Cake Smash

January 4, 2024

How to Choose a Smash Cake | Columbia Maryland Photographer

How to Choose a Smash Cake

Size of Cake

How to choose a Smash Cake | Columbia Maryland Photographer. I often recommend a certain size and style of cake for a cake smash portrait session. This is because a few factors come into play when photographing the cake. A small size cake still looks big next to a 1 year old. The height matters if you’ll be using the high chair or if you are using a pedestal cake platter I provide in studio. If the cake is too tall it can block part of your baby’s face on the high chair table.

A 4″ or 6″ diameter cake is plenty big when compared to the size of a baby. If you choose a 4″ cake, I’d recommend 3 tiers. If you choose a 6″ cake, either 2 or 3 tiers will be fine.

Cake smash cake with fresh flower adornment and gold geometric shapes and a floral garland background

How to Choose a Smash Cake | Color & Icing type

I recommend white icing. The semi-naked cake style is my favorite because it has a classic look. Another benefit is that the cake itself is easier for your baby to dig into. Fondant is too hard for a baby to eat, so I’d leave that out. Don’t make the mistake of chocolate or brown icing which can look not so great smeared on the floor in your photos. Food colors stain wooden surfaces, so I only allow white icing on the wooden high chair and platters. If you want to have a more colorful cake or cake design, I’d recommend soft or pastel icing colors. Or, consider cake toppers to dress up the cake. As part of your cake smash session, some basic decor is included. So when you fill out your questionnaire, you can request fresh flowers or fruit. I can creatively arrange flowers or fruit onto and around your cake. And I can also create a custom fresh flower garland or hanging flower designs as your background.

4 tier cake smash cake with fresh flower adornment | How to Choose a Smash Cake
4 tier cake smash cake with 4" diameter | How to Choose a Smash Cake
Cake Smash photos of a baby girl eating a small white icing cake | How to Choose a Smash Cake
Mom made a homemade sugar free cake shown here and she did a great job!
1 year old girl happily eating the cake on a wooden cake stand | How to Choose a Smash Cake
This is the same cake, we took some photos with the high chair and the rest with a cake stand. You pick your favorite! Want to see more from this session, check out that blog post HERE.
Ombre cake with lavender and polka dots and polka dot balloons | How to Choose a Smash Cake
Love the Ombre look of this cake
baby boy in blue overalls and One year banner on smash cake

Other Thoughts

Parents bring the cake. You can make sure the ingredients are agreeable to you, which is especially important with food allergies and dietary restrictions. Also, don’t worry about your baby not eating much cake. Honestly, the cake is more for show, and usually only a small amount ends up in tummies. It is a rare occasion for the cake to be smashed completely. Most babies gingerly pick at them. You might appreciate the easier clean-up in this case. And since the cake is more symbolic of this 1 year milestone, it isn’t imperative that we let the smashing go on for a long time. You might even take your cake back home with you and eat it if it remains intact.

Sugar Free Options

Many parents don’t want their baby eating too much sugar or any at all. There are great alternatives to sugary cakes and icings. You can find recipes online. A banana bread “cake” can be naturally sweet, and you can use ingredients other than sugar to make frosting.

Practice Makes Perfect

If this cake smash will be the first time your baby tries a sweet dessert or cake, they may love it or they may not like it at all. Also, if they are used to eating a certain way, they might be confused as to why they are suddenly permitted to devour a cake all their own. My own 3rd child, looked at me like, “Wait, you mean I get to eat this cake?! It is just mine for the taking?” He, fortunately, was totally into it. While I have photographed some babies who looked confused and the “free-for-all” seemed to make them a little upset. So my advice is to do a test run at home a day or two before your session and see how it goes. I think it is good for us to have realistic expectations that your baby might just stare at the cake and barely touch it.

We can add little snacks that they are familiar with to hide at the back of the cake, such as Cheerios or Puffs. I’ve been using this trick for years during newborn sessions with older siblings. I say, “Hey, can you find the Cheerios on your baby brother.” Right as they lean down to pick up the Cheerio, I snap the photo. So for the cake smash, hiding their favorite snack on the back of the cake will make it easier for us to achieve some pleasant photos, by lifting up some of the pressure to eat cake.

How to Choose a Smash Cake 6" cake with textured white icing and baby with decorative outfit and balloon eating cake
This cake had a textured icing finish which looked great!
How to Choose a Smash Cake | 6" cake with textured white icing smashed on the floor and baby with decorative outfit and balloon eating cake

How to choose a Smash Cake | Columbia Maryland Photographer

Whether you bake your own, order from a gourmet grocery store or bakery, a simple cake is best and looks the most timeless!