Easy-To-Make Smash Cake for a First Birthday Party

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This smash cake is a little four-inch chocolate birthday cake perfect for a first birthday celebration. It’s an easy-to-make Smash Cake that your little one is going to love.

A Smash Cake for Baby\'s first birthday

For my first grandson’s first birthday, my daughter wanted him to have his own little smash cake. I wanted him to have a homemade cake from grandma, so we bought a 4″ round cake pan. The perfect size for a smash cake.

I combined the Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake recipe with a two cupcake recipe to make just enough batter for one little 4 inch chocolate cake.

4 inch cake with a number 1 birthday candle

The cake domes as it bakes, if you want, you can leave the rounded top. Or, use a serrated knife to trim the top flat.

You can decorate the cake as simply as you’d like. I’ve used sprinkles and easy-to-make white chocolate curls on smash cakes.

Photo collage of baby\'s first birthday.

My grandson had never had cake before, but he couldn’t wait to get his little hands on his little birthday cake. My daughter had to put a little piece of cake in his mouth before he realized it was something to eat.

It was so fun to see his eyes light up with that first taste of cake.

Frosting a 4-inch cake with cream cheese frosting.

Smash Cake for a First Birthday Party

I frosted the chocolate smash cake with a simple cream cheese frosting. You could use chocolate frosting or chocolate ganache if you prefer.

Smash cake with a happy birthday balloon

Two years later, I also made a smash cake for my second grandson’s first birthday. They have such fun sprinkles available online now, so it’s easy to make a simple cake look fun and festive.

Colorful sprinkles on a chocolate smash cake topped with an adorable unicorn candle

Last year we were excited to welcome our first granddaughter to the family and of course for her first birthday, I had to make something adorable. I bought a sweet little unicorn candle to top the cake and some fun unicorn sprinkles to decorate the cake.

Unicorn birthday party collage

The smash cake was a hit with my granddaughter and all the people at the party.

My daughter throws a big party with family and friends for her babies’ first birthdays, so we needed special cakes for the adults too. I baked two chocolate cheesecake cakes. It’s a triple layer cake with a cheesecake layer in the middle. (I’ll update that post with new pictures of the adults’ unicorn cake soon.)

If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate your little one’s first birthday, this easy-to-make smash cake is perfect.

A Smash Cake for Baby's first birthday
Yield: 1 mini cake

Smash Cake for a First Birthday

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 4" x 2" round cake pan with baking spray.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Whisk together water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla in a cup. Add to dry ingredients and whisk just until combined.
  4. Bake 18 - 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. (I frosted the cake with cream cheese icing.)
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Smash cake with sprinkles and a number 1 candle

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