Toddler “Cakes”

I don’t know about you other Mommies out there, but I thought I did everything right. I breastfed each of my babies for the first full year of their lives (currently nursing my 3rd, just 7 weeks old). Once I introduced food, I carefully selected the most nutritious, organic fruits and vegetables I could get my hands on and made all of their baby food myself. They loved it and I felt good about my new contribution to their nourishment, now that my milk was no longer their only food source.

And then they turned two.

It was like a switch was flipped. It started with my oldest (now 3) and his sister, at two years old, is following suit. My once good eaters…and I mean, ate everything I put in front of them, brag to all my friends and family about it–good eaters, now suddenly turned their noses up at everything. (Sigh).

What’s a Mom to do? They can’t survive on carbs, alone. Even if those carbs come in a cracker box labeled “organic” with a picture of Elmo on the front.


I came across this recipe for Toddler Muffins and thought, “What the hell? Worth a shot.” They’re fantastic! Kind of like carrot cake-meets banana bread-meets pumpkin bread. I make them in mini muffin tins and tell my tots they’re “cakes,” neglect to mention they’re full of fruit/veggies and they gobble them up! Actually, I’m not entirely positive it’s the wee ones polishing them off, as I can’t seem to keep my husband away from them, either  🙂


 Toddler Cakes

(Adapted from a version on


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, or to taste
2 large bananas, mashed
1 (4.5 oz) jar baby food squash (I steam/puree butternut squash, instead)**
2 carrots, grated
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 24 mini muffin cups or 12 standard muffin cups.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs. Stir in the flour, oat bran, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until just combined. Spoon the batter equally into the prepared muffin cups.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Store at room temperature for up to two days, or freeze.

** I prefer to make my own squash instead of buying jarred baby food. Totally preference, though. I take a small butternut squash, peel it, chop it, steam and puree it (as you would when making homemade baby food). This recipe only calls for 4.5 oz, so I freeze the rest in little individual portions for the next time I make this recipe.


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