cake smash {recipe}

The moment you’ve all been waiting for…CAKE SMASH!

And if you missed the post on Liam’s first birthday, you can find it here.

Liam's First Birthday Party-13 Liam's First Birthday Party-14 Liam's First Birthday Party-15 Liam's First Birthday Party-16 Liam's First Birthday Party-17 Liam's First Birthday Party-18 Liam's First Birthday Party-19

Don’t forget to hydrate! We learned that from Liam’s aunt BZ, who learned from experience that the birthday boy will get fussy if he’s thirsty from all that sugar.

Liam's First Birthday Party-20


Liam's First Birthday Party-21

Also, if you were wondering, I got Liam’s cute tie and bloomer (a.k.a. diaper cover) at a local children’s store, Little Lambs and Ivy II.

Now for the birthday cake…which I tasted after Liam smashed it and it was FABULOUS! I’m going to have to make it again!

Whole Grain Carrot Smash Cake

adapted from Nuture Baby


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting the pan)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 2 small-medium apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 5 small-medium carrots, washed, stems cut off, and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (frosting) 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • (frosting) 1/2 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • (frosting) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (frosting) 6 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray three 6-inch round cake pans with canola oil and dust with all-purpose flour, discarding any extra flour.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the beater attachment, beat the brown sugar and eggs until foamy and thoroughly beaten.
  4. Meanwhile, in your blender (I use a Blendtec) or food processor, purée the apple slices and canola oil together. Pour into the beaten eggs/sugar of your stand mixer.
  5. Next, purée the carrots and orange juice together. Pour into the beaten eggs/sugar mixture of your stand mixer.
  6. Add in the vanilla extract to your stand mixer and beat on low until all of the wet ingredients are combined.
  7. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients of your stand mixer and stir until just combined.
  8. Equally separate out into your cake pans (about 1 1/2 cups of batter per pan).
  9. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Allow the cakes to cool for a few minutes in the pan before flipping out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  11. Meanwhile, to assemble your icing, beat butter, yogurt and vanilla extract together until combined. Add in the powdered sugar until combined.
  12. Assemble the cake and decorate as desired.

Note: I only had one cake pan, so I evenly poured the batter into three bowls and baked them one at a time.

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20 Responses to cake smash {recipe}

  1. Jessica W says:

    That cake looks fabulous! And he looks to have really enjoyed it!

  2. Melissa says:

    YIKES…Canola Oil!

    • caroline says:

      If you don’t mind me asking, what’s wrong with canola oil?

      • Hannah says:

        Canola oil is pretty much a genetically modified oil.

        • caroline says:

          Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I have just learned about canola oil and it’s substitutions. It’s amazing that I thought that was the better option over vegetable oil for all these years and now I need to switch to other oils. You can substitute another oil for canola. I would suggest butter or coconut oil. Thanks again for pointing this out, Hannah!

          • Hannah says:

            You’re welcome! I use coconut oil for everything. Cooking, in smoothies, as lotion for my face, for my baby, as a hair mask, you name it!

          • caroline says:

            I’m assuming you only use the unrefined virgin coconut oil? I’ve used both refined and unrefined. For baking I love refined because it doesn’t have coconut flavor, but recently discovered how bad refined is for you, too! Ugh. Can’t win. I’m about to just go back to butter. Haha!

  3. Haha so cute! I love that last picture!!! The cake looks like it tastes awesome! And its so pretty :D

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  7. Gina Stav says:

    Have this cake baking in the oven as we speak! I am baking it in a giant cupcake cake pan. This is a trial run for my twins’ birthday…so far the house smells great! Thanks for the awesome recipes!

    • caroline says:

      I’m so happy to hear that! I hope it turned out delicious and your twins have an excellent birthday! Way to go mama!

  8. Kimberly says:

    I am making this cake for my son’s first birthday party on Saturday. I am so excited to see how it turns out. I have a few questions…
    - What brand sippy cup do you recommend at this age? He is just transitioning to cow milk from breast & I’m having a hard time with it.
    - Also, what did you use to put the icing on his cake?
    He IS SO CUTE!!!!
    P.S. I was also inspired by your 1st Birthday Chalkboard and made one with your help…THANKS for all the wonderful ideas!


    • caroline says:

      Hi Kimberly, Happy early 1st birthday to your son! :D How exciting! To answer your questions, we tried a bunch of different sippy cups and the one we’ve had most success with is this Munchkin Straw Sippy Cup. It takes a pretty hard suck to get anything out, which is why our son liked it so much. It resembled a bottle in that way. Also, it’s easy to hold by himself and since it’s a straw and not a nipple top, there was no confusion with bottle or breastfeeding. It took a while for my little guy to want to drink milk out of a sippy cup. We did a bottle of whole milk (slowly transitioned from formula) for a good 8 months (just 1-2 per day to get his recommended nutrition). Now he’s 20 months and doing great with both water and milk from this sippy cup. Let me know if you have any other questions! :D

      Also, I used a icing spatula and a cake turntable to create that affect on the cake. I hope the party is a hit! :D Oh, and don’t forget to give your little guy water while he’s eating cake.

      • Kimberly says:


        Thank you for all the pointers. I will definitely give him some water. Happy early 2nd birthday to little Liam!!

        THANK YOU SO MUCH :)


  9. Marie-Ange says:

    So I just did a tester for this cake recipe and I seem to have burnt the outside and the inside still isn’t cooked. I can’t be my oven, since I use it all the time and everything else comes out fine. I poured the whole thing into a cake pan though, could that be it. How did you keep your uncrusty on the outside? did you cut around it? I probably burnt it by leaving it in longer than I should have, but the inside wasn’t cooking. help!

    • caroline says:

      Hi Marie-Ange, I apologize for the delay in response. First of all, if you don’t mind me asking, what size pans were you using? I used 3 six-inch round pans for this cake. Also, if you have a cake supply store or go to amazon and purchase Bake Even Strips, those help a lot with protecting the outsides of your cake, while allowing the insides to bake. I use them quite often when I bake cakes. I hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Baking!

  10. Stephanie says:

    This looks delicious & I’m thinking I’ll try it for my daughter’s upcoming 1st birthday! However I have to add that there is NOTHING wrong with using canola oil, it is one of the healthiest oils you can use. Check your sources people. For some reason there are folks out there who like to make trouble by making up a bunch of plausible-sounding pseudoscience nonsense.

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