Monday Musing: Celebrating the difference a year can make

21 Oct
This cake signified more to me than just a birthday cake.

This cake signified more to me than just a birthday cake.

Caroline is about to be 14.

Her birthday is next weekend, but we celebrated with our family this past weekend.

As I was thinking about her upcoming birthday, planning out my menu and thinking about a birthday cake, I was struck by the difference a year can make.

One year ago, for her 13th birthday, we were in a very different place. She hadn’t been feeling well for months, and she was really quite sick most of the time, but we weren’t sure why.

That birthday was a rough one. She’d been to the hospital just a week or so before. She was seeing so many doctors, having lots of testing and trying to go to school each day even though she was really not herself.

She was such a trooper, and it was an intense time for us as a family; very stressful and scary for a while there.

Just before Christmas last year, it was finally determined that it was the fat in foods that was making her so sick, each and every day.

We went to town, immediately revamping our menus from top to bottom, changing our diets to make as much of what we ate low fat or non fat, as much as possible; working hard to make her well again, and it worked. It took many months, literally, for her to begin to feel well more times than she didn’t, and it’s been many weeks since she’s felt sick now that we’ve got our eating habits down pat.

One year later, here we were again, ready to celebrate another one of her birthdays.

As I Googled “Low Fat Nutella Cakes” trying to find a fun, but low fat birthday cake for her celebration, it hit me how far she’s come and how well she is, and how healthy she looks, compared to last year.

I found a great recipe, different than the birthday cakes we used to make, but good for her and with just enough sweetness to make it delightful, and I made it this weekend.

To me, this cake signified more than just a birthday. To me, it stood for how far we’ve come as a family over the past year, and specifically how well she is. In my mind, I was celebrating the difference that a year has made in her life, and in the life of our family. Last year we were in such a dark place at this time and this year, everyone is healthy and happy.

I take nothing for granted, and I celebrate every blessing. This weekend was a bigger celebration than just a 14th birthday, at least for me. So as I share this cake recipe with you, a healthy, low fat recipe from Turntablekitchen.com, know that it signifies so much more than just a cake recipe. I’m sharing with you a piece of our celebration of good health, happiness, and blessings.

Happy 14th Birthday Caroline! What a difference a year makes!

Happy 14th Birthday Caroline! What a difference a year makes!

Here is the recipe, just as it appears on Turntable Kitchen. Thanks to them for sharing a recipe that was healthy and delicious!

**Pay attention to the recipe, as the ingredients need to be mixed in a certain order, different than the way they are listed. For our own purposes, we used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, and 1/3 less fat cream cheese. Using the low fat cream cheese meant we needed to add a bit more confectioner’s sugar to the top frosting, to make it sweet enough, and about a teaspoon of vanilla, to taste.

Banana Cake with Nutella and Cream Cheese Frosting

*serves 6-8

 For the cake:

 1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup white sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

4 ripe bananas, mashed

2/3 cup buttermilk

For the Nutella frosting:

3 heaping tablespoons of Nutella

1/2 cup of powdered sugar

3 1/2 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup of butter

For the cream cheese frosting:

1/2 cup of powdered sugar

3 1/2 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup of butter

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and dust them with flour.

2. Sift the flours, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and set aside.

3. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until incorporated. Next, add the mashed bananas, vanilla and buttermilk. Beat until incorporated. Add about half of the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.

4. Evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Cool the cake layers to room temperature.

5. To prepare the Nutella frosting, combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fluffy. Set aside.

6. Repeat step five (omitting the Nutella) to make the cream cheese frosting.

7. To assemble: place one cake layer flat side up on a serving platter. Frost evenly with the Nutella frosting. Top with the second cake layer. Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top.

– See more at: http://www.turntablekitchen.com/2011/11/banana-cake-with-nutella-and-cream-cheese-frosting/#sthash.GLbbjQCw.dpuf

Banana Cake with Nutella and Cream Cheese Frosting
*serves 6-8

For the cake:

1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup buttermilk

For the Nutella frosting:

3 heaping tablespoons of Nutella
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
3 1/2 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup of butter

For the cream cheese frosting:

1/2 cup of powdered sugar
3 1/2 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup of butter

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and dust them with flour.
2. Sift the flours, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until incorporated. Next, add the mashed bananas, vanilla and buttermilk. Beat until incorporated. Add about half of the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
4. Evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Cool the cake layers to room temperature.
5. To prepare the Nutella frosting, combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fluffy. Set aside.
6. Repeat step five (omitting the Nutella) to make the cream cheese frosting.
7. To assemble: place one cake layer flat side up on a serving platter. Frost evenly with the Nutella frosting. Top with the second cake layer. Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top.

– See more at: http://www.turntablekitchen.com/2011/11/banana-cake-with-nutella-and-cream-cheese-frosting/#sthash.6Elj5jvc.dpuf

Banana Cake with Nutella and Cream Cheese Frosting
*serves 6-8

For the cake:

1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup buttermilk

For the Nutella frosting:

3 heaping tablespoons of Nutella
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
3 1/2 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup of butter

For the cream cheese frosting:

1/2 cup of powdered sugar
3 1/2 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup of butter

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and dust them with flour.
2. Sift the flours, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until incorporated. Next, add the mashed bananas, vanilla and buttermilk. Beat until incorporated. Add about half of the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
4. Evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Cool the cake layers to room temperature.
5. To prepare the Nutella frosting, combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fluffy. Set aside.
6. Repeat step five (omitting the Nutella) to make the cream cheese frosting.
7. To assemble: place one cake layer flat side up on a serving platter. Frost evenly with the Nutella frosting. Top with the second cake layer. Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top.

– See more at: http://www.turntablekitchen.com/2011/11/banana-cake-with-nutella-and-cream-cheese-frosting/#sthash.6Elj5jvc.dpuf

Banana Cake with Nutella and Cream Cheese Frosting
*serves 6-8

For the cake:

1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup buttermilk

For the Nutella frosting:

3 heaping tablespoons of Nutella
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
3 1/2 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup of butter

For the cream cheese frosting:

1/2 cup of powdered sugar
3 1/2 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup of butter

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and dust them with flour.
2. Sift the flours, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until incorporated. Next, add the mashed bananas, vanilla and buttermilk. Beat until incorporated. Add about half of the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
4. Evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Cool the cake layers to room temperature.
5. To prepare the Nutella frosting, combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fluffy. Set aside.
6. Repeat step five (omitting the Nutella) to make the cream cheese frosting.
7. To assemble: place one cake layer flat side up on a serving platter. Frost evenly with the Nutella frosting. Top with the second cake layer. Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top.

– See more at: http://www.turntablekitchen.com/2011/11/banana-cake-with-nutella-and-cream-cheese-frosting/#sthash.6Elj5jvc.dpuf

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