Willa is fascinated with parties. We've been lucky to attend several in the past few months.
One day we were driving to a party. Willa was very excited. She asked us a bunch of questions including "Will they have cake at the party?" That lead to a whole conversation about cakes which lead Willa to say "Mama, you make a star cake with me?" I said "Sure, I'd love to make a star cake with you."
I think it's very important that I follow through when I promise things to Willa, so a few days later, we made a star cake together.
The funny thing about this whole situation is that Willa doesn't usually like cake. She doesn't really like sweets, but I did notice that she liked the whipped cream that was on a cake we had at a party, so I decided to ice and fill our star cake with whipped cream.
She loved it.
I made vanilla whipped cream, and then separated some of it and added cocoa powder to make chocolate whipped cream to fill the cake with.
The cake itself was a healthy banana cake made with whole wheat flour, and agave nectar instead of sugar.
It was a hit.
As someone who grew up in the kitchen baking with her mother, and then eventually went to culinary school and became a chef, I can not tell you how awesome it was to bake with my own child.
*As requested, here is the recipe for healthier Banana Cake:
2 cups Whole Wheat flour
2/3 cup Agave Nectar
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 large, ripe (the riper the better) Bananas
1/4 cup Plain or Vanilla Yogurt
2 large Eggs beaten a little bit
4 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl on high in 30 second increments until melted. Set aside to cool.
Mix together all dry ingredients.
Mash bananas and then with a fork, stir in the yogurt, then the eggs, the vanilla, the agave nectar and the butter.
Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix. Be careful not to over-mix.
Pour into a greased cake or loaf pan.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes.
If baking in a cake pan, start checking for doneness after 35 minutes.
If baking in a loaf pan it can take up to an hour.
If you find that it is too brown, next time you make it, lower the oven temperature 25 degrees to 325.
You can add chocolate chips- add at the end of mixing.
You can add blueberries or raspberries.
If you are an experienced baker, and up for some experimenting, you can do a couple of fun things, like add pureed blueberries, or ground nuts. Some people, like children (and me) do not like big pieces of blueberries or nuts in their banana bread/cake, but still want the nutrients they provide. So, I puree blueberries or ground some nuts to add to the batter. This upsets the moisture content in the recipe, so you need to compensate. If you add blueberry puree then you need to maybe add a bit more flower are take out a bit of yogurt, and if you add the ground nuts, you need to add moisture. You'll have to experiment to get it where you like it.
*If you make this recipe please let me know in the comments.