A birthday cake disaster and small victories

liam bdayThis week our youngest, Liam, turned 4, our first birthday party since starting our real food journey.  The plan was simple: go to the bouncy house and then back home for lunch and cake.   Luckily he only wanted to have his brothers and one friend at his “party” so I didn’t have to make a lot of food (just some quick, all-natural pizzas), but I did have to make the most important food of the event – the cake!  I spent hours online trying to find a sugar free recipe and even made a few cupcakes days before the party to test out the flavor.  Not bad!  Unfortunately, somewhere between the cupcakes and doubling the recipe for the cake something went wrong and the cake went from” not bad” to “very very bad”!  On top of it all, the frosting was, as the birthday boy put it, “just weird!”.    So, as the boys bounced around at Jump On In I frantically drove from store to store to find a replacement cake that wasn’t loaded with corn syrup, preservatives, hydrogenated oils and food coloring– basically an impossible task and one that I could not accomplish.  I finally had to ask my husband to go out and buy one because I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  When I brought the boys home  they were beyond excited to see the big blue/green/pink/orange/yellow “underwater” themed cake waiting for them (I doubt there is another cake out there that had more food coloring!)  I figured the cake would be gobbled up in no time.  But then I got the shock of my life – my first indication that “Big Changes” are happening in our house — the kids didn’t like the cake!  None of them even finished one piece!  Liam was a little disappointed, but I was secretly thrilled and decided to try one more time to make a special birthday treat for this little guy.  The result was

Liam with his cupcakes

Liam with his cupcakes

The best carrot cake cupcakes ever!   

Check out the recipe below and if you have a good recipe for a Real Food cake, please share in the comments!





Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Author: Junk Free Journey
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: about 2 dozen cupcakes
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup oil (I use coconut oil)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 4 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 5 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup crushed canned pineapple (drained)
  1. ) Combine dry ingredients
  2. ) Make a well (small hole) in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the honey, eggs and oil. Mix well.
  3. ) Stir in the carrots and pineapple. (You could also add raisins and/or chopped walnuts).
  4. ) Pour into cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners
  5. ) Bake at 350 for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Cream Cheese Frosting (made with honey!)
Author: Junk Free Journey
  • 1 8oz. block cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup honey (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. ) Cream first three ingredients together using a beater on medium speed.
  2. ) Add vanilla and beat on high until well blended.
  3. ) Frost the cupcakes (make sure they’re room temperature so the frosting doesn’t melt!)


This entry was posted in dessert.

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