baby smash cake

How to make smash cake for baby

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What is a smash cake?

Smash cakes have been very popular for the last decade or so for baby’s first birthday. I have included an easy to follow tutorial on how to make smash cake for baby. The smash cake is a small cake just for the birthday baby to “smash” for pictures for photos.

If you search online for smash cake ideas you will find plenty of examples diy smash cakes. You will see many ideas for making baby’s 1st birthday cake at home. There are also many photo shoot ideas with smash cakes both indoor and outdoor setting.

You will also find photo shoot ideas at home with smash cakes. The two most common ways of positioning baby with the cake are either on the floor or on high chair for the pictures.

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Homemade smash cakes and whipped cream frosting

I made one chocolate cake a couple days before birthday so I can practice decorating for the cake. I just used a chocolate box cake mix and followed the box instruction. For the frosting, I decided to make my own whipped frosting for cake with some leftover heavy cream I had in fridge. I added some red food coloring to make it pink whipped frosting using an immersion hand blender with a whip attachment.

I didn’t add any powdered sugar or vanilla syrup to whipping cream since I knew my daughter wouldn’t eat any of it. I wasn’t planning on any of us eating the cake especially if it was going to be all smashed up.

Once I frosted the whole cake, I took some pictures and then put the cake in fridge so it wouldn’t melt sitting on counter. The pink smash cake looked pretty good the next day since the whipped frosting set better in fridge.

I made another cake the night before birthday since this time I wanted a yellow cake since I thought it would look nicer in pictures when smashed up. I used 2 heart pans and another one for 6 cupcakes to filled up with cake mix since all the pans were small.

After the cakes/cupcakes were done baking, let it sit out for cooling. It’s best to put in freezer for about 15 minutes to harden so it will be easier once you start to frost it.

There were some trial and errors on this 2nd attempt of making and decorating this time around. I had originally bought a Pillsbury ready made strawberry frosting for cupcakes since I thought it would be easy and didn’t have to deal with making any frosting. I

t didn’t work well for cake at all once I tried frosting the sides of cake. The frosting would almost immediately fall off. I realized the reason for the melting of frosting was because I had the frosting sitting out on counter for too long before using it. It was also a warm day so that didn’t help.

I decided to scrapped off all the frosting and cut around the cake so I could take off more of the frosted area, which in turn made the cake quite smaller in size. I placed the naked cake in fridge hoping it would be okay to use still the next day for birthday photos once I made more of the whipped frosting again.

Birthday morning, I went to grocery store and bought a new carton of heavy whipping cream to make and decorate the second cake again. Luckily the whipped frosting I made this time is much better. Trick to keeping the whipped frosting from “melting” is to place the mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.

I had bought a gold #1 candle and a cake topper that says “one” so I wanted to use both for each of the two cakes for the smash cake photos.

“This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.”

before the baking of cake/cupcakes
whipped cream bag, sandwich size

used a glass bowl to cut to size of cake
decorating smash cake
decorating of cake
homemade pinked whipped frosting
pink whipped cream
2 smash cakes
both cakes for pictures

Supplies you will need for cake

  • Box cake mix of choice
  • 1 pint of heavy whipping cream
  • red food coloring
  • mixer to make whipped cream frosting
  • small bowl to cut for size of smash cake
  • decorating tips
  • sandwich, gallon, or piping bag
  • cake stand for cake optional, any nice plate will do
  • #1 candle
  • “one” cake topper

Step by step instructions for cake

  1. Bake cake according to instructions on box cake mix (bake in at least 2 pans or one big rectangular pan)
  2. Let it cool down completely before frosting (place in freezer for 15 minutes to cool it faster, plus frosting will be easier since cake won’t crumble)
  3. While cake is baking, you can make the whipped frosting
  4. Use 1 pint of heavy whipping cream and some red food coloring to make whipped cream pink
  5. Use immersion hand blender with whisk attachment, hand mixer, or stand alone mixer for whipped frosting
  6. Place decorating tip inside bag first before you scoop finished whipped frosting into sandwich or gallon size bags for the piping of cake design
  7. Place the whipped cream in bag in freeze so it will stay cold
  8. Once cake is cool, use a small bowl to cut out shape of smash cake you want (at least 2 rounds for 2 layers)
  9. Place some of the remaining whipped cream between the cake layers so they stay together
  10. Cut around the cake to get it as smooth as you can before you start to frost it
  11. Take the frosting bags out from fridge to start frosting cake all around (I used the star tips)
  12. Once you are done frosting cake, you should place cake in fridge to set
  13. Take cake out when you’re ready for pictures with it (remember frosting may melt if kept out too long especially in warmer environment)

The photo shoot with the cakes

We took a bunch of pictures of our daughter without the cake in the beginning. She didn’t want to stay in the area designated for the pictures of course. She kept crawling away which we still took some pictures of those moments as well. We did set up our video camcorder on tripod also to capture all the fun moments.

When it was time to bring out the smash cakes for the photo shoot, we brought out one at a time. The first one we brought out was the bigger one so we used the “one” cake topper on it. The second smaller cake we placed the #1 candle on it and was able to sing her happy birthday.

“This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.”

first birthday back drop

first birthday cake and candle

She didn’t smash the cakes!

She didn’t smash the cake at all! She did touch the frosting and licked her fingers afterwards but didn’t seem to like it. haha. I tried putting her hands into the cake so she knows to do it too, it didn’t work. She kept crawling away and I kept having to put her back with cake.

baby eating frosting
baby girl licking frosting
baby eating frosting

Overall we were able to get some nice pictures and videos. No meltdown either, yay! All I remember thinking was just don’t force baby girl to do anything because we do not want her to start crying.

We tried early on many times to put her birthday crown on and she refused to let us put it on. We even had her big brother in some of the pictures to play with her and try to distract her so we can put birthday crown and nothing worked. In some of the pictures we took, she had her back towards camera because she liked the backdrop decorations and balloons everywhere.

I was happy overall with the ways things turned out especially with baby girl not crying at all.

smash cake pin

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Leave me a comment below on tips to get baby to smash the cake

Let me know if you have any tips on making the baby actually smash the cake in the comments. Maybe I’ll recreate the scene again in a few days since we left the backdrop up just in case we decide to take more pictures in the next few days.

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