Sunday, September 20, 2015

baby first birthday carrot cake (with applesauce instead of sugar) smash cake with handmade fondant bunting

My friend Irene has a son named Aaron, who recently just turned one! For his first birthday party, Irene asked me to make a few goodies, one of which was a carrot-cake smash cake for baby! To decorate, we decided that I would make a fondant blue bunting with his name on it, along with a big fondant number "1" for the cake topper.

About week before the party, I started making the topper, so that it would have enough time to dry. I basically took a big hunk of white fondant, rolled it out to about 3/4" thick, and then cut the number "1" out with a paring knife. (I did it this way, instead of shaping it, because I wanted the nice sharp edges).

To help smooth the fondant out a bit, I used square-edge handle on a fork, along with some cornstarch to prevent sticking.

Next, I started on the blue fondant bunting. After tinting my fondant a pretty shade of blue, I rolled it out really thin, and then used a pizza wheel (and a ruler) to cut out my triangle shapes. Then I used white royal icing to pipe letters onto each triangle of fondant (not pictured).

For the cake itself, I started on it two days before the party (I typically give myself one day to bake and cool the cakes, and then one day to frost and decorate). Irene wanted a cake without sugar in it, so I found this recipe from Natasha's Kitchen for an applesauce carrot cake. However I omitted the honey, and added a few squirts of agave instead, and I also made homemade applesauce instead of store-bought.

I also bought organic carrots to grate into the carrot cake (only the best for baby!).

I baked the cakes in four 6-inch round cake pans, and let them cool before filling and stacking them with freshly whipped cream.

Then I covered the tops and sides with cream cheese buttercream (crumb coat, chilled for 30 minutes, and then then final coat).

To finish off the cake, I used a Wilton #7 tip to pipe little beads of frosting along the top and bottom of the cake.

To secure each bunting triangle, I piped a small dot of frosting on the back of the triangle, before placing it on the cake.

And the final touch - the big fondant number "1"!

In the next few posts I'll have more on the rest of the goodies that I made, but in the meantime here's a picture of the birthday boy as he investigates his cake! He's SO cute!!!

Happy First Birthday, little Aaron!


  1. My first thought was that this was all fondant it's so smooth. Well done!

    How was the cake received? For my son's 1st I tried making a healthy cake and he turned his nose up at it. I ended up giving a regular cupcake instead! Ha

    1. thanks @Tiffany! it's a HUGE compliment that you thought it was fondant! :)

      so, the birthday boy didn't even get to the inside of the cake! he played with the frosting for a while, a very long while actually, and then i guess he got bored because he pushed the entire cake off of the tray and it fell on the floor :( oh well at least we got good pictures of him and the cake ;)

    2. @Tiffany - oh and i made a separate tiered cake (regular cake) for the guests to eat. will be posting it soon, stay tuned! :)

  2. This is the perfect cake to make for first birthdays!

  3. Replies
    1. Great recipe!! What are the measurements that you used to make a 3 layer cake? Did you triple the recipe? I would love to try it.

    2. thanks @Lia ! i actually used the applesauce carrot cake recipe exactly, and it made a 4-layer, 6-inch cake. hope that helps, good luck! :)

  4. Hi Michele! I made this cake for my little one's 1st birthday, and it was AMAZING! My little one is now turning 2, and I'd like to make it again but bigger. I was hoping you had instructions for a 9 inch" cake. Can you tell me how to do this please?

    1. hello! i'm so glad it came out great! for 9-inch cake pans i would bake it at 350 for 30 minutes.