A Gluten-Free First Birthday

By   7 Comments

Last week we celebrated our baby girl’s first birthday (wow that first year goes quickly!) and we faced a dilemma: what to do for her birthday cake?

Thus far she’s only ever had real whole foods, and hasn’t had any grain, sugar or sweeteners of any kind. We didn’t want to throw refined grains AND sugar at her all at once, but we also didn’t want to be total kill-joys. A first birthday is a real cause for celebration!!

It’s times like this when having a healthy foods chef for a husband comes in really handy. James concocted yummy GAPS-style grain-free carrot cupcakes sweetened with only a touch of honey and topped with homemade cream cheese icing (again honey-sweetened). We wanted to write out “Happy Birthday” and so used spirulina to create green frosting. A little weird, but it worked!

We’ve had many requests to share the recipe, so here it is. Enjoy!


Gluten-free GAPS-style Carrot Cupcakes  

yield: approx 24 cupcakes

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 2 carrots, grated

Preheat oven to 325.

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour batter into greased muffin tins and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before removing from the cupcake pan.

Cream Cheese Icing (from the Naked Foods Cookbook)
yield: 2 cups

  • 8 oz organic cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons honey (we used a little less than this)
  •  Pinch sea salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons spirulina for green coloring (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and use either a stand-up mixer or handheld blender to blend. Mix well. Use immediately, or store in a covered glass container in the fridge for up to a week.


  1. K.


    Hi Margaret, All kids should be so lucky as to have such a healthy start in life! I’m sure I would love the cupcakes myself. The only thing that made me wonder is the use of honey, because I had always heard that babies should not be given honey. But then I have come to question all the so-called ‘expert’ opinions out there. Maybe you have commented on this already, so in that case, I apologize for the redundancy.

    • I just want to pop in and comment on the honey comment – definitely children under the age of one shouldn’t have honey. But as of a year old, it’s okay – especially if it’s used in something cooked (we use raw honey which you definitely don’t want to give to a baby under the age of 1). This was the food we introduced that day. Several days earlier we’d introduced egg whites so that we knew those were okay (they were also in the cupcakes). Good catch and great question!

      And to the other comments about as she grows older – I hear ya!!! Our plan is to create as solid a foundation NOW as we can, and let her body be her guide (how does she feel after eating a normal cupcake? I know I feel like poo when I do). We don’t intend on setting super strict limits when she’s not at home, but always want to make sure she has a great home base filled with nourishing and healing foods.

  2. Isabella


    Wow! Thanks for the recipe. I’ll pass it on to my daughter who’ll be celebrating her baby daughter’s 1st b-day next March. She’s very health conscious, like me, so she may be willing to try this out.

  3. Susan C. Bagley


    This is so great to be able to do when there are no outside influences on your children. As a mother of four ages 5, 7, 10 and 11. I will tell you it gets harder and your creativity and patience will be tested. Everyone admires how my children eat, but none of them wants to take the time to do it themselves. I spend more time at school functions bringing in foods so that my children can eat healthy foods, but you can’t always be there. Good luck. Let’s see what happens when she hits pre-school.

  4. Margaret and James, how very sweet. She’s beautiful. So glad you had some healthy and yummy treats. I’ll have to use this for my soon to be 2 year old’s birthday.
    Thanks for all you do,

  5. joan esclamado


    Hi Margaret,

    I am so happy to find out about your recipes, they are great. I have gluten free recipes. It makes a big difference as to severe headaches. I have trigeminal neuralgia which is difficult but a good diet really makes it better.
    thank you so much,

  6. Cynthia


    Thank you for the recipe! This is great for all ages! They look delicious. I like the spirulina idea for the green color!

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