The Smash Cake


A friend of mine recently hired a photographer for a special photo session to commemorate her daughter’€™s first birthday. Part of the shoot included pictures of a cake smash, a fairly hot trend in child photography these days.
If you’€™re unfamiliar with this concept here’€™s how it works: babies (and sometimes even toddlers) are presented with a fully decorated birthday cake to destroy and devour in front of the camera. This is usually done in advance of the actual birthday, and the messy images are often used on an actual party invitation, as a surprise and keepsake for the guests.

For parents who don’€™t want to hire a photographer in advance of their baby’€™s birthday celebration, a smash cake is presented to the child at their party, and the parents capture the destruction of the cake as it happens in real time. In this situation, there are usually two cakes: one for the guests to eat with a fork and knife, and one specifically for the birthday child to smash.

Bakeries are now getting in on the action and many are offering a free smash cake with the purchase of a large cake to celebrate a baby’€™s birthday. My friend is a pastry chef for a private catering company in Toronto and she estimates that smash cakes now make up 15% of their yearly cake orders.

If you are thinking of organizing a photo shoot with a smash cake, or plan on presenting one to your child at their first (or next) birthday, here are a few things to consider first:

  • When it comes to icing colours, avoid deep blue, black and red, if possible. Those colours are difficult to clean and can leave a lasting stain on the face.
  • Use a drop cloth under the high chair/table to help corral messes.
  • Have a change of clothes handy as well as lots of wipes, a clean cloth and a towel.
  • Cupcakes work just as well as a small cake and are usually easier for babies to handle.
  • If you were thinking of making your own smash cake, these mini birthday cakes would work perfectly for the occasion.

So what do you think? Have you ever done a smash cake photo shoot? Would you? Have you given a child a smash cake at their birthday party? Let’€™s discuss.


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