Woodland Deer Smash Cake

Woodland Deer smash cake with baby eating cake
Woodland Deer smash cake

Smash cakes. are. the. best.

I swear…I don’t think there’s ANYTHING cuter than a little kid with a birthday smash cake! Watching them eat it is basically watching a snapshot of their personality – you’ll see them land anywhere on the spectrum between ‘careful and dainty’ and "I have cake AND frosting ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE." 😉 This Woodland Deer Smash Cake was no exception! 

This cake was made for a ‘Woodland deer’ themed 1st birthday party – recipe below! 


"Your recipe calls for cake mixes? Seriously?" 
  • Okay, all my scratch recipe purists - hear me out on this one! 😉 I'm ALL about those scratch recipes because nothing beats them for taste. One catch though - my favorite scratch recipes are delicious, but they bake too dense to be easily smash-able by little hands. After making many smash cakes over several years, I've found cake mixes to work the best. Kiddos need to be able to smash their smash cakes! 😉

    If you'd like a scratch recipe though, a half batch of my favorite Vanilla Cake layer recipe is a perfect size for smash cakes! 🙂 There's a scaled version on the Vanilla Cake recipe page. 

“How do I store this cake?”
  • Before serving, I prefer storing cakes in cake boxes – they help keep the cake from drying out without any plastic wrap touching the sides of the cake and potentially messing up the decorations! I place cakes in the fridge if storing overnight but allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

  • Cover any remaining cake well after serving to keep it from drying out - it will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for 3-5 days. 

(Disclosure: As an Amazon associate I may earn from qualifying purchases, and my posts often contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you!) 

Woodland Deer Smash Cake

Need an easy DIY smash cake for a Woodland Deer party? Fondant molds make this cute Woodland Deer 1st Birthday Smash Cake super easy!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time32 minutes
Decorating time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 32 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smash Cake, Woodland Deer Smash Cake
Servings: 1 6" smash cake
Calories: 688kcal
Author: Sarah H



Cake layers

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting



Cake layers

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 6 inch round pans with baker's floured cooking spray, or grease and line with parchment rounds.
  • Combine melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix until combined. Add in cake mix and stir until moistened (about 30 seconds), then beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  • Using a kitchen scale, divide batter evenly between the two 6” pans – I had about 450g in each pan. (Using the kitchen scale guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.)
  • Bake for 25-32 minutes, (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans. Cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired. (This is a great time to make your frosting!)

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt if needed and beat until well combined.
  • Remove about ½ c of frosting and color a light green – you’ll use this to pipe leaves a bit later.
  • Stir pink food coloring into the rest of the frosting until it reaches desired color – add carefully; gel colors are strong.


  • Once your cake layers have cooled, level them - this can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler. Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle. Spread the layer with frosting. Add your second cake layer on top – I like to flip the top layer upside down to make smoothing the top edge easier.
  • Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake tiers to keep crumbs out of your final layer. Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth (I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for my final frosting layers).


  • I decorated with frosting and chocolate fondant - I like Amy’s Confectionary Adventures recipe for chocolate marshmallow fondant, or you can buy it here on Amazon!
  • Whichever type of fondant you decide to use, soften it slightly in the microwave and shape into small tree trunks / branches and deer antlers. I liked using this fondant mold, but you can also mold your own tree trunks and deer antlers. Press them into the top and around the sides of the cake.
  • Transfer remaining pink frosting to a large piping bag fitted with an open star tip. Pipe frosting swirls around the top rim of the cake. White sprinkles optional but recommended!
  • Transfer your green frosting to a piping bag fitted with a teardrop or leaf tip. (It doesn’t hurt to do some practice leaves onto a plate or paper towel if this is your first time piping them.) Pipe leaves onto the ‘tree trunks’ on the sides of the cake – and you're done! Enjoy watching the cake smashing!



(Please note nutrition information is an estimate and may not be exactly accurate.) 


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 688kcal | Carbohydrates: 95g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g

Did you make this Woodland Deer Smash cake? 

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