vegan smash 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. 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.

  3. Grease the sides of the pan with vegan butter, oil, or baking spray. (For cupcakes, line a muffin tin with paper liners.)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Transfer the dates and their soaking liquid to a food processor or blender and puree until broken down into a paste. Set aside.

  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, oat flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined.

  8. In a large bowl, stir together the date paste, flax egg, vanilla, and melted coconut oil until combined.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan or muffin tin.

  12. 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.

  13. Remove the pan and the parchment paper.

  14. Frost as desired.

  15. Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

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.