Birthday cake/icing


I just joined tudiabetes and this is a bit of a superficial question…but my daughter was diagnosed on Septebmer 23 so we’re all still adjusting. Her birthday is November 16 and we’re having a Dora themed party (which turns out to be good food-wise, she loves tacos and they’re very food-plan-friendly!). I have the Dora cake pan and Dora colors for the icing, however, I don’t know what kind of cake and icing to make. Has anyone come across anything that is lower in carbs for cake and icing (that I can color and decorate with)? After this year I will probably lean more toward other desserts but I was still hoping to do one last traditional cake…any thoughts?

Try to find icing made with splenda. Or make your own icing and substitute splenda. It should work.
I was just thinking the same. My daughter turns 3 in January and how will I get around the cake issue??
We have scraped off the icing at other parties, or just dosed her for it, but it is such a quick release of sugar you almost have to predose but then who know if your toddler will actually eat the whole piece?? Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Hi, Maria,
I had this same question when my daughter was diagnosed as my elder daughter’s birthday was close by as well and it is a dilema. A few years I have done reduced sugar cake mix and frosting, which tastes pretty good. However, some people are of the opinion that it’s better to eat the real stuff and cover it vs. eating a lot of artificial sweetener. I’ve found that cupcakes work well in that I can calculate the carbs easier by using the side of the cake mix box.
Hope this helps!

Hi there. Caleb was diagnosed just weeks before turning four and I found a low carb cake tough to come by. I made a cake with Splenda, but not only did it not save much in carbs (because flour has so many of them) but it wasn’t the yummiest cake ever - good, but not great.

For that birthday I essentially gave him a carb free dinner and let him have all his carbs with dessert. Even discussing it with the endo, the theory was, “let him eat cake”.

A good icing alternative, although not decorating friendly, is whipped cream which has very few carbs.

That was the only birthday that we struggled with because now we just bolus him for whatever cake he eats.

I agree with Jessica. My daughter was diagnosed 09/09/09. We were told by the Dietician that if she is going to have it, let her have the good stuff and dose for it. Becky loves M & M candies. We were told that she doesn’t have to give them up, just incorporate them into a meal and get one shot or take an extra shot. The main thing they emphasized was that she is a kid and she shouldn’t have to give up being a kid because she has diabetes.

I agree with everybody. Like Erin and Jessica said, Pillsbury makes a “Reduced Sugar” cake mix and icing that is wonderful. The cake comes in chocolate and yellow (and I think one other flavor) and their chocolate icing is wonderful. I’ve used it many times. Look for the blue box and blue icing cans.

Also, like Lorraine said, whip cream is a fabulous alternative to icing. Much lower carb (though even the “sugar-free” has corn syrup as the first ingredient, so it still has some carbs to it).

And like Tanya said, there is nothing wrong with the occasional piece of genuine sugary birthday cake. I had cake at my first post-diagnosis birthday party as a kid. It just requires extra testing and insulin.

I agree with what has been posted. It’s basically up to how you want to address it. If you are going to keep it with all the sugar (as we do), then portion it. Make cupcakes and do the math. If you feel you should reduce the sugar, try using Splenda. I hear it works very well. However, remember I am assuming you are on a carb count…so you still have to portion it and I would still do cupcakes. Trying to slice cake and divide evenly to do the math when everyone is excited to get their piece…not good.

I have learned over the many many years, if your child has any sense or feeling (justified or not) that she is “missing out” food wise, she will start sneaking. Beyond the birthday you really should set a plan with her teacher about how they are going to handle birthdays in the class. I have my own suggestions on addressing this where everyone feels happy…let me know if you are interested in my posting. Or you can just go to my personal blog and look I believe it’s under new parents.

Remember to have fun on her birthday just as she does!!!

Hi Maria,

Just adding a second to what has already been said. Our daughter was diagnosed a few days after yours on September 30. She turned 12 a few days after coming home from the hospital. Her endo encouraged us to have her favorite birthday dessert ( ice cream cake) and just cover it. It was an important celebration for her and her BG stayed within range.


First of all - don’t ever think your questions are superficial. No one except a parent of a child with diabetes will understand what you go through on a daily basis - and the support I have had from those parents has kept my sanity since my son was diagnosed last year. When my son won a big state math competition I cried - because I felt like we beat diabetes that day. He was over 400 when he started the test (probably adrenaline) and I corrected him and waited outside the room just hoping I did it right. When he ended up winning I just had this big sob of happiness/relief/victory, and couldn’t even share it with anyone around me. No one else understands that - so ask away!

As far as cake goes, I agree with what mostly everyone is saying. My son always gets whatever everyone else is having at parties. We have generally taught him how to eat well, and at home we eat “good” carbs, don’t have junk in the house etc., so I don’t mind if he ends up with a slightly high number after a birthday party - especially his own! Over however many years he will have to live with this disease, I want him to LIVE with it - not just survive with it.

If you are worried about a fast spike, you can always get some nice high fat ice cream to go with the cake! : )

Wow Natasha - that is a great success. You both won that day!

hello from Finland!
Here is old that thougts that all food must be low carbohydrates. I have baked birthdaycakes same way than earlier - before our son was diagnosted, and that piece of cake what children usually eat at the birthday hasn´t so much carbs that almost normal insulin can work with it easily. We give insulin so much or little what son eat, taking care aktivities etc calculating but now is fourth year over with diabetes and everything is ok.
the first half year with that new opinion named diabetes was really afraid and “getting phone and call doctor really often” -like that living but every day is learning - even now, we just are more calm and don´t jump to the roof every low or high…
doctor even say that birthday´s high isn´t so harmfull, it´s better for kid´s that they have theys celebrates, insulin can fix high and joy is really good for health also. Also less stress for mom´s and dad´s who bake all delicious cakes etc for kid´s ;). It´s more important how everyday blodsugars are treatment.
even choclad is better “normal” but that sugarfree-schoklads aren´t so tasty and have still same carbs…
bisguits, cookies and other smaller “goodies” have more carbs and fat than birthdaycake.
Have a fun, nice, sunny, and joyfull birthday!!
and don´t stress…that can get kid´s blodsugar also hihg when mom is stressing…:wink:

Hi there…just adding my 2 cents worth. My granddaughter was diagnosed on September 23 and her brother’s birthday was the 27th. This was our challenge how to bolus for pizza followed by cake and ice cream. First off…we had the usual cake and ice cream from a local Hy-Vee. Figured out the carbs from the average of several cake recipes and the actual carbs from his favorite ice cream. The trick here was pizza usually raises BG long after other foods have. So…we waited 20 minutes AFTER the pizza (before the dessert) to bolus for both the meal and the dessert. It worked out perfectly! That’s not what the educator suggested…but since her Nana is also diabetic, this is what I did when I was doing the injection routine.

GREAT ideas everyone (made me tear up…that seems to be happening a lot lately :wink: it’s nice to have so many other people who understand)…thank you so much!!! :slight_smile:

hi maria…
my son was dxd on thanksgiving day, 2007. he was 13 months old. october 9th, he turned 3!!
we had a huge party and great foods…diabetic friendly, of course!
we kept the ‘grazing’ snacks out all day, meat and cheese tray, veggie trays, etc. and i made muffins instead of cupcakes…they were a hit!! no icing to worry about, and you can even sneak in some extra healthy things and the kids don’t even notice. ben, my son, LOVES muffins more than anything, so it worked out perfectly!!
everyone whos responded, is right…let them eat cake! kids have to still be kids!!!

good luck and don’t ever stop asking questions!! we are all here for each other!!

I use Xylitol in my recipes as a sugar replacement, it is at the health food stores, kind of expensive, but we all like it. I like to bake so it works for banana breads, cakes, etc… I think you’ll be pleasently surprised how good it is. It is from a tree and is natural and is good for your teeth. Also I exchange 1/2 my flour out with Almond Flour. This is a ground product at Trader Joes. It is substantially less carbs than Flour and it gives the family their “almonds” if they don’t like nuts. win/win.
Our big change has been eliminating high fructose corn syrup, I hear that is really bad for the liver and if the pancreas is shot,
I hate to tax the other organs by using this modified sweetner. Good luck with it all.