Nine babies and I only had 2 smash cakes! What was I thinking of? They are so cute, fun, and just plain smart!
Who wants a cake a lil hand all over their cake? REALLY??? Lil Mikey can be the cutest thing since Kermit the Frog, but uuugh, I’ll pass on the booger laced slime delight.
A smash cake is typically given to the birthday child at the first birthday celebration and is to be smashed, smeared, enjoyed and eaten by the birthday boy or birthday girl (remember to take lots of photos for the album!). Increasingly, people are making two cakes for the 1st birthday party: a smash cake and the main decorated birthday cake. The birthday guest of honor gets to have fun with the smash cake while the main birthday cake can be enjoyed by the guests, untouched by little hands.
There are several ways to create a first birthday smash cake. A smash cake is usually a mini cake that matches the party theme, however any cake will do. The smash cake can be as simple as a vanilla cupcake (a giant cupcake is perfect) or as complex as a smaller version of the main cake. The possibilities are endless!
Remember to remove any cookie sticks, decorative pix or candles before you serve the smash cake and be sure to spread newspapers under your child’s chair to catch the mess!
Order it from Cassie’s Sweetz or make it your self! Or you can click on the links of each picture for more details.
PRETTY IN PINK CAKE
Rose Levy Beranbaum’s white velvet cake is my go-to cake for birthdays. You can pair it with almost any frosting or filling. Although Beranbaum prefers a non-chocolate frosting on this cake like this one, I think a silky chocolate buttercream frosting works just fine here if it’s not overly chocolate-y.
If you have only two 9-inch pans like I do, follow this recipe to make the first two layers. After they have cooled and you have another pan available, halve the recipe to make a third layer. This will give you three 1 1/8-inch cake layers.
For The Cake:4 1/2 large egg whites
1 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
STEP 1: MAKE THE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with butter and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease tops of parchment paper and dust lightly with flour.
Combine ¼ cup milk, the egg whites and the vanilla in a bowl and set aside.
Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low for 30 seconds. Add the butter and remaining ¾ cup milk, and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (or high if you’re using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 ½ minutes. Scrape down the sides, and add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.
Scrape the batter into the pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. The pans should be about ½ full. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. You will want the cake to spring back when pressed lightly.
Cool the cakes for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides with a knife or spatula. Remove from pans.
STEP 2: MAKE THE FROSTING
Make your favorite frosting. I am partial to an Italian meringue buttercream.
STEP 3: ASSEMBLE AND FROST THE CAKE
Using a cake leveler, evenly cut the tops off the cake so the layers are equal height.
Spread an even layer of frosting on top of the first cake layer and stick the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the frosting is set. Add the second cake layer and repeat with frosting and freezer time. Add the third layer and spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the cake and around the sides of the cake – this is your crumb coat. Put cake in the freezer for 5 minutes or until frosting is set. Add a final thin layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake, making sure it has a smooth finish. Place the cake in the freezer, covered, until you’re ready to decorate.
STEP 4: DECORATE THE CAKE
For the final fondant decoration, please see Not Without Salt’s instructions. I used 2 lbs of red buttercream fondant (with some leftover) and 4 lbs of white buttercream fondant (with some leftover). I used “antique white” to cover the cake and “wedding white” to make the strips.
If you’re making a 9-inch cake, you will need another set of hands to help you wrap the fondant around the cake, that is, unless you come up with a better system or technique than I did. If so, please share!
It’s your baby’s first birthday! Let him dig into his first birthday cake toddler-style with an adorable smash cake that’s almost too cute to eat. Almost.
Everything Else to Know about Smash Cakes
(Be sure to click all of the links in this post for more details)