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

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.


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?


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 (277)

I believe the story because it most likely looked different at the time it was picked up. Although the execution is really chumpy, you can tell the cake was transported poorly and heat affected the fondant. You can see that the transitions are melted, and the buttercream is busting out from between the layers making the fondant lumpy. That happens when cakes get warm. Sucks for them.

September 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercupcakeking

You would be amazed at how often this happens. Many "professionals" are operating unlicensed from a home kitchen and have web sites that display cakes that they didn't make (and don't have the ability to make). We hear stories from brides all of the time.

Sorry this happened to you Vicky!

As for the comment about the bride lying because cakes are always assembled at the reception site... that is completely false. We deliver over 250 fully stacked wedding cakes every year and most of our competitors deliver the same way.

September 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPieceOfCake

This really makes me want to cry. On so many levels. For the poor bride and for the poor person who was disillusioned enough to believe the was some sort of justice in charging for this cake.
While not every professional cake I have made has been exactly what the person was looking for (mostly because people can be incredibly vague in their specifications), but never has I seen such a horrendous miss.

September 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPinky

I'm surprised everyone assumes a "professional" cake means it has to come from a bakery and not from a person's kitchen. The groom's cake at our wedding came from a professional baker who worked out of her home, and I know women now who own their own cake businesses, all working out of their homes. (But they do have portfolios and web sites.)

Both cakes I had at my wedding (tiered wedding cake from a bakery and one-layer groom's cake from the self-employed baker) were delivered directly to my reception, I didn't pick them up. But it's perfectly possible they could have arrived in horrible shape and I wouldn't have been able to fix it, since I didn't see either one until after the wedding. Our regular wedding cake almost didn't arrive at all...after frantic calls from people in my family, it was finally delivered and set up only moments before the reception started.

September 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterali

I can't belive it ....(of course i do believe it) but really
If i were the decorator O would not know where to crawl under first.

September 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDe Koekjesfee

Amen, Ensie! This is a wreck of a funny-looking cake. Thanks to Jen and John for posting fun stuff for our enjoyment! Vicky, great story.

September 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

this is a home job, made by the mother in law in her attempt to help out, but I don't buy that this is a pro wedding cake at all. really. sorry.

September 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterchristal

I love George Ramilton's explaination. I could just see that happening on a bad sitcom!! I'm really sorry for Vicki though. I just had my 8th wedding anniversary this week, and if my cake had looked like that, I think I'd still be having nightmares.

P.S. I LOVE this Blog!!

September 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLauren N.

As a professional photographer, I agree,t hat anyone can get a biz license and call themselves professional and charge money. I have seen some really crappy "pro photogs" out there who claim they have 15 years of experience but still they're photos look like DOO DOO. So to me, this is VERY believable. My SIL runs an amateur cake business from her own kitchen, BUT, she does a MUCH more fab job!
Oh Vicky, I'm SO sorry! Can we see a pic of the replacement?

September 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeni

The saddest thing is that the person who made it actually gave the bride's mother tips on how to FIX it. WTF is that about?!

I think I'd still eat it, though. Well, I'd at least have a taste. Yeah, it's a wreck, but cake is cake...

September 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermaes

what were the marshmallows for??

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

I honeslty cannot believe that came from professional (caterer or cake decorator) in that state. Looks to me like it met with disaster during transport and the family attempted to fix it. I am just learning cake decorating, and even I could make something better looking...I think my 1 year old could. Who ever picked that cake up needs to fess up - NO WAY it came from the creator in that state.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous I'm making my own wedding cake and have made some cakes in the last 6 months as fondant practice as I feel I'm "average" right now.. (I know how you love quoties ever so much.) I didn't think anyone would be capable of creating something like this. Upon comparison, I now consider myself and expert in cake making. How much does a piping bag cost... 5.00$??????? They're using a ZIPLOC BAG with the corner cut off!!!!!!! I'm horrified and I don't think I'll sleep for quite some time.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaylee R.

I can't think of any expletive creative to describe the horrible distance between the two pictures. I've had my disasters, but I've never been tempted to leave in a pan, or lay the thing on a sign.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow, really, who cares if it's real anyway? I did like the theories from the pros, though. Seems fairly likely that it melted at some point and was picked at to try to fix it. Still looks pretty funny.

September 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

WOW! As a previous cake decorator and a person who has seen her share of ugly cakes, this one is the top of all that is ugly. There is so much to say about this cake. And whoever made it should NEVER promise a cake again. Who puts a wedding cake on a metal sign? Who keeps parts of the pan in the cake? Wow, too many questions... And this is why we always had pictures of our previous cakes to show brides that yes, we can do their cake!

September 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeganSloan

no way in hell i would eat that f... thing it looks disgusting,
that poor bride should sue the baker!!
that is the greatest cake wreck ever

September 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

"Anonymous said...

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.


September 10, 2008 3:36 PM"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sorry Rochelle, but not all cake decorators assemble onsite. I am a pastry chef and custom cake designer, and I assemble all of my cakes (even multi-tiered wedding cakes) prior to delivery (as do many other designers I know). They are delivered fully assembled, some customers do choose to pick up as they do not want to pay the delivery charge. Not to say I entirely believe this story, but your argument against it doesn't necessarily hold weight.

September 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTara

As a cake decorating teacher, I have to say that my Course 1 students could do better than this. Did someone let their 7 year old make this wedding cake?

October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennie

I think our person with the Sept 10th anonymous comment hit the nail right on the head. I think this is a bad patch up job by the family that was supposed to be responsible for picking up the cake and botched the job.

October 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

HAHAHAH. I burst out laughing when I saw that horrid "attempt."

Seriously, where do people find these "professional" cake decorators?

October 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterstephenÆ’agger

With all of the comments regarding this cake, no one has yet explained why the baker left a springform ring around one of the tiers. I find it difficult to believe it wasn't noticed when frosting the layer...

October 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFeisty_Granny

Pretty sweet, free cake (I am assuming they didn't pay for it). At least I am sure that is what the groom said.

December 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Not all cakes are assembled at site of the wedding reception. My three tiered wedding cake was already assembled when it was dropped off; we watched them take it out of the box. Just because your particular location doesn't do it that way, doesn't mean every one is the same.

I still don't get how they didn't notice the springform pan. It just baffles me. I also think that Vicky and family were trying their hardests to fix a cake done by a so-called professional. I have seen this happen on my occasions.

February 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShayna

No way. That is homemade marshmallow fondant if I ever saw it. I know because I made a marshmallow fondant icing once for a cake... and yes... they look all droopy and lumpy like that because the marshmallow ends up freaking HEAVY! Obviously, this has GOT to be a hoax, or a picture taken when the cake was in the middle of being made. Because look... there are the marshmallows right there!

February 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbrookie

Let me start off by saying that this cake is indeed real and not a hoax of any sort. How do I know you may ask? Well, I was present when this cake was brought to Vicky's in-laws home. Further more, I was the one who took the photograph of the aforementioned "wreck". The top tier was actually round as it is pictured and not some botched attempt at a tier replacement. When the cake arrived the top tier had begun to slide off to one side of the cake, due to the less than level second tier. Thus the top tier was removed in an attempt to "realign" the three tiers and hopefully save the cake..structurally speaking of course. Upon doing so we discovered the spring-form pan contained within the tier, which was completely encased in icing. As such, the top tier was gently positioned closer to the center of the second tier. Imagine if you will the top tier to the right most extreme of the second tier, and you will have a fair representation of the cake upon arrival. At this point we had given up all hope of "saving" this monstrosity. The butter cream icing in the bag you see was our attempt to try and match the wondrous shade of green we were presented with. However, with a lack of professional decorating supplies at hand, we were forced to "make due" with what we had, so to speak. And as for the mini-marshmallows, they were indeed intended for leveling the bottom tiers, but thank god it never came to that. On another note, the mini-marshmallows actually tasted quite good. Did I mention this was the cakes "good" side?

February 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGarrett (photographer)

This has to absolutely, positively, 100% be a TOTAL joke! WoW!

February 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

not defending the baker just clafifying what the marshmallows were for.. those are what make the fondant that covered the cake.the cake is covered first with buttercream, thats what caused the lumpiness and the fondant laid over that just emphasizes each bump. i agree even my kids can do better then that.. i know, i taught have a cake hobby and i taught everybody in my house how to make and decorate a cake.

March 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGenGen

When I get married I get a simple cake I know. I like angler fish!

March 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjelloegg

As a professional pastry chef and someone who makes wedding cakes for a living, I am shocked by this and find it hard to believe that this was made by a professional. Even the inspiration cake seems a bit sloppy for my taste, but what bride would EVER pick up or take delivery of that cake!?!?!?! I also question what sort of research this bride did when choosing her cake decorator. The person who made that cake could not have provided any sort of genuine portfolio or references for the bride prior to makeing that monstrosity. I would say that this is largely the brides fault for not doing enough research. I agree with many of the folks on here who have cried wolf on this cake and asserted that this was made by some relative or family friend who claimed to have some sort of cake decorating skill and then, in the end, turned up with this... eek!

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Yep, I would have had to rip someone's head off. And served it on a platter. My god.

August 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFran

I wish to address all commenters professional or otherwise who believe the cake couldn't possibly be made by a professional if it was picked up. I don't know the first thing about cake decorating. What I do know, is that for my wedding cake I checked three bakeries: two grocery stores and my caterer for the meal. The first didn't offer delivery and set up at all--it was a grocery. The second grocery would deliver for a fee that was too high for me. Lastly, my caterer offered to set up for free. Now this was a little town in the middle of nowhere, and it's possible the lack of options was due to the size of the town. The point is there are bakeries who do not provide delivery and set up for tiered cakes.

Since this one was done by a family member, I assume it was done in a home kitchen (but not the one in which the picture was taken). I think the "icing melted in the car" theory shouldn't be thrown out unnecessarily. If I discovered that the wedding cake made for me by a member of the family I was marrying into was not presentable, I might go to some extra effort to try to save it instead of sending it back so as not to offend my new family.

Just because someone is professional (receiving money for their work) does not mean the person is professional (owns a business and/or meets consumer expectations).


August 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That's it!

When I get Married I'm making the cake MYSELF!

I can do better then that!

September 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDan Bradbury

realy nice

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterusb wifi

Are all these lumps in it air pockets, or did someone shove those mini marshmallows in the icing?
New question: Was this decerator on drugs or something? Did she/he really finish this cake, step away to get a good look at it and think that the picture and the cake looked even remotely similar? I can just imagine the conversation between whoever was picking up the cake and the decorator:

Decorator- here's your cake. That'll be .
Cusomer- What?! That looks NOTHING like the picture!
Decorator-No,no. I think I nailed it, see? They're both um... err... They're uh... (looks at picture then back at cake) I got nothin'. (Takes money from cusomer and hides in kitchen)

March 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I can't believe that after this bride went through this horror, people are calling her a liar and cake decorators are actually accusing her of cheaping out so that she could tear up her own cake for a lawsuit. Maybe it's my four years of finishing school, but, you people are trashy. How dare you be so thoughtless?! I hope something horrible like this happens to you, you shallow jerks, and maybe you will think twice about pointing fingers and letting ugly speculations fly.

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

And my brain implodes again. I had just gotten over the apocalypse cake, and, BAM!

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterG

Did you all not see this:
"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 | Vicky (the bride)"

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

This is a terrible cake, but there's nothing "redneck" about it. Just because it's terrible, does not constitute it be labeled "redneck." There are plenty of examples of bad cakes that have nothing to do with being redneck. Maybe the folks making the redneck comments are yankees or hillbillies or m*ssh*les or white trash or californicators or communists or flatlanders; and just are not aware of how offensive their comments are.

November 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterredneck girl

Actually no. This degree of atrocity is real. I've worked at small bakeries/cafes and way too many owners are total morons worthy of Kitchen Nightmares. At one place in West Yellowstone the owner deferred to a 17 year old who had no idea about cake decorating to do the cakes. I've been creating food art for decades. They all kind of resembled a really old silverstream upside down brown s**t colored twinkie shaped travel trailer. (unless it was supposed to be white frosting) i was senior cake decorator at Walmart for a couple of years and needed to train a couple of people. Yes, ....sadly DOES get way worse. I also sadly recognize a lot of the packaging in a lot of the photos.
I'm just wondering in all of this: WHY CAN'T I GET A FR****N JOB!?

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterADBunting

I cannot even imagine how PISSED I would have been if this cake showed up on my wedding day...

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

We deliver up to 3 tier cakes fully assembled as a rule. If the cake is more than 3 tiers, we assemble from tier 4 and up on site. I think that is the norm in the business.

December 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Definitely fake. The pic is obviously of the kitchen it was prepared in, there is no way the bride or parents of the bride would have tried to fix this monstrosity even if they did it would have been hard to get the same shade of green frosting. The cake's an epic fail but not a real cake wreck

December 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Marshmallows, store bought tips, green icing bagged and incriminating evidence...this is no professional cake, it's home job FO SHO. Criminal must have made their own marshmallow fondant with no idea how to stack, cover, frost or decorate ANYTHING. I'm a non believer on this one.

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKell E

all i could think of was the line from the wizard of oz - "i'm melting!"

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjane lewis

My favorite part is that we can see a bag of mini marshmallows right next to the cake. Did they thin that the lovely beaded ribbon around the real cake was made with marshmallows? And they thought they could just ice over the marshmallows and that would work???

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersparkling74

My wedding didn't have the greatest looking cake. It was all the same shape but the icing didn't cover it completely. It was aweful. The only thing good about it was the it tasted heavenly.

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLissa

They're not ribbons. The icing got wet and ran down the side.

December 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertheoriginalone

mini marshmallows are the main ingredient in homemade marshmallow fondant..I make it all the time, this is how I know :o)

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

Answer to the big mystery: what are the mini marshmallows for? They are to make the fondant. Marshmallow fondant is made using mini marshmallows. This is obviously a home made cake gone horribly wrong. Pros would never put it on a sign, that and the cake decorating tips (not even nice Wilton ones), plasic baggie full of icing, icing on the paper plate and the marshmallows not used in the fondant are all dead giveaways that this is a would-be-decorators "gift to the happy couple."

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOptimom

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