What exactly is a baby smash cake? And how do you make one? Get ready for this fun trend, mamas! Methods below for bakers and buyers alike!
Babies and cake — two of our favorite things!
Smash them together, and you get (drumroll) a baby smash cake.
We’ll take you through the delicious details.
In this article: 📝
- What is a smash cake for babies?
- Are smash cakes safe for babies?
- What is a smash cake made of?
- How to make a smash cake for a baby
- Top tips from Peanut mamas
What is a smash cake for babies?
A first birthday tradition, smash cakes are just like they sound.
You bake a special cake, place it on the floor with your seated baby, and allow them to go at it.
Grabbing fistfuls of delicious cake is allowed — nay: encouraged!
And there you have it — a joyful sensory experience for one-year-olds on their birthday!
It makes for super cute photos and a fun, albeit messy experience, for all.
Are smash cakes safe for babies?
They definitely can be — as long as you keep a few things in mind.
So what size is a baby smash cake?
In theory, you could have a cake as big as your heart desires — but a single or double-layer cake about four inches in diameter is best for safety.
That’s because cakes with more layers are usually stacked and then secured with dowel rods.
These thin wooden sticks keep the layers from slipping off each other.
It’s also common nowadays for bakers to use thick plastic straws for the same purpose.
Either way, these extra pieces mean your baby could hurt themselves as they get stuck in.
So a single or double-layer cake is probably a better bet.
Keep decor simple.
Candles and sharp details could hurt those little hands.
If you want to include some finishing touches, just be sure to remove them before your baby gets going.
Make sure the cake is on a flat board or plate.
If you’re doing a photoshoot, you may initially like to have the cake on a decorative pedestal.
But swap that out for something flat before the smashing commences.
Cake stands can easily be toppled as that one-year-old excitement is unleashed.
So best to keep things level with the ground.
Consider food sensitivities
Luckily, there are a plethora of recipes available for subbing out wheat, gluten, eggs, and dairy.
Take note of this unexpected hazard — sugar
Cakes and frosting are usually full of them.
Don’t worry — this doesn’t mean your poor one-year-old will be faced with eating a cake made of spinach on their birthday.
It’s just that the sweetness in their cake should ideally come from fruit like bananas or pineapple.
Which brings us to the all-important question:
What is a smash cake made of?
Very little sugar and spice but otherwise all things nice!
As many cake flavors are available out there, so too are the options for smash cake ingredients.
Pineapple, banana, dates, and apple sauce all make great natural sweeteners.
Pureed ripe berries, sieved and mixed through, make a lovely frosting flavoring as well as a natural soft pink colorant.
Depending on how much you want to restrict their sugar intake, a little maple syrup could be used to sweeten the icing or cake.
Thick Greek yogurt, whipped coconut cream, full-fat cream cheese, and unsweetened peanut butter work beautifully in a sugar-free frosting.
Cakes can be made from almond flour, oat flour, or an alternate flour mix for those who can’t have gluten and wheat.
How to make a smash cake for a baby
If you’ve got the time and energy, you could experiment by adjusting your favorite cake recipe to have less sugar.
All you really want to ensure is that the cake is not too dense and thus easily “smashable”.
Your baby may not eat a whole lot of it.
Most of the fun is in the smearing after all!
Super soft icings (like those made with thick Greek yogurt or beaten cream) make fantastic icings because it doesn’t take a whole lot to dislodge them.
Here are some traditional options and flavor combinations:
Vanilla smash cake with yogurt and berry frosting
Simple and delicious with a classic flavor pairing.
Here’s one from Yummy Toddler Food
Hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting
This gorgeous option from Confessions of a Confectionista is sweetened with banana and pineapple, and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting.
Banana cake with cream cheese frosting
This no-sugar recipe from Fit Mama Real Food uses applesauce and juice to sweeten the cake right up!
Coconut and raspberry cake with quick raspberry jam and whipped coconut cream
The secret here is the raspberry jam made with sweet frozen raspberries and chia seeds.
We love this recipe from Healthy Little Foodies
Coconut and banana cake
Made with almond flour this recipe from Eating Bird Food is great for those who can’t have wheat or gluten.
Chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting
Sweetened with either banana, applesauce, or pumpkin, this recipe from Baran Bakery is as versatile as it is delicious.
Peanut butter and almond flour cake
This recipe from Ambitious Kitchen even has our grown-up mouths watering.
Peanut butter and banana — a legendary combo.
And if baking is not your bag, check in with your local bakery.
Chances are they have JUST the thing for you.
Top tips from Peanut mamas
Your little one is probably going to get full — and we mean FULL of cake and frosting!
To deal with the inevitable mess, you can either strip them down to just their diaper or let them go at it in their “other” birthday suit.
A full-body bib is also an option.
You may also like to use a splash mat, brown paper, or a machine-washable blanket underneath them to catch any fallout.
And just because your baby needs something a little less sweet, it doesn’t mean the rest of the guests at your party have to go without.
It’s common to have a small baby-friendly smash cake for the little guests to enjoy and a full-sugar version for the older invitees.
If you’d like to swap ideas and stories with others who are right where you’re at, join us on Peanut.
We’re here for you! ❤️