The “Smash” Cake! The most important part of a child’s first birthday party… when they truly get their first shot at the real sweet stuff


get to eat, throw, and play in as much frosting and cake as they would like!  This past weekend was my nephew’s 1st birthday, and my sister did such a great job with his party (check out her blog for more details on the “Little Man” theme).  My job was, of course, the Smash Cake and I wasn’t about to let anyone down.  While talking about how I wanted make it,  I learned from other mothers the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of The Smash Cake!


Make a cake you would want to eat yourself!

 I am not one to totally judge for boxed cake mix, but you don’t want your baby to eat something that you wouldn’t eat yourself.  So buy something without tons of preservatives and additives like this Arrowhead Mills Organic Chocolate Cake Mix.

Make it colorful!

 If you just use plain white frosting it will not photograph as well.  Sometimes in pictures you wouldn’t even know it was frosting because it looks like the same color as oatmeal or cereal.  You are going for dramatic here and you really want to capture the moment so it needs to look like something they wouldn’t normally eat…. like BLUE!

Make it chocolate

! This is along the same lines as why you want to use colored frosting.  It photographs better and looks more fun when the baby has it all over their face!

Use a 


I usually don’t use molds unless I have to because I rarely find exactly what I am looking for.  For this though… save yourself the time because it is just going to get demolished!  I found a great

#1 from Wilton


(….a little tip… if you are the parent, have someone else photograph the whole thing for you so that you can enjoy the entire “Smash” process….)


A white cake

will not show up in pictures…. so don’t waste your time!

Do NOT (ever) use store bought icing

.  First…. icing is soooo easy to make.  Second… store bought white icing doesn’t hold the food coloring well because it has so many bad preservatives and additives in it that it eats away the coloring. Plus you don’t want your child eating that.

Don’t wait till the end of the party for the cake

.  Do it at the time when the baby is having the most fun and has the most amount of energy.

Don’t make the cake the day of the party!

 It takes too much time to let the cake cool and then frost it.  Make the cake the day before.

What to do!

*Bake the cake.  Be sure to butter and flour your mold so that the cake will come out easily.

*Let cool completely (even set in the refrigerator)

*Make the frosting and color it the colors you would like ( I also keep a little extra white frosting uncolored.. just in case I need it for some other detail I decide later)

*When the cake is cooled, frost it with a thin coat of icing and set in the fridge for about 10 minutes.  This is called the “crumb coat.”

*Finish icing and decorating the cake how you like!! It doesn’t have to be perfect it just has to be fun.

Easy Buttercream Recipe


2 sticks of room temperature butter

1 pound of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3-5 tablespoons of room temperature milk

*In your stand mixer with a whisk attachment (

or a hand mixer

) on medium speed start to whisk the butter until its a bit lighter in color and somewhat fluffier in texture.

*Add in the powdered sugar

*Add in the vanilla

*Add the milk one tablespoon at a time.  Stop the mixing and scrape down the sides.  You are looking for as easy-to-spread consistency.

*Continue to mix for about 5 minutes (don’t over-mix or the frosting will “break”)

*Once it is at the spreadable consistency you are looking for separate into smaller bowls and add food coloring of your choice.

…Going for the reach…

…”What is this stuff??”…

Notice how the colors photograph well and you can see exactly where the cake and frosting is on him.

…”oooh I think I like it!”….

THIS is the outcome you are hoping for!!!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful nephew Jackson!

Baby’s First Smash Cake