“The idea came to me in the middle of the night before my eldest daughter’s 13th birthday. This birthday was going to be an extra special one; she would receive her first cell phone,” explains Liz Charm, founder of Surprise Cake. “Growing up, birthdays were a huge deal in my family. My parents always did it up for my two sisters and me, incorporating some element of surprise into our 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. I had the idea that after my daughter blew out the candles, the phone would ring from inside the cake.”

Charm shares that she baked a cake, sealed the phone in a plastic bag and hid it between layers of vanilla icing, hoping the surprise would work. A wish was made, the candles were blown out, and just as the cake was about to be cut, the cake began to ring.

“No one could believe their eyes (or ears) and it was a huge hit. I wanted to find a way to make this gift in cake concept accessible to everyone,” she explains.

Charm says food safety requirements prevent placing non-edible products inside cakes, so her son Jordan, who was studying engineering, worked with her to devise a solution. Now the gift is safely encased in the cake stand — “but we didn’t stop there. We designed it to pop through the cake and also incorporated an optional musical element to add even more surprise fun to the sweet gift reveal. Thus, the Popping Stand was created.”

The spring-loaded Surprise Cake Stand includes a gift pod large enough to hold a modern day cellphone. With the pull of a ring or the crank of a music box, a secret gift pops through the cake at just the right moment.

With the Popping Stand, whether the surprise is a gender reveal, cellphone, jewelry or even love notes there is no end to the creative and personalized possibilities. The gift pod is 6 inches tall and has a diameter of 2.8 inches.