Is It Safe to Consume Cake During Pregnancy?

Is it Safe to Eat Cake During Pregnancy?

Medically Reviewed By
Anindita Bhattacharya (Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian)
View more Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian Our Panel of Experts

Most women have unusual food cravings during pregnancy. These cravings can range from certain spicy foods to some inedible items to irresistible sweets too. If you are craving sweets, then at some point you will be tempted to eat cakes or pastries. The sweet taste and ultimate comfort is hard to resist, and even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you might find yourself craving cake every now and then. Moreover, you might find that your cravings keep change as pregnancy progresses. It’s hard to say no to cakes, but should you eat them during pregnancy? Read this article to find out if you can eat cake during pregnancy, and if so, how much you can eat.

Is It Normal to Crave Cake in Pregnancy?

Yes, it is perfectly normal to crave cake and any kind of sweets during pregnancy. This is normally due to hormonal changes that occur, which can make you crave the most random of things. Remember, there’s no right or wrong to craving anything, and as long as you maintain a healthy diet, all will be well.

Can a Pregnant Woman Eat Cake?

You can eat a piece of cake once in a while during pregnancy as eating in moderation won’t harm you or your baby. But you must avoid binge eating cakes or any other food item during pregnancy as it might affect your health.

While pregnant, eat healthy foods as a well-balanced diet will ensure that your baby gets all the nutrients required for his growth. The bouts of morning sickness can also take a toll on your body, so you must eat nutritious foods and drink a lot of water. Having cake once in a while is fine, but don’t overconsume. Cakes offer zero nutritional value and satisfy the hunger for a short period of time. They contain empty calories, refined sugar, and saturated fats and increase the risk of gestational diabetes. So they are best avoided!

Why Should You Not Eat Cakes During Pregnancy?

Eating cake can pose a risk to your health. Here is why you should avoid eating cakes during pregnancy.

1. Cakes May Contain Bacteria

While pregnant, your immune system will be weak, so you must avoid eating anything that may lead to an infection. Even if the cake is a homemade one, there is a high chance that it might contain bacteria like salmonella, E.coli, Toxoplasma and many more. If any of these bacteria enter your body, it can lead to severe complications. The batter can sometimes form a breeding ground for bacteria. Hence, you must avoid eating cake during pregnancy.

2. Eating Cakes May Lead to Unhealthy Weight Gain

Yes, you need to gain weight during pregnancy but that weight gain should happen from healthy and nutritious foods. Eating cakes, pastries, or other junk food will offer you empty calories which will result in unhealthy and excessive weight gain during pregnancy, and make your pregnancy journey difficult, so they are best avoided. You can enjoy a piece of chocolate-walnut cake served at your baby shower, but resist the temptation to reach for the second piece. Also, avoid cakes that have saccharin in them as it can cross the placenta and affect the foetus. Stick to a healthy diet – eat foods that contribute to healthy weight gain and promote your baby’s growth.

3. Cakes May Contain Alcohol

Some cakes may contain alcohol such as rum in them that may not be safe for the health of your baby. Even though it is believed that cooking neutralises any alcohol content in the cake, but it is not entirely true. Alcohol enhances the flavour of cakes, but it can cross the placenta and lead to complications in the baby. It could result in premature delivery and birth defects, so if you are planning to eat a piece of cake that has alcohol in it, think about your baby and do not give in to your temptation.

4. Cakes May Contain Unhealthy Supplements

Instant cake mix available in the market and store-bought cakes may contain unhealthy supplements in the form of added flavour or taste enhancers, which might harm your baby.

Cakes That You Can Try During Pregnancy

If you have a sweet tooth and you love eating cakes, then you can enjoy them once in a while. However, we suggest that you opt for healthier versions and consume them in limited amounts too. Mentioned below are some cakes for pregnant women that you can try.

1. Angel Food Cake

Angel Food Cake

Angel food cakes have no fat content in them and can satisfy your sweet cravings. This cake is made with stiffly beaten egg whites instead of butter. It has a light, fluffy texture, so there is no harm in eating it in moderation. However, if you add sweet, it may prove to be harmful.

Note: Avoid this cake if you have gestational diabetes.

2. Dark Chocolate Cake

Dark Chocolate Cake

Dark chocolates and unsweetened cocoa contain antioxidants, which can prove to be beneficial for your health during pregnancy. So you can eat a piece or two of this cake while pregnant. However, make sure that the cake you buy or make has no alcohol content in it.

3. Yoghurt Cake

Yoghurt Cake

Yoghurt is an essential part of the diet of a pregnant woman since it contains dietary calcium, protein and good bacteria which can help in better digestion. You can make a cake using yoghurt, but make sure that it is consumed quickly as yoghurt cake may get spoiled soon and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, avoid if you have gestational diabetes (GDM).

Things to Remember While Eating Cakes During Pregnancy

Here are some things regarding the consumption of cakes you should take into consideration during pregnancy.

  • Many people think eating cakes with eggs in them can harm the baby, but that is not true. Eggs are not harmful to the baby, so you can consume a cake that has eggs in it. However, do check that there are no added preservatives in it apart from the eggs, as they could prove to be harmful to the baby.
  • If you do want to indulge in cakes, we suggest that you eat homemade cake, instead of eating store-bought cake.
  • If you do not want to make one at home and plan to buy the cake from a bakery, ask about the nutritional composition and general ingredients used in the cake.
  • Most cakes are high in sugar, so eat them in moderation. If you are purchasing sugar-free cakes, check for any additives.
  • If you have diabetes, consult your doctor about how much sugar or cake you can consume.

FAQs

1. Is Chocolate Cake Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes, but in moderation. Make sure you are eating only recommended quantities of ingredients such as chocolate, sugar, and flour, as too much may cause some side-effects.

2. Can You Consume Chocolate Cake Made With Artificial Sweeteners in Pregnancy?

Most sweeteners have been approved as safe by FDA, except f0r saccharin. However, moderation is key. If you have any pre-existing conditions, it is always best to check with a doctor before consuming any artificial sweeteners during pregnancy.

3. Can Pregnant Women Eat Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting?

Cream cheese is made with pasteurised dairy, making it safe to consume during pregnancy. If you are purchasing cream cheese or any cake with cream cheese, make sure you do so from a trusted source to avoid any harmful effects.

4. Is It Safe to Eat Cake During First Trimester?

There is no harm in eating cake now or then during pregnancy, but make sure you are doing so in moderation. If you any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, it’s best to check with your doctor first about recommended quantities or alternatives.

5. Should You Eat Cupcakes While Pregnant?

Any kind of cakes or confectionery made with pasteurised milk and safe ingredients can be consumed during pregnancy. There’s no harm in indulging once in a while to satisfy the occasional craving. 

6. Can You Eat Carrot Cake When Pregnant?

Carrots are a good source of nutrients, and recommended during pregnancy. However, as carrot cake also contains sugar and flour, it is best to consume it in moderation.

Consuming cakes in small quantities will not harm you or your baby, but you should make sure that you do not exceed the quantity. Better yet, consult your nutritionist or a doctor before eating it and stay safe!

References/Resources:

1. Cake; U.S. Department of Agriculture; https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/579854/nutrients; April 2019

2. Foods to Avoid When Pregnant; American Pregnancy Association; https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/foods-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/

3. Moms-to-Be: Too Much Sugar During Pregnancy Can Hurt Your Child’s Brain Function; Cleveland Clinic; https://health.clevelandclinic.org/moms-to-be-too-much-sugar-during-pregnancy-can-hurt-your-childs-brain-function/; September 2018

4. Artificial Sweeteners and Pregnancy; American Pregnancy Association; https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/is-it-safe/artificial-sweeteners-and-pregnancy/

5. Gestational diabetes; Mayo Clinic; https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gestational-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20355339

Also Read:

Cherries in Pregnancy
Eating Ice-cream while Pregnant
Is Craving for Sweets Good during Pregnancy

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