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

Bird is the Word

Poor Big Bird. He's a beloved childhood icon, he's turning 40 next week, and he gets no respect in the baking world.

It's one thing to rip the poor guy's beak off, but then to sign your name (illegibly) in its place? For shame, Halko! Or maybe Nillo...Mouo? Dang, this Wreckerator must have written code for the NSA in a former life; I have no idea what that says.

Guys, it's a sad, sad day on Cake Wrecks when a dreaded CCC is the "best" of the bunch:

Although I don't recall his beak being quite that...Popsicle-y. Hang on, lemme go grab a reference photo. [furious clickety-clicking]

Ah, here we go:

Yeah, not so much a Popsicle as a banana bicycle seat. (Anyone remember those?) this Big Bird, or a blonde Elmo? I'm confused.

From the look of that beak/mouth combo, though, at least I know I'm not the only one.

And lastly, if you've ever wondered what would happen if Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird had a lovechild...

Wonder no more.

Hey Monique R., Donald L., & Todd T., did you know that Big Bird is a lark? It's true. Honest.

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Reader Comments (123)

You amaze me with your witty repartee! Where do you come up with this stuff?? You have a gift.

Oh, and I thought that last second to the last "cake" of BB had a "snotty nose" look to it. Is it me? Does anyone else see it? Maybe it's the color..I don't know. A clothespin, perhaps?

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Ew - that last one! Big Bird, or Big Turd? You be the judge!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStefRobrts

OMG. The "blonde" Elmo is terrifying. What color is that they used for the "beak"? Shiver.....

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda in Austin

That second to last one is the secret Seasame Street character, Albino-Elmo. You get bonus points for finding him in each scene...

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Litwillers

Elmo and Cookie were on the today show; they had a cake. It's fine I suppose, but it's really BORING. Fondant, a couple of little faces... blecchhhh.

I took a picture on my blackberry and blogged it...

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarly

the "blonde elmo" cake looks like they had a smiley face cake laying around then someone mentioned sesame streets anniversary and they were like "hey lets throw a beak on here" .. "tadaa! big bird! check em' out!" thats horrible.
secondly- yes banana seat bikes used to be the shizzzz... my cousins and i used to fight over my grandmas banana seat bike when i was little. haha
thanks for the actual photo of bigbird- cuz i cant figure out for the life of me what that blue crap on his face is on the first cake. theres no beak? .. im confused.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I, too, think that the word on the first one is "Hello"... though why someone thought it was appropriate to replace the top of his beak with a word is beyond me.

And the one with a beak AND a mouth?! Has that guy never seen a bird before? LOL Poor, poor Big Bird!

- Kelly R.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelBel

How difficult can it be to butcher Sesame Street cakes? A bakery I used to visit always had Elmo and Cookie Monster cookies for sale (which were delicious), and they were very simply made. However, you actually could tell which character they were supposed to resemble!

WV: horid. How incredibly appropriate.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Blonde Elmo--love child of Elmo and Miss Piggy?:p

Amy B-H

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

These almost bring tears to my eyes. Big Bird is one of my favorite characters ever. Oh, the humanity! (or, Muppet-ty)

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa (& Billy)

how is it possible for anyone over the age of 4 to think that a bird's face includes both a beak and a separate mouth? i weep for our sorry-ass species.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Eeew! That third one looks like a smiley face with a bad head cold. Think I'll need to skip lunch today......

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHobbit

That is definitely Elmo, dressed up as Big Bird for Halloween.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

I think that first one says "Holly"... ummm, or "Hello"... or perhaps, "Hurry".

Poor bird.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStuffCooksWant

I believe the mysterious inscription to be seen instead poor Big Bird's beak may actually read "Hello"...

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentern-th-green

The best part about your last caption is that Caroll Spinney played both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

To Natballs:

Mike McCarey, whom I consider to be the GOD OF CAKES, made the Big Bird cake on Challenge. He used a heat gun to make modelling chocolate look fluffy. Un-frickin-believable.

Here's his website (warning, it has music set to default on, but can be turned off):

I just signed up for his showcase demo at the Austin cake show ( in February and I'm positively giddy to see him in real life. He's even going to be teaching classes before the show, including one on modeling chocolate techniques, but I'll be too busy making my entry that he and some other awesome folks will be judging...meep, I have to work extra hard when the GOD is coming to see our work!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Chapman

oh my gosh!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLucia

The last cake actually looks a bit like Little Bird:

Also, my 1st or 2nd birthday cake was actually a very good Big Bird. I wish I had the photo online!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterladycrim

Maybe the first Big Bird is yelling, "Help!" Or maybe, "Hell!" Either would work. Can't blame him.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Lucky the recipient in the last one is only 2 and might not know how un-Big Bird like that looks.

BTW, awesome meeting you and John last night at the Bethesda signing! :-D

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Black Dog

What Not to Bake...Yike. Poor Bird.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStefKelsey

My son was looking at these with me...when we came to the "Blonde Elmo" - unprompted he goes "there's a yellow Elmo!" Then when we got to the grouch and Big Bird love child he says "It looks like Grouch!" So, whether we adults like the integrity of the cakes or not at least 5 year olds get it. ;-)

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpukaipoz

Actually, that last one says "Happy Birdclay!"

So it's not a wreck; it's pretty guano-tastically accurate!


November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNonie

Awesome cakes! And great video! "I like eggs" LMBO

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristine

I'm not sure why you think #3 is either Elmo or Big Bird, as it is clearly a rejected smiley face clock depicting 8:37.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDakota

Gawd, why do people still say FIRST?

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Great. JUST great. Now I'm going to be singing that song all day. With Peter Griffin dancing around in my head. Oh boy....

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Oh, man, that last one is a classic. With the Bigbird-Elmo one, I thought it was Big Bird wearing a black fanny pack for a moment. And the one with the popsicle nose looks wrong, but I bet that pretzel tastes delicious.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Honestly Jen, I didn't think you were old enough to remember banana seats. I used to have a cool purple sparkle seat. Also the matching streamers in the handlebars...
I had to laugh @ Natalie's comment about Big Bird 'getting no respect.'

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Big Bird was always my favorite. I never understood the Elmo fervor. I always thought he was annoying and whiney. Big Bird's mah man!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChasing The Dog

ACK! Now I'm going to have Peter Griffin and that awful song in my head all day!! Must. crank. up. "It's a Small World" ;)

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWinterlaurel

Am I the only one that thinks "love child" might have some mental problems? He looks like he's in a straight jacket and his legs are strapped down...

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMary

I scrolled down to the third cake and my 3 year old yelled, "Elmo!" He paused a moment, then started cackling, "Hahahaha, Elmo has a big nose!"

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I think it says "Hello" although it would surely be hard to say with only the bottom half of a beak. And those last few? By the color, I'd say they're not larks, they're Poo-Poo birds!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMomcat

8:37! Haha, Dakota!

OMG, I just realized the WV here is actually "cakerear," which I'd hate to waste. I never do these, but this time, I'll try...

WV: Cakerear-- What an overworked baker gets after sitting too many hours, churning out wreck after wreck.

Not so much? I'll try again...

WV: Caker-ear: A baker's condition that keeps him/her from properly understanding orders taken over the phone.

[Baker, to self]: "They wanted a cake with Elmo OR Big Bird? How about both combined?"
[Customer, picking up order]: "What's wrong with you? You got caker-ear?"

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal

That last one is fabulous!

Incidentally, I didn't realize Big Bird wasn't a girl until about halfway through elementary school. And then came the thoughts of "Why bother giving them genders in the first place, since they're just puppets." Ah, childhood.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWhat I Eat, Apparently

i feel bad for the "John" who got the cake. what will he think when he sees pictures of his second birthday?

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmma C.

The first one is actually pretty good (Except the beak of course).

The last one... scares me. *shudders*

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlia

A beak and a mouth? These decorators need to take another look at a bird sometime! Also, the icing for the face and the beak don't match!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaty

Creative idea for a blog! I'm rating blogs today. I give it a 9.5! Not sure why, but I love it!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTransalta


November 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdasunrisin

More confusing than the big bird cake are the tears that came to eyes from laughing at it.
I almost feel guilty... poor big bird.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer June

Poor John . . . that is one saaad cake to get on your 2nd birthday!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The first one actually looks like a yellow Snuffleupagus to me!

This makes me cry...I had 2 awesome Big Bird cakes as a kid. These are a disgrace!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLila

Carly said...
Elmo and Cookie were on the today show; they had a cake. It's fine I suppose, but it's really BORING.
Sesame celebrating 40 yrs and they have elmo and abby on the show. ( Yes cookie was there too)

Elmo was there from only the 1980s (?) and Abby is a very recent new character.

Why not send b. bird or bert or oscar.. the REAL 40 yrs old muppets

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersnuff

OMG the second "Big Bird"...I thought that his beak was a hot dog cut in half or something!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

I can't believe several people found the Oscar-Big Bird love child more disturbing than the first cake, where somebody ripped off BB's beak!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGary

Blonde Elmo looks like the icing bag erupted on his face. That can't qualify as a beak, can it? And it looks like his mouth and eyes are plastic flotsam! ya think they'd have a plastic beak, too. Maybe it was en Elmo kit modified for Big Bird. I wonder what they'd do to Snuffaluffagus. They would have been better off doing a beak/nose/trunk-less Cookie Monster.

That last one looks like an angry pine cone with heavy blue eyeshadow...or a pineapple ticked his greenery got cut off. Little Mr. candy cane legs with talons...

And number one's beak--popsicle? Carrot? unmentionable suggestive "prop"? (think fireman cake)

*shudder* hope the kids weren't traumatized

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoanne

"how can the cake have a beak and a mouth....."

--Good point, Twinbeaks! *shudder*

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoanne

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