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

There's a Fly on My Cake!

So I'm browsing around the internets the other day looking for bug cakes (don't ask) and I come across the Flickr page of Second City Warehouse. What I saw there made my trackball come to a screeching halt. It seems that Steph's boss, Carl, was leaving for a new and better job and it was Steph's job to pick up the booze and the cake. But I'll let her tell you the rest of the story:

"Of course, I wanted the cake to be very special and couldn't think of anything else to put on it aside from a bat fly." [I feel like we're missing something here.]

"So, I picked out Carl's very favorite microptics print [Who doesn't have a favorite microptics print?] and took it to the bakery to see if they could replicate the image on a cake in frosting. "At the bakery, I decided to cut to the chase, so I pulled the picture out first thing in order to make sure they could transfer it. The bakers were stunned into a profound silence as they stared at the photo. I opened my mouth to explain, but a little voice in my head said, 'No no, don't. It's funnier this way.' "When they finally tore their eyes away to look up at me, I smiled and said, 'So. You guys are the experts, let me know what you think. I was thinking of a blue border, but I'm not sure about the decorations. Balloons, do you you think, or flowers?' "The manager of the bakery didn't really answer my question, just silently filled out the order form and wrote 'balloons.'"
Y'all ready to see this thing now? Here 'tis:

"When I got the cake, I was tickled to see that they had attached frosting balloon strings to the hind leg, the wing and somewhere near the head. I suppose they weren't sure how a microscopic insect might choose to hold a balloon." [Well, that makes about 75,000 of us.]

Let me just say that this cake has given me a whole new appreciation for grocery store bakers. Thanks for letting me borrow your story, Steph!

Note from john (the hubby of Jen): Several of you have noted that this isn't a "wreck" in the strictest sense of the word, to which I say, true that. It is, however, a fun cake story. And it's Saturday. Go with it. Peace out, yo.

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Reader Comments (78)

Awesome. Just...awesome. :)

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

Perfect sprinkles... :)

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney C.

Kudos to the grocery store bakery! That one could have been a real disaster. Now if you would excuse me, I would like a slice of thorax please...

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKachine

This is just weird! But hey, at least the colours of the balloons match the fly!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

too funny! the bakers have a great sense of humor

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSunshine Mom

From the next picture it looks like they work in a field museum. Maybe that helps explain things, maybe lol.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZ, J and M

Soooooo loving this cake on every level. Makes me want a bat fly cake too.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPetalsYoga

I have never been so interested in a backstory since Death to Smoochy. Why a bat fly? Why any insect at all? Why so large? ... And I love the detail on the balloon strings. That's my favorite part.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter3xEMonkey

Isn't that a camel cricket?

That poor bakery, lol. Shame there wasn't a hidden camera to capture the expression on their faces when the order was brought to them.

But they rallied to the challenge. /cheer

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

this is just seriously awesome. :)

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertogetherforgood

As a person that worked a whole summer in a bug lab in north Texas, I'd say these folks work in a museum or a university :) Entomologists get really enthusiastic about their work!!

I think an Odonata Anisoptera would have been prettier (dragonfly).

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Mmmmmm, I call the thorax!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

The fact that she PLANNED it to be weird and hilarious makes it totally awesome! Almost funnier than if she hadn't planned it that way :)

♥ xtine

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

That is one of the best cakes I have seen on here-so weird, so detailed, so numbingly gross you just want to take a

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTabitha

I can't decide whether this should be a wreck or a Sunday Sweet. Either way, it's hilariously AWESOME!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCyndi

I don't know. That might have been a Sunday Sweet to me. LOL.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca F.

The batfly looks like it would be crunchy. Was it crunchy? Eeeeeww!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMama G

The picture cutting off at the elbow is a nice touch. It is called an elbow on insects, isn't it?

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHalf Assed Kitchen

Not horrific, but definitely amusing. :)

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Clearly Carl is an entomologist! (they study bugs) =)

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLlora Jean

Went into the wreck with eyes wide open- love it.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknitorpurl

That was awesome that the bakery totally accepted her idea and even had a sense of humor. What a great story!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermyfaithlasts

That is awesome--and I agree Jen, this restores my faith that at least some grocery store bakers are awesome!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

The most impressive thing to me is that these bakers actually knew to put a comma before the direct address!!! Wow! I believe that is the very first time I have every seen a comma placed in the correct spot for a direct address on a cake featured on this blog (even on the Sunday cakes, the "good" ones, the bakers don't seem to know much about basic punctuation).
I am truly impressed today -- even if I had no idea this insect existed, with or without the balloons. :)

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterA Paperback Writer

Agreed. I just can't decide if it's a wreck or a sweet. I suppose that lies in the eyes of the beholder.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKari

Surprisingly well made considering the order. Just remember all you cake decorators out there, just because your cake is up here doesn't mean you're bad at your job (or even that you messed up)!

I would however like to know what makes that...thing...appropriate for a farewell cake. An inside joke, surely, but one that will boggle my mind for an unnecessarily long time if I'm never filled in.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSparky

I don't know that I'd call this a Wreck, exactly - more like "Bakers make the best of a bad situation and very kindly don't send the smirking customer packing."

That being said, it's hysterical and definitely earned its place here! Thank goodness for food-coloring inkjet copiers! I want one for when I turn 50!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMhays

Hey, the balloons don't even look like sperm! That's a step in the right direction!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I'm not only impressed by the accuracy of the punctuation, but, going by the images I turned up online, I'd have to say they got a pret-ty decent representation of a bat fly.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMjx

Great job on the cake - altho a bit unappetizing...

Very nice. :D

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie (Nerd Goddess)

Surprisingly, it was accomplished with little wreckiness on the part of the bakers. The dead bug looks realistic, and the balloons don't look like sperm. The only wreckiness is from the order itself.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterspike

Very cool. I don't think a weird cake is necessarily a wreck--this is quite specifically tuned for a particular recipient and works quite well in that context. Trust me, scientists tend to be very into their work.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Definitely not a wreck! The customer is 100% to blame for this bizarre and unappetizing cake that they INEXPLICABLY requested. The bakers/decorators were just following the directions given.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy

I love you guys! My job sucks (maybe I should apply at the grocery store bakery). Inevitably find my way to CakeWrecks for cheering up. You never fail to please! Gracias!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNinjaMickey

Veterinarians love cakes like this too! It's awesome!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGwen

John, don't feel that you need explain "browsing around the internets the other day looking for bug cakes." Personally, I do that every chance I get, as do countless others, I'll be bound.
This one is superlative.
I was a bit surprised to find out that there was such a thing as a Batfly; at first I'd assumed that you were talking about a fly ON a bat. Which does happen, sadly enough.
Learn something new every now and again, eh?
Oh, and I find the Batfly's feet interesting in that they look like tiny high heels, or horse hooves.
And maybe try interbugnets next time.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

This cake is so rad!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

The decorators deserve a Medal of Cakery Honor--the cake is absolutely brilliant!

Maybe there's a blog sub-category needed for bakeries that do their noble best on weird orders made by difficult customers (not that there's anything wrong with insects or the people who love them...some of my best friends are bugs...:-)).

Hari-Kari Cake Wrecks?

Suicide Frosting Missions?

The Few, The Proud, The Decorines?

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterM

I want this cake for my sweet sixteen in January. :)

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

To any newcomers & others who need reminding, look at the home page definition of what makes a wreck:

"it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons."

I LOVE this cake and find it highly amusing with both the original story and Jen's commentary. Yes, the subject is a bit odd/wrecky, but that is part of the fun behind it.

Kudos to the bakery for a great job! Wreck on!


October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

ohhhhhh!!!!!!! that picture makes me cry!!!!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLucille Ball Jr.

I was also under the impression that wrecks weren't always cakes done unwell but cakes that had unusual decoration that might make the cake seem undesirable.

And I'd say a microscopic bug blown to thousands of times its own size smacked on my cake like a fly on a windshield might affect my appetite.

The balloons help.

That being said, fantastic job!

word verification: zariner, like a mariner but zanier.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterE.M. Green

Having worked in a grocery store bakery, I can only imagine what kind of conversations happened amongst workers after she left. I bet they told everyone they could about the "Crazy insect cake lady"...then again, who wouldn't gossip about such a thing?

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

ha ja it makes me laugh! :)

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSook the Cook

This cake is too funny!
And I must thank you for giving me the heebie geebies for the next 5 years, because I googled images of a bat fly...

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTiff

If you combine the fact that this is a cake of a balloon-strewn bug with the fact that she was also in charge of getting the booze, this is one HA-LARIOUS cake! I mean, it looks to me like this party "animal" tied on a few too many. He got seriously guano-faced, and so he's going to have one serious hang-over in the morning.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjedijson

Maybe they are Fatcat and Fishface fans?

I think it is awesome that there is now a batfly cake to go with the batfly puppets - as long as it isn't guano flavoured!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlohaAroha

Being the stick in the mud that I am, may I point out that this is just one of those photocakes (picture printed on edible paper) that you were making fun of a few days ago. I guess since it is a picture of a fly instead of a company logo or coat of arms makes it acceptable. Good job on the balloons though.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlorileelott

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