How To Make A Smash Cake. Recipe Included

It’s been a while now since the cake smashing tradition is gaining popularity all over the world, and everyday more and more parents of small children are joining in. 

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, Smash the Cake is a photography session whose main characters are a baby reaching his birthday and a cake. I’m sure you’ve seen one of these pictures on social media. It seems like a fun idea, doesn’t it?

Perhaps you’d like to learn how to make a Smash cake, whether for your family, friends or because you do cake decorating. In fact, if you bake cakes, you’ve probably received some enquiries about this kind of cakes. That’s why I want to explain how to make a perfect fondant or cream cake with my recipe. Having a picture of your baby smashing a cake with a smile on his face is really worth framing.

Cake by Pastisú and picture by Respira fotografia

Decorations And Outfits For A Smash Cake Session

First of all, if a friend, client or photography studio asks you for a Smash Cake, you must ask which decorations are they going to use in the portrait session, since they usually use pompons and garlands of a specific color to make the pictures adorable. Once the décor of the space and the outfit colors are clear, you can start with the recipe of your Smash Cake. As you can see, the decorations on the pictures are well thought out.

Cakes by Rebost de les Galetes y picture by Respira fotografía

Before A Smash Cake Session: Design The Cake

1. Choose a really spongy birthday cake

I like to use this Red Velvet cake recipe by La Cocina de Carolina or the typical four-quarters cake which you can customize with any syrup or filling (you’ll find the recipe below). It is very important that you use a white dough for your Smash Cake (unless it’s a Red Velvet, which is already red), so that you can dye it with ProGel colorants in order to get the a color in line with the décor on the pictures.


2. Choose a cream to fill your Smash Cake

Once your cake is done baking, it’s time for the filling. My favorite filling is, without a doubt, the unfailing cream cheese (you’ll find the recipe bellow). You can use ProGel colorants on it easily.

3. Decorate your Smash Cake with some fondant ornaments

Playing with the colors picked for the session, you can make some ornaments with fondant, like a number 1 or the name of the baby. Put the cake in a cute box, the presentation is very important and… done! Please consider that a Smash Cake photography session is a really delicate, emotion-filled moment, so your cake has to express all those feelings.

Smash Cake: recipe

Cake ingredients

  • 200gr of butter
  • 200gr of white sugar
  • 4 medium size eggs
  • 200gr of self-rising flour
Cakes by Dulces Emy and picture by Respira fotografía

1. Mix the flour, sugar and eggs

Beat the butter in a stand mixer (I use this one from Kitchen Aid) on a high speed until it becomes white and doubles his volume. Add the sugar and keep beating until it becomes white again. As you continue to beat, add the eggs one by one until you get a spongy mix.

2. Add some flavour to your cake: vanilla, lemon or orange

At this point, you can add any flavor from HomeChefvanilla, lemon or orange zest. Finally, add the sifted flourand beat just until blended.

3. Pour the dough into a mould

Grease a 20 cm square mould and pour the dough into it. You can also use a giant cupcake mould. Bake at 170ºC for 25-30 minutes. Check it’s really done with the toothpick test and let it rest. If you want to do a cupcake frosting, you can check out this cupcake frosting recipe, which proved to be a total success.

Ingredientes for the cream:

  • 200gr of butter
  • 200gr of glace sugar
  • 200gr of cream cheese

1. Beat the butter and the sugar

To make the cream, beat the butter (room temperature) in a stand mixer on a high speed until it becomes white. Next, add the sugar glaze after it’s sifted and start beating on a low speed. Gradually speed up and beat until it’s doubled its volume.

2. Add the cheese and the colorants

Add the cream cheese and beat on a low speed until it’s well integrated. You can add ProGel colorants if you want. Put the cream in a pastry bag and use a Wilton open star piping tip 1M. Ready for filling!


Materials suited for pastry and… for babies

Attention! Be careful with sharp objects like skewers or wires. Keep in mind that this is a cake that’s going to be smashed by a kid, so don’t put nothing more than cake, cream or fondant. We don’t want anyone to get hurt!


And You, How Do You Decorate A Smash Cake? 

I hope this post helps you to get a perfect Smash Cake. If you dedicate yourself to creative pastry or you’re starting to, I recommend you do a cake order sheet. By the way, if you’d like to give me some more tips or ask me a question, you can leave a comment. See you on my next post!

Marc Suárez

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