My favorite part of celebrating a first birthday always is making a very tiny smash cake for the birthday girl.
What is a Smash Cake?
If you’re not familiar with the concept of a smash cake, it’s a cake made for a baby (usually for their first birthday), that you give to the baby and just let them go to town on.
I can’t stand the idea of a full-size smash cake going to waste, but I want something a little more exciting than a cupcake.
Plus, I like to pull out my long-ago cake decorating skills (in high school, I took a cake decorating class with my mom and then I frosted some ten million cakes for Cold Stone Creamery when I was in high school and college).
And the smash cake photos just can’t be beat!
How to make a smash cake
To make a first birthday smash cake, you’ll need:
- A small tin to bake it in (a mug or a can from canned food works great!)
- Parchment paper
- Cake batter
- Frosting (I like to do two colors)
- A frosting bag or frosting gun
- A candle
- Sprinkles (optional)
I made Ella’s tiny cake in a mug and I can’t remember what I used for Ani’s (maybe a mug too?). This time around, I didn’t have any mugs with straight sides, so I emptied out a 15.5oz tin can of pineapple, washed it thoroughly and then lined the bottom and sides with parchment paper and then sprayed it like crazy.
You can use any cake batter for your DIY smash cake you like and just fill your can or mug about 1/3 full.
I frosted it with a half batch of this frosting (I frosted the cake with white, then added red food coloring to the rest of it and piped it on with my frosting gun, a purchase that seemed so ridiculous five years ago and now I have gotten so much mileage out of – that thing makes me happy every time I pull it out), tossed on some sprinkles and put a single candle in the top.
Star was quite delighted and figured out immediately what to do with her little smash cake when we placed it on her tray. She dug right in and was happy to give fingers of frosting to her big sisters.
After a few minutes, Bart cut a slice for her and she grabbed it with both hands and put it right in her mouth.
Amusingly, Bart also gave Hannah a very small slice and Star’s head swiveled around and gave Hannah the biggest side-eye I’ve ever seen. We couldn’t stop laughing at her.
When we finally put the smash cake away, Bart asked Star if she’d liked the cake and she nodded extremely enthusiastically.
It kind of makes me want to bake her a DIY smash cake every weekend.
I won’t complain about the bigger cake for the rest of us, either.