Make Baby's First Birthday a Smash

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More than 374,000 babies are born in September and 367,000 in October every year. That's a lot of cake. According to a recent Betty Crocker survey of moms conducted by KRC Research, the cake is one of the most important elements of a first birthday. In fact, 58 percent of moms shared that watching their one-year-olds explore, taste, smash, smear and dive in to their first birthday cake is the most memorable moment of the party, far exceeding opening gifts and singing "Happy Birthday" to their little one.

Nearly six in 10 moms say their child's first birthday cake is a messy one, with the baby enjoying a classic "fist-and-face-full of frosting" or a "full-scale cake dive," creating endless entertainment for everyone. And while 60 percent of moms think it's important to make their child's first birthday cake, 46 percent actually whipped them up at home, while 54 percent purchased them.

To make baby's birthday festivities easy and memory-filled, Betty Crocker has created a line-up of on-trend, pint-sized, first birthday smash cake recipes that are easy to make, designed for that special girl or boy to scoop, smear and smash. And, to make sure everyone can "have their cake and eat it, too," America's baking expert is serving up simple ideas for those who prefer a sweet treat free of baby's fingerprints.

"Smash cakes are becoming a big trend," said Kristen Olson, senior food editor with Betty Crocker Test Kitchens. "Our easy recipes give moms the inspiration and confidence to create adorable smash cakes that babies can't wait to get their hands on, and moms can't wait to show off. As a bonus, use the leftover batter for matching cupcakes for the rest of your guests."

From round, square and number shapes to bright colors, pastels and fun textures, these itty-bitty smash cakes are as easy to make as they are to enjoy. Just remember to snap pictures before – and after – baby dives in to capture those once-in-a-lifetime messy moments and sweet smiles.

No. 1 Cutout Cake – This little cake says, "I'm one!" in a big way. All you need is Betty Crocker cake mix, an 8" x 4" loaf pan, a knife to create the number one shape using a Betty Crocker template, and some frosting. Add your own twist to the toppings, including baby's favorite bits of fruit, crushed animal crackers, sprinkles, cereal and more.  

Peas & Carrots Smash Cake If you're looking to sneak some fruits and veggies into baby's first sweet treat, this round smash cake is your best bet. Mix bananas in to the batter and combine pureed carrots, cream cheese and yogurt for the frosting. Top the cake with peas for a precious pop of color.

Polka Dot Smash Cake – Encourage your budding artist to create a messy masterpiece with this two-layered, three-inch round smash cake. You'll love watching your little one try to pick out the red confetti polka dots from the turquoise-frosted cake, resulting in swirls of color. Add a little matching red candle and your baby won't be able to resist!

Sprinkles Smash Cake Transform baby's favorite toy into an edible creation. Just cut the 8" x 4" loaf cake in half, stack to form the block and frost. Place a No. 1 cut-out template made from wax or parchment paper on top and add baby blue sprinkles around the template to create a cute contrast, making the No. 1 shape the star of the show.

Striped Mini Smash Cake – Pastel frosting with bright orange stripes and polka dots make this two-layered round cake beg for baby's attention. A brightly colored, eye-catching candle creates another element of surprise.

Watercolor Cake – This elegant little cake features purple and teal pastels. It's almost too lovely to smash – a perfect fit for 10 percent of moms surveyed who said they'd like to minimize the mess.

Confetti Cake Stack - Confetti sprinkles make this mini smash cake sweet and simple.

Click here for easy-to-create birthday cake recipes, design templates and tools. For illustrated, step-by-step instructions for the No. 1 Cutout Cake, see this infographic. Check out this video for some messy moments captured from first birthdays.