Cake! Cake smashes are just so adorable. I mean what could be cuter than a little baby digging into some delicious sweets and making a total mess!
My son, Jon's first birthday party was Very Hungry Caterpillar themed (post to come!), so I decided it'd be fun to make his cake smash cake sort of apple shaped. Well, I had hoped to use a 4" or 5" pan and make a three layer cake from this awesome banana cake recipe I found here. I knew I wanted something more on the "healthy" junk food side and this was right up that alley. I could only find a 6" pan and have issues with wasting much, so it ended up being a short and wide apple-ish looking thing. :-)
I made some strawberry cream cheese frosting from this recipe rather than the Greek yogurt icing suggested in the cake recipe because strawberry banana just sounded completely delicious to me. (And it was!!!--I used this recipe for his regular birthday cake too!) I ended up making so much extra frosting that I used it as a fruit dip for his party too--yum! It did somewhat cancel out the "healthy" choices made in the cake itself, but hey--two steps forward, one step back--still forward progress! :-D
Now I was completely in love with the taste of this cake and icing. I did, however, feel that it probably wasn't the best choice for the smash session. The cake is VERY dense which made it a little hard for Jonny to really dig into as opposed to the sessions I've done previously with nice fluffy unhealthy cakes.
The frosting was more of a soupy sticky messy than the typical fluffy buttercream's stay-wherever-it-touches messy and as such kind of just fell off him for the most part rather than creating the covered-in-frosting look I typically capture in smash sessions. I also typically do sessions with very vibrant colors for the frosting to add to the messy drama and using fresh strawberries made a beautiful soft pink cake, but not a lot of dramatic color. :-)
I think I might do some experimenting with the cake recipe to make it a little less dense for the future and will probably just stick with buttercreams, but you live and learn! (And I had the benefit of discovering these super yummy recipes that maybe weren't great for this particular use, but man are they tasty!)
Regardless of the level of mess created, Jonny absolutely had a blast! I put him in a plain white diaper cover and a cute little bow tie I made (get yours here). It happened to be a fairly warm but relatively overcast day out despite being mid October, so I opted to quickly move my set up outside just before I started since our house here in Boonton, New Jersey is not exactly a natural light photographer's dream. I had kind of just assumed I'd be doing an indoor session since it was mid October and I was going to have him in just a diaper, so I didn't even think about possible outdoor locations.
Simply using my backdrop setup I had planned but outside was still much nicer than using it inside our house! I used my red chevron backdrop (because the color fit perfectly with the Very Hungry Caterpillar color scheme AND I'm kind of chevron obsessed) ;-) and I hung up the triangle pennant banner I made him (get your banner here). I decided on a plain white flooring to keep the focus on the mess.
Jon at first seemed a little unsure about whether he was REALLY allowed to be eating something so tasty, but after insisting on and receiving a fork, he dug right in! I even let big brother James join him to eat some of the cake as well (dressed in a similar bow tie and another white diaper cover). Jonny wasn't real keen on sharing and gave James some interesting looks, but they had a great time together smashing his first birthday cake!
Towards the end, it actually started to mist a bit, but the boys trudged right through it and kept on smashing! :-)