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

Sunday Sweets: Cake Nouveau

I love seeing online bakery galleries with consistently gorgeous, creative, and impeccably detailed cakes. Too often I'll find a great cake, only to visit the original site and discover it's the one stand-out in a gallery of otherwise lackluster specimens.

That said, I was thrilled when a reader tipped me off to Courtney Clark's work over at Cake Nouveau; every entry is so amazing, I couldn't pick just one favorite! So here are six samples, but I highly recommend you visit her site to see the rest of her work: it is well worth your time.

That scroll work is perfection, and I love the tiny roses peeking out.

As a self-proclaimed Disney Geek, I'm loving Courtney's interpretation of Snow White here. (There's also a Toy Story version on her site.)

Doing what I do, I've seen a lot of amazing purse cakes. I mean, a LOT. But this has got to be my all-time favorite:


I'm not really sure why this is called "rattlesnake", but for you non-bakers out there: look at the way the sides of this cake are shaped. See those cartoony curves? And how the bows look like actual fabric? That, my friends, is called talent. Sweet, sugar-coated talent.

Now, I know this next one is fairly simple, but I had to include it - I just HAD to:
It's orange and pink and perfect all over. Jen likes.

And lastly, an Alice in Wonderland theme:
That teapot is awesome. And a very merry un-birthday to you all!

« Sunday Sweets Assignment | Main | What Makes Jen Happy? »

Reader Comments (102)

Absolutely lovely!!! Thank you for sharing!

Carol G.

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterC.G.

I want that Alice cake!

I have a theory on the rattlesnake one: the shapes of the layers are very suggestive of the shape of the rattle. This would not be obvious unless you have seen one up close. I do wonder what that backstory is on that one, who requests a rattlesnake cake? What romantic encounter did they have over a rattlesnake?

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I just went on the website and looked through every single one of those cakes. They are all amazing. My expectations for a good cake has just risen. A lot.

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaty

I have had my last three birthday cakes made for me by Courtney at Cake Nouveau (the Elvis and Buffy cakes are the last two). Not only are her cakes gorgeous, but the fondant ACTUALLY TASTES GOOD! People actually eat it! This is part of the reason I keep going back!

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

She has a Buffy cake AND a Harry Potter cake AND a Nightmare Before Christmas cake. She is my cake fandom hero.

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChewbob

I must be the only person to not like the look of fondant. I appreciate the work and the artistry and the attention to detail - but fondant always either looks like plastic or rubber and, thus, not appetizing.

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think we broke them! Server is down.

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The Buffy cake made me laugh out loud! Mrr. Argh!
Thanks for sharing this site.

verification restse Time to take my nap!

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKasey

That purse is freakin' amazing. Well, okay, they are ALL amazing (especially when you're used to seeing so many BAD cakes), but the purse just made my jaw drop because I would have never known it was a cake at all!

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSheri

I am such a sucker for curled roses. They're so cute!

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDivaLea

Oh, I love love love the Alice in Wonderland cake!

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRach

The cakes from Cake Nouveau are gorgeous as always. Having actually had their cake I can tell you it is dry and tasteless underneath. :(

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Your right that was totaly worth checking out. WOW!

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersusie190

These cakes are great, but the Alice in Wonderland is a little frightening to me. It looks as if a giant teapot fell down and smashed Alice on the head. There's her dress, but where's the rest of her?

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

WOW!!! These are fabulous! I don't think I could bear to cut into one though. They are truly works of art.

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan's Scribbles

Those are gorgeous! I went to her site, and those cakes are just amazing!!! I wish I could go get some of her cupcakes...the Hot Chocolate ones sound delightful!!! My favorite is the Snow White cake. :)

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMandee

I am so sick of "mad hatter" cakes, and even though the teapot is one LITERALLY, I love it!

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterchristine

I love these kind of cakes! However I have to agree with the people who post about fondant tasting like garbage. It generally does but this lady wouldn't be in business if she wasn't good and if it didn't taste good! Whatever you might think a bride will not buy a cake that tastes bad. Not on purpose anyway.


Thank you announcer guy. As I was saying. Beautiful. I am glad you use at least one day a week to promote true cake beauty!

Those are TERRIFIC! Kuddos to the bakery...

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDoodleBunz/DB Impressions

I've been enjoying Cake Nouveau for a long time, I was so happy to see her on Sunday Sweets! Way to go! Such wonderful work!

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBreeAnn

I love the Down the Rabbit Hole cake. I hope Tim Burton takes notice. Wouldn't it be great to see some amazing cake in his Alice in Wonderland movie in the tea party scene? Isn't it great? No CGI needed to make beautiful cakes.

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercate

My jaw dropped when I saw the ribbons and fabric and realized that it wasn't the real thing! These are really amazing.

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

OMG, Looooooooove Snow White! And then on her site - the Dr. Seuss one? Adorable. The Wizard of Oz one? I. Want!!! :) Lots of really pretty cakes on the site. Very, very nice.

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGina

These cakes are absolutely gorgeous.

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergabrielina

The "Rattlesnake" was probably made for a wedding or event at the "Rattlesnake Club" in Detroit.

The fondant she uses is pretty tasty - no icky Wilton fondant here. The cakes taste amazing too. She makes the most amazing Italian Meringue Buttercream!

Courtney has won several Challenges on Food Network also. She's a little bit of a minor celebrity here in Ann Arbor.

Here's a little video about her and the business:

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBex

The cakes on that site were absolutely amazing and beautiful!! So many lovely ideas on there. Too bad I don't live in or plan in getting married in Ann Arbor.

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Pink Queen Albatross

I thought I recognized that style ... This is wonderful shop right next to the People's Food Co-Op in Ann Arbor! Her window displays are so sweet. No vegan stuff, but she is willing to experiment!

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElisabeth

Jen - did you happen to see this geek cakes yet? Found it through LOTD. I thought you might find them good:

Sorry - don't know how to do links within a comment.

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSally

I just came to this site for the first time. I love the wrecks - kind of like those photo albums of celebrities with zero taste in fashion that make us all grateful for our own fashion sense - and I love these Cake Nouveau pictures, as well. They are evidence of perfection and talent in the world of cakes! I hope that someday I'll be able to make something even resembling something similar, but for now I'll be happy that my cakes are on a slightly smarter level than "wreckage!"

Thanks for this site!

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPaige of Pearls

those are incredible! The pocketbook doesn't even look like it's a cake at first glance!

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Jo

I'm from Ann Arbor and have had the pleasure of seeing Courtney Clark's work a number of times--she is truly in a class all her own. Incredible craftsmanship!!

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCody

I am absolutely in love with Down the Rabbit Hole. Anything Alice in Wonderland rocks my socks.

Thanks for the Sunday palate cleanser between wrecks.

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermustang sally

Well, this post is possibly one of the nicest and truest articles I've read about cake EVER! These cakes by Courtney ARE amazing! And yes, I am just a little bit biased because I am married to her, but I genuinely like every single cake and cupcake she makes! Anyone who thinks otherwise... well... I pity their palate's lack of judgement! Seriously... if you are ever in Ann Arbor, you must try her cakes. They're AWESOME!

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKendon

Oh... and PS to you, Cake Wrecks. You earned major bonus points with Courtney and Cake Nouveau... so if you ever stop in, your cupcakes are on the house! ;-) I think you've made a friend for life!

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKendon

How could you not post the Mousies cake!!!!!!!!!! How could you not want to kiss their adorable little marzipan noses!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAVE YOU NO SOUL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, Rant over.


December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My favorite (on her site) is the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cake.

December 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

Wowie zowie. I am soooooo impressed. Never in a million years could I create such lovely cakes! Wonderful! These pictures lift the spirit!

December 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaryO

As the proud father-in-law, I have eaten a number of cupcakes from Cake Nouveau -- very tasty. And I drool over the tasty-looking artwork. Since I live in Sao Paulo, Brazil, I have to eat the cakes with my eyes.
I'm VERY PROUD of Courtney (and Kendon).


December 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks for showing this site... I never would have known about them otherwise. I am SO contacting them to do my wedding cake, and they're not even far away from me!
Woo hoo!

December 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermiss boo

Every single one is absolutely beautiful! I am absolutely in love with the Buffy cake that I found while checking out their website. :D

I have only been following your blog for a short while now, but have you seen this website/cake for the beautiful cakes?

December 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterArjun and Indira

I was going to write to you and recommend looking at this place. It is in my hometown and I visit all the time. Their store front specializes in cupcakes (with wonderfully delicious flavors) but the cakes are what really stand out. All of the fondant is hand rolled. Not to mention that the owner and workers are the most friendly of folks!

January 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSylvonna

Just came to this site for the first time... I live in Ann Arbor, and work downtown close to Cake Nouveau. I have to forget that I am a few blocks away or else I would weight 500 lbs!

Her cupcakes are beyond amazing with fantastic flavors, the cakes are gorgeous and Courtney is extremely nice...

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Slowly going through all of your previous posts. I think the Snow White and Alice In Wonderland cakes are gorgeous and very creative!

September 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSixxlet

I believe it's the shape, the stacked cake looks like cake vertebrae...

September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

I believe "rattlesnake" comes from the shape of the cake. The shape and the way it's stacked, looks like vertebrae...

September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

Oh my God! These cakes are amazing! I checked out the website, and they just keep getting better and better. As a self-proclaimed Disney dork, I love all of the Disney inspired cakes ... amazing. I am thoroughly jealous of the talent!

September 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErica

Oh! As soon as I saw the Snow White and Alice in Wonderland cake I was speechless! I am a sucker for me Disney movies. No commentary is needed for me to know what it is.

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterT.O.C.

I love Cake Nouveau and all of Courtney's work! She's so talented AND it actually tastes good too! I've had many a wedding cake that look just beautiful but taste like cardboard! But, my brother & sister-in-law got their cake from Cake Nouveau and it was just gorgeous, matched their fall theme beautifully AND it tasted devine! They had a cinnamon spice cake (I think) with a caramel apple filling to again go with the fall theme. It was then served with hot apple cider. YUM!

She's so talented though and I love looking at all the designs on her website!

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterValerie

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