Bake a personal mini-cake for your kid’s first birthday

Kristen's first birthday tip:

Don't give the kid the whole cake to destroy, or even an entire one of his very own. Bake a mini-cake in a foil pot pie tin. Less mess and less wasted food.

I think this is a great idea (cupcakes would work as well if you're baking for a crowd). Of course, for my first child's first birthday (long before Parent Hacks), I went all-out and made a full-sized cake in the shape of a Whoozit, my son's favorite toy. I admit there was special pleasure in creating such a culinary masterpiece, and special pain in seeing it massacred by the little party guests who attacked it like famished wolves…before the birthday boy had even caught a glimpse of the thing. Not that he would have cared…he was one!


  1. Craftykimmy says

    Publix makes a mini-cake decorated in the same colors as the main cake for free for your child’s first birthday. We did that and it was awesome! Amazing cake decorators, and it was A BLAST watching my son annihilate his own cake. He wasn’t used to getting to play with his food like that so he laughed and laughed through the whole thing. We were in a restaurant, and they knew ahead of time it was going to be messy, and we paid handsomely for the privilege of not having to clean up after the decimation. I thought the mini cake was a good size for him, although depending on how you feel about sweets I can see where a cupcake might be better.

  2. stacy says

    Someone gave my son (now 13 months) a Whoozit when he was born.

    I think the little bugger is fantastic, but my son has never had the slightest bit of interest in it. Except, of course, as an object to throw off the high chair. But *anything* works for that purpose. I’m surprised to read that some kids apparently dig the Whoozit…

    My son’s first birthday fell over a time when we were cutting out dairy, just in case. (He has Sleep Issues.) So I made him a dairy-free cake that, in my stepmother’s words, tasted “like shit.” I cried when she said that, but she was right. My son hardly touched it. If I could have the day over again, I’d say to hell with it and let him have a mini “real” cake. From the store, since I can’t bake to save my life, apparently.

  3. peggy says

    I would love to see a picture of the whoozit cake! I am dying to know how you accomplished that.

  4. Sarah says

    I did this for both my kiddos 1st birthdays. I make all of our birthday cakes, and to make my small version birthday cake, I actually baked it in the microwave in a tupperware container that is approximately 6 inches wide. (Yes, you can do this, it only has to bake for 1 minute!) This was the perfect sized cake for a one year-old.

  5. Rob says

    I’m interested in the whoozit cake too! Our little one will drop all of her other toys to play with that one!

  6. mama2etc says

    I bake my three children’s cakes every year (just like my mom did) and for their first birthdays, I planned a removable part of the cake to be the “smash cake”. For example, in the whoozit cake, the big red nose could be a cupcake for your child to destroy. My first son had a grouping a sports balls for a cake, and he destroyed the baseball. My second son had a Tigger basketball cake and he got the basketball Tigger was dribbling. And my daughter had a Hello Kitty three tier cake with the top tier just for her.

    A big mess for everyone!

  7. Parent Hacks Editor says

    Wow! I’m surprised by the interest in the Whozit cake! Let me dig around — I’m sure I can come up with a photo. I’m terrible about keeping photos organized, even the digital ones.

  8. Amy says

    I can relate to the cringing. I took a cake decorating course at Michaels and it KILLED ME to see people digging into my cakes :)

    We do cupcakes for birthdays for my daughter and ice cream cakes for my son’s birthday (in the summer). The cupcakes are easier to handle and I love to decorate them in fun ways.

  9. Bek says

    When my little guy turned 1 we had a big party planned but he was hospitalized for testing a few days before and was only released (healthy as a horse! Thank goodness!) the afternoon before the party was scheduled and we were all wiped out…
    So I took a cue from my dad’s favorite cake- an icebox cake modified to sneak in some extra nutrition and not destroy my son’s reflux at the same time (chocolate was a no-no for awhile)…
    So I bought:
    lady fingers
    and made whipped cream and layered them with some baby food bananas (“banana sauce” as I lovingly refer to the stuff)…. I wound up trying to tint the top layer whipped cream Cookie Monster blue but according to the pictures I must have still had hospital on the brain as looking back it was a mini cake in a lovely scrubs green/aqua-y color….

    It was small enough that he ate all of it in one sitting (maybe 4 lady finger halves total?)..

  10. Brandy says

    I bet that was one cute cake!

    When my oldest had his first I made him the little catapiller from the baby E stuff and so I made 4 small cakes. One had to be sugar free for my grandparents who are diabetic. The others were confetti or chocolate. We ended up just handing over the face cake so he could have at it. Then we took it and gave him back a chunk of it we knew he could handle. The full cake was just for the fun shots.

    My second got cupcakes since hes a muffin-a-holic.

  11. RookieMom Heather says

    I wanna see the Whoozit too. My baby is turning one this month and I need some ideas. Holden got a brownie bite. That was good enough for him and we didn’t destroy a whole cake. :-)