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Everything You Need to Know About Smash Cakes
Updated on
September 14, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About Smash Cakes

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Everything You Need to Know About Smash Cakes.
Photo by @laniblack17
Everything You Need to Know About Smash Cakes

Whether you’re planning a big party or just celebrating at home with a few loved ones, many parents look forward to giving their baby their very own birthday cake, whether in their decorated high chair or on a playmat set up in front of a cute backdrop. Family and friends gather around to sing “Happy Birthday” and take a ton of pictures while the birthday baby explores, tastes and yes, smashes their tiny confection.

If you’re skipping a party, not to worry! You can still join in on this fun tradition. Smash cakes make the perfect prop for a first birthday photoshoot. Hang all of the decorations and throw on some party hats, blow out the candles and let your baby go to town on their smash cake. Baby will still get their own cake and you get a bunch of sweet photos for their memory book.

From flavors to inspiration, here’s everything you need to know about smash cakes.

What is a smash cake?

A smash cake is a mini cake made just for your baby. It’s called a “smash’’ cake because babies just can’t resist digging in when given their very own little cake. These cakes are usually four to six inches in diameter and anywhere between one to three tiers. When it comes to flavor and decor, the sky’s the limit.

What about all the sugar? Enjoying a bit of cake on this special occasion won’t hurt, but there are a few healthier swaps you can make to lessen the sugar content. If you’re up for baking a cake yourself, there are a bunch of healthy smash cake recipes out there. You can also cut sugar by making a greek yogurt-based frosting, using applesauce or maple syrup to sweeten things instead of sugar and topping with a bunch of fresh fruit. If baking isn’t your thing, not to worry—many bakeries and grocery stores can make a smash cake.

If you’d rather skip the cake, some alternative smash cake ideas we love include donuts, a stack of confetti pancakes topped with whipped cream or a frosted muffin.

The Best Smash Cake Recipes

There are a ton of yummy, easy-to-make smash cake recipes out there that keep the nutritional needs of babies front of mind.

Here are a few recipes we love:

The Best Smash Cake Ideas

Picking a theme for your baby’s first birthday celebration is half of the fun. If you’re in need of some cute smash cake inspo, here are some of our favorites to consider.

Astronaut first birthday cake

@alexuscarol_

party puppies smash cake

@london.kissinger.photography

winter one-derland smash cake photo

@fisheintheC

baby yoda cake

@hellomilitellos

bacon first birthday cake

@eyesandhart

confetti birthday cake

Purple ruffle smash cake

@hellomilitellos

green smash cake

@eyesandhart

Safari Animals Smash Cake

Floral smash cake

@shapinup

sprinkle smash cake


Briana Engelbrecht

Assistant Editor

Briana Engelbrecht is Babylist’s Assistant Editor, where she brings her passion for early childhood development and the perinatal period, plus experience as a mom of two to Babylist articles and guides. A former preschool teacher, she loves children’s picture books, cats, plants and making things.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.