I still can’t believe that Gemma is one! This year, just like the past 9 with Kenya and Chloe have gone way too fast. Knowing that Gemma will most likely be my last first birthday celebration, I’ve been looking forward to doing something extra special for my baby girl. We invited over tons of family and a few friends to help us celebrate our sweet angel.
I wanted to make the biggest, best, tastiest smash cake ever seen. If you’ve never seen or heard of a smash cake, it’s the cake given to a baby on her first birthday to SMASH and eat at will. If you’ve never been lucky enough to watch a baby do this I highly recommend it as it’s the funniest and cutest thing ever! I may have gotten a bit carried away spending countless hours writing and testing recipes for her special day. Weeks before her big day I started researching different smash cakes and realized that many were made with tons of food dyes which just didn’t seem right for feeding to a baby, so I came up with a few smash cakes that I baked and served over a several day celebration.
For the first party I made this Dye Free Sprinkle Smash Cake. I bought a bunch of jars of India Tree Dye Free Carnival Sprinkles and tried using them in various ways. I wanted it to be tall, but not too enormous, so I used three 6 inch cake pans for the cake and poured an entire container of sprinkles inside the cake batter so when you cut a slice you see a myriad of colorful sprinkles. It’s covered with a simple buttercream frosting and another container of sprinkles to coat the outside. You don’t have to use the sprinkles as the cake and frosting are vanilla buttery heaven, but it really does add to the beauty and fun of this spectacular creation.
Whether you make this for a first birthday or truly any age I promise it will be something no one will ever forget!
Dye-Free Sprinkles Smash Cake
Smash Cake Recipe
- 3 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 (2.7 ounce) jars India Tree Dye-Free Sprinkles (1 for cake batter and 1 for decorating)
Buttercream Frosting Recipe:
- 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks
- 6 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup whole milk, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 (2.7 ounces) jar India Tree Dye-Free Sprinkles
Smash Cake Recipe:
- Position rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat the insides of three 6-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds, then spray parchment.
- Whisk together sifted flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl to combine. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl beat the butter until creamy, about 2 minutes, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed. Add sugar gradually and beat until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in the vanilla.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- Add the flour alternately with the milk, beating on low speed. Begin and end with flour, and beat briefly until smooth.
- Fold in one jar of the sprinkles. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans and smooth the tops with a spatula.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The layers will be a light golden brown around the edges and the top, and will have come away from the sides of the pans.
- Cool the pans on a wire rack for 8-10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pans, and place the layers directly on the racks to cool completely.
Buttercream Frosting Recipe:
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer or a stand- mixer on medium-high, beat the butter until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add one cup of sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Add the remaining sugar, milk, and vanilla and beat on high until silky smooth.
- Fold in the sprinkles to combine.
- To assemble the cake, using a serrated knife, cut off the very top of the cake to make all three layers even.
- Place on a 6-inch cake platter and spread with 1/3 cup of the frosting. Top with another cake layer and spread 1/3 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer and use the remaining frosting to cover the cake. Decorate with more sprinkles as desired.
- Note: The Dye-Free Sprinkles Smash Cake can sit at room temperature for 24 hours, refrigerate for 3 days or cakes can be individually wrapped and frozen up to 3 months.