Crafts & DIY Sweet Treats

Harper’s 1st DIY Healthy Cake Smash Photo Shoot + Recipe

So here’s the thing about Harper. The girl loves food. But not just any food. She likes food with deep, complex flavors. I know what you’re thinking. She’s 1. I know, but the thing is, she really does. Falafel with Tahini Sauce, Coconut Curry, Blueberry Waffles with Almond Butter. She has good taste, right?A knockout recipe for baby's 1st birthday smash cake - made healthy!

But this post is about cake! I know, I know. I’m going somewhere with this, I promise. So for her 1st birthday cake, I knew I had to make something good. A regular cake would just not do. Pretty sure I spent weeks researching and talking to my husband about what kind of cake I was going to make (who am I?) After many nights on Pinterest (the struggle is real) I finally decided on a Carrot-Coconut Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. To say that Harper liked the cake would just be life’s greatest understatement.

A knockout recipe for baby's 1st birthday smash cake - made healthy!

Carrot Coconut Spice Cake

  • 1 cup Organic All-Purpose Flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups Organic Whole Wheat Flour (not pastry flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 8 tbs (1 stick) Organic Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Organic Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Organic Honey
  • 1 cup Organic Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 3 Organic or Local Eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups Organic Grated Carrots (I used a box grater)
  • ½ cup Organic Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 tbs Organic Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup Organic Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 8 oz. Organic Cream Cheese, at room temperature (I used Organic Valley)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease your cake pans with softened butter and dust with flour. Shake the excess flour out. I used 6-inch and 4-inch springform cake pans. This cake would also work in 2 8-inch pans (springform pans are not necessary).
  3. Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice until combined. Then set aside.
  4. Wet Ingredients: In a different large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, honey, maple syrup, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla. Note: be sure the melted butter has cooled before combining it with the eggs. Otherwise you risk scrambling the eggs. 
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and gently fold from the outside in with a rubber spatula until combined. Gently stir in the grated carrot and shredded coconut until just combined. Allow the batter to rest for about 10 minutes.
  6. Pour the batter into the pans and then gently tap the bottom of the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. While the cake is baking, make the frosting. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or with a handheld mixer) beat the softened cream cheese and butter until combined. Add the maple syrup and beat until combined. Allow baby to lick the beaters (it is her birthday!)
  9. When the cakes are done, allow them to cool in their pans for about 30 minutes. Gently release them from their pans and allow to cool on a wire rack until completely cool.
  10. Frost the cake however you like! If you want more frosting, I suggest doubling the frosting recipe. Store the cake in the fridge. Note: this cake can be made a day in advance and also tastes better as it sits.

This recipe was adapted slightly from Live Simply

A knockout recipe for baby's 1st birthday smash cake - made healthy!

Did you do a smash cake for your baby’s 1st birthday? What kind of cake did you make? Or just thoughts on cake in general? Mmm cake.

DIY HEALTHY Cake Smash & Photo Shoot Ideas


Note: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 

To read how I made the “ONE” banner, click here.

Join the Club

 x. Subscribe to receive healthy meal ideas, parenting tips, and easy DIYs!

You have been successfully subscribed!

You Might Also Like

  • Harper’s 1st Woodland-Themed Birthday Party – Because I Said So Baby
    July 15, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    […] For Harper’s Healthy (and delicious!) Smash Cake Recipe & Photoshoot click here. […]