Cake Smash: Therapeutic Play Captured on Film


Hands up if you know what a Cake Smash is? I’d never heard of this insanely fun idea until I saw some amazing pictures pop up on my Instagram feed recently.

For those who haven’t heard of this either, it’s when you allow your baby, toddler or pre-schooler, to let rip on a beautiful cake while a photographer captures the chaotic scene. Resulting in lots of fun and some amazing pictures!

Queen of messy play, our daughter was made to cake smash. It has her name iced all over it. Wild and spirited, our three year old is still a messy eater and absolutely loves water, slime, mud, food, sand and paint – everywhere!

As a result, I’m sometimes apprehensive taking her out to a coffee shop, let alone for a meal out. Hence why the idea of a (controlled) Cake Smash filled me, and her, with joy. Finally, somewhere where messy eating is celebrated.

Plus, it was her birthday coming up and what better was for a soon to be three-year old to start her celebrations than by demolishing a fancy cake – quite literally!

We did the ‘Cake Smash’ with Jess Wilkins – a talented pregnancy and family photographer here in Norfolk. Jess has actually photographed me before when I was heavily pregnant with Evelyn. Along with some other classmates from YogaBubs, a few of us had our pics taken for The Orange Grove website.

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Three years later, and here was Jess photographing our little girl out of the womb!


What happens at a Cake Smash?

 We arrived at Jess’ studio with a few outfits, props, favourite toys and I also took some fresh flowers from the garden, which always bloom on my daughter’s birthday.

Evelyn had a few snaps before the cake was brought in.


Various ‘friends’ appeared in the shots.






And then the cake entered…


I don’t think she could quite believe her luck! She ate the red iced flowers off the top first – one by one.


Then there was a big lump of cake removed…


Before she went straight in with her face. That’s my girl.


Now we’re talking…




Followed by the cake dance, err, on the cake…


We then did some bath tub images at the end!


Cake Therapy!

They should totally rename Cake Smash to Cake Therapy. Jess celebrates messy play so there’s no need to worry about any mess created, it’s all part of it. Jess cleans up the backdrop and cake and just suggests you bring some spare wet wipes – parents you may get a bit sticky so wear something you do not mind getting covered in icing. I seemed to fair well and didn’t get a splodge on me somehow!

We did a couple of spontaneous shots, which was just lovely, as I don’t have very many pictures of the two of us.


How to prepare for a Cake Smash

Jess suggests that if your child is not used to making a mess and playing with food (not us, then!) it is a good idea to let them do this a week or so before hand.

Have your child/children dressed in an outfit of your choice with some other outfit choices to change into. Chinos and dungarees are always a winner!

For girls, if they wear a dress, ensure its not one that bunches up easily or creases. Colour wise white, cream and soft pastel colours look nice, but whatever reflects their personality. A splash of colour is great too so if your baby has a funky top or personslised item bring that too.  Visit Jess’ gallery to get some ideas.

Socks and shoes are not worn at the studio, it’s important to see those toes.

Bring a snack & drink if your baby is likely to need one as it’s fine to stop for breaks.

Cost of a Cake Smash

Price of the photo shoot with online gallery of images costs from £225 with Jess Wilkins.


Thanks so much to Jess for such a fun day and for all the gorgeous pictures that came out of the day! This was therapeutic for both of us.


Jess Wilkins Studio

198 Blithewood Gardens , Sprowston , Norwich NR78PP

NB: The Cake Smash is a collaboration between Roots and Toots. Jess Wilkins gifted Roots and Toots the shoot, in exchange for an honest review.

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