1st Birthday Banana Smash Cake – NO added sugar

This banana smash cake is the perfect cake for your baby’s first birthday (or any other birthday, too!). With no added, this cake’s sweetness comes from bananas, applesauce, and pumpkin. Top it with a little whipped cream (or sweetened whipped cream for the adults) and everyone will be happy to eat this cake!

No Sugar Banana Smash Cake #firstbirthday #smashcake #1stbirthday #nosugar #sugarfree #sugarfreecake

We’ve been pretty adamant about keeping Camden away from sugar. Why does a little baby need sugar when he is so happy to eat everything without it being sweetened (or salted)?

I promise, people have had their opinions on this one. Big time. Because, you know, we all ate sugar as little kids and survived.

Which makes it healthy, right? (Insert eye roll)


Since we haven’t given Camden sugary foods, I knew I didn’t want to go all out with a birthday cake and frosting for his 1st birthday. Especially because we wanted to do a smash cake session, which involves letting him have a whole (mini) cake in front of him. I can only imagine how his tummy would feel after all that cake and frosting.

I figured I could easily make a cake that didn’t involve any sugar, but it was the frosting that I was unsure about. Then I saw an idea to use unsweetened whipping cream.

So the cake is sweetened with bananas and unsweetened applesauce; it honestly tastes like banana bread! Andrew and I really like it too. It’s filled with pumpkin between the layers (with a little bit of milk and sugar-free pudding mix if you want). And the ‘frosting’ is just unsweetened whipping cream (just whipped in my Kitchenaid mixer) and spread on the cake. Then I added a layer of blueberries around the bottom for decoration and – bam! Sugar free, healthy birthday cake.

Photo Credit – Seven Nails Photography

Camden ate almost half of the cake at his smash cake session. Thank the Lord I went with a sugarless cake since he ate that much.

Honestly? I’ll probably make this same cake for his 2nd birthday too, and just do cupcakes with a semi-sweet cream cheese icing for all the guests. Because all that matters is if it tastes great, right? And what a bonus if it doesn’t contain all that sugar and unhealthy stuff!

TIP: You don’t have to blend the bananas with the wet ingredients; you can just mash them. But when you mash them, you get a very dense cake that is hard for little ones to dig their fingers into. I highly recommend blending the bananas, because whipping all the air into them gives you a much lighter consistency in your cake.

No Sugar Banana Smash Cake #firstbirthday #smashcake #1stbirthday #nosugar #sugarfree #sugarfreecake

5 from 1 vote
No Sugar Banana Smash Cake #firstbirthday #smashcake #1stbirthday #nosugar #sugarfree #sugarfreecake
No Sugar Banana Smash Cake
For cake:
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 5 tbsp. melted butter, unsalted
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
For Filling:
  • 1 c. pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix!)
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1 tbsp. no-sugar, fat-free vanilla pudding mix
For 'Frosting:'
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
  • berries of choice
To make cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 2 6-inch round cake pans.

  2. To your blender, add bananas, applesauce, butter, egg and vanilla. Pulse until fairly smooth (a little chunkiness is okay).

  3. Pour wet ingredients into a bowl. Sprinkle baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves over top of wet ingredients. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon until combined. 

  4. Divide batter between the 2 cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Set aside to cool.

To make filling:
  1. In a small bowl, stir pumpkin, pudding mix and milk together. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make 'frosting:'
  1. Pour cold heavy whipping cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the wire whip attachment on medium. Let whip until it turns into whipped cream (10-15 minutes typically). 

  2. When cake is cool, use a cake leveler to level it (or just use a knife). Place one layer on a plate or cardboard piece. Spread a thick layer of pumpkin filling on top. Place 2nd cake on top of pumpkin layer. Use an offset knife or regular knife to spread whipped cream over cake. Decorate with berries. Refrigerate until ready to eat. 

Recipe Notes

NOTE: The easiest way to spread the whipped cream to to pile a large amount in the middle of the top and spread outward and down the sides. This will help it look pretty and cover the whole cake. 

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  1. Ann

    Love this idea! Saving this recipe to try out!

  2. bethanyrutledg

    This looks really delicious! Gonna have to consider it for the fellas’ first!

  3. Anh

    What a cutie! We definitely try to keep our little one away from sugar as well, so thank you for this recipe!

  4. thegrowingcreatives

    Sooo cute! I will definitely keep this in mind for my sons birthday in 3 months

  5. Anastasia Kriachko Røren

    Hi! What do you think can be used instead of the pumpkin purée?

  6. Ashleigh

    Thank you for this! I’ve been trying to find a sugar free banana cake recipe for my son but all of them are also egg free, gluten free, and/or oil free, and to be honest I want the extra protein from the egg, some healthy fat, and flour that’s already in my pantry! Haha 🙂 I will be giving this a shot for sure. Planning to do a peanut butter “frosting” (unsweetened peanut butter, plain Greek yogurt, and cinnamon).

  7. Amy

    Good morning, love this recipe and am going to make it for my nephews first cake smash! I also want to make some cupcakes for a family get together For his birthday. Could I just put a dollop of the pumpkin purée in the middle of the cupcakes?

  8. Aimee

    Hoping to make this cake recipe for my baby boy’s 1st birthday this weekend! Could you tell me what size cake pans you used for this recipe?

    1. Lisa

      I used 6 inch cake pans for it!

  9. Augusta

    Hi! I tried making this last night, and for some reason, it reallllly tastes of baking soda. Is it really 1 1/2 tsp of baking soda? Or maybe just 1/2 tsp?

    1. Lisa

      Hello! I tried making the cake with 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp baking powder, and I got the same rise. I’ve changed the recipe to reflect that, so hopefully that helps!

  10. Shamsa

    Is it 11/ tsp of baking soda or just 1/2 tsp?

    1. Lisa

      Hello! I tried making the cake with 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp baking powder, and I got the same rise. I’ve changed the recipe to reflect that, so hopefully that helps!

  11. Jess

    5 stars
    I made this for my son’s first birthday and it was a huge hit with him! To the adults it tasted more like a banana bread than a cake but it was exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!

  12. Michelle

    This recipe looks great and I love that it’s sugar free! Do you know if it can be made ahead? How would you go about storing it?

  13. Mia

    Did your cake come out looking undercooked or like good cake? Mine seemed to look undercooked….

  14. Tara

    I did everything exactly as is except I used 8in pans and my cake didn’t rise 😩… they look like multigrain pancakes. It’s for my son’s 1/2 birthday and I planned to cut the layers in half to make it a 4 layer half cake but it’s gonna look like 2 layers lol. It tastes delicious nonetheless.

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