If you have a young child, you're interested in cakes, or you have a Pinterest account, you have likely heard the term 'Cake Smash', but what is it?
The cake smash trend started in America and is commonly done to celebrate a child turning 1. In it's most basic form it requires a beautiful cake, a young child and a camera... Cake smashes can also be done as a fun way to celebrate and record a milestone birthday, for example a 21st or 30th birthday.
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to do a Cake Smash Session with local photographer Elisha from Here Or There Photography. Her studio in Ingliston is conveniently located less than 30km from my kitchen in Bacchus Marsh and I love supporting fellow local small businesses. I had previously met Elisha when she did a Christmas mini-session with my daughter who was 4 months old at the time, and I had admired her gentle yet confident way of positioning Miss A and catching on film the most fleeting glimpses of smiles.
With Miss A now 8 months older, I looked forward to professionally recording some of her animated facial expressions, and of course catching her first taste of cake.
The cake I made for the shoot was a Vanilla Cake made with natural sugars in place of refined sugars, and a cream cheese frosting. The only refined sugar in the whole cake was the edible 1 topper (made with white chocolate and sprinkles) and a small scattering of edible confetti. As Miss A had only had the tiniest amounts of refined sugar before this, I wasn't too keen on giving her free range with an entire cake, so the natural sugars were a nice compromise in my view. Did she actually eat much of the cake? In fact, yes, I was surprised by how much she ate. She LOVED rubbing her hands in the frosting and licking it off her fingers, then once she found the cake inside she was grabbing fistfuls and shoving them in her mouth! This all made for great photos which Elisha captured beautifully.
Elisha let me take a few behind-the-scenes photos for the purpose of this blog post, and I think it also helps to illustrate the difference in quality between an amateur with a smartphone (me) and professional quality photos.
Throughout the whole session Elisha made sure to maintain a warm temperature in the studio, which along with her calm and reassuring demeanour, ensured Miss A felt comfortable. Elisha also tirelessly entertained her to ensure she was smiling and facing toward the camera when needed. Since receiving the disc of images from the session Elisha's talented eye for the perfect shot has continued to amaze me, and I'm beyond happy with the final images.
For the remainder of 2016, I am offering a special deal of 10% off the price of Cake Smash cakes (sugar-free or regular) to customers who are booked in for a Cake Smash Session with Here Or There Photography. Simply let me know you're booked in with Elisha, then once I have confirmed I will update your quote for the 10% discount. Easy!
Here Or There Photography can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hereortherephotography or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/here_or_there_photography. Let her know I sent you! ☺
UPDATE: Almost a year later and these are still among my favourite photos of Miss A. I'm so glad to have this special keepsake to look back on!
Tips from my Top Tip Tuesday Facebook posts will be archived here to make them easier to refer back to. If you have a topic you'd like me to provide tips on just leave a comment below!
If picking up your order it is best to transport the cake box in the (empty) boot of your car on a non-slip mat. This is much safer than the back seat as it is more level. Even better, have your order delivered and save yourself the hassle!
Cake and cupcakes usually taste best at room temperature. Check whether your order requires refrigeration, if so remove the cake from the fridge 30 minutes before serving for maximum flavour!
Displaying Cake Pops (26/4/16)
Cake pops can be displayed in a myriad of creative ways. For some added colour why not use glass vases filled with jellybeans to suit the theme, then poke the cake pop sticks in. For an extra touch tie a bow around each vase in a complimentary colour with a tag to show what flavour the cake pops are.
Storing Leftover Cake (3/5/16)
On the off chance you manage to have some cake left over (not very likely, but it does sometimes happen!), the best way to store it is to remove any decorations and wrap it in two layers of plastic wrap. If your cake contains perishable fillings (cream cheese, etc) or your home is hot and/or humid, you can place the leftover cake in the fridge, otherwise it is fine to store at room temperature.
Planning a Dessert Buffet (24/5/16)
When planning a dessert buffet always choose quality over quantity. Aim for a combination of quality cupcakes, decorated cookies, cake pops, chocolate covered Oreos and/or lollies in your selected colour scheme. By using an array of pretty cake stands, platters and jars to present them in/on, you'll maximise the visual impact without going over the top.
Dessert Buffet Signage (7/6/16)
An important element of a good dessert buffet is signage. Guests like to know what's on offer before they make their selection. This can be as simple as place cards describing the various desserts, or as elaborate as little blackboards on mini easels. There are even customisable sets that you can download and print to match any colour scheme. Think about what will best suit your theme (and your budget) and go for it!
Cake Smash Cakes (23/8/16 - 6/9/16)
Cake smashes generally look most effective with vanilla cake with coloured frosting or coloured cake with white frosting. Avoid red or brown cake or frosting as they don't make for very pleasant photos once smooshed all over baby's face...
With Cake Smash Sessions it is best to choose either elaborate background/decorations with a simple outfit, or an elaborate outfit with simple background/decorations. You want the focus to be on the child and the cake.
Perhaps it goes without saying, but buttercream frosting is more effective in Cake Smash Sessions than fondant. A messy baby is pretty much guaranteed
Displaying Cupcakes (3/1/17)
Cupcakes have the most visual appeal when displayed on a stand to add height. Specialised cupcake stands are ideal, but stacked cake pedestals can also be stunning. Try mixing and matching different stands for an eclectic feel.
If you don't want to spoil the look of your cake by adding candles on top, make sure to ask when ordering for the candles to be added to the cake board. This way the birthday boy/girl has the opportunity to blow out the candles without detracting from the aesthetic of the cake.
Acrylic Cake Toppers (17/1/17)
Acrylic cake toppers are a stunning way to personalise cakes or cupcakes for your special occasion, and also add visual height to your cake. If care is taken to pack them away safely, toppers can also be saved for future occasions.
Cutting Cakes (24/1/17)
When cutting cakes for serving it is advisable to make light markings with the knife to guide where you will be cutting. This helps to gauge whether you will have enough pieces rather than running short at the end. Also make sure to wipe crumbs off the knife blade with paper towel between cuts to give a cleaner edge.
Perfectly Petite Treats is owned and run by Krystal Conlan, a 33 year old home-baker. All products are freshly baked from scratch in her home-based council-approved kitchen in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria.