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

Cupcake Cakes: Always Wrecktastic. Always.

I've recently been accused of hatin' on the cupcake cakes. Alright, you got me: I guess I can't hide the truth any longer, and it's time for me to come clean. [sigh] Ok, here goes:

Hi, my name is Jen, and I hate cupcake cakes.

Why? 'Cuz they're ugly.

Don't believe me? Keep reading.

For Shara's birthday her son asked the baker to make a "happy monkey cake" ala Curious George. Now, as a reminder for those of us who haven't watched Saturday morning cartoons in a while, here's what Curious George looks like:

And here's what Shara got for her birthday cake:

So apparently what the decorator heard was "Curious George after he's been flattened by a cement truck". That, or maybe he/she was going for an homage to Teen Wolf:

After he was flattened by a cement truck.

Yes, I understand that in concept these things are great: no clean-up, equal portions, blah blah blah, but in execution I've yet to see a nice one that wouldn't give you blue poo.

Wait - I have to take that back. If you happen to want a skinned Spiderman face, then you're going to love Alyson B.'s birthday cake:

All it's missing are little pegs holding down the edges of his mask. (Yeah, let's call it a mask; that's less disturbing than "face skin".)

Or how about this appetizing little number?

According to Mei L., this is supposed to say "Ojai! It's worth the drive!". Now, I would love to ask what the heck "Ojai" is, but I'm way too distracted by the poo souffle on the bottom. Honestly, this thing is in serious competition with the moldy camo cake in my "dry-heave-inducing" category.

What's that? You're still not convinced that cupcake-cakes are always wreckalicious? Oh, I get it: you're saying these designs have been too complicated, right? That a simpler design would look better?

Something, for example, like this?

Ah, you're right. This IS better. I mean, "round" is a concept obviously beyond the decorator's grasp, but at least she stuck with plain white frosting. Nik P. was the manager on duty at the bakery where this was ordered (and subsequently rejected). He writes, "As the manager on duty, I immediately took the appropriate action: I took a picture to post on the internet."

I like your thinking, Nik.

Have I convinced you yet? No? Ok, my last argument, at least for today's post:

Monique R. sent in this "creative" gem taken by Jen S. You can see that Pokey's head was obviously tacked on as an afterthought: it's not even on the cake board. Plus, the angle of his face makes it look like someone twisted his unnaturally long neck 180 degrees; last I checked, turtles don't walk around facing the sky. From the giant American flag he's resting on, I would assume this was taken around the 4th of July or Memorial Day, both holidays known for their inclusion of... turtles. Erm. Yeah.

Come to the Cupcake-Cake-Hating-Side. We have real cakes.

« What's in a Name? | Main | Wall-E, the Cake Wreck(er) »

Reader Comments (258)

Ick! That George one is awful, well most of them are.
I've seen some cupcakes done beautifully actually and I have liked those.
These, however, are terrible.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Oh my goodness..... they really are the worst! I love this blog - it is such fun! Thanks so much!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusi

C'mon, get it right: Easton is a bat, Rawlings is a baseball. Seriously, it cracks me up to hear of a kid named Easton, especially in conjunction with bat-and-ball sports. The produce manager at my old work was a HUGE softball weekend-warrior dude, and it surprised NO ONE when he named his boy Easton.

Although I guess it could be worse, I have heard of kids named Espn (pronounced "ess-pin")

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

here's one more reason not to like cupcake cakes....

Though I have to say as an amature decorator and lover of cupcakes these wrecks only inspire me to create the most pretty and non weird or poo dying cupcake cake ever...well maybe not ever but that I've ever seen...

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMab

The Ojai wreck almost put me off breakfast. I'm sitting here eating a bagel w/veggies & bacon, licking the green avocado mush off my fingers whilst staring at the wreck and being reminded of the catbox poo I'd scooped an hour earlier. Bleh. Don't like the overuse of icing with cupcake cakes, but I have made some decent pixel/8-bit cupcake groupings. Sorry, no pics. Admired, eaten, then back to console to help Mario kick monkey-butt

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermsyendor

I have only seen one cupcake "cake" that I liked. It was a Christmas tree & decorated individually. Turned out so darling. Too bad I forgot to take a pix, eh?

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersues2u2

I thought the same thing as a previous post...that Ojai cake is the same design as the Farewel 6th Grades cake...just horribly done. Looks like it's been left in a hot car.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

if someone gives you a cupcake cake, you really need to think about what you did to make them not like you. real friends give you real cakes, or cupcakes that are appreciated for what they are. cupcake cakes are just cruel.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterari brown

Ok, I had never heard of cupcake cakes til I got here...but I think they are hidious...and lazy. How hard is it to cut cake in similar sized pieces. I'm no rocket scientist and I can manage it. As for the 'Curious George' cupcake fiasco, that looks more like the thing that those guys tried to pass off as the Bigfoot they captured this summer. Icky.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I hereby solemnly swear that I will never attempt to make a cupcake cake. I wonder how those kiddies are holding up after seeing the Spiderman and Curious George cakes? I see nightmares in their futures.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercraftygeekmama
September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHyla Waldron

thanks kansas girl, now i've got visions of lolcat cupcake cake dancing through my head. still less disturbing than the poo-ffle, though.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertorgo jr.

These aren't quite cupcake cakes, but they all go together to form a game: Cupcakes of Catan!

I think they're quite clever.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterturbidity

Cupcakes at a party: O.k you've convinced me. Heck, no!

Cupcakes in general: Via Va la Cupcakes! (Umm, that a yea.)

Horrible Spiderman, Hurrendous Curious George, Not bad Baseball cupcake.(Though question: Why not done individually?)

O.k, O.k, I get it now! Ojai is a small town in California. Enough already! Shessh!


September 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterclueuin

Ojai is definitely not worth the drive. Do you know how far away it is even from L.A.'s boonies? Bleh. Also that Van Gogh cupcake cake someone posted is amazing!


September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

@ the anonymous at 10:30 - No, cupcake cakes *aren't* good things to send to your kid's school for a birthday party. Decorated cupcakes are, but the cupcake cakes add this thick layer of frosting that extends past the cupcake and leads to hideous messes (and often stained fingers).

Decorated cupcakes. No utensils, no plates, infinitely less of a frosting mess.

gah! I loathe cupcake cakes. What a stupid idea. Don't get me wrong. I love cupcakes and I love cake cakes. But they are not meant to be together. Lovely wrecks BTW.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHippy Goodwife

They have silicone molds for making cupcake cakes w/cupcakes shaped to fit together to make the overall cake

the Ojai cake looks like Curious George flung on his own 'finishing touch'...blech!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterphillygirl64

You know, when I looked at the Ojai 'cake' my first thought was poo frappe, but I think souffle may be a better description of the texture.

Either way, that's one vile 'cake!'

I've said it before and I'll say it again: individual, beautifully iced cupcakes = awesome; masses of cupcakes with huge overhangs of icing = revolting.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTwistie

Did anyone notice the turtle has two heads? It has the cupcake head that's off the cardboard, then it has a vaguely arrow-shaped "neck" where it attaches to the cake. I have a pet turtle, and that arrow shape is shaped much more like their actual heads! So, maybe this is in celebration of a two-headed turtle? But then you're eating it, so maybe the turtle died?

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLadyCiani

If you want a decorated cake, go with the cake, if you want cupcakes, go with cupcakes. There is no point in ruining good cake design or good cupcakes with an overload of frosting and bad form. I just don't see the point, except not needing a utensil to cut the cake apart? It's still messy pulling those apart, like the teacher said. If you're serving cupcakes to kids, because you don't want to cut up a big cake, get the individually decorated ones. They are much cuter on their small scale.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWild Child

I am reconsidering my previous comment because of the Gourmet cupcake cake cover that someone linked to. I think that cupcake cakes are distasteful only when they try to disguise themselves as regular cakes. A pile of cupcakes artfully arranged but that still look like cupcakes look very pretty!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRuth

My almost 5 year old said to me "Mom, I don't want that cake for my birthday, there is poop on it".

Yeah, even my 4 year old knows better. LOL!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShandelle

So what are you feelings on cupcakes in general?

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

Alas, I am sad and confused. I'm a lover of cupcakes. Just cupcakes. The very term "cupcake cakes" is redundant and should be a warning that something has been altered beyond good taste. I'm a pretty practical gal, but "even portions" do not outweigh the ugly factor of these cakes. Any reasonable child would sob with fright when they saw the "Curious George" cake. I don't get it. Please let the cupcakes stand alone!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHi Kooky

Unless have things have changed, people are failing to mention that Ojai is really just an art lovers hippie town.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterinspector voyeur

Ok - that poop cupcake just made me loose my desire for lunch.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCrochet by Momma J

That monkey cake bears far more resemblance to a Green Man of Celtic mythology:

That fact does not make it any more appealing.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMetalNoir

poo souffle!!!!! BAHAHAHAHA!!!!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Courteous Chihuahua

man, that Ojai cake is frightening. The "meat slab" portion looks like it came from The Gallery of Regrettable Food.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

OMG!! Do you realize what we have here?? The Ojai cake is a wreck of the Farwel cake---it's a

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterUnder the Radar

One cupcake cake I actually liked was of Elmo, but other than that, yeah, cupcake cakes are not good. Plus, the frosting to cake ratio is way out of whack. Do we really want kids to be eating that much sugar at a birthday party?!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

I think cupcake cakes are cheesy!! I hadn't even heard of one til I went to an adult church function where they had one!! WHATEVER!! GIVE YOUR KIDS A REAL CAKE!!!!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Engelhardt 4

Omigosh, girl detective, that cupcake DOES look like a breast. Yikes!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRana

I think a better decorator could have made the first wreck a lot less Geico-caveman-on-crystal-meth, and a whole lot more monkey like.

It still would have been ugly, but maybe not so emotionally scarring.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterL. R. Jonté

We had a cupcake cake for a party for Girl Guides. It was great. No clean up. I loved it!

These...not so much! It must be really hard to decorate on a whole bunch of cupcakes.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterManders

One could ALSO make the argument that the Curious George cupcake cake looks more like the Beast from Disney's Beauty and the beast:

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLTP

Okay, so I get that cupcake cakes aren't the best design wise. But it's the best way to get a good frosting to cake ratio! It's as if everyone gets a corner piece!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRonnica

I guess I have been living under a rock. I've been making wedding cakes for over 25 years, and never heard of a cupcake cake until this blog. I just don't get it. What does one do, just arrange the cupcakes and dump frosting on them? Does it sink into all the spaces left by trying to make a shape out of round cupcakes? Does that make for an extraordinary amount of frosting? Isn't that kind of messy when handing out the cupcakes? Inquiring minds....

Cupcakes are a stand alone dessert and shouldn't be smushed together to pretend to be a cake.

The Ojai cake made me shudder. And that's something I don't do often.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPrinceton McKinney

It would sure be nice if people would read at least 2 comments before posting. I swear 75% of these tell us where Ojai is.

I solemnly swear to never serve a cupcake cake. PROMISE!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thank you! I needed a good laugh today! ALL of those are wrecktastic...very much so!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Now THIS is a Curious George cupcake cake.

I thought the one for Shana was Chewbacca when I first saw it...

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura in VA

Yuck... too bad for the Ojai cake. I was born in Ojai (pronounced O-hi). Pretty place hidden in the mountains and I miss it. Looks nothing like that cake wreck.

Love your blog!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWatsonFamily

oh good, we're away from the vicarious cannibalistic theme and back with the multi-hued poo cakes.

It's safe to go back on the internet, folks.

Or maybe not...

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Yeah, those are all absolutely heinous. I understand why people hate cupcake cakes if this is the type of quality they're being exposed to. (I can't completely join in the hate, as I've seen in person a couple good cupcake cakes that didn't rely on two inches' worth of frosting to make the designs.)

Heads up to the baker of the flattened-Curious-George cupcake monstrosity:" REL="nofollow">here's how you make a monkey cupcake cake. And have a cute" REL="nofollow">Jolly Roger cupcake cake, too.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I've made 2 cupcake cakes in my time, and they are a beast to decorate! Though I'm convinced mine are wayyyy cuter than the ones in this post, I don't dare share them for fear of humiliation. :)

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal Chick

Here's some decent looking cupcake cakes:

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Thank you for saving us all from the grave mistake of a cupcake assemblage! I usually think to myself, "Well, the kids won't care what it looks like as long as it tastes good." Now I'm not so sure. Freakin' hilarious!

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbarelyknittogether

The Van Gogh cupcake monstrosity linked PROVES the point - Van Gogh didn't paint Starry Night on a scalloped-edge diner placemat! And the photos of the stack of cupcakes is NOT the same as the cupcake cake. When you try to make a shape out of a bunch of circles - it's not always going to be pretty! Not to mention - if you WANT cupcakes, why not just HAVE cupcakes? Why do they have to pretend to be anything else??

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDea

I made ONE" REL="nofollow">cupcake cake for my girls' birthdays - they were 1 and 3 years old that year. It wasn't hideous, but the amount of icing on each one was disgusting. Individual cupcakes are my birthday treat of choice now, at least until they're old enough to ask for a regular cake instead.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkimbalaya

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