Answer: When it’s disguised as a giant cheeseburger.

I couldn’t resist taking a picture when I saw these cakes displayed at the checkout line. They’re no different from most other cakes found in a commercial bakery, but the cheeseburger design was the kicker. One health-damaging food made to look like another. As cute and clever and colorful as a cheeseburger cake appears, a quick look at the label shows why bakery cakes should stay on the shelf, and not make their way into your cart:

The first ingredient is sugar. That means the largest amount of any ingredient in this item is sugar (of course!)

Sugar = highly inflammatory, affects brain chemistry/addictive, weight gain, raises triglycerides which thereby affects cholesterol levels

Milk = saturated fat, cholesterol, known carcinogen, estrogen, acids which affect bone health, growth hormones

Eggs = cholesterol bombs, choline = cancer risk

Oils = 100% fat, inflammatory, impairs circulation, clots blood, damages artery lining and paves the way for plaque build up

Aluminum = definite factor in dementia

At least 9 food dyes = chemicals, linked to allergies, ADHD, cancer

Refined flour = spikes blood sugar, impairs insulin function, raises triglycerides

Unfortunately, the above list of side effects is just the tip of the iceberg. Sure, this cake is funny and would be a big hit at the party, but make no mistake, it’s a sugar-filled junk food that promotes ill health and disease. Ask yourself if it’s really worth it – and especially ask why you’d want to give this to your children.

Instead, how about a birthday cake that promotes the gift of good health? Here are some recipe ideas. 

Here and here are a few more. And don’t forget the brownie and cupcake recipes that are out there, too!

McDougall recipes

Fat Free Vegan recipes

Forks over Knives recipes

Whichever recipe you use, be sure to substitute a natural cane sugar (such as ‘sucanat’) in place of refined sugar when necessary, replace oil with applesauce, and replace eggs with “flax eggs” (1 egg = 1 TBS ground flax whisked or blended with 3 TBS water); swap out refined flours with whole grain flours, and of course, omit all dairy products such as milk, cream, and butter.

It’s not smart to stuff yourself with sweets….(Proverbs 25:27a, MSG)

Cyd Notter
Cyd Notter is a graduate of the Center for Nutrition Studies, a past newspaper columnist, and a certified instructor for several dietary therapy courses (The Starch Solution, Food Over Medicine, and Women’s Health). As the author of The “Plan A” Diet: Combining Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition with the Timeless Wisdom of Scripture, Cyd illustrates the correlations between biblical principles and healthy eating, and provides readers with effective strategies for taking an active role in their health. She offers a variety of educational and cooking classes, provides nutritional coaching on both individual and corporate levels, and speaks to local groups. She’s currently developing an online Transformation System in order to help those struggling with chronic health or weight issues to finally achieve long-term success. She and her husband live in Illinois, where they enjoy outdoor activities, classic movies, and old Volkswagens.