By Guest Blogger Kristen Kelly
For my son’s 1st birthday, we scheduled a smash cake photo session with our favorite Cleveland photographer, Brittany Gidley Photography. I had shopped around at cake shops, and found that most don’t sell smash cakes, and those that do charged more than I wanted to pay. So, I decided to make my own smash cake, and was so happy with it that shared how on my blog, Ready…Set…Parenthood!
As I decided to venture into making my own smash cake, I began looking at some of the different ways to make a rainbow cake on Pinterest. My husband came across this AWESOME tie-dye cake mix from Duff Goldman, and we found it at Target.
Beginning with the cake mix directions, here’s how to make your own Rainbow Smash Cake
You will start out following the directions on the box. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cake mix, water, oil, and egg whites. Now, I used to avoid recipes that involved separating the egg whites from the yolk because it sounded intimidating. This was the first time I did it, and it was way easier than I expected.
Blend the ingredients with a mixer for about 2 minutes. Then divide the white cake batter into your 6 cups/bowls. You want to put about 3/4 of a cup of the white batter in each of your cups/bowls. I used the glasses that came with my punch bowl set, and they worked perfectly. I also found that stemless red wine glasses (the opening on white wine glasses was a bit to narrow) worked as well.
Now comes the color! The cake mix kit comes with 3 food color pouches, red, blue and yellow. The box tells you exactly how many drops to add to each cup of batter to get the desired color. I recommend doing one food color pouch at a time. Clip a tiny bit off one of the corners and add the number of drops below.
Red: 15 drops red (I added a little be more because it looked a little pink)
Orange: 5 drops yellow, 2 drops red
Yellow: 8 drops yellow
Green: 9 drops yellow, 2 drops blue
Blue: 14 drops blue
Purple: 7 drops red, 2 drops blue
Stir each cup with one of your tablespoons, and watch as the white batter transforms into the pretty colors! (This could be a fun teachable moment about colors with your little one too!)
Now here is where we begin to stray from the directions on the box. The box gives directions for a 2-layer cake, 3-layer cake, 13 in x 9 in cake and a fluted tube pan (what??), but not for our fun smash cake! Spray the cake pan generously with cooking spray. Starting with red and working through the rainbow, pour 1/4 cup of each color into the center of the pan. Between colors, give the previous color a little time to spread out and settle before adding the next. Be sure to to jiggle or move the pan to prevent colors from mixing. When you are done, it you should see a ring of each color.
You will have enough batter left-over to make around 10 cupcakes. You will use about one tablespoon of each color batter to fill the cupcake liners.
Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes and the smash cake for 35 minutes. Be sure to use the toothpick test to make sure both are done before taking them out. I have done this 4 times, and the one time they didn’t cook long enough, my smash cake fell apart. Here is what they look like after they are done! So much fun!
Now it is decorating time! Be sure to let the smash cake cool COMPLETELY before taking it out of the pan. I recommend decorating it on the cake stand you plan on using to prevent messing up the cake while moving it.
Smash cake session with Brittany Gidley Photography
Birthday party pictures by Tonya Ann Photography
Kristen is a 30-something mother, wife, and educator living in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband Dave and son Patrick. She is a proud alum of Ohio University and loves Steelers football. She loves getting out and exploring the city and finding new and fun family-friendly activities. She writes about her experiences, both with parenting and Cleveland, on her blog Ready…Set…Parenthood!