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Zi Lady's Birthday Bash: Baby-'Nana Cupcakes

Zi Lady's Birthday Bash: Baby-'Nana Cupcakes

I am one proud Auntie B! Zaylia, my niece, celebrated her first birthday this weekend. How exciting! It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. [b-e-a-u-itful]. The sun was shining and we were ready to party.

And what better way to celebrate Zi-lady's birthday than with [claps and snaps] ... ZEBRAS! Yep, yep the decor consisted of stripes on stripes, black on white, and a dash of pink! And of course, lil Zi was the ultimate fashion-forward babe in her zebra onesie, embellished with a 'Z' on her behind. Kudos to her crafty mom for that extra detail! 

I cannot believe how quickly the Zi is growing up! There was an adorable timeline of photos documenting each month of her first year. Such a cutie. I still remember meeting her in the hospital for the first time - all bundled up and such a bitty b! And now, at her first birthday, I'm watching her stand [wobble, wobble] by herself ... and even begin to take some first [assisted] steps forward. Oo girl, Auntie B can't WAIT until you start movin' and groovin' - we won't be able to catch up :) You are growing into the cutest little lady with such a fun personality - lots of lil baby giggles, a slight sass [pow, pow] and... spit bubbles. Auntie b must admit, it's a pretty cool trick!  

Zi and Grams.

Zi and Grams.

Family and friends surrounded Zi as we unwrapped her presents. She was the star of the show, duh, as she should be! She wore a cute lil party hat and LOVED her maracas. Shimmy shake. 

The food was fantastic. My brother and sister-in-law cooked up quite the BBQ spread! We had pulled pork sammies with pretzel buns, coleslaw, grilled corn on the cob, and a build-your-own potato boat bar. Yumzo. 

And the CAKE... that's the most important part, right?! My sister-in-law decided to bake a healthier version of baby smash cupcakes. There was skepticism amongst the group, but they turned out really well! Beezy approved! She shared the recipe with me so I figured I'd add it to this post as well! Sharing is caring. The cupcakes are made without butter or refined sugars and are 100% wholegrain. The key sweetening ingredients include ripened bananas and apple sauce. We'll call them baby-'nana cakes! They are sweet and delicious, sans the suga-suga! 

She topped them with a maple cream cheese frosting. And yes, this part of the recipe did include a smidgen of  butter, but you're in control of how much or how little you want to add to each individual cake!  

Cake Ingredients*

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup milk (whole preferred)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*FYI Zulay doubled this recipe, for a total of about 20-24 cupcakes

Frosting Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

Cake Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with 12 liners. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Place banana, applesauce, milk, and maple syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl and whisk in the egg and vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry and mix until just combined. 
  5. Pour batter into the individual cupcake liners. Bake for about 14-16 minutes. Check with a lil prick of a toothpick in the center of one cupcake. If it comes out clean, you're good to go! 
  6. Let cupcakes cool before frosting.  

Frosting Instructions

  1. Use a mixer to begin to cream the butter. Slowly add the cream cheese and beat together until smooth.
  2. Add the maple syrup and vanilla. Mix well. 
  3. Frost! 

And if you have any doubts about butter-less, sugar-less cupcakes, take a cue from Zi-lady. She's lovin' it :) 

Zulay, Zi, and John.

Zulay, Zi, and John.

mmhmm. CAKE!

mmhmm. CAKE!

Hugs and kisses on your FIRST birthday my lil Zi. Auntie B is so, so excited to continue to watch you grow. Enjoy those summer strolls in your new cozy coupe! Once you get enough practice, maybe your mom and dad will let you take a drive down to visit me in Chicago. Zoom, zoom. I'll teach you how to do donuts in the parking garage... just jokes, J and Z :) 

adios & besos!

beep, beep. toot, too. here ZIIII comes! 

beep, beep. toot, too. here ZIIII comes! 

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