Welcome to the thirteenth edition of “a thousand words”. This story is called “50th Birthday Cake with Sparklers”. Birthday celebrations are one of the most exciting and memorable occasions of the year. Though stories are often told for many years to come, there is no replacement for a high quality photo. Not only do they preserve the moment, but they add context and detail that words simply cannot do justice. This edition is all about using sparklers on cakes; specifically for a 50th birthday party. I hope this combination of written details and pictures will give you inspiration for your impending birthday party or other celebration!

Cake decorations can range from the most elaborate designs to something as simple as a vanilla cupcake. For birthdays, most people place candles on top for the guest of honor to blow out after everyone sings. However, sparklers can either replace candles all together or act as complimentary accessory. For Rebecca, her 50th year celebration was of special importance. So, her friends wanted to make sure they created something particularly special. Here is her story, as well as how the entire event came to be.

Rebecca’s Story

Image of a Birthday Girl Holding a SparklersFirst, it’s important to get a full picture of Rebecca’s back story. Shortly after her 47th birthday, she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Though the diagnosis was obviously not good news, early detection really improves your odds. Fortunately, her husband Jerome was ready to stand by her side and fight. With good insurance and the right attitude, she was ready to take the situation on.

But there’s a lot more to the story than just Rebecca. A mere 2 years before her diagnosis, she lost her younger sister Gabby to the very same disease. Even worse, she lost her mother to breast cancer just over two decades before. Knowing full well that she would be facing an uphill battle, she put her “game face” on and started treatments.

The Importance of Making it to 50

Your 50th birthday is always a special occasion. However, Rebecca had special cause for making it a really big deal. As mentioned before, she lost her mother and sister to the very same disease that threatens her now. Sadly, her mother died at age 49, and her sister was only 40. In fact, not a single woman had made it past 50 in the last three generations of her family; a dark and unnerving statistic. Needless to say, making it to 50 was a large milestone.

The 2 years after her diagnosis were the toughest, yet most defining, of her life. Fortunately, after several rounds of treatment, she emerged victorious and the breast cancer went into remission. As her milestone birthday approached, she knew it was time to have a big party. But, more importantly, the people she knew and loved around her knew the same thing. And that’s when the planning begins.

Choosing the Cake and Decorations

Image of a Birthday Cake with Number Candles and a Star SparklerEveryone has a favorite flavor of cake, and it’s pretty important to enjoy your cake on your birthday. It’s easy to pick out a type like white, yellow, or chocolate, but there are other dietary concerns to consider. For instance, Rebecca happens to have Celiac disease; which meant that any cake with gluten is a no-go. So, that was the primary concern when the big day arrived. She settled on a gluten-free chocolate cake which featured butter cream frosting. However, she wanted the right decorations and accessories as well, and that was a bit more difficult. Here is how she made her choices.


Rebecca isn’t a huge fan of sweets, so she didn’t want a lot of frosting on her cake. Moreover, she preferred less-sweet options like butter cream frosting over traditional versions. In the end, they decided to have frosting only on top of the cake and to leave the edges bare. That way, you could get the complete delicious chocolate flavor without the overpowering sweetness of a full layer of frosting.


Most birthday cakes are adorned with traditional candles to extinguish with your breathe. However, Rebecca didn’t want the ordinary “stick” type that you might be used to. Instead, she decided on the little candles that are shaped like numbers to handle the job. First off, it’s much easier to blow out two candles than 50. Second, it instantly informs everyone of the milestone being achieved. When it’s time to make a BIG statement, you can hardly blame her for that choice.


Sparklers are not an “ordinary” accessory to add to your cakes. However, there are many different varieties of cake sparklers on the market to make the task easier. Usually, they are more cylindrical in shape to create a “fountain” effect instead of a “sparkle” effect. However, putting sparklers on a cake or other confections is a growing trend in the United States. Considering the fact that she just beat breast cancer, it’s incredibly reasonable to adorn her 50th birthday cake with sparklers.

Why Choose the Star-Shaped Version When Decorating a 50th Birthday Cake with Sparklers?

We’ve already discussed the specialized sparklers that exist for cakes. They won’t ruin your frosting, and are 100% safe to use with food. However, Rebecca wanted to go for a different look. So, she decided to look at all the different types of sparklers available. In the end, she settled on star shaped sparklers to do the job. Since she was turning 50, each point of the star would represent a decade of life. Though it’s not as ideal, you can certainly use traditional “stick” versions on a cake. Just make sure to leave them far enough away from the frosting to avoid discoloration!

Obviously, there’s a lot more to the story than we could ever cover in one post. Fortunately, Rebecca and Jerome are still happy and together after the long battle, and she is currently still cancer free. Though their struggle is likely more dramatic than the situations you happen to be facing, it should demonstrate how a simple thing like a 50th birthday cake with sparklers can make all the difference. If you want ideas for your upcoming event, check out our sparkler inspiration section for tips and advice. Good luck and we hope you found this story inspiring!