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.
What is a smash Cake?
I had to include this because having grown up in Korea, I had no idea what a smash cake is. It sounded very odd.
I've learned that it's a small cake made specifically for a baby's first birthday that you can place on a highchair on the floor (don't forget to cover it!). Then you watch with much excitement (or horror, says this OCD mama) as your baby "smash" into it their cake with their hands, face, bodies. Basically anything goes.
It's meant to be fun, messy, and what will stick with you are all the wonderful pictures to look back on for years to come.
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 smashing and 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 Smash Cake Without Sugar
- ¾ cup (6 ounces) Whole milk Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 cup (240g) mashed bananas, about 3 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.
Do you think adding apple or sweet potato puree could work?
I haven't tried but I'm sure it will! And make the cake more moist too
Hello… Can I use quick oats instead of rolled oats to make the oat flour? Thanks!
Hello min! Do you know how many cups of oat flour to put? I only have oat flour already where as your recipe says 2 cups of Oats without them being already processed. It says 200gr but I don't have a scale. Thanks!
You can actually use 2 cups oat flour!
Hello! Thank you for your amazing recipes! I had bookmarked this smash cake recipe for my daughters first birthday, but of course, my oven has decided to stop working! Could I bake this cake in an oven style air fryer? It’s the only option I have at this short notice 😩
Oh I'm so sorry that happened! Unfortunately I actually don't own an air fryer so I'm unable to guide you in the right direction
Any recommendations on different fruit other than banana. Baby gets a rash from banana
I would substitute with applesauce!
Would a plant based yogurt and flax eggs work for this? Dealing with milk and egg allergies!
Can I use spelt flour instead of Oat flour?
So sorry, I meant Min!!
Hi Min, can I use all purpose flour instead of oat flour? Would it be same measurement? Thank you 😊
Hi! Yes you can! While I haven't specifically tried with this recipe, from past experience same measurement should work just fine. let me know how they turn out!
I made this for my 2-year-old with a bit of coconut oil that I eyeballed for measurement, and whipped creamed sweetened with the date syrup I had already made using the recipe from your site as well ☺️ I separated the batter into the cake portion and the rest as muffins, but I poured too much into my cake pan that it was still a bit uncooked after the suggested bake time. So, I did what us mothers do best, I improvised with the muffins to make a tiny little cake 😆 She enjoyed the icing very much, screamed after I cut the muffin to make it easier for her to eat, but later ate the other muffins. The sweetness from the bananas was perfect, and the raspberries tangy-ness really gives the cake/muffin another layer of flavour that is just so addictive! I’ll add this to my list of favorite muffin recipes from you ❤️
Hi Pam! I'm So glad it all worked out and that she enjoyed the muffins!! Thanks for sharing!
My two kids (and I) love all of your recipes! I knew I could count on you when it was time to plan my baby’s first birthday. My mom made this recipe with blueberries and baked as muffins to send to his daycare for his celebration and all of the kids loved it! Then I baked your cake with extra bananas and my baby loved it! Everyone enjoyed seeing how much he loved eating the cake and couldn’t believe it didn’t have any sugar. Thank you for creating recipes that I can follow (as someone who stays out of the kitchen) and that I feel good feeding to my children.
Hi Ashley! This warms my heart so so much! Thank you for taking the time to share. Gosh I so wish I could've seen your son enjoying his cake too!!
came out perfect, didnt make any changes.
Wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing!
If I were to split this into two 9 inch pans (instead of three 5 inch pans), then would I need to bake longer?
Thanks! Looking to bake this for my baby's 6 month birthday 😊
Hi! Yes you would need to increase the cooking time. Start checking after 5 minutes 😉
Can you make these into cake pops?
My son is having his 1st birthday and was curious about that. Thank you Min!
I have never made cake pops before so I can't say for certain but do let me know if you give it a try!
Fabulous recipe!! I not only made this for my daughter's first birthday, but also served it to our guests and everyone was saying how much they loved it! Would 10/10 recommend.
This makes me so so happy! Thank you for making me a part of your BIG day! Happy birthday to your precious daughter!!
Can I use an egg substitute? My son is highly allergic! 😩
While I haven't tried, many moms have told me they turned out fine with flax eggs!
Would it work with plain yogurt instead of Greek yogurt? It’s hard to find whole fat Greek yogurt these days…..
Thank you very much for your recipe! I made this cake (only 1 layer for my baby, and made cupcakes with the rest of the mix) and included the coconut oil as suggested, which helped to keep it moist. I used cream cheese as an icing, mixed with frozen strawberries, vanilla, and maple syrup (I found maple syrup sweetened the icing more easily than vanilla, and was less watery). On top, I encircled the cake with blueberries (my baby's favourite berry) and made a 1 out of the berries to decorate. My baby enjoyed the cake, he first ate each of the berries one by one, and then dug into the icing and cake (we had to cut out pieces for him, he was a delicate eater and wasn't interested in smashing it!). All in all, he really enjoyed the cake! 🙂
I really enjoyed reading this super thorough comment! Must've been SO cute to see him picking out the berries one at a time and being so shy around the cake (that was both of my kids). Happy birthday to your precious son!!
Thank you! I have many cute pictures of my baby enjoying his cake that I am willing to share!
Aww thank you for making me a part of your very special day! Yes please do!!
Hi! Can I make this cake and whipped cream frosting ahead of time?
You can! See "make ahead tips" section
Hello! This looks amazing. Any ideas for a dairy free and coconut free baby 😂id usually use coconut yogurt but he can’t have it. He can’t really have soy either. Limited options. Haha
I would try almond yogurt
The recipe looks delicious! I haven’t baked much but am going to attempt to make it for my sons first birthday. Can I ask - if I am going to not do layers and have an 8 inch springform pan, do I need to double the recipe?
Also I am deciding what to ice it with. Is cream ok because it doesn’t have added sugar?
Hi, Felicity! no need you can just pour the whole batter into the pan and sure!
Felicity Wilson says
Thank you so much for the reply.
I made the cake, it turned out great and my little one loved it. Thank you x
Woohoo!! I'm so so glad!!
does the recipe make 3 cakes? or is it 1 cake layer and I need to triple the recipe?
Hi! 3 cakes!
thanks for the recipe! do you think you can u make it with strawberries instead?
Yes you can add chopped strawberries to the cake batter!
Hi Min, what do you recommend for egg replacer?
Would like to make this for my 3y.o. However I’m unable to find unsweetened dairy-free greek yogurt in my area (dairy allergy). Is sweetened okay? Is there anything I should add or change to get the same result as the original recipe?
Sure it will work! It's best to avoid added sugars until 2 so that's why I suggest unsweetened. Nothing to change 😉
Thank you, Min! I tried this recipe tonight. Only change I made was I added 1/4 cup coconut oil to make the flavor better and the cake moister and less dense. Came out great! Thanks!
Ah! This is a wonderful suggestion! I will add to my recipe notes - thank you!
Heidi F says
Novice baker here. Never before have I had more fun baking a cake! I baked it at high altitude, so added 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour to the batter and it turned out beautifully. “I would eat this for breakfast,” my mother-in-law declared. I say, I’d eat it for dessert! My 1-year-old, who has been slow to warm to solids, loved it! Already looking forward to baking this again. Thank you, MJ!
This makes me SO happy to hear! Thank you so much for sharing!!
Can I use a 6 inch pan and put the whole batter in that one pan??? Will it bake okay?
Hi! Yes!! Many moms have told me that it turned out great! You will see an example above - she doubled the recipe to have 2 layers. Hope you guys enjoy!!
Hi Min, will this work if I made into cupcakes instead?
Hi! The texture will be very different from the traditional cupcakes. These will be denser but will still work! Let me know if you try!
Just wanted to tell you that I did make these last year as cupcakes, and they were a hit! I'm back one year later for the recipe to make them again for my son's birthday. 🙂
Oh yay!! Thank you for making me part of your big celebration!