On the weekend we celebrated my baby’s first birthday. From day one, we have referred to our son as our “Little Man” so when it came time to plan his first birthday, the theme was obvious. He’s also a November baby so the idea of incorporating a “Movember” mustache bash just seemed fitting. The inclusion of a champagne tower (using sparkling white grape juice) as well as other subtle details such as champagne bottle birthday cake candles was to signify my son’s “Champagne Birthday” because he turned one on the first of the month. The decor featured black and white stripes and polkadots with silver accents, and pops of yellow. Embellished with details of bow-ties, mustaches, and top hats. Everything was designed to coordinate, from the invitation to the cake to the decor. Even our little man’s birthday outfit mirrored the two-tiered cake.
The menu consisted of themed goodies such as bow-tie pasta salad; veggies and cheese trays with mustache picks, a “Sippin’ in Style” bar, and of course a “Manly *Cookies (whole wheat) & Fruit” station. Several top hats filled with an assortment of bits and bites were displayed throughout the house. To complete the scene, I made a sugar- and gluten-free Birthday Cake as a healthier alternative to avoid any adverse reactions to sugar, gluten, or artificial food colouring. It worked really well with the Sweet Potato Icing and the leftover batter doubled as mini cupcakes (recipe provided at the bottom).
There were plenty of fun and relatable activities for all guests to participate in. Little guests crafted their own hair-bows or bow-ties out of felt at “The Bow-Tique” center. They then played a game of “Mr. Mustache Head”, and “Pin the Tie” on an enlarged poster sized photograph of the birthday boy amongst other hands-on activities such as decorate your own *cupcake and *cookie. A “Photo Booth” was set up where guests could grab a prop and strike a pose. Pictures were later viewed as a slideshow on the big screen for all to enjoy.
Guests took home Tuxedo favour boxes with personalized M & Ms. The kiddos received black and white striped or dotted loot bags. Each bag had attached to it a handmade bookmark, which read “Mustache gracias for coming over to play, my first birthday was A-ok!” The bags were filled with mustache-shaped gummies and erasers, crayons in the form of bow-ties and top hats. Individually picked books and toys catered specifically to each one of them was also included per child.
A birthday storybook was placed by the front door so guests could sign it on the way in or out. This idea was meaningful to me because I wanted my son to be able look back and read the birthday wishes his guests had written for him on his first birthday.
Photos of the Little Man’s “firsts” were displayed to form the number one on the wall along with a monthly montage of him wearing numbered ties to reflect his age. This picture sequence from one month to one year was framed under a wall decal that read “Our Little Man”. I love this showcase as it does a wonderful job capturing his growth throughout the past year.
Note: *Cupcakes were made from the gluten-free and sugar-free cake batter. **Sugar cookies were made with whole wheat flour and coconut palm sugar.
Cake by Jenny B Sweets link to FB page
Since my son has never had any wheat or refined sugars before, I thought it would be best to make him a healthier option for his first cake encounter. I sweetened the icing with an organic agave syrup and the batter with a natural local maple syrup. I made mini cupcakes for prepared portions. He was a big fan of his first cake experience!
Sugar-free and Gluten-free Birthday Cake
4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix* (i.e., Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cardamom (optional)
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup vanilla rice milk
1 cup apple or pear juice
½ cup sunflower oil
½ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups grated carrots
½ cup raisins (soaked in hot water and drained)
½ cup walnuts or sunflower seeds, chopped
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, cinnamon, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the rice milk, apple juice, sunflower oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir in the grated carrots. Add to the dry ingredients and blend thoroughly in a mixer with the paddle attachment. Add raisins and walnuts and mix thoroughly.
3. Pour batter into two lightly greased 9-inch (1.5 L) round baking pans. Bake in 350ºF (180ºC) oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out dry. Cool on rack before frosting with Sweet Potato Icing. Makes 1 double-layer cake.
Sweet Potato Icing:
4 medium sweet potatoes
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp maple or agave syrup
Bake the sweet potatoes in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft. Score the skin and squeeze the sweet potato out into a food processor or bowl. Add cinnamon and syrup and process or beat until smooth. Adjust to taste and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes approximately 1½ cups (375 mL).
Enjoy- I know my son did!
Original Recipe source: Sproutright
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