Healthy Smash Cake

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This healthy smash cake is made with almond flour and bananas. It’s the perfect option if you’re looking for a no added sugar cake for your little ones first birthday.

Small smash cake with white frosting, a "1" birthday candle and colorful star sprinkles.

Before I get this post started, I have to stop for a minute because I can hardly believe that my baby is turning one! It honestly feels like I gave birth to her yesterday and yet a whole year has gone by. Before having Liv I remember hearing parents say that their babies grow up way too fast and oh my goodness, now I can totally relate.

No Sugar Added Smash Cake

I’ve been thinking about making Liv a special cake for her birthday for months and it took some experimenting because I wanted it to be free of added sugar. Olivia eats pretty much any and everything (gluten, soy, dairy, etc.) but the one thing I try to stay clear of is added and processed sugar. When looking for a smash cake recipe almost all of them still had some sort of sugar and a lot of the healthier options looked too heavy and dense (aka less smashable).

With the no added sugar criteria in mind, I started testing cake recipes using mashed banana as the sweetener and after a couple test batches, I created this recipe which has a nice light and fluffy crumb, but is still super moist. And I love the fact that with this cake, Liv will be getting a ton of nutrients, especially given how nutrient-dense almond flour is!

1st birthday cake decorated with a "1" candle, sprinkles and white frosting. A slice of cake is on a plate with a gold fork.

Ingredients Needed for this Healthy Smash Cake

Moms (or dads), I have a feeling you’re going to love me because this cake only has seven simple ingredients (excluding the frosting + toppings)! And most of these ingredients you probably already have in your pantry:

  • almond flour – I chose almond flour for this recipe because it has a natural sweetness and gives the cake a light and fluffy crumb that makes it easier for your baby to smash and eat. I have a feeling that all-purpose flour will work, but I have not tested this recipe with different flours so I’m not sure how it will turn out. I highly recommend using almond flour for the best results.
  • banana – perfectly ripe mashed bananas are a key ingredient as they replace the oil and sugar in this recipe. Make sure your bananas are ripe (fully yellow with a few black spots is perfect). Unripe bananas will not work well for this recipe. I haven’t tested this with any other fruit puree so I’m not sure how it will work if you use applesauce or another fruit puree. If you try it, please let me know in the comments.
  • eggs – the eggs help the cake rise and give it the fluffiness. If you have an egg allergy or want to avoid eggs, readers have used flax seed eggs in place of the eggs with good results.
  • vanilla extract
  • cinnamon – cinnamon is totally optional, but I like the subtle sweetness it adds to the cake.
  • baking powder
  • salt – if you’re worried about the salt in your babies diet, you can leave this out.
  • icing + toppings – see all of my ideas below.
3 tier baby birthday smash cake with a slice taken out of it.

The Easiest Smash Cake… Made in a Blender

And the best part? There’s no creaming of butter or sugar and no need to break out the mixer for this recipe! You simply blend everything together in your blender. If you don’t have a blender, you can use a food processor or an immersion blender. You can also mix the ingredients together by hand, but you’ll want to make sure your banana is super mashed/pureed and well blended with the almond flour mixture. You could measure the mashed banana, blend it up in your blender and then mix the batter together by hand. For this recipe you really want the banana incorporated throughout rather than little pockets of banana within the cake.

Step by step process photos for making the batter for a smash cake in a blender and then the batter being baked in a springform pan.

What Size Should a Smash Cake Be?

I personally think 4-inch in diameter is the perfect size for a smash cake. I used a set of 3 (4-inch) springform pans, which make it super easy to pop the layers out of the pan. I haven’t tried making this into a larger cake, but others have made this cake using 6 inch pans by doubling the recipe for 3 layers.

Side by side photos of a 3 tier smash cake without frosting, and then with frosting and a "1" birthday candle and sprinkles.

Icing Ideas for a Healthy Smash Cake

There are so many fun ways to frost and decorate this cake. Here’s a couple that I recommend:

  • Coconut whipped cream – You can make your own or if you’re okay with a little sugar you can use store-bought coconut whipped cream (found in the frozen section). You’ll want to let the whipped cream thaw in the fridge and frost the cake right before serving. This is what I used for Olivia’s cake and I will note that using it as a frosting between the layers made the layers quite slippery so I’m not sure I would do that in the future. I think yogurt would hold better!
  • No sugar whipped cream – If you want a no sugar option you can buy unsweetened heavy cream, whip it with a mixer and use this as a frosting. Here’s an easy recipe.
  • Yogurt – Babies tend to love yogurt and it makes a great frosting option for this smash cake. You can use any flavor you like or even blend fresh berries with plain Greek yogurt if you want a colorful frosting. Regular yogurt will likely be too thin so I recommend using a thick Greek yogurt if you want to use yogurt as your frosting. You can add a little maple syrup and/or vanilla to sweeten it up. To make it, just mix 1-2 cups of plain Greek yogurt with 2 Tablespoons maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Ice the cake right before serving.
  • Traditional frosting – This will add sugar to the cake, but it’s an easy option! I really like the Simple Mills vanilla frosting. It’s thick so you may need to soften it up a bit before icing the cake.

How to Make This Ahead of Time

You can make the smash cake up to one day in advance. If you do this, bake the cake, let the layers cool completely on a wire rack, place in an airtight container and store at room temperature until you’re ready to assemble and frost the cake right before the party/serving. Storing the cake layers in the fridge will make them cold and dense!

Topping Ideas for a Healthy Smash Cake

For the photos you see here I did pastel star sprinkles and a 1 candle. For Olivia’s actual birthday I’m planning to top the cake with fresh raspberries as they’re her favorite and I have a feeling they will entice her to dig into the cake. I’m also going to top the cake with a little sign I ordered from Etsy that says “Olivia is One.”

A Healthy Smash Cake that Adults Will Like Too!

This no sugar added smash cake actually tastes really good. I would totally make it for myself and love it! If baby decides not to smash the cake, feel free to cut slices and enjoy!

Slice of 3-tier smash cake on a plate with a fork.

More Recipes for Your Babe:

Healthy Smash Cake

4 from 296 votes
This healthy smash cake is made with almond flour and bananas. It’s the perfect option if you’re looking for a small, no sugar added cake for your little ones first birthday.
Small smash cake with white frosting, a "1" birthday candle and colorful star sprinkles.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups fine blanched almond flour, I used Bob’s Red Mill
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana, make sure your bananas are nice and ripe
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Frosting

  • coconut whipped topping, homemade or store-bought OR plain full-fat yogurt OR frosting of choice

Toppings

  • fresh berries OR sprinkles

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray 3 (4-inch springform pans) with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Add banana, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder and salt into a high-powered blender or food processor. Process until mixture is smooth and well combined.
  • Add almond flour and pulse until mixture is just combined, scraping down the sides of the blender/processor if needed.
  • Divide batter evenly between the 3 springform pans and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the cakes are golden in color and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove cakes from the oven, let cool for 10-20 minutes before carefully removing from the pans.
  • Let layers cool completely before stacking and icing with frosting of choice. I’ve tested plain full-fat yogurt as well as coconut whipped topping. For toppings, I like the idea of naturally-colored sprinkles or fresh berries. Liv loves raspberries so that’s probably what I’ll put on her smash cake.

Video

Notes

  • 6 inch pans: I haven’t tried this, but some others have made this cake in three 6 inch pans by doubling the recipe and cooking it for the same amount of time.
Icing Ideas
  • Coconut whipped cream – You can make your own or if you’re okay with a little sugar you can use store-bought coconut whipped cream (found in the frozen section). You’ll want to let the whipped cream thaw in the fridge and frost the cake right before serving. This is what I used for Olivia’s cake and I will note that using it as a frosting between the layers made the layers quite slippery so I’m not sure I would do that in the future. I think yogurt would hold better!
  • No sugar whipped cream – If you want a no sugar option you can buy unsweetened heavy cream, whip it with a mixer and use this as a frosting. Here’s an easy recipe.
  • Greek yogurt – Babies tend to love yogurt and it makes a great frosting option for this smash cake. You can use any flavor you like or even blend fresh berries with plain Greek yogurt if you want a colorful frosting. Regular yogurt will likely be too thin so I recommend using a thick Greek yogurt if you want to use yogurt as your frosting. You can add a little maple syrup and/or vanilla to sweeten it up. To make it, just mix 1-2 cups of plain Greek yogurt with 2 Tablespoons maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Ice the cake with the yogurt right before serving. 
  • Traditional frosting – This will add sugar to the cake, but it’s an easy option! I really like the Simple Mills vanilla frosting. It’s thick so you may need to soften it up a bit before icing the cake.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice without frosting or topping Calories: 222kcal Carbohydrates: 9g Protein: 9g Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 62mg Sodium: 153mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 3g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy smash cake

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    188 comments
    1. Leah
      September 22, 2021 AT 4:44 am

      5 stars
      This cake is perfect for a baby’s first smash cake! I made no changes to the recipe and it turned out perfect. My baby actually ate this cake as opposed to the traditional cake we used for photos a few days before his birthday. My 4 year old also loved it and went back for a second piece! It isn’t crumbly like a traditional cake, which I liked. I think it’s similar to a consistency of banana bread as others have said which was perfect. I would definitely make this again as a “dessert” for my kids!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 22, 2021 AT 12:31 pm

        Yay!! So glad to hear this smash cake was a hit, Leah! Thanks so much for the review + star rating. It means so much to me!

    2. Nicole
      September 19, 2021 AT 5:37 pm

      I am so excited to try this for my little one’s first birthday! I was dreaming up a rainbow cake, have you ever tried any natural food color with this recipe? Like from: https://suncorefoods.com ?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 20, 2021 AT 7:17 pm

        I haven’t! You’ll have to let me know if you try it and how it turns out. 🙂

    3. Becky
      September 7, 2021 AT 2:40 pm

      Hello. Just wondering how I should adjust the recipe for 3 5x2inch pans. I see in other comments people have doubled the recipe for 6inch, but haven’t seen any comments regarding 5inch. Thoughts? 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 8, 2021 AT 12:41 am

        I would assume you’d still probably need to double it! Let me know how it turns out if you make it. 🙂

        1. Becky
          September 8, 2021 AT 1:49 pm

          I ended up doing 1.5x the recipe and they are a good size. I think I could have doubled it as well for thicker layers.

          1. Brittany Mullins
            September 8, 2021 AT 8:49 pm

            Thanks for letting me know, Becky!!

    4. Shala
      September 6, 2021 AT 2:06 am

      Can you suggest how I might expand the recipe to feed everyone at my daughter’s birthday party?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 6, 2021 AT 9:33 pm

        Hey Shala – Some people have doubled the recipe to make 12 cupcakes so that could always be an option for you 🙂

    5. Ayame
      September 3, 2021 AT 5:04 pm

      Can I use all purpose flour instead?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 6, 2021 AT 9:40 pm

        Unfortunately not. I’ve tested it and it doesn’t turn out with all-purpose flour since this cake doesn’t have any added sugar outside of the bananas. The version I tested turned out super hard and wasn’t edible, so wouldn’t recommend it.

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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