How To Make A Smash Cake for Your Baby’s First Birthday!

May 7, 2020

Written by guest blog contributor, Seattle baker and food stylist, Candice Ward. First Birthdays are a big milestone for both baby and parents! For starters- it means that you kept a tiny human alive for a full year and that’s pretty big in itself! Second- it marks your baby entering toddlerhood and a whole new […]

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Written by guest blog contributor, Seattle baker and food stylist, Candice Ward.

First Birthdays are a big milestone for both baby and parents! For starters- it means that you kept a tiny human alive for a full year and that’s pretty big in itself! Second- it marks your baby entering toddlerhood and a whole new set of independence from mom! WAHOOO!

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with a baby’s very own smash cake! Throw in rainbow sprinkles for a classic Funfetti Birthday Cake vibe and your little one is on their way to some serious cake in the face! AKA the birth of SMASH CAKE.

If baking cake Isn’t your thing but you still want to be involved in making your kiddos smash cake- we’ve got the perfect solution for you! Our Mini Celebration Cake Activity Box. It comes with all your party cake items including balloons and a birthday candle! And during these social distancing times- we’ve partnered with another local mamma owned and operated business to offer you custom birthday signs for birthday party parades or to decorate a party room in the house!

My son turned the big 1 a few months ago now and I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about how to make a smash cake. You will be surprised how easy it is! I decided to make him a classic Funfetti Vanilla Birthday Cake. I also made homemade marshmallows, rice krispie treats, and a carrot cake for the dessert table. 

For the full party details and additional tips about styling a beautiful and simple dessert table, you can check out Landen’s First Birthday Party Recap here! I just loved his theme  based on the children’s book- The Wonderful Things You Will Be. 

*If you want more baking & party tips, recipes, and little doses of JOY- say Hi on Instagram & Pinterest! My heart is about spreading joy and I absolutely love having the opportunity to connect with each and every one of you!

Quick note on making homemade Buttermilk: I NEVER buy Buttermilk. For one- it’s hard to find full fat buttermilk and I also never use an entire carton before it goes bad. So I just have Whole Milk on hand and make my own!

For every 1 cup of Whole Milk- combine 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar. Let sit for 5-8 minutes (will start to curdle which you want- and done!).

Smash Cake Recipe

*Recipe Adopted by Cake by Courtney


1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup grapeseed oil (or vegetable oil)

3 large whole eggs (room temperature)

3 large egg whites  (room temperature)

3 cups cake flour 

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 4″ round pans with non-stick spray, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, and another coat of spray. Set aside. *you will have leftover batter and can either make cupcakes or a 6″ cake. 

2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil, and sugar on high until fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the eggs and the egg whites, one at a time to the bowl and beat on medium until well incorporated.

5. Turn the mixer on low and add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Then add half of the buttermilk and blend well, followed by another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the second half of the buttermilk and lastly, add the remaining flour mixture and mix until incorporated.

6. Add the vanilla extract and beat on low until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on low for another 30 seconds. Fold in the sprinkles.

7. Evenly distribute the cake batter among the three pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.

8. Remove cakes from the oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes before inverting onto cooling racks.

9. When cakes are completely cooled, I like to wrap each cake layer individually with plastic wrap and stick it in the refrigerator or freezer until I’m ready to frost. The cake will be easier to work with if it’s cooled a bit. If I’m making the cake a day or two before I actually need to frost it, I put it in the freezer to ensure freshness. If I’m frosting same-day, I’ll just put it in the refrigerator to chill until needed.


1 cup softened butter (allow to sit at room temp for 2 hours)

2 1/2-4 cups of confectioners sugar (depending on the sweetness level you prefer)

2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract

1/4-1/2 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream


1) Using an electric mixer or hand held mixer with the paddle attachment- cream butter for 5 minutes, until lightened. 

2) Add Vanilla Extract and mix until combined

3) Add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments. After the final 1/2 cup is incorporated, slowly add the heavy whipping cream. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes or until frosting is light and fluffy. 

*Frosting can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in the refrigerator. It can be made 3 months in advance and placed in an airtight container in the freezer. If frozen- thaw the day before by placing in the refrigerator overnight. Allow buttercream to sit at room temperature and re whip in an electric mixer for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

A video tutorial on how to Frost and Fill a Cake for beginners- this is for you! 

A video tutorial of Baking Tools that we love and suggest for cake enthusiasts- this is for you!

There you have it! Now you can make your very own Smash Cake at home and watch all the glory of your little one eating their very first C A K E. 

If you make this recipe- will you show us by tagging @Eatmorecakebycandice or using #EatMoreCakeFindMoreJoy on Instagram? We would love to see you celebrating and give a shout out to your little one!



Photography by: Candice Ward | Eat More Cake by Candice

Connect with Candice!





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  1. Carolyn says:

    I want to see what the cake looks like when cut into and also when it’s smashed! I’m trying to decide on colors for smash cake photos for my daughter.

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