Making My Own Smash Cake: To Sugar or Not to Sugar?

smash cake
If you would have asked me before I had a child if I would ever bake my kid’s cakes, I probably would have said no. However once my child started to eat solid foods, I became more concerned about what was going into his foods. As his first birthday approached, I realized that I was going to be “that mom.” The one that doesn’t want their kid to eat too much sugar. So I got on Pinterest and decided that I would make his first birthday smash cake in order to ensure that it was as sugar free as possible.

  Now I’m what I would call an alright baker. I don’t think I’m amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but I can follow directions. Occasionally I will deviate from a recipe and add in my own special touches.

First I started with a solid banana based recipe (found here) because my little guy loves loves loves banana. Once I had the batter mixed I did a taste test and realized it tasted awful. So I added a little sugar and coco powder to flavor it up a bit. The banana chocolate cake was born.

My kid loves Sesame Street so I got ambitious and bought an Elmo cake pan. I thought if this cake went well, I could make a solid Elmo cake for at least two more years (maybe more when we have kid number two).

As far as the icing went, I simply bought some heavy whipping cream and added food coloring. This is where I had a bit of disappointment. I inadvertently bought single packs of one use food coloring. When I used the entire pack of red dye, there still wasn’t enough and the icing basically turned pink. So we had a pink Elmo. I figured the kid wouldn’t know the difference. He is after all only one-year-old. I did once again deviate from the recipe and added sugar to the icing because it tasted pretty bad. Then I deviated again and added more sugar in the form of melted chocolate for the mouth and eyes.

 

Overall the cake turned out okay. It looked better than it tasted because let’s face it, a cake without sugary goodness isn’t really a cake at all. It’s more of a semi-sweet bread. The flavor didn’t matter too much in the end seeing as my child’s stomach is sort of a bottomless pit. He will eat anything.

Would I make my kid a cake again? You betcha. There is something very rewarding in being the mom who makes homemade cakes for their kid’s birthday. But next time I think a regular cake, sugar and all, will be fine by me. I realized that although it’s important to watch your kid’s sugar intake, it’s more than okay to give in every once in awhile. Especially if it’s their birthday. We will call this new parent lesson #5; everything in moderation.

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