Can a Diabetic Have Birthday Cake?

Written by Ward Alper

Dear Decadent Diabetic:

“My brother in law, Jack was diagnosed with Diabetes about six months ago. He has been a real champ about managing his disease and is doing really well. We are a closely knit family and always gather together to celebrate family birthdays. Next week is his birthday. Is there a birthday cake that I can make that will be ok with his diet and still taste good enough for the rest of the family? I don’t want him to feel left out, but also don’t want him to feel worse because the rest of the family has to eat some dried out tasteless cake just because of him. Do you have any suggestions for a cake that will make everybody happy?”

—In a Cake quandary

Dear Cake Quandary:

The answer is a resounding YES!!

 “First of all, what a great sister you are to make sure he is included in your family tradition. Feeling normal is a big part of a diabetics incentive to control their disease while bolstering their self-esteem. GREAT NEWS! Yes indeed there are a number of my recipes that will fit the bill”.

If you and your brother in law are not caught up in NOT eating artificial sweeteners, many of my cake recipes make great birthday cakes. Ground nuts are a big part of all my cake recipes. By substituting nuts for some of the flour in the recipe you lower the carbohydrates. It also adds a lot of flavor. You can use almond flour instead of the ground nuts. I find it too expensive and it spoils faster than just toasting and grinding a few nuts as you need them. I share with her, and now with you, some recipes from my sites for cakes perfect for a birthday.

Everything from a plain simple cake to an over the top cream confection. All are less than 15 grams of carbohydrates for a very decent size piece. Not a sliver mind you, but a slice. The Orange cake, chocolate cake, and pineapple carrot cake also make great cupcakes for your little birthdays!

1-House of Orange Cake: This is a light richly flavored cake that has such a wonderful orange flavor that I think it needs no frosting. If an un-frosted cake is not your thing, you can frost it with an orange flavored cream cheese frosting. It is very rich and a snap to make. I like to just put a dollop of whipped sweet or sour cream and some berries over each slice.

2-: Pineapple Carrot Cake: Just like the original but made with a sugar substitute. This is a sweet cake loaded with carrots, nuts, and fresh pineapple used in place of raisins (that are so high in carbohydrates). Use chopped fresh pineapple to decorate the cake and a tablespoon of the juice to flavor the Cream cheese frosting.

3- Chocolate cake sweet and Simple  Yes, really, chocolate cake. I make this cake all the time. My neighbors who are both diabetic (he type 1, she type 2) always ask me to make it for them for their family birthdays. I used to make one for them with a sugar substitute, and another with sugar for the rest of their extended family. Nobody could tell the difference so I just stopped making the full sugar cake. If you don’t like the flavor of Amaretto, you can use orange or lemon juice and zest instead.

4-Yes, there is even frosting. My grandmother was from Austria Hungary and was a great baker. For her it was about the cake itself, not the frosting. I fell the same way but if I do feel it necessary to frost a cake (birthdays etc.) I use a very simple cream cheese frosting that lends itself to all different flavorings to compliment the cake.

5- Italian Crème Gallette: This one is just over the top. It not difficult to make, but it does take some time for the merangue layers to bake and cool. The really great things about this cake are: -It is also gluten free -can be made in dozens of flavors, use your imagination to guide you -if you hate the texture of the Ricotta I use for the filling you can just as easily substitute flavored whipped cream with a little gelatin to stiffen it up. -It looks stupendous!

Just as a silly note, get one of the plastic picks or candles that say Happy Birthday. That way you don’t have to use a sugar gel to write on the cake. Enjoy yourself and save a piece for THE Decadent Diabetic