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

There is no black and white...

Only shades of gray.

Well, at this bakery, at least. The order was for a black & white cake done in polka dots. Evidently the decorator decided that "black & white" meant to mix the two colors together, resulting in the lovely cement color you see here. Then, after using the airbrush to make the cake surface look like an advanced stage of leprosy, he or she decided it still needed that little extra "something": more dots! (And I love how the dots only go around the airbrushed bull's eyes, never over them: it kind of looks like ants swarming around their mounds.) Then, to finish it off (in more ways than one), said decorator slapped on an off-center birthday greeting - minus the exclamation mark, of course; such a display of festivity would be sorely (pun-alert!) out of place.

The bakery was so proud of this masterpiece that they refused to refund the birthday girl's family any money - even though she cried at the sight of it. [Shaking head sadly] Yeah, kids these days...I guess they just don't appreciate art when they see it.

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Reader Comments (31)

Are you sure that is air brush paint? Maybe it just sat out too long and is starting to grow mold. Maybe the decorator saw mold in her shower this morning and was inspired by it.

July 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm enjoying your blog--and I absolutely love that you have a reference to a Monkees song! :)


July 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

It is reminiscent of anti-aircraft fire exploding in air

July 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

On the other hand, I don't think I've ever seen "silver" icing before.

July 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Seriously, has this girl's family not heard of a credit card chargeback? If you don't get what you paid for, you get your money back.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Looking at this makes me feel the need to get my eyes checked. It's absolutely seizure-inducing.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChaucer's Bitch

I actually quite like it. It's not nearly so bad as most of the cake wrecks here. And I think the silver icing's pretty cool. At least it's neat - though the inscription should really be center.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermystitat

It's really hard to make pure black icing. The dye has to be so concentrated that it tends to bleed...a sickly color green....into the white background....unless it is eaten within the day. This is probably why the bakery didn't use pure black. Airbrushing is even worse, because you more or less have to hold the brush right on the spot until the dye is pooling on the surface of the cake to get a pure black spot.

Red is the worst, though...never, ever order a cake with bright red anything. Whatever it is that makes the red dye, it tastes absolutely awful, and yes, you have to use a lto of red dye to get pure red color, so the taste is quite pronounced. Using a little bit will give pink.

July 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterchamoisee

Two things (Probably more cause I tend to run on...) If the icing is whippy, black will only stay for about ten minutes before fading to gray if airbrushed.
The only way to get good looking black frosting is to use chocolate icing and black food coloring. Yeah, it isn't rocket science.
In reference to the previous comment, the red dye only tastes bitter to "supertasters". Ask if they like brocolli, because the same "bitter" is in cruciferous veggies.

And never feed a baby black icing. EVER!

August 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I am loving your blog. This one is especially hilarious!!

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterT

This is why you smile, say "Okay, I'll pay.", pay with credit and dispute the charge. Just say no to paying for crap.

SHAME ON THE BAKER. There is no black on that cake. Clearly he/she did fulfill the customer's request. If black was not possible that should have been explained although I'm fairly certain I've seen cake with black details.

Black fondant circles! Down with airbrushing.

August 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Yeah, but if you can't do black, then say you can't do black. The baker shouldn't have agreed to do a black and white cake if black was a problem.

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think this cake is absolutely pretty. Sure, it may not be what they wanted, and the baker should have explained to the customer that black cake decoration had issues. Even if you do get it black, it tends to dye your mouth as well, which Im sure any girl whos willing to **cry** over the shading of her frosting would be upset over. For real, children are spoiled. My son gets hand made cakes, and says THANK YOU.

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterindigowulf

I have had both a cake with black icing (which in hindsight was a bad call, because it was really attractive to have black mouths after the fact), and made an Elmo cake with red icing. Used the gel coloring instead of regular food coloring and it tasted just fine!

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmie

I think the Birthday Girl's response is 'nuff said. The fact the cake retailer refused to give a refund is enough justification to KEEP THIS PICTURE ON THE WEBSITE in the event they complain. They have rescinded their right to have it removed. Failure to acknowledge their ghastly misdeed now denies them any right to recoup credibility. Shame on them!

September 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

awesome monkees reference!

September 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

as a grocery store cake decorator I had to comment on this. I have customers all the time that ask me to do black on whipped topping and I tell them I can't. Dark colours will fade in 10 minutes. They throw a fit, and say they'll find someone who CAN do it... some of them just tell me to do it anyways. And every time it's the same. Sometimes they just dont care, sometimes they get angry. Customers are idiots.

September 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaggi

Happy Black Plague honey!

October 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDominique

Loving the Monkees reference!

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaria S

"In reference to the previous comment, the red dye only tastes bitter to "supertasters"."

Trust me... red icing tastes nothing.... nothing... like broccoli. Red icing is horrifyingly bitter.

I can eat broccoli (raw or cooked) until the cows come home. I can't even LOOK at red icing without feeling nauseated.

October 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMudhooks

Perfect cake, comrade. If one child gets color, then they all must get color. Better to give the children a taste of the future. Grey, grey, grey

October 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTalia Davis - PR Director

Looks like the decorator was thinking of black and white movies or something. I also think you should post the name of this place so we can avoid patronizing a place run by such terrible people.

March 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

PS: Black fondant circles shouldn't have been a problem, right? Especially if they were somewhat small and sparse. Really, black food coloring stains like a bitch, but small amounts should be fine. What douchebags.

March 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I'd like to know where the person who said "Customers are idiots." works so that I can be sure to NEVER NEVER EVER frequent their establishment. Wow. This cake isn't as bad as some we've seen, lord knows, but it's pretty poorly done for having been commissioned by a bakery. This is not a home made cake, here. We can expect some misguidance from non-professionals. I wouldn't pay for this crap, either.

August 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMicken

I'm a teenage girl who has wanted a black and white cake for YEARS. And if the black icing colors my mouth??

I'm all about getting what I pay for, and also having fun with brightly colored icing.

August 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Eeyore would definitely love this cake - it matches his personality!

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwhizkidforte

To be perfectly honest, I like this cake - I actually think it's really pretty.
HOWEVER, it is clearly not what was paid for, and on that basis alone they should have received a refund.

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I agree with Maggi. When you tell people and tell them and tell them that icings like whipped topping don't hold colors. That a cake that is a dark red and dark blue (like the old Spider-Man Spinner cake) will fade to pastels, half the time I was told, do it anyways.

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFelis

Seriously, Black fondant guys, it won't bleed, and it's not hard to get right!!! Bakers are so dumb.

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHanako

Is it moon surface?
An old Petri dish culture?
Elderly leopard?

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

I have to say, if it's whipped, that's gonna happen. Most grocery stores don't have access to fondant, so black is hard to do. There's no excuse for the writing though.

May 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMage

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