The Surprise Cake Story

The idea came to me in a dream the night before my oldest daughter’s 12th birthday. This birthday was going to be an extra special one; she would receive her first cell phone. Growing up, birthdays were a huge deal in my family. My parents always did it up for me, incorporating some element of surprise into my big day. I made it a point to continue this favorite tradition for my children, and for my daughter’s birthday that year, I knew the cell phone had to be part of the surprise. That night, I dreamed that after my daughter blew out the candles, the phone would ring from inside the cake!

The next day, I got to work. I baked a cake, sealed the phone in a plastic bag, and hid it between layers of vanilla icing, hoping that my surprise would work. Finally, we gathered for everyone’s favorite part of the party: cake. We sang “Happy Birthday”, a wish was made, the candles were blown out, and just as the cake was to be cut, the cake began to ring. No one could believe their eyes (or ears), the gift was revealed, and it was a huge hit! Everyone loved it and I knew I had to find a way to make this gift-in-cake concept accessible to everyone.

But I soon learned that food safety requirements prevent placing non-edible products inside cakes. My son, Jordan, who studied engineering, and I came up with the solution: to safely encase the gift inside the cake stand. So together we designed the stand to create an illusion that the gift pops through the cake. But we didn’t stop there! We also incorporated an optional musical element to add even more surprise fun to the sweet gift reveal, and a cupcake option as well. Thus, the Popping Stand was created.

The spring-loaded Stand includes a Gift Pod container large enough to hold a modern day cellphone. With the pull of a ring or the crank of a music box (the same one used in the Jack-in-the-Box toy!) your secret gift pops through your cake or cupcakes! at just the right moment. With the Popping Stand, whether the surprise may be a gender reveal, jewelry, tickets, money, toys, a proposal, or a cellphone, there is no end to the creative and personalized POPibilities. We are beyond excited to make the joy of the Surprise Cake part of your family’s tradition!

Please email us at and tag us using @thesurprisecake and #SurpriseCake on Instagram and Facebook with reaction videos from your next surprise-filled party. And don’t forget, there are always reasons to celebrate with more cake, gifts, and good surprises!

Sweet Surprising,

Liz Charm

Founder of Surprise Cake