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)


I'm honestly confused. What are you upset about? This is just a cake story that I thought was funny.


October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjohn (the hubby of Jen)

i looked up "bat fly" & don't get why someone ould want that on a b-day cake.
good story though.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterarchersangel

I grew up in "Deep South" southern Mississippi (insert degree of accent) and have squashed many a cockroach. Now, in Mississippi, cockroaches aren't tiny little things, but are majorly BIG bugs that can FLY! My least favorite part of doing such a thing was how they sounded when you stepped on them . . . CRUNCH (as Mama G said) with WHITE "STUFF" coming out of them.

Now, this cake, almost all white, would just conjure up nightmares for me. Would that bug go CRUNCH and would white frosting ooze out?

EEK! (Running off in fright with hands waving in the air!)

WV: wherm . . . might have been better if a wherm had been used instead of a crunchy-looking bug!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWriteCards

This is definitely NOT a wreck! It's very, very cool, and definitely deserves a space on Cake Wrecks just for its coolness.
Thank you for showing it to us.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGary

I love that they attached the balloons so festively to the little guy!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterK0dama

A Picture! Why didn't I think of that 3 weeks ago when trying to figure out how to make a hissing cockroach birthday cake! Genius!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKeeslermom

Ummm...I don't get it.

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous
October 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterholly

It's not just A Field Museum they work at it is THE Field Museum, in Chicago. The Field Museum of Natural History. The bug makes a sort of sense that way.

Love the cake, wish I knew what bakery in Chicago made that I'd order my next one from there.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPirate Alice

A little creative Googling turns up Carl's homepage and the 100,000 specimens of Bat Flies at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago (75% of known world species represented!). Which I guess is an explanation. Sort of.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCharles

In defense of this as a photocake, rather than just being a rectangular transfer slapped on to the cake, the bakers either carefully cut around the edges or did a superlative job matching the background to the frosting.

- Eli

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

So well executed. Hard to believe it's from a grocery store bakery.

In addition to a photo-realistic fly, they managed to create icing balloons that look like balloons instead of sperm. Imagine that.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

OMG! I love it!

Amy B-H

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Carl is an amazing guy who does pretty neat research and also put tarantulas and giant hissing cockroaches on my kids . . . . and I can imagine he must have thought this was the coolest cake ever. Carl can make horrifying bugs seem pretty cool . . . he got me to hold a tarantula, although my wife passed.

He's off on a trip involving insects somewhere or other at the moment, but I hope Steph showed him this or at least sends him a link when he gets back. He'll get a kick out of this.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

"I don't know why she
swallowed the batfly. Perhaps
her poo will be dyed. . ."

Now everybody sing!

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

While I agree that the overall idea is awesome and funny, at least to Carl and Steph. The edible image could have been cropped better. Other than that, kudos grocery store decorator! You did an excellent job with the request made of you.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter*star.mama*

John, you use a trackball? That. Is. Awesome. I feel less alone! I'm surrounded by mouse-users who can't stand using my computer since it means having to use my trackball.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria S

I was at this going away party and I ate this cake. Oddly enough none of us thought it was weird at the time. But that's what happens when you work in a museum.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I think it's a wreck, because it has a long, err,..johnoptic leg.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCRUSTYBEEF

the balloon strings remind me of--gag-pinworms or tapeworms..

One crusty mom-E

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCRUSTYBEEF

I'm pleased to see a feature here on what could be considered a wreck from the baker's point of view. I'd like to see more posts on the wrecky things that customers want.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAviatrix

It looks like the poor fly needs balloons to stay up!

October 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSexy Sadie

LOL I just laughed loud enough in the airport to make nearly the entire waiting plane party look in my direction.

October 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

What I like about this wreck is that it seems as though the "Carl" of the sentiment just might be the fly...

November 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Lemme essplain... no. is too much. Too much funny. and too much awesome.


March 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlisagems

With the Bug looking dead, and then saying 'We'll miss you Carl', one could wonder if they are wishing him well at his new job or is this a cake for the wake?

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks for making me disturb everyone in this library by obnoxiously laughing my butt off.

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMandi

Is that the fly's leg or is it just 'glad to see us?' lol just sayin'

April 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina Messenger

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