This Gluten-Free Make-Ahead Banana Smash Cake Is a Deliciously Easy Way to Make Your Baby’s Day

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If you’re planning a first birthday celebration and looking for a gluten-free smash cake option for your baby, Rachel Mansfield has just the recipe for you. Not only is her take on the tradition gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan — with no added sugar to boot — it’s one that only takes 15 minutes to prepare.

For the unfamiliar, a smash cake is a separate treat that allows for a cute photo opp of the Baby of Honor destroying their first birthday cake without running the risk of leaving the rest of the family out of the dessert-eating fun. Mansfield recently shared the simple recipe on Instagram after making it to celebrate both of her children for their first birthdays. 

To get started, preheat your oven to 350°F and grease three 4-inch round cake pans. You’ll then mash two ripe bananas in a large bowl — Mansfield suggests using ones that are just speckled to avoid ending up with a cake that’s too sweet. Once the bananas are pureed, mix in 1/3 cup of unsweetened organic applesauce, 1/4 cup of the non-dairy milk, and 2 tablespoons of liquid oil. Mansfield uses flaxseed milk and liquid coconut oil in her demonstration but you can substitute for oat (or the nut milk of your choice), and replace coconut for avocado or olive oil.

Once your wet ingredients are mixed well, add 1 1/2 cups of oat flour and a teaspoon each of cinnamon and baking powder before stirring until smooth and well combined. Divide the batter between your three cake pans evenly and bake for 15 minutes before testing for doneness.

Allow the cakes to cool completely before assembling your smash cake. Then, place the first cake on a plate and spread a layer of homemade or organic store-bought icing, then repeat with the other two layers before frosting the final product and topping it off with sprinkles.

Adding to the convenience of this easy smash cake recipe, Mansfield says the cake will stay good for 3-4 days in the fridge, which means you can prepare it in advance and remove one task from your party-day list.

Tai Saint-Louis

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Tai Saint-Louis is a Haitian-born, Atlanta-based journalist & content development consultant. Over the course of her 20 year career she has contributed to Mass Appeal, Ebony.com, WatchLoud.com, Bossip.com, Creative Loafing, Scratch, XXL, The Source, Upscale Magazine and AllHipHop.com, and worked with brands including the Combat Jack Show and the A3C Festival. She is also the co-author of The Art Behind The Tape, the first coffee table book about the history of mixtape culture.

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