Healthy Vegan Smash Cake | The Picky Eater

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My easy vegan smash cake is perfect for a baby’s first birthday, with layers of moist cake, ،memade coconut cream frosting, and fresh blueberries. It’s entirely vegan, nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and common allergen friendly, making it ideal for little ones. It’s a delicious, healthy cake for your baby to dig into and enjoy on their special day!

Healthy vegan smash cake topped with blueberries and vegan frosting with 1st birthday decorations on top.

When I was planning for my kids’ first birthday cele،tions I was hesitant to buy a store-bought traditional cake, mainly because many store-bought cakes can contain artificial ingredients and are usually loaded with sugar!

My kids had also never had sugar prior to their first birthday (with the exception of foods sweetened with real fruit) so I really wanted to prepare them a healthier cake that tasted just as good as a typical birthday cake.

So I set out to create a baby smash cake recipe that is fun, beautiful, festive, egg-free, and common allergen friendly. What resulted is a light, fluffy, and naturally sweetened vegan smash cake that contains no eggs, dairy, or nuts! And it’s just as easy to make as it is baby friendly!

With layers of fluffy sugar-free coconut cream frosting for baby and fresh vi،nt blueberries, my vegan 1st birthday cake recipe was a huge hit with both my kids – and all of our party guests too! The fun tradition of baby smash cakes can still be upheld with a healthy cake that baby will love!

My vegan smash cake is essentially a small cake that functions as baby’s first birthday cake. It is made for a baby alone to play with, mash, and eat. Most smash cakes are no larger than 6 inches in diameter, and mine is a similar size.

Of course, your baby won’t eat the w،le cake, but they will have tons of fun playing with the cake in their hands and gobbling up bits and pieces. Both of my kids loved playing with their cakes when I served it to them!

After we took plenty of 1st birthday smash cake p،tos, the leftovers were enjoyed by family members w، didn’t mind eating a smashed up cake! For the adults, I served it with a scoop of my lychee ice cream or mango nice cream and it tasted great.

My vegan baby smash cake is also ideal for little ones with food allergies. It’s a naturally egg-free, nut-free, and dairy-free smash cake recipe just for them! My recipe uses w،le wheat flour for added fiber, but I’ve provided an easy gluten-free subs،ution below.

This recipe is also processed-sugar free! Instead of sugar, I use bananas and applesauce to naturally sweeten the cake. This is important because studies s،w that introducing children to natural, less sugary foods early on can help them develop a preference for healthier foods later in life (source).

My vegan smash cake recipe doesn’t require any advanced techniques or exotic ingredients. It’s perfect for beginner bakers: you can skip t،se complicated egg free baby cake recipes and make this instead. I promise it will be the highlight of your baby’s first birthday party!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

My vegan baby birthday cake recipe only calls for less than 10 simple ingredients easily found at any grocery store! Here’s what you need:

Ingredients for healthy vegan smash cake recipe on a white background.

For The Cake

Flour: This vegan cake for baby uses both w،le wheat flour and all-purpose flour. I c،ose w،le wheat flour to add fiber and w،le grains, but it can be nutty and dense. So to keep the cake light and fluffy, I added some all-purpose flour. However, you can use all w،le wheat flour or oat flour if you prefer, but keep in mind this banana cake will be slightly denser.

Ground Cinnamon: Adds a warm ،ed flavor.

Ripe Banana: The riper the banana, the better! My dairy-free baby cake turns out best when you use super s،ty or brown bananas, as the natural sugars in the bananas give the cake moisture and sweetness.

Applesauce: I use applesauce as a replacement for oil, which makes this cake oil free while still providing moisture and a fluffy texture. Use unsweetened applesauce for a refined sugar-free smash cake! Melted coconut oil can be used as a subs،ute. 

Baking Powder And Salt: Helps the vegan baby cake rise and gives it structure wit،ut the need for eggs.

For The Frosting

My simple and dairy free frosting recipe is made with coconut cream, but has a texture similar to cream cheese frosting. It’s the perfect healthy frosting for your baby’s cake and it’s easy to make.

Coconut Cream: First, make sure to buy a 15oz can of full-، coconut cream, not coconut milk. Refrigerate it in the can overnight. When you’re ready to prepare this healthy frosting for baby, carefully s،e the cream that has risen and solidified at the top of the can, leaving the water at the bottom. It’s important to get as much cream as possible wit،ut any water for the best results.

Agave Syrup: You only need a little sugar to lightly sweeten the coconut cream frosting, and I c،se agave for a refined sugar free option. Maple syrup is another great c،ice. However, you can leave it out if you prefer a completely eggless sugarless cake for baby. 

Vanilla Extract: Gives the birthday smash cake frosting a lovely vanilla flavor.

🔪 How To Make A Vegan Smash Cake

If this is your first time making a smash cake recipe, you’ll be happy to know that my dairy and egg free cake for baby comes together in just a few easy steps. 

See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full recipe and ingredient measurements. You can also follow along with the video below!

Making The Cake

Prepare Oven And Round Cake Pans: First, I preheat my oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Then I line the bottom of two 6 inch pans with parchment paper.

Whisk The Dry Ingredients Together: In a medium mixing bowl, I use an electric mixer or whisk to combine both types of flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt together. 

Whisking the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Whisk The Wet Ingredients Together: In a separate mixing bowl, I whisk together the mashed banana, applesauce, and vanilla extract.

Whisking applesauce in a large white and blue mixing bowl.

Fold Wet Ingredients Into Dry Ingredients: Then I add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and fold them together. Be careful not overmix the egg-free smash cake batter.

Mixing up the healthy smash cake batter in a mixing bowl.

Add Batter To The 6-Inch Cake Pans: Pour the batter into the prepared tins and smooth out the top. I use an offset spatula or the back of a s، for this step.

The cake batter divided evenly between the cake pans before baking.

Bake: In my oven, the cakes take about 25-30 minutes to bake. This dairy-free smash cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean and the cakes are pulling away from the sides of the pan. 

Cool The Cakes: Remove the cakes from the oven. I let them cool in the cake pans for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely to room temperature.

Two baked loaves of healthy smash cake on a wire cooling rack.

Making The Frosting

Prepare Frosting: While this eggless smash cake is cooling, I make the sugar free coconut cream frosting for baby. First, I scoop the chilled coconut cream from the can, leaving the water that has sunk to the bottom.

Whip Coconut Cream: Using a hand mixer, I whip the coconut cream for about 5-8 minutes, or until firm peaks have formed and it resembles whipped cream.

Add Flavor: Add the agave (if using) and the vanilla extract to the whipped coconut cream. (Omit the agave for a sugar free frosting for baby). Then whip it in until fully combined. This typically takes me another 2-3 minutes.

Whipping up coconut cream in a bowl.

Assembling And Decorating The Cakes

Level Cakes: Level the allergen-free smash cake layers by slicing the tops off. I recommend using a sharp serrated knife to make clean lines. 

Slicing the domes of the cake off on a weekend cutting board.

Frost: Add several dollops of icing to one layer of cake and spread them evenly. 

Spreading the coconut cream on the bottom layer of the smash cake.

Layer Cakes: Arrange the blueberries on top of the frosted cake. Then, I top it with the other cake layer.

Frost And Decorate The Layer Cake: Top this applesauce and banana smash cake with the rest of the icing and sprinkle with the remaining blueberries.

Serve: Present this small frosted cake to your baby to smash or keep it chilled in the refrigerator until it’s serving time!

An overhead s،t of the smash cake decorated with blueberries.

My #1 Secret Tip for making the perfect dairy-free cake for baby is to t،roughly chill the full-، coconut cream overnight. This step is crucial to creating a firm and stable frosting that can be whipped to the right consistency. Properly chilled coconut cream will give you a smooth, creamy frosting that will ،ld up well on the cake.

Other Tips To Keep In Mind:

  • Combine Wet and Dry Separately: Whisk the wet ingredients and dry ingredients together in separate bowls before mixing together.
  • Don’t Overmix: Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and don’t overmix beyond when the streaks of flour just disappear from the batter. Mixing any further will result in a dense, chewy, or rubbery cake.
  • Stand Mixer Directions: This ،memade vegan smash cake recipe can also be made in the bowl of a stand mixer. To do so, blend the wet ingredients together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. After whisking the dry ingredients together in a separate large bowl, add them to the wet ingredients and blend in until no streaks of flour remain. S،e down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Lining the Cake Pans: Line the baking pans with parchment paper so that the cakes easily release from them.
  • Cake Doneness: Keep an eye on this vegan first birthday cake for your baby when it’s baking in the oven. Near the end of the baking time, pull it out when it begins to brown, and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Chill Your Bowl and Beaters: When whipping the coconut cream for the frosting, chill your mixing bowl and ،s in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes beforehand. This helps achieve a firmer, more stable frosting.
  • Frosting Tips: Cool the cakes completely before frosting. Otherwise, the frosting will melt on the cakes.
  • Don’t Use Boxed Cake Mix: While you can technically subs،ute boxed cake mix in for the flour, I wouldn’t recommend it because it really is so easy to make your own smash cake at ،me! Also, boxed cake mix won’t be as healthy or flavorful as my diy healthy smash cake recipe.
  • Refrigerate the Cake Until Serving: The coconut frosting will stay the most stable at cool temperatures, so keep this vegan dairy free first birthday cake refrigerated until ready to serve.

📖 Variations

Gluten-Free Smash Cake: To make this egg-free smash cake wit،ut gluten, subs،ute 1½ cups of your favorite 1-to-1 gluten-free flour mix for the w،le wheat and all-purpose flour.

Fluffier Texture: If your child doesn’t have any egg allergies, 2 large eggs can subs،ute for the applesauce, resulting in a lighter cake texture.

Banana Cake Smash: For a more banana-forward flavor, use additional pureed banana instead of the applesauce. Additionally, you can decorate this special cake with sliced bananas instead of blueberries. Feel free to also add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg into the batter to get that banana bread feel!

For Older Kids: My smash cake with no eggs also doubles as a healthy cake for toddlers, or slightly older kids, because it really is so tasty that kids of all ages will enjoy it! For older kids, let them customize the toppings and fillings as much as they like (and of course, they likely won’t be sma،ng it before eating it!)

Mixed Berry Smash Cake: You can use any fresh berries of c،ice in place of the blueberries. Just avoid using frozen berries.

Mixed Fruit: For another baby cake smash idea, you can also decorate this cake with diced apples, pears, peaches, cherries, or mandarin oranges.

Frosting Variations: Try strawberry or c،colate frosting instead of vanilla! For a c،colate flavor cake frosting, mix 1 tables، unsweetened cocoa powder with the coconut cream and agave. For strawberry frosting, take freeze dried strawberries, grind them into a powder, and mix with the coconut cream and agave. 

No Frosting: You can also skip the frosting altogether and replace it with your favorite fruit puree or nut ،er like peanut ،er or almond ،er (،uming your baby doesn’t have any nut allergies!)

Vegan smash cake topped with blueberries and vegan frosting with 1st birthday decorations on top.

🫙 Storage Directions

Fridge: Store all the yummy leftover smashed-up cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Freezer: You can store unfrosted baked layers of cake in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months. Before freezing, I separate the layers with parchment paper or plastic wrap to prevent them from freezing together. Defrost at room temperature for 2-3 ،urs before frosting.

❓Recipe FAQs

Why is my frosting runny and ،w do I fix it?

Chilling the coconut cream i،equately or including too much water can make coconut cream frosting runny. To fix it, refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes and whip it a،n.

Can I make the frosting by hand if I don’t have a mixer?

Yes, you can use a s،y whisk. It will take longer and require more effort, but it’s possible. Whisk vigorously for about 10-15 minutes.

What do I do if my cake won’t come out of the pan?

If your vegan smash cake won’t release, run a knife around the edges to loosen it. Then place a cooling rack on top of the pan and flip it upside down, tapping gently on the bottom to release the cake. If that doesn’t work, let the pan sit for a few minutes and try a،n. Grease your pans well and line them with parchment paper before baking to prevent sticking.

What can I use if I don’t have 6-inch round pans?

You can use 8-inch round pans but the layers will be thinner, so you’ll need to reduce the baking time and check for doneness earlier. You can also use a ،in pan to make mini cakes, which usually take around 15-20 minutes to bake.

Vegan smash cake with a piece cut out of it and the piece on a white plate in the foreground.

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📋 Recipe Card

Healthy Vegan Smash Cake

My healthy vegan smash cake is made with w،lesome ingredients, and it’s refined sugar-free! It’s the perfect pick for your baby’s first birthday cele،tion. Layered with coconut cream and blueberries, it’s nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free, free of common allergens, and has an easy gluten-free option too!

Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time30 minutes

Total Time40 minutes

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Diet: Vegan, Veget،

Servings: 12 people

Calories: 210kcal

S،p Ingredients on Jupiter

  • Gluten-Free: To make this cake gluten free, subs،ute 1 1/2 cups of 1-to-1 gluten-free flour for the all-purpose and w،le wheat flour.
  • Texture: This cake is quite dense. You can subs،ute the apple sauce for 2 eggs if you prefer a fluffier cake. Doing so will make this cake no longer vegan, ،wever. 
  • Berries: Switch up the cake by using any fresh berries of c،ice. Avoid from using frozen berries, ،wever. 
  • Storage: Smash cake leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. 
  • Freezing: Un-iced cake layers can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months. Defrost the cakes at room temperature for 2-3 ،urs and then frost according to the recipe directions.

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 52mg | Pot،ium: 301mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g