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

Undeserving of Congrats

The mom-to-be was having triplets, so they ordered a cake with "congratulations" written on it three times:


On the other end of the spectrum, all they asked for here was "congratulations". Unfortunately the decorator took that to be plural...

Aaand much hilarity ensued.

Melanie U. and Wedge C., er, well done.

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Reader Comments (76)

My gosh. Do people not have any pride in ANYTHING they do? Or are people really that stupid?

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I find it funny that the second cake is a congratulations cake and it's black bordered and writing and such... it's just... so... funeral like.

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSuzyhomemaker

There are so many of these cake wrecks that come out of "in-store" bakeries, that as a former grocery store cake decorator, I am thoroughly embarrassed for them! No one that stupid should EVER be hired to be a decorator. Not that I have never made a mistake, but even if I had written, "Congratulations three times", the script would have at least been centered and written straight across, and in much better hand-writing than this one!

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterI'm Losing It!

I am a professional grocery store cake decorator. I am writing in response to stunbunnys questions: "Can anyone representing the professional cake decorating industry answer this? Are you surrounded by sugar- and flour-encrusted dolts? Do the hiring requirements stop at a single working thumb?"

Yes, no and no.

In my experience as a cake decorator, I have been very lucky to have worked with some decent decorators whose work ordinarily would not be featured on Cake Wrecks. (Not to say that I don't love reading this blog!)
On the other hand, in defense of grocery store bakeries, it is hard to find good talented help. (duh!) There is usually some sort of cake decorating skills test performed by potential decorators before anyone is hired to decorate cakes. Often times when a store is in dire need of a decorator they will hire someone out of desperation who says they decorate cakes, or just 'promote from within' because they ARE so desperate to have anyone. Good decorators are never paid what they are worth in a grocery store bakery. That is the unfortunate truth.
In my experience, sometimes a bakery has people that are working in the afternoon after the decorator has left for the day. These employees are often asked to write on a pre-decorated cake that a last minute cake customer has picked up out of the case. If a customer forgets to special order a cake or they waited until the last minute to pick up a cake on the way to the party, that is their own fault and they are at the mercy of the bakery clerk to inscribe something on the cake. Often times, they are inexperienced young girls, not fully trained with the skill of writing on a cake.
Some folks think "Oh yeah, my handwriting is good, yeah I can write on it for ya"..and they try...only to discover it is harder to accomplish than they think it is. Which I can honestly say with my experience in training those people it IS hard to teach someone to do it right. It takes a lot of practice.
I have suggested to our inexperienced bakery employees to NOT write on a cake until you are trained. Get someone else with experience to do it, until I can train you and then see how good you become with practice. Otherwise, I will be left with cakes that have to be fixed the next morning because the customer got mad and didn't want it because it looked bad.
I also have to say in our bakery we always read back the order to the customer to make sure we have exactly what they asked for. I always ask for correct spelling of names, even if it sounds simple. You would not believe how many different ways that people spell the name Brittany!! I encourage customers to be specific about their requests, even bringing in an idea on a piece of paper, or color samples. I am not a mind reader. I take pride in my work, and the last thing I want is an unsatisfied customer.

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

This reminds me of a cake I ordered for my sons 16th birthday. I told them I wanted it to say "Happy 16th Birthday" with a BIG 16 and they literally wrote"Happy BIG 16" on it. I was so mad! My sone thought it was funny.

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercherokeefox

Idiotic is the only word I can think of. :D

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen

Why does that first mistake never cease to amuse me?

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStretch Mark Mama

Really??? Unbelievable.where do they find these decorators. If you are not sure, ask the person who took the order.


November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarie

I think 'Congratulations Times Three' would have been good. I also think that maybe cake#2 is chocolate frosting/trim and not black?

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterholly

The first one is still a pretty good cake. It means the same thing. But the second one... that is absurdly hilarious. Wow. Glad no one was around when I laughed at that, or they might think I was crazy.

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterClare K. R. Miller


November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I remember once at work, each store was supposed to order a cake congratulating the boss, take a picture of it and send the pic to him. I remember telling my best friend, on the way over, that I was writing it out because I didn't want to send in a pic with any retardedness on it and I knew how often congratuations was mispelled. I handed the girl the slip and waited. It seemed to take a long time. And finally, she comes out and hands me the box. As I open it up to inspect, she says to me, "Thank God I caught that spelling mistake." And I died inside.
On my cake it said:
"Congrabulations Richard"

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hahaha, is the second one from BR? I decorated at a BR for a few years and it sure looks like one the decorators before and after me would make: the tumors on all of the sides, the smeared fudge, bad handwriting and misunderstood message... ahhh, memories :D It *is* fudge, by the way, not black frosting :D

Back then I never really thought about why some customers would be SO explicit with what they wanted. I'd understand the order form perfectly, but they would staple a sketch to it or write out the message EXACTLY how they wanted (line by line). A couple times people had left their order with my coworkers, and then called back to talk directly with me about it to confirm it. Now I know why they were like that...they must have gotten cakes like the ones on this site.

I'm reminded of my brother's 3rd birthday cake. My mom pretty much just said "oh, he likes Ninja Turtles. Make something like that." What she got was a green half circle with a red stripe around it and some eyes and a mouth. My brother even asked her at one point if it was really supposed to be a Ninja Turtle. I should find a picture :D

I think decorators (and even other employees or clerks) who don't understand how the order forms work, or who don't understand what the words and phrases that are typically written on cakes actually mean, or who use quotations for emphasis (oh GOD, my biggest pet peeve ever) are a vast majority in this world. It's also too bad that many employees really do assume that since they know how to write with a pen, they could handle a pastry bag. It's super easy with a lot of practice, but they really do need the practice first.

This blog makes me miss decorating SO much. I wonder if it makes any other former decorators reminiscent, or if it makes them glad to not have to deal with all this mess anymore :D

"I encourage customers to be specific about their requests, even bringing in an idea on a piece of paper, or color samples. I am not a mind reader. I take pride in my work, and the last thing I want is an unsatisfied customer." ---- I totally second this :)

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKris

The first one...terrible handwriting too. Why do people write so badly on a cake? I still don't get it.

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Foster

These are my favorite kind of wrecks. Keep 'em coming!

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

On the first cake, are they trying to cover all bases with those balloons?

We've got pink, for a girl, blue, for a boy, and... Orange?

Maybe we don't want to know what orange is for.


November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

lol, how on earth could you come up with that and think it was right?

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersearching_for_something

Alex said We've got pink, for a girl, blue, for a boy, and... Orange? Maybe we don't want to know what orange is for.

Why, orange is for" REL="nofollow">naked mohawk-baby carrot jockeys, of course!

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjackie31337

ROFL! They should have swapped decorators! :D

The second cake was ugly anyhow. Why black icing? And the pattern on the sides of the cake looks rather sloppy.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKenya Starflight

And these are made by professionals???

I don't get it. Seriously. I can decorate, write, spell, etc. better than that in my kitchen at home with nothing but my little Wilton books and videos and advice from girlfriends.

I'm starting to understand now why all my friends are coming to me when they want a cake for an occasion rather than going to a bakery. I thought it was just because I charged less, but I see there's more to it!

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiranda

i think the weirdest thing about this entry is that the triplet cake is not for a mel u. that i know with triplets.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Jackie31337 said Why, orange is for naked mohawk-baby carrot jockeys, of course!

Hahaha, true, it probably does.


November 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I love you! You just saved my day! Thank you for the laughs!

November 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPienovski

This reminds me of a cake I bought for my SIL after a promotion. I asked the bakery lady if she could write Congratulations on it. She said yes and proceeded to write on the cake. I could tell she was having a hard time and pausing a lot to read what she had written. When she was done I looked at the cake and discovered she had written - Congraduation! It was funny so I didn't say anything and we had a good laugh while we ate cake. -Ginger

November 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Two "congratulation"s equal congratulations (pl). This one is clear. You can see how it occured cause any sentence requesting the word 'congratulations' can yield this result to a person unfamiliar with the language, would have though he heard a plural.

"And write congratulations on it" means "write multiple instances of the same word on it."

(No excuse, mind you.)

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I can picture this in my head. My friend had a similar accident once.

February 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthebubblegumchild

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