Healthy First Birthday Smash Cake RecipeThis post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.
This easy healthy smash cake for your baby’s first birthday is made with wholesome ingredients, and it’s refined sugar-free! It’s also allergen friendly and happens to be vegan, nut free, egg free, and dairy free (with a gluten-free option). It’s paired with coconut cream frosting and fresh blueberries for a beautiful yet nutritious cake for your baby to dig into and enjoy!
When I was planning for my kids’ 1st birthday celebrations I was hesitant to buy a store-bought traditional cake, mainly because most store bought cakes are full of artificial ingredients and loaded with sugar!
My kids had also never had sugar prior to their first birthday with the exception of foods sweetened with real fruit, so I really wanted to prepare them a healthier cake that tasted just as good as a typical birthday cake!
So when my kids had their first birthdays, I wanted to bake a healthy 1st birthday cake that was fun, beautiful, festive and also refined sugar-free. This birthday smash cake recipe is sweetened with pureed banana, which helps it to bake up with a light and fluffy texture. It’s also the perfect cake to make for your baby if he/she has any of the common allergens.
This original recipe was a huge hit with both my kids! This fun tradition can still be upheld with a healthy cake that baby will love!
Latest Recipe Video!
🎂 What Is A Smash Cake?
A smash cake is baby’s first birthday cake. It is made for a baby alone! It is often a small cake – at least half the size of a regular-sized cake since it is only meant for the baby to get messy and eat. Of course, your baby won’t eat the whole cake, but they will have tons of fun mashing the cake in their hands, and gobbling up bits and pieces. Leftovers are often enjoyed by family members who don’t mind a smashed cake! 🙂
👩🏽🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Vegan, egg free, dairy free (free of whole milk)
- Nut free
- Super easy recipe
- No added sugar
- Oil free
- Great for babies with food allergies
- Made with whole grains
- Perfect for a first birthday party
- Tastes amazing (for both babies and adults!)
- Best healthy smash cake recipe ever!
This diy smash cake calls for simple ingredients easily found at most grocery stores! For the full recipe and nutritional information, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
For the Cake
Flour: This cake is made with a combination of whole wheat flour and all-purpose. Whole wheat flour, is not processed and is made by grinding the whole grain of the wheat. All-purpose flour is stripped of the endosperm, the nutrient-rich part of the wheat, and is then ground. You can use all whole wheat flour for more fiber and whole grains – the cake will just be denser.
Ground Cinnamon: Gives the cake a warm spiced flavor.
Baking Powder and Salt: Helps the cake to rise and give it structure without the need for the egg.
Mashed Banana: Natural sweeteners like banana the cake and gives it needed moisture. Make sure you have a ripe banana.
Unsweetened Applesauce: A replacement for oil, it gives the cake needed moisture. You could also substitute the applesauce with coconut oil if you do not have applesauce.
For the Frosting
This frosting is simple and dairy-free. It resembles a cream cheese frosting in texture, but it’s lightly sweetened.
Coconut Cream: Refrigerate a 15 ounce can of full-fat coconut cream overnight. The cream will rise and solidify at the top of the can. When you’re ready to prepare the frosting, carefully scrape the cream from the top, leaving the water that has fallen to the bottom. Try to get as much cream without the water as possible. Make sure to buy coconut cream, not coconut milk.
Agave Syrup: Lightly sweetens the coconut cream frosting. However, you can leave it out if you prefer, or use a little maple syrup instead.
Vanilla Extract: Gives the birthday smash cake frosting a vanilla flavor.
Gluten Free Smash Cake: To make baby’s first cake gluten-free substitute the flours for 1:1 gluten-free flour, or oat flour.
Fluffier Texture: This healthy first birthday cake is quite dense, to lighten it up you can substitute the apple sauce for 2 eggs if you prefer a fluffier cake.
Banana Cake: Instead of applesauce, use more pureed banana (or coconut oil), and add banana slices instead of fresh blueberries in between the layers of this vegan smash cake! Feel free too also add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg into the batter to get that banana bread feel!
Different Berries or Fruit: You can use any fresh berries you like however avoid using frozen berries. You can also use diced apples, pears, peaches, or bananas for this baby friendly cake.
Change The Frosting: Try strawberry or chocolate frosting instead of vanilla! For chocolate frosting, mix 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder with the coconut cream and agave. For strawberry frosting, take freeze dried strawberries, grind them into a powder, and mix with the coconut cream and agave. You can also scrap the frosting altogether and replace it with your favorite fruit puree or nut butter like peanut butter or almond butter (assuming your baby doesn’t have any nut allergies!)
Boxed Cake Mix: There are some organic gluten-free boxed cake mixes out there, and if you can find a good one you can make this first birthday smash cake with a boxed mix. I’d just make sure the mix you choose doesn’t have a bunch of sugar added!
Prepare Oven and Round Cake Pans: Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F / 180 C. Line the bottom of two 6 inch pans with parchment paper.
Whisk Together Dry Ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl or electric mixer, whisk together both flours, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Whisk together the Wet Ingredients: In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the mashed banana, applesauce, and vanilla extract. You can also do this in a bowl of a stand mixer.
Fold Wet Ingredients Into Dry Ingredients: Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and fold through. Do not over mix.
Add Batter To 6-Inch Cake Pans: Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Cool Cakes: Remove and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before cooling completely on a cooling rack to room temperature.
Prepare Frosting: While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting by removing the chilled coconut cream from the can. The cream will have risen to the top. Remove the cream, but discard the water that has fallen to the bottom of the can.
Whip the Coconut Cream: Using a hand mixer, whip the coconut cream for approx. 5-8 minutes or until firm peaks form and it resembles whipped cream.
Add Flavor: Add the vanilla extract and agave if using. Continue to whip for a further 2-3 minutes.
Level Cakes: Level the cake layers by slicing the tops off.
Frost: Add several dollops of icing to one layer of cake, spread in an even layer.
Layer: Arrange blueberries and top with the other layer of cake. Top with more icing and decorate with more blueberries.
Chill: Keep this homemade healthy smash cake chilled in the fridge until ready to serve. Add candles or other decorations to the top of the cake before serving!
This layer cake, without the frosting, can be frozen ahead of time for up to 3 months. You can store any leftovers in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
While many store-bought cakes likely have artificial colors and are loaded with sugar or possibly artificial sweeteners, a healthy homemade smash cake such as this one is perfectly safe for your little one to enjoy.
It’s the perfect size for a little baby, and most of the time, the baby spends more time playing with the cake than actually eating the cake. But nevertheless, if your baby does eat this low sugar smash cake, it is full of nutritious ingredients you don’t have to worry about!
It’s meant to be a fun way to introduce your baby to a special treat just for them on their special day! Baby is meant to smash, smoosh, pound, and play with the cake while tasting bits and pieces.
You can make this first birthday cake recipe into cupcakes, and give just one to your child. Or you can provide them with a different type of naturally sweet treat such as a watermelon cake, mixed berries, pancakes, waffles, or mini muffins or cupcakes, or healthy banana bread.
💭 Expert Tips
- Be sure to combine the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls.
- Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Over mixing will cause this birthday smash cake to become dense.
- Keep an eye on the cake when it’s baking in the oven near the end of the time. Pull it out when it begins to brown, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Line the baking pans with parchment paper so that the cakes easily release
- Be sure the cakes are completely cool before frosting.
- Keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve.
🍎 More Healthy Recipes For Your Baby!
- Superfoods for Baby and Recipes Ideas
- 45 Baby Dinner Recipes for a Happy Eater
- Vegetable Puree for Baby
- Baby Led Weaning Foods
- Homemade Baby Teething Biscuits
- Green Bean Puree
- Blueberry Puree
📋 Recipe Card
Healthy Smash Cake For First Birthday
- 15 oz can of coconut cream refriegerated overnight
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp agave syrup optional
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F / 180 C. Line 2x 6-inch tins with baking paper.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together both flours, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the mashed banana, applesauce, and vanilla extract.
- Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and fold through. Do not over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before cooling completely on a cooling rack.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the icing by removing the chilled coconut cream from the tin.
- Using a hand mixer, whip the coconut cream for approx. 5-8 minutes or until firm peaks form.
- Add the vanilla extract and agave if using. Continue to whip for another 2-3 minutes.
- Level the cakes by slicing the tops off. Add several dollops of icing to one layer of cake, spread in an even layer. Arrange blueberries and top with the other layer of cake.
- Top with more icing and decorate with more blueberries.
- Keep the cake chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.
- To make this cake gluten free substitute the flours for 1:1 gluten free flour.
- This cake is quite dense, to lighten it up you can substitute the apple sauce for 2 eggs if you prefer a fluffier cake (and you don’t need it to be vegan)
- You can use any fresh berries you like however avoid using frozen berries.
- This cake, without the icing, can be frozen ahead of time for up to 3 months.