Our Type 1 Diabetic grandson was having a birthday, a pretty big deal to most kids. I typically host the family dinner for birthdays and so I needed to find a Diabetic Birthday Cake Recipe with the flavor and style my grandson requested. This promised to be my biggest birthday challenge to date. I love attempting different designs on every birthday. The girls have been stuck on the “Harry Potter” theme the past few years however I get different ideas from the boys, construction sites, Paw Patrol, Sesame Street characters even Lego cakes.
However, our grandson posed a special problem. He is a kid who wants a dinosaur cake and the problem is he is a Type 1 Diabetic. How in the world am I going to make a cake that is not through the roof in carbs.
We want to celebrate his birthday in a manner he is familiar with but keep his blood glucose levels as controlled as possible. Yes, he will be given sufficient insulin to counter the carbs but let’s keep it to a minimum if we can.
Searching the Web
I began earnestly searching all my favorite recipe sites to find what I was looking for. I even tried a few recipes to see how they would bake up and then of course the taste test. After all, if I didn’t like it how could I expect my grandson to like it. Since it was his birthday I really needed the flavor to appeal to a kid.
The search was further compounded by the fact that he wanted both chocolate and vanilla flavors in the cake.
So I had to search and test both chocolate and white cakes to find suitable recipes to be turned into the ultimate dinosaur cake.
I Finally Found The One
After a lot of trial and error, I finally found the winners. I must say I really love Pinterest for finding great recipes. In the course of my research, I have come across many fantastic recipes. Since our topic, today is the Birthday Cake I will share the recipes I used for this important milestone in my grandson’s life. I was so thankful to be able to give him a “normal” birthday, the only exception being the insulin injection after dinner.
So this is what I came up with.
Coconut Flour Classic Vanilla Cake
- 4 large pastured eggs separated
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 3 tbsp granulated swerve or monk fruit sweetener (or honey for paleo)
- 1/4 cup coconut flour sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
For the Paleo Swiss Meringue Icing:
- 4 large pastured raw egg whites
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For Keto Buttercream Frosting:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup powdered confectioners sweetener (swerve or monk fruit)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp coconut cream or heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream together honey and coconut oil with the electric mixer then add in the egg yolks and mix for the paleo version. For the keto version, just lightly whip the coconut oil with the mixer, then add in the egg yolks and whip together until combined then add in the monk fruit sweetener along with the flour and other dry ingredients in the next step.
- Add in coconut flour, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined.
- Fold the egg whites into the batter starting with a little bit at a time. Combine until the batter is completely mixed. Do not use a food processor or a hand blender to combine as it can affect the texture. If there are lumps after folding in the egg whites, you can use the electric mixer on the lowest setting for a few seconds to remove the lumps. It’s ok if there are a few small lumps. It’s better if the mixture is a bit rough and not too smooth.
- Line a cake pan with parchment paper or oil the pan with additional coconut oil. Pour the mixture into the cake pan. Bake for about 20 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
Paleo Swiss Meringue Icing Instructions:
- Using a double boiler, fill a pot with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. In the bowl part of the double boiler, mix all of the ingredients.
- Place the bowl over the pot with the heated water. Using a handheld blender, whisk the egg whites continuously until they are warm to the touch. This takes a few minutes. Your egg whites should be light & puffy.
- Immediately use as icing. Even though the egg whites have been warmed they are still considered raw and should not be consumed by pregnant women, children, and the elderly. If you are concerned about the egg whites being under-cooked, ice the outside of the cake with the meringue and then place them under the broiler and lightly toast them. You can also use pasteurized eggs to make this icing, which means they have been lightly heated to kill bacteria, but are still uncooked.
Keto Buttercream Frosting Instructions:
- Put softened room temperature butter in a bowl. Whip with an electric mixer.
- Add in the confectioner’s sweetener gradually a little bit at a time while whipping with the electric mixer until all of the sweeteners are mixed in.
- Add in the vanilla extract and coconut cream (or heavy cream) and blend with the mixer until smooth.
- Wait for the cake to cool before icing. To make a layer cake, cut the cake in half lengthwise then put frosting in the middle and stack the layers. Then frost the whole outside of the cake. To smooth the frosting, dip a knife in hot water then run it over the frosting until smooth.
- This coconut flour cake recipe will make a 6-inch mini layer cake, I used a regular-sized cake 8-inch cake pan.
- The fluffed egg whites are critical to the success of this cake since they are responsible for the light, fluffy texture while helping the coconut flour to hold together. The recipe will not work properly with any egg substitutions.
- The cream of tartar helps to keep the egg whites fluffy and stiff which helps the texture of the cake. If you don’t have the cream of tartar, the recipe will still work but you may not have quite as fluffy of a cake. Just be sure you have fresh egg whites and beat them in a glass or metal bowl (not plastic) and be sure there is no residue from any oils in the bowl.
- When you add the egg whites to the dough mixture, gently fold it in. Do not use a food processor or a hand blender to combine as it can affect the texture. If there are lumps after folding in the egg whites, you can use the electric mixer on the lowest setting for a few seconds to remove the lumps. It’s ok if there are a few small lumps. It’s better if the mixture is a bit rough and not too smooth.
- If you prefer to make the buttercream frosting with a paleo sweetener, you can use homemade powdered coconut sugar. Just grind regular coconut sugar in a coffee grinder, frosting won’t be white this way. It will be more of a brownish tan color.
- Nutrition Facts below are for one serving of keto coconut flour cake using swerve sweeteners. Subtract 28 grams of sugar alcohols per serving to achieve net carbs. There are 2 grams of net carbs per slice of cake.
Nutrition Facts: Classic Vanilla Coconut Flour Cake (Paleo & Keto)Amount Per Serving: Calories 229 Calories from Fat 198% Daily Value*Fat 22 g 34%Saturated Fat g 94%Cholesterol 123 mg 41%Sodium 121 mg 5%Potassium 108 mg 3%Carbohydrates 31 g 10% Fibre 1 g 4%Protein 3 g 6%Vitamin A 490 IU 10% Vitamin C 0.1 mg 0% Calcium 17 mg 2% Iron 0.6 mg 3%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Low Carb Chocolate Cake
A 9-inch keto chocolate cake made with coconut flour and topped with a dark ganache frosting. It’s a low carb dessert that’s sugar-free and gluten-free.
- 1 2/3 cup confectioners swerve sweetener (8 oz wt.)
- 1 cup warm coffee (8 oz wt.) or water
- 3/4 cup finely chopped unsweetened baking chocolate(4 oz wt.)
- 8 tbsp salted butter (4 oz wt.), plus more for greasing the pan
- 2/3 cup coconut flour (2 1/2 oz wt.)
- 2 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder(1/2 oz wt.)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (4 oz wt.)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped unsweetened baking chocolate (2 1/2 oz wt.)
- 1/4 cup confectioners swerve sweetener (1 oz wt.)
- Grease the sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Sift together coconut flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder over a bowl. Stir until well-mixed. Set aside.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, add baking chocolate and butter. Microwave until just melted in 30-second intervals, stirring in between.
- Add sweetener, warm coffee, and vanilla to the chocolate mixture, whisking them in until dissolved.
- Add eggs, vigorously whisking for a few minutes until smooth. Add coconut flour mixture, gradually whisking in until incorporated. Small lumps are OK.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it out to the sides and smoothing the top. Let it rest for about 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 300 F.
- Bake at 300 F for 55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean with a few crumbs.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes. While waiting, prepare the ganache in the next step.
- In a bowl, add all ganache ingredients. Microwave until the chocolate is just melted in 30-second intervals, stirring in between. The texture should be very smooth. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until the mixture has a spreadable consistency.
- Slide a butter knife all around between the cake and the pan, and release the spring-form pan. Spread a thin layer of ganache on the top and down the sides of the cake. Cut into slices and serve.
This recipe yields 3 g net carbs per serving (1/12th slice of 9-inch frosted cake).Nutrition Facts Per Serving Calories 250 Total Fat 21 g 32% Saturated Fat 13 g 64% Trans Fat 0 g Cholesterol 93 mg 31%Sodium 90 mg 4%Total Carb 8.5 g 3% Dietary Fibre 5.5 g 21% Sugars 1.5 g Protein 6 g Vitamin A 10% · Vitamin C 0% · Calcium 2% · Iron 15%
I created my own confectioners’ sugar by combining Splenda (3/4 cup) and Cornstarch(2 Tbsp) in a food processor. I then used my usual recipe for buttercream frosting.
As you can see it is very possible to give a Type 1 Diabetic Child a “normal” birthday cake. Everyone enjoyed eating the cake and we were all relieved it was low carb and “Grandson Safe”. A term we have grown to associate with Diabetic Friendly recipes. I am not a professional baker but do enjoy a challenge.
Although you can’t see it in this pic the upper jaw of the dinosaur is vanilla and the lower jaw is chocolate. I used the above recipes and it was quite a hit with the birthday boy.
As you can see Type 1 Diabetes does not need to limit your creativity when it comes to birthdays or other special occasions. Stick with your caregiver’s advice and be as creative as possible within those guidelines.
I sincerely hope that this can help someone else in their Diabetic Birthday Cake struggle.
Thanks for stopping by, leave your comments or questions below.
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