A healthy smash cake recipe for your little one’s first birthday cake! Made with oat flour, sweetened with bananas (no added sugar) and easy to make! Gluten free friendly and dairy free.
I cannot believe we are celebrating Finn’s first birthday!
I made this healthy smash cake recipe for those that want something made with more wholesome ingredients, is easy to make and perfect for your little one’s first birthday cake.
If you’re planning cake smash photos, this recipe works for that too.
What is a Smash Cake
A smash cake is a small cake meant to be smashed into by your little one – it’s not really for serving a crowd.
The point of a smash cake is for your little one to smash their hands into the cake themselves – makes for a great photo opp! Perfect for a birthday photo shoot or birthday parties where the baby can feed themselves.
Smash Cake Ingredients
Less than 10 ingredients is all you need for this smash cake recipe. Most you probably already have on hand! Here’s what you need:
- banana – just a couple small ripe bananas, mashed well, will give you enough for this recipe. If you’re shy by a tablespoon or so, just add a little more oil or even a nut butter.
- egg – the egg helps gives the cake some structure. I am working on testing a flaxseed version to make this egg free.
- oil – any mild oil will work here. Avocado or light olive are my preference here. If using coconut oil, make sure it is melted, cooled and the rest of your ingredients are room temperature.
- milk – just a touch to help thin out the batter.
- vanilla extract – for some flavor.
- oat flour – I used homemade by blending some gluten free quick oats into flour.
- baking powder and baking soda* – using both will help get the right rise for the cake
- Pinch of salt – optional, since you’re just serving this for your little one.
- Dash of cinnamon – again optional but adds a nice little flavor your babe might enjoy!
*Recipe re-tested 2023 for a better rise and lighter texture, using the addition of baking soda (picture below does not reflect addition. Please scroll down to recipe card for the updated recipe and correct amounts.
What To Expect from this Smash Cake
This healthy smash cake is intended for little ones, meaning it’s not going to resemble a traditional birthday cake. The texture is much more pronounced, because of the oat flour, and it’s not sweet like normal cake.
How to Make a Smash Cake
This smash cake recipe is truly so simple. It comes together in one bowl using just a spoon or spatula.
First add in all of the wet ingredients: well mashed banana, egg, oil, vanilla and milk.
Then add in dry ingredients: oat flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
Stir to combine until the batter is smooth.
Evenly distribute the batter into two, 4″ round cake pans, filling halfway full for each pan.
Bake for about 20 minutes, OR until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (no wet batter).
Mini Cake Pans
Use 4″ cake pans for this recipe and make sure to grease the edges and line with a cut out circle of parchment paper so the cakes release perfectly.
Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
You can also make the cakes one day in advance.
Note: The cakes will rise up and then fall just slightly upon cooling. Flip the cakes upside down (bottom side up) for frosting.
Healthy Frosting Options
If you want to keep this cake on the healthier side, you can use a coconut whipped cream frosting or a yogurt frosting (use a non-dairy skyr or thicker yogurt if you need to keep this cake dairy free).
Add a hint of maple syrup if you want some flavor for the coconut cream, or just leave as is.
Coconut Whipped Cream – For a 2-tiered smash cake, you’ll need one (14 ounce) can of canned coconut milk, chilled for at least 6 hours. Make sure to not shake the can, to keep the cream separate from the water. If you’re making a 4-tiered smash cake, use two cans of coconut milk.
Yogurt Frosting – To make a yogurt frosting, use a thicker yogurt so you don’t have to strain it. Greek yogurt or Skyr works great here.
Tips for Frosting Smash Cake
Chill the cake quickly between each layer of frosting so the cake is easier to frost – this is especially true if using coconut cream.
Here I added about 2 tablespoons of whipped coconut cream onto the first layer, added the second layer and then placed both the cake and the whipped cream in the fridge for 20 minutes.
I repeated this step before completely frosting the cake.
Coconut cream frosting chills and holds well, just be sure to not let it sit out too long before letting your little one dive in (or you’ll have a melty mess before they even start).
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
Healthy Smash Cake Recipe
Easy to make healthy Smash Cake recipe! Perfect for your little one’s 1st birthday cake. Whether you’re planning a smash cake photoshoot or having a party, this recipe is great for serving to your little one. Made with oat flour, sweetened with bananas (no added sugar) and easy to make! Gluten free friendly and dairy free. Use coconut whipped frosting or yogurt for a healthier no added sugar frosting.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 1 smash cake 1x
- Category: dessert
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 3/4 cup well mashed banana (2 small bananas)
- 1 large egg
- 1.5 tablespoons light olive oil (or avocado oil)
- 1.5 tablespoon milk of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup oat flour (I blended my own – recipe here)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Dash of ground cinnamon
- 1 (14 ounce) canned coconut milk, chilled for 6 hours
Recipe as written is for a 2-layer cake. If you’d like a 4 tiered cake, make 2 batches of cakes. Or use double recipe and use 4, 4″ round cake pans.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line 2, 4″ cake pans with cut out parchment paper, grease edges with coconut oil or butter; set aside.
- Make batter: In a medium bowl combine mashed banana, egg, oil, milk and vanilla extract. Add in oat flour, baking powder, pinch of salt and a dash of cinnamon. Stir until batter is smooth.
- Bake: Evenly distribute batter into preparted pans, filling about 1/2 way full. Bake cakes for 18-22 minutes, OR until inserted toothpick in center comes out clean.
- Cool: Allow cakes to rest in pan for 10 minutes before flipping onto cooling rack. Make sure cakes are cooled completely before frosting. You can place in fridge to speed things up.
- Make coconut whipped cream frosting: Do not shake canned coconut milk before opening. Carefully scoop out cream and discard liquid. Using a chilled metal bowl (if possible) place coconut cream in bowl and whip with electric mixer until light and fluffy. You can use food coloring here if you’d like, a hint of maple syrup or leave plain. Place whipped coconut cream in fridge until you’re ready to frost.
- Frost cake: Place cake on cake stand or plate, add a couple of tablespoons of whipped cream on first layer, top with second layer and frost rest of cake. Chill cake in between frosting layers if doing a 4 tier cake.
- Chill & Serve: Be sure to keep cake chilled right up until serving, since coconut cream will melt at room temperature. Note: if making 4 layers, secure cake with wooden dowel (cut skewer to size of stacked cakes before frosting).
Sub for banana: this recipe works with applesauce in place of the banana, but you’ll only need 2/3 cup applesauce and omit milk. The cakes are not quite as dense as the banana version so I recommend only making a 2-layer cake for the applesauce version.
Link to “one” cake topper (affiliate). Perfect size for this cake!
Reader feedback notes: after having some mixed reviews for this cake, I made some minor adjustments to the recipe, adding in baking soda in addition to the baking powder. The cakes will fall just slightly upon cooling, but they should be about 1.5″ thick (if dividing between two 4″ cake pans) and have a somewhat fluffy texture to them. Make sure to chill cakes before layering and frosting – do not skip chilling.
Keywords: first birthday cake, baby smash cake, banana smash cake