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

Totally Cheating

In yet another blow to true cake artists everywhere, many large chain bakeries are now "decorating" cakes almost exclusively with plastic flotsam. In theory, this means the "decorators" require even less skill, and therefore will wreck less cakes. That's the theory, anyway.

Well, Kelinda S., I guess we can't complain too much here: so long as the decorators don't put the feet on backwards, there's really not much they could do to wreck this design up.

Wait, did I say put the feet on backwards?

Ok, so these designs are still wreckable, as Jen S. discovered with Thunder Thighs Santa here. Though to be fair, maybe the decorator's thumbs DO face that way - that might explain a lot, actually...*

Some of these plastic cheats are deceptive. For example, at first glance Lyndsay W.'s find looks like a really well-made Santa suicide scene:

(Yes, of course Santa bleeds sprinkles. Duh.) However, that head is actually plastic. It's even kind of cute, compared with the nightmarish clown-head-picks all us Wilton vets know so well.

Of course, other plastic cheats can be just a smidge more obvious, as Amy D. discovered:

Attention Bakery Managers: you may want to post some instruction photos for these cheat kits. You know, to avoid the whole upside-down-nose-and-mustache thing.

What, you can't tell it's upside down? Here, I'll show you:

See? Santa went from sad & droopy to only mildly consternated. Much better. Also, if this Wreck isn't proof that wreckerators are addicted to their airbrushes, I don't know what is. I mean, it looks like someone attacked Santa with a machete! Two words, guys: "Inter" and "Vention". [earnest head nodding]

As someone who enjoys wrapping gifts so much that I actually *d0* wrap empty boxes just for funsies, I find this next one from Brian D. especially horrifying:

That's REAL non-matching ribbon on the lumpy green square thing edged with ketchup ooze on the round cake board. And did I mention the ribbons don't match? [shudder]

But then, Brian M. reminds us that in this season of extravagance it's often the little things that can bring the most joy:

Even better: the package next to this one also has the "oh oh oh"s. Score!!!

* Ok, yes, I suppose your thumbs would be on the outside if you bend your arms at the elbow. And yes, it took me about 45 seconds of thumb twisting experimentation to figure that out. :)

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Reader Comments (143)

Oh, oh, oh no you didn't!

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

Totally artless. Is this what the bakery-schools are turning out now? SIGH
~Amy B

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

HILARIOUS today, Jen! Thanks for the laughs.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Cakes decorated with "plastic flotsam?"

Ugly + lazy + environmentally unsound = cake wreck

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRaina

Lizard: I think the traditional Christmas grapes are pinecones. However, the fruit of the vine does seem like a more logical response to this awfulness.
Especially since, even though the employees can see the cupcakes backwards, the "OH OH OH"s are _tilted_ on the cupcakes... toward the consumer. Lovely presentation. Just what we need for that Christmas bachelor/bachelorette party.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

RE: oh oh oh


December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTracie the Red

Also, my husband thinks that the airbrushed Santa looks like he's been grilled instead of slashed. Mmmm, frame broiled goodness!

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I agree that upside down nose Santa has a feline look about him. I was originally thinking a Thundercat or that lil character from a TV show who's name I don't know that says "snarf" all the time. But then I realized I didn't know enough about either to really make that official, but it works for my imagination! Snarf!

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

On second glance, could Skinnylegs Santa be juggling those blue cupcakes?

Word Verification word: quargu
(noun) How much gu it takes to frost a cake

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterD.B. Echo

Hmmm...those last cupcakes are definitely on the "naughty" list.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Hey, since when did snowmen have legs?

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLien

I will never, EVER order a cake from a bakery. EVER. They scare me too much.

And "flotsam" is my new favorite word!!!

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDebbi

It's nice to know that even in a world of plastic flotsam cakes, it's still possible to miss-spell one of the simplest words in the English lauguage.

Oh, Oh, Oh, a VERY merry Christmas, indeed!

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRedd

Meg: the "snarf" character you're thinking of is Pinky from Pinky and the Brain/Animaniacs - the lab mice who wanted to take over the world..

and the thunder thighs Santa looks like a French Can Can dancer....

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDigital Daguerreotypist

Your thumbs would poke out that way when you are giving the cake-wrecker the middle finger, too!

Santa's Double Finger Salute to you, Bakery-CakeWrecker!


December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSara Lou

Those OH OH OH cupcakes could be quite appropriate for a wedding shower or bachelor party....


Cake Wrecks = most fabulous blog ever!

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeagan

Oh - and the "Oh Oh Oh" cupcakes... maybe were in an "adults-only" bakery??

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSara Lou

Those cupcakes are having more fun than I am! No fair!

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTania

I think the Oh Oh Oh cupcakes should be sold as a set with the Hi Hi Hi CCC from a couple of days ago Who would have guessed that there are multiple ways to mess up Ho Ho Ho...

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Actually, I suspect that the upside down Santa nose is supposed to be a cat nose. That would explain why Santa is striped, too.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramelia-eve

O Holy Night! What a bunch of sorry excuses for decorated cakes! I hope to heaven I don't get a present that looks like that green THING. If I do, I'll know I was very bad this year.

But I just gotta love Suicide Santa. Those of us who get depressed at Christmas need to be represented, too.

Oh, oh, oh. And I say again, oh, oh oh.

Word verification: busil. There's so much hustle-busil this time of year.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterScritzy

LOVE the orgasm cupcakes.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

@ ciwey... I considered the same thing the first time I saw that cake, but if you look closely at the OHOHOH, you'll notice that they're propped up a bit. And you know what that means...

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCaleb

Those Oh Oh Oh cupcakes would be quite nice for a festive Saturnalia.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

I think those oh, oh, oh cupcakes are actually for the New Kids on the Block concert--to be eaten during Cover Girl. Seriously, it fits.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSalemDemeter

Machete Santa reminds me of the "Santa Spud" Mr. Potatohead I just got!

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLalaith

My fifteen-year-old daughter, reading over my shoulder, immediately said that the green box must be the casket from "Suicide Santa."
Thanks for this lovely moment of family togetherness.
We all love CW.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjoan

but, if you turn those oh oh oh cupcakes upside down, theyre just ho ho ho! really, not a wreck at all, friends. ps. i <3<3<3 upside-down santanose. hiiiilarious.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterhessica

Gosh, I thought the airbrush Santa face looked rather porcine and the snowman legs belong on a witch or Raggedy Ann. (What's with legs on a snowman?) The Oh, oh, oh cupcakes were my favorites, though.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdrgns4vr

If you actually look closely at the Oh Oh Oh cupcakes and they way they are leaning, they are not backwards, nor would they have been loaded into the case from the other side and have looked correct to the decorator because they put the decoration on UPSIDE DOWN...flip it 180 degrees and it'd be correct. :)

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh, Oh, Oh . . . . Green Giant. That's what the "oh's" made me think of.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCheri-Beri

Santa with the upside down mouth looks like he's about to cry.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDano

I have a theory about the thumbs out Santa. He’s directing the elves, who are positioning the sleigh prior to hitching the reindeer. He’s telling them to back it toward him. Don’t see it? Place your hands in front of you, elbows at your side, palms up, like you’re holding a tray. Now bring your hands up toward your shoulders. Lower them and repeat three times. I would further guess that the elves were a little too enthusiastic, which lead to the cake below it.

At least I hope that’s what he’s directing to back up, because my only other theory involves Mrs. Clause and the origin of the OH OH OH cupcakes.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAbby Normal

ok so I'm like 9 weeks pregnant, and when I was looking at those CCC I suddenly could smell all that aweful buttercream icing and I thought I was going to be sick.

And that poofy hipped Santa looks like someone took the cupcake off his belt that would have evened him out!

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChrista

@Digital Daguerreotypist
Actually if memory and Google serve me correctly, Pinky's favorite word was "Narf". Snarf was, as Meg said, a Thundercat. Well sort of technically...he was Lion-O's annoying pet, who interjected "Snarf!" into everything much as Smurfs use "Smurf" as a wildcard.
Now that I come to think of it, that flame-broiled Santa strongly resembles Snarf indeed...good catch Meg.
Err..I should go now. My 80's geek is showing.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

@Digital Daguerreotypist: thanks for the tip but I'm thinking of something else. It's a little yellow cat-like thing. Maybe it doesn't actually say snarf... maybe I made it up... Hmm...

Oh! It is real! It's one of the Thundercats, the lil red and yellow, and it's name is apparently Snarf. Link:

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

Those Oh Oh Oh ones make me think of the New Kids on the Block. Oh oh oh oh oh...the right stuff! Or, the wrong stuff, in this case.

-- Karen T.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Santa with his upide-down nose/mouth/tach looks like some kind of christmas care bear.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob

I was coming in to say the same about the oh oh oh's. Just turn the package around, it is right. WHen you take them out, it is right.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Boy, looks like a missed a lot in two months. I tried to catch up but between the laughter and the shock disbelief I had to leave the libarary cafe before they kick my butt out of there.
Nice Sunday picks guys and I just love the Wrecktastic Santas.
So Jen are the Calendars out yet? I see the t-shirts, nice, I saw the apron, and as soon as I get the money I'll get one, niceeeeeeee! But don't see the calendar. Prehaps I missed it in between the sad, crazy, parents from New Jersey and the fantastic interpetations of Disney's Children classic.
Oh well.
Looking forward to next year!


December 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterclueuin

ick. who wants to eat a santa cake when he looks all cellulite-y? makes you think, "that could happen to me." and then there's the red-faced santa with the up-side-down plastic--looked like a strange cartoon kitten or something. if i ordered a Christmas cake and they "decorated" with plastic i'd be very upset. oh, but wait...since cakewrecks exists, maybe it'd be easier to laugh it off and submit the nastiness to you...and the world.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDangGina

My supervisor at work saw these cakes over my shoulder and he said all that was missing from the Santa Suicide cake was a tiny knife and the ones you used to get in the board game Clue? He also said the sign that says "Blessed Season" should say "Bloody Season".

And for the the Oh, oh, oh's....does anyone remember Horshack from "Welcome Back Kotter"? Well, he must have made those.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne Dargie

Does anyone else think the "Blessed Season," with I believe a cross next to it, sign on the dead Santa cake is either ironic, or else a not so subtle reminder about what happens to people who worship the wrong guy on Christmas? I can see Dan Brown's next book: The Santa Code, where we learn that the Church put a hit out on St. Nicholas to stop him from co-opting the proper symbolism of the day. Clearly this cake is reminder to those in the know that "accidents" still happen. The Church is making its list and checking it twice. You don't want to end up like Santa.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

These are like the strip malls of cake making. I'd rather see an attempt at frosting artistry!

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMari

Maybe the oh-oh-oh decorator was looking in the mirror while she did her thing. That takes talent, right...?

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

When I talked to Santa he said that his mustach IS upside down and that people are always misunderstanding him. He said he has never said Ho,Ho,HO...He in fact says Oh, Oh, Oh, but because he has an upside down mustache no one understands him.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGladys

Santa in #2 is clearly shrugging, as in "it's not my fault I'm made of cupcakes."

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNat

maybe the second santa is telling the kids to "come hither"...? no? But there couldn't possibly be someone stupid decorating a cake, could there be?

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKath

Office Space, the Christmas Edition: When Santa Shows his Oh-Face.


December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBridgete

I don't think Santa's nose is upside down, I think the rest of the cake is upside down. The way it is, the little "oh oh oh" picks say "ho ho ho" !
And I don't know what to think about the grapes/pinecone cupcakes.. maybe they are caviar?

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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