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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
Wednesday
Dec032008

Wedding Wrecks

Pay very close attention to these cake pairs, now; I wouldn't want you to get the Wreck mixed up with the Inspiration Cake. [eye roll]

First up:

Elodie M. asked her baker to do this, only with far fewer rose petals. The baker obliged by providing this:

Ah, nothing symbolizes the beginning of a new life with the one you love quite like shriveled old rose petals. On the plus side, at least they distract the eye away from the poor cake construction. The weird grass sprigs sprouting haphazardly from the side and top help in that arena, too.

Next, Claire G. discovered the hard way how important "pipemanship" (as opposed to penmanship) is.

What she wanted:

(I believe this is from Martha Stewart.)

What she got:

Such delicacy, such grace...

By the by, I don't monogram much, but I think the middle initial is supposed to be larger than the other two. I also think that if "msk" were a word, it would accurately describe the leveling job done on the leaning wonder here.

And lastly, Hannah W. asked for this, only with square tiers instead of round:


She even brought in the brown ribbon and fresh blue hydrangeas for the bakery to use. Pretty simple, right? Just make some white square tiers. But you know how some bakeries are, always complicating things...

Let's see. Misshapen layers, lumpy icing, no ribbon, electric teal icing "flowers"... What seems to be the problem, Hannah?

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Reader Comments (213)

If I am not mistaken, that grass (???) on the rose petal wreck is actually some kind of parsley or chive tops....both of which make a cake even more tasty as well as lovely to look at!
Adele

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAdele

I know this is really bad, but I just love the wedding wrecks. I was blessed with a beautiful cake, thanks god!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRay

Most days, this site makes me laugh. Today I nearly cried a little.

I have to argue with the "you get what you pay for" comments: Our own wedding cake was made for the cost of materials by non-pro friends who had never made a wedding cake before... and it was beautiful and delicious. How do these "professional" bakeries manage to do such a crappy job? It's amazing.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermary

Man oh man. Makes me glad my wedding is in the past, so I don't have to risk something like this.

For the record, my cake was small and beautiful; a very talented friend made it for me and did a gorgeously simple job.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFreedomFirst

I would CRY if my wedding cake turned out that bad! How horrible!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMs Ashley

A freelance/home baker made my wedding cake 10 years ago....and it was stunningly gorgeous! Drop-dead beautiful ivory filigree on 3ivory tiers. She outdid herself!
These cakes are inexcusable!
What are these people thinking when they make these disasters??
Thanks for the laughs..I'm horrified for the brides, though!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Julia

I guess I got really lucky with my wedding cake. My only requirements were that the top tier be chocolate cake, and that the icing not be sugar paste, and I ended up with a really beautiful cake.

Word verification: paroobe - a recent parolee (parole noob).

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjackie31337

*pshaw* To all of the "you get what you pay for" haters!

I paid around $300 for my wedding cake three years ago, all buttercream, and received a lovely cake that tasted fantastic.

http://purduepicc.shutterfly.com/245

These wrecks are just poorly done, hands down. I feel so bad for those poor brides!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCyndi

With the popularity of CAKEWRECKS today, I think I would threaten -... er... I mean REMIND any bakery doing my wedding cake that it could easily be the focus of a WRECKREPORTER! Especially it doesn't meet expectation!

I suppose this could work for or against you. These are some of the saddest cakes I've seen yet! Something to tell your grandchildren about!

I got married in Vegas; no cake, no reception, no problem!

:-)

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaryO

Wow. Those cakes look absolutely wreckalicious.

And worthy of being forwarded around to appreciative friends and family.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPesky Email Forwards

Of course Murphy's Law is not rescinded for anyone's wedding day, and things are bound to go wrong. But I know a cake decorator--professional, though she's young and has only been in business for a few years--who would never, ever let anything like these out of her shop. She would be ashamed of making a cake that bad. It seems to me that the people who offered up these messes have no such sense of pride (or no ability to realise what they've done).

RE: the second one being a faux-wreck, don't be so sure. It's possible that the bride assumed the decorator would replace the initials with her own, and it's possible that the decorator assumed that she wanted the cake to be identical to the photo and so incorporated the same initials. There are a lot of non-communicative people in the world, and a lot of them are involved in weddings.

Incidentally, wvotd: phoottee. It perfectly mimics the sound I made when I saw today's wrecks :)

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOphelia

Oh, yeah. I want to eat some cake with stuck-on, dried up rose petals. Yum, yum!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKore

"By the by, I don't monogram much, but I think the middle initial is supposed to be larger than the other two."

Sure it is, that's where the last name goes. My mom and dad (let's call them "K" and "D") were married in 1973, and they STILL have a huge collection of cheap cocktail glasses with "KHD" gouged into the side.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

(Shredding roses), "She loves me, she loves me--not...."

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlisonH

Heh, Adele, et.al. - that "grass" is dill. Dill! I mean, honestly, even if greenery was requested (and it wasn't; I read about this cake from the bride on a different site), why not faux greenery that wouldn't potentially leave a pickle-like taste to the frosting? Yikes.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think, like some others, it actually *isn't* really a case of "you get what you pay for," but make sure you check portfolios and talk to former customers.

As for "you can't really expect to get a Martha Stewart wedding cake on a WalMart budget"

Well, http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v316/93/53/750977633/n750977633_908374_5389.jpg" REL="nofollow">Publix isn't quite Wal*Mart, but I paid just under$200 for this baby and it was exactly what I wanted. (And probably close to what bride #1 wanted.)

Of course, I asked around first and did a lot of talking. Publix did have the best looking cakes at the local bridal show too!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSunny @ the Library

Stephanie said...
As a florist with 15 years of experience, I have decorated thousands of wedding cakes. Let me say here, that I have never seen it turn out well when the flowers are placed by the decorator. So my tip would be you pay for a florist let them do their part as well, and no frosting bombs/roses will end up on your cake instead of hydrangeas. Ohhh, the wrecks I have tried to hide with a few well placed flowers.
----
Interesting, I guess it wouldn't have occurred to me to split that job, but it makes sense now that you've pointed that out. I was going to comment on why when first cake was supposed to have fewer rose petals, that translated into "sick petals to cake, add greenery."

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKPP

The missed marks are my favorite. Cakewrecks at its best!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I love that the monogram cake is on a stand covered in elegant tin foil! Totally Chic!!!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Agree with Sugarshock (at 11:20 AM) - this is as much the fault of the brides who entrusted the task to somebody's aunt's cousin's BFF. You get what you pay for. The classy plates, napkins, etc next to the cakes are a dead giveaway: shotgun wedding!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

Ah, I love the wedding wrecks, too, almost as much as the typos (or is that icing-os?).

Another one who eloped and skipped the cake wreck potential. The roses in my bouquet sadly resembled those stuck on that first cake, so now I'm very glad we didn't get a matching cake...

For those who are arguing that one gets what one pays for, how hard of a bargain would a bride have to be driving to get a cake like that? $19.99? $5?

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I notice more times than not, that these wrecks are placed on nicely decorated tables, with the plates and utensils, sitting there in their lumpy horror taunting the bride throughout the reception.... I think that people need to start looking at these people's ACTUAL work first before they agree on a baker.

Poor brides!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterROYALTY

OMG I cant believe they actually took these home and showcased them!! I am an amature baker who works out of my small kitchen, and I can honestly say that these three cakes are NOT hard to reproduce! It amazes me that the brides didnt look at the bakers portfolios of cakes they ACTUALLY made.

shakes head

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterROYALTY

People, look carefully: the monogram on the example cake is MTR and the wreck is MSK. That's not evidence that the baker didn't follow the instructions with respect to the monogram. I don't know about the Claire G part, but I do know many people whose commonly known names, or screen names are not the same as their screen names.

For best results the combination of initials would be designed by a calligrapher, but at minimum it could be elegantly and consistently applied.

Bravo to the decorator who said he only did butter cream and warned the bride that he didn't know how to do what she wanted. I fly airplanes for a living and if the client asks me to do something beyond my or my airplane's abilities I say, "sorry, I can't do that." I certainly don't say "I'll see what I can do" and then make an airplane wreck!

So, uh, just be glad these people are decorating, not flying. I can't imagine an airplane wrecks blog being quite so hlarious.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAviatrix

Hey, I made that top cake as a pop up card. Well, maybe it looks more like the wreck.

Carol
Extreme Cards and Papercrafting
http://extremecards.blogspot.com/2008/10/wedding-cake-pop-up-card.html

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercpeep

The wedding wrecks always break my heart a little. I can't imagine having something that horrible happen on my wedding day. (Fortunately, we hired competent people. :) )

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCrazy Raven Productions

Geez... I'm almost scared to order a wedding cake now, LOL!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTornadoBaby

Those are just too sad to be funny. I almost cried looking at them. What a terrible thing to discover when you go to pick up the cake!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBlalock

DANG........they're pretty bad!

LOVE the wedding wrecks! The inspiration vs. reality is so fun! Keep 'em coming!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

lord. to think i was upset to have the wrong flavor inside our beautiful cake!! poor girls.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteralexlady

The "you get what you pay for" thing is a little off base. My hubby and I were on a VERY limited budget (I'm talking about $1500 for the ENTIRE wedding - luckily we had people helping us and that cut costs a lot). We got our wedding and groom's cakes from Meijer, and they turned out fabulous. They looked just like the pictures and didn't totally break our budget.

I think some people just can't decorate. Doesn't matter if you're paying $7 or $7000.

I hate to say it, but it looks like these brides didn't see examples of the "decorator's" previous work. If they didn't, caveat emptor. Buyer beware. A little more research would've helped, I think. I highly doubt these "professionals" did amazing cakes before only to ruin these.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRamblingDreamer

"fresh blue hydrangeas for the bakery to use" - Hydrangeas = poison so I wouldn't advise putting them on things you actually want to eat. It's a whole different kind of ER wreck when that happens.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

I feel for these poor brides...I don't have pictures of my cake because it was so bad!!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNate + Callie

I really don't think it's a matter of trying to replicate the look of fondant with buttercream - the first one clearly IS buttercream (you can't get corners that sharp with fondant) and it looks to me like the second one might be as well. Regardless, of course buttercream is never going to be mistaken for fondant, but you can get buttercream to look a LOT smoother and nicer than these wrecktasrophes. I can get buttercream to look better than that, and I'm no professional - I learned it in week ONE of the Wilton I course. You can find tutorials on how to do it on YouTube for Pete's sake! Yes, it's a skill that requires practice to master, but if you can't do it, you shouldn't be making cakes for money. Period.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

These are my favorite types of wrecks! When I have to wait a full 24 hours in anticipation and see only one picture I feel so teased!! These are the best wrecks! It's hard to believe someone had the audacity to present those as wedding cakes. I'd kill 'em! - Diana

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I love your inspiration/flop comparisons! They are my favorite every time.

I bought a small chocolate birthday cake for my husband in a pinch last night and was far more critical of the mediocre pipemanship than i might have been before i started reading CakeWrecks. Thanks!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Fullton

The rose petal cake looks like it was rolled down the aisle after the flower girl had been by.

The monogrammed cake has no excuse....you can buy stencils of letters that you press into the icing and trace over the imprint with your lettering tip.

And that last one looks like a really bad hat!

I'm going to make my own wedding cake, that way if it's a wreck, I'll have nobody to blame but me!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne Dargie

When you consider that she brought in the ribbon and flowers for them to use the last one is just awful. I get sick just looking at it.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterehudwill

My 5 year old daughter saw the last cake and she loves both the inspiration cake and the wreck. She thinks they are beautiful. Then again she loves anything with sugar.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterehudwill

These are like nails on a chalkboard to me. I know plenty of home bakers who do a better job of this who haven't so much as had a single class on cake decorating! I agree if you can't do it don't agree to it!

My condolences to the bride. And I don't believe in the get what you pay for theory. I have done many things for free that have never been this bad. Or even bad at all.

Most of the cake wrecks are so funny to me. But the wedding cake ones make me mad! It's beyond me how someone could claim to be competent at this art of decorating and then turn out those cakes and expect to be paid! Do they even realize that they are single-handedly RUINING the most important day of someone's life?! So ignorantly malicious!

But it still makes me chuckle! :P

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

I feel so bad for those brides, the cakes really were eyesores the way they turned out. My dream cake is the rose cake in the first photo.

Ever since my my fiance proposed to me with a gorgeous diamond engagement ring from www.idonowidont.com we talked about having a rose petal cake!

I would rather get candy rose petals instead of real ones.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterValerie

Not only does the rose petal cake not even look like what was asked for, but now they have to pick rose petals off their frosting just to eat the cake? :(

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Ruthanne

Seeing wedding cake wrecks makes me cringe. I feel so bad for those poor brides. How awful to have your vision of a beautiful cake butchered so badly.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBlue Castle

Yeah, the cakes are terrible, but didn't the brides do any research about their bakeries beforehand?? I wouldn't order a wedding cake without seeing what their work was like first.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh how horrible for those brides! I imagine there was some mascara running at those receptions... and not on the guests.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

I knew I'd seen these before. They're all replicas of the Pyramid of Zoser!

http://blogs.fayobserver.com/semesteratsea/files/2008/08/steppyramid.JPG

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hello, I'm the proud bride for the first cake. I've enjoyed reading Jen's and everyone's comments quite a bit. Not to worry, our wreck didn't ruin our wedding day... We hadn't planned on having a cake cutting ceremony anyway, so most guests never even noticed it before it was taken away to get cut up. The camouflage helped, I guess.

But regarding the "you get what you pay for" comments... I'm sad to report we paid nearly $400 for that cake, for 65 portions. The bakery was a professional one, and came highly recommended from our very nice and respectable venue. We asked for a white cake with 3 roses on top, and 5-6 scattered petals. I still don't understand how this happened. Oh well!

Oh, and sympathies to my co-wreck brides!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElodie M.

That first one was my wedding cake too! I'm glad my cake actually turned out like the picture.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

This makes me almost never want to get married.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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