Everything you need to know about the 1st birthday CAKE SMASH craze (not for clean freaks)
The latest 1st birthday craze hitting cake scene is smash cakes. If you haven’t come across the new kiddie birthday party craze, it’s not difficult to figure out what it is. Give your smartly dressed one-year-old a huge cake and they get to sit and smash it, rub their faces in it, and eat as much gooey buttercream icing and cake as they like. It’s a one-year-old’s dream birthday treat, but it’s definitely not a tradition for clean freaks. Here is everything you need to know about the cake smash (or smash cake) tradition and more.
A little bite of history
So where did this messy, sugar-loaded cake craze come from? It’s no surprise to learn that the famous cake smash isn’t new, and that in its current form it comes from America. Of course it does. Only the Americans could come up with something as fanciful and absurd as this, right? Well, while the cake smash craze for one year olds has been the invention of US parents embracing how babies can literally have their cake and eat it, the origins of the tradition probably come from elsewhere.
It’s not entirely clear where cake smashing originates from. Searches on Google aren’t very fruitful. However, it is thought the smashing cake craze in the US probably originated from a Mexican tradition.
The tradition, known as ‘La Mordida’, involves shoving the birthday boy or girl’s face into the birthday cake to take the first bite – mordida is the Spanish word for bribe, but in Mexican slang it means bite. Guests at the party chant “Mordida! Mordida! Mordida!” before the birthday boy or girl’s face is plunged into an exceptionally creamy cake! When actress, Salma Hayek, celebrated her 49th Birthday as a guest on the Jimmy Kimmel chat show, she gave him a cheeky taste of the Mordida tradition.
There are lots of cake smashing customs throughout the ages. In ancient Rome, wedding cakes (actually a loaf of wheat bread) were smashed over the brides head to symbolize a fertile and fulfilling life. Guests ate the crumbs as a sign of good luck! Another wedding cake tradition stemmed from the bride and groom feeding each other cake, which somewhere along the line evolved in some cases to the couple grinding the cake into each other’s faces.
Cakes and faces have a long tradition together, but none are as cute as the 1st birthday cake smash extravaganza.
The photo opportunity
Some parents are taking the cake smash craze to a whole new level. Completely set up in a photographic studio, the cake smash is being used as a messy prop for creating adorable photos. Even set up at home, the smash cake gives cooing parents, relatives and friends the perfect opportunity to take snaps for the family album. See an example below:
The Smash Cake
If you are making the cake yourself, a Victoria sponge will do. Just ensure the buttercream icing smothering the cake is plenty. Covered in colorful sprinkles your little one will be intrigued and then delighted to have found such a yummy toy to play with! If cake making and cake icing aren’t in your repertoire, get a professional cake maker to make one for you. Many people have a smaller single layer cake for the cake smash and a bigger more elaborate offering for guests.
Tips for clean freaks
If the thought of cake everywhere doesn’t tickle your fancy, don’t give up on the idea completely. For the sake of some very cute photos of your little one having messy fun, there are some things you can do to help keep the mess at a minimum.
- Use a plastic sheet to sit your birthday boy or girl on. Hopefully the cake won’t get thrown any further.
- Don’t dress your precious one year old in their best. You an even strip them down to their diaper if it makes you happier.
- Arm yourself with plenty of baby wipes.
- Have a bubble bath ready for when the cake smashing fun is over.
- It’s not only some adults who are obsessed with being clean. If your child doesn’t like getting their hands messy with food, then a cake smash themed party probably isn’t a good idea.
- If your one year old loves smearing food all over their faces, take a day off from worrying about their messy eating habits. Take a deep breath and let your child have some fun.
Is the cake smash craze over the top? Maybe. Is it fun? Heck yeah.