The $17.99 cake give or take $48.99

Holly’s middle son, Reid is turning six this week.

Happy birthday Reid!

Because Reid’s mother is not the actual June Cleaver, Holly needed to purchase cakes.

She needed two – one for a family party on Sunday and one for a kid party on Wednesday.

Load up the minivan!

Holly is going to Target…

Target Super Center entrance

Because Holly has been to Target a few times, she knows right where the bakery is located.

A hand drawn map of the inside of Target

Holly let’s Reid pick out the cakes he wants from the handy-dandy three ring binder display in front of the bakery security glass.

Reid wants the Dinosaur Attack cake.

Reid wants the Indiana Jones cake with the super cool boulder.

Holly needs to order a cake

In a bit of foreshadowing, Holly wonders why Target bakery employees need the security of glass to separate them from their customers.

Holly notices that the Target bakery employees don’t seem to be very interested in the cake ordering process.

Holly notices that her three boys don’t seem very interested in the cake ordering process.

Holly notices that the Target bakery employees are hiding behind the security glass.

Holly notices that her three boys are hiding at multiple locations throughout the Target Super Center.

Three boys paths through Target

Holly finally gets the attention of the correct Target bakery employee to order her cakes.

She requests a Dinosaur Attack cake in a 1/4 sheet to feed 12 people.

The Target bakery employees are HORRIFIED that she would request such a thing.

The Target bakery employees inform Holly under no uncertain circumstances are Dinosaur Attack cakes sold in that size or for a reasonable price.

Dinosaur Attack cakes are only available in ONE size (no exceptions) and for the price of $39.99 (no exceptions).
That cake is $39.99
Holly loves over-paying and having left-overs so she readily agrees.

She then orders the Indiana Jones cake with the super cool boulder which doesn’t seem to be under the same size and price restrictions.
The second cake order
Holly then has to pick out the cake flavor,

the cake frosting,

the cake lettering,

the cake blah, blah, blah…

Holly lost track of all the cake decisions.

Holly lost track of time.

Holly lost track of three boys.

Just when Holly was about to leave and look for her children, the Target bakery employee mentioned that they should check and see if they had the Dinosaur Attack and Indiana Jones with the super cool boulder cake kits.

“Target can not accept the order of a cake without the cake kit IN HAND.”

The bakery can't make either cake

The Target bakery employee returned with bad news.

No Dinosaur Attack.

No Indiana Jones with the super cool boulder.

Holly has just invested the last 26 minutes of her life into these cakes.

Holly has just promised to pay an outlandish sum of money for these cakes.

Holly is taking home these cakes.

Holly politely requests that the Target bakery employee call another Target bakery.

Holly requests a call to another bakery
It appears that all the Targets within a 30 mile radius are out of the cake kits that Reid has requested.

Holly is a little confused.

If these cakes are so popular, why not order a few extra kits?

The Target bakery employee informs Holly that they are only allowed to order three kits per cake style every 11 days.

Holly does some quick calculations in her head…

Holly does cake math in her head
Holly was about to solve the Target cake kit shortage when she glanced at the time.


Holly has been in the Target bakery for 42 minutes and only has 18 minutes to do all the rest of her shopping and check out.

Holly is 0-2 in the cake department.

Just then Holly notices a flash of activity in front of her.

Just then Holly recognizes the flash as one of her three missing children.

First the flash,

then the BANG.

Oh! and another BANG.

And that was followed by a waterfall-type effect…

Contents of cake binder display fall to floor
One of Holly’s bored children released the three rings in both binders which caused EVERY SINGLE CAKE DISPLAY PAGE to fall to the ground.

Holly tries to remain calm in Target’s bakery.

Against all odds.
Maybe you should get your own toys
When the Target bakery employee suggested that Holly should purchase the cakes as ordered (except of course there are no kits) and go buy toys from the toy section to place on the cake, Holly realized why there was security glass between her and the employee.

Holly also realized that she has wasted another 5 minutes cleaning up the three ring binder mess and that she better hurry if anyone was getting cake, toys to go on the cake, or dinner.

Holly went to the toy aisle for dinosaurs and Indiana Jones action figures.

The Target Super Center Toy Aisle

Holly soon found that a package of dinosaurs cost $19.99 and that the Indiana Jones action figures have been discontinued.

Holly did more math in her head:   $39.99 cake + $19.99 dinosaurs = Holly not having to go out and try to find something cheaper later.

Holly also mentally evaluated the Indiana Jones cake with the super cool boulder. Holly agreed to ANY toy that Reid suggested (Star Wars) because theoretically it couldn’t be called an Indiana Jones cake if there wasn’t actually anything Indiana Jones about it.

So Holly went home with some expensive dinosaurs and the promise of a Star Wars cake with a super cool boulder.

When Holly returned to Target’s bakery for the first cake she was delighted to notice that the price on the cake was not what she expected.

The $46.99 cake
Holly was super proud of herself for not having a mental breakdown in the middle of Target’s bakery.

She quietly mentioned that the price of $46.99 was higher than the promised $39.99 and that her cake DIDN’T EVEN COME WITH A KIT.

A different Target bakery employee realized the beginning of Target bakery rage and quietly reduced the price.

Holly went home with her super expensive cake.

And then added the super expensive dinosaurs.

And then admitted it was a super great cake – so great that it’s volcanic lava defied gravity.

The final cake

One cake down and only one to go…


  1. Oh,my. Well, the cake looks awesome! And if I haven’t mentioned it before, I love your Animated Life posts!!!

  2. Have I ever mentioned how I so love your brain??

    And yes, the animated brain just as much as the real one.

  3. Now that’s a cake!

    Yeah… I bought 45 dollars worth of cupcakes the other day just so I could feel a cupcake stand… I SO feel your pain 🙂

  4. The birthday season is upon us, too, here at the Jubilant household. I have given up making the kids’ cakes and am willing to pay just about any price for someone else to do it. Except the price of my sanity. Seems Ye Olde Bakery A La Target expected you to hand over your sanity along with the exorbitant dollar amount.

    What I want to know is, did you get your fav Starbucks coffee to help ease the pain?!

  5. That story is all kinds of hair-raising. But I do admire the end result, which looks awesome enough to appeal to any dinosaur lover. Perhaps you could just use the leftovers on Sunday? Add some Indiana Jones details and pretend he’s lost in the jungle?

  6. Oh holy hell.

    Mental note: NEVER buy a cake from TARGET! (I’ll stick with Sam’s where they’re always about $23 and always have a “kit” in stock.)

  7. LOL, that’s great. I’m with Colleen, I will be sticking with Sam’s for all of my future cake needs.

  8. Probably you’ve heard this before, but you need to make a book of your drawings and sell it. I’d buy it.

    Also here’s a fun sight if you really like cakes:


  9. I will make sure I multiply my cake enjoyment quotient by 7 tomorrow to compensate for the increased price in cake purchase. You can thank me later.

  10. For the Indiana Jones cake ~ Just get a large rock from the yard and ice it! That’s the only part the kids eat and way. $1.79 and it’s a win/win.

  11. I’m reeling at the $39.99 for the cake. X 2? Argh! I get a Costco sheet cake and add my own decorations. Yours did turn out great and you have brand-new dinosaurs to play with. And no Target employees were harmed in the making of the cakes–which is a credit to you.

  12. I’m impressed that stick figure Holly kept her little red smile firmly in place the entire time. If this story had been about stick figure Melanie she would have been making this expression: >:-0

  13. Gremlin ALWAYS picks out a cake/party theme that our bakery doesn’t carry. The little WALL-E toy on top? $20.00. And it fell into the frosting and totally effed up the cake.

    I think you should raffle off the left over cake along with the Little Debbies.

  14. Poor poor Mommy! (Get cupcakes and let them decorate them in the backyard with rocks and dirt.) 🙂

    Hey, your blog’s not updating in my reader. Says the last post was 3 weeks ago, so I was dropping in to see if you’d been hauled off by CPS or Target. LOL

  15. My grandkids always pick the most expensive cakes, too…….and guess what……I would have done EXACTLY what you did.

    Great cake. I’m sure it was worth the gray hairs, and look at the bright side for Target. They know their security glass is high enough.

  16. Our Target has a funky escalator, but no bakery! I think I am glad…

  17. I hope the end result was worth the hassle. It really is a cool cake. Your drawings are terrific and I always enjoy your mom stories. I can’t imagine the nerve it takes to enter a Super Target with three boys in tow.

  18. Holy stinking freaking snapping crazy WHAT THE HECK!??

    I would not have held up so well.. my dear don’t they have safeways in your world? I now know where to NEVER attempt to purchase a bday cake.

    I was totally gobsmacking P-Oed the last time I bought a cake and it was $19!

    As always, great fabulous terrific pictures… oh my gosh!

  19. “Holly did the math in her head. Please don’t check her math.” You’re killing me! If this wasn’t so freakin’ true, I would say that there is no way that stuff happened.

    Except that I can totally relate and have been there oh too often.

    But hey, the dinosaur cake is rockin’.

  20. It is an awesome cake.

    I love love love Holly’s animated life 😉 It makes me smile, as do you my dear friend.

  21. i’m thinkin’ that my love affair with target would NOT extend to the bakery department.

    security glass was a wise investment for them.

  22. Holly, I am exhausted at this scenario on your behalf. Seems like everything in my life goes about equally as smoothly lately.


  23. Em loves Holly because Holly makes Em realize that there are more silver linings to food allergies and PKU than Em ever imagined – store bought cakes are a no no.

    Em gives Holly a big hug.

  24. I loved everything about this post, especially the security glass foreshadowing. And your cake is awesome. It’s like it was made by Tiffany’s or something. if they made cakes.

  25. This was a brilliant story. Ever more so, because I would be the stupid mom who would just say FORGET THIS and then spend at least another day hopping around place to place to find the “right cake.” I am also proud of you for not crying. I would have. LOL.

  26. Crappito del Employado says:

    I hate hate hate the employees in Target and Walmart. They are so uncaring and unhelpful and untrained and generally stupid. Of course, they are also underpaid so the stores only get the dregs.

  27. Do you guys have a Safeway? I looove their bakery! I am super picky about frosting and usually make it from scratch, but theirs is actually good!

    Also, I love the little cartoons you drew. I feel like I’m going to have a nervous breakdown with just ONE toddler-sized boy. How do you manage with 3?!?

  28. This must have taken a lot of effort to draw and put together, but the result was great. If only it were not so true 🙁

    Come to think of it, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and the name of the store sure is mentioned a lot. Surely you didn’t mean THAT.

  29. Hee hee Hoo! Everybody knows lava can’t spell Happy birthday Reid! Love this Holly.

  30. Oh, Holly . . . somehow, I’m not all that upset that we don’t have a Target (at least for today).

    But, I’m now dying for left over cake . . .

  31. 1. I freakin hate your comments thing cuz it ATE MY ORIGINAL ONE saying that my email address was invalid. GAH!!!!!

    2. One more time but with a comment that won’t be NEARLY as witty as the original one was:

    I read this on my phone the other day but for some reason the drawings wouldn’t show. I’m so glad you reminded us today!

    YOu’re a lot nicer than I’d have been. I’d have demanded that they cut the cost of the cake by AT LEAST half the price of the toys I had to buy to finish their job. GRRRR..

    Ah, well… glad it all turned out well in the end.

    Happy belated Birthday to Reid!!!


  32. Holly- I found your post as I’m planning to purchase my sister a bday cake soon. To get a cake at Target was my first thought. I happen to work for Target and am horrified by your experience. It really does not reflect at all what Target is striving to achieve in terms of service and a GREAT experience. I will see what I can do to ensure that the right people know about your experience. You’re a great mom–funny too. I love your pictures to illustrate!

  33. I’m so sorry to hear about your experience 🙁 I also work for Target, specifically in the bakery dept. as a manager. The bakery does not have a limit on the number of kits that can be ordered, as long as they are not out of stock on our ordering system and they can order whenever they like, it usually takes about a week to get the kits in once ordered. Also, the bakery team member should have explained to you why the sizes of those cakes had minimums; I usually pull out the kit and/or recipe card to show our guests so they understand why certain cakes have to be a minimum cake size. These are set by DecoPac and Bakery Crafts. For example, we currently have a cake available called the Cars Pit Stop Signature Cake. It comes in either a stacked cake or a large sheet cake, minimum of 1/2 sheet worth of cake. This is because of the amount of cake needed minimum to actually make the cake so the large decopac kit fits on the cake along with the licensed design that we have to stick to.
    The dreaded security glass you speak of is actually a sneeze guard. It allows our guests, especially children, to enjoy watching our cake decorators work while keeping the food safe for consumption. I find a lot of guests just simply watching our cake decorator work on her cakes, because well, she does amazing work. The bakery you visited should have come out from behind their counter to service you and take your cake order, it is actually in our best practice to do so. In fact, I like to, as well as most of my employees, get the kids involved if they are old enough; asking them what flavor cake they’d like and how they spell their name, etc. while getting the okay from the parents.
    I do apologize for your experience, it should have never been handled that way and I do hope that you have a more positive one the next time you visit a Target bakery, if you ever do. I know I’ve enjoyed making guests experiences positive in our store and hope that your post is an eye opener to that bakery and other bakeries offering subpar guest service. I loved your post by the way, it was definitely entertaining and loved your diagrams you included especially the route your kids likely to take around the store, I’ve seen that one before many times while at work.

  34. I LIVE at Target! And adore y’all. I have ordered other cakes on other occasions. This was just a funny experience. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

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