I had no intention of sharing this cake.

Christmas Surprise Inside Cake #surpriseinside

Everything that could go wrong, did.

The multi-colored roses are oddly resembling a pile of mush.  The touch of green leaves is a more of a massive green undergrowth and has a life of its own.

Surprise Inside Cake!

And the inside… well.  Lets just say that was not my best work.

Its completely tilted over.

Christmas JOY Surprise Inside Cake #surpriseinside

Why on earth would it do that?  Maybe because I used the wrong cookie cutters when preparing my cake and they were too tall for the pan so I had to improvise and create a “wall” around the cake with parchment so when I poured the extra batter over the letters it wouldn’t spill out the sides which didn’t really work and the batter did spill out on all sides resembling a square mushroom that took 70 minutes to bake and ITS CROOKED.


This cake that I spent many hours dreaming about and baking and decorating was a total failure.

Christmas Surprise Inside Cake #surpriseinside

But then I shared this picture on Instagram with the caption, “Guess what I am up to.”  and the adorable @achewycookie said,

“Spreading some JOY!”

And I was humbled.  Because most people don’t care about the dumb details like I obsessively do.

They just feel loved and appreciated when someone makes them a cake.  As they should.

So here it is.  The cake that should have been something else but isn’t so it is what it is.

Merry Christmas. 🙂

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. It’s so true we are hardest on ourselves. Amanda, this cake is adorable,cheerful, and if I had a fork, you’d have to stop me from diving in! You are so talented, and inspire so many, even with your failures (which is not a failure at all because you stuck with it and finished it). I hope your holidays are filled joy!

  2. Think of it as Italics! I love this cake, crooked letter or not! It is absolutely gorgeous! I could only wish to make crooked letters!

  3. Thank you for sharing this Amanda. It was funny, humble, and enlightening. Sometimes bad days just happen and it’s best to just laugh them off.

  4. If that is a failure, then you better never show up in my kitchen! I think that cake is gorgeous! And since I have NO IDEA how you got those letters inside that cake, not only is it gorgeous, it’s also magical!
    Happy holidays!

  5. Great story and cake, too! I have those delusions of grandeur, too, and the disappointment when it doesn’t work to our exact specs can be pretty rough. We all have such high expectations and sometimes, cake just doesn’t have those same expectations. If nothing else, we learn and if we get to do it again, it will be better, guaranteed. Besides, it’s still cake and it’s still edible!!

  6. I enjoy your photos, recipes, and captions… and this is a good reminder that we are not perfect and not meant to be perfect. Thank you for sharing even though this is probably more uncomfortable for you…showing what you see as a flaw but I assure you this is a great cake! Merry Christmas and I look forward to more recipes and kitchen outcomes in 2014 🙂

    1. Your comment is wonderful. This was (is) very uncomfortable but I love that you chose to see it as a reminder that we are not meant for perfection! Thank you for your wise words!

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