Zooey Deschanel's toddler made her disappointment in mum's birthday cake skills painfully clear.

Toddlers are some of the world’s toughest critics. Zooey Deschanel recently learned just how tough while celebrating her daughter’s first birthday.

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday night, the 36-year-old actress shared how she and her husband Jacob Pechenik celebrated their now 13-month-old daughter Elsie Otter’s first birthday.

Deschanel explains to Kimmel that they didn’t have a big party, but she did make her daughter a cake. Or at least she attempted to.

“I made her a little heart-shaped cake that didn’t have sugar — I put just mashed banana in it,” she says. “She’s so little — there’s a lot of sugar in cake. And I whipped up some coconut cream and I put it on top. It looked like a cupcake.

“And I kept seeing on the internet, ‘You gotta make a smash cake for your one-year-old,’ so I’m like, ‘I’m making this cake just so she can smash it,’ ” Deschanel adds. “So we’re like, ‘All right, here’s your cake! Happy birthday!’”

What Deschanel made may have looked like a cupcake, but her daughter Elsie was definitely not fooled.

Deschanel told Kimmel that Elsie looked at the cake, poked at it with her finger, gave it a taste and then shook her head.

Gif via Youtube / Jimmy Kimmel Live!

“She was not at all interested. No smashing!” says Deschanel.

Elsie did eventually eat a little of her cake after Deschanel cut it up into pieces, but Kimmel, a father of three, sums it up pretty well when he says, “They’re smart. They know they’ve been cheated.”

“I should’ve given her a cheesecake,” Deschanel jokes, adding that eventually she will give her daughter sugar but she wants to put it off because even a baked apple made Elsie a little crazy.

Deschanel says she doesn’t have set rules for Elsie quite yet, but does say she tries to limit the amount of time in front of the screen like her parents did for her and her sister, actress Emily Deschanel. She explains that when she was younger, the family didn’t have cable television, so her mother would often find her watching cooking shows on PBS.

“Is that where you learned to make that crappy cake?” quips Kimmel.

It seems no amount of Julia Child could make that cake a hit.