Preparing for a Smash Cake Photo Session

How to prepare for a smash cake photo session for your little one!

I present to you: a very magical smash cake.

Leo’s first year was definitely an adventure. As a family, we went through so much – we built memories, learned about each other, and created a bond like no other. I couldn’t help but celebrate with a smash cake photo session (and a birthday bash to go along).

From day one of motherhood, I knew that I wanted Leo to have his own smash cake photoshoot.

Walking into it, I was totally excited but also a little nervous. How would Leo react? Would there be a huge mess? Is this really a good idea?

Let me tell you: so. worth. it.

Here are a few tips for setting up your baby’s smash cake photo session:

How to Prepare for a Smash Cake Photo Session

Think of a Theme
Okay, so for those of you that don’t know: I am a TOTAL Harry Potter fan.

I remember being the first student in my 6th grade class to read the book and present a report on it.

Life has been Harry-Potter-mania ever since. So I figure that a magical theme would be a great ode to my fandom.

I didn’t want to go too far with the décor, but we opted for some Harry spectacles, a Hogwarts banner, and a fitting cake for the occasion.

Going for a theme for your son/daughter’s smash cake can make the photos look creative and cohesive. It’s also a fun way to add a personal touch to the photos!

How to prepare for a smash cake photo session for your little one! How to prepare for a smash cake photo session for your little one!

Hold Off on the Sugar
Before their first birthday, avoid introducing sweets or desserts to your little one. Biting into their first cake for their smash session is the best part!

Let Them Do Their Thing
Go with the flow… Leo didn’t immediately eat his cake. In fact, he caressed it more than anything (and yes, his hands were incredibly dirty afterwards).

This is a time for them to just have fun and enjoy their birthday celebration. Remember, do as Marie-Antoinette said: “Let them eat cake!”

How to prepare for a smash cake photo session for your little one! How to prepare for a smash cake photo session for your little one!
A Delicious Cake
Your baby boy/girl deserves a real treat! Go for a high-quality cake for their first-ever sweet experience.

The cake is obviously key for this type of photo session. We went for our pink buttercream and chocolate sponge cake because this is what Hagrid gifted Harry on his 11th birthday (HP fans, you know what I’m talking about!) We were lucky enough to have Emily Chin Cakes be the cakemaster for Leo’s very special event. From the moist chocolate sponge to the luscious buttercream frosting, Leo is quite a lucky boy to have such talented hands make his very first gâteau. (Psst: check Emily’s work on Instagram and you’ll be wanting to throw the party of the year… just to have the cake.)

Preparing for a Smash Cake Photo Session

Picture Perfect
Of course, we just had to have our family photographer, Laurie-Anne Thuot, capture Leo’s cake smash session. If you’re considering taking these type of photos, go for a pro to get that picture-perfect look. (If you hurry on over here, you can check out our photographer’s new website!)

So how do I feel about Leo’s 1st year celebration? A definite success! So much cake for such a little boy… and none left to share. (Sort of. But that may have been mommy and daddy’s fault. Shh: we went in for some of the leftovers).

How to prepare for a smash cake photo session for your little one!

Mamas and papas: would you ever do a smash cake session?


  1. I am a huge Harry Potter Fan too!! This is a great smash cake idea! I love the glasses and the scarf. Cake smash are a new trend so sadly I didn’t even think of it when my babies were young. I did assist my sister with my nephews! He cried the entire time! lol It is cute!

  2. These photos are adorable, and Leo is so cute! I think my absolute favorite picture is the one with Leo crawling over the cake and his knee is right in the center!

    • Haha, thanks Kim! And yup… there are buttercream frosting stains on his pants that I just can’t get rid of now.

  3. This is so cute! I don’t think I would do this because I don’t want to have to clean frosting off of all my walls!

  4. I love this! When my kids were little, smash cakes weren’t even a thing, so I totally missed out on all of this.

  5. I’d never heard of anyone doing this before. Seems like a nice theme for some baby pictures. Like how you mixed in the Harry Potter them very cute. My kids adore the Wizarding World of J.K. Rowling

  6. This is the first time I have seen this, he is so cute. It is fun not knowing how it would turn out and then seeing that he did not destroy the cake so much. Enjoy himand his curiosity.

  7. He is so darling! I love babies doing a smash cake … my youngest grandson will be two in March, and I guess that will be the last one in our family until some more babies are born.

  8. I just love your smash cake session. He is so very cute, and I love that you picked Harry Potter for his theme, the glasses are great! My cousin had one for her daughter like 6 years ago and it was themed ladybugs, you can guess at a park the red was like all stained all over Nat’s face, hands, and body. I was a little sad as somehow I got banana cake lol. So much fun!

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