Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post CookingLight Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network Healthline Shape

Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Healthy First Birthday Smash Cake Recipe

This 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!

healthy first birthday smash cake recipe (low sugar, gluten free, dairy free and super easy to make!) on a cake stand

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!

🥘 Ingredients

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.

ingredients for healthy first birthday smash cake recipe (low sugar, gluten free, dairy free and super easy to make!)

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.

📖 Variations

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!

🔪 Instructions

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.

dry ingredients combined in a bowl

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.

wet ingredients mixed in a bowl

Fold Wet Ingredients Into Dry Ingredients: Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and fold through. Do not over mix.

dough in a bowl

Add Batter To 6-Inch Cake Pans: Pour the batter into the prepared tin.

cake batter added to cake tins

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.

baked cakes on wire rack

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.

coconut cream whipped in a bowl

Level Cakes: Level the cake layers by slicing the tops off.

cake tops sliced off

Frost: Add several dollops of icing to one layer of cake, spread in an even layer.

coconut cream spread on cake

Layer: Arrange blueberries and top with the other layer of cake. Top with more icing and decorate with more blueberries.

cake topped with 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!

healthy first birthday smash cake recipe (low sugar, gluten free, dairy free and super easy to make!) on a cake stand

❓Recipe FAQs

How do you store and keep this birthday smash cake?

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.

Is a smash cake safe?

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!

What is the point of a smash cake?

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.

What can I use instead of a smash cake?

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.

healthy first birthday smash cake recipe (low sugar, gluten free, dairy free and super easy to make!) sliced

🍎 More Healthy Recipes For Your Baby!

LOVE THIS RECIPE? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family-friendly food, and if you have any questions, I’m here to help!

📋 Recipe Card

healthy first birthday smash cake recipe (low sugar, gluten free, dairy free and super easy to make!) on a cake stand
Print Recipe
5 from 9 votes

Healthy Smash Cake For First Birthday

This healthy first birthday smash cake is made with wholesome ingredients, and it's refined sugar-free! It's paired with coconut cream frosting and fresh blueberries for a beautiful yet nutritious cake for your baby to dig into and enjoy. It's also allergen friendly and happens to be vegan, nut free, egg free, and dairy free (with a gluten-free option)!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 12
Calories: 210kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Cake

Frosting

  • 15 oz can of coconut cream refriegerated overnight
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp agave syrup optional
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g

Posted In…

Plant Based Recipes ·

Healthy, plant based recipes don’t have to be boring or tasteless! These recipes are all vegetarian and plant based, but also happen to be totally satisfying, tasty and delicious!

We have got you covered with made-over comfort food classics like this alfredo sauce without heavy cream, our healthy cornbread, this low calorie omelette and this hearty vegan white bean chili.

You’ll also find tasty cuisine from all over the world, to healthy baby food to student snacks and quick meals! All of these plant based recipes are delicious & nutritious, perfect for the whole family (picky eaters included!) to enjoy.

Following a special diet or cooking for someone who has one? Try my gluten-freevegan, vegetarian, baby food, or kid-friendly recipes. They are all easy to adapt to fit your family’s needs – without sacrificing flavor or quality. Easy suggestions and swaps can help you create meals for everyone.

16 responses to “Healthy First Birthday Smash Cake Recipe”

  1. Hi! This recipe looks so amazing and I’m going to use it for my sons first birthday. When making the cake ahead then freezing, do you just defrost overnight in the fridge? Or could I make this the night before, keep it in the fridge then ice it the morning of his birthday? Sorry ftm here and trying to plan it all out!

  2. I can’t believe how good this cake is with no sugar or eggs! I added some extra blueberries into the batter. Absolutely delicious!5 stars

    • Hi Emily! I haven’t tried it with coconut flour and almond flour, so I’m not sure it would work! Worst case – the cake will be super dense instead of light/fluffy – but the flavors should still be good. If you do try it you may just have to be ok with a less-than-desirable cake outcome 🙂 Keep me posted on whether it works or not!

  3. I have been looking for a good vegan cake recipe for a while. Your smash cake recipe looks super easy to follow. I am going to try it soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2022 The Picky Eater®, LLC. All rights reserved.