Smash Cake Recipes for Baby’s First Birthday

3 birthday cakes side by side, one yellow, one white, one pink

We are delighted to share three of our own cake recipes that the whole family can enjoy… dairy-free, egg-free, and full of yummy goodness!

These recipes are perfect for those with dairy and egg allergies, plant-based families, and those who want to cut down on added sugar. Keep in mind that our smash cake recipes do not produce a dramatic rise like egg-based cakes, so they may seem “flat” when done. Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong! The recipes rely on fruit and veggies for flavor and structure, which results in a denser, moister cake with just a hint of sweetness—more like your favorite breakfast muffin, and less like a layer cake made with butter, eggs, and refined sugar. Feel free to omit the coconut sugar to cut out added sugar altogether and let the natural sweetness of the fruits and vegetables take center stage.

Buy a big tub of mascarpone cheese for an easy and delicious topping, but if you want to keep it dairy-free, we’ve got you. Scroll down for a recipe for silky smooth frosting made with coconut cream and sweetened with orange juice. That’s right: a dairy-free, egg-free, added sugar-free frosting. We’ve also included directions for coloring the frosting with natural dye from fruit and vegetable juice in case that’s up your alley. xo

Apple Beet Smash Cake

a pink birthday cake before baby's first birthday

 

This recipe is perfect for those with dairy and egg allergies, plant-based families, and those who want to cut down on added sugar. Keep in mind that our smash cake recipes do not produce a dramatic rise like egg-based cakes, so they may seem “flat” when done. Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong! The recipes rely on fruit and veggies for flavor and structure, which results in a denser, moister cake with just a hint of sweetness—more like your favorite breakfast muffin, and less like a layer cake made with butter, eggs, and refined sugar. Feel free to omit the coconut sugar to cut out added sugar altogether and let the natural sweetness of the fruits and vegetables take center stage.

Yield: three 4-inch cakes or 12 cupcakes

Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour

Want a bright red cake without artificial food coloring? A raw beet is your friend. Feel free to swap out the cinnamon for your favorite warm spice, but don’t skip the apple cider vinegar—it helps retain the brilliant red hue during the bake.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup / 90 grams raw beet puree (about 2 small beets)1/3 cup / 100 grams applesauce1/3 cup / 75 grams banana (about 1 small banana)
  • 1/3 cup / 50 grams coconut sugar (optional)
  • 1/3 cup / 75 milliliters oat milk
  • 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups / 180 grams all-purpose flour *
  • 1 ½ teaspoons / 6 grams baking powder (make sure it’s fresh and not expired or stale)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease the cake pans or muffin tin with your favorite neutral cooking oil then line with parchment cups or paper. Place on a sheet tray.
  3. Prepare the raw beet puree. Start by putting on kitchen gloves if you’ve got ‘em because this step is messy! Scrub the beetroots and remove any greens, saving them for another use. Peel and compost the skins, then shred the beet on the side of your box grater with the tiny holes.
  4. Transfer the shredded beets to a mixing bowl. Add the applesauce, banana, and coconut sugar if you’re using it. Use a fork to mash the banana then stir to thoroughly combine all the ingredients.
  5. Combine the apple cider vinegar and oat milk and let sit for 5 minutes, then add to the mixing bowl with the beets, along with the vanilla extract. Stir to thoroughly combined.
  6. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, Ceylon cinnamon, and salt.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients all at once. Use a spatula to stir until combined and no streaks of flour remain. The batter will be sticky and thick.
  8. Evenly distribute the batter in the muffin tins or cake pans, filling about halfway to leave enough room for the cakes to rise without spilling over the edge of the pan. Use the spatula to smooth the tops and push the batter into the edges of the pan.
  9. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the cakes from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let the cakes cool in their tins for 5 minutes, then release the cakes from their tins to finish cooling on the rack.

 

To store: Once the cake layers are cool to the touch, store the cakes in the refrigerator or freezer if you’re not planning to frost them right away. Tightly wrapped in plastic, the cakes will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer. Let the cakes come to room temperature before serving.

This recipe contains a common allergen: wheat. Only serve to your child after each of these individual allergens have been safely introduced.

★ Baking for someone with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity? Swap all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free alternative, such as Cup4Cup. The texture will likely be denser and gummier, but the cakes will be just as tasty and free of gluten for your loved ones!

Blackberry Parsnip Smash Cake

a white smash cake for a baby with blackberries on top

 

Yield: three 4-inch cakes or 12 cupcakes

Time: 1 hour

Parsnips are earthy and sweet like carrots, and just like carrot cake, shredded parsnips add interesting texture and savory flavor to your favorite bakes. Here, shredded parsnips are mixed with berries, which add a pop of color to the cakes. For a more purple cake, smash the berries as you mix them into the batter.  Don’t have blackberries? Try blueberries, huckleberries, or loganberries.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup / 90 grams parsnip (about 1 medium parsnip)
  • 3/4 cup / 100 grams fresh blackberries
  • 1/3 cup / 100 grams applesauce
  • 1/3 cup / 75 grams banana (about 1 small banana)
  • 1/3 cup / 100 grams Greek yogurt or Greek-style coconut yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup / 50 grams coconut sugar (optional)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup / 180 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons / 12 grams baking powder (make sure it’s fresh and not expired or stale)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease the cake pans or muffin tin with your favorite neutral cooking oil then line with parchment cups or paper. Place on a sheet tray.
  3. Peel the parsnip and compost the skins. Shred the parsnip on the side of your box grater with the tiny holes. Set aside.
  4. Wash and quarter the blackberries. Set aside.
  5. Add the parsnips, applesauce, banana, coconut yogurt, coconut oil, orange zest, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar if you’re using it. Use a fork to mash the banana then stir to thoroughly combine all the ingredients.
  6. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to stir until combined and no streaks of flour remain. Now add the blackberries, and use the spatula to stir and mash them into the batter, which will be sticky, thick, and streaked with purple.
  8. Evenly distribute the batter in the muffin tins or cake pans, filling about halfway to leave enough room for the cakes to rise without spilling over the edge of the pan. Use the spatula to smooth the tops and push the batter into the edges of the pan.
  9. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the cakes from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let the cakes cool in their tins for 5 minutes, then release the cakes from their tins to finish cooling on the rack.

To store: Once the cake layers are cool to the touch, store the cakes in the refrigerator or freezer if you’re not planning to frost them right away. Tightly wrapped in plastic, the cakes will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer. Let the cakes come to room temperature before serving.

This recipe contains a common allergen: wheat. Only serve to your child after each of these individual allergens have been safely introduced.

★ Baking for someone with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity? Swap all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free alternative, such as Cup4Cup. The texture will likely be denser and gummier, but the cakes will be just as tasty and free of gluten for your loved ones!

Citrusy Squash Smash Cake

a yellow smash cake on a blue plate

Yield: three 4-inch cakes or 12 cupcakes

Time: 1 hour

Our citrusy squash cake gets a blast of zing from orange zest and cardamom—a classic flavor combination. Feel free to swap in your favorite warm spice if cardamom isn’t your thing, and use freshly cooked squash or canned puree. If you opt for the latter, be sure to read the fine print on the label; canned squash often contains added sweeteners, and not all brands use BPA-free containers.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup / 100 grams squash puree (pumpkin, butternut, etc.)
  • 1/3 cup / 100 grams applesauce
  • 1/3 cup / 75 grams banana (about 1 small banana)
  • 1/3 cup / 75 millileters coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup / 50 grams coconut sugar (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup / 180 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons / 6 grams baking powder (make sure it’s fresh and not expired or stale)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease the cake pans or muffin tin with your favorite neutral cooking oil then line with parchment cups or paper.
  3. Add the squash, applesauce, banana, coconut oil, orange zest, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar if you’re using it. Use a fork to mash the banana then stir to thoroughly combine all the ingredients.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to stir until combined and no streaks of flour remain. The batter will be sticky and thick.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter in the pans, filling a little over halfway to leave room for the cakes to rise without spilling over the pans’ edges. Smooth the tops of the cakes with a spatula.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  8. Remove the cakes from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let the cakes cool in their tins for 5 minutes, then release the cakes from their tins to finish cooling on the rack.

To store: Once the cake layers are cool to the touch, store the cakes in the refrigerator or freezer if you’re not planning to frost them right away. Tightly wrapped in plastic, the cakes will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer. Let the cakes come to room temperature before serving.

This recipe contains a common allergen: wheat. Only serve to your child after each of these individual allergens have been safely introduced.

★ Baking for someone with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity? Swap all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free alternative, such as Cup4Cup. The texture will likely be denser and gummier, but the cakes will be just as tasty and free of gluten for your loved ones!

Silky Smooth Coconut Frosting

Yield: 2 ½ cups / 450 grams

Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour, excluding overnight chill

Whip chilled coconut cream for a naturally sweet and perfectly spreadable frosting—a great alternative for families who want a dairy-free, egg-free, and sugar-free topping for cakes and cupcakes. Keep in mind that not all coconut creams are created equal. This recipe was tested with organic, unsweetened canned coconut cream (not coconut milk) with a higher fat content, specifically, CoCo Goods, Let’s Do Organic, and Thai Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans coconut cream (13.5 ounce, BPA-free cans)2 tablespoons orange juice½ to 2 teaspoons beet juice, blackberry juice, or carrot juice (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Store the cans of coconut cream in the coldest part of your refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
  2. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to make the frosting, place a metal mixing bowl in your freezer.
  3. Turn the cans upside down and use a can opener to open the bottom. Pour out any liquid and discard or reserve for another use.
  4. Remove the metal mixing bowl from the freezer and scoop the coconut cream into it. Add the orange juice to the mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth, about 1 minute.
  5. To color the frosting, add one drop of juice and whisk to combine. Keep adding drops, one at a time, until the desired color is reached. Note that the more liquid that is added to the frosting, the looser it will become. If this is the case, chill the frosting in the fridge for 30 minutes to thicken before frosting your cakes.

To store: Scrape the frosting into an air-tight container and chill in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. After frosting your cake or cupcakes, chill them until you’re ready to serve. Coconut frosting will hold its shape in mild climates at room temperature for up to 2 hours, after which it will start to soften and even melt in warmer temperatures.

Sugar-Free Applesauce

Yield: 3 cups / 700 milliliters

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ pounds / 1130 grams apples (about 2 large apples)
  • ½ cup / 125 milliliters orange juice

 

Directions

  1. Wash, peel, and core the apples. Compost the seeds, skins, and stem. Cut the flesh into chunks.
  2. Juice the oranges and compost the peel and pith.
  3. Place the fruit chunks and juice in a pot with a tight-fitting lid set on medium heat.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to create a gentle simmer.
  5. Stir, then partially cover the pot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit chunks have softened and fallen apart, about 30 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and uncover the pot to let cool. Mash any remaining large chunks of fruit.

To store: The applesauce will keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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