Made without any added sugar, this first birthday cake is super easy to make, healthy, and delicious! It can also be made ahead of time.
What makes this the BEST first Birthday cake?
Planning for this huge milestone can be both exciting and stressful! There are so many details to tend to, and time seems to move at lightning speed leading up to the big event.
Allow me to lighten your load with this super EASY birthday cake recipe. It doesn't come with a laundry list of ingredients, and you probably have most if not all of them on hand right now!
It's also made without any added sugars. While it's really ok for your baby to have some on their first birthday, if you'd like to hold off on introducing until later as recommended, I've got you covered!
This birthday cake is sweetened with fruits only and is delicious for babies, kids, and adults!
And it will save you a lot of money too.
I will say that the texture of this cake is more dense than a traditional smash cake. However, your baby won't have any trouble eating it (I've included below pictures of babies enjoying this cake on their special day).
Rolled Oats - You can purchase oat flour but making it at home is so easy and also cheaper!
Bananas - Make sure they are ripe with brown spots. The more ripe they are, the sweeter and more moist the cakes will be.
Greek yogurt - This is a KEY ingredient for this cake. Make sure it's full-fat and unsweetened. See FAQ below for more details.
Eggs - make sure to bring to room temperature and whisk before combining with other wet ingredients.
You may also like: 3 Ingredient Banana Cookies
three 4 or 5 inch pans work best for this recipe. You can use round or any fun-shaped pan. I have these heart-shaped ones that I use throughout the year for special occasions.
If you want to use a larger size, be sure to adjust the baking time accordingly.
I also highly recommend getting springform pans. You will be able to easily remove the cakes rather than having to invert.
Either grease the pans or line with parchment paper for easier removal. Trace the cake pans onto parchment paper, cut, and line the pans.
How to Make Baby Smash Cake
- Add oats to a food processor/blender and process to flour like consistency.
- In a large bowl, combine oat flour with the rest of the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients together.
- Combine dry and wet ingredients together and mix until well combined. Don't over mix.
- Evenly distribute the batter into three 5 inch cake pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Note: Let it cool slightly in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
In the meantime prepare the frosting of choice(see below).
7. Slice the rounded top off of each cake to create a flat surface.
8. Add dollops of frosting to first layer of cake and spread evenly. Place the second layer on top and repeat. You can go a step further and frost the entire cake.
How to Make Baby Cake Frosting
I am terrible at decorating cakes or anything for that matter. So I'm keeping things simple. Here are some options:
- Cream Cheese - Soften an 8 ounce block at room temperature for at least an hour. Transfer to a bowl, and using an electric or stand mixer, beat until fluffy.
- Coconut Cream - First, refrigerate a 15 ounce can of FULL FAT coconut cream (not milk!) overnight. I personally love the Aroy-D brand. DON'T shake. Carefully scoop out the cream at the top, leaving the liquid at the bottom of the can. Add to a bowl, and using an electric or stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy.
- Whipped Cream - Beat 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. Using an electric or stand mixer, beat until it's the consistency of whipped cream.
- Greek Yogurt - I don't recommend regular yogurt as the consistency is too thin. You will need 1-2 cups depending on how much of the cake you want to frost.
To any of these options, you can add some vanilla extract, maple syrup, date syrup, and/or freeze-dried fruits for flavor and color. Here's how:
Blend freeze-dried raspberries (strawberries or blueberries will work too, depending on your color preference) in a food processor until they turn into a fine powder and then mix into frosting of choice. That's it!
Make Ahead Tips
If you are unable to make the day of, I recommend baking no earlier than a day before for best results. Make sure to cool the cakes completely. Then wrap in plastic wrap and place in a ziploc bag or airtight container.
You will be amazed by how much this step will help keep your cake moist! Leave on the countertop overnight.
You can refrigerate for up to 3 days. However, the cakes will become denser.
If you need to make it earlier than 3 days prior, then I suggest freezing and taking it out the morning of to thaw. It will taste fresher than when stored in the fridge for several days.
The cakes are good in the freezer for up to 3 months.
As for the frosting, you can refrigerate overnight. If using the cream cheese version, be sure to bring it to room temperature before frosting the cake so that it will spread more easily.
Frost right before serving for best results.
Frequently Asked Questions
You will notice that the recipe makes 3 cakes. You can certainly use all of them, but I personally like to keep it to 2 for simplicity and to not make it so overwhelming for the baby. You can also do just one layer but having two will give the cake some height for the pictures.
If there's an older sibling, you can use the extra cake (if not using all of them) to make a mini cake for them as well. My son oftentimes gets jealous of his sister, so I purposefully developed this recipe with him in mind.
It helps keep the cake light and moist while imparting flavor and boosting nutrition. You can substitute with a non-dairy GREEK yogurt alternative, if there's a dairy allergy.
When you taste the cake straight from the oven, it will taste yogurt-forward. However, once cooled, I promise you the flavor will mellow out to the point that you almost can’t even taste it anymore.
I believe any flour will work, although the texture will vary. I recommend spelt flour or if looking for a gluten-free option, try with ½ of gluten free flour + ½ almond flour.
I haven't tried but am working on an egg-free version!
As a registered dietitian and someone who struggled with an unhealthy relationship with food, I believe it's important to stay away from labeling food as good or bad.
I highly encourage you to read this post - 5 ways to help your child to develop a healthy relationship with food.
As your child grows older and becomes aware of sweets, it is important to implement a sweets policy However, for children under 2 years of age, it is best to avoid added sugars. Now, if you feel strongly about enjoying a birthday smash cake with sugar, then by all means, go for it. A little bit of sugar won’t hurt your baby.
Absolutely! If you decide to do 2 layers, you will be able to get 6 muffins with this recipe. You can certainly double or triple the recipe too.
You can place the cake on the highchair tray, the table or the floor. Your baby may just go for it and smash the cake all over their hands, feet, face, hair, and Lord knows wherever else!
Or they may be super shy and anxious from all the eyes staring at them and just poke at it. This was the case with both of my kids. My daughter felt much more comfortable when I removed one of the layers, and then she just went to town!
Whatever the case is, hope you cherish this huge milestone and joyous celebration to the fullest!
And this cake isn't just for first birthdays! Made with only wholesome ingredients, you can serve for breakfast, lunch (great for lunch boxes), or snack time to your baby, toddler, and kids. I like to make extra for myself, too!
It's absolutely delicious without the frosting too.
What Others Are Saying
As I mentioned earlier, I am hopeless when it comes to decorating cakes or anything for that matter so when these sweet mamas shared with me their creations and precious images of their babies enjoying my recipe, I was so amazed!
This mama added raspberries to the cake batter and used a 7 inch spring form pan. She tripled the recipe to make a one layer cake and 12 muffins. She used Greek yogurt frosting.
Here is an example of a 3 layer cake that this mama made with Greek yogurt and my date syrup frosting.
This mama made a large one layer cake and used cream cheese + whipped cream + freeze dried strawberries for the frosting.
Look at those toppers! Here is a 3 layered cake with whipped cream.
This mama doubled the recipe and used three 6 inch cake pans.
And like I said, this cake is great for any birthday, celebration, or ordinary day. This mama made this recipe for her son's second birthday.
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!
Healthy First Birthday Cake Without Sugar
- ¾ cup (6 ounces) Whole Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 cup (240g) mashed bananas, about 2 medium (make sure to use very ripe ones)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup raspberries or blueberries (optional)
- ¼ cup coconut oil (optional, see note)
- 2 cups (200g) rolled oats
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Grease or line cake pans with parchment paper.
- Add oats to a food processor or blender and blend into a flour. You can also use oat flour if you have it. Combine with the rest of dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients together.
- Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix until everything's well incorporated.
- Evenly distribute the batter into three 5 inch cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool slightly in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the meantime prepare the frosting of choice(see note).
- Slice the rounded top off of each cake to create a flat surface. Add dollops of frosting to first layer of cake and spread evenly. Place the second layer on top and repeat. You can go a step further and frost the entire cake.
Cream Cheese - Soften an 8 ounce block at room temperature for at least an hour. Transfer to a bowl, and using an electric or stand mixer, beat until fluffy.
Coconut Cream - First, refrigerate a 15 ounce can of FULL FAT coconut cream (not milk!) overnight. I personally love the Aroy-D brand. DON'T shake. Carefully scoop out the cream at the top, leaving the liquid at the bottom of the can. Add to a bowl, and using an electric or stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy.
Whipped Cream - Beat 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. Using an electric or stand mixer, beat until it's the consistency of whipped cream.
Greek Yogurt - I don't recommend regular yogurt as the consistency is too thin. You will need 1-2 cups depending on how much of the cake you want to frost.