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

What's Black & White & Wrecked All Over?

No, not this guy:

"Dude, are those Cheetos?"

See, his stripes actually look like zebra stripes. Which is fortunate, since he is, in fact, a zebra.

Ask for zebra stripes on your cake, however, and there's no telling what you'll get. Maybe Jim's "huuuge pointy teeth!" model:

Or perhaps something that makes you e-mail Christina B. to ask what the heck it's supposed to be, since the pattern has burned out your visual cortex:

(Yes, she really did have to tell me this is the number 30. How embarrassing.)

Then there's Kristen N.'s post-modern, depressed zebra stripes:

(Why depressed? Because it's a little blue, of course.)

And then, the really lucky ones get a little of Beth P.'s airbrush action:

Ah. Such skill. Such attention to detail. Such...airbrushiness.

But the really, really lucky ones get a shell-less albino turtle covered in gills:

Ha! Just kidding! Those stripes are way too good.

Kayla U., maybe your baker was trying to make the majestic zebra turtle. Eh?

- Related Wreckage: Monkey See, Monkey Doo-Doo

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Reader Comments (101)

ha ha ha! that is SOOOO funny!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercatholicgirl247

Maybe some things are just not meant to be recreated in icing.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSpotgirl

Wow, those are some pretty awful cakes. I'd probably still eat them all, though!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterakeorlando

None of those remotely resemble a zebra. Do bakers have access to Google???

~Amy B.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

To Abby Normal,

Nice Firefly reference. ;o) I agree the baker had only heard of zebras by rough description. I wonder if every outer planet outpost has a similar zebra cake?

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlynellenyl

I agree that those are poor, sad excuses for zebra stripes, or zebras. As for the name Cambria, there is also a town in California by that name, and I know of a couple of young ladies that have that name, and they love it. There are, of course, perfectly "acceptable" nicknames - Cam or Camie. I think the name is kind of pretty, and the town itself (here in CA) is pretty.


November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The 30 cake makes me dizzy. It's like, hypnotic. (In mesmerizing voice): "You really aren't 30. It's just an illusion. You will be 29 forever. I promise."

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Zebra stripes on a baby's cake are bad enough, but those eighties flashback airbrush ones are traumatic.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStef

My daughter had a zebra print birthday cake this year, luckily it didn't look anything like these!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterValerie

Thanks for pointing out that it's a 30-- at first, I thought it was some kind of carcass. Which explains the muscle tissue...well, almost.

So do zebras now come in pinstripes?

And have you met Cambria's younger sibling, Carboniferous?

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I hope the zebras don't see this - they're very dangerous animals! Apparently they kill a huge number of zoo-keepers because when they bite they don't let go until what they've bitten is dead... o_0

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterasthehind

Holy zebra-- I mean cow. No words to say. The blue one isn't too bad-- not at all zebra like, but in it's own creative way makes a pretty Vera Bradleyish cake (maybe).

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristan

i think the blue one kinda looks like long chiuaua poops with hair. i know it sounds wrong, but just look at it my way for a sec. common now, u do see it don't you? and that poor poor turtle!!! i collect turtles and i am still trying to figure out how to show this pic to my friends without offending every last one of them =)

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermllymoo22

You showed us a real zebra Jen, as a preface to the post, but check out his wrecky counterpart:

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLesa Pinker

I think I must be losing my mind, because I didn't think the first one was all that bad. I'm with everyone else on the 30 cake, though. Would've never noticed that was what it was if it hadn't been pointed out to me.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Am I the only one that thought the actual zebra didn't look quite real? Seriously, I had to stare at that thing for awhile. What's not right with it?

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke

I kinda like the blue one...
but the rest are sad

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

have you seen that commercial of a video? its a guy and he goes (holding up a pretty cake photo) "this was how the cake was suppose to look like" then he shows the wreck. then he shows his wife all mad at him

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

@ Mina:
The first one is my cake. I asked specifically for zebra stripes nd i got a cake tht looks like the words were thrown thru a black window. my fav. animal is a zebra so thts wat i wanted for my 14th birthday cake. but i did specifically ask for zebra stripes

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Anna, you're not losing your mind, because I thought the first cake wasn't that bad either. The handwriting is nice and everything is spelled correctly. The zebra print is not that seizure-inducing.

But that 30 cake and the Cambia one, that gave me a headache looking at them.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBree

The primary meaning of "Cambria" to me is the small town on California's central coast, near Hearst Castle. It's a pretty town, it's a pretty name, and I have no categorical objection to place names used as personal names.

But on that cake there? No R. The baby's name is either Cambia or Eambia. Either of which is just weird. Or, of course, the baby's name *is* Cambria, but the wreckerator misspelled it. Which might explain why she then vigorously crossed out the inscription with black airbrushing.

At least, that's more or less what my kindergartener does when she makes a writing error.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhollyml

The albino shell-less turtle was priceless! At least, I hope they didn't have to pay for it!


November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The second cake makes my eyes water if I look at it too long.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRed Wolf

Thanks so much for filling us in on the "30" I was thinking "Turn it sidways, maybe it's a Zebra's butt with a big hole for the....well you know.... tail to go ;-)"

And the last one, perhaps in her land zebras look just like turtles.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSal :-)

Me too didn't notice that its 30 haha. It doesn't look like the real thing lolz.

Summer" rel="nofollow">A Writers Den" rel="nofollow">Brown Mestizo

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJules

I had to be a nag, but there were some who called the wizard, 'Tim'.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterchar

I'm kind of relieved to see that I'm not the only one who liked the blue cake.

As for the baby's name, it looked like Barbie to me.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNYCGirl

I made a Zebra cake for my brother's girlfriend's birthday... It was just not my day though, It was too hot and my buttercream melted off the darn cake, the ganache i used for the stripes wouldn't emulsify properly, and I didn't have the coloring I wanted... I thought it was sad but she loved it.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Yeesh. And I thought there was no possible way to make animal prints look any more tacky . . .

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNick

I'm glad to read the comments and see I'm not the only one who thought "leeches" or slugs on the cakes.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPatty O'Chair

The "30" cake looks like an MC Escher bird/fish illusion. I think that last one is a birthday cake for a resident of the Island of Dr Moreau.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdenestria

The one cake looked like a closeup of a muscle specimen..

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkedej

I couldn't tell it was a "30"... honestly, I thought it was a zebra striped flat, whole chicken with a whole for some reason... turns out the hole was the middle of the 0, oops..

I asked my two year old if that last one looked like a zebra and she said "no, looks like a tiger" ahahahah out of the mouth of babes. =)

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRhonda

referring to the first picture.....why i could just roll down that window and pop a cheeto in your cute little mouth.

i cannot make sense of turtle zebra.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrachelle

You know, the first one isn't that bad. I at least get the idea of what it was supposed to be. The others have 'stripes' that look like dead monarch butterfly caterpillars. *cries*

I didn't know that making zebra stripes took a certain level of artistry, but now I can see that they do.

Reminds me of the Middle-Eastern zoo that features a donkey painted to look like a zebra. These cakes give me the same sense of "What the...?" as that does.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa (& Billy)

The blue one looks like it has slugs on it.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSexy Sadie

I know there've been some comparisons of the 30 cake to muscle cells, but in a conversational Mobius loop, they also bear a striking resemblance to the cells in some slices of visual cortex.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkristophine

I kinda like the blue cake...
or I could be colorblind. :D

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

No, the blue one is cool.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBillyD

Love the zebra!

But that baby's name? The wrecky writing isn't helping here, but I keep thinking it says Cambio, like the Spanish for change. You know, they wanted a different one.

I can never get my head round people giving their children bizarre names with wacky spelling.

November 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHelen Highwater

creative call, denestria! and stephanie, your cake looked better than ALL of these!

November 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think the baby's name is Barbia.

I love the last one, the happiest zebra turtle in the world is almost as good as the giraffe cake from ages ago.

WV: mednesse. That these cakes are made by professionals is total mednesse

November 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbryn

This one seems a trifle unfair. Zebra stripes are just not going to look good in any circumstances.

November 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

The second one ("30") looked like a zebra skin rug to me. ^_^

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Poor little Larmbia looks like she's already seen the other side of the cake, and is not pleased!

November 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The horribly airbrushed first birthday cake is my post.

For clarification: my daughter's name is Cambria; & I was unaware until now that whoever wrote it on the cake left out the "R".

Double wreck? :/

November 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeth P.

YAYS! you put up my Blue Zebra cake of EPIC FAIL!

thankies~ XD

oh and people, PLEASE PLEASE NO ANIMAL PRINTS ON CAKE ORDERS. Take in to consideration, time constraints and decorator's abilities when ordering cakes that may very well end up here~

Thank you again~ I got a kick out of the comments here, XD

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristen N.

A 30? Where?

And I am offended by the whole blue-zebra-stripe thing. My horseback riding helmet cover happens to be blue zebra. Just making a statement. You know how it goes. Ending up in the show ring in blue zebra stripes...
[Mum yelling name and gesturing frantically] "Oh, crap, her helmet cover is still on! AGH!"
[Rider confused; falls off horse. Mum hides face in hands] "I don't know her... Just some random kid..."
[Trainer groans] "Reeal good first impression, kid. What? No! Of course I'm not upset. You were only ONE FREAKING RIBBON away from qualifying for Nationals. Upset? Who, me? No way! How could I be?" [Trainer faints from the weight of such heavy lies]

(No, this has never happened to me. This is why I change my helmet cover AT HOME before shows, and also why I bring my extremely sane, sensible, levelheaded, and attentive dad to shows rather than my mum.)

December 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

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