I didn’t know smash cake was a “thing” until I had a baby. Once I had Petit Macaron, my Pinterest board suddenly started showing baby smash cakes. I thought it such a cute idea and filed the idea away for his first birthday.
When his first birthday began to approach, I decided I really wanted to make Petit Macaron a smash cake on my own. So the hunt for the perfect smash cake began. However, I was torn. Do I make one of the healthy cakes to avoid sugar or just make a regular cake (yup, with sugar)? Will people shake their heads if I do a regular cake? I really enjoy sweets myself and I have a big sweet tooth. Part of me wanted to indulge a wee bit to share the fun with Petit Macaron.
Then I was talking with another mama friend about it, and she said she was going to do a chocolate cake because…she really wanted her little girl to discover chocolate. I felt like this was the social approval I needed to go with the regular cake. I know I probably shouldn’t be so influenced by what others think, but it’s just how I am.
Even with that decision made, I still had a hard time choosing a cake recipe. It was his first birthday. His only first birthday. His first true, full bite of something sugary sweet. I couldn’t mess this up! Have I ever told you I am horrible at decisions? Should I go with the confetti sprinkle cake so I can incorporate the blue to match the birthday winter ONEderland theme? Or, go pumpkin because it’s so delicious and I know he likes pumpkin? Or maybe banana with peanut butter, but then what if there are peanut allergies in one of the guests. Or, something classic like yellow birthday cake. Oh my, to make a decision.
After driving Mr. Macaron nuts for a few days with my constant cake indecision, I finally landed on the funfetti cake. Plus, one of my tried and true bloggers had a recipe that she shared for her son’s first birthday. In the end, it turned out great and quite adorable.
To make the cake, I bought two 3-1/2 inch ramekins (these are on Amazon and similar to what I bought at Fred Meyers). You could also make it in a regular pan and then use a biscuit cutter or something else circular in your cupboards to make the round cakes. I filled mine up a bit too high, so I suggest filling only 2/3 of the way with batter. The cooking time took longer than the recipe indicated – mine took about 30-35 minutes. Be sure to check with a toothpick to ensure it’s done cooking before you call it finished. Also in retrospect, I may have made it even smaller.
Once the cakes were cooled, I used a serrated knife to cut the tops so they were flat. I had to do the bottoms too because the crumbled a bit once I took them out of the pan.
I had a piping bag for the frosting, but you could also use a Ziploc bag with a corner snipped off instead.
To assemble, I put some frosting on top of one of the cakes and smoothed it out with an icing spatula. Then the other layer on top of that and more frosting. I piped some frosting around the corners and on the sides and smoothed it all out. Finish it off with sprinkles and leftover crumbs. Good news, the sprinkles and crumbs really hid any imperfections (whew!).
Lastly, to top it off with a fun cake topper. I found the silver one cake topper on Amazon. I noticed Target had some cute ones as well like this banner topper. Speaking of Target, most of the decorations I got for the party where from there and they were affordable and cute – check it out!
Here’s a few other notes on the cake:
- I made double the recipe so I could also have cupcakes to serve to the guests. If you do this as well, then I would suggest only doubling the cake and NOT double the frosting. I had a ton leftover frosting.
- I didn’t have enough powdered sugar when I doubled the frosting. I ended up leaving out 1 cup and it was great. I think otherwise it would have been too sweet. So if you are making the frosting, don’t add all the powder sugar at once. Instead, I suggest tasting it as you add it in to get to your preference. You may be surprised to find you can leave off 1/2 cup of the powder sugar of the original/single version of the frosting. I went ahead and removed 1/2 cup from the ingredient list below.
- I used cylinder sprinkles ( “Jimmies”) sprinkles for mixing into the cake. And various sprinkles for the decoration. I did use some of the leftover cake crumbs to decorate as the suggested and thought it was a fun idea.
Petit Macaron didn’t end up having quite the reaction as I thought. It might have been that there was a bunch of people staring at him – that’d be distracting for anyone. He kept looking down at it and then looking at me. He lightly touched it a few times. Then I cut it in half and scooped up a bite of it with my fingers and put it in his mouth. It seemed this was the permission he needed to investigate the confection further. He picked up half the cake and took a big ole bite. Otherwise not much smashing or mess, but pretty darn cute to watch.
One last thing – it’s also fun to decorate the high chair for the smash cake viewing. I was tight on time, so I just quickly put Petit Macaron’s together like 30 minutes before the party. It’s fun and is cute for photos!
Mini Sprinkle Smash Cake
Recipe by How Sweet it Is
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup assorted brightly colored sprinkles
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon whole milk, if needed
- 1/4 cup assorted brightly colored sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two mini cake pans.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set it aside.
Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat it until creamy. Add the sugar and beat with the butter on high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the egg and egg white, mixing well on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add in the oil and vanilla extract, beating on medium speed for another minute. With the mixer on low speed, add in half of the dry ingredients. Pour in the milk. Add in the other half of the dry ingredients and mix them on medium speed until the batter is combined. Use a large spatula to gently stir in the sprinkles.
Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake until the tops are set, about 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely, then gently turn the cakes out on a piece of parchment paper, using a knife to release the edges if needed. Let cool completely before frosting. To make this little cake, use a 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut rounds (you can definitely get 2 rounds, MAYBE 3 if you line it up just right) out of each cake. Use the leftover cake crumbs for sprinkling!
Add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed until creamy and combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the sugar. Beat until the sugar is incorporated and add vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Beat the frosting on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy and creamy. If the frosting seems too thick, beat in the tablespoon of milk for 1 to 2 minutes until combined. Frost the cakes and top them with additional sprinkles.