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

LIFE Wrecks

LIFE and Google teamed up not too long ago to create a nifty online photo database of LIFE photographs, 97% of which were never previously released to the public. It's really fascinating stuff, and I highly recommend you do a search for "cake" there the next time you're bored. Most are gorgeous creations that show that cake art has a long and rich history, but a few are a bit more...interesting:

Good to know that handwriting and spacing were an issue even back in 1951. It only looks misspelled, though; that's just a scrunched 'm' in 'recommissioned'.

This one is just odd:

What IS this? Do you suppose it's made of large donuts? And the ferns - why?
(UPDATE: Mystery solved : it's a "baumkuchen". Thanks, guys!)

You'll "tank" me for this next one:

See, this is why you don't let guys cut the cake. The archive is full of men cutting cakes with swords, too. [eye roll] Fellas, it's a TANK. Do you really need to "man it up" by cutting it with your rifle?

This one is actually a "dog cake", but I had to include it for the "oh-no-they-di'in't!" factor (Note: put down the coffee and brace yourself):

[dry-heaving] Why? Why did someone feel THIS was deserving of preservation on film? WHY?!?

And finally, a modern-day Wreck:

"Oprah? Is that you?"

All images courtesy of the LIFE photo archive. Thanks to Becca B. for finding Oprah's head and Jessica T. for the doggie Wreck.

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Reader Comments (103)

To be quite precise (we Germans are known to be precise *g*), the guy cutting the Baumkuchen is Konrad Adenauer ( ), if that picture is from a post war Life magazine it shows him in his role as mayor of Cologne (you can tell that buy the design of the cake decorations as these little black comma shaped drops at the base of the cake are part of the coat of arms of Cologne: . He later became the first chancellor of post-war Germany.

The cake was probably made by "Cafe Fromme" in Cologne which is still existing and known for their good "Baumkuchen" and other cakes.

March 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnotherMichael

It's really pretty surreal how much that cake looks like Oprah. This astonishing fact does not, however, make me want to eat the cake.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarissa

The only thing I was thinking on the last one was Christine Chapel saying "Brownie, is that you?" in the episode What Little Girls are Made of.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSvetlana

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