This easy and beautiful paleo smash cake is a yummy and healthy birthday cake that’s free of all common allergens! All babies should be able to enjoy cake and feel good at the same time.
My baby recently turned 1 year old, and for months now, I’ve been dreaming of making a healthy smash cake recipe for her first birthday. While she does not have any food allergies so far (fingers crossed!), I still wanted a cake that’s free of common allergens to keep it anti-inflammatory, while still being delicious so she would enjoy it. And I’m so happy I made that possible!
Allergen Free Paleo Smash Cake Recipe
This sugar free smash cake is only sweetened with fruit and made without some of the top allergens, which I try to only expose my baby to from time to time. It’s a yummy first birthday cake that is:
- gluten free
- dairy free
- egg free
- nut free
- grain free
- sugar free
I also made a healthy smash cake frosting recipe that you can add color to if you want to!
Ingredients in Paleo & Gluten Free Smash Cake
- Cassava flour
- Coconut flour
- Baking soda
- Sea salt
- Ripe bananas
- Coconut milk
- Coconut oil
- Apple cider vinegar
Just 8 ingredients in this healthy smash cake recipe and the result is a cute and delicious round cake layer that you can stack and frost.
What Size is Smash Cake?
For this yummy and healthy first birthday cake, I made it small since I wanted to be baby-sized and I knew she would mostly play around with it instead of eating it. I decided to do 3 layers of 4-inch round cakes. However, you can also do 2 layers of 6-inch round cakes with this recipe. These are the cake pans I used, and that link has both the 4-inch and the 6-inch options available.
Healthy Smash Cake Frosting Options
I gave two options for frosting for this paleo smash cake: coconut cream frosting and heavy whipping cream frosting.
- Coconut whipped cream frosting is great for whipping into fluffy cream, but make sure to chill the can of coconut cream or milk overnight so the cream can separate. You can check out this post for the best brands of coconut milk to use for this purpose. One thing to do note about this frosting is that it will melt when warmed up at room temperature for a long time. I recommend you keep the cake chilled until just before serving.
- Heavy whipping cream frosting is a sturdier option for this gluten free smash cake and I recommend it if your baby isn’t allergic to dairy. It will last longer at room temperature and will be a bit stiffer.
Sweetener or No?
While this is a sugar free smash cake, if you want to add a bit more sweetness to it, you can add it to the frosting. I recommend powdered sugar, and you can use coconut sugar that’s been powdered in the food processor for this recipe. Personally, I didn’t add any extra sweetener for my baby’s cake, and she still loved it!
How to Dye Frosting Without Food Coloring
I kept this healthy smash cake frosting simple and white, but I totally get that you may want to make it colorful depending on the theme or your favorite color. If you want to avoid using chemical food coloring, I highly recommend using freeze-dried fruits to add color to the frosting in a healthier way.
All you have to do is run the freeze-dried fruit in the food processor until powdery, then whip it with coconut cream or heavy whipping cream when making the frosting. Here are my recommendations for the different colors you can create:
- Red/pink: freeze dried strawberries or raspberries
- Yellow: freeze dried pineapples
- Purple: freeze dried blueberries
These are what I’ve tried in the past that have worked well to dye frosting naturally. There are definitely other freeze dried fruits that you can try out to test out the different colors though!
A Few Notes About This Healthy First Birthday Cake
- The texture of this cake will be slightly denser than a standard cake. It’s hard to make cake fluffy and light when you aren’t using all-purpose flour and eggs. However, I personally found it delicious and your baby won’t notice the difference!
- Since this is a sugar free smash cake, find bananas that are very ripe to maximize the sweetness. Even still, the cake itself won’t be that sweet. If you want to make it even sweeter so the whole family can enjoy it, feel free to add 1/4 cup of maple syrup to the batter.
- The cake batter will be a bit thicker in texture than a standard cake batter. That’s okay! It’ll still bake up nicely. Just make sure to flatten the top of the batter before baking.
- Make sure to cool the cake completely before frosting. Otherwise, the frosting will melt!
- If you want to add some textures to the frosting to decorate it nicely, I recommend using something like this cake scraper and smoother set. That’s how I got those pretty lines on the sides of the cake!
If you enjoyed this healthy first birthday cake recipe, you might also like:
- How to Start Solids at 6 Months: Our Experience
- Paleo Carrot Mug Cake
- Non Toxic Baby Products For The Nursery and Registry
- Paleo Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache
- Paleo & Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake (No Bake)
Allergen Free Paleo Smash Cake (Egg Free, Grain Free, Nut Free, Sugar Free)
- 1 14 oz can of full-fat coconut milk or cream with no emulsifier – chilled overnight
- OR 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled if no dairy allergy
- Optional sweetener: 3-4 tbsp coconut sugar
- Optional coloring: 3/4 cup freeze-dried fruit of choice* See note for coloring options
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line the bottom of three 4-inch cake pans (3 layers) or two 6-inch 2 cake pans (2 layers) with parchment paper cut into circles. Grease the sides with coconut oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cassava flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together blended banana, coconut milk, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar (and maple syrup, if using).
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined.
- Divide the batter into the prepared cake pans evenly. Tap the pans on the countertop a few times to evenly distribute the batter, then flatten out the top with the back of a spoon. It'll be a bit thicker than a standard cake batter.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool on the countertop for 20 minutes, then remove from the cake pans carefully. Cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- MAKE THE FROSTING: If using coconut sugar and/or dehydrated fruit for coloring, place them in the food processor and blend until powdery.For Coconut Frosting – Carefully remove the can of coconut cream or milk from the fridge, slowly turn the can upside down, and open it with a can opener. Pour out the coconut water you see on the top, and scoop out the solid cream on the bottom. Combine the cream with powdered sugar and dehydrated fruit (if using), and use a stand mixer or a handheld mixer to beat until stiff peaks form.For Heavy Whipping Cream Frosting – Combine the chilled heavy whipping cream with powdered sugar and dehydrated fruit (if using). Use a stand mixer or a handheld mixer to beat until stiff peaks form.
- Frost the cake. If the cake layers are not flat on the top, use a serrated knife to to cut a thin layer of the tops of the cakes. Place 1 cake on a cake stand or plate, then frost the top with some of the frosting. Add another layer, then repeat (skip for a 2-layer cake). Add the final layer, then spread the frosting all over the top and sides. Garnish and decorate to your liking.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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