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Publix takes cake order instructions too literally in hilarious mishap

"They were unable to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ because everyone was just dying from laughter," says influencer Tefi Pessoa.

Well, no one can say this Publix bakery didn’t follow directions.

On May 11, influencer Estefanía "Tefi" Pessoa shared a funny, pastry-based experience her family member went through to her 1.6 million followers on TikTok. In the video, which has been viewed more than 243,000 times, the “aunt” of TikTok recounts a hilarious mishap at her mother’s place of work.

“Hi, so nice to meet you. My name is Tefi, I’m from Miami,” Pessoa says in the now-viral video. She says that although she’s been living in New York for the past decade, her family still lives in Miami. Because of this, she gets “many ridiculous WhatsApp” messages.

“Yes, we are Latin. Yes, we use WhatsApp. Yes, she sends me two-minute voice memos. Not this time,” Pessoa says. “Let me share. Have you heard of Publix? Where shopping is a pleasure? Of course you have. It’s fantastic.”

In case you don’t know what Publix is, however, it’s a grocery chain that serves the Southeastern United States, with more than 850 locations in Florida alone.

“I get this WhatsApp from my mother yesterday. Let’s read it together,” Pessoa continues.

“The receptionist ordered a cake from Publix today and they asked her what the cake should say….” reads the screenshotted message from Pessoa’s mother.

Pessoa then shows a photo of the cake, which reads, “Just happy birthday is perfect thank you,” as Pessoa cracks up laughing at the extremely literal take on the birthday cake request.

Publix takes cake order instructions too literally in hilarious mishap
The birthday cake in question from Publix.@hellotefi via Tiktok

Publix did not immediately respond to’s request for comment.

The post has attracted hundreds of comments from folks laughing along with Pessoa.

“How do you frame a cake?! This is ART,” wrote one user on TikTok.

“Belly laughing rn this is amazing,” wrote a commenter, and another wrote. “I wouldnt even be able to me mad.”

“LMAOOOOO getting a cake like that would literally make it the best birthday ever,” wrote another commenter.

“Lololol my first job ever was at Publix in the bakery...this tracks,” added another person.

“Ok but that’s the chantilly cake which is like top 3 Publix cakes,” wrote another TikTok commenter, talking about the Publix cake that features vanilla cake, almond flavoring and Chantilly-mascarpone cream frosting. Pessoa replied to the comment with “U KNOW UR STUFF.”

We reached out to Pessoa, who explained how the mishap occurred.

“Every month, my mom’s office does one big lunch to celebrate all the birthdays of the month,” Pessoa tells, adding that since it was time to celebrate the May birthdays, a receptionist ordered the cake through the Publix app.

“When you order online, there is a box that says, ‘Write what you would like on the cake’ and she wrote that message not thinking it would be taken literally,” Pessoa explains.

“When the cake arrived, everyone went to the breakroom to celebrate,” she continues. “When my mom opened the cake in front of everyone, they were unable to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ because everyone was just dying from laughter.”

This is far from the first cake order in recent memory to be lost in translation. In April, a father’s instructional drawing for a Costco cake was taken at face value and re-created on his daughter’s birthday treat. Then, earlier this month, a Texas baker misread an order for an Elmo cake, leading to a moody muppet dessert for the ages.