Gluten-free Smash Cake Recipe!

January 23, 2020

Healthy Smash Cake perfect for your 1 year old’s birthday and ready in just 15 minutes. It is vegan, nut-free and no added sugar.


It wasn’t even a question whether or not I would be making my bubba’s smash cake for his 1st birthday. We are having a party here in Hoboken with friends and family and I will be making homemade rice crispy treats (classic kind with an organic twist) and we have a big cake for everyone. Then Ezra’s perfect little cake that I cannot wait to see him smash.

This smash cake recipe is super easy to make and it is much healthier than store bought kinds. It is also vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and has no added sugar.

Believe me mamas and papas – I get it. We don’t have time to make a cake and all that jazz. Or maybe baking is your worst nightmare. But this homemade smash cake is ready in just 15 minutes and you only need 5 ingredients. It is so simple to bake at home. And you can even cheat and buy a store bought organic frosting to make it easier. Plus I add some healthier sprinkles I found that have a pretty solid ingredient run down, I was impressed. And they taste so good!

What ingredients you need to make your own smash cake:

  • Ripe bananas – I like to use *just* freckled ones. Keeps things sweet but not overly sweetened.
  • Unsweetened organic applesauce – we don’t use any other sugar here so this with the banana is just the right amount.
  • Non-dairy milk –  I love using this flaxseed milk. Code RACHL for 15% off.
  • Liquid oil – you can use avocado, olive or liquid coconut oil.
  • Gluten-free oat flour – if you don’t mind gluten then spelt flour also works.
  • Vanilla frosting + sprinkles – for topping! You can use any frosting and sprinkles you want.

FAQs on smash cake:

  • What is a smash cake? A tiny cake meant for a child to “smash” on their first birthdays. Usually they dig in with their fingers and have themselves a ball.
  • What is a smash cake made from? It depends on who you ask. Many of my friends have used a regular cake with sugar, etc. I personally like to use this banana-sweetened on to keep things lower in sugar. But the frosting does have some powdered sugar in it.
  • Can you prep a smash cake ahead of time? Absolutely! I made mine the day before the party.

A few of my other favorite birthday party desserts:

Epic Browned Butter Funfetti Rice Crispy Treats

The BEST Vegan Funfetti Sugar Cookies (paleo)

Damn Good Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe


Healthy Gluten-free Smash Cake (no added sugar)

Sharing the easiest Healthy Gluten-free Smash Cake that is vegan, dairy-free and egg-free and nut-free.

  • Author: Rachel
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 1 smash cake 1x




  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 3 4-inch round cake pans
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas then add in the applesauce, milk and coconut oil and mix well
  3. Mix in the oat flour, baking powder and cinnamon until smooth and well combined
  4. Evenly distribute cake batter to pans and bake in oven for 15 minutes or until ready (I stick a toothpick in)
  5. Allow the cakes to cool completely then gently remove one cake from pan and add to plate and spread frosting on top then add additional cake and repeat for the remaining cakes
  6. Frost the cake in its entirety then add sprinkles if desired


*This cake will stay good for 3-4 days (I recommend keeping in fridge)

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xx, Rach

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34 Responses

  1. Can I also use another type of flour, maybe almond flour instead, because my little one is allergic to oats?

    1. hi!! i haven’t tried almond but can your bubba eat spelt flour? that would work. if you use almond just add a bit more as it’ll need more flour!

  2. Would you have a recipe for how to make a frosting? The frosting you used isn’t currently available to purchase ?

  3. Hi again, would you mind sharing how the consistency of the cake is supposed to turn out? Is it fluffy or is it more solid? I made it as a trial last night and mine is quite dense and didn’t really raise. So I’m curious as to if it’s supposed to be like that? Would you have any pictures of the layers? lol

  4. Hi! How would you adjust this recipe for a 6 inch cake pan? Also, if I had ripe banana that I had frozen, think those would work defrosted? Thanks!

    1. i haven’t made this in a 6 inch cake before, not sure how it would work but worth a try. i personally have never baked with frozen bananas 🙂 keep us posted if you do!

  5. Made this for my grand daughters 1st Birthday and it was so easy! She loved it and it looked adorable too. Thank you for a healthier version of what would otherwise be a not so healthy.

  6. Hi, love following you and little Ezra on Instagram! <3 My little bubs is turning one in September!! I cannot believe it!! Is it possible to use WW Flour for this? Do you think it would ruin the ratios? Thanks!! Love, Allison and baby Thomas.

  7. This was the best cake! My husband and I couldn’t stop eating it off my sons high chair and He told me I have to make it again ASAP! Thank you!!

  8. Hi, I did a trial run of this and it turned out kind of dense and spongey. Is it supposed to be fluffy? Any ideas?

    1. it actually not dense at all. almost banana bread like 🙂 i haven’t heard that before with readers making this so definitely make sure to follow instructions and ingredients as listed!

  9. So I tried substitution with cassava flour as well as a gluten free baking powder. I do not recommend either of them. The cake turned out to be incredibly dense and very powdery tasting. Hoping to try a paleo gluten free baking flour combination next as my son has an oat allergy.

  10. Looks great! I’m planning on making this weekend for my babe who is turning 1 😭
    Do you think I could use that same amount and do two 6 inch cake pans vs three 4 inch, or should I increase the batter? Thanks!!

  11. This is SO good! I have a ton of food allergies and make this for myself, not my kids 🙂 It’s dense and moist and hits the spot for a yummy dessert!

  12. I made it for my daughter’s first birthday last week, and it was perfect! I didn’t have applesauce so I used mashed sweet potato…she loved it! It was sweet enough without being too sweet, and some of our guests ate it too! Thank you for this recipe, it was easy and delicious. Definitely a keeper.

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