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

"World" Tour Wrap-Up: Austin

After our book tour self-imploded (go here if you missed it), I was determined to get back on the road as soon as my health would possibly allow it. First I had to convince Jen, the doctors, and the publisher, though. We eventually reached a compromise: Jen and I would stay in Dallas for a few days more to recuperate, and then we would drive to Austin instead of flying.

From the moment we arrived at Book People, we were treated with such kindness and hospitality that it was almost overwhelming. Our two bakers, Nicole from Wicked Cakes and Paloma from Coco Paloma Desserts, had each made cakes for the previous week's show - which of course was canceled at the last minute - and yet were gracious enough to do it all over again for this one. Jen and I had assumed we just wouldn't have cake for the show, but these ladies insisted. How awesome is that?

Here's Nicole with a few of her sample cakes:

Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of Paloma with her cake - I think it was almost gone by the time we showed up! - but we did get to taste all the different flavors both bakers brought, and they were delicious.

Considering that we rescheduled the event with only about 4 days notice, and on a Saturday afternoon at that, I wondered if anyone would show up. I guess someday I'll learn to stop underestimating the awesomeness of our readers:

I think we had about 200 fans there. The smiling guy in the front row actually came to both the Dallas show and this one - and all the way from Houston! He also left us a big container of sprinkles. You know, in case we wanted some. ;)

Another thing I wondered was whether anyone would still have a cupcake wreckplica to bring. Foolish man. We had plenty of goodies to choose from! Here are our three "winners":

(That's Lara, Laurel, & our grand prize winner-who-didn't-have-her-name-written-on-her-cupcake-plate.)

And their entries:

(This was my favorite. It actually had tiny little flies on it! There's a picture of me somewhere online looking at this cupcake in a very concerned manner.)

Here are a few more of my favorites:

And lastly, we had a few folks e-mail us the entries they'd made for the previous show, since they couldn't make it to this one. Jen and I thought this one was especially spectacular:

It's the scene from the Kill It With Fire post! Isn't it great?

Kimberly left the wrapper on the bottom of the cupcake to show that she was still following the "rules" (ie, this was partially carved from a cupcake).

That's the guy with the fire extinguisher, and check out the little "Food Network" badges on their sleeves! Great detail.

(To see the rest of the amazing entries for Austin, go to the Cake Wrecks Facebook page.)

We initially hoped to continue the rest of the tour from Austin, but the scheduling didn't work out. That was just as well, though; the evening we got back to Orlando I ended up in the hospital again for a few more days. Bah. But let me tell you, Austin, I wouldn't have missed this show for the world; you guys really showed us the meaning of kindness. Thank you!

TOUR UPDATE: We're still finalizing the dates, but I can tell you that the tour will recommence in about two weeks, AND that it will include two additional cities: Boston and Atlanta! More details to follow very soon.

John's Update to the Tour Update: It's actually the B&N in Framingham, MA which is only 18 minutes away from downtown. Best we could do. I can't wait to see you guys.

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Reader Comments (106)

how dare you underestimate our awesomeness! ;) Please take care of yourselves!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I was soooooooooo excited about you coming to Boston that I forgot to comment on the wreckplicas. I LOVE the Kerry Vincent "on fire" one. I think I would have picked that one as the grand prize winner. I hope you send her a book at least. It is truly marvelous and the others provide lots of inspiration for making one for your upcoming visit to our area.

So many wreck to choose from. Hmmmmmmm.


October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh Jon,
Your poor Momma Donna! I can just imagine how worried she was. I only met you for a few minutes in Orlando and I was worried sick- I'm that crazy mom Ariel who dragged her kids out of school to go to your book signing. Let's hope they remember how cool I was when they pick out my home!

Anyway get better already, my nerves can't take it! And say Hi to your awesome mom for me!
Love, Ariel in WPB

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My 4 year old daughter was standing at my elbow when I looked at today's entry and when we got to the Scottish mayhem wreckplica, she leaned in and said, "Oooooooh, I want THAT cake!" I asked which one, and her little finger pointed directly. . . to the photo of the REAL cake wreck below the wreckplica.

Then she seemed to realize I might think differently, and pulled back hesitantly and asked "Would you, Mommy?" Pause, pause. "Well, it does look sugary!" She beamed, proud she had chosen wisely. ; )

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBlessed

So glad you enjoyed Austin. It is such a great city and from the photos it looks like it lived up to its slogan of "Keep Austin Weird."

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPam Walter

Woo! So excited about Boston!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCass

Framingham? Only a short half-hour drive? I'm on my way, cupcake in hand... just gimme a date and a time - I'll even close my bookstore if I have to, just to see you! Don't suppose you'd like to make a short detour to a very small (1300 sq. ft.) indie bookstore? I know, I know - I'd have to set up a tent in the parking lot for everyone. Ah, well. Can't have everything. Been chortling over the store's copies of "Cake Wrecks" ever since they arrived. You're my reward for finishing my work on time, y'know... after I answer email, wait on customers, return calls, etc. then I can check out the day's offerings. Thanks for all the smiles - be well/stay well!

Merry from Annie's Book Stop/Sharon, MA

WV: acquan Can't wait to become acquan-ted with Jen and John!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous


I was so sad, because you guys were scheduled to be in NYC three days after me and my fiance LEFT NYC after apartment hunting. And then I was concerned, because you guys were sick and hurting! And now I feel better that you guys are feeling better. And! If all works out, we might be moved there in time for the rescheduled NYC appearance! Yay!!

Also: I bet the New Englanders are stoked! We currently live in FAR Northern NH, and before I knew we'd be moving to NYC for sure, I was sad that there was no Wreckage for the Great White North. :D


October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAtreyu

Yikes! I hope you're completely healthy now, John!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNYCGirl

Uh-oh... I work in the Framingham store...

Runs to warn the events manager just how *huge* this is going to be

And yes, I am soooooo going to be there!! :-)

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPD

Can't wait to see you guys in Boston (Framingham). Framingham is actually a nice area, and easy to get to from boston (or, if you are traveling from north or south, it's actually EASIER for you commuters - better parking, less traffic! win win!)

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa Gill

"TAHNKS" again for coming to Austin! We truly felt loved on and are glad you did, too. I want everyone out there to know, we did ask John repeatedly if he really was well, and told him not to be pushing himself, and he kept saying he was well....

Tsk, tsk, tsk. We know you love us John, but you won't be any good to Jen or us if you don't take good care of yourself! So kick back for a couple of days, eat some cake, watch a couple of those foodie shows we know you've DVR'd for when you have a few extra minutes, and REST! I mean it! Don't make me come out there and get all Mama Bear on you!!!! Just ask my four kids - I know how! Big "BEAR" hugs to you both.

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I know LOTS of people who would go to a tour stop in Charlotte!!!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

ATLANTA?? Squeeeeeeeeeeee!!

That almost makes me glad that... aw, nah, that's just selfish. :P

Get better John!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Oh yay yay yay!!! So happy the tour is coming to Framingham (so much easier to get into than Boston!!) so YAY YAY YAY...I'm all over that event!!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiz (Loving Mom 2 Boys)

I love all the photos of the cake and bakers and fans...really I do! But when are we going to see photos of YOU TWO?? I want to put faces to names :)

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

Hows about Baltimore? I know it's not toooo far from Bethesda, but it's better!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertracy

It was great to see you and Jen! And of course to see the slideshow and the wreckplica entries, and to eat cake.

I'm the smiling guy in the front row from Houston. Glad you appreciated the sprinkles! Y'know, there must be something psychological about the very presence of sprinkles, because they helped me deal with the stress of driving such a long distance. Even though I didn't eat any, I was able to deal with whatever problems I faced: heavy rain, crazy drivers, bad food, the lamp in my hotel room that didn't work... none of it mattered, because I had sprinkles.

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkinkyturtle

Framingham is about an hour from Providence - can you fit a weeknight stop down here? Otherwise we'll try to drive up to Framingham!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstam[azoid]

i love the kill it with fire cupcake

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterarchersangel

John! It's great to see that you are well enough to blog. But don't overdo it, we all want you to get completely better, okay?! Okay.

I love that all those people came to see you. But I could've told you that. Wreckies are die-hard dudes and dudettes! If we can make it through some of those baby-shower cakes and the sawed off animal heads cakes, we can make it to your book-signing. Except, that is, if the Wreckie in question is me and I'm sitting in Switzerland, hella mad I can't go. But I'm at all your tour stops in spirit, believe you me! :)

Wreck on, Jen and John!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Yay, you're coming to Atlanta! Yay yay yay!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

YEA!!! I'm so glad you are re-scheduling the tour!! And, so glad you are well on the road to recovery.

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Atlanta!! At last! Thanks!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPat

Yay! Framingham is only 15 minutes from me. I will be there!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlli

What about Canada?!!! GAH!!!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Atlanta? Really! Wahoo!!!!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

*squee* So glad you liked the wreck in abstentia. :D

Still want you guys to come to our cake show next February here in Austin! Did I mention the science fiction theme?

John should rest up and get nice and healthy so you guys can come. :D

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Chapman

Whooopeeeeeee! You're coming to Atlanta!!!!!!!!!

That sound you hear is me screaming for joy.

Only hitch is ooming up with a cupcake wreckplica as the idea I had has been done (and won, woot!).

I am happy to say that I am up to the challenge!

WV = cansel


October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPromise

Framingham is just a half hour from me!!!! I am so excited...when are you guys coming up here?!?

Glad to know you're better, John!

Kate Lerner

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Boston!! Yipee!!

Oh, boo. Framingham is basically inaccessible unless you have a car : ( I love the fact that you're coming here, but why couldn't it be one of the many bookstores on public transportation!

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Since I haven't seen it mentioned yet, I wanted to point out that the Kill It With Fire cupcake was done by Kimberly Chapman, who last appeared on CW as a Sunday Sweet for her absolutely amazing Fraggle Rock cake. Link to that post is here: She's totally awesome and has mad creativity skillz, so I had to point that out here. :-)

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKari

In case you haven't seen it, here's a wreck depicted in Marvel Comics. This decorator has an excuse, though...

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTB Tabby

I love the little Kerri Vincent!

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterManda

I'm studying abroad in Spain, but my mom was super nice and got me the book from the event in Austin! Best early-Christmas present ever!


October 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersongofelbereth

It's GREAT to hear that you guys are feeling better. Don't worry about anything - we all love Cake Wrecks and at every tour stop will be a multitude of Wreckies carrying Wreckplicas. Thanks a MILLION (and so much more) for adding Boston to the tour list. I'll be there if I can. You're the best!

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

So glad John's on the mend- take care of yourselves! Gads of healing psychic fanlove is great, but one must also rest...

That said, let me add my geographic demands: for future reference there is a high speed ferry between Portland, ME and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Wreckventure on the high seas!! Uh, perhaps invoking wreckage while trying to sell sea travel is not the best tactic... But I think my point stands- two lovely towns, a chance to take the quotes off of a "world" tour, and to do it via a slightly exotic mode of transportation. Slot machines are exotic, right?

Best wishes for the rest of this tour!

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRose

Love the book and the blog. I actually came across the book first in my local bookstore in Wellsboro PA. I bought the book for my book review column in the Wellsboro Gazette and I stayed up until past my bed time reading and laughing. I'll post the review my column to my blog at once in runs in the paper, but big congratulations...

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKevin Coolidge


October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGail

Why does Nashville keep getting looked over?!? Is it the country music? Miley Cyrus? Or is it that Kid Rock lives here and somehow manages to be in country music that is keeping you away? Please come to Nashville!! There's Davis-Kidd at Green Hills Mall, or the Barnes & Nobles at Orpy Mills Mall! And I'm sure we could find SOMETHING geek-tastic around here! :)

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTara and Kyle

If you're looking for professional bakers for your cakes in the Boston area, two of the more creative that come to mind are The Icing on the Cake in Newton ( and Truly Jorg's in Saugus ( -- he's been on some Food Network show according to the posters in the bakery.

Can't wait to see you guys in our area!

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris VR

wow. i'm really amazed at what you can do with a single cupcake. nice wreckplicas, guys!

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEm

OH heavens the demented Scooby Doo had me LOLing even more than the original post. Man, that's messed up (in all senses of the word).

These are great. Glad you finally made it to Austin! (I hear it's a right nifty town)

Wreck on, brave ones!

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa (& Billy)

The 'Kill it with Fire' Wreckplica is brilliant!

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterladycrim

What's the date for Boston/Framingham?!?!?!?!

someone email me

melli_fera at yahoo dot com

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Yay Boston!!!

Although I must say, whoever told you Framingham was 18 minutes from downtown Boston is sadly mistaken. Unless they're driving there at 2 am on a Wednesday ;-)

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRedhead in the City

Boston, WHOO-HOO!! I'm so thrilled, thank you! And Framingham is even better for me, 'cause I live waaaay out in what passes for the sticks up here. And now to work on my wreplica cupcake...

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdessertschick

YAY BOSTON!!! Or, Framingham. Whatever. There's actually parking in Framingham. Can't wait to see you there!

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

From a bunch of sad, sad, sad Austinites who couldn't come to the make-up: We love you! Please come visit again so we can shower you with love, cupwrecks, and icing!

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Archduchess

::Calls mate:: Pack the car, baby, we're going to Atlanta... For a book signing... Yes you have to go!... Because there will be cake!

I will totally drive three hours (plus three hours of Atlanta traffic) to see you guys. I can't wait!
I need to start wrecking cupcakes!

October 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFle

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