough frosting to cover just the top, or the top and the sides, depending on your preference. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve. Can be baked and frosted up to one full day ahead of time. Store any leftovers in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
Add 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger to the batter.
Try 1/4 cup applesauce instead of apple butter.
Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the frosting.”
More of Amy: