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. Cake is pure joy. I am just hoping that there would be more cakes and tutorials to share with us from You before Christmas. 🙂

  2. I actually like the “crooked” letters. To me they look like they are jumping up and down with joy! And isn’t that the way we should feel at Christmas? Totally joyous, jump up and down excited, dancing delightedly, over all that Christmas is about – God’s great love! I think your j-o-y rocks! And I also like the flowers AND the leaves. Merry Christmas 🙂

  3. I’d be honored to sit down and enjoy a slice of this lovely cake. We sometimes forget that even though we are extremely hard on ourselves, others are not 🙂 Absolutely lovely!

  4. I think the JOY is absolutely whimsical…gives the cake inside character…it looks delicious…love the roses on top.

  5. Oh. My. Goodness.

    Personally speaking, I’m not really concerned with which way my “JOY” is tilted. Just let me at that icing! YUM-O! xo

  6. That cake is gorgeous and the inside is amazing! I know I could never pull that off! It looks really hard to make a cake that when you cut it says something. Are you kidding me – It’s amazing!! I love it – nice work!

  7. Well I think it is beautiful!! I just happen to love JOY! haha 😉 I do think it is beautiful and just wish I had an ounce of talent that you have! 🙂

  8. Amanda, Us bakers/decorators are such perfectionists, aren’t we? Now I thought you deliberately chose to make JOY in italic letters. I like the whimsical look. I think the roses and leaves look great too. Guess what…I’m pinning this work of art!

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