Smash Cake

Dairy-Free Smash Cake Recipes

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Updated on February 25, 2024

A smash cake is a small, single-layer cake that is made specifically for a baby’s first birthday celebration. It is meant to be smashed and smooshed by the birthday child, creating a fun and messy photo opportunity.

First birthdays are milestones filled with joy, memories, and of course, adorable smash cakes! But for families with dairy allergies or dietary restrictions, finding a delicious and safe smash cake can be a challenge. Worry not, because the world of dairy-free cakes is exploding with creative and tasty options for your little one’s big day!


Definition of a Smash Cake

A smash cake is a small cake just for babies. We made it for their first birthday party. The word “smash” comes from how the baby plays with the cake. They use their hands to dig in and make a mess with it! It’s smaller than normal cakes, about 4 inches around.

When we say “dairy-free”, it means the cake has no milk products in it. This kind of cake is great for kids who can’t eat dairy because they get sick or have allergies. This fun mini cake aims to give your baby an exciting time on their big day!

Purpose of a Smash Cake for a Baby’s First Birthday

Smash Cake

A smash cake brings joy to a baby’s first birthday. It’s not just a small cake. It is a fun and messy plaything for your little one. Babies love to feel, squish, and even taste bits of it.

This lets them explore new things with their hands and mouths. Plus, we all know how cute those photos can be! The smash cake gives babies their own piece of the party, making their first-year celebration extra special. It’s not as large as the main birthday cake, so they can handle it easily. So yes, we make these cakes smaller in size but full of lots of love!

How to Make a Dairy-Free Smash Cake

To make a dairy-free smash cake, gather the necessary ingredients for the cake and frosting, then follow these step-by-step instructions.

Smash Cake
Pink Ombre Rose Smash Cake. Celebration concept.

Ingredients for the Cake

We are going to tell you what you need for the cake. You will need ripe bananas. They will give a sweet taste to your cake. Next, get some applesauce. It will act as a good substitute for sugar. It also helps to make the cake moist.

Ingredients for the Frosting

We love making frosting for a dairy-free smash cake. It’s fun to work with different ingredients. Here are some of our favourite ones to use:

  1. Coconut cream is excellent. It gives the cake a pleasant taste.
  2. Vegan butter makes it smooth and sweet.
  3. Organic powdered sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness.
  4. Dairy-free milk keeps everything blended well.

Step-by-step Instructions for Making the Cake

Let’s get started on this fun and easy dairy-free smash cake.

  1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (about 175 Celsius).
  2. Next, grab a big bowl. Mix your dry ingredients: two cups of almond flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Now’s the time to spice it up! Stir in some tasty cinnamon.
  4. In another bowl, mash three ripe bananas until smooth. This is our natural sweetener – no need for added sugars!
  5. Add half a cup of organic cinnamon applesauce to the bananas. Yes, it brings flavour and moisture without extra fats or oils!
  6. Now mix the wet and dry mixes together well.
  7. The next step is to pour this batter into a round cake pan that you’ve lined with baking paper.
  8. Into the oven, it goes for about 25 minutes, or until firm to touch in the centre.
  9. Once done, give it time to cool down completely before taking it out of its pan.

Step-by-step Instructions for Making the Frosting

We love making frosting cakes! Here is how to whip up a dairy-free frosting for your smash cake:

  1. Get four simple ingredients: coconut cream, icing sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
  2. Start by chilling the can of coconut cream overnight.
  3. The next day, scoop out the solid part into a large bowl.
  4. Use an electric mixer to whip the cream until it is light and fluffy.
  5. Add in icing sugar little by little while you mix it.
  6. Pour in some vanilla extract and fresh lemon juice for taste.
  7. Continue to whip until everything blends well.

Smash Cake Fun: Delicious Dairy-Free Options for your Little One

First birthdays are milestones filled with joy, memories, and of course, adorable smash cakes! But for families with dairy allergies or dietary restrictions, finding a delicious and safe smash cake can be a challenge. Worry not, because the world of dairy-free cakes is exploding with creative and tasty options for your little one’s big day!

Here’s your guide to creating a delightful dairy-free smash cake:

Base Options

  • Fruits and veggies: Skip the flour altogether and build a base with mashed bananas, sweet potatoes, or avocado. These naturally sweet options are packed with nutrients and easy to digest.
  • Gluten-free flours: Choose from a variety like almond, oat, coconut, or chickpea flour for a sturdy and delicious base. Remember to pair them with appropriate leavening agents like baking powder or flax eggs.
  • Nut-free flours: If nut allergies are a concern, explore options like rice flour, tapioca flour, or even quinoa flour. These flours work well with added binding agents like chia seeds or psyllium husk.


  • Ditch the refined sugar and opt for natural sweetness with bananas, applesauce, dates, or maple syrup. Remember to adjust the amount based on the chosen sweetener’s natural sweetness.

Frosting Fun

  • Whipped coconut cream: Whip chilled coconut cream for a light and fluffy frosting. Add a touch of maple syrup or vanilla extract for extra flavor.
  • Avocado frosting: Blend avocado with mashed banana, cocoa powder, and a touch of maple syrup for a rich and creamy chocolate frosting.

Flavour Variations

  • Spice it up! Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to the batter or frosting for a warm and festive flavour.
  • Get fruity! Blend fruit purees like mango, strawberry, or blueberry into the batter for a vibrant color and subtle sweetness.
  • Chocolate cravings? Use melted dark chocolate or carob chips in the batter or frosting for a rich and indulgent touch.

Additional Frosting Options

  • Cashew butter frosting: Blend cashew butter with maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and a touch of vanilla extract for a creamy and nutty frosting.
  • Sunflower seed butter frosting: Similar to cashew butter frosting, but with a milder nut flavor.
  • Aquafaba frosting: For a vegan meringue-style frosting, whip the chickpea water (aquafaba) with sugar and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.

Decoration Inspiration

  • Food art designs: Use sliced fruits or vegetable pieces to create shapes like stars, hearts, or smiley faces on the cake.
  • Natural dyes: Make colorful decorations by blending fruits or vegetables like beets, spinach, or blueberries into purees and using them as icing dye.
  • Edible flowers: Decorate with edible flowers like pansies, violas, or nasturtiums for a whimsical touch.

Additional Tips

  • Freeze for later: Make the cake layers and frosting ahead of time and freeze them individually. Thaw overnight before assembling and decorating.
  • Let baby explore: Place the cake on a wipeable surface and let your little one have fun! Don’t worry about mess; focus on the joy and experience.
  • Capture the moment: Take photos and videos of your baby’s smash cake adventure to cherish these precious memories.

Tips for a Successful Dairy-Free Smash Cake

Smash Cake

Here are some general tips to make your smash cake look and taste great:

  • Add a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey to the batter for a sweeter cake.
  • Add a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract to the batter for a more flavourful cake.
  • Add sprinkles, edible flowers, or fruit to the frosting to make the cake more festive.
  • Let your baby have fun smashing the cake!

Substitutions for a Dairy-Free Smash Cake

Discover recommended substitutions for dairy-free ingredients, tips for frosting and decorating the cake, as well as ideas for toppings and decorations. Get ready to create a delicious and beautiful dairy-free smash cake!

Recommended Substitutions for Dairy-Free Ingredients

In the world of dairy-free baking, many alternatives can be used in place of traditional dairy ingredients. These substitutions allow those with dairy allergies or intolerances to enjoy tasty treats and add unique flavours and textures to your creations.

Dairy IngredientDairy-Free Substitution
MilkSoy, almond, cashew, coconut, and rice milk are all good alternatives. Each one brings its own unique taste and texture to your baking.
ButterCoconut oil can be a good substitute for butter in most baking recipes. Avocado and apple sauce are also great alternatives, particularly when making moist cakes like a smash cake.
CreamCanned coconut milk or cream can be an excellent substitution for heavy cream in baking recipes. It whips up nicely and adds a subtle coconut flavour to your dishes.
ButtermilkFor each cup of buttermilk in a recipe, you can substitute with one cup of almond or soy milk mixed with one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice.
CheeseCashew cheese and nutritional yeast can be used to replace traditional cheese. Nutritional yeast provides a cheesy flavour and is also a good source of vitamin B12.

Remember, when making substitutions in your baking, also pay close attention to your cake’s texture and moisture level. This will ensure you achieve the perfect smash cake for your little one’s first birthday. Happy baking!

Tips for Frosting and Decorating the Cake

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to frosting and decorating a dairy-free smash cake. Here are some tips to help you make your cake look beautiful and delicious:

  1. Use a dairy-free frosting recipe: Look for a vegan frosting recipe or make your own using dairy-free ingredients like coconut oil, almond milk, or vegan butter.
  2. Get creative with decorations: Use fresh fruits, edible flowers, or dairy-free sprinkles to add colour and texture to your cake. You can also pipe on designs using the dairy-free frosting.
  3. Experiment with different piping techniques: Try using different tips and techniques to create unique patterns or designs on your cake. You can use a star tip for rosettes or a round tip for polka dots.
  4. Consider using natural food colouring: If you want to add some colour to your frosting, opt for natural food colouring made from fruits and vegetables instead of artificial dyes.
  5. Chill the cake before decorating: It’s easier to work with chilled cakes as they hold their shape better while decorating. Place the cake in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before adding the frosting and decorations.
  6. Take your time: Decorating a cake takes patience, so don’t rush the process. Take your time spreading the frosting evenly and carefully placing the decorations.

Ideas for Toppings and Decorations

Smash Cake
A Smash Cake with an anchor for the child.

When it comes to topping and decorating your dairy-free smash cake, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some ideas that will make your cake look and taste amazing:

  1. Fresh Fruits: Top your cake with slices of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or any other fruit you like. They add a pop of colour and freshness to the cake.
  2. Edible Flowers: Use edible flowers like violets or pansies to decorate the top of your cake. They not only look beautiful but also add a subtle floral flavour.
  3. Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache: Drizzle some dairy-free chocolate ganache over the cake for a delicious and decadent touch. You can make the ganache using dairy-free chocolate chips and coconut cream.
  4. Sprinkles or Confetti: Add a playful touch to your cake by sprinkling colourful sprinkles or confetti on top. It adds a festive vibe and will delight kids and adults.
  5. Coconut Whipped Cream: If you want a creamy frosting alternative, try coconut whipped cream. Whip up some chilled coconut cream with a little sweetener until it becomes light and fluffy, then spread it on top of the cake.
  6. Nuts or Shredded Coconut: For added texture, sprinkle some chopped nuts or shredded coconut on top of the frosting. It adds a crunch factor and complements the flavours of the cake.

What You Should Know about Smash Cakes

What size should a smash cake be? Can babies eat cake on their first birthday? Do you do a smash cake for a second birthday?

What size should a smash cake be?

When it comes to smash cakes, the size can vary depending on personal preference. Typically, a smash cake is more petite and round in shape. The average size usually ranges from a jumbo-sized cupcake to a 6-inch cake.

However, there is no definitive answer to the size of a first birthday smash cake. Some people prefer a smaller 4-inch cake, while others opt for a slightly larger 6-inch one. It’s also worth noting that square cakes tend to be closer to 6 inches in size. Ultimately, the choice of size depends on what you feel would be best for your little one’s special day!

Can babies eat cake on their first birthday?

On a baby’s first birthday, it is safe and suitable for them to have cake. It’s an important milestone to celebrate, and having a smash cake can make it even more special. The article provides a homemade recipe that is baby-friendly and delicious.

Using ingredients like carrots and bananas adds flavour and extra nutrition to the cake. So go ahead and let your little one enjoy their first taste of cake on their big day!

Do you do a smash cake for a second birthday?

Yes, you can definitely have a smash cake for a second birthday! While smash cakes are traditionally associated with a baby’s first birthday, they can also be enjoyed by older children.

It’s a fun way to celebrate and let them have some messy, cake-filled fun. Whether it’s their first or second birthday, the dairy-free and gluten-free smash cake recipe mentioned earlier would be a great option to consider. It’s simple to make at home and can be customized with your child’s favourite flavours and toppings. So let them enjoy the joy of smashing into their special cake on their second birthday, too!


In conclusion, the Dairy Free Smash Cake Recipe is a delicious and healthy option for celebrating your baby’s first birthday. This gluten-free and dairy-free cake is made with coconut cream and blueberries, providing a naturally sweetened treat that everyone can enjoy.

With its simple preparation process and versatile adaptations, this smash cake recipe is a beautiful choice for any family looking to create special memories on their little one’s big day. So grab your mixing bowl, and let the smashing fun begin!


1. Can I make a dairy-free smash cake without any unique ingredients?

Yes, you can make a dairy-free smash cake using ingredients such as dairy-free butter or margarine and plant-based milk alternatives.

2. Are there any alternatives to cow’s milk in the recipe?

Yes, in the recipe, you can use plant-based milk alternatives like almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk as substitutes for cow’s milk.

3. How long does it take to bake a dairy-free smash cake?

The baking time for a dairy-free smash cake is usually around 30-40 minutes, but it may vary depending on your oven and the size of the cake tin used.

4. Can I still decorate a dairy-free smash cake with frosting and toppings?

Yes, you can decorate a dairy-free smash cake with dairy alternatives like vegan frosting made from coconut cream or cashew cream. You can also use fruit slices or edible decorations for added flair.

5. Can I store a leftover slice of a dairy-free smash cake?

It is best to consume the whole cake immediately after smashing it, as leftovers may not retain their freshness and texture due to the absence of preservatives commonly found in store-bought cakes.

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