I knew I wanted to do a little Cake Smash shoot for Johnny's birthday; however, I wanted it to be a little different. This kid loves pancakes, so I knew a pancake smash would be perfect! Plus, I could control the sugar and other ingredients if I went the DIY route vs. a regular store-bought cake from the bakery.
I cannot believe my baby boy is ONE. So motherly me to say, but I feel like he was just born yesterday.
"Marcus and I just stared at this perfect little human. I really wasn't paying attention to what was going on around me. I know at some point I had turned my head behind me to see my entire family standing there just watching, it was a really sweet moment. We had kept baby names a secret! So after a while, my family asked, 'what is his name.' I held him out in front of me and said, 'This is Johnny Marvel.' "
That is a bit from his birth story which you can read here:
Pretty mindblowing that this past year has gone by so fast. He is slowly turning into a curious toddler. He's officially walking and always trying to always keep up with his big sister. Johnny is mostly breastfeeding still, and he hasn't shown a huge interest in food, so I wanted sure how 'smashy' he would get with this setup.
But he indeed get 'smashy,' and it was the cutest thing I ever did see. Now the behind the scenes of this shoot was pretty hysterical.
The plan was to wait until I had help, but I have too much of my mother in my personality that I didn't wait. So I loaded both the kids up in the double stroller and awkwardly balanced a Rubbermaid bin of pancakes, whipped cream, and other setup supplies down the street to our shooting location. I pushed them down a small but steep hill and set up in the grass. The sun was perfectly peeking through the trees with golden light.
As I pulled everything out to set up, I quickly realized I forgot the wooden cake plate! Half of me wanted just to say eff it and be okay, but I knew this plate would complete the vision I had in my head. So I ran home with the kids to grab that. Let me tell you going back up that small steep hill while rushing to have still daylight was probably a fun show for the neighbors. Even though we were only about 3 minutes from home and had plenty of time, I was still super annoyed. I had to go back. It was also scorching hot this day, and I had sweat in weird places.
Score! I retrieved the cake plate. Back to the shooting spot, we went. Down the street and back down the small but steep hill. At this point, the bugs were starting to come out since it was dusk. I knew I needed to be quick because I didn't want us to get eaten alive. I left the kids in the stroller and had them watch me setup.
Setup was ADORABLE. I quickly grab some shots before it got messy. Then pulled Johnny out of the stroller to explore. Mattie, at this point, was starting to get mad she wasn't out so I gave her an extra pancake and whipped cream to keep her chill for a few minutes so I could get some shots.
Johnny was quick to ignore the entire stack of perfectly placed pancakes topped with whipped cream and went directly for the cup of maple syrup.
Which honestly, I didn't expect in my head it was just for looks, but OF COURSE, he would go for that. This resulted in every piece of little grass and dirt sticking to his tiny little hands. Finally, he realized the whipped cream and went for it.
After a few minutes, he was done and ready to explore other things. I had gotten some adorable shots and called it a win. Then I quickly realized I now had a cranky toddler in the stroller covered in whipped cream, another toddler out of the stroller completed covered HEAD to TOE in sticky syrup and whipped cream, and an entire sticky set up to clean up. Great idea not to wait for help, right?
Luckily I want thinking ahead and brought plenty of wipes to clean up most of the mess so I could load everything back up. Loaded them up, threw the setup in the Rubbermaid, and made my way back up the small but steep. Well, that small but steep hill seemed a big bigger going up the second time. The stroller week got stuck halfway up.
*disclaimer* everyone is fine, and the kids were buckled but when I say the wheel was stuck pushing it harder wasn't going to help and oh boy did I learn that the hard way. One big push and we all slow motion toppled over. At this point, I just had to give in and laugh because WHAT EVEN. Why didn't I wait for help?! Lesson learned but not really because I'm me and that's how I roll... down the hill (see what I did there)
Pancake Setup Deets.
My friend Ayana over at @littleprinceleopold had given me a fantastic tip to purchase FROZEN pancakes for this. Which worked out SO well. They are much more uniform and created less work on my end. I was able to find an organic brand which ingredients I felt good with.
I grabbed a can of Coconut whipped cream for the filling.
I stacked the pancakes adding layers of the whipped cream. It's pretty fools proof!
Baby's breath flowers added the perfect touch. I LOVE adding these to setups. They are so classic and add something a little extra without being over the top.
Small canning mason jar for the syrup!
The infamous cake plate is from my fall decorated box! Which you can read more about here:
We threw this little man the COOLEST Super Hero Birthday Party on a Budget you can check out on the blog here superhero birthday party!
If you do a pancake cake smash, tag me on IG! I'd LOVE to see what you come up with!