Let them eat cake: Flourless butternut squash and almond butter cake with chocolate avocado banana frosting

We went to a bittersweet going away party – saying goodbye to our friend who held his party and introduced us to an amazing record shop run by welcoming, smart and fun people. We had a great time. Our two year old daughter was a little annoyed that there could be a “party” that did not involve singing happy birthday, cake and a bouncy castle. When I asked her if she had fun, she said “yeah, but no cake. no cake. no cake?!” I don’t think I realized how many parties she must have celebrated in daycare/preschool – and the preschool’s idea of healthy cake involves a pound of sugar. So I decided to show her that she could have cake that was healthy and tasty…with frosting. Flourless, no refined sugars and made with whole food ingredients.

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I apologize for the lack of pictures or detail. I have made this cake so many times, but some how forget to take pictures. So many people have been asking for the recipe, I decided I just needed to post it.

This picture was taken of a cake I purposely kept thin – I spread it out in a larger baking dish than normal but it can be made thicker.

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I made her a flourless butternut squash cake with almond butter that I previously posted about here. I have been playing with an avocado chocolate frosting for a while now, but this particular one earned me a “mama, more frosting please.” It is made of avocado, banana, dates (for sweetness), vanilla, coconut oil, 100% cacao powder and wait for it…cottage cheese. Yes, cottage cheese. A salty healthy cheese. You can make this vegan and leave it out, but I have been playing with cottage cheese because it is high in protein and low in fat – paired with the healthy fats in an avocado, it is a perfect food. If my daughter is going to eat cake, she will be eating her veggies and getting some nutrition from it.

I place the cake in front of her. She sang happy birthday to herself, then dipped her spoon in, tasted it and exclaimed “I love the cake, Mama!” and ate it all up with smiles.

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The older kids in preschool noticed that it had a different taste…but they ate it up all the same.

I may not be able to control everything she eats outside of my direct care, but I can teach her healthy habits and encourage her to find healthy alternatives for the food we like. It’s nice to know I can compete with the processed artificial sugary snacks…for now.

Chocolate whole food frosting

  • 1/2 a ripe banana
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese (added for protein, can be omitted without a change in texture, just replace with a tsp of salt)
  • 4 dates soaked
  • 1/4 cup 100% cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 tbs coconut oil

Blend ingredients together until creamy and smooth- I used a vitamix. Store in fridge with saran wrap tightly pressed down. Last about 2-3 days stored cold.

Butternut nutbutter cake

  • 1 cup pureed roasted butternut squash
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 2 dates soaked in water and blended
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1 egg (or flaxseed egg replacer)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbs vanilla paste
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix everything together. Line a 9×12 dish with coconut oil. pour in batter and bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees, until firm. Let cool before slicing.

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