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

Wrecktopia of Cornucopias

After the turkey, it's the quintessential symbol of Thanksgiving: the ol' Horn of Plenty. It's basically a cone-shaped basket filled with fruit and veggies. Everyone got the mental image? Good. Ok, let's ease 'er on into the Wreckiness, then, shall we?

Not bad, not bad - although my teeth are hurting just looking at that ginormous mound of icing, Kat K. Still, there was skill involved in the execution, and here on Wrecks - as in life - we do our best to focus purely on surface beauty. So, moving on.

Hm, we seem to be veering into "ice cream cone filled with flowers" territory, Jana. Still, not horrendous. Next?

Hey, Jessica H., are we sure this is for Thanksgiving? 'Cuz that looks like a burlap Christmas stocking.

Ack! Shiny poo pile! Keep moving, K.R.! Keep moving!

Ah, this is better. A nice, comfy shag rug. Although, what's that on the side?

Oh heck no, Jill S., they did NOT just ice all over the sides of those paper wrappers, did they? Well, there went the whole "Cupcake-cakes aren't as messy" argument. Plus, with those candy corns and green squigglies and all, it looks like someone upchucked over the edge. Yelch.

Of course, you could go to the other extreme:

Jaime L., these cupcakes aren't all iced together into one solid mass, which means two things:
1) By my definition, it's not *technically* a cupcake cake - maybe more like a "cupcake mosaic". A really lazy mosaic, sure, but still not as evil as a CCC.
2) By anyone's definition, it's not *technically* decorated. A scattering of plastic flotsam does not a decorated cake make.

And speaking of cupcake cakes: some of you took me to task yesterday for failing to point out the CCCs in the Fall Fumbles line up. And yet, when I DO hold up those wrecktastic creations for the derision they are so rightly due, others of you complain that I'm harping on CCCs too much. It's like my own personal Kobayashi Maru, honestly. Anyway, rest assured, dear readers, that my left eye continues to twitch uncontrollably with every CCC posting whether I point out its inherent structural deformity or not.

« Creations That Might Possibly Be Representations of Turkeys | Main | Fall Fumbles »

Reader Comments (85)

Jen, the only thing I would take you to task for is not celebrating ginormous mounds of icing. That's the only thing positive I can find in some of these wrecks.

word verification: scressep...that's the sound my belly makes after eating a ginormous mound of icing, but so worth it.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Courteous Chihuahua

I'm impressed that you managed to work in a good Star Trek reference during a discussion of cakes.

I'm not impressed, however, with the cakes.
I couldn't possibly bring myself to eat any of that vomity poo.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergrimmjak

That last one looks like a rear view of Carmen Miranda!

Monique D.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I have finally cleared up the mystery of where these wrecktastic decorators come from. They are obviously kindergartners re-assigned a new life in the witness protection program. My 5- and 7-year-old daughters clued me in when they looked at the cakes and asked, "What makes that one a wreck? It looks like our art project last week". And now we know where our tax dollars are going...

Baffled Mommy

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBelle

It's a good thing you told us these were cornucopias....other than the first one...I never would have guessed.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Wait a minute. Kobyashi Maru? And recently we had both Douglas Adams and Doctor Who references. Jen, are you...a geek? (and I ask that in the most positive way possible)

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Thank you for ensuring I will not suffer any weight gain this holiday, since looking at those poor cornucopias drowning in their own icing has rendered me completely nauseated. Excellent examples of wrecks, though.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGlamour

Mounds of poo galore!

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHorribleLicensePlates

I think they need a whole separate class at Wilton: how NOT to make brown icing look like a pile of poop.
And why on earth would you frost the sides of paper wrappers? I remember when I was a kid I had a few classmates that were so over excited by cupcakes that they'd eat them wrappers and all. Maybe the decorator was just trying to make them more palatable. :-P

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

ugh! i declare a ban on all cccs.

my first thought on CW2 was "harpsichord."

happy thanksgiving, all!

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEtiquette Bitch

Hmmm...cornucopias...I like the name, but that's about it. They almost always look cheap with plastic fruits and greenery from whatever craft store the owner bought them at 25 years ago...Since I don't like them in the first place, I can't objectively judge these I've come to the conclusion that these should be rated on how many identifiable edibles are represented. we go...

The first one is nice...I mean red=apple, orange = orange or a very mini pumpkin, the grapes are obvious...but what does the yellow equal? Bananas? Peppers? If this thing is made to scale (rriiight) then those are either the tiniest bananas on the planet or the largest grapes. B+

The second one...not quite as good...Are those flowers or fruits? But I give props for trying to make it look like something other than a blob of icing. get a B-

The third...hmmm...blobs of color does not a fruit make, so I think you're going to have to take a C

The fourth one...oh, dear....what in the world is that yellow circle-like object with the brown stripes supposed to represent? I'm pretty sure I've never seen a fruit or a veggie I'm willing to eat that looks like that...purple grape-eque blobs...and the poo basket....I'm afraid you get a D

Number 5....what in the world were you thinking? candy corn? neither a fruit nor a veggie...blobs of orange and yellow, squiggles of green and purple...AND A CCC...oh dear...D- for you.

The last....You FAIL...simply because plastic, irridescent, shiny fruit is neither edible nor attractive...not to mention the CCC big fat F for you!

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen...tune in next time for Judge that Cake Wreck!

~Bonnie B~

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

"A scattering of plastic flotsam" is henceforth how I will describe LA.

Word verification:'s ability to sustain interest in packing the car for a long Thanksgiving road trip.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPrincess Kristi


Ah, Yes.

Can you say "Star Trek Shrine?"

Geek On!

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn (the hubby of Jen)

The stocking: sure it's for Thanksgiving. See the leaves?

Angie (from over at

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAll Adither

Nice, just want I wanted to look at, Shiny poo as I was eating breakfast! Umm

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersearching_for_something

I second the notion that, besides the first example, I would not have known what these were supposed to be without assistance.

And I have to say it.....a cornucopia CAKE? That old horn of plenty is supposed to be overflowing with fruits and vegetables and grains and other wholesome things. So...let's re-create that with mounds and mounds of frosting, shall we? No dear, I don't need to eat my green beans today. You see, I already had some buttercream-version carrots and peas, so I'm good on that ol' food pyramid.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Let me just do an Accu-Chek here and... Oh dear God! Straight frosting! There's not enough insulin in the world to counteract the first wreck. And yes, I think those are supposed to be bananas. They're quite in season in the middle of FALL dontchaknow.

Glovat: matching your gloves to your cravat.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn

#2 looks like a coffin with flowers at the top of it..... We come here to morn the death of true cake decorating.

#3 looks like the tornado that took Dorothy and Toto to Oz. You have the Scarecrow at the top left corner and you can almost make out what could be construed as the yellow brick road and flower city.

Just not right.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The worst part of the last Wreck is that the plastic junk SPANS the spaces between the CC. So one would fight over who gets the shiny leaf. Or not.

Again, this proves CCC negate any supposed advantage in "ease of serving."

CCC: they are more than evil; they defy principles of coherent cake theory.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I have way less of a problem with the individually iced, non-CCC, covered in plastic fruit that is the last wreck than those that come before it. I mean, holy wrecky wreckerson! A bunch of brown and a smidgen of color does not a cornucopia make!

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCake for Breakfast

I've got to say the first one looks like the tale to Jabba the Hut...or maybe I've just been watching too much Star Wars.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJubilee

Geez, I kind of wish people would stop buying these, so the bad cake decorators would be fired or go out of business, but then we wouldn't get to see these fabulous pictures!

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I know I will be taken to task for saying this but ... I like the last one.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjean1517

#3 and 4 look more like brown tornadoes.

As for trying to figure out which "fruit" and "vegetable" the colorful stuff is supposed to represent...

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Mooney

Bonnie B, great recap!

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJim and Garret

Kobyashi Maru? Reprogram the computer...or rewrite the rules of the game. If you say CCCs deserve special scorn, make it so.

Happy Thanksgiving. LL&P.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLulubelle B

Yech! That top "cake" is just way, way too much icing. Sugar rush deluxe!
~Amy B.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

You totally lulled us into a false sense of security by starting with two halfway decent cakes, then Wham! Shiny poo pile.

Also, Star Trek reference FTW!

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe musishian

The last CCC looks like they all shifted to one side in the "box" :) Or the poor little cupcakes were desperately trying to run away from the "decorator" with the plastic thinga-ma-bobs!

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTara MacDonald

The first one makes me think that you could make an interesting and perfectly edible cornucopia dessert by making the horn itself from chocolate meringue.

Or you could just go straight for the tooth decay and sugar overload by using copious amounts of chocolate icing.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

You've convinced me--cupcake cakes are evil.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKat a student of medical terminology

That first Cornucopia, looks like a diverticulated intestine, or the sliced off piece of the brain from someone with alzheimers. Not making fun of those folks or anything, but that is what it looks like to me.

Also it looks like the genitalia of some animal on Fear Factor from a few years ago.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermandy_Reeves

10 points for the Star Trek reference!

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristen


You have vindicated my existance! :) I'm a geeky grandmom who also likes to bake, pun, and hang out on teh Internets.

Now as for those cakes...that first one made my blood sugar pop just looking at it. The poo cake was just too much.

Word verification: autono ... the sound of terror at having to drive 200 miles on the day before Thanksgiving.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCheron

They all look just a little too, um, alimentary for me. Except maybe the top one, which looks more deflated than extcreted. Think I'll pass on dessert and have a second helping of the chipped beef instead...

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Godin

I have NOTHING to say about the Wreckacopias. There just isn't anything TO say. I did however want to thank you for the extra 20 pounds of cake layer I've put on since discovering your site. See, I have this SLIGHT love affair with Cake. More so the frosting, but they seem to go hand in hand, so I've learned to accept the sponge with the goodness. But I digress. I have a hard time refraining from eating cake when mentioned. SOOO, seeings how I can't seem to go a DAY without checking your sight, I've been FORCED to eat my weight in cake. Thanks Jen. And here I thought you were here for the greater good.

Excuse me while I go in search of the frosting cornucopia.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTable for Seven

Kobayashi Maru? I knew there was a reason I liked you. I mean, besides bringing the funny on these unfortunate cakes.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrilliantpants

Oh that crazed cupcake cornucopia at the bottom. I could NOT get a good pic of that before the store people started following me suspiciously.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatieSmurf

You got me at "burlap Christmas stocking." And all that icing - sugar high anyone?

Word verification: congent - what cakes #2 5 aren't.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCalantha

This is why you eat pie at Thanksgiving, not cake. Is there such thing as a Pie Wreck? No.

the second one looks a little like a coffin to me.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkerry

"My own personal Kobayashi Maru"...I love it. And I think by now it should just GO WITHOUT SAYING that if it's a CCC, it's almost automatically a wreck, and the structure isn't worth mentioning, no?

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

that last one i saw yesterday at sams club!! i had no idea what it was!! ahh, a horn of plenty... ahhhh...??

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterutaduta

When I saw the second cake, my first thought was "funeral flowers." As in, lying on the grave so long the stems had died.

Though I would take a large spoon to the icing mound on the first one and have myself one heck of a sugar rush!

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterScritzy

Those all look like one lactose intolerant nightmare!

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKanani

I suppose the people who buy these wrecks are just desperate to not show up empty handed?

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMari

What's up with the pigmy bananas on the first cornucopia?


November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You know, looking at the last one, I would totally love to see some of the same principles (the spiral icing, the cupcakes, the non-uniform shaping) applied to a reimagining of Van Gogh's "Starry Night." Done by someone who was not mentally deranged, I mean.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelodie

I was waiting for you to say cornucupcakia, but you never did. Is that not a good wordplay?

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSra

While the first one has a ton of icing indeed, i'm not sure it's really wreck worthy. However, as we work our way down the page... *shudder* You know, I made the mistake of making choclate icing for cupcakes and was told it looked like poo. That was the last time I'll be doing that. I think i'll just turn them black next time.

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

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