A Cake Smash Guide

As a first time mom, I decided it was mandatory that Andrew had a cake smash photo shoot for his birthday. We had a lot of fun and got some great pictures, but there were definitely a few things I wish I had thought about before. Here are some guidelines for how to have a great cake smash photo shoot!

Things you’ll need:

A baby – ideally this will be around a birthday, but actually, you don’t really need a reason to celebrate, eat cake, and take fun pictures. Actually you don’t really need a baby. Just eat the cake.

cake smash grabbing party hayCake – I spent a long time researching how to make a very healthy cake and frosting and even more time baking and decorating it. When everything was ready, camera in hand, he wasn’t interested in the cake AT ALL. I’ve read that this happens all the time and have heard some hilarious stories about moms putting baby puffs on the side of the cake or even using BBQ sauce as the frosting! Luckily, baby is a blueberry addict, and we got some great pictures of him devouring the decorative blueberries, even if he didn’t eat any of the cake.

cake smash blueberry cakeOutfit – There are some SUPER cute cake smash outfits out there, but I opted to have him just in his diaper (I’ll take any opportunity to reduce the laundry load) and a party hat. Once he started eating, he totally forgot the hat was there and stopped grabbing at it. Success!

birthday cake smashBlanket, towel, any kind of seat – I chose a picnic blanket that I could easily throw into the wash when I got home. Did I mention that this gets messy?!?

birthday cake smash

Decorations – Banners/balloons/signs, etc. I found this fun banner at HEMA. DON’T FORGET to bring things to attach your decorations! (I used thumbtacks and tape.)

birthday cake smashCamera/photographer – Don’t try to do this by yourself! Odds are you’re going to need some extra hands to try to get baby interested in the cake, stop baby before crawling in the dirt, try to contain the extremely sticky frosting, etc. birthday cake smashLocation – This can be anywhere from a park, to your living room, or a photography studio. I knew I wanted to go to the l’Orangerie park in Strasbourg, and we chose a spot in front of a big tree so I could hang the banner. We were lucky that it was warm outside and had some lovely sunshine, but definitely have a backup plan in case of bad weather. Think about your cleanup!

birthday cake smashClean up supplies – so many baby wipes and towels! I spent a little while trying to clean him up, but gave up pretty quickly. I just put everything in the bags, put the sticky baby in the car seat in his diaper, and went home, where we both immediately took a shower.

crying baby cake smash

However you decide to do your cake smash, just try to relax and have fun. It’s easy to be worried about how to make this photo shoot PERFECT. With a somewhat mobile baby that occasionally cries, I’ve realized that things don’t always go as planned, and that’s totally FINE!

Thank you to my friend Susan Clark for the great pictures.

I’d love to hear about your cake smash in the comments!


11 thoughts on “A Cake Smash Guide

    1. Stephanie Lee Post author

      Thanks, Chelsea! I can’t find the exact recipe I used, but it was really similar to this one: https://bikebanjoandbaby.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/healthy-banana-applesauce-cake/

      It was just ironic that I spent so much time on it and he didn’t even eat it. Just a heads up: make sure those bananas are ripe. I was tight on time and only had semi-green bananas. That definitely didn’t help. Let me know if you make this one and have better results!

  1. Lisa @The Merry Momma

    Great advice! I was rather unprepared for my older son’s smash cake pictures, but I’ll be more prepared for my second! My favorite tip was your very last one – relax and enjoy whatever happens! We had photo shoots of our oldest that seemed like a total disaster, but I realize now that the pictures just show real life!! When I look at them in the years to come, I’ll remember those days and chuckle. 🙂

  2. Liz

    Awww I did a cake smash photo shoot for the first time earlier this year. I love your backdrop! The bunting around the tree is such a sweet look!


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