This Healthy Smash Cake recipe is made with nutrient dense almond flour and naturally sweetened with fruit. It's a tasty and healthy first birthday cake that baby is sure to love! The recipe follows the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) and is Paleo, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and added sugar free.
Birthdays are always such fun, magical days but there's just something so special about a baby's first birthday.
This tiny human made it through its first year of life and you made it too!
No easy feat!
I love the idea of a smash cake but I don't love the idea of all that wasted cake!
I also don't like that we typically spend the first year of a babies life making sure to give them the healthiest start possible just to turn around on their first birthday and fill them up with refined sugar, artificial ingredients, preservatives etc.
This healthy first birthday cake recipe uses wholesome ingredients and is naturally sweetened with banana and vanilla!
What is a smash cake?
In case you don't know, a smash cake is a small cake made just for baby.
The rest of the party guests share a typically sized birthday cake or cupcakes.
This allows baby to dig into the cake with hands or just face plant right into it!
It makes for a very messy baby and some really wonderful pictures!
What size is a smash cake?
As mentioned previously, smash cakes are on the smaller side.
I opted for a one layer 6 inch cake but you could also make a two layer cake using 4 inch cake pans.
The cook time will just need to be adjusted.
Almond Flour - Blanched finely ground almond flour is best for this recipe and will be easier for baby to digest since the skin is removed during processing.
Almond Milk - Any nut milk can be used in place of the almond milk.
Coconut Oil - Olive oil can be used instead.
Banana - It's important to choose a very ripe banana since it's the only sweetener in this mini smash cake.
The use of a blender really makes this healthy smash cake recipe a breeze to put together, just be sure all ingredients are at room temperature before starting.
Begin by blending the banana, almond milk, egg, vanilla extract, melted coconut oil, and lemon juice until frothy and you can no longer see pieces of banana (photos 1 and 2).
Add the dry ingredients to the blender and blend until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed (photo 3).
Pour the batter into a greased and lined 6 inch round cake pan and bake in the middle rack until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (photo 4).
Allow to cool in the pan for ten minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Wait to frost the cake until it has completely cooled.
Note: Since this is a gluten free smash cake, it is a tad dense but baby should have no problem digging in!
Smash cake frosting
When it comes to frosting my smash cake I opted for a less is more approach!
Here are some options you might like:
Yogurt - Although you won't be able to frost the sides of the cake with yogurt, most babies really like it (I used dripped homemade yogurt for the pictures in this post.). You could also mix in some pureed fruit to change the color of the yogurt to your liking.
Whipped Coconut Cream - I have an easy and tasty Whipped Coconut Cream recipe that would also pair nicely with this healthy first birthday cake.
Buttercream Frosting - This Vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe is a bit labor intensive but works great for decorating the sides of a cake. It does make quite a bit so I'd suggest making half the recipe.
Note: If you decide to decorate the cake using fresh berries like I did for these photos, please make sure the berries are cut in half (possibly smaller if they're large) before serving it to baby.
Here are some more clean eating cakes to try!
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NOTE: If following the SCD diet, I suggest contacting the company to verify ingredients before using any prepackaged products.
This recipe was originally published on August 16, 2017. The post was updated on May 3, 2021 with new text, photos, and a new recipe.
Healthy Smash Cake Recipe
- 1 ½ cups blanched finely ground almond flour
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 small ripe banana (about ¼ cup mashed)
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil should not be hot
- Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 6 inch round pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Put the banana, almond milk, egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and coconut oil into the blender and blend until frothy and you can no longer see pieces of banana.
- Add the almond flour, salt, and baking soda to the blender. Blend until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and give the pan a few taps on the kitchen counter. Bake on the middle rack for 25 to 35 minutes or until the top is a light brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes before turning the cake out onto a cooling rack. Frost the cake once completely cooled.
- Use the frosting of your choosing (I have some suggestions within the body of the post) on the cake.
- For best results, I suggest baking the smash cake no more than 1 day in advance.
- Within the post I've given suggestions for frostings.