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22 Comments

So apparently people are actually buying cakes with the sole intention of destroying them for a photo. For realsies, it’s a thing, and it’s called the cake smash. And if you’re anything like me, the thought of a celebration cake smashing, smooshing or squishing is pretty horrifying. But that’s exactly what some people are doing ON PURPOSE when their kidlet turns one.

After doing a little research into this phenomenon it seems nobody knows exactly how this idea came about, or is willing to take responsibility for the thousands of cake lives lost. What we do know is that for the last 10 years it has become an increasingly popular addition to many 1st birthday celebrations in the US, and it’s gaining ground here in the UK.

But what is a smash cake and WHY would anyone think it’s a good idea?!

Cake Smashing

Visual description of a cake smash | Pic via Today Online

Well, essentially the idea is to put a cake- made and bought specifically for this purpose- in front of your 1 year old and let them wreak havoc on it. The result is meant to produce delightfully cute scenes, as your baby frolics with the frosting, demolishes the sponge and generally makes a giant mess of things. Generally to be shared on social media (because cute kids and cake is INSTAGRAM GOLD!).

Now this doesn’t sound like an obvious photo op to me, but supposedly it’s so adorable that pro photographers even offer smash cake packages to capture baby’s first taste of refined sugar. Because- obviously- we should be celebrating the moment our child starts to consume processed food!

And if you’re thinking about the inevitable mammoth clean-up, don’t worry, the trend is way ahead of you. Nowadays these photoshoots/parties often include a post-cake-smash-bath-tub-clean-up. Because babies and bubbles are a whole other level of cute, right?

Repeat after me: “Cake belongs in my tummy and not on the floor!”

Baby Cake Smash

Baby not into cake? Just bring cake to baby! | Pic via themommyproject.com

There’s no denying that messy babies and cute cakes are a killer combo in the awwww stakes, but I still can’t believe this has grown into a thing!

It's a contrived setup, and most of the stories I’ve come across mention babies being coaxed into trying the cake, or worse, the adults squishing the cake up to try and get the munchkin to play with it! I'm not really sure how or when engineering Pinterest-worthy scenes like this, showing the world that your kid is having fun on their birthday bashing up a cake, was normalised.

I just can’t get behind a trend that willingly destroys DELICIOUS cake that was beautifully baked and frosted, it’s too much of a waste of time, ingredients and tastiness, no matter how good the pics are! Maybe, just maybe a cupcake mashed up would get that perfect 'gram, while leaving the other 11 out of the dozen intact.

Choose a cake that both baby and guests can enjoy

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22 Responses

Jay
Jay

11 November, 2019

A smash cake?! Never heard of it. Don’t understand it. Seems like the epitome of privilege. It’s obviously not about the child either. If your one year old isn’t happy with one cake…I don’t know what you’ve done to them. Seems like something people do just to post a picture. Eye roll

Timpano
Timpano

10 November, 2019

Smashing cakes have gone back to when I was a kid and I’m 36. The only difference is it was a gigantic cake and smash cakes are not. Smash cakes are a heck a lot smaller than normal cakes. A cupcake doesn’t do it. Imagine a big candle on a cupcake. Yeah that would look wonderful 🙄🤦‍♀️.
Kids are meant to play with their food. It’s how they understand what they are eating.

Sooz
Sooz

07 July, 2019

Am I the only person who finds photos of babies covered in cake pretty revolting? I’ve seen the photo shoots, dress a baby up then cover it in cake, then bath it .. all for the camera? My children had a birthday cake shared with the family and they had a slice of it. Yes they made a mess, no I didn’t feel any urge to take photos of them daubed in food.

Elena
Elena

02 May, 2019

😂😂

LNC
LNC

27 January, 2019

I did a cake smash and I love the photos! It was totally worth doing as a milestone (also got a free photographer and personalised cake and signage, would have not paid for it otherwise).

If one day of my baby eating a few mouthful of cake and guest eating the leftovers is a crime, then I am guilty (and a chav supposedly)! 😉

Lilly
Lilly

27 January, 2019

I totally agree, when I turned one i got a biscuit with some fruit on it. I was happy with it. And by the way I never missed pictures of me smashing a cake

Wendy Diedrich
Wendy Diedrich

27 January, 2019

I’m not going to hate on your post. I too think a beautiful cake shouldn’t be destroyed like that. But, this phenomena goes further back then ten years in the US.
I was born in 1963, I have the photos from my first birthday in 1964, where I destroyed a large two-layer birthday cake. Everyone I knew growing up did this, and my Facebook feed is still filled with family and friends doing the same.
I think the only difference, is that the smash cake is more elaborate then in days past.

Kassidy
Kassidy

27 January, 2019

Completely agree why if ya really wanna see ya baby smash a cake up give them a simple cupcake you could make yaself why waste someone’s hard work and their hard earned money?

Amy
Amy

27 January, 2019

I assume you’re mortified by newlyweds smashing cake in each other’s faces? Is it a waste of valuable cake or toxic rubbish, I lost track. One day of a few bites of cake teaches NOTHING people. Plus, last time I checked this is exactly how one year olds eat literally everything. If you birth another human and keep them alive for a year, then want a pic of them smearing cake everywhere then you get that. No big deal. But no worries, I guarantee parents don’t care what you think and judging parents is pretty unoriginal content.

Katie
Katie

17 October, 2018

I’m kind of in agreement, it teaches kids to mess around with their food and a waste of money. Though for our daughters birthday I’m making a tiny healthy cake for her to try on the day and having an adult proper cake for her birthday… which will be smashed down with a glass of fizz!

Shen Shen
Shen Shen

08 October, 2018

Get a grip. I highly doubt that people are spending hundreds of pounds on a cake for a baby to smash it. Its personal choice and something fun to look back on, I dont see the problem. And I dont know why people concern themselves with what other do!

Shona Rose
Shona Rose

29 September, 2018

Completely agree. I hate the fact that this is gaining in popularity in the Uk. My children didn’t taste refined sugar until age 3, and they were hardly missing out. I would never have let them stuff themselves with unnecessary toxic rubbish just to provide a ludicrously staged photo “opportunity”! Ugh. Lets be honest, before age 3 or 4, birthday celebrations are purely for the adults and their friends.

Salsie
Salsie

24 September, 2018

IT’S FOR CHAVS

Ewa
Ewa

21 August, 2018

I hate seeing smashcakes it’s just so ridiculous… children year after year have less good manners and you even encourage them to be worse for fun yey

Pat
Pat

01 August, 2018

@MCK take a chill pill! Calm down and take a deep breathe. It will all be fine. Ommmmm

MCK
MCK

31 July, 2018

They’re called smash cakes because that’s what a baby does….smash something to try and get it in his or her mouth. For each of my children’s first birthdays, I baked something small and simple with easy whipped topping. I did something a little more elegant for guests. What is ridiculous is suggesting a recipe with considerably more complicated elements as though either a one year old should be skilled with a fork or shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy the cake at all. Are you even a parent? It’s a first birthday with a cake that many people turn down and much ends up in the trash anyway. Get a grip.

Linda
Linda

08 June, 2018

What a great way to start early in teaching a child some manners when it comes to eating and proper behavior at the table. “Oh look, little Suzie Q has a nostril full of cake and is having difficulty breathing! This will be a great photo for FB. Not many can compare with this!” Adults with that attitude are anything but adult.

Donna
Donna

30 May, 2018

I think it’s a dumb “tradition”. What’s wrong with a square or slice of cake for baby to eat/play with? Over-indulgent. Also,the staged nature is annoying. Just my opinion! But, as another poster, said, “To each his own”. Despite the dopey nature of a smash cake (not to mention waste), it’s not really hurting anyone. Same as Gender Reveal cakes.

Alisa Evans
Alisa Evans

17 May, 2018

When my 21 year old son turned one I baked him his own personal cake. It made great pics. So imagine my surprise when I heard they had come out with “smash cakes”! These people just didn’t know me because I have 11 years on the supposed 10 year history of its popularity! IJS

Sharon
Sharon

28 March, 2018

So when did this become a smash cake. We used to always have a little cake just for baby to eat & get messy with so they didn’t destroy the other cake for the adults & other kids. We just called it their cake. And if u can keep a 1 yr old from destroying any food put in front of them , including a slice of cake, well….

Annie
Annie

19 March, 2018

I see in the pics that the kids are often messily eating the cake, not just smashing them. The cakes are made for that purpose, and are small and of uncomplicated in design. I don’t see the problem with doing it honestly, as cake making is a form of temporary art. All cakes, no matter what they are for will be destroyed at the end of whatever their purpose was – many ending up in the toilet.

The only thing that disturbs me about fads like this is the contrived element. I like more candid, ‘organic’ photos.

But to each their own.

Stevo
Stevo

17 June, 2017

FINALLY someone who understands that cake should be consumed and not obliterated!

Loved your post. Love your delectable selection, too!

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