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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
Monday
Sep082008

I Think I've Just Been Punk'd

If you guys thought the first wedding disaster cake was bad, hold on to your pantaloons.

Alright, let's set the scene: here's what the bride asked for, only in all white with minor green accents.

Now, I would tell you to take a moment to prepare yourselves for the horror you're about to witness, but frankly no amount of time would be adequate. So just go ahead and scroll down now.


I'll give you a moment.

[whistling]

Back in your seat now? Good. Because believe it or not, there's more. Aw yeah.

1) The top tier still had the Springform pan under it.

2) The cake "base" is a metal sign.

3) I swear I am not making this up.

Ok, so the bottom levels are covered with a fondant lumpier than the Bearded Lady's thighs, and the top tier is the wrong shape and isn't even iced completely. I see all that, and yet you know what the funniest bit to me is? Those green lines up the sides, which I can only assume are attempts at "ribbons": not only are they as unlike ribbons as icing can possibly get, but they don't even line up! Somehow that last bit of lunacy just sends me over the edge.

(This post is also the first in a new category: Missed Marks. Because nothing is quite so wrecktastic as when you see what it was supposed to look like.)

Now like you, I'm sure, I was highly skeptical about this being a "professional" cake. However, the e-mail came from the bride herself, and she seemed outraged enough to be telling the truth. (Yes, a replacement cake was procured at the eleventh hour.) I can only assume the icing and generic tips in the photo were purchased to try and "fix" the cake after it was picked up. In fact, Vicky C., if you're reading this, you might want to chime in on the Comments section now, just to back me up here.

[crickets chirping]

Vicky? Er, Vicky, c'mon now, this isn't funny.

[crickets still chirping]

Seriously, Vicky: tell the people I'm telling the truth. Vicky? Er...Vicky?

Vicky?!?

UPDATE: YES!! Vicky the bride has spoken!!! Check the Comments section for her assurances of this cake's validity. (You'll have to scroll waaaay down; you guys are certainly letting your voices be heard on this one, aren't you?)

« The Painted Cake Cometh | Main | Fan Wrecks »

Reader Comments (274)

i also think you've been punked ... but what's the point of punking cake wrecks? cake wrecks is a totally innocent, lovely blog. seems like a waste of cake and makes no sense to me.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

very unusual design :)))

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwww.simply-the-best.ru

I don't even know what to say! I cannot imagine anyone charging money for this?!

Thank you so much for sharing though. :D

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterParenting Boys

This is obviously home-made. Check out the cake decorating flora and fauna on the messy counter. Why would the "professional" supply the photo with the cake? That's the only way the customer would get it.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That is just...tragic. But count me among those having a hard time believing that was made by a professional (unless it was specifically to get on this blog).

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSheri in Rehoboth

For the people who are mentioning the plaid cake as equally fake... I am not so sure about that. The picture looks as if it is at a wedding, and the bride was very active in replying to that one.

This one? Well, we've all gone through it, and Vicki still hasn't escaped her cake depression to comment!

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBianca

ahahahahah
I don't even know what to say! xD
that's awesome

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

OMG I FIGURED IT OUT!! Here's what happened: the "cake" was delivered with only TWO layers (in the NyQuil green) and some kind, misguided soul tried to "fix" it by making a third layer for it, but they didn't have a) a square pan, b) the same green icing, and c)a recipe for fondant. Voila! So this is probably a picture of someone's attempt to fix the "professional" cake. So it's twice as bad. *sheds tear*

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPaige

I'm actually starting to enjoy the Fondant Ghetto discussion. I think we need a whole blog devoted to ghetto fondant.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

WOW!

I read this post twice, yesterday the remarks about "seeing the original cake" didn't make sense. I just realized now that the cake above is what the cake on the bottom was supposed to look like...

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Somehow, I feel slightly frightened looking at this cake - on so many levels. I just cannot believe, no offense to the bride, that there was just no "inkling" this "wedding cake lady" (to be kind) was less than professional? No clues at all? Was there a book of previous work to view, people to call for references, an actual address to visit - with doors and windows? I clearly am asking more questions and providing answers - not a good way to start my Tuesday (wink). M in Oklahoma

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteri_am_not_kidding

http://whywouldyouknitthat.blogspot.com/ they should have ordered this knitted one

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjoyce

OMG! I think the bride would get off on probation if she attacked the baker! I thought I was upset when my wedding cake had icing flowers that were too dark to match my colors...but this...this could ruin a marrige.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjencoe

sweet smokin' judas, somebody needs to get this decorator into rehab immediately! Never drink before you decorate.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMicksmom2

Actually, it looks like someone started to try to fix it. Look at the enlarged picture (click on it). The spatula has the neon green ribbon scraped off from around the bottom of the top layer, and the top of the second layer shows evidence of the scraping. The lighter green in the baggie appears to be what the bride's family tried to refrost it with, probably so it would go with the wedding colors better. Sure, they failed, but at least they tried to save some of the train wreck from derailing before they gave up and got a store bought.

~Jenger

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjengersnap

@paige -- that's what I assumed, that this was a photo of someone's good-hearted, last-minute attempt to fix the professional cake. Hence the local-kitchen look, and hence having the picture in the kitchen at all (both of which have been cited as proof that it's a fake.) Adding disaster to what was already disaster doesn't make it a fake.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

This is Vicky (aka the bride). Yes this cake is real, the baker (who manages a catering company) told me I could melt marshmallows and....crisco to try to fill in some of the 'gaps'. My mother in law and a friend tried to salvage the cake before we decided it couldn't be done, which is why you see the bag of marshmallows and the tips, my mother in law tried to fix it before I saw it since she had picked it up. But yes it is real, I have witnesses and tears were shed over this.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVicky (the bride)

I actually buy this (and by buy, I mean believe, because I would never buy this cake!). My former sister in law, needed to go "cheap" for her wedding, and decided to spend a fortune on invites and skimp on the cake. She asked a friend who wanted to go profession to make a three tiered blue and white cake. What she got looks similar to this mess. But at least it tasted good.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

This cake has quite clearly been Photoshopped. I can tell from the pixels. Also, I've seen quite a few shoops in my time.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

OMG, Vicky! You poor dear! Though, LMAO, you will at least have a funny story all your life, right???

What did the replacement cake look like??? That's what I'm dying to know!!!

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDea

Jen, you should post Vicky's response in the body of the post. I can't believe all the people that didn't consider that someone had brought this home with them, attempted to fix it, and took a picture of it for possible proof in a law suit (which is what I'd be doing if someone expected payment for such a monstrosity) after they realized just how far gone it was.

Vicky, I'm glad you were able to find a replacement cake! Its unbelievable that someone in a professional catering position actually thought that would be ok to present for you at your wedding!

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

okay, this is my take on the subject. i think her parents picked up this cake and realized it was crap. being the kind, yet overwhelmed parents they were, they tried to FIX the cake the best way they could. that could account for the counter full of ingredients and the frosting not matching. the bride wakes up before dear old mom and dad can fixing the disaster that is this cake and she *although very mad* has enough good sense to take a picture of the mess for a future laugh (or lawsuit). of course we all could have been punked, but that is a lot of effort to make something that ugly..i can't bake myself, but i am sure i could do loads better than that.

when i saw this picture, it too reminded me of the Titanic dresses from hades. some people are just too embarrassed to admit they have failed or are in over their heads and pretend the subject does not exist until it is too late.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Dear God...how depressed can a baker be...looks like someone was having a really bad day! I nearly choked when I saw the picture of the 'real' cake after the 'hopeful' cake! Thanks for a good hoot on a rainy day in Maine!
Patricia

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia

I think there's a lesson here: Beware of drunk bakers...

Mini-Marshmallows: I use a homemade fondant recipe that uses marshmallows and powdered sugar (it's smooth, works well quickly, and--as for fondant goes--it tastes pretty good). I'm wondering if they were attempting that... and f'ing that up, too.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris

WOW What a horrid cake. I thought our wedding cake was horrible when the decorator used the wrong type of dye to get black icing that she piped all over the place. And our entire wedding party pictures show everyone with solid black teeth. Nice...............

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think it's real. I used to work at a bakery, and we'd package up tiers and instructions for building the cake to send with people who were outside our mileage range of delivering. If the people who picked it up didn't bother looking at the quality in the store. . . or didn't drive carefully. . . they definitely could end up with this!

That's why we always showed ours to people IN STORE, so if it got home and was wrecked, hey, not our fault!!!

I too, would attempt to fix it and take a photo of it it. Hence, like Vicky said, the kitchen stuff.

Also, just because someone is a "professional" does NOT mean they do good work. However, it also does not mean they can't find a customer base--after all, there is NO accounting for taste. I learned that after a "professional" in-law did some work for my wedding. . . I thought it was HORRID and the in-laws thoguht it was lovely. YIKES.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLouise

I came here via Consumerist.com, and I am already addicted to the site. Bravo for creating this, I'm adding it to my blogs worth reading section on my blog.

Oh, and many apologies to Vicky for this cake, I hope you got the bakers to refund your money.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Black Dog

Since I'd never heard the Titanic Dresses story, here's a link to that story - it's pretty darned funny, and just a bit scary! LOL!

http://www.etiquettehell.com/content/eh_wedding/humor/etitanic.shtml

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDea

Hate to be a dissenting voice here, but I think that using the metal sign (which appears to be under an actual cake board) is actually really creative. At least they know that the cake is on something sturdy.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I enjoy the wrecks on this site as much as anyone else. But you know, I'm really dismayed by the comment posted by Anonymous on September 8, 2008 1:53 PM, and by the absence of any sort of comment, forget outrage, at the writer's explicit bias against a particular ethnic group. How come no other commenter seems to notice that sneering description of "parents from India"? And how come Jen herself allowed that comment to appear, when comments here are moderated? Is this silence assent? Is no one else offended? Why has no one said a word?

I feel nauseated. If I stay silent about this, I am as culpable as anyone else, and as bigoted.

- Not Racist, I Hope

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

So...I really thought the so-called "ribbons" down the side of the cake was just runny icing! This is seriously wrong and yet, so hilarious ! Thanks for always making me laugh !

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJames ~n~ Amber

Poor Vicky, I hope you can get another cake in time! /hugs

I really feel awful for you, I know how stressful it is planning a wedding and things going wrong like this are the last thing you want!

Hope you two have a wonderful day and don't let the cake spoil it for you!

Keep us posted on how it all goes!

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I made my daughter's wedding cake last week and don't you bet that I was thinking about this site all the while I was working on it! It wasn't great, but she loved it. And no, I will NOT post a photo of it, or it might be added to the collection here!

At least it looked better than this one.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBev Sykes

Hey all!

This is John, the hubby of the great Jen. Allow me to apologize for the comment posted earlier by Anonymous which had a derogatory comment about Indian people. It has been removed.

I have begun to help Jen moderate some comments while she answers the thousand e-mails she gets daily. We try not to censor content when we can and, frankly, I usually just look for "bad" words. That said, we have had a few slip through and you should know that I truly appreciate your input when it comes to matters such as these.

If you would like to comment, please remember that there are hundreds of thousands of people who will read what you write. The whole point of Cake Wrecks is to laugh at goofy cakes, not to belittle one another based on ethnicity or anything else.

Thanks.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn (the hubby of Jen)

Oh man....I'm glad Vicky's cake day was saved, because that cake belongs on People's Court as Exhibit A (like a previous commenter said) *smh*

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterfug estate

I'm a baker and all I can say is shocking, simply shocking. Who would ever let the customer even see this nightmare of a cake, let alone try to charge them and then tell them to melt CRISCO, crisco for god's sake, with marshmallows and fix it themselves? After paying? Just Shocking!!

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteradozeneggs

this is absolutely hysterical - I love your blog. And this post in particular, wow!! Poor bride, poor cake, poor readers! I'll never look at a perfectly presented Tiffany box again. :)

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristie Lavigne

Oh, Vicky, you're so brave!

If my mother brought this cake to my wedding, I think I would have ascribed it to her passive aggressive hatred of me!

I hope your replacement cake was better (although how could it not be..) Could you share pix? Your original choice was wonderful (not prissy!), and I hope there was a good reason for the cake wreck (illness of the cook, or their child, an earthquake, or other huge event..) and that the 'cook' could someday be forgiven!

--
(Jon, I agree, there is no reason for ANY site to have comments that belittle ANY race! Thank you for helping Jen with moderating, you both are doing a great job!)

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrandy

PLEASE POST VICKY'S EXPLANATION IN THE MAIN POST so people will quit saying idiotic things. Thanks!

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterchristine

I cannot stop laughing.

Oh, the humanity!

Vicky, I'm sorry - what a bloody nightmare for you! (If it helps, the original, desired cake? Is lovely - and your taste is impeccable.)

Seriously, can you rupture something from laughing too hard?

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaryn

What's that smell? Oh, just something the bull did.

This is. not. a professionally prepared cake, nor even the work of a talented amateur.

Please, I thought Cake Wrecks was about more than ugly cakes. Anyone can make one. It takes true talent to make a professional Cake Wreck.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commentervicki

I really hope poor Miss Vicky didn't actually have to pay for that wreck!!!! or the one she had to buy to replace it! sheesh!!!

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Vicky,
I just want to warn you that the person who made this cake....she hates you. She hates your guts. Beware.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Ohh my gosh! How can someone hand this over and not be emberassed....

September 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Hedvig

professional caterer does not equal professional cake decorator/baker. What is the definition of professional around here? Just because you pay someone to make a cake doesn't make them pro.. however, it doesn't take talent to get a license to run a business... UGH!

September 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

I agree with vicky. And IMHO someone who submitted a hoax coming back and saying it's not a hoax doesn't count as verification that it's authentic.

Granted there are first times for everything, but this is the first time that a supposed professional has left a pan in a cake AND the first time a cake's been posted after it was supposedly repaired -- I'm assuming that extra information was provided only after people cried foul.

Just to many derivations from the cake wreck norm for me to buy it.

The bottom two layers look passable, if not great, absent the different colored frosting drips that just happen to coincide with the color of the second batch of frosting.

I bet this was a passable three square layers cake, something happened to the top layer, and someone tried to patch something together, gave up and dripped some of the second batch of frosting on the sides to try and make it harken back to the quite verifiable plaid disaster and tried to pass it off as a "professional wreck"

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get a life.

September 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSherry

Okay, I do love this blog. However as a cake decorator, I know that you do NOT pick up a tiered cake. A professional would assemble the cake at the reception hall. Sooo quite frankly, I think the "bride" is lying.

Rochelle

September 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

OK -- as a cake decorator, here's some insight into this "wreck."

1) The two bottom layers possibly could be from a "professional." Square pans are not all that common, and the sizes are comprable to the original design.

2) The (once) three tiered cake was iced in butter-cream, and then covered with fondant. Again, standard baking practice.

3) The cake was picked up by a family member, who placed them in a warm wehicle. (CLUE: THEY took delivery? Unusual, unless someone was saving money because there was a long ride ahead leading to the "cover-up"...read on)

4) In unreasonable temperatures (like over 80) the butter-cream under the fondant began to melt, leading to the cellulite-like appearance of the 2 bottom tiers.

5) The top tier: maybe smashed by a sudden car stop, or, maybe the green fondant bow melted as well, and oozed coloring over the top tier.

6) The cover-up begins: "someone" peeled off the top tier's fondant, exposing the butter-cream below.

7) "Someone" (we see your kitchen -- HA!) then called the baker in a panic, likely after the shop closed, asking how to repair/make fondant. Hence, the directions to melt marshmallows. Yes, this is a step in a home-made fondant that some like, though it is generally not used by larger bakeries.

8) The tell-tale error (as Poe's sub-floor heart gave it away too) -- this cake WAS reconstructed: the ribbon traces are not contiguous. See -- the lines show the cake was turned.

My Lord -- why do I even care?

* goes off to pipe butter-cream roses*

September 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Can you believe this post has gotten more comments than the ire-provoking Meat Cakes??
this is at least comment #199. wow, lot's of folks are upset about this one.
I do think Vicky's story would carry more weight if we had a picture of the original, as picked up, cake. The post-repair attempt photo is very confusing and has caused most of the angst here. Clearly there was a cake that was poorly constructed and may have been payed for. And if someone was going to punk Jen, they would have had enough sense to hide the evidence. But we still don't know how bad the wreck was before the repairers had at it.

September 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Gotta say, to whoever says you don't get a tiered cake delivered put together...my tiered wedding cake came assembled from a professional.

I fully believe this is a professional cake. There are ALL levels of professionals. Anyone can slap down the money for a business license and start charging money.

Stop all the hating and just enjoy!

September 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterensie

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