My Other Blog

What's a Wreck?

A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate - you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I'm not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.

Now, don't you have a photo you want to send me? ;)

- Jen

Cake Writing 201: "Congratulations"

"Alright, class, take your seats. We're going to need extra time to review yesterday's quiz, since once again you have all failed to meet even my lowest expectations. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, considering you each barely scraped through Cake Writing 101 - yes, even you, Doug, so stop looking so superior. How you all expect to be professional cake decorators when you can't even spell the most common cake word after 'happy' and 'birthday' is beyond me. Seriously, what do I have to do? Spell it out for you? Oh wait, that's right: I ALREADY HAVE!!

"Laura, so help me, if you run blubbering to the bathroom one more time I am going to fail your cotton candy rear faster than you can say "contralulations". Which, incidentally, is what you wrote on your cake:"

"And Laura? What in the name of all things holy is UP with that apostrophe? Does Ronan belong to Contralulation, whatever that is? Oh for goodness', take a Kleenex. I don't see what you're crying about, though; I'm the one saddled with teaching you bunch of imbeciles.

"Ah, Chris, I see this isn't quite so funny to you now, is it? Mr. Chuckles looks a little worried! Could it be because you made the EXACT same mistake as Laura?"

"Who's the big man now, Chris? Huh?

"And Katie, could you please remind the class of the very first thing I said to you all when we started last week? Oh, I'm sorry; you don't remember? Well, obviously you don't remember, Katie, because what I said was 'there is no 'd' in congratulations'."

"Way to go, Katie; you inserted a 'd' and omitted the 'i'. Now, class, 'omitted' means 'left out' - I don't want all these big fancy words to overtax your teensy little brains.

"Sarah, this looks like 'Congratwat Jody Clarry'."

"Maybe if you would stop focusing on your cutesy little flowers for a few seconds, you could attempt to center your inscription, eh? How's that sound? Honestly, class, have you undergone some massive brain-wipe since The Art of Spacing? Do you remember NOTHING that I taught you?!?"

[breathing deeply]

"Alright, moving on: Doug, let's take a look at your cake:"

"Say, Doug, why don't you do us a favor and just say the word you wrote here, hmm? No, really, I want to hear you pronounce it. Go ahead.

"I'm waiting, Doug. No? Nothing? I see.

"And finally, there's Beth's cake:"

"Beth here apparently thinks my years spent teaching have left me blind as a bat. Wow, it's like I can't even SEE that gaping hole between the 't' and the 'u', Beth! And I certainly would never notice the 's' is missing, or the fact that the 'g' stands out more than my wife at an anorexics anonymous meeting. Nope, this cake looks A OK to me!

"Well, since I'm obviously not getting through to you numskulls, we're just going to have to try a slightly less traditional teaching method. The metal pens you see before you are not airbrushes, class; they're tattoo pens. Now, pay VERY close attention, because you're really going to want to get this next bit right..."

Becky W., Claudine, Katy B., Liz P., and Terricha, class dismissed!

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Reader Comments (155)

I'm speechless. Again.
And to think, some of these poor spellers might leave their cake decorating to become (cringe) school teachers!:op
Cungraduawaytions on making me laugh again this morning.
Amy B

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

This was the perfect start to a Friday morning! I couldn't stop laughing for some of those.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Lynn

Best post in a while! I laughed 'til I cried. Your blog is better than coffee.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermusicalvoyyeur

I absolutely LOVE this blog! I just laughed so hard I cried! You seriously are very gifted with your writing and humor! This is definitely in my top favs of wreck posts for sure. The Congratwat was an A+ find...

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLibba Roberts

I personally love the twat version of the word - bwahahahaa!!!

I agree with another commenter - WHY oh WHY don't bakeries just have a "word wall" like they do in 1st and 2nd grade? Or pre-sized, pre-spaced, properly spelled imprinters of various sizes of certain words, so that decorators can just trace??

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDea

This post is the perfect physical evidence to back-up the 2 weeks they make us spend piping "Congratulations" on round pieces of cardboard as homework in culinary school. This blog is a must-send to my chef instructors (it's already been passed along to my pastry chef friends)!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterhayl107

Hilarious as always.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Harrington

It's good Cake decorators

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShowMoney

I swear I almost pee my pants every time I come onto this sight (which is daily I might add!). You make my day :)

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

This blog makes me scared to get a tattoo! And if I ever buy a store-bought cake I'm going to write on it myself. And if I can't do that it will just say "Yay!" or "Sorry". Hard to mess those up, I would think, but this blog has taught me not to assume anything...

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkate

Oh the tattoo pen is just EVIL. I love it! More "Class" posts please!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCalantha

I've seen this word spelled incorrectly so many times on here that I don't think I can remember how to spell it myself!


October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous


It's called a Wilton Letter Press! Invest in one PLEASE!!!!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSmoochiefrog

Is that white & green thing supposed to be a cake in the shape of a wheel of cheese? Maybe he just graduation from the University of Wisconsin.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Very funny! Thanks for the laugh, I really needed it today.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

I'm always happy to see defense of "alright". I once wrote a whole blog diatribe about how much it drives me up the wall to see people oh-so-staunchly saying "alright" is wrong. As if the English language never, ever changes... I mean, we'd never start making substitutions like:

always = all ways
altogether = all together
also = all so

And people get bunchy because of "alright". Geezum.

Oh. Topic. Right.

Such sad cakes. I heartily agree with the commenter who suggested the Wilton letter press set and a dictionary. Very clearly needed.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

I find your post today extremely funny. In addition, it serves as a good reminder to me, as I just got my first paying client today, and there were be several "Congratulations" cakes. Thank you for your lesson, as it's well timed for me!

Funny, but "Congradulations" has always been a pet peeve of mine!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

I am still chuckling! Thank you for this blog. I wouldn't miss it.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

When I worked at a bakery in high school, they solved this problem with graduation cakes by putting CON - "GRAD" - ULATIONS!!!! on each and every one. I found this really annoying, but I guess at least it made clear that they knew they weren't spelling it correctly.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterboardom

I love how the "s" on the pink and yellow one is creeping over the border. At least the decorator didn't squish the letters together into an impossible to read blob... I guess.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow, is astounding how much crappy spelling, not to mention poor lettering, can ruin an otherwise nice cake. Poor Sarah and Doug. *twitch* >.o

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterksaldria

I could almost, maybe, perhaps understand a cake that said congraduation! like combining graduate and congratulate but then again, no. No I couldn't. One would thing that hard to spell words such as "Congratulations" and "Antidisestablishmentarianism" would be written down for cake decorators to reference when decorating.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElvira

You crack me up!!! Thank you Cake Wrecks. You're definitely my afternoon pick me up.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMindy

Jeez, what ever happened to someone performing a little Q/A on their cakes?

I worked at a place where EVERYTHING was double and even triple-checked. How difficult is it for someone to take a look?

Whenever I decorate a cake I see nothing but the flaws. Everyone says they're great, now I know the truth: my cakes do look great... by comparison to these disasters. Keep it up, slackers! You make me look like a star!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Doug's cake ... looking at the design, I wonder if the person who bought this cake decided it needed an improvement. The chocate thingy that holds the message hangs off the side of the cake, and appears to be a second grad cap. It's really not at all in the style of the rest of the cake. Poor Doug - maybe his baby sister was trying to help!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMJS

These are my very favorite. I just can't believe that these people get hired anywhere.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous


*wipes eyes*

Reason #459 why I am not a cake decorator...

Found you via My Insanity!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBlissful Babe

OMG.. too funny! Well, I guess if a high paid editor of a newspaper can let things go out with misspellings and poor grammar then I guess we can't expect that much from the cake maker at Wal-mart! Aim

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

OK, I worked in a bakery for many years, and I know the kind of person that would spell "Congratulations" with a "d". It's called the high school kid in the front taking the money who told the costomer that the cake could be written on and then realized the decorator had left for the day. Now, many high school kids don't have spelling issues, but I can think of one in particular that I worked with that would have had this issue. Hence beautifully decorated cakes with bad writing and poor grammer and spelling. Or they could have English as their second language. You get that, too.

P.S. Jen, I like your response to hugeness and gharkness. Though, I do admit there are too many exceptions to rules in the English language....

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKati

It's really a shame about the Doug cake. That's gorgeous, and someone ruined it. If I has bought that cake, I think I would have cried.

The 'twat' one cracks me up, though. I love how they were trying SO HARD to fit all the letters in, and in the end just said "Meh - screw it."

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRamblingDreamer

To me it looks like Beth's prominent "G" actually is the "C" of her first - in more then one way 'short' - attempt with an appendix made of blunt ingenuity.
The latter leaving her when she clumsily removed the excess "r" between the "t" and "u".

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJochen

Loool this just made my day.
Wonderfull blog.Keep up the good work" REL="nofollow" TITLE="Angela Smith">Angela Smith

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBlackRainbow

I feel somewhat obligated to defend these cakes. I discovered, to my horror, that not all bakeries depend on decorators to do the writing. I was hired as a clerk at a bakery when I was twenty. I had a customer ask for a cake to be written on. I went to ask my 16-year-old trainer where the decorator was. She informed me that the decorators don't do the writing - do it myself. At my horror-struck expression she rolled her eyes, went to write on the cake then came back with a piping bag and a sheet of wax paper. She tossed them in front of me and then said "Practice - I'm not doing your job for you again" - at this point I had been employed there exactly one and a half hours and had never even iced a cake, nevermind decorating one!

However, I can in no way defend the spelling - for goodness sake look through the cake book they order from - it's spelled correctly on the demonstration page!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBlue

I also seriously wonder if all these names are REALLY spelled the way they're spelled on these cakes. "Ronan"? "Terricha", not say, "To Erika"?

I just have my doubts that the decorators would meticulously copy down these exotic spellings considering what they did with the FIRST part of the inscription.

My money is on FAIL!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter7Seas

My favorite thing is that in the last cake, there is an obvious cover up of an "r" that was misplaced!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertomasmoreno

love this entry. how long have you been blogging?

i would appreciate any blogging advice you could give me. =)

could you spare a few minutes for some tips and a critique of my blog?

rusty j

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMusiq Mayneack

OH MY GOODNESS. I emailed this blog to everyone in the office. the gales of laughter from the varying desks was enough to set off the smoke detectors.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPoetry Sue

i just laughed so hard i spit on my computer.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteralisonkn

I have to agree.....spelling is a pet peeve of mine, and it is amazing that there is no one to double check what goes out the door. I can only imagine the face of the person who picks up these cakes....ROFL!!!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Just a note...The reason you see some decent looking cakes with terrible writing on them is because the cake decorator goes off her shift for the day and someone from another department comes over when someone want's a cake and says,"Sure I can write on that for you." Then once out of view of the customer, picks up the pastry bag looks into the end of the tip and thinks, "Noooowww, how do I do this???" Accidentally squeezes some icing out of it and then says "Oh, I see....easy!!!!" Well we can all see where this goes...yada, yada, yada.... and Tah! Dah!....the end result emerges from behind the mystery screen and is presented to the awaiting customer, who is then just too gobsmacked to respond with anything other than a silent glazed over stare and a nod. They then proceed in their semi-comatose state to the cash register and proceed to actually take their wallets out and pay for the item. While walking in an automatic pilot state out to their cars, eyes still glazed over, they can be heard mumbling over and over under their breath, "I can't believe it, I just can't believe it....."

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

I would love to see this as a Saturday Night Live sketch... Cake Decorating School featuring major Wrecks.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterohiogirlie74

Ah! I see today you have tapped into 2 of my pet peeves: the use of "d" in congraTulations and the misuse of the apostrophe just about anywhere. While we're talking about this, another peeve is the fact that the apostrophe is NOT used where it should be (as in possession of something - particularly in signage). Is it really that expensive to add an apostrophe to a sign?

Great cakes! Doug's was particularly chortle-inducing.


October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPoetikat

Nobody has yet mentioned the "decorative" icing on the sides of the cake for Congratulation's Wendy! Is it just me, or does that multicolored mess look like Silly String residue?

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterhollyml

The Best Blog !!!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLuciano

"Congratwat" is made of wrong-ness.

My face burns with laughter!
Excellent blog.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrianna McCarthy

Sometimes, my heart so goes out to the poor (and usually very good!) decorators who spend time decorating 'blank' cakes for the grocery stores. I can sense their disappointment when they see that Lou from the Fish Department has come over with his scale-fingers to write atrocities all over their work. It's a tragedy of the state of our economy, and one of the things that is so wrong about big-box-do-it-all stores, I tell ya!

(Looking at those cakes, there's no way that the same person who iced the decorations was responsible for the writing.)

In fact, I'd bet if more research is done, 8 out of 10 cakewrecks happen in those 'open 24 hours' stores after the actual bakers have long gone... so unfair, yet, so awesomely hilarious.

Don't buy your cakes after hours, people... wait, do... because I'm addicted to the wreckage!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterohiogirlie74

that last cake is absolutely AWESOME.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterevil cake lady

Oh those are horrible! The penmanship alone is enough to ruin the cake, let alone the spelling. At the very least, Congrats would have been acceptable if the writing was presentable. I would not pay for or serve those cakes unless the party was in complete and utter darkness!

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiz Dinah

Maybe Roman finally beat the boss level on Contra.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZillah

Do you think that TERRICHA is actually supposed to be "To Erica?" I can totally see that...

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

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