Cake Smash – How to DIY

With Rhys turning 1 this week and me being such an avid Pinterest pinner, it was only natural that I’d have a board dedicated to kiddies birthdays!

I wanted to do some kind of photo shoot for him so that we’d have some lovely memories to look back on and one thing that really stood out to me was the Cake Smash.

Incase you don’t know what one is, a cake smash is pretty much putting a birthday cake in front of your little one and letting them go crazy with it – while capturing the wonderful moments on camera!

I loved the idea so much that I’ve ended up with a whole board dedicated to them and gathered a load of inspiration and tips for Rhys’s very own cake smash.

Now they can get messy, very very messy so here are my top tips on how to make the best cake smash:


1- Be preparedIMG_2078

Make sure to have everything set up and ready before you sit your little one by the cake. The last thing you want is to be hanging up the bunting while buba gets his hands on the cake and you’ve missed that pre-craziness picture moment!

I got everything set up while Rhys was napping – the balloons, the bunting and the chalkboard all in place. As soon as Rhys woke up I put him in his outfit and while he and my mum played in the kitchen (avoiding any messy play) I popped the whip cream and toppings on the cake.

I then placed the cake in position, got ready with the camera and gave mum the signal to sit Rhys in front of the camera.


2 – Don’t go at it alone

If it’s just you and bambino then you could risk them being more interested in you and the camera than the cake. Have another adult with you that can keep them focused and excited about the fun at hand (and help you with cleaning up the mess after!)IMG_2105

My mum was fab and kept Rhys busy while I prepped his cake, played peekaboo with him to try and make him smile during the cake smash and got him spoons and a bucket to keep him interested. She also ran the bath for him while I got the majority of cake off him in the garden.


3 – Wet wipes at the ready!

Have supplies within arms reach to get little one cleaned up as much as you can. Rhys had lots of sticky crumbs on him so I just stripped off his vest, brushed the crumbs off with that and then used wet wipes to get of the excess whipped cream. IMG_2113

We then popped him in the bath and made him squeaky clean again (until dinner time when I let him feed himself!)


4 – Don’t expect to eat the cake! 

In most cake smashes I’ve seen the children are let loose on the most extravagant and expensive looking cakes. That’s all well and good as the pictures look fab but as a DIY lover I’d rather do things on a budget, and use that money on other things for Rhys.

I just bought two small cakes, one victoria sponge and one lemon dazzle – both £1 each. I placed one on top of the other and added the toppings.IMG_2205

I was expecting the cake to get more demolished than it did, but Rhys was actually quite dainty with it! Even so, the spoon he was using was then being poked all around the decking and after the cream had melted the cake didn’t look particularly appetising so we didn’t even attempt to eat it!


5 – Go for whipped cream

I’ve never been a fan of icing, I’m definitely a buttercream lover. In fact recent pregnancy cravings have driven me to eating bowlfuls of it on it’s own!

I also thought that it would make for a much easier cake smash as it’s easier to grab and smash about than icing is. At first I was going to use it for the topping but then one of the yummy mummies on twitter told me that she’d used strawberries and whipped cream and I realised how much easier and this would be!IMG_2145

I opted for smarties and chocolate stars instead of strawberries but the whip cream was simple to prepare (bought in a squirty cream bottle), quick to apply and looked awesome in the pictures, even once it had melted a little.


6 – Cheap clothes 

Whipped cream does wash away but I decided that instead of buying a new outfit I’d try to make one out of what we already had. I used one of Rhys’s white vests and stuck on a tie that I cut out of some old scrap material I had.IMG_2124

I then cut out a number one out of the same material and stuck it to a party hat which Rhys actually kept on!!


7 – Do it outside 

Unless you have a clear space in your home which you can keep clean I would try to do the cake smash outside (weather permitting of course) . That way if little one gets distracted, it doesn’t matter if he wanders around getting his sticky fingers everywhere!

IMG_2128We were really lucky to have a sunny day with a cool breeze, but if the weather is terrible then I’d suggest hanging a bed sheet on the wall (to avoid sticky fingers, and doing the cake smash on laminated flooring. You could even use table cloth for bambino to sit on to keep the floor clean.


8 – Good lighting

Natural lighting is the number one for any good photo shoot. We were outside and our garden get’s a lot of sun so the lighting worked really well (although it may have been a little bright).IMG_2162


9 – Muma make no effort today

You’re probably going to get a tad bit messy in this too so there’s no point in making much of an effort. I just wore old leggings and a baggy top which were used to wipes my hands that got all cake.

A couple of times I had to put my hands in the cake to encourage Rhys and before putting my hands back on Pete’s camera (he would not have been impressed) my top was the easiest place to wipe them!


10 – Have fun! 

Sorry for the cliche tip but it’s true. Just go with it. If little one wants to face dive the cake let them, if they’d rather run off and pop the balloons that’s ok too! A cake smash is simply a showcase of how awesome your little one is and a way to show them how funny/quirky and sometimes let’s be honest – odd they were at 1!

Here are some of my favourite snaps from the day that I’m going to try and get on a canvas. IMG_2099 IMG_2102 IMG_2122 IMG_2153 IMG_2179 IMG_2192 IMG_2193 IMG_2196 IMG_2202 IMG_2203 IMG_2204

I’d love to see your cake smashes, they’re such a fab way to share little ones 1st birthday!


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  • Nicola Johnston
    4th April 2014 at 11:44 am Reply

    This is such a fab idea! I’d love to do something like this when Baby J has his/her 1st birthday. What lovely pics too, Rhys is such a cutie 🙂 xx

    • Jessica
      5th April 2014 at 2:32 pm Reply

      It’s such a fab idea! Definitely have to do it for baby j< I'll be doing it again for Rabbit 🙂

  • Merlinda (@pixiedusk)
    4th April 2014 at 11:49 am Reply

    well thought of photo shoot. But your baby made it so fun! #binkylinky

    • Jessica
      5th April 2014 at 8:41 am Reply

      He did bless him, I want to do it for every birthday lol

  • Dianne
    4th April 2014 at 1:54 pm Reply

    It was brilliant. First cake smash Ive been to x

    • Jessica
      5th April 2014 at 8:41 am Reply

      Fab wasn’t it muma!? Thanks so much for your help with it 🙂 xx

  • Ickle Pickle
    4th April 2014 at 6:58 pm Reply

    wow! that looks sooooo much fun! Pity I am dairy intolerant 🙁

    • Jessica
      5th April 2014 at 8:40 am Reply

      ooh I’m sure you can find a dairy free alternative, ge mummy on the hunt for something so you can get messy! xxx

  • Twinmumanddad (@Twinmumanddad)
    4th April 2014 at 7:50 pm Reply

    Looks like lots of fun! My friend had a cake smash for her son when he turned 1, but he hated getting messy! Thanks for linking up #binkylinky

    • Jessica
      5th April 2014 at 8:40 am Reply

      We had lots of fun once he got into it! At first he wasn’t sure, he’s not normally allowed to throw food haha

  • Charlotte
    4th April 2014 at 8:26 pm Reply

    Gorgeous pictures! I bet you all had loads of fun. We done ours ourself too and done a family photo shoot too before it got too messy lol. Here’s a link to some of the pictures xx

    • Jessica
      5th April 2014 at 8:36 am Reply

      Aww those pictures are lovely! Ted is such a cutie and definitely enjoyed that chocolate cake!
      I really want pictures of me holding the little ones up like that they look fab! xxx

  • Loving life with little ones
    4th April 2014 at 9:31 pm Reply

    Looks like you had fun! Not something we’ll be trying but great tips x

    • Jessica
      5th April 2014 at 8:33 am Reply

      Thanks, it was great fun! xx

  • mami2five
    4th April 2014 at 10:36 pm Reply

    What a lovely idea, I have heard of this cake smash craze but hadn’t seen any pictures up till now, a lady who works for my mum spent £80 on a cake for a professional shoot!
    Looks like you had some lovely weather and a great time plus you got some fab shots there. I think I may need to start collecting ideas for Owain’s birthday, July will be here before we know it #binkylinky

    • Jessica
      5th April 2014 at 8:32 am Reply

      I’d definitely do it yourself, £80 on the cake alone is crazy especially for something thats going to get destroyed lol
      I just bought the bunting and balloons the day before and made the outfit, sorted the cake on the day so no prep time at all really 🙂
      Definitely do it, such a great way to remember! xxx

  • BakedPotato Mummy
    5th April 2014 at 10:12 am Reply

    What a lot of fun! The photos turned out really well. I like the last one best. The outfit you made is so clever too!
    Thanks for linking up with #BinkyLinky

    • Jessica
      5th April 2014 at 2:37 pm Reply

      Thanks lovely 🙂 It was so easy I literally cut the tie shape and stuck it on – cheap cheat lol

  • the mummy madness
    5th April 2014 at 8:52 pm Reply

    how lovely I bet you will love those photos for years, I love the tip about being messy, my husband would freak!

    • Jessica
      7th April 2014 at 8:41 am Reply

      Ah see Pete’s the messy one out of us so if he was at home there would probably have been cake EVERYWHERE! I’d have probably been the one to freak lol

  • mamasVIB
    5th April 2014 at 9:13 pm Reply

    So cute and it is such a great idea. We did ‘cakesmash’ with Miss Marnie and she loved it. I had her in a nappy, tutu and headband and the shots are lovely. She cried a bit – but once she tasted the cake she cheered up. My sister thankfully made a smaller version of her actual cake for the smash- so we all got some cake afterwards too!
    Lovely blog x

    • Jessica
      7th April 2014 at 8:40 am Reply

      ooh thats such a good idea to have another cake at the ready to eat! I was so craving it and after it got destroyed I really could have done with a spare haha

      Aww how lovely with a little tutu I bet she looked gorgeous! xx

  • Vicki Psarias
    9th April 2014 at 8:13 pm Reply

    Beautiful post, your little one is stunning and adore the cake pics. Thanks for linking up to #brillblogposts

    • Jessica
      9th April 2014 at 8:23 pm Reply

      Thanks so much 🙂

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Hi I’m Jess, Single Mum, Accredited Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and Beauty Business owner.

I chat about all thing female empowerment, spirituality and positivity