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    We Love to Party — food tutorials

    A Healthy Cake Smash Recipe for Baby's First Birthday!

    A Healthy Cake Smash Recipe for Baby's First Birthday!

    If you’re in the market for a healthy smash cake for your little one, I’ve got just the recipe for you!

    When I’m baking for myself you know I’m using #allthesugar and not skimping on the butter, but for my little ones I am much more health conscious. When my sister whipped up this awesome healthy smash cake for my nephew’s cake smash session I was so impressed! Be sure and scroll down for photos from his photo shoot. It was so much fun! The best part was grabbing a fork and helping him finish up the leftovers. Enjoy the recipe!


    healthy cake smash recipe for baby's first birthday by sweet chubby cheeks



    • 4 very ripe bananas
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1/4 cup plain green yogurt
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
    • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 2 tsp real vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp cinnamon



    • 1.5 cups plain Greek yogurt. (the thicker the better. I like Fage or Greek God)
    • 1/2 cup cream cheese
    • sprinkle of cinnamon
    • Fresh fruit (optional)

    healthy cake for smash cake photo session by sweet chubby cheeks


    1. Mash bananas, applesauce, yogurt, egg, and vanilla in medium mixing bowl

    2. In separate bowl combine baking soda, flour, and cinnamon

    3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until just mixed

    4. Pour evenly into three 5" round cake pans, or two 8" round cake pans. 

    5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

    6. Let cool completely

    7. Whip frosting ingredients (greek yogurt, cream cheese, and cinnamon) together until smooth and thick

    8. Stack cakes on top of each other with small layer of frosting between layers. Frost the top and sides of the finished cake with the remaining frosting. Pro Tip: Always frost a completely cooled cake!

    9. Optional - top with baby's favorite fresh fruit in center of cake for a delicious decoration or grab one of our most popular cake toppers sold right here in the shop!

    And here's a look at the final product! Don't you just love those sweet little frosting covered baby toes?!

    smash cake recipe for first birthday photos by sweet chubby cheeks

    first birthday cake smash session by sweet chubby cheekshealthy cake recipe for baby's first birthday cake smash photo session by sweet chubby cheeks


    Bye for now!

    - Megan

    Krispy Treat Star Wands - Recipe and Step by Step directions

    Krispy Treat Star Wands - Recipe and Step by Step directions

    Need a quick but pretty dessert for your party? Try these star wands and get your little one in on the messy fun!


    For the most part we’re a pretty clean-eating family, but for parties I usually go all out and reach straight for the sugar! If you follow along on my Instagram Stories you know I keep a well-stocked, secret stash of chocolates at the back of my pantry that is strictly for me. It’s totally filled with leftover Halloween candy from like 3 years ago, but you better believe the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups get eaten first. 😉

    I put together a fun recipe for rice krispy star wands that I hope you enjoy! This is my favorite type of recipe since I can get the kiddo’s in on the decorating and it keeps them entertained while I finish up the rest of the party decorating. I hope you love them!



    • 1 bag of white chocolate chips (8oz)
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 1 10oz bag of marshmallows
    • 6 cups Rice cereal
    • Sprinkles of your choice (Whatever you have on hand works great! I sometimes try to go with the party theme colors)
    • 8" white candy sticks (I buy these here)



    • In large saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add all the marshmallows and stir it around until they’re all melty and gooey. Remove the saucepan from heat.
    • Add the 6 cups of cereal and stir until well coated
    • Pour the mixture into a well greased 9x13x2 dish
    • Using a spatula, wax paper, or plastic knife press the mixture into the dish until it is firmly packed. And when I say firmly, I mean FIRMLY! In order for these to stay on the sticks you’re going to want these to be nice and compacted.
    • Let them cool in the 9x13 pan, then use a star shaped cookie cutter to cut out the star shapes. I like a 4" size, but use whatever makes you happy!
    • While they're cooling down pour the bag of chocolate chips into a microwave safe dish and slowly microwave until melted. I do 20 second intervals for about 2 minutes, stirring them in between. 
    • Place the shapes onto a wire rack and drizzle melted chocolate chips over the top
    • Immediately sprinkle with sprinkles so they stick in the melty chocolate before it hardens
    • Let chocolate completely dry and harden, then poke the stars onto the candy sticks.
    • Stand them up in a jar, or place them on a pretty plate atop the dessert table!


    Get creative and use different shapes for different themes – imagine a cute dinosaur or even your child’s name! Either way, have fun. And definitely save an extra or two for yourself to enjoy after the crowd leaves and you can unwind after the party!


    Photography credit: Noelle @ThePenandPiper

    The Super Easy, 'Get It Before It's Gone' Italian Pasta Salad

    The Super Easy, 'Get It Before It's Gone' Italian Pasta Salad

    Today I’m sharing my favorite Italian pasta salad recipe with you. This one is my go-to for any party, no matter the theme. I’ve served it at a BBQ, a pizza party, and an afternoon bridal shower luncheon and it’s a hit each time! My favorite part is how quick it comes together. Enjoy!

    italian pasta salad recipe by sweet chubby cheeks


    • 1 16oz box of rotini noodles

    • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

    • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped

    • 1 cup cucumber, chopped

    • 1/2 cup green peppers, chopped

    • 1/2 cup frozen peas (do not thaw! Pop them in the salad frozen)

    • 8 oz block of Colby jack cheese cut into 1/2" cubes

    • 3 oz Pepperoni or salami, cut into small 1/2" pieces 

    • 1 can 2.25oz sliced black olives

    • 1 16oz bottle Italian salad dressing

    • Optional - Johnny's Salad Elegance seasoning (about 1 tablespoon, or to taste)

     italian pasta salad ingredients for recipe by sweet chubby cheeks photo by ThePenandPiper

    ingredients for Italian pasta salad by sweet chubby cheeks, photo by ThePenandPiper

    italian pasta salad recipe by sweet chubby cheeks, photography by ThePenandPiper



    1. Boil noodles to package instructions, rinse in cold water & drain well. Set aside

    2. Chop veggies

    3. Cube and slice cheese and pepperoni or salami

    4. Add all ingredients in large serving bowl

    5. Pour 2/3 of the bottle of salad dressing onto salad and mix well

    6. Refrigerate covered (overnight is best, but at least 2 hours)

    7. Right before serving pour the last 1/3 of dressing over salad and mix well

    8. Optional - sprinkle Johnny's Salad Elegence over salad and mix well.

    9. Get it before it's gone! This salad goes fast at our family's parties!

     final plating of italian pasta salad recipe by sweet chubby cheeks, photos by ThePenandPiper


    Photo credit: Noelle @ThePenandPiper

    Easy Rainbow Fruit Tray Tutorial

    Easy Rainbow Fruit Tray Tutorial

    This little blog post here might be the easiest recipe you'll ever read, but the end result is too cute not to share with you all! Read on for the quickest, prettiest rainbow fruit plate tutorial you'll ever see.

    Supplies you'll need:

    • One round serving plate.
      • I picked this one up at my local dollar store, and it's about 12" round. Don't feel like going out? I found a similar one on Amazon for just a few dollars more!
    • Assorted fruit in rainbow colors.
      • My son is allergic to strawberries, so for the row of red we opted for watermelon instead. Then used cantaloupe for Orange, pineapple for Yellow, honey dew melon for Green, and blueberries for Blue. My local farmers market didn't have grapes, otherwise we would have done one more row of red grapes for Purple!  
    • 1 bag of mini marshmallows.
      • We're not big fans of the cream cheese fruit dips, so I chose mini marshmallows at the ends of the rainbow for a fluffy cloud look instead!

    rainbow fruit tray tutorial by sweet chubby cheeks


    rainbow fruit tray tutorial by sweet chubby cheeks

    All in all this fruit plate took me less than 10 minutes to create, and was a huge hit with the party guests! It matched our Unicorn & Rainbow party theme perfectly, and it was super quick and easy to throw together. 

    Plus - it was delicious!!