1st Birthday Party Smash Cake

1st Birthday Party Smash Cake

Since I don’t have kids yet, I am not always aware of the trends that go on in the child-raising world. Example #1:  the smash cake. This just popped up on my radar about a year ago. Apparently when a child turns 1, along with the cake that gets cut and served to guests at the party, there is a smaller cake given to the birthday boy or girl to, well, smash. Think fists in cake, icing and cake everywhere. I guess it’s fun for the birthday kid, and makes for some great pictures. And probably a lot of clean up for mom and dad ;-)  I was recently asked to make a smash cake for a little boy’s 1st birthday party to go along with the “Big Top” circus theme of the party. This clown fit in perfectly!

Although I do most cakes in fondant (see the Cakes Gallery), I thought that a little 1-year-old trying to bust through fondant might lead to an anti-climactic cake-smashing, so I did the cake completely in buttercream. I do so much fondant that I forget how fun it can be to pipe and decorate using buttercream. I have included a short set of directions below on how to make the clown cake above.

How to Decorate the Clown Smash Cake

  • Ice the cake using white buttercream.
  • Using a large icing tip (ex. 1M), gently press the bottom of the tip into the icing where you want the nose. Using a regular-size tip, do the same for both of the eyes.
  • Outline the eyes, nose, hat and diamonds, draw the mouth, and make circles for the hair using a #3 tip.
  • Fill in the diamonds and the hat with a #16 star tip.
  • Use a #104 tip to make the ruffled collar and bottom of the hat.
  • Use a round #7 tip to pipe the dots along the bottom and in the middle of the diamonds.
  • Use a round #12 tip to fill in the eyes and nose.

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65 Responses to “1st Birthday Party Smash Cake”

  1. Joan on June 3, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Love, love, love the cake! The new site is cute too!

    Reply

  2. megan on June 3, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I bet even my four yr olds will love to a Smash Cake still! Funny- I am thinking of doing a big top theme for them too! Thanks for the awesome tips….

    Reply

  3. roxan on June 3, 2010 at 11:22 am

    That looks like such a delicious and classic cake! I would love to have a slice right now, even if it’s only 8:22a.

    I remember the first time I heard of a smash cake – i thought it was the funniest thing ever. But I guess it makes sense! The baby can smash their cake while the adults devour theirs.

    Reply

  4. Emily on June 3, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Love the cake! So perfectly colorful. Is your buttercream recipe already on the site? I am always looking for the perfect buttercream. :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 3rd, 2010 at 11:31 am

      Thank you Emily! I do have a vanilla bean buttercream on the site (http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/03/24/easy-vanilla-bean-buttercream/) but I use that one more for fillings or for cupcakes. I am working on a tutorial post on how to ice a cake in buttercream and will be including my “decorating version” of buttercream in that post. See keep an eye out!

      Reply

      • Leanne Mc on August 13th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

        Hey…did you write this post and I just can’t find it? :)

        Reply

        • Michelle on August 13th, 2011 at 6:31 pm

          Hi Leanne, I did not yet, stay tuned!

          Reply

  5. annie on June 3, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Michelle,

    You are incredibly talented , gifted, and creative with your baked goods. I really like the new site and the fact that there are / will be tutorials for the lesser talented people out there to learn and practice. Many thanks.

    Reply

  6. Nick on June 3, 2010 at 11:42 am

    That cake is so cool! I’m not much of a cake decorator but it seems doable even for me!

    Love the new site design also. Very sharp!

    Reply

  7. Kathia Castro on June 3, 2010 at 11:50 am

    The cake looks awesome. I just did a little Elmo smash cake over the weekend also for a little boy’s party. I love the details you put on the cake. Have a great weekend

    Reply

  8. Katy R on June 3, 2010 at 11:54 am

    We did a smash cake for both of our kids and it was hilarious! Watch them take that first tentative lick, eyes light up, and next thing you know they’re trying to eat the thing in 2 bites! However I tried to reduce the sugar crash a bit by using whip cream instead of icing (At least that’s my justification for making it ‘healthier’ for them to eat. Shhh, don’t ruin my fantasy.) Makes for great photos too :)

    Reply

  9. Lauren @ Crave. Indulge. Satisfy. on June 3, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Super cute cake! When I was growing up my dad made my birthday cakes, and for the first couple years of my life they were always clown themed…so fun! Love all the bright colors!

    Reply

  10. Michele on June 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I just recently read about this on another blog. Didn’t know it was called a Smash Cake though! I think it’s a great idea. Too bad your beautifully decorated cake is going to smashed!

    Reply

  11. Belinda @zomppa on June 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    This is the BEST smash cake!

    Reply

  12. camila on June 3, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    yay! decorated cake!

    Reply

  13. kiki on June 3, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I’ve never even heard of a smash cake, and I have a 4 year old :) This is the cutest cake ever! It looks delish!

    Reply

  14. The Housewife on June 3, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I love the cake and it’s bright fun colors! It’s perfect for kids (and adults too). Thanks for the info about the smash cake… I never would have ever known!

    Reply

  15. Katrina on June 3, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    This cake is absolutely adorable! I want an excuse to bake it!!

    Reply

  16. Heather Lilly on June 3, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Very cute! I want to see the smash-pictures, too! ;)

    Reply

  17. Annie on June 3, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Adorable! I agree, I only do smash cakes in buttercream. I just don’t think the fondant thing works for the kiddos :)

    Reply

  18. Heather F on June 3, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Funny, my parents have videos of me and all my siblings digging into our cake at age one, but I didn’t know other people did this. I’m 26 now, so maybe my mom started this whole trend unknowingly!

    Reply

  19. Baking Barrister on June 3, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    That is a gorgeous cake–I would hate to see it smashed! These parenting trends are nuts. When I was a baby/toddler, they’d cut the cake and put a piece in front of me. I smashed it around (or really, tried to eat it with my hands) and got perfectly wonderful pictures of cake all over my face. No secondary cake needed!

    My twin cousins’ 1st birthday party is this Saturday–I will refuse any requests for smash cakes!

    Reply

  20. dk on June 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    What a shame to teach children from such a young age that it’s OK to be frivolous and wasteful with food…

    Reply

  21. Theresa on June 3, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I`m with dk…wasteful…sorry to be a downer…

    A shame to smash such a beautiful cake!

    Reply

  22. nicole on June 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I’ve never heard of a smash cake either, but this is adorable!

    Reply

  23. themilkmanswife on June 3, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    What a great cake! I love the idea of a smash cake. How fun! Great job! :)

    Reply

  24. shannon abdollmohammadi on June 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Wow, those piping skills rock. They remind me of the cakes my mom used to make me in the 1970’s.

    Reply

  25. K on June 3, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    That’s about the cutest clown cake I’ve ever seen!

    Reply

  26. bridget {bake at 350} on June 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    What a beautiful cake! Wow…I know they hated to let it be smashed!

    Reply

  27. J. on June 4, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Never heard of a smash cake and am terrified of clowns – but that picture! It’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to smash something so cute!

    Reply

  28. Magic of Spice on June 4, 2010 at 1:08 am

    Simply adorable…I love this talent you posses:) There are many things I can do in this life, but this is not one of them. Just amazing!

    Reply

  29. bunkycooks on June 4, 2010 at 8:06 am

    What will someone come up with next? My son would have either smashed the cake or run away from it when he was young because he was terrified of clowns! Very cute cake! :)

    Reply

  30. Nicole on June 4, 2010 at 8:26 am

    That is SUCH a cute cake!!

    Reply

  31. Maggy@ThreeManyCooks on June 4, 2010 at 8:32 am

    What an awesome cake! Your decorating skills are out of this world! Great tips, might attempt something similar myself :)

    Reply

  32. The Chocolate Priestess on June 4, 2010 at 8:35 am

    LOL. I didn’t need a special cake when I was one – I just smashed the piece I was given.

    You know, this is a sign of how much extra income we truly have as a culture — we can afford to make food to destroy when other cultures are struggling to get enough calories each day.

    But your cake is very pretty!

    Reply

  33. penny aka jeroxie on June 4, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Super cute cake!

    Reply

  34. Jenny Flake on June 4, 2010 at 9:13 am

    :This cake is too cute! Love it!

    Reply

  35. Maria on June 4, 2010 at 9:15 am

    What a fun cake. You did a wonderful job-you are beyond talented!

    Reply

  36. Michelle on June 4, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Cutest cake I’ve seen in a long time! Adorable!!

    Reply

  37. Heather (Heather's Dish) on June 4, 2010 at 11:21 am

    i’ve heard of smash cakes before, but not necessarily with that name…too cute! i know i can’t wait to see our kiddos covered in frosting and cake on their 1st birthday (well, whenever we have kiddos that is :))

    Reply

  38. Jen @ How To: Simplify on June 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    This cake is super cute!

    Reply

  39. Jessica on June 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I just wanted to say LOVE the new layout. Going to be subscribing to your site, don’t know why I didn’t before, but always love your recipes and have used quite a few of them. Keep it up!

    Reply

  40. Tracy on June 4, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    So fun; I love it!!

    Reply

  41. Angela on June 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    You made this??! It looks AMAZING! I love your site and seeing all that you make…you’re very creative and talented!

    Have a good weekend!

    Reply

  42. Cookin' Canuck on June 4, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Good call to use buttercream rather than fondant. Great piping work on these adorable clown!

    Reply

  43. Erin on June 4, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Oh my gosh that is too cute!!!!

    Reply

  44. ovenhaven on June 4, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    I’ve never heard of smash cakes either, but it sure sounds like a good idea! Minus the cleaning up bit, of course :P Love how detailed and neat you are with buttercream! I’m horrid with buttercream piping, opting for fondant instead. I’m not even 1, but I want this cake!

    Reply

  45. vrinda on June 5, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Thats a cool cake…well done

    Reply

  46. Kerstin on June 6, 2010 at 11:34 am

    If that’s the smash cake, I can only imagine what the real cake looks like – it’s beyond adorable! I love the new look of your blog too!

    Reply

  47. Amanda on June 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    So cute! It’s such a shame that it’s made just for smashing though. :(

    Reply

  48. ChefAimee on June 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I have never seen a more adorable birthday cake! :) So cute!

    Reply

  49. Vera on June 6, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    looks great, and yummy— think I can get a smash cake for my next birthday?!? :)

    Reply

  50. paris @ kitchen appliances on June 6, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Cute cake! And good idea on the buttercream. Gooey enough that kids ought to like the texture as they get it all over their hands. And pretty much everywhere else in the house!

    Reply

  51. Fuji Mama on June 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I have never heard of a smash cake, and I have 2 kids–so you are totally more in touch with trends than me! I LOVE this cake–beyond cute!

    Reply

  52. Foodlvr on June 7, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    That looks so adorable and yummy. I have never heard of a “smash” cake. I just bought a Sesame Street-inspired cake for my son’s 1st birthday. My son completely ignored the cake. For his second, I made a A Winnie the Pooh cake. He ignored that one too. To this day, he has no interest in birthday cake. I made Birthday Pie instead. Now that is a hit!

    Reply

  53. marla {family fresh cooking} on June 7, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    This smash cake is adorable. I remember I first learned of this for my daughters first b’day party. Love the concept!

    Reply

  54. jo on June 9, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Awesome, awesome cake and it brings out the kid in me too!

    Reply

  55. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on June 9, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    This cake is absolutely adorable… I had no clue about the smash cake trend. Very interesting!

    Reply

  56. pearse on October 30, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    looks great . how did you make the buttercream finish so smooth. Any tricks? I learnt the viva paper towel trick in wilton class ,but that frosting has shortening,meringue powder-yuck. That’s why I could smooth it easily. But here I am wondering how did you do it since your buttercream doesn’t contain those things? would appreciate if you could reply
    Thanks in advance

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 30th, 2010 at 8:43 pm

      I actually just try to be really patient and smooth it out as much as possible with as light a touch as possible. To finish it off I run an icing spatula under hot-hot-hot water, wipe it dry, and then do a final pass around and on top of the cake.

      The buttercream I use for decorating cakes does indeed contain shortening. I use 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening so that it dries with a crust so it can be easily decorated on.

      Reply

  57. Liz on January 6, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Hi Michelle,I would like to know how you managed to make such perfect diamonds? Do u use a cookie cutter?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 6th, 2012 at 11:37 am

      Hi Liz, I did them free-hand. I just worked slow and tried to be steady.

      Reply

  58. Kristine on July 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Do you have a recipe for the cake/dough itself? I would really love to try to make them from scratch :)

    Reply

  59. Kat on August 13, 2013 at 1:10 am

    This is so adorable! I love smash cakes they are too darn cute! My cousin has had 2 little ones now and my dad and I made cakes for both their first birthdays. Each had a big bottom cake layer for the adults to cut up and eat and was topped with a miniature baby cake with parchment paper in between for easy removal. We used fondant on both cakes and they had no problems tearing into them. The fondant allowed for us to make little characters to top them with too!

    Reply

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