How to Make Your Own Cake for your Cake Smash Session

Everyone appreciates a good photo smash session be it a baby’s or an adult’s. there’s something oddly satisfying about smashing a perfectly made cake and smearing it all over on oneself, but that’s piece for another day. Just like the key to a good studio session is the lighting, the key to a good cake smash shoot is all in the cake. It’s a cake smash shoot after all so if the cake is made too soft or too hard, if the icing is too firm or too loose, or if it’s not decorated right, you’ll not get the desired results. With so many cake recipes and styles available at one’s fingertips, there’s a plethora of ways one can make a cake that’s worthy of smashing. However, this blog post is highlighting one of the most popular recipes for making your very own cake for a smash shoot. It’s going to be smash-tastic! However, before we get into the series of recipes, there are certain I’s that need dotting and T’s that must be crossed while one is considering making a smash cake.

Get the size right

Depending on who is doing the smashing, the cake has to be appropriately sized. It goes without saying that a smash cake for a baby or toddler will be much smaller than that for an adult. Hence, for babies get a set of tiny cake pans to bake your required layers. For this demographic, a set of 4-inch cake pans would suffice. For added ease, get the pans which have removable bottoms, they’re great for release. You can get more than one pan so you can bake multiple layers at once. The amount of layers is dependent on your discretion, bake away!

Get the type right

The type of cake you choose to bake can inadvertently affect whoever eats it. Hence, if the cake is just for a small group of people, you can choose to satisfy everyone’s food allergies. Regardless of this, for a cake smash session, vanilla sponge cakes are usually very popular as opposed to chocolate or red velvet cakes. It’s nothing against the flavors, but the image of a child smothering a red or brown cake all over themselves might not be as appealing as one may think because of the color.

Get the color right

Well, if you’re going with a vanilla sponge cake then, the color of the icing and other edible attachments really matter for a smash cake. As a pro tip, you should avoid colors that are associated with negativity. For example, red and brown. Red is associated with danger and blood and as much as you might want to be color coordinated, it’s not a great look for the subject to be licking a red cake. It looks too much like blood. Stick with happy colors  and you can even try purple, yellow, violet, or perhaps white. Now that you’ve figured out how big the cake will be, what type it’ll be and what color the frosting or icing will be, it’s time to head over to the kitchen and whip up some delicious smash cake. 

Here’s a typical vanilla sponge cake recipe which will look and feel as good as it tastes.

For a baby, going with vanilla filling, icing and frosting is probably the best bet. The icing can be buttercream to give you that smear effect as fondant will not make a mess. Hence, a double or triple layer 4-inch vanilla cake recipe perfect for a smash cake is coming right up. This recipe takes about 40 minutes to completion.

1. One and a quarter cups of cake flour. – this should be sifted before measuring.
2. One tablespoon of baking powder.
3. A quarter tsp of baking soda.
4. Half tsp of salt
5. One third cup of unsalted butter at room temperature which should weigh 77g or less.
6. Three quarter cup of granulated white sugar
7. One full egg and one egg yolk at room temperature.
8. A quarter cup of sour cream at room temp.
9. One and a half tsps.. of vanilla extract.
10. Half cup of whole milk at room temp.
Now that you’ve gotten all these ingredients ready, here are the instructions to which you must follow judiciously.
1. The oven should be preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the cake pans by
spraying them down with cooking spray.
2. Sift the cake flour then measure the quantity by spooning and leveling it in the measuring
3. Add the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt (dry ingredients) into a bowl and
whisk to mix.
4. In another bowl or your mixer bowl, cream the butter on high for about two minutes till
you get a light and fluffy consistency.
5. Add the sugar and continue mixing for another two minutes, then turn the setting to low
and then add the egg, its yolk then mix thoroughly.
6. Add vanilla and sour cream, mix for a minute on high.
7. Set the mixer to its low speed, add the mixed dry ingredients, add milk slowly and mix
till well combined. Make sure there are no lumps and you should have a pourable,
slightly thick cake batter.
8. Pour the batter into the sprayed down cake pans until they’re two-thirds full then place them into the preheated oven to bake for about 25 minutes. When they’re all done, (when the inserted toothpick comes out clean) take them out and let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning them on a wire rack.
9. Ensure the cakes are room temperature before you begin frosting/icing.

Remember, the purpose of this cake is to smash it so the decorations shouldn’t be too intricate.
10. With a hand mixer, cream the butter on medium-high until it’s creamy and light in color.
This will take about 7 minutes.
11. While the mixer is on low, add the sifted powdered sugar cup by cup.
12. Add vanilla, salt, milk and mix on low.
This is for the buttercream frosting.
Once that’s done, add the color of your preference, attach your choice of nozzle and decorate to your heart’s content. There’s no limit to how you can decorate this smash cake. You can choose a piping design, a spatula painted one, one with a ganache drip, or anyone you prefer as long as it’s colorful and smash-ready. When you’re done decorating, you can store it up till when needed. Smash cakes are one of the most satisfying cakes to bake because they’re less time-consuming and you get to smash them. However, as simple as this may seem in theory, a lot of people are unaware of how to bake one. Luckily, this piece has highlighted not just a typical vanilla sponge cake recipe that’s smash-ready but it’s also detailed certain factors to consider before you embark on this baking journey. These factors range from the cake size to its type and of course
the color. Remember, every good cake smash shoot is one with a lot of vibrance in its color combination.

Are you looking to show off your awesome creating durnig a cake smash photoshoot?  We would love to have you here at the studio.  Check out our cake smash package here or email us to book your session at [email protected]


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