Saturday, January 30, 2016

Little Dude Turns One!

A friend who gave birth to twins the day after I gave birth to this cutie was stopped in the store earlier this week and was asked, "So... what's the theme for your girls' first birthday?"

Now, that's just a WEIRD question for a stranger to ask... don't you think? But what I loved was her response: "Uh... cake and ice cream and survival?"  Because look. We got through 365 days together, and not only did the wee one survive - but he thrived! Look at him munchin' on that train like Godzilla! He's great. And he don't need no themed birthday. Which is good. Cause he didn't get one.

He did get a trip to the children's museum...

and a few cards...

and, yes, he did get a cake.

Which he destroyed. Right proper like.

The cake was a gluten free, grain free cake made from garbanzo beans. And it was delicious!! (Contrary to what Little Dude's unceremonious dump on the floor implied).  I found the recipe on Kathleen's blog, Becoming Peculiar. She made this cake for her daughter's birthday and claimed that "no one could tell there was anything unusual going on. In fact, our guests raved about how moist and chocolatey it was, and asked for the recipe." Well, I wasn't going to believe that til I made it myself.

But here's how they looked when they came out of the oven...
Those *do* look chocolatey.
And here's how it looked after frosting and "decorating"...
Yup. Looks like a cake.
And yes, after polling my sister and brother-in-law - who are both self-professed "not really cake eaters" - they wouldn't have guessed that this was one of those gluten-free-tastes-like-sadness-wannabe-cakes. Win! You can try the recipe as I made it and see if you agree.

So, all in all, a happy birthday for the little dude. At least, I think so. :)

Print Recipe

Chickpea Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Course: Desserts
Serves: 10


  • 2 cans garbanzo beans or 4 cups home-cooked
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 13 cups orange juice (or pineapple)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar (or other granulated sugar)
  • 23 cup honey
  • 1 13 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • Cream Cheese Icing
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch salt


  1. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with cut circles of parchment paper to make sure your cakes come out nice and easy. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Blend the chick peas and 4 of the eggs in a large blender or food processor until smooth. Then mix in all the rest of the ingredients until well blended. (They may not all fit in your blender at once. You may need to transfer to your mixer bowl and beat it with your mixer, after the beans are blended smooth.) Batter will be very runny, but don’t fret — it’ll fluff up like magic when you bake it.
  3. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
  4. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until top is firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting and assembling the cake. Carefully peel off the parchment paper.
  5. Put the butter and cream cheese to the bowl of your mixer, and beat with the paddle attachment until creamy and smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as necessary. Beat in the milk, powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes before frosting the cooled cakes.
  6. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or plate. Top with a generous amount of frosting and spread evenly. Place the other cake on top of the frosting. Top with more frosting. Work frosting onto the sides of the cake until evenly covered.
  7. "Thread" a toothpick with 5 or 6 cherrios, and use to add the cherrios to the cake. (It's very helpful here to have a second person who can do the "threading" of the cherrios and keep you stocked with toothpicks full and ready to go.)
  8. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving, to make the cake easier to slice.

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