Baby’s First Birthday Smash Cake from The Vegucated Family Table

Marisa Miller Wolfson and Laura Delhauer know that many parents like to have a “smash cake” for their little’s first birthday, so they created a delicious, naturally sweetened, baby-safe cake that you can let your baby smash and devour. But, remember, you don’t have to be the parent of a little kiddo to want to make this cake. I already did and it is delicious!!

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Vegan Smash Cake

I got to know Marisa Miller Wolfson when we were neighbors on New York City’s Upper Westside. She and her darling family are still there, and although I left NYC for Philadelphia, we’ve stayed in touch. I mean this woman is everything– a good friend, super smart, passionate about veganism, raising healthy kids, and environmental issues. She is also a cake designer extraordinaire, and as much fun to be with as anyone I’ve ever met.  Now I can add that Marisa is a published author as she and co-author, Laura Delhauer’s long-awaited, and much-needed cookbook The Vegucated Family Table is ready for preorder. You may know Marisa from the film she produced and starred in, Vegucated. If you haven’t seen it, do. It is as relevant today as it was when it launched.

I remember when Marisa first contacted me with her idea for this book. My immediate reaction? Yes, please!  My children are adults, but I do have four grandkids and a new 3-month old nephew, Leon.  Be assured that I’ve preordered The Vegucated Family Table to send to my family and beyond. Today, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to my friend, Marisa, co-author Laura Delhauer and their new book, The Vegucated Family Table. I’m sorry I didn’t get to spend time with Laura Delhauer before I moved. I would certainly like to get to know her. Laura is a plant-based culinary artist and environmental rights advocate, and an all-around talented woman with a lot to teach us.

The publisher Ten Speed Press has offered a book for a GIVEAWAY, so don’t forget to scroll down and enter.

Marisa (left) and Laura (right) co-wrote  The Vegucated Family Table.

Marisa Miller Wolfson

Marisa Miller Wolfson, as noted, is the writer-director of Vegucated, an award-winning documentary that has screened at more than a dozen film festivals worldwide and won several awards, including best documentary at its worldwide premiere at the Toronto Independent Film Festival before becoming a digital bestseller and running on Netflix. As a vegan activist since 2003, she has led workshops, given talks, and organized film screenings of vegan documentaries at universities, churches, and conferences all over North America. She is an honored recipient of the Farm Animal Friend Award by Farm Sanctuary and the Reel Change Award by the Coalition for Healthy School Food. When she isn’t chasing her kids around Central Park, she enjoys baking and decorating cakes and pies for friends and family. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, two children, and two rescued goldfish. Her new book, The Vegucated Family Table is co-written with Laura Delhauer.

The vegucated family table

The Vegucated Family Table

For both vegans and the veg-curious, The Vegucated Family Table answers the question every caregiver ponders on a daily basis: “What should I feed my child?” But this book goes a step further, showing parents how to navigate the early years of childhood as a vegan, giving not only recipes and nutritional advice but also tips for holidays, packed lunches, play dates, and more. Unlike other family-oriented vegan cookbooks, The Vegucated Family Table is the first to focus on raising vegans “from scratch,” from five months through elementary school. A Q&A section focuses on nutrition, with advice by renowned pediatric nutritionist Reed Mangels. With more than 125 rigorously tested recipes for beloved dishes like Baby Mac-o-Lantern and Cheeze, Chickpea Sweet Potato Croquettes, PBJ Smoothie Bowl, Tempeh Tacos, Baby’s First Birthday Smash Cake, and more, this book will become the go-to reference for parents raising vegan children.

Baby’s First Birthday Smash Cake

Check out this recipe from The Vegucated Family Table for Baby’s First Smash Cake and then enter to win a copy of the book at the end of this post. You can also learn more about The Vegucated Family Table or order a copy of the book. You don’t have to have a baby at home to make and enjoy this cake!

Baby's First Birthday Smash Cake

You can use this cake for any occasion, but we know that many parents like to do a “smash cake” for their little’s first birthday, so we wanted a delicious, naturally sweetened, baby-safe cake that we’d feel comfortable telling you to go ahead and let your baby smash and devour. Dates are a wonderful way to sweeten a cake without overwhelming your baby’s system, which may be new to sugar. One cupcake or slice of cake supplies about one-quarter of your one-year-old’s daily protein needs. And that’s not all! That same cupcake or slice of cake has at least 10 percent of your toddler’s daily recommended calcium, iron, zinc, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.


  • 1 1/3 cup chopped pitted Medjool dates about 12 large
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil melted


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Trace the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan on a piece of parchment paper. Cut out the circle and use it to line the bottom of the pan.
  • Grease the sides of the pan with vegan butter, oil, or baking spray. (For cupcakes, line a muffin tin with paper liners.)
  • Place the dates and baking soda in a small bowl. Add the hot water and stir to dissolve the baking soda. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flax meal and 6 tablespoons water to make a “flax egg.” Refrigerate until the mixture gels or develops a raw-egg-like consistency, at least 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the dates and their soaking liquid to a food processor or blender and puree until broken down into a paste. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, oat flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the date paste, flax egg, vanilla, and melted coconut oil until combined.
  • Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until combined. It will look more like cookie dough than cake batter—do not freak out. It’s supposed to look like that.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Spread it out to fill the pan(s) and smooth the surface. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes for 9-inch rounds, 30 minutes for 6-inch rounds, or 18 to 20 minutes for cupcakes.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan or muffin tin.
  • To remove the cake from the pan, put a plate or cake board on top of the cake, then flip it over. If it doesn’t come out of the pan, flip it back and cut all the way around the cake, then try again.
  • Remove the pan and the parchment paper.
  • Frost as desired.
  • Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Reprinted with permission fromThe Vegucated Family Table by Marisa Miller Wolfson & Laura Delhauer, copyright © 2020. Photographs by Ten Speed Press. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  • My kids are a bit older and I’m nowhere near having grandkids, but they all had vegan cupcakes as their first taste of cake on their first birthdays! I wish I had this book when they were babies and I’m sure it’ll still be relevant.

  • I’d love to make this for my grandchild’s first birthday – but, would someone please have a chat with my childless daughters first? 😉 Actually, I’d love to make this for my husband’s 71st birthday! He’ll surely love this XO

    • Renee,
      I think so too. That photo is so inviting. Maybe grownups can smash a cake too, although, I’m planning on cutting a piece and just eating it.

      Thanks for writing.
      Take care,

  • I have 2 grand daughters – one who will be one years old the end of September and another that will be 3 in March. I would be much happier letting them eat to their hearts content with this healthier cake version. Of course I could also use it as a welcome cake for their brother who will arrive the beginning of November!

    • Dear Kelly,
      What a lovely family! Congratulations on the new baby brother to your family and to you.
      Happy healthy cake eating.

      Take good care,

  • I wish I had seen this recipe when my kids turned 1. However, I am excited about the use of whole dates for a sweetener and will give it a try birthday or not! Thank you for providing excellent plans based chocolate options. Let me know if you will plan on offering a class on the west coast, I promise to be in the front row!

    • Hello Deanna,
      This kind of cake was most definitely not around when my children or even grandchildren were babies. But, it’s a cake for anyone. Try it.

      I appreciate your positive feedback. I certainly try to offer relevant and reliable information.
      As to classes on the west coast or anywhere other than my home at this point, I think it’ll be a long time coming.
      In the meantime, check my calendar on, keep up with my Facebook and Instagram accounts too. I just may do some Zoom cooking classes. Would that be of interest to you?
      Thanks for taking the time to comment,
      Take care.

    • Nancy,
      This mom and grandmother of 4 never heard of smash cakes until I was asked to start making them.
      It’s a fun idea though. I’d say, may this, eat it instead of smashing it.

      Take care!

    • Hi Tracy,
      I’d forgotten that the frosting on the cake is not listed. It is in the cookbook, coconut mik, some maple syrup and cocoa powder.
      The only truly sugar free ‘icings are nut butter and date or other fruit pastes, really. Or simply serve the cake, unfrosted, with a warm fruit sauce.

      Let us know what you decide.
      Thank you for writing.

  • Dear Fran,

    Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe !
    I have decided to make this smash cake for my daughters 1st Birthday. With coconut whipp around it. And other batch for cupcakes for other kids.
    The cake was yum !
    One thing however, I wish I had known was that either take the cake should be taken out of the fridge hours before serving or cook fresh on the party day? I dont bake so often Vegan desserts to know how hard this one was for my baby to try to even smash it !
    Maybe if I took it out much earlier and bring to room temperature it would be all soft and gooey.
    Simple, valuable yet completely forgotten Tip 😀
    I am about to make it again for an Easter Sunday with some Oat whipp this time plus tiny tiny cupcakes bites…

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