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.

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Reader Comments (258)

Looks like they left this "cupcake" cake in the back window of the car for the hour or so drive that it took to pick it up.
You wouldn't do this to your kids or pets, would you? That is what air conditioning is for.

September 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That is not a monkey. that is a sasquatch drawn by mike mignola of hellboy fame.

September 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

OH the Curious George one... is... no words to express how shocked I was. NO resemblance other than they both had two eyes... Nucking Futs, man. Unbelievable!

September 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia

Poor Shara... That's the scariest monkey I've ever seen!

September 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFun T-shirts

Ojai is a wonderful little town just south of Santa Barbara (known as a Hollywood bedroom community). The Ojai cupcake was probably made at the local Vons. Does not represent Ojai one bit! It's pretty disgusting looking, considering I live in Ojai and know that there are fabulous cake makers in our small town. Don't let the cake give you the wrong image of Ojai (oh-hi) it's much prettier and certainly worth the drive. Yeah those cupcake/cakes...I don't get it.

September 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPercy Sales Events

I for one totally agree with you. Cupcake cakes are an unfortunate idea that someone came up with thinking they were being creative and not realizing it just wouldn't work. Also, I'm really not a fan of the cupcake wedding cake either. Unless it's pulled off by an expert, it just looks childish and messy. Get a real cake people!

September 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Oh wow. Those are pretty bad. I'd never known a cake could be done like this. Well, I guess the point you're making is that a cake CANNOT be done like this. How hilarious!

I love your blog, Jen. You're brilliant!

I've linked to you on my food blog at" REL="nofollow">my food blog. Hope I can help create some more Cake Wrecks fans!

September 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMangyCat

"poo souffle" = ROFL!!

September 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTheTurningWord

I can't believe no one has commented on Ojai.


September 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteranother Jen

I can't believe I'm sitting here on vacation in Ojai reading this blog about that horrific cake. Please someone, make a better cake for Ojai!

October 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLesley

I so very badly want to come to the Cupcake-Hating-Side. Do I get a membership card?

October 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterParrot

The monkey cake made me laugh so hard, I cried. I was laughing and crying at my desk for 10 minutes. I don't think it's a good idea for me to read this blog while at work from now on. Great stuff!

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHollie

This is the most hysterical site! Thanks for the laughs! The comments are as funny as the pics!

October 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I agree that THESE cakes are pretty bad.

However, for people who say they've never seen a successful cupcake cake:

October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHarry

I think cupcakes are fine if you're leaving them as CUPCAKES or decorating them individually, but when they're decorated as if they're a cake, it just looks stupid.

October 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternc

Sadly, the tag from that store is from a bakery/grocery store in Kansas called Dillions. Ah that is perfect. Beautiful even.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I guess the local Safeway has a genius baker or something,because the "pull-aparts" there always look very nice (Then again, that person manages to not slavishly adhere to the round edge of each & every cupcake). I would do the sunflower one, myself, if I had a reason.

November 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIron Chef Kosher!

For your information, THIS is what Curious George looks like:

I don't know where you got that picture...

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

this has to be one of the funniest blogs I've read to date. OMG CCC's area HUGE NO! Thanks for making it blatanly obvious why. Wreck on!!

December 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSpogden

I am a cake decorator and this is so, so sad. Let me say that cupcake cakes are fun and if you're good, you can make them look exactly like they're supposed to. I have done a curious george for my daughter and it was a HUGE hit. I've done Darth Vader, thomas the train, I can go on and on. So please eveyone, don't knock the cakes....knock the decorator. If the cakes in the case dont look good, don't order a cake from them.

December 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Ojai is a great town. Too bad it is being represented by this horrid cake here. As for the cupcake cake looking designs my guess is that a lot of teachers only want cupcakes in their classroom because it make it easier to serve. This may be why these cupcake cakes came about.

December 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLakenvelder

If you cut everything except the bottom right corner off the photo of the Ojai cake, and show it to people, not a single person won't be completely convinced that it's poop. If that's what the baker was trying to achieve, then they deserve an award, because the texture and color looks exactly like some California Crap. It's worth the drive to the bathroom stop, at least.

January 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I just "found" this blog, and can't tear myself away. I love your snarky humor. I had to finally comment on this entry, because the monkey cake looks like the elephant man. It is horrible!!!!

January 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristenWiley

My friend is a talented cake maker. She has made some of the most beautiful "cakes" from cupcakes but they look nothing like these. If you see one properly done you can't even tell it's not a cake. She's done everything from baby rattles, spider man, dinosaurs, crowns, bikinis, you name it and they are beautiful. And the thing we love is that we can get different flavors in one cake. We lover her chocolate and vanilla.

January 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

OMG the curious George does look like Chewbaccah! Horrible! I decorate cakes for Safeway, in Portland, Or. btw, & would have done much better, heh...

February 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I have been asked on rare occasions to make a cupcake cake. I don't think it came out too bad and I've seen other cupcake cake that were just as good if not better than regular cakes. Those cakes were just horrible. The monkey cake woman should have refused that cake and asked for a refund.

March 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSugar Mama NYC

I am a teacher, and let me tell you- cupcake cakes are my worst nightmare for birthday snacks! They are invariably messy disasters. Please, have mercy on your child's teacher and bring something that say 'kids jumping off the walls and covered in frosting!' Thanks.

April 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

OMGosh! I am lauughing uncontrollably! These cakes and your commentary are hilarious! Thanks so much! I am putting you in my reader fo' sho'!

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjessprof

That is so hileriouse!
I loved this post about the cupcakecakes. Even my husband was amused. :) Gorge cake,oh my gosh was that comedic. We laughed so hard!!!


June 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCharity

I'm from Ojai and that's hysterical. I also find it hysterical that people would vacation there. We're an hour and a half north of LA, 15 min inland from the beach. Yes, all the movie stars live here, and there is one road through town. It's beautiful and if you love art galleries then come on down. Otherwise, boring as hell. Born and raised there and then I moved. =)

Niki M.

June 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNikitabanana

CCC's are about to get alot better...or perhaps alot worse. I found these at a local BBB
So yes, silicone cupcake cups in exciting shapes will allow the home-baker to come up with far more interesting silhouettes than the traditional pile-of-circles!


July 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You have to admit that a pretty decent baseball glove could have been made out of the wrecktastic baseball instead.

August 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterchris

My bakery makes much better cupcake cakes... these were intentionally trying to get a picture on here...
*My mickey mouse Cupcake cake*

October 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterApryl S.

The turtle seems to be the long-neckius-shellus-extendus-outus-withus-theus-neckus type. quite common really, see them all the time...

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRicebubbles

CCC aren't all bad...I made a turtle one for my son's 1st birthday and it went over well. The monkey? That's the worst Curious George impersonation ever...

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

What about the cake pan that makes one giant cupcake-cake. It seems counter-intuitive no?

October 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

WOW! Those are bad. My mom made a Oscar the Grouch cupcake cake and it turned out really well.

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

I laughed till I cried and got a cramp thank you!!!

November 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGoodgirl58

I haven't laughed that hard in a LONG time... thanks for this blog! & the sarcastic writing is a big part of what makes it so hilarious.

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Ok ok, people, we got the message about Ojai! Please stop postinga bout it! lol

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShewholuvs2lol

As a 3rd grade teacher, I don't like the "cute cupcake creations" parents bring in to celebrate their child's birthday. I see other teachers feel the same way. Parent's good intentions equals a teacher's nightmare. The teacher is the "lucky one" to try to take apart the cupcakes and pass them out to excited students. The cupcakes stick to the board and each other. Pull one cupcake and you get frosting for three or no frosting at all because it is still stuck to the rest of the mass. Then there is the joy of bright colored frosting that dyes your fingers and the faces of the children...forever! My first experience with the giant cupcake trend was an alligator of the darkest green. I didn't know the cupcakes were frosted to the cardboard base. Yup, white frosting on the desktops, green frosting everywhere. Now when I see the parents bringing in this treat, I ask them if they would like to do the honors and pass out the treat. Let the parents do it, and you will never see a giant CCC again. The word gets around. Thanks for listening and the therapy. Sharon

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I had to deal with one as a teacher as well. A parent dropped it off for a child's birthday. I had to find a way to divide the thing without getting frosting everywhere. Needless to say, I had a lot of cleaning up to do. The icing clumped up on certain cupcakes and when I pulled them apart, the icing stuck to some and not to others. They can be a bigger mess than regular cakes. From then on, I decided they weren't worth it. Plus, the type of frosting that they use is disgusting.

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Check out the cupcake cannon! now they just need to adapt it for cupcake-cakes :)

May 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren O-T

Curious George?!? I'm in tears! That has to be the most furious "happy" monkey cake I have ever seen.

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I only know what Ojai is because of Brother's and Sisters and their "Ojai Foods" :D

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Actually, on an interesting side note, Turtles actually DO have a place in memorial day and fourth of july celebrations...well, at least they used to. Back in the old days when our country was still young, there were two foods that were an absolute favorite of americans on these holidays and were considered to be "All-American". The first of these was Ice Cream, and the other was TURTLE SOUP.

May 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlightkolagar

Very nice. I like it =)

June 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterComida Chinesa

I don't think cupcake-cakes even exist in Britain? I've never seen one at least....and now i'm just glad this is an american idea we've sensibly refused to adopt!

July 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFarberry

Lol I thought the monkey cupcake-cake was a Wookiee at first. My bad. ;) xx

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCupcakes Lady

Aaaarrrggghhh! Cupcake cakes! I totally agree with you on that front, Jen, and I have to say that one was in my dream last night! I've been working on a bowling cake design for my brother so I have had cake on the brain for the last few weeks. This is clearly stating to show, because into my head pops a disastrous interpretation of a bowling ball and a pin done in cupcakes and spoiling an otherwise good dream!

Haha :D Love the blog :)

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

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