Well hi!  I feel like I’ve been away from my little bloggie for a while now.  The weekend went by in a zoom at BodyCombat training.  Whoa.  Remember when I went through BodyPump training?  That seemed like nothing compared to this.


Thankfully, I PASSED my initial training, which means now I need to work on learning the entire release, start teaching and film my video assessment within 2 months.  This is just the beginning…. :)

Over the next few weeks I’ll be popping in here and there.  We have a camping vacation coming up, a big farewell party for my brother who’s going oversees with the air force and lots of stuff to catch up on around the house.  It seems like when something’s gotta give, it’s the blog that does.  Oh well!  Onto today’s yummy topic.


For Hunter’s 1st birthday party I knew I wanted to make his cake with no sugar.  I try to limit the amount of sugar he eats and I want to limit the super sweet things as long as I can.  Like until he’s 20. ;)  For inspiration I did what I normally do – go to google!


I came across this recipe on Our Haven Hill, which you could totally make with no changes.  However, I really liked my enhancements to it.  For Hunter’s cake I baked about half the batter in 4 mini tart pans.  The extra batter turned into cupcakes for the party.  The 4 mini tart pans made the perfect size baby cake.  If you have them, I highly recommend it!  If you don’t have the mini tart pans, just use an 8″ or 9″ cake pan like the original recipe calls for.


This cake doesn’t have to be just for birthdays, it really is an every day yummy banana snack cake!


Healthy No Sugar Banana Cake  {AKA Baby’s First Smash Cake}

adapted from here


  • 4 or 5 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup natural no sugar added applesauce
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (grind rolled oats in blender, then measure)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Mash the bananas in a medium bowl.
  2. In a separate large bowl, mix the flours, baking soda, and cinnamon together.
  3. Add the mashed bananas, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla to the flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated.
  4. Coat your 4 mini tart pans + 6-8 muffin pans (or 2 8 or 9″round pans) with oil.
  5. Spread the batter into the bottom of the pans.
  6. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes.  Check with a toothpick for doneness.
  7. Cool the cakes before frosting.  If you used the 8″ or 9″ pan, then use an overturned smaller bowl to cut out small cake rounds.


Healthy No Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

recipe from here

This made enough frosting for the cake + 8 cupcakes I made.


  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) no sugar added apple juice concentrate
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Soften the cream cheese.
  2. Whisk the cream cheese with the apple juice concentrate and vanilla extract until creamy.

For Hunter’s cake I stacked all 4 layers with a layer of frosting in between them, then covered the entire cake in frosting.  For his ‘ONE’ on top of the cake, I used blueberries!


The frosting was actually pretty delicious.  The whole cake was really.  It’s hard to believe there was no added sugar in the cake or frosting.  Apple juice concentrate worked so well at sweetening it up!

I’ve made the banana cake (without the frosting) a couple times now just to have around as a snack cake.  It’s very much mommy approved. :)

Soooooo Make it Monday didn’t happen yesterday (I was away all weekend so I made nothing!).  The next Make it Monday will be on June 24 (I tell ya, busy times ahead), which gives us all a few weeks to prepare for it.

That’s all for today!  I hope you are all doing well.

Tell me what you’ve been up to, something fun you’re planning for this month or if you have a favorite naturally sweetened cake recipe. 

Also, I’d love ideas of what your kids have made for Father’s Day presents.  If they’re young like Hunter, what did you ‘help’ them make?


161 thoughts on “baby’s first smash cake {healthy no sugar banana cake}

  1. YUM! I loved using that recipe as the basis for Kaylin’s cake as well. I definitely didn’t want to give Kay a major sugar rush ;)). Your cake looks so cute with the blueberries on top. Glad you passed combat!!! Congrats!!! A major achievement. Combat is totally no joke

  2. Looks so good! I made healthier cakes for both of my son’s birthdays. Love knowing that he’s eating something healthy rather than the sugary cakes from the stores!
    I haven’t done father’s day gifts yet this year but last year I had my son paint a flower pot then put his handprint on it, before modge podging and filling with some of my hubby’s favorite candy. Cute and easy!

  3. This looks great and sounds delicious! I love what you did for Hunter’s party. Happy birthday to your baby!

  4. Hi, I just across your blog and this recipe sounds amazing!! I’d like to use your batter recipe to make two 6″ smash cakes for my twins’ 1st birthday. Do you think that the original recipe would be enough for two 6″ cakes? I am so bad at measurements! ;)

  5. Im wondering if the batter rises any? im going to attempt this tomorrow for baby girls smash cake… im just wondering what im up against. I guess what i’m asking is… if i make cupcakes with the extra batter do i fill them half full, 2/3 or what?

    • The batter doesn’t rise much. I would fill the muffin tins between 2/3-all the way full. They rise but then fall a bit. My muffins sank more than my cake did.

  6. Thank you for this recipe. Everyone seems to think I should give my baby girl chocolate on her first bday as I have not given her any to this point, nor have I given her any sugar. I have battled my in laws for the past year and know it will be an on going battle, but one I am more than willing to fight. Birthday is in about three weeks, so I am definitely going to use this recipe.

  7. Hey, great cake recipe! Haven’t used it yet but it looks good. I don’t mind using eggs or a little baking powder, do you know how that would effect the cake? Also, I will be using coconut flour instead of oat (just because it’s what I have on hand) do you think it will effect the recipe?

    • If you’re going to use coconut flour I would suggest trying with an egg. My experience with coconut flour is that you almost need an egg with it to keep form and also to get some rise. Hope that helps. Let me know what you try and how it turns out!

  8. I am asking about the egg and baking powder because you said your cake fell a little after it came out of the oven. I want to use as little frosting as possible so a flat surface is best.

  9. hello I was wondering how well does the frosting hold up? thinking of using this on cupcakes that will be served a few hours later….Is it runny or is it stiff at all?

  10. Thanks so much for this recipe!! I appreciated your mods from the havenhill version too. I made a bunch of cupcakes and a small two-layer cake for my daughter’s 1st birthday yesterday. I added for some colour some stewed strawberries and stewed mangoes to the middle layer, and used it as toppings on the cupcakes. They were a huge hit!! Even the adults were enjoying the “babycakes” despite my having made adult-worthy icing and offered brownies as alternatives. Thanks for helping me keep my sweetheart’s celebration healthy, and for inspiring a lot of my friends to do the same for theirs!

    • Hi Lori – I used the frozen apple juice concentrate that comes in a tube – just make sure to look for one that is only apple juice with no added sugar.

  11. My son turns one on nov 16th and I would like to make this cake. I had just done a trial because in not much of a baker so I thought I’d test it out first. The Cake came out great and smells so good. My only issue is the icing . I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but it seems too watery , I there something I can do too thicken it up? I followed your directions exactly. Thank you!

      • Great, thank you. I did end up putting it in the fridge but not long enough so I will do 1-2 hrs on his big day. The cake is delicious! I will definitely be making it again, even after the birthday party.

  12. Love the cake recipe. Would like to try this for my son’s 1st birthday party. My question is how long can I keep this cake in the fridge? I’m planning to make 3 mini cakes at the same time for 3 little parties. They are 4 days apart. Is it possible to keep a cake fresh for a week or more? Or should I just just bake each one the day of? TIA

    • I think they would be fine up the 4 days in the fridge. It makes a pretty moist cake, so you shouldn’t have to worry about them trying out. Another option would be to freeze the cake once it’s cooled, then take it out the morning of to defrost. That would keep it a little more fresh than in the fridge for a while.

  13. So glad I ran across this. Can’t wait to make next week for first birthday. I was wondering if you can buy oat flour? We are traveling with spouse work and if so would make it easier. Thanks :)

    • I think you’d have to do a trial run. It’s tough with pans like that… you could try reducing the temp to allow it to cook longer and hopefully it would cook through and not burn the outside. Let me know if you end up getting it to work!

    • Apple juice concentrate you purchase frozen in a tube – the only ingredient is apple juice concentrate, no water. Apple juice FROM concentrate has water added into it, so it is diluted.

  14. I will be using your recipe to make my son Luca’s first birthday cake this week. He turns one the day before Thanksgiving. I have breastfed him a year, home made all his baby food, and limited any processed food he’s eaten. I have two older children who also eat super healthy and understand the importance of feeling good and eating right (they LOVE green smoothies with kale!). Thanks for posting this recipe. On a side note I’m also a fitness instructor – shout out to all healthy Moms!

  15. Could you review the proportions listed for the frosting recipe? No amount of chilling is going to turn this soup into frosting. I mean it is extremely runny. I used cream cheese, frozen apple juice concentrate, and vanilla extract as listed above. This results in a mixture that’s as thin as crepe batter.

    • How long have you tried keeping it in the fridge? Cream cheese should eventually harden again since it’s not soupy normally when chilled… try overnight and let me know if that makes it less soupy.

      • It was in the fridge overnight. Still soup. I had to add three tunes as much cream cheese listed (or 1/3 of the some juice concentrate listed) to get something resembling frosting. Also, I didn’t initially soften the cream cheese to a soup consistency. I just softened it enough to be pliable. It was adding that much some juice concentrate to it that turned out to soup.

  16. Hi again! Just made the mix and it seems as though I only could fill 1-8inch pan… Did I over fill? Filled about half way up.. It states I should be able to get 2, so I’m just wondering if I should have split it.

    • The original recipe I based my recipe off of said she used two 8 inch pans so I included that… but I didn’t use that size so I can’t say whether or not the recipe makes enough for it. If you want to have two layers you could mix up another batch and bake a second. Sorry I don’t have more info, I used the mini tart pans for mine!

  17. How big are the mini tart pans that you used? The only ones that I can find are about 4 inches in diameter, which is fine, but your cake just looks bigger than that in the photos.

  18. This cake was delicious! I served it for my daughter’s 1st birthday and it was a hit! Everyone loved it and raved about its moistness. And my husband enjoyed taking the leftovers to work for an afternoon treat. Thank you for sharing this healthy and yummy cake recipe.

  19. Hi,
    I made the original recipe for this cake and thought it was too dense. Is your version lighter or is it about the same as far as the density?

    • Jonina, I can’t speak to the difference between the two because I never made the original recipe, but I didn’t think my version came out dense. Super moist and delicious!

  20. Hi I tried making this cake and it’s turned out very dense…almost seems like it might be uncooked…is that how it should be? I baked it for 35mins on 375…the outside is nice and firm but the centre seems mushy

  21. Hi,

    I was on the search for a cake to make for my son’s first birthday that is coming up, and I came across your recipe. Tried it tonight for a trial run and it came out awesome! My (very picky eater) son gobbled up a bite in seconds! We wanted to make sure he would like it knowing how picky he is :) My husband and I tried it and enjoyed it as well. I haven’t made the icing yet, that’s on tomorrow’s agenda! But I wanted to thank you for this great recipe!! I can see myself making it again in the future after the party!


  22. Hi,

    I was on the search for a cake to make for my son’s first birthday that is coming up, and I came across your recipe. Tried it tonight for a trial run and it came out awesome! My (very picky eater) son gobbled up a bite in seconds! We wanted to make sure he would like it knowing how picky he is :) My husband and I tried it and enjoyed it as well. I haven’t made the icing yet, that’s on tomorrow’s agenda! But I wanted to thank you for this great recipe!! I can see myself making it again in the future after the party!


      • I did this but used home made apple sauce. I didn’t use juice. The apple sauce is easy. Three pounds apples (gala, fuji) 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 pinch nutmeg, 1.5 cups water (add more if it cooks out but I didn’t have to), 2 thin lemon slices, 1/4 tsp salt. Once this is all cooked I take a potato masher and mash it together to make chunky apple sauce. I had some fluid left over which helped with the replacement of “apple juice.” this is really a great recipe for apple sauce with no sugar. The apples i cut up in large chunks. when the apples came to a boil I covered it and simmered for 25 minutes or so.

  23. Thank you for the great recipe!!! Ditto to the kiddos and my husband liking it! Will definitely be making it again and passing along to our daycare provider.

    About the soupy frosting…just use your mixer and it comes out great! I would even use less apple juice concentrate or omit altogether because the bananas are so sweet.

    Other variations we are going to try…almond butter and then peanut butter mixed with the cream cheese…yum!

    Thank you again!

  24. I have tried to make this recipe 2 times and both times it seems uncooked. I have even doubled the bake time. I used two 6 inch round pans. I used the extra to make mini muffins. Any suggestions? Their is nothing that can hurt him if it is under cooked but I want to get it right for my little man. My family gives me a hard time for an organic and no sugar added cake so I want to get this just right for his 1st birthday. Thank you.

    • Did you find any solutions? I just hate trying a recipe several ways and never get it right, but the person who posted the recipe has pictures of it completely perfect. I haven’t tried this one yet, but your comment made me nervous.

    • Hmmm I’m sure the texture would be a little different. I haven’t used almond flour a ton in baking so I can’t say exactly what it will do. I always say try it to see. Maybe a little less banana to lessen the moisture?

  25. Can I substitute the applesauce for something else? Puréed apples for example? I can’t get no sugar sauce where I live!

  26. Hi,
    I love your recipe and plan on using it to make my daughter’s first birthday cake. I was wondering what I can substitute oat flour for since she doesn’t tolerate oats very well.
    Thank you.

  27. Hi there,

    I can not find apple concentrate (or any other frozen fruit concentrates) anywhere near where I live or on-line in my country. Can you suggest a substitute to concentrate?

      • I actually boiled down apple juice to make my own apple concentrate. Made the cake as a test run for little mans first birthday, d turned out great! Only complaints are needing more of a measurement of mashed banana…since 4 or 5 is vague when bananas come in all sorts of sizes… and the icing is actually a bit sour…. I may add some whipping cream to lighten it up a bit

        • Also, has anyone made the cake fluffier yet? Baby boy’s parents want me to make it more “cake like” since it’s so dense. Thinking of trying yeast and maybe a little egg

      • I couldn’t find apple juice concentrate either so I got orange juice instead. Hopefully it will just have an orange flavor! Also where did you find your mini tart pans? Everywhere I have looked, even online they are very shallow with fluted edges and it looks like yours is nice and tall with smooth edges.

  28. I added an egg and sour cream and blended all the wet ingredients with the bananas in a blender, and also did not grind the oats up. It cake turned out perfectly! Thank you so much for the idea! I am going to decorate it with blueberries and raspberries before my little girl’s first birthday party tomorrow. :)

  29. How would you describe the flavor of this cake? I am thinking about making this for my baby shower and for my personal snacks. I am trying to avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. Also, do you think I could add lemon juice to this to make a lemon cake?

  30. For the frosting, does it taste extremely cream cheesy? Or do the apple juice concentrate and vanilla help cut the flavor?

  31. Hi Ive just tried this recipeas I have a photoshoot next saturday for my baby’s 1st birthday which is in september but they said if i wanted the canvas photos to be ready for BDay then i need to have pictures taken early. So will have a “practice” birthday.
    I have 2 large silicon cake molds, used appleasause homemade – using someone else’s suggestion from the net to cook loads of apples in tiny amount of water. I did that, once half cooked, fished the apple slices out and mashed them and cooked them in their own juices with 2 vanillapods.and a tad bit of lemon juice so they dont brown.

    I also used someone else’s suggestion from the replies to use stewed strawberries (used the liquid i saved from the apples instead of just water ) to spread between layers. from my 2 big cake layers i used one to cut 3 smaller rounds using my largest wineglass as i didnt have anything else that had a sharp enough edge and my cookie cutters were too small. could only get 3 [plus lots of leftovers from the 1 layer. i made up a small leftover cake and ate it in one go as baby seems very miserable probble teething, not eating anything.
    then when i was happy that i didnt even need to add the xylitol that i bought for just in case, i out the 3 discs in a bag in a the freezer, will take them out on friday evening to defrost overnight, take the frosting and “jam” in a coolbag (originally for pumped milk) and assemble mini cake at photoshoot..
    oh, I put the remainder of the apleasauce in the freezer too, will defrost friday night too and if too sloppy pour the excess water off before mixing with the cream cheese.
    Te applesauce is not enough for the big cake for the baptism next Sunday, so I wil have to make a big batch again especially if i want not just “jam” but frosting between the layers as well as on top. And obviously need to make another batch of the cake – so altogether i’ll have 3 layers (with the 1 big one frozen from today)
    i plan to do the writing with thinly sliced strawberries and cut blueberries instead of icing. But could try piping the stewed strawberries….

    Once I’m done, will put some pictures up.

    Tanks for the inspiration.


    • Hi, the mini cake was made up on the day of photoshoot and hadnt had time to chill the assembled cake and it wqs all slipping away.
      Any advice on what to do with the cream cheese frosting to be less sloppy?

      I have used my home-made applesauce
      I havent whisked
      BUT i have used a hand blender so it was all nice and smooth texture.
      … just sloppy…

      PLEASE HELP! Christening is this weekend and i need to figure out a way, as I had the aplesauce put away in the freezer…

      Thanks for any advice,


  32. Hey! I have been searching for a healthy alternative for my son’s first birthday cake and this one sounds perfect. He loves bananas, but I was wandering if any one’s little one had a problem with the cream cheese. He has had an all organic diet and I’m worried it might upset his tummy. Has anyone had issues? Or should it be okay if its only a little bit?

  33. Hey fitmama, I’m excited to try this recipe for my sons birthday this weekend. I want to use a 6 inch Pyrex bowl for his ‘smash cake’ how full do you suggest filling it? I’m just worried about it cooking all the way through. Maybe make two? Any advice? Thanks!

  34. I first off want to say I’m thrilled to find such a great cake recipe for my sons first birthday! He loves bananas so it’ll be perfect! I made a practice cake today and it didn’t turn out as I hoped. For starters the cake itself was more like a tart cake, was the cake texture in the middle. And I cooked it for 20 min. Second the “frosting” was runny. I’m not sure what I did wrong, I followed the recipe. Any ideas what I can do to improve this next time would be appreciated!

  35. I made this today as a test run for my sobs birthday in a few weeks. It turned out great. I actually gave him a little bit of the cake without frosting and he kept wanting more! I’m curious as to why you made the modifications you did? Why the lessened applesauce and splitting up of the flours? (I see the original called for more applesauce and all wheat flour). Just curious. I made yours, not the original, and it was fantastic, just wondering.
    Also, I got enough batter to fill five mini tart pans, that’s it. I followed the instructions to the letter, and the batter didn’t seem too dense, so did I just overfill the pans? They are 4″ in diameter and I filled them pretty much the whole way up. Next time going to try to use cake pans so I wonder if I just fill them halfway? Thanks!!

  36. So glad I found your recipe! I just used it to make cupcakes for my little one’s first birthday and they were a hit! I’m about to make them again for breakfast and snacks. Thanks for posting!

  37. Silly question but I made the icing last night and then realized that vanilla extract has 35% alcohol….is this what you used? Wondering if I should use an alternative?? Thanks!!

  38. Wow. I’m so glad to have come across this post. My baby is turning 1 next week and he can’t have anything with added sugars. So this sounds like a perfect recipe. My question is concerning the cream cheese. He also can’t do dairy. Would this recipe work with vegan cream cheese? TIA!

  39. Hi I tried this yesterday, all the way in Singapore! Thanks for posting it up , I’m a baking noob so I’m not sure if my cake turned out ok or not. it’s really moist inside and the texture isn’t like cake, it’s rather squishy.

    It tastes great, I’m just concerned if it’s cooked?! I left it to cook in the oven at a lower heat for 10 more mins but there was no change to texture. Help :)

  40. I am making this for my son’s first birthday as well. I have searched and searched but can’t find no sugar added apple juice concentrate. I just bought the regular concentrate. I’m OK with him having a little sugar!! My question is, since it has sugar, how much should I use? Also, I will have to substitute vegetable oil for coconut oil, too. Should I use 3 tsp. of veg oil just as I would coconut oil in your recipe? Thanks!!

  41. Grain-free version: The general rule is 1/4 the amount of coconut flour to substitute for grain flours. IE 12oz (dry weight) in 1 1/2 cups of the whole grain flour and oats combined so you’d need only 4oz coconut flour then add one egg or flax “egg” per ounce of coconut flour. For this recipe, substitute 4oz coconut flour for whole grain flour and oats. Add 4 eggs or flax “eggs” and double the apple sauce. Coconut flour is extremely absorbent, if the batter seems dry add more apple sauce. I also substituted apple sauce for the concentrate in the frosting, I didn’t want to buy another ingredient.

    This turned out perfectly, thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait for Sam to enjoy this on his 1st Birthday!

  42. I have been looking for an alternative cake recipe for a while. My little one is turning 1 in just a few days. But her party will be next week. She is very sensitive to gluten. So my question is, have you used this with low gluten or gluten free flour? If so any differences or tips that might help if there are differences?

    • Grain-free version: The general rule is 1/4 the amount of coconut flour to substitute for grain flours. IE 12oz (dry weight) in 1 1/2 cups of the whole grain flour and oats combined so you’d need only 4oz coconut flour then add one egg or flax “egg” per ounce of coconut flour. For this recipe, substitute 4oz coconut flour for whole grain flour and oats. Add 4 eggs or flax “eggs” and double the apple sauce. Coconut flour is extremely absorbent, if the batter seems dry add more apple sauce.

      Gluten free is very high on the glycemic index, grain free is gluten free… coconut flour is very low glycemic index.

      • We just made this cake for our one year old. I only made a half batch and used 3/4c oat flour, 1tbsp of coconut flour, and added an egg. A flax egg would have been fine, too, but we’re good with eggs anyhow. It tasted just like a banana bread, turned out great. I will say it was thick, more bread like than crumbly squishy cake-like. As for the frosting, after adding 1 tbsp of juice concentrate to 4oz of cream cheese, I opted to add 2tsp of maple syrup and it was just slightly sweet – perfect for a little one.

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  44. The cake was so yummy, but the frosting–not so much. It tasted like plain cream cheese– I even added cinnamon and it didn’t help a whole lot. My son thought it was grody, and we couldn’t help but agree… We ended up giving him some frosting from the cake from the bakery…he approved that lol thanks so much for the recipe! The grown ups snacked on the pieces of left over cake :)))

  45. My frosting came out super duper soupy as well.

    Is the concentrate supposed to be thawed when you measure? I think that is where I went wrong – I just scooped it out frozen. I got tan colored cream cheese soup. :-(

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