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. My dear Amanda, dun be too hard on yourself.
    You have already spreaded the joy around – crooked or not crooked. Beauty lies in the heart of the beholder and I simply LOVE your cakes! they never fail to inspire and make my day 🙂

  2. Straight up and down JOY is too rigid and boring. Tilted JOY on the other hand is FUN and… well, JOYful. Relax. It’s lovely and FUN!

  3. First, let me say that I absolutely love your cakes. But I had no idea where this photo had come from when I saw it on Pinterest, and I clicked it because I really thought the cake was piled with bacon. Delicious icing bacon.

  4. That is beyond fun!! We are always hardest on ourselves – but people know that love and light was put into it – and they appreciate that more than anything else. Plus, I’m sure it tasted AMAZING!!

  5. I was raised by a mother who was a pastry perfectionist. When her creation failed (in her mind) my grandmother would say, “That’s alright dear, I’m sure it will taste just fine.” it became the family mantra for anything that went astray, from a flat tire to a bad spelling test, “That’s alright dear, I’m sure you taste just fine,” and the offender would be given a kiss.

    We just went to a wedding where the bride’s name was Joy. When the mother of the bride gave the toast, she told the groom, “Always keep your heart filled with Joy.” Thanks for the reminder that we should always keep our cakes filled with joy.

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