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

The Cutest Misspellings of "Happy Birthday" I Have Ever Seen

Betcha didn't know a misspelling could be cute, did you? Well, it can. Observe:

This was given to Erik's buddy over in Iraq, where the locals guards had nicknamed him Omar. Yes, it says "Hippy barth day". Tell me that doesn't make you want to squeeze its lil' icing cheeks - go on.

JB tells me this adorable little morsel came from a restaurant in Taipan:

"Epi Burfday"


UPDATE: Some of you are taking issue with my "Taipan" spelling. (The gall!) So just to clear this up: no, I did not misspell it, and no, I don't know where it is. All I can say is that's what was written in the e-mail. Is it possible JB meant Taiwan? Sure. Do I care? Not so much.

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Reader Comments (88)

Srsly, I thought Taipan was someplace in Japan before I saw your disclaimer you added to the bottom of the post. People need to lighten up. *coughMJcough*

I, too, think that these misspellings are sort of adorable. And both cakes look delicious. Yum...cake...

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

I was always told that natives to Taiwan call it Taipan.

And at the end of the day who cares?

Both are cute cakes. They're wrecks, but they are forgivable wrecks!

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

That first one looks like it was used as an ashtray.

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

@Allergy Mom - yeah that was my initial reaction (no pun intended) as well. I saw "Epi Barfday" and I thought "Hey yeah that's what happens to me when I have peanuts!" I just didn't know how to articulate it.
Maybe since we've had an insulin pen cake we can get an Epipen cake now?

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

I don't understand why people have to comment everyday just as an opportunity to plug their own blog/website (especially when it isn't that interesting anyway).

I come to this blog because I LOVE it. It makes me smile, it makes me laugh out loud. I share it with friends. I comment occasionally. And I don't mind commenting anonymously because I'm not here to plug myself.

tbh...I don't have any of the applicable accounts anyway.


December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Could it be this Taipan?

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterajnabi

Okay I did some further Google sleuthing. It appears that this purposeful misspelling "epi burfday" is popular in Malaysia. But it's not clear from my Googling if there is a Taipan in Malaysia. Some links seem to indicate that it might be a section of Kuala Lumpur.

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdustthouart

My first thought was maybe they meant Saipan, which a pacific island that is some kind of US protectorate or territory or whatever.

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSunny

Taipan Bakeries are a chain bakery. There are several in New York city, I can think of three off the top of my head. One I've seen in Manhattan (Chinatown), two in Queens (Flushing).

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

I just have to post a comment as I've been lurking forEVER. This is such a precious post. And, it may very well be Taipan...which is a community in Phuket. Or, they could have been by a Taipan, which is a poisonious snake. Or maybe not :)

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmerican Girl in Japan

I would suggest that 'Hippy Barthday' isn't actually a misspelling but a joke; I've seen it before (heck, I've written it before) in cards. It's a goofy way of saying it.

Maybe it's just an English thing, or just between my circle of friends... Not sure it's a wreck though. :)

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlittlest_butterfly

Taipan is the name of a Chinese bakery chain here in NYC; not sure if there are any outside the city. I don't think I've seen that chocolate style there before though, they usually have fruit on their cakes.

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Those are cute! And both cakes look really good, too.

Reminds me of the time my daughter tried to write on a cake using one of those crappy frosting tubes from the grocery store. Ever since, my family has wished each other "Harpy Birddog."

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwhirlygirly

They both remind me of Owl from Winnie The Pooh: Hippappy buthuthuthuthday!

Hee." REL="nofollow">- Jecca

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMuninn

I like the words "Epi Burfday" !!! is cute and creative.. it might be their local language though.. =)

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAdrianT

I'm from Malaysia and there's an area in the capital state of Kuala Lumpur (K.L.) called Taipan.

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh ho ho, Jen has been hoisted with her own petard! How many decorators of these lol-funny cake wrecks have said, "Do I care? Not so much." I think that was the mantra of the Bush Administration, wasn't it?

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRodney Love

I don't see any wreckiness here, I think they are both pretty touching. English isn't their first (or perhaps even second) language but they are attempting an approximation of the sound of the words. Most people whose first language is English would likely struggle to do one Arabic or Chinese character, let alone spell an entire phrase correctly.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEvie

Tipan is in map it and you will see.


December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Epi burfday! haha, that's great

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Hey! I just celebrated my Barth day last month, and it was a doozy!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterelesa

Taipei is in Taiwan

December 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Taipan exists; it's in China (and no, I am not thinking of Taiwan).

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

There are also stores here in NZ called "Taipan"...

Just as a note too, about the whole "English not first language" thing, for those fluent in English, you have NO IDEA just how difficult it is to pronounce the "th" sound for non-natives. Srsly! Although...tbh I found it hilarious all the same. At first I thought it read "barfday" too... lol

I have to commend the decorator for the second cake- I like the thatchwork effect. Looks quite neat.

December 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

I actually wonder if the first one was meant to say 'Hippy Bathday' - my friends say this quite a lot (because 'it only happens once a year' and everything) and was ordered by somebody from the south of England, where they say 'barth' instead of 'bath'.

I may be stretching it, here.

January 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkissxbangxbangx

I live in Taiwan!

"Taipan" doesn't exist here. The locals call Taiwan "Taiwan" in Chinese or "Daiwan" in Taiwanese. "Taipei" is "Taibei" in Chinese and "Daiba" in Taiwanese, so wherever this Taipan is, it's not in Taiwan.

Besides, this cake would have come from an urban area if it came from Taiwan (small towns have bakeries but not professional cake decorators). In the major cities, most people have taken English classes from junior high through high school and can spell "Happy Birthday". A bakery willing to make this cake would have someone on staff who can write out simple phrases in English.

Trust me!

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Oh my gosh! I recognize the Epi Burfday cake!

Taipan is actually a small district in Malaysia. It's sort of like a cluster of shops, and there's a bakery there called Berry Cake House. "Epi Burfday" is indeed a very popular spelling of Happy Birthday in Malaysia (we DO know how to spell it properly - but for some reason people here like to spell everything "cutely"). The bakery has this form you have to fill out if you want to order a cake, and they'll pipe down whatever you want written down.

Haha, I've actually eaten that cake before.

Even the candles are the same, gosh.

June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Just to clarify- Taipan is a legit place! It's a small town in China and it's also the name of a chinese chain bakery here in the USA. How I know? My parents grew up in Taipan and the bakery is 2 blocks from my apartments.

So... It's possible that it's NOT a misspelling.

July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm pretty sure that's Taipan, Malaysia. It's a suburb near the city of Kuala Lumpur. Observe the contraption next to the cake - that's a Korean BBQ fixture, and these are kinda popular in Malaysia right now. Well, it all pans out, I suppose. Adrian's a pretty popular name here and the use of terms like '2 my beloved' seems quite normal around these parts. As for the 'eppi burfday', that too reads like an intended influency. Yes, we still like to think of ourselves as an English speaking people, and no, we don't speak or write it as well as we used to.

September 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterveii

The Omar cake is funny - my sister's husband is a doctor from Iraq. When he was working at a hospital in the green zone, the American doctors nicknamed him "Nick." (My fiance and I think this is a Simpsons joke - "Hi, Dr. Nick!")

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRex

I thought it said Epi Barfday too! Whats especially funny is that they spelled "Beloved" perfectly, which is a more challenging word than "happy"! lol. This group reminds me of the Engrish blog on!

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShewholuvs2lol

I think, rather than a restaurant in Taipan, the submitter meant Taipan Restaurant. There are many by that name, or Tai Pan Restaurant, in New York, California, Maryland and elsewhere.

It would make sense.

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlisagems

Taipan is a chain of Oriental restaurants, maybe that's what they meant?

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElaine Withnail

There are several Chinese-English bakeries called Tai Pan out there; perhaps the Epi Burfday cake came from one of them?

April 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPD

Bit late on the uptake, but pretty sure a taipan is a kind of snake. If the cake is make by a snake, I think the misspellings are the least of our worries.

April 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

I believe Taipan is the name of a chain of Asian bakeries.

April 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYan Ping

I had to giggle at this..."Taipan" is a species of highly venomous snakes. LOL.

November 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKaylynn

Not scrolling through all the commentsto see if this was already pointed out, but Taipan is the main city of Taiwan.

October 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRoni

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