DIY Cake Smash for a First Birthday

My little Evie girl has just turned one!

DIY Cake Smash Photography

DIY Cake Smash Photography

And to celebrate, we did a whole host of fun things, including a floral themed cake smash! The smash was completely self-styled and very easy to do so I thought I would share some of the process here.

First, THE CAKE.

I used a basic chocolate cake recipe from Kidspot. A double batch was enough for four mini cakes (three needed and a spare). I found these mini springform cake tins at Kmart.

I made the cakes about a week in advance and, using a hack I learned from Kate at Heritage Blankets, I wrapped them up and froze them until the day before the smash. Freezing them made it easier to slice the tops off (for layering) and to put the icing on.

The icing was a simple buttercream spread between each layer and around the cake then scraped off to create a ‘naked’ look.

Cake Smash DIY

naked cake smash DIY

I chose not to use any colouring in the cake or icing for two reasons: a) I wanted to stick with a natural/outdoorsy look and b) I don’t like to feed my kids the colouring with numbers.

There are natural colourings out there, so if you can get some, go for gold. Colouring in the icing creates the messy pops of coloured cake on the baby’s face and clothes.

I topped the cake with a combination of silk and real flowers. You could use either really, but I chose silk as I use them a lot anyway in styling (and also wanted the same colour scheme for Evie’s birthday party without running the risk of the florist going out of stock). A few live flowers add to the realism. The silk flowers came from Spotlight.

I finished the cake off with a beautiful custom topper from Raw Designs Co. I’ve previously worked with Jade so I knew her work would be beautiful and she didn’t disappoint.

Custom Cake Topper Cake Smash

Custom Cake Topper Cake Smash

Now for the OUTFIT

Evie’s romper was received as part of a collaboration with My Lily-Ann. My Lily-Ann are the creator of beautiful hand-painted clothing where each piece is custom made so it’s a little different to past and future pieces. I picked this one because the colours matched perfectly to the overall theme of burgundy and green.

Her headband was sourced from Mauve & May who have a beautiful range of floral crowns.

Next is the SETUP

I wanted to do this shoot on location. Call me crazy, but I felt like my floral, outdoorsy theme needed to be, well, outdoors. I have a perfect spot not far from my house, but being just me and two kids, I knew I needed to travel light.

I constructed a folding three legged frame for my flower wall back drop so that it would easily prop upright without having to be dug into the ground. My flower wall consisted of more silk flowers and greenery strung up with fishing line and tied to a cross bar.

DIY Cake Smash Flower Wall

DIY Cake Smash Flower Wall

I had a stump for the cake to sit on and a few extra flowers handy for extra decoration.

Evie was dressed before leaving and my camera with 35mm lens already mounted, headband and other small accessories were packed into a backpack. All-in-all it only took two trips (one of those with the kids) to and from the car to get everything out and set up.

Time to SHOOT

The biggest thing to remember with cake smashes, especially after the stress of planning one, is that it should be FUN for your baby! Don’t worry too much about perfect shots or forcing your baby’s hand deep into the cake. Let them do it in their own way and their personality will shine through in the pictures.

We sang Happy Birthday to Evie, which she thought was pretty silly (as you can tell by her expression below), and then let her go at it. She did the whole cake smash with only a couple of fingers and dug into the back of the cake like a little mouse.

DSC_9121 copy

First Birthday Floral Cake Smash

I also had Charlie with me, and it was important that he had fun too. He got a little bag of M&Ms while I took initial shots, then he was welcome to join in. It was nice also to be able to capture a photo of both my babes enjoying the cake.

DSC_9214 copy

First Birthday Cake Smash Siblings

All up the shoot probably took half an hour to forty five minutes. I pottered around snapping photos from different angles and only once disturbed Evie to take her romper off to get some nappy shots.

And that’s it! Cake smashes are a simple and cost effective event to create as a memory of your baby’s first birthday.

To read the second part of this series – Style your own first birthday party – click through here.

Emily is a Product photographer and stylist servicing the small business and online sector to create beautiful content for websites and social media alike. Find her styling packages here or of you want follow her styling story, check her out on Instagram.

One thought on “DIY Cake Smash for a First Birthday

  1. Pingback: Style Your Own First Birthday Party! – EMILY K CREATIVE

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