Last Saturday was a bittersweet day.

Surprise-Inside First Birthday Cake!


My sweet baby Olivia turned one.

I sat in the chair and watched her play with a wonderful contraption that grandma had bought her, full of bells and whistles and shiny moving parts that can keep a little one entertained for hours.

She moved the pieces with her fingers then would stop to watch her fingers, all at once discovering her ability to maneuver the toys parts and her ability to make her hands do what her brain told them to do.  I could almost hear her thoughts as she went back and forth between wonder and excitement and the simple music of the pieces clinking together.

Surprise-Inside First Birthday Cake!


She noticed me watching her and dropped her toy to the side.  She quickly crawled over to my feet and reached out, grabbing my legs to assist her as she pulled herself up.  Standing before me and doing her little toddler dance of bending her knees and rocking back and forth, I knew she wanted on mommy’s lap.  I happily obliged and immediately asked for a kiss.

She nodded her head back and forth ‘no’ as is her habit whenever mommy asks for a smooch.  Then she leaned in to give me one anyway, which erupted into a frenzy of kisses all over her pudgy cheeks and forehead.

She giggled and fell into my arms, both of us sighing and smiling.

Surprise-Inside First Birthday Cake!


My sweet baby, no longer a baby, but now a curious and eager toddler, ready to explore the world on a new level, is ready to leave the onesies and bottles behind.

But I am not.

My husband and I decided that we were done having children.  And honestly, five is enough.  It’s more than most.  It’s our perfectly complete family and honestly it’s five more blessings more than I ever deserved.

But saying goodbye to being pregnant and bringing life into the world and nursing and rocking a baby to sleep in the wee hours of the morning… that is not something I am ready for.

Thankfully, there isn’t much time to sit around and mourn the loss of  a role that I was blessed with many times over.

Thankfully, my husband and children remind me often that life changes, people grow, and it’s best to adapt with a smile rather than fight it kicking and screaming.

Thankfully there are many more stages and wonderful life experiences in store.

Surprise-Inside First Birthday Cake!

And thankfully, we get to celebrate them with cake.

The above cake is a “first birthday” surprise-inside cake that I made for Olivia.  To make your very own “number 1” surprise-inside cake you can follow the directions HERE.  (The link leads to my Countdown Cake with written directions as well as a video tutorial.)

It is a vanilla cake covered in the best basic buttercream and topped with mini rainbow coated chocolate chips.  The pink #1 is also vanilla cake (tinted pink with Ateco food coloring) and McCormick Strawberry Extract added.

In my new book Surprise-Inside Cakes I share many more cakes and techniques as well as snippets and humorous stories about life as a mom and wife.  It’s a great gift for a new mom, for any mom, or for anyone who likes cake!


Share with your friends!

Categorized in:

Related Recipes

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. Aww it’s so sweet. I’m going to have to make it for my cousin’s little one in 3 months 🙂
    Also just ordered Surprise Inside Cakes from amazon. Whoop. Come on Mr Postie x

  2. A beautiful cake for a special little one! I have no idea how you do all these cakes and everything else with 5 children! You are a miracle worker ~ 🙂 I must agree with another that mentioned future grandkids ~ such an incredible experience. You think you can’t love anyone more than your own children but there’s another HUGE love involved. I think maybe God gives us a larger heart in the process. 🙂


  3. Aww, Amanda, I only have two, but we are done, and I know exactly how you feel. My little guy just stopped nursing now, too, and today I saw a photo of a pregnant woman, and for the first time was kind of sad about what I won’t ever experience again. But he is becoming so big and awesome, so I am holding onto that. Happy Belated Birthday, Olivia!

  4. Awwwwww….:( I feel your pain, and your joy. Happy 1st birthday to Olivia! My 5th baby (and also my last baby) is going to turn 1 on Saturday, and I’m busy pretending like she is still itty bitty and will be forever. I will definitely miss the baby stage being gone gone from my life, but in another way I’m kind of looking forward to it. I’ve had an infant to keep happy and alive for 8 of the last 10 years. That is a lot of baby time! It is going to be sort of freeing as Amelia grows more and more independent. Or so I keep telling myself so I don’t get too nostalgic and sad about the upcoming birthday!! 😉

  5. It’s been a long while but I remember those feelings. My daughter’s quit nursing shortly after their first birthday so I really felt like it was over…but of course it was not….so many wonderful experiences lay ahead and yet those milestone years always seem to affect me. My youngest just turned 30. THIRTY!! First of all, how can I still be 39? And second…your whole perspective on your own mom changes as they get older. I still feel she needs my guidance; she thinks I’m crazy. She will always be ‘my baby’ and she thinks she is the adult who knows everything…so trust me you will be ‘mommy’ for much longer than you imagine and despite the more complicated relationship as they grow up; it’s still got milestones and memories that you will treasure. Happy Birthday to you and Olivia…and here’s to many more!!

  6. Seriously, she turned one??? Oh my gosh, how time flies when it’s not your own child, hehe!!!

  7. Absolutely love this! It’s so cute <3 Many special blessings to sweet Olivia on her birthday and to you too as she is your "last" – I'm personally looking forward to grandkids myself since I only had 2 kiddos. I wish they stayed babies forever! Love the #1 inside (you're so creative!) and how sweet and simple the cake is too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.