Are you on the hunt for the perfect recipe for your baby boy or baby girl’s first birthday cake?
If so, the hunt is over as I have some awesome recipes for delicious, healthy, kid-approved cakes that are completely sugar-free and vegan!
A vegan smash cake is the perfect choice for your little one’s first birthday as it is low in fat and has no added sugar.
That means your little munchkin can smash this cake and eat as much as he wants on his special day!
Whether you’re having a big celebration or a small family gathering, we all have different ideas about how best to celebrate our child’s first birthday, but we can all agree on this: There’s no party without a cake!
However, this doesn’t mean that the special day has to be filled with a huge amount of sugar.
It only takes a little bit of effort, and a lot of love, to make a perfect birthday cake for your kiddo.
These cakes have become such a hit at my children’s birthday parties that I have to make one every year now, but I always try out different versions to keep things interesting.
I’ve done everything from big, round cakes to cupcakes.
Here are three great ways to make a delicious cake for everyone, without an unnecessary sugar bomb, as a birthday party already causes an overdose of excitement.
Although buttercream, powdered sugar, chocolate, and puddings are really tasty, they are very unhealthy for your little one.
If you want to make a healthy and delicious vegan birthday cake, I’ve got you covered with these three very simple, but completely amazing, vegan smash cakes! Check them out below.
1. Gluten-Free Vegan Smash Cake Recipe
• 2 cups oat flour
• 1 cup non-dairy milk (cashew, soy, oat, or almond)
• 1 cup dates
• 1 tbs vanilla extract
• 2 ripe bananas
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 2 tbs lemon juice
• 1 tsp. cinnamon (ground – and yes, babies can have cinnamon)
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 3 similarly-sized dates
• 1 1/2 cups soaked cashews (soak two hours at least)
• 3 tbs coconut oil
• 1 tbs vanilla extract
• 1 tbs lemon juice
• 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
How to make the cake?
Pick the right-sized cake pan(s).
This cake can be baked in a 7 or 8-inch cake pan, or two to three 4 inches round, depending on which size cake you’d like.
If you don’t have round pans, you can use a rectangular pan for the cake and just cut it into layers.
Separate the wet and dry ingredients.
Before you start making this cake, make sure you have two separate mixing bowls for wet and dry ingredients.
This is an important step so you know the dry ingredients have been distributed evenly.
Make the oat flour.
This should be your first blending step as it is easier to use a dry blender or food processor than a wet one.
Make the flour before mixing wet ingredients.
There are different types of oat grains, but if you use oats for baking, rolled oats are just fine.
All wet ingredients should be blended before being mixed with dry ones.
To avoid lumpy batter or chunks of fruit at the bottom of the bowl, you need to blend the mashed bananas, lemon juice, non-dairy milk (of your choice), dates, and vanilla extract until you get a smooth cream.
Bananas serve as an egg replacement to combine all the ingredients, so they have to be mashed before blending.
You can use a food processor instead of a regular blender during this process.
Combine dry ingredients. Take a clean bowl and mix the dry ingredients together.
This way you distribute the rising agents, flour, and spice evenly and ensure you get a perfect cake.
Mix all ingredients.
The time has come – pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ones and mix them all until you get a smooth batter.
Leave it for 30 minutes and start working on the next step…
Preheat the oven.
The temperature should be around 350 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure to turn on the oven 5 – 15 minutes before baking.
Fill around 2/3 of each lightly greased pan.
There may be excess batter, which is okay as it depends on the type of cake pans you are using.
Baking time should be no longer than 50 – 60 minutes, but I recommend you do the toothpick test after 30 to 40 minutes.
How to make the frosting?
This part is quite simple, all you need to do is combine all the ingredients and puree them until you get a nice, soft cream.
Frosting should go into the refrigerator right after you blend it, and stay there until you are ready to use it.
Avoid leaving it at room temperature for too long as it may turn to liquid and make a mess on the cake.
Put the cake together
A key step is to cool the cake before putting frosting on it. When it is completely cool, form even cake layers with a knife.
Stack the layers with frosting and use the rest to decorate the cake as you like.
After you’re all done, put the cake into the fridge until it’s time to eat (and take pictures)!
Can I freeze the cake?
It’s completely safe to freeze. All you need to do is get some plastic wrap and cover each cake layer in it.
Thaw it before frosting.
Freezing is a great option if you think you won’t be able to make a fresh cake on time.
I wouldn’t recommend freezing it with frosting because it could all melt and make a mess.
Just remember, cake layers will take around 3 or 4 hours to thaw, so take them out of the freezer well in advance.
Also, don’t expect fluffy cake layers as you’re using gluten-free flour.
This cake reminds me more of banana bread, which is a regular treat in our house, and is delicious!
2. Vegan Healthy Smash Cake With Applesauce
If you prefer coconut cream and maple syrup, you will definitely love this 1st birthday smash cake!
• 1 cup flour
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• Pinch of salt
• 1/3 cup oat or soy milk
• 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1 ripe banana
• 1 tbs flax seed with 3 tsp of water
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon (and a bit of ginger or nutmeg)
• 2 tbs maple syrup
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1 can cold coconut cream
• Unsweetened coconut (for decoration)
• 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately.
Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and stir them with a whisk or spoon.
Blend the applesauce, banana, milk, flax, and water (lightly gelled), vanilla extract, and maple syrup.
You can do this by hand if you prefer, but I would recommend a blender as you need a smooth, creamy texture.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir until you get a smooth batter, taking care not to overmix so as to avoid a dense cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare two 4-inch cake pans, one 8-inch pan, or a cupcake pan by covering them with baking spray.
The cake should be done in 20 minutes, but it is better to check it with a toothpick.
How to make frosting?
For this part, you need coconut cream and cream of tartar (this is optional).
Take the coconut cream out of the fridge and try not to shake it until it is in the mixing bowl.
I would suggest using only the hardened cream, without the water from the bottom of the can.
You can use the water in another recipe if you like, but if you use too much of it for this frosting it will end up too thin.
Cream of tartar is optional and may be skipped as it only stabilizes the frosting.
If you skip this part, the cream might come off a little bit, but your one-year-old definitely won’t notice.
If you choose to use it, put the tartar into the coconut cream and beat it until the cream is fluffy and stiff.
This process might take around eight minutes, so be prepared for a lot of beating or use a mixer at low power.
Cut the tops of the layers to get nice, flat surfaces, and then do the frosting and decorations to your preference.
Keep the cake in the fridge until it’s time to sing “happy birthday” to your little one.
You can freeze layers of cake, but it’s not recommended to freeze it with the frosting on.
If you are a super busy mamma, this cake is perfect for you!
This recipe is usually made with whole wheat flour, but you can make it with wheat-free flour instead.
Also, if you want to replace bananas from any recipe, including this one, you can always use mashed sweet potato.
3. Paleo Vegan Smash Cake
This is one of the healthiest recipes perfect for everyone, even children with severe allergies.
A first birthday party is a big event for children and parents, but it is also tricky because you won’t usually know if any kids are allergic to any ingredients in the cake.
Therefore, the best thing to do is find a cake recipe that will be perfect for as many people as possible.
To make this paleo vegan smash cake, you’ll need:
• 1/4 cup coconut flour
• 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1 cup mashed sweet potato (cooled)
• 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
• 1 chia egg
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• 2 tsp coconut oil
• 1 ripe pitted avocado (medium size)
• 1/4 coconut milk or cream (room temperature)
• 1/4 carob powder
Make the chia egg. This is the first step, as it has to cool off for 10 to 15 minutes in the fridge.
I also want to clarify what a chia egg is right away, as many of you are probably wondering what on earth it is!
Take one tablespoon of chia seeds (ground) and mix it with 3 tablespoons of cold water. Leave it in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.
In the meantime, start preparing the cake by mixing coconut flour, sweet potato, cinnamon, baking soda, and coconut oil.
While your mixer is running, slowly drizzle in the chia egg and lemon juice and mix it for 30 seconds until you get a smooth batter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Baking time will be around 15 minutes, so make sure the oven is preheated before you put the cake layers in.
Make a baking sheet using parchment paper.
You can use a 3-inch biscuit cutter for easy cuts of cake layers.
Put the cutter on the baking sheet and scoop in around 1/4 of the batter.
Remove the cutter carefully and repeat this action three more times to get four 3-inch layers.
When they’re done, take the cake layers out of the oven and cool them on the countertop.
Do not use frosting on the cake layers before they are completely cooled off as your frosting might melt on the warm layers.
While you wait for the layers to cool off, take all the ingredients you need for the frosting, put them in the food processor or blender, and mix them until you get a very soft and smooth cream.
I suggest transferring it to a glass bowl before putting it in the fridge as plastic is porous.
Apply frosting to each layer as a cream and then decorate the cake as you like.
Make sure to save enough frosting for the cake cover after you apply it to all the layers.
The original recipe uses 2 tbsp of melted beef tallow, but I’d rather use the vegan version with coconut oil, and there isn’t much difference in structure and taste either way.
This cake is completely vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, and has no refined sugar.
It is also a great replacement for chocolate cake, and that’s coming from one of the biggest chocolate lovers in the world!
Why Go With A Smash Cake?
Smash cake is one of the best parts of a birthday party for every little kiddo as he can do what he likes the most, and is usually not allowed to: smash cakes.
However, this is not just entertainment for the birthday boy or girl and guests, it should become a common practice for other days too.
When a child starts eating solid food, parents usually blend everything during the first few months using a steamer or blender for baby food.
This is perfectly normal as we are all scared our child might choke if the food is not blended well.
Blending is more of a habit than a necessity, and if you blend food for too long it can produce more health problems than benefits.
Baby-led weaning is becoming a standard practice these days, which is great as babies get introduced to finger food at an early stage.
Smash cakes are the perfect food for baby-led weaning and fine motor development, as the baby first squishes the cake with his fingers and then uses the cake as finger food, learning how to eat on his own.
So, why wait until his next birthday? Make another vegan smash cake in a week or two.
After all, it is both healthy and satisfying.
Why Vegan Smash Cakes For The First BDay?
A lot of people asked me this when I made a vegan smash cake on my son’s first birthday.
Some were surprised, some were delighted, and some wanted to call social services as they thought I was a terrible mom for forbidding my child to eat sweets on his birthday.
I have nothing against it, but my children even love these cakes today now that they can have actual sweets.
Baby’s first birthday is a big event for your little one.
Even though he doesn’t really understand what is going on, he will get excited to see a lot of people, balloons, decorations, candles, and everything else about the birthday party theme.
A party is more than enough stimuli for him, so your kiddo doesn’t need any added sugar to get even more adrenaline.
Sweeteners have become such a big part of our everyday lives that we can’t imagine a cake without refined sugar.
Let’s not do the same to our children.
Vegan cakes can be made in a variety of delicious flavors, from peanut butter to fruits and veggies, and even with non-dairy cream cheese frostings.
The most important part of making a vegan smash cake is to keep an open mind and have a colorful imagination.
Play with it and try to make your own flavors. You can’t go too far wrong!
Frosting can be made from various ingredients, pick what you love the most and make a delicious treat for everyone!
The first birthday party is one of the most important days for babies and their parents as it represents several important milestones.
I won’t say it becomes easier, but at least most of you are done with colic, sore gums, and other reasons for crying through the whole night ( baby crying, not you).
Motherhood is a pretty difficult journey, especially for first-time mothers, I have to admit.
Yes, it is beautiful, but we as parents have so many decisions to make that it sometimes becomes frustrating, as we are always in fear of doing something wrong.
Birthday party preparation may seem like an easy task, but things are never as easy as they seem.
Of course, you want it to be a perfect day, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a sugary day.
I made this mistake with my daughter, making tons of cakes and cookies with a lot of sugar, and afterward she couldn’t sleep the whole night through.
Since I found out about these cakes I’ve been hooked, so now I usually make them in different shapes such as round cake, rectangular cake, small or big, and cupcakes.
Instead of giving tons of sugar to your little one on his first birthday, you can make delicious cakes with different frostings and yummy fruit cakes instead.
Switch buttercream with coconut cream, make an egg and dairy-free dessert for the whole family, and enjoy your new favorite treats!
All ingredients have healthy alternatives, as you can see from the recipes above, just play with your imagination.
You can do it!
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