The practical side of me thought there’s no need for a 1st birthday party. She won’t remember it, and it takes time and effort (and money) to make it happen. The rest of me thought it was a no brainer to throw a bash to celebrate not only Evie’s first year of life, but the fact that we all made it through the first year unscathed. Well, I’m really glad we decided to forget practicality and throw the party, because it was so much fun! I loved every bit of planning how I wanted to decorate, baking her an individual special “smash cake” she could demolish, picking out her birthday outfit (thank you, Etsy), and celebrating the most special person I know!
A party girl since birth I knew she would really enjoy the day. She loves people so having so many friends and family she’d be in her element. I’ve been so fortunate to connect with so many moms in the area which meant Evie had plenty of her own friends to play with!
I fell in love with that cake, and that’s what we served to the adult guests. For Evie I made a cake that was made out of gluten free flour and sweetened only using dates in the frosting and a little maple syrup, applesauce, and bananas in the actual batter. Safe to say she enjoyed it. I made the recipe just converted to cupcake form for her friends.
And of course, a ball pit for the kids to play in (which was really just a blow up pool filled with some balls! Double duty!).
People are so generous and donated to Child Fund (the organization I donate to sponsor a child in Cambodia) per our suggestion on the invite to help kids much less fortunate than Evie! Evie certainly got spoiled too! Lots and lots of toys, books, and clothes. She did receive this adorable Minnie Mouse car…
And, as promised, Evie’s smash cake recipe! Make this easy, delicious 2-ingredient (if you count the soaking!) date paste to use in the frosting and keep the rest for your morning toast!
- 2 c Greek yogurt
- 1/3 c date paste (soaked pitted dates blended til smooth, OR thick honey)
- 1 1/2 c gluten free baking mix (I used Bob's Red Mill 1:1 mix)*
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 3 TB unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled**
- 3 TB coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled**
- 1/8 c maple syrup or honey***
- 1/8 c unsweetened applesauce***
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1. Make the frosting. In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt and date paste until smooth. Return the frosting to the refrigerator.
- 2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- 3. In a separate medium bowl, mash the bananas well. Stir in the melted butter and coconut oil until smooth. Add the applesauce, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- 4. Divide the batter evenly between three buttered, 5-inch** cake pans. (I actually have only one 5-inch pan, so I baked one at a time.) Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Turn cakes out onto a cooling rack until room temperature, then refrigerate for 30 minutes in preparation for frosting.
- 5. Place the first cake layer on your serving plate with a heaping 1/4 c of frosting, spreading it in an even layer all the way past the edges, so that some frosting hangs off the sides of the cake. Add a second layer of cake and repeat with the frosting. Top with the final cake layer and add about half of the remaining frosting. Spread the frosting evenly on the top of the cake, allowing some of it to hang or even fall a little down the sides. Using this frosting overhang, as well as the excess frosting from the middle layers, evenly coat the sides of the cake. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly frosting at this point; take a break and move the cake and the remaining frosting to the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. Remove the cake and frosting from the refrigerator, add the remaining frosting to the cake, and evenly coat the top and sides. Return the cake to the refrigerator until an hour or less before serving.
- The recipe makes 1 8-inch cake layer. I made two layers, so divided the recipe in two for a beautiful layer cake. I also added strawberries in the middle.
- The recipe also makes a dozen cupcakes/muffins.
- *Other flours such as whole wheat, regular, and spelt flour can be used in place of the gluten free flour
- **I combined butter and coconut oil to have the taste of butter but a little less of it! You can use either or both!
- ***I used a 1/4 cup measure and filled it with mostly applesauce and topped it with some maple syrup for less sugar (there's a lot from the ripened bananas!)