Yesterday was Jai’s 1st birthday. I thought about making a dedicated blog post about it, but decided to post about his birthday “cake” instead. I am still not ready to give into the sugar beast for him (especially considering how much I love the stuff myself), so I created a fruit cake for him to play with and munch on instead.
It took him a while to get the hang of it, but by the end of the playtime, the cake was thoroughly dissected and smashed on the floor. He got a couple of good bites in and had a pleased look on his face when bits of fruit made it into his mouth with little difficulty.
Recipe below the break.
Fruit Smash Cake
1 small watermelon
1 whole pineapple
1 kiwi fruit
handful of blueberries
handful of strawberries
handful of red grapes
***Select the fruit of your choice or of your child’s preference. These are Jai’s favorites and what we used in order to make flowers***
- Skin the watermelon so there is no rind left on the flesh. Chop the ends off of the flesh and form the watermelon to the “cake” size you desire. Since this is for a little one, having the base 3-4″ tall should be enough.
- Skin the pineapple. Slice thinly so you end up with round discs. If you have a cookie cutter in the shape of a flower (or in a shape of your preference), use this to cut out each disc. Save unused bits for your own fruit salad later.
- Peel and slice the kiwi fruit into round slices. Set aside.
- Wash and trim the strawberries. Wash blueberries and grapes.
- Put the watermelon base on serving plate of your choice (make sure it isn’t breakable). Put your a pineapple cutout on the top and layer with a kiwi fruit slice, and strawberry. Arrange blueberries evenly around the top. These will not be secured, so keep that in mind when moving the cake around (it makes it easier for the little one to grasp and get the hang of the smashing/smushing).
- Using blunted toothpicks* (or another object to secure the fruit of your choice), make pineapple flowers around the sides of the watermelon. Layer: pineapple, kiwi fruit, and grapes. Distribute these flowers evenly around the side of the watermelon.**
- Arrange any leftover fruit around the base of the cake for additional textures and smushing possibilities.
*Blunt toothpicks by snipping off the sharp ends.
**When letting the little one smash through the sides or pull the fruit off, be sure to grab whatever you use to secure the fruit before the little one can do anything with it. So please keep an eye on them at all times. The fruit will need to eventually be broken apart if they are really interested in eating them anyway because it might be too big.
Remember: smash cakes are less about consuming the cake and more about giving the little one an opportunity to have fun with new and exciting textures. This cake is meant to provide a healthy alternative to the sugar-laden cakes. Because this type of cake is a little more solid, it might take them a little longer to get the hang of it, but when they do, it’ll be hard to take away.