Sleepless nights, new adventures, days you thought would never end, and joys you never knew possible. The first year of your child’s life has flown by and now it’s time for the birthday celebration.

Somewhere on the endless to do list for the big day is a birthday cake in need of creation. It’s your baby's first cake, so it has to be good. Contrary to my previous belief, "good" does not mean sugar-loaded or full of ingredients on your child’s allergy list.

Here are five taste-test-approved birthday cake ideas and a frosting recipe, all with a healthy or allergy free twist. Your little one will never know the difference, but you will.

Homemade Vanilla Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (or sugar free applesauce)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 8" X 8" baking pan. Sift the dry ingredients and set aside.

Whisk together wet ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the dry to the wet and mix until most of the lumps are gone. Pour mix into the pan and bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes or until knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Gluten Free Cake Mix

  • 1 1/2 cups white rice flour
  • 3/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and rice flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.

Mix the white rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum together and set aside.

Mix the eggs, sugar, and mayonnaise until fluffy. Add the flour mixture, milk and vanilla and mix well. Spread batter into the prepared pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Cakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool completely then frost, if desired.

Eggless Cake Mix

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda. Make a well in the center and pour in the sweetened condensed milk, orange juice, vanilla and melted butter. Mix well and pour into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Ice Cream Cake

  • 1 angel food cake (8 inches in diameter)
  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (slightly softened) or frozen yogurt
  • 2 qt. fresh strawberries, blueberries or peaches
  • Sugar to taste

Cut the cake in half; tear one half into small pieces and set aside.

Cut the other half into 12 to 14 thin slices; arrange in the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan, lined with wax paper. Overlap slices as needed.

Spread softened ice cream over cake pressing down to smooth. Gently press the small cake pieces into the ice cream. Cover and freeze. Just before serving, slice strawberries and sweeten to taste. Cut dessert into squares and top with strawberries.

Box Cake Mix

Pick up your favorite box cake mix from the market and switch equal parts sugar free applesauce for oil. It doesn’t eliminate all of the sugar, but it’s a start if you don’t have a ton of time.

Homemade Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Chill the heavy cream for 24 hours in your refrigerator. Pour heavy cream in a chilled, large, deep bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream on high until it thickens. Add the vanilla and sugar, and continue beating until soft peaks form. Makes 2 cups and must be refrigerated.

Be Creative

Have fun, enjoy, and use your creative side. Let the image above of a gluten-free cake made by a friend of mine inspire you. She started with a four-year-old with a princess cake dream, no cake decorating experience, determination and creativity. The end result was a princess gluten-free cake loved by all!