Chestnut crepes + Rainbow birthday cake

Rainbow pancake cake made with chestnut flour crepes. Dairy free, refined sugar free

After teasing you with this chestnut crepe creation which makes an appearance most Sunday mornings, and turning them into an epic cake for our girls second birthday last week, I’m sharing the recipes with you today, so you can whip up the crepes on their own or turn them into this rainbow coloured celebration cake. I’m sharing a few memories from Fern’s birth-day two ears ago here first. The best crepe recipe ever and directions on how to turn them into this amazing cake come after the jump….

Two years ago today. Your birth stays so vivid in my memory. Those hours where we circled and swirled in our own rhythmic dance as you made your way earth-side and into our arms, sweet girl. Your force was strong, I tried to slow you down as rode the waves of the surges you sent through my body. Everything I imagined for this time that I had been waiting for for so long was a blur and my body did exactly what you told it to do. All fours. Circling, circling. Head down. Primal sounds. Your dada was preparing things for your arrival and we were in our own world. All of the time I’d spent imagining what you would look like, feeling your feet inside me and talking through hands held on belly was coming to an end as you pushed your way down. All I could hear was my own loud breath and birthing affirmations in the background, reminding me that you were coming closer with every surge. Every space in between allowed me to rest for a fleeting of blissful seconds before I was embraced in the intense embrace of surges again. I moved to the toilet to see if I could feel you yet. I was shattered, and wanted to know how far we were on our journey. On feeling the tight, thin skin between my legs, all I could think of was that I wasn’t even open at all. I hadn’t dilated at all. Was all of this a big dream? I’m not even open?! My doula smiled reassuringly, a look I now know meant that you were just seconds away from meeting us. That tight skin was in fact your head, still with some membranes covering your scalp as you pushed your way out. A cry. I’m squatting. Your dadas hands, waiting. One more rush, and you were here. The morning you were born, my precious girl, I was born a mother and you have made the happiest, most fulfilled me every day since. Your eyes looking, so clear and alert as we kissed and welcomed you, with our promises to always be here for you. It was the three of us now. Our birth partner had made a tent of sheets around us and left us to bond in our new-born daze. You rooted for the breast straight away and our bodies were one. Still attached, we stayed this way for hours. Gazing, nursing, kissing. Your dada cut your cord and later, we planted your placenta under a Fern. You were here. We were yours. The world was brilliant and shiney new. We love you.

Natural food colourings

Since that day, you have learned to run, jump, climb, dance, yoga, paddle, make the best cookies and be really, really cheeky. You can win over anybody with your pleading eyes and charming grin. You tell stories as you fall asleep and as you wake up. You give cuddles unconditionally and fall asleep on my chest, still like you did as a new born. You love all animals, but cats the most. You inspect every little flower and feather on our walks, and want to stay up painting way past your bedtime.

Today we celebrate you. Kind, clever, beautiful, spirited girl. May your journey be filled with all of the rainbows and shooting stars that you talk of so often, and may every day be as wondrous as it is now. You know I love you with all my heart, and the way I can show you this as long as I live is through nourishing you. My food is my love, and you love to eat. We have shared every single meal together since the day you were born, and every Sunday morning you help me whip up some pancakes, which you eat with such enthusiasm. So for you, my rainbow girl I make you a Rainbow cake, stacks of light, thin crepes in shades of the rainbow. Filled with your favourite berry jam and coconut cream, topped with rainbow fairy dust. Make a wish and know it will come true if you see it in your mind.

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Our birthday girls day was full jumping (aka, new trampoline), chopping veg (new wooden knife and velcro veg toys), sunshine (hello brightest day in Febuary so far!) friends and of course, food! We sang songs, played in the woods, dug in the soil and ate good cake. I made a buffet of all of Ferns favourite snacks, which I knew would be loved by all of her friends too. Her birthday tea consisited of:

Kale chips (LOTS of. I know how fast these go with both kiddies and grown ups!)]

Seed crackers and dips 

Pineapple chunks and grapes

Watermelon stacks

Chocolate buckwheat crispies (recipe to come!)

Coconut water cups

A heart-shaped pizza

Veggie sticks and hummus

And then, the Cake!

The day before her birthday I made the pancakes, making one large batch of batter then pouring half a cup at a time into the blender and whizzing it up with natural colourings from fruits, veggies and super-foods. I then fried each batch in a little coconut oil, making two or three crepes of each color before layering them up between jam and cream. The jam I made from blending fresh berries and chia seeds until smooth (I did this the night before so that it was nice and thick) and I used whipped coconut cream as the cream. The rainbow sprinkles I made from soaking desiccated coconut then stirring in some dried colours before dehydrating it overnight. The result was sweet, crunchy colourful sprinkles! I then finished it all off with fresh berries (not at all seasonal but she loves berries so this was an exception ; ) We put two candles on the top which she blew out and after the excitement had calmed down, we cut into the layers revealing the multi-coloured stack. Needless to say, it went down pretty well and was enjoyed by every one of the 1-4 year olds and grown ups.A toddlers healthy birthday feast

Rainbow pancake cake made with chestnut flour crepes. Dairy free, refined sugar free

A few notes on the recipe: I made the crepes using a  mixture of white spelt and chestnut flour, as I’ve found this combination makes the sweetest, lightest crepes I’ve come up with. For a gluten-free version, you could sub the spelt for buckwheat flour, but the crepes will come out a bit heavier (but still delicious). I’ve used eggs as I find egg replacers in crepes such as flax or chia seeds lead to heavier pancakes, and we love to use eggs in our crepes. If you don’t want to use eggs, I recommend trying the recipe using your favourite vegan pancake recipe, and just following the rest of the directions. I totally plan on making this again soon, using a thicker, banana pancake batter to make a ‘fatter’ cake. I’ll let you know how that works out! The berry jam is best made the day before so that it sets up to a good consistency, but can be made a minimum of 1 hour before. The rainbow sprinkles needs to be prepared the day before if using a deydrator, or will take a total of 4 hours including soaking time if using you oven. Each component of the recipe is worth a try on it’s own, even if you don’t assemble the cake! The pancake recipe alone is my go-to crepe recipe, the jam and cream is a dream on cup cakes or cookies, and the rainbow sprinkles make a perfect breakfast porridge topping. You will end up with more of them than you need for the cake anyway, so keep them in an airtight jar and sprinkle them on anything for a magical touch.

Rainbow Pancake cake

Makes 1 cake, serves 10-12

1 cup white spelt flour

1 cup chestnut flour

3 eggs

2 cups almond milk

Colourings:

Red: 1/2 tsp beetroot powder or beetroot juice

Yellow: 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Pink: 1 handful raspberries

Green: 1/2 tsp spirulina/ wheatgrass/ chlorella powder

Purple: 1 handful blueberries

Orange: 1 handful raspberries +  pinch turmeric

Blue: 1 handful blueberries  +pinch spirulina powder

Berry jam

3 cups berries (frozen and defrosted is fine)

2 tbsp chia seeds

3 tbsp liquid sweetener (I used rice syrup)

Coconut whipped cream

1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla essence

Rainbow fairy dust sprinkles

1 cup desiccated coconut, soaked for 4 hours or overnight

1 tbsp maple syrup

Colourings, as above

Fresh berries to serve

For the crepes: Place the crepe ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until lump free, or whizz in a blender until smooth. You should have 3.5 cups of crepe batter. Pre heat your frying pan or crepe pan over  medium heat and melt a little coconut over the surface. Pour 1/2 a cup of batter at a time back into your blender and add a colouring ingredient (1/2 tsp of dry powder or a handful of berries at at time). Blend until the batter is colourful and free from any lumps then pour half of the mixture into your pan, swirling it around to make a crepe around 15-20cm in diameter. Turn the heat to low and fry gently on each side until they are solid enough to flip and just cooked through (1-2 minutes each side). Transfer to a plate before you cook the next crepe. When you have made two crepes of a colour, add another 1/2 a cup of batter to your blender and another colouring, blend and fry until you have two of every colour piled on your plate. Be sure to rinse the blender between each batch to avoid mixing colours and ending up with brown cakes! Continue until you have a stack of pancakes of all colours. Cool completely before assembling or store in the fridge until ready to make the cake.

Make the jam by blending the berries (defrost first if frozen) with the chia seeds and rice/maple syrup. Blend until smooth and thick, then transfer to a jar until ready use.

Take the can of coconut milk from the fridge and scoop out the solid creamy layer from the top. Keep the liquid underneath in a jar for a smoothie. Add the vanilla extract and maple syrup and whip using an electric whisk until small peaks form and the cream is thick and spreadable (this takes about 5 minutes). Set aside in the fridge until everything is ready to assemble.

To make the coconut sprinkles, strain the soaked coconut and reserve the cloudy, sweet water for a smoothie. Divide the wet coconut between three bowls, then add 1/2 tsp of turmeric to one, green powder to another and beetroot powder/juice to the other. Stir well to make three bowls of brightly coloured coconut. Either spread each mixture onto a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for 6 hours (or overnight) or spread onto a baking tray lined with parchment and bake on the lowest temperature until completely dry and crispy. Cool, then store in airtight jars until ready to serve.

To assemble the cake: Put a blue coloured crepe on a large plate or board and spread a layer of the jam and cream on top. Begin to layer in the same way with the next blue crepe, followed by the green,  purple, orange, yellow and red. When you layer your last red crepe, add the last layer of jam and a the remaining coconut cream ( I had enough for a thicker top layer). Scatter the top with extra berries, then sprinkle with the rainbow sprinkles. To serve, cut into the stack to reveal the rainbow of colourful pancakes and serve in wedges. Any leftovers will store in the fridge for a couple of days.

Rainbow pancake cake made with chestnut flour crepes. Dairy free, refined sugar freeDSC_0106What are your favourite foods to make for kiddies parties? I’d love to hear your ideas! I hope that you enjoy this celebration cake as much as we did (even if you just try the crepes on a Sunday morning!) Tag your creations #thenectarcafe so I can see yours! I know there will be many variations of this cake coming from me soon. Keep an eye out on instagram to see my trials. With rainbow sprinkles and lots of love,

Jo x

Comments

  1. says

    This is just pure magic! Love this! I’ve been imagining this cake in my head for years now with all the natural fruit, vegetable and superfood dyes as you have perfectly done. A perfect recipe. I would love to feature this recipe as a Guest Recipe on my blog if you are up for that? My subscribers would just love this, I was thinking it would be a perfect post for around February time for Pancake Day! Love your website it’s just beautiful! xx Marie

  2. says

    I read your birth story with tears of joy in my eyes. It’s inspired me to write my own birth story, to celebrate the arrival of my beautiful son Jack into the world, nearly 5 years ago now, but still strong and vivid in my heart and mind. What a privilege to experience that connection with another being.

    You write from the heart, and cook from the heart too and this is communicated by the beautiful vivid images of your creations. Absolutely beautiful, thank you for sharing these gifts.

    Laurie

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