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Smash Cake

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close up shot of a Smash Cake on a wooden board
Perfect for a baby's first birthday cake, this yummy smash cake is so much fun to make and watch your baby enjoy.
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Table of Contents
  1. Smash Cake Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Smash Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Join the cutest trend around and celebrate your little one’s first birthday with their very own smash cake. This delicious cake is just the right choice for a first birthday as it has no refined sugars and uses maple syrup instead of honey so that all the little guests can safely enjoy it.

Don’t forget to add a few other treats at your party including our fruit salsa with cinnamon chips and how about raspberry lemonade for your guests?

close up shot of a Smash Cake topped with a cake topper on a wooden board

Smash Cake Ingredients

Smash Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium-sized)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 16 ounces full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Garnish with all-natural sprinkles

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

FLOUR: You can substitute white-whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour in this layer cake recipe. You will also need to increase the pure maple syrup to ¾ cup. Your cake will be a bit darker in appearance than it is with the all-purpose flour. 

MAPLE SYRUP: This first birthday smash cake recipe does not use refined sugars as a sweetener. You can replace the pure maple syrup in the recipe with ¾ cup granulated sugar, or ¾ cup honey.

NOTE: If you use honey as a sweetener, it is NOT recommended for children 12 months or younger.

How To Make This Smash Cake Recipe

PRO TIP:

If you do not want to make the triple layer, 6-inch cake, then the recipe will also make a two layer 9-inch cake instead. You will just need to adjust your bake time to 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray three (6-inch) round cake pans with Baker’s Spray. Set aside.

PRO TIP:

You can also use parchment paper in the pans and you can buy pre-cut parchment paper rounds to make lining the pans easier.

STEP TWO: In a small bowl, mash the ripe banana until all lumps are gone. Add the buttermilk and stir to combine. Set aside.

Smash Cake process shot of bananas being mashed and combined with buttermilk in a bowl

STEP THREE: In a medium bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

STEP FOUR: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, cream together the butter and pure maple syrup for 1 to 2 minutes or until fluffy and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract. Continue to mix for another 1 to 2 minutes or until all the ingredients are completely incorporated. Don’t worry that your mixture will be very loose, that is how it is supposed to be. Once you add the flour mixture, it will thicken up.

Smash Cake process shot of ingredients in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Add half the dry ingredients and mix for 30 seconds. Add all of the bananas and buttermilk, mix in completely, then add the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not over mix.

Smash Cake process shot of ingredients being combined together in a bowl

STEP SIX: Evenly distribute the cake batter between the three prepared cake pans.

PRO TIP:

You can use a kitchen scale to weigh each pan to get the pans as evenly full as possible. This will ensure that all your cakes bake evenly.

STEP SEVEN: Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Once baked, cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then flip them out onto a wire rack to continue to cool completely before frosting.

Smash Cake process shot of baked cakes placed on a cooling rack

STEP EIGHT: While your cake is cooling, you can make your cream cheese frosting by adding the butter and the cream cheese into a large mixing bowl and beating on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, and all the lumps are smooth. Add the pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt and beat for another 1 minute.

PRO TIP:

Because the cream cheese frosting is sweetened with pure maple syrup, it will not be as sweet as a traditional cream cheese frosting. If you wish for it to be sweeter you can add additional pure maple syrup (I would start with 1 tablespoon at a time and check for consistency of the frosting and for taste) or you can substitute ¾ cup powdered sugar for the maple syrup for a more traditional cream cheese frosting flavor.

Smash Cake process shot of cream cheese frosting ingredients being combined in a bowl

STEP NINE: Once your cakes are cool, very carefully slice off the domed tops of each cake so that when you layer them on top of each other, they are flat.

STEP TEN: Place the first of the cake layers onto the cake plate and add ½ to ¾ cup frosting onto the center of the cake. Spread the frosting evenly to the edges of the cake. Place the second cake on top of the frosted layer, add another ½ to ¾ cup frosting and spread evenly to the edges. Place the final layer upside down so that the smooth edge is on top, and frost the cake with the remaining cream cheese frosting.

Smash Cake process shot of baked cakes being assembled and frosted

STEP ELEVEN: Decorate the sides and top with sprinkles.

How To Serve

The birthday boy or girl will love diving into their special cake. Serve this at their first birthday party and watch them enjoy their first taste of cake. For the rest of the guests, consider whipping up this spiced applesauce cake or stick with the banana-flavored theme with this divine banana cake.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Once your delicious cake is frosted and decorated with sprinkles, it should be stored in the refrigerator until ready to slice and serve. It will last 2 to 3 days, covered in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. 

IN THE FREEZER: It is best to wait to frost this homemade smash cake until you are ready to serve it as the cream cheese frosting won’t freeze well. You can bake and freeze the unfrosted layers of the cake for up to a month.

a baby girl eating a Smash Cake with balloons all around

Celebrate your newly minted one year old with a small cake all their own. Don’t forget the camera to catch all the awesomeness of your little one exploring the new textures and delicious cake. Made just for the guest of honor, this cake is a fun way to let them dig in and enjoy themselves, and great news for you parents, this recipe uses pure maple syrup instead of refined sugars to make this delightful cake.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why does this recipe use maple syrup instead of honey?

This easy recipe uses maple syrup first to avoid any refined sugars and second because children under the age of one should not be fed honey. This makes this cake a great option for any little person to enjoy.

Can I freeze this cake?

We would recommend waiting to frost the cake until you are ready to serve it but you can freeze the unfrosted layers for up to a month.

Can I use a different frosting on this cake?

If you have a preferred recipe for homemade frosting, you can certainly substitute it. We would recommend you consider substituting any sugar for maple syrup in your recipe.

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close up shot of a Smash Cake on a wooden board

Smash Cake

5 from 1 vote
Perfect for a baby's first birthday cake, this yummy smash cake is so much fun to make and watch your baby enjoy.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas, 3 to 4 medium-sized
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs, room temperature

Cream cheese frosting

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 16 ounces full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • all-natural sprinkles, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray three (6-inch) cake pans with Baker’s Spray. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mash the ripe bananas until all lumps are gone. Add the buttermilk and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium-low speed, cream together the butter and pure maple syrup for 1 to 2 minutes or until fluffy and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract. Continue to mix for another 1 to 2 minutes or until all the ingredients are completely incorporated. Don’t worry that your mixture will be very loose, that is how it is supposed to be. Once you add the flour mixture, it will thicken up.
  • Add half the flour mixture and mix for 30 seconds. Add all of the bananas and buttermilk, mix in completely, then add the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not over mix.
  • Evenly distribute the cake batter between the three prepared cake pans. You can use a kitchen scale to weigh each pan to get the pans as evenly full as possible. This will ensure that all your cakes bake evenly.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Once baked, cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then flip them out onto a cooling rack to continue to cool completely before frosting.
  • While your cake is cooling, you can make your cream cheese frosting by adding the butter and the cream cheese into a large mixing bowl and beating on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes and all the lumps are smooth. Add the pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt and beat for another 1 minute.
  • Once your cakes are cool, very carefully slice off the domed tops of each cake so that when you layer them on top of each other, they are flat.
  • Place the first cake onto the cake plate and add ½ to ¾ cup frosting onto the center of the cake. Spread the frosting evenly to the edges of the cake. Place the second cake on top of the frosted layer, add another ½ to ¾ cup frosting, and spread evenly to the edges. Place the final layer upside down so that the smooth edge is on top, and frost the cake with the remaining cream cheese frosting. Decorate the sides and top with sprinkles.

Notes

  • If you do not want to make the triple layer, 6-inch cake, then the recipe will also make a two layer 9-inch cake instead. You will just need to adjust your bake time to 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  • You can also use parchment paper in the pans and you can buy pre-cut parchment paper rounds to make lining the pans easier.
  • You can use a kitchen scale to weigh each pan to get the pans as evenly full as possible. This will ensure that all your cakes bake evenly.
  • Because the cream cheese frosting is sweetened with pure maple syrup, it will not be as sweet as a traditional cream cheese frosting. If you wish for it to be sweeter you can add additional pure maple syrup (I would start with 1 tablespoon at a time and check for consistency of the frosting and for taste) or you can substitute ¾ cup powdered sugar for the maple syrup for a more traditional cream cheese frosting flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 603kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 171mg | Sodium: 583mg | Potassium: 381mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 1425IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 2mg
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