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Celebrate your baby’s 1st birthday with this healthy smash cake recipe! Made with almond flour and naturally sweetened with fruit, it’s a great alternative to traditional cake! {No added sugar}

Healthy smash cake for 1 year old on a cake stand.

Healthy Smash Cake for First Birthday

For your baby’s first birthday, delight your little one with this healthy smash cake! Although smash cakes typically are made to be destroyed, you still want them to taste great and look good too. This easy banana cake is always a hit with both little ones and adults!

I made this for my baby’s first birthday and she loved it (so did we!) Thanks for a great recipe! This is the best smash cake recipe we have tried in our family! – Keeley

As an added bonus, this healthy first birthday cake is made from wholesome ingredients to nourish your little one and contains no added sugar.

Plus, it’s adorable and easy to decorate however you’d like!

What is a Smash Cake?

A smash cake is a special, small frosted cake typically made for a baby’s first birthday. They’re meant to be smashed or eaten by babies grabbing fistfuls of cake that they try to smoosh into their faces. It’s a fun tradition and makes for some great family photos!

This homemade baby’s first birthday cake is a great alternative to regular smash cakes, often made with boxed cake mix or purchased at the grocery store. Those store-bought cakes are loaded with sugar, food dyes, and other ingredients that aren’t the best option for your baby. Plus, making your own healthy smash cake at home is so easy!

No SUgar Smash Cake

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A slice of cake removed from the healthy smash cake on a stand.

Why We Love This Almond Flour Smash Cake

  • No sugar added: This first birthday smash cake is made without sugar, but instead is sweetened with ripe bananas and applesauce! It’s made with simple ingredients you can trust, making it the perfect cake for babies.
  • Easy to make: This special birthday cake for a 1 year old is a simple banana cake! If you’ve ever made banana bread before, you can already imagine how easily this birthday cake for babies will come together.
  • Customizable: Although you’ll want to keep the cake recipe the same, you can decorate your baby’s cake however you’d like! Top it with sprinkles, make a tiered cake, top it with fresh or freeze-dried fruit, etc. There are so many options!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients required for first birthday smash cake recipe.
  • Super-fine blanched almond flourInstead of whole wheat flour, this recipe calls for almond flour, giving it healthy fats, fibre, and a delicious nutty texture.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon plays up the sweet flavor of banana in this banana cake for baby.
  • Baking soda: To help your cake rise to be light and fluffy, don’t forget to add baking soda!
  • Salt: A little salt will help activate the baking soda and enhance the flavors in your cake layers.
  • Ripe bananas: Sweeten your no sugar smash cake with very ripe banana, mashed until tender.
  • Eggs: To bind your batter together, whisk eggs into your cake batter.
  • Unsweetened applesauce: To keep your sugar-free smash cake from being too banana-y, balance out the flavors with applesauce. You can use store-bought or this homemade unsweetened applesauce recipe.
  • Vanilla extract: The scent of vanilla makes every dessert more inviting.
  • Whipping cream: Although you don’t have to decorate this special cake, you absolutely can! I like to use whipping cream to make an unsweetened whipped cream frosting recipe. You can also add a little maple syrup to sweeten it slightly.

How to Make a Smash Cake – Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Cake Batter

  1. In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, cinnamon and baking soda (and salt, if using).
  2. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and then whisk in the eggs, applesauce and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined (do not over mix). 

Step 2: Fill Pans with Cake Batter & Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 6 inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pans with a piece of parchment paper cut so that they they fit the bottom of the pans. Divide mixture evenly between the two baking pans.
  2. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from the cake pan. To remove, run a sharp paring knife around the edges of the cake to help loosen it from the pan.

Step 3: Prepare Frosting & Decorate Cake!

  1. Meanwhile, prepare frosting of choice. We chose to to frost the cake with homemade unsweetened whipped cream.
  2. Using a knife, spread a thin layer of frosting on the bottom layer of the cake. Place the top layer on the bottom layer and continue to apply frosting until the entire cake is covered. Top with desired toppings.
Keep scrolling to the recipe card below for the full printable recipe!
Healthy smash cake for first birthday on a cake stand with a cute cake topper.

RECIPE TIPS

  • Use overripe bananas (the brown spotty kind) which will be naturally sweeter. It’s best if the bananas are as sweet as possible since there is no added sugar in this recipe.
  • I highly recommend that you line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper to prevent the cake from sticking to the bottom of the pan and for easier removal. 
  • For this recipe, we whipped some 35% heavy cream using an electric mixer and used that as the icing for the cake for our baby’s first birthday. We spread the whipped cream between the two layers, on the top and sides, but you can also spread some over the top. If you prefer, add some icing sugar to the whipped cream, use coconut whipped cream, or make a Greek yogurt or cream cheese icing.
  • Some readers have also made this cake into cupcakes to serve to guests or to use as a mini smash cake for baby.

Recipe FAQs

What is the point of baby cake smash?

Since cake smashes are newer, many people still don’t fully understand this trend. Cake smashes are more for the adults, who will think it’s adorable to see how big of a mess the baby makes at their first birthday party!

Since this is the first time your baby will ever have a birthday cake, it’s a fun way to make meaningful memories out of this special day. People often hire photographers to record the fun!

Are smash cakes safe for babies?

Yes, as long as any fruits or decorations are sliced appropriately. Since most babies have at least a palmar grasp established by their first birthday, they know how to grab the cake with their hand and try to get it into their mouths.

They will be pretty imperfect about it – hence the smash – so they won’t eat as much of it as you’d expect. Still, it’s best to offer a healthy cake instead of loading them up with lots of sugar.

What size is a smash cake?

Most smash cakes are typically baked in round cake pans and they’re usually either 4 inches or 6 inches in diameter. Although these are often small cakes, you can decide how large you want your cake to be!

You could do two layers of 6 inch cake or 3 layers of a 4 inch cake for a tall smash cake! For a really tall cake, you may need a half batch of this easy recipe to make extra batter.

A slice of healthy smash cake on a plate with a star topper.

4 Inch vs. 6 Inch Smash Cake

If baking in 4 inch baking pans, you’ll have to bake the cakes for about 35 minutes to fully bake through.

If baking the cake in 6 inch baking pans, the cake will require about 25-30 minutes of baking time.

Storage Guidelines

  • Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
  • You can also freeze leftover cake. Be sure to wrap the cake with plastic wrap before storing it in a freezer safe bag. Let the cake thaw in the fridge for several hours before serving.

Frosting Ideas

The beauty of this healthy smash cake is that you can use a variety of different frostings!

Feel free to experiment with any of the following options:

Other Frosting Inspiration

  • Blue or pink smash cake: Crush or blend freeze-dried strawberries or blueberries into a powder, then whip them into the frosting. It can be tricky to get a pure blue, so it might skew a little purple!
  • Cream cheese frosting: Whip some room temperature cream cheese with a little whipping cream for a rich, tangy frosting.
  • Whipped coconut cream frosting: For a dairy free or paleo topping, chill coconut cream in the fridge then whip it with your hand mixer until light and fluffy. 

Smash Cake Decorating Ideas

There are so many unique smash cake ideas out there these days! For this simple cake, try some of these yummy decorations.

  • Arrange fresh fruit like berries or rainbow colored fruit on top of the cake
  • Naturally dye the frosting with blended up freeze-dried fruit
  • Sprinkle on mini chocolate chips
  • Use naturally dyed sprinkles
  • Top with flaked coconut
  • Carve out the middle of the bottom layer and hide fresh berries inside!
  • Place berries or banana slices in between the layers
  • Ombre frosting layers (light on top and dark on the bottom)
  • Pipe on frosting rosettes
  • Poke in a cute cake topper!

Other Flavors to try:

  • Chocolate: Add cocoa powder and chocolate chips for a banana chocolate cake (chocolate is best saved for toddlers over the age of two due to the caffeine content).
  • Blueberry: Add blueberries to the banana cake mix for blueberry banana cake.
  • Coconut: Add unsweetened coconut flakes for banana coconut cake.
A slice of cake on a plate with a first birthday smash cake on a stand.

More Healthy Treats

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No sugar smash cake for one year old on a cake stand.
Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Healthy Smash Cake Recipe for Baby’s First Birthday

Created by Elysia Cartlidge
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Celebrate your baby's 1st birthday with this healthy smash cake recipe! Made with almond flour and naturally sweetened with fruit, it's a great alternative to traditional cake! {No added sugar}

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups super-fine blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large overripe bananas (mine weighed about 184 grams each unpeeled)
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Frosting (optional):

  • 35% heavy whipping cream whipped (I used 1 1/2 cups for this recipe)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 6 inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pans with a piece of parchment paper cut so that they they fit the bottom of the pans.
  • In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, cinnamon and baking soda (and salt, if using).
  • In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and then whisk in the eggs, applesauce and vanilla extract.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined (do not over mix). 
  • Divide mixture evenly between the two baking pans.
  • Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from the cake pan. To remove, run a sharp paring knife around the edges of the cake to help loosen it from the pan.
  • Meanwhile, prepare frosting of choice. We chose to to frost the cake with homemade unsweetened whipped cream. Using a knife, spread a thin layer of frosting on the bottom layer of the cake. Place the top layer on the bottom layer and continue to apply frosting until the entire cake is covered. Top with desired toppings.

Notes

  • Use overripe bananas (the brown spotty kind) which will be naturally sweeter. It’s best if the bananas are as sweet as possible since there is no added sugar in this recipe.
  • I highly recommend that you line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper to prevent the cake from sticking to the bottom of the pan and for easier removal. 
  • For this recipe, we whipped some 35% heavy cream using an electric mixer and used that as the icing for the cake for our baby’s first birthday. We spread the whipped cream between the two layers, on the top and sides, but you can also spread some over the top. If you prefer, add some icing sugar to the whipped cream, use coconut whipped cream, or make a Greek yogurt or cream cheese icing.
  • Some readers have also made this cake into cupcakes to serve to guests or to use as a mini smash cake for baby.

Nutrition

Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 3mg
No sugar smash cake for one year old on a cake stand.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. Hello!
    Do you think I could bake this batter inside ice cream cones?
    I’m going for ‘ice cream cone cupcakes.’ 😃

    1. Oh my goodness – such a cute idea! I honestly have no idea how it would turn out since I’ve never tried to bake anything inside of an ice cream cone! If you decide to experiment, please keep me posted on how it turns out! 🙂