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


Have you heard of the Croquembouche [CROCK-you-EAM-butchy]? It's a French thing. Well, if not, here's what it's supposed to look like:

So kinda like old, cobweb-wrapped monkey bread. But in a yummy way.

Well, a certain anonymous person - who shall remain unnamed to protect her anonymity - found this gem at a wedding which she may or may not have anonymously attended:

I believe her exact words were, "it looks like some kind of primitive jungle cake being attacked by a swarm of lactating spider-wasps."

Mmmm, lactating spider-wasps...

Well, uh, Jane D. [wink wink], thanks for putting a new spin on these things.

Update: I think it's important to ask yourself a couple of questions before commenting here on Cake Wrecks:
Question: Did John and Jen really intend to give us the pronunciation of a word?
Answer: No.
Question: Are John and Jen complete and total idiots?
Answer: No.
Question: Do they...
Answer: No.
Question: Would they...
Answer: No.
Question: What about...
Answer: No.
That is all.

- Related Wreckage: MORE Weird Wedding Cakes (with the famous "albino booby tower")

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Reader Comments (168)

omgew. it looks like some sort of upside-down rotting pineapple. why would anyone want to go near it ? much less eat it.. D|

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterredmorningstar

Now you can watch cake wrecks in the making: Bake Decorate Celebrate! runs on our local PBS station. I watched today as the "expert" demonstrated how to properly write on a cake. You could barely decipher her writing.


December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hilarious AS ALWAYS! (I can't believe you needed to add the update. You'd think people would figure out the humor on this site by now. Never overestimate the intelligence of the internet.)

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

The first (proper) picture actually looks rather gross to me. The next ones looked grosser. That being said, I'm sure the croquembouche is actually delicious. It's the cobwebs that turn me off!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I can only think that the baker was being mean...

And about the update: I love it when I'm not the only overly literal person in the world! Or as Hermione would say, "It's not "croak-em boosh", it's "croak-EHRM-boo-shay"!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKath' Aama

@ Eric 10:51 -- LOVED the google comment!

@ anon (midnightcyn) 5:14 PM -- After I looked at the pictures, I said to myself, "Hmmm, it's been a while since I've made monkey bread. I should make some today!"

I do use caramel to soak my monkey bread and it definitely looks better than both of these pictures. However, it's not very light, so there's no comparison to the french pastry cake. (I'm not even going to attempt to spell that word!)

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWriteCards

And I just have to add . . . the Tiki gods must be very angry!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWriteCards

Every time John and Jen's wonderful sense of humor peeks through in a Cake Wrecks post, and some geniuses decide to correct them (remember the EPCOT/Spaceship Earth cake?), whether said individuals are robots with no humor sensors, uptight readers with some sort of complex, or just plain dumb, I want to beat my head against the desk. I almost did tonight. And that is just sad.

That being said, if I saw this at a wedding, I don't think I would have been able to remain anonymous. The raucous laughter would have made me a little bit conspicuous, indeed.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCorran Horn

WV:pormectr -
Person 1:"Did Mectr see the croquembouche that the bakery delivered?
Person 2: "Yes, she's pretty upset about it."
P1: "Pormectr."

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErica

Croquembouche is heavenly and divine. Or at least it's supposed to be. If you haven't had it, you should. Just maybe not from that particular creation.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMel

Ha ha, to make this even better, On, where there is a "pretty" one, it says Croquembouche means "crunch in the mouth". Palm fronds are cruncy.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKateness

Holy cow, that's just awful

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIrisFleuron

I like to call them a profiterole cake or tower. Much easier. These were all the rage in Australia this year due to it being a challenge on MasterChef. The chefs all got burns to their fingers whilst trying to spin the sugar and probably also the hundreds of viewers who thought they could do it at home.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That Croquembouche, looks like one of Marie Antoinette's left over wigs....

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter*Jewels*

Are they?
Funny as heck? (keeping it G rated)

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCountessLaurie

I like the green spikes! They're kinda manly- they prevent it from being so poncey and FRENCH!
I have to admit the spiderwebs look diseased though. Shudder.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMia

Dear sir or ma'am,

I applaud you for taking the higher ground; had I been at a wedding where the cake looked like that, there would have been an ensuing series of "poke it and see if it gets angry" photos.


December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

I want your update as my email signature.

No, wait, I NEED your update as my email signature.

And perhaps on a t-shirt.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMtgchic


December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

hahahaha first time commenter but that was priceless. Especially loved the butch-ery of the name. :)

And I agree.. WTF?????

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLex

Uh, even the real French croquembouche doesn't look that appetizing... but the wrecky version of it is downright frightening.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Jeremy - bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

Awesome Musical Youth reference...

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnne S.

Don't try this at home:

Pastry balls stuck together with toothpicks are just asking for lacerated tonsils...

wv: haryor -- har har haryor croquembouche is ridiculous!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCaren

That's a scary looking cake. Timbits and cobwebs aren't appetizing up in Canada either...makes it look like it's been sitting out for awhile.

What's with the pointy parts though on the cakewreck? At least the original I could see eating knowing what it is, but the wreck? Yikes!!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

They've made this twice on Australian MasterChef and both times even the contestant's versions have looked better than that 'real' one, and definitely better than the wreck one!

This isn't a terrible good photo of it, but this was the professionally done Croquembouche the second time they made it:

I'm actually kind of impressed about how they managed to get the sugar out in corners like that... That's talent. Wrecky talent, but talent :P

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris

They just did these in the last season of Master Chef (in Oz). choux pastry, filled with cream or custard (the ever tasty profiterole) are dipped in caramel and arranged in a cone mould, and decorated with some additional caramel spun over the piece. additional decorations may be added (they did sugar butterflies for the competition).
Looks like they got a little carried away on the spun caramel on this one... and neither seems to have used a cone mould to shape the stack (which is what gives the croquenbouche its elegance.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNinjaRaven

kinda makes all those nasty CCC look pretty o.k. doesn't it! ;)

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNettie

"I like to call them a profiterole cake or tower"

Um, NO. Profiteroles are puffs filled with vanilla ice cream and covered with hot chocolate (yummyyummyyummy). Croquembouche is a traditional wedding cake made with a bunch of cream puffs held together with caramel. Hardly the same thing.

(French Brainy Smurf talking)

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Both of those croak-em-barfs are equally repulsive looking. What a horrible excuse for baked goods . . . no wonder the French always act slightly pissed.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNick

hmm, the greenery looks like palmetto leaves. Giving me the idea that this fiasco happened somewhere between the Mason-Dixon line & Cuba.

Humidity & spun sugar don't mix. Just don't try it.

WV: elthic = an Irish health nut?

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNil Zed

I think it's pretty.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh.... my... goodness....

I don't know which was more amusing... the horrifying spider wasps *shudder* or reading all the comments. I have tears rolling down my cheeks from laughing so hard!!

LOVE the google comment.... and also want Jen's update on a Tshirt... and the wv's... and.... and.... and... LOL!!

wv: pyrothnb - what each of these croquembouche chefs suffered from after burning their thumbs on all that hot spun sugar time and time again.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter~*Mish*~



VW: buggin.

I saw that thing and decided I was buggin out.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiranda

I surely can't be the only one that the example of "real" Croquembouche (I totally just had to copy/paste that word) looks just as unappetizing as the wreck...

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

You have to give the Wreckator some credit. It's not exactly a pretty dish. I honestly thought the first picture was the wreck, until I scrolled down...

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJezzica

Oh mon dieu!! Mes yeux!!!!!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteranna

Jen, John, seriously... you guys just do stuff like that pronunciation to see how many morons "correct" you, don't you? I laughed when I read it, and then I died a little inside before I ever got to the comments because I knew what was coming!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I guess if you're going to bother with spun sugar, it seems like you might as well keep going 'til you run out of ammo.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

John and Jen complete and total idiots ;P

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFrancois Tremblay

tee-hee, love your update almost more than the post.


December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBek

I had one of these! I loved it, but it didn't look anything like this weirdly ninja-like 'bouche. Did they stick chopsticks in the top to support that?

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdeemack


That is one ugly dessert, in any language :P My teeth hurt just thinking about trying to bite into all that sugar :P

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Way too bizarre! What is it supposed to be?

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPam Walter

Wow - this should be just the thing should Howard Goodall remake the comedy revue song, "I Hate the French!"

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwhizkidforte

I think thhat each one of those little "balls" are called "profiteroles". Well, at least in Portugal. lol

They have usually cream inside and chocolat outside. I love it!

I mean, I love it, but I woudn´t try the primitive jungle...

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Oh. Oh. Oh.

I so glad that I learned to stop sipping coffee as I read this blog.

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterblueiguana

It looks as though the spider from Harry Potter relocated to a jungle den and laid a pile of precious eggs, then protected them with deliciously magical webbing.

Somewhere in an alternate universe, magical jungle spider eggs nested in maternal webbing is probably a delicacy. Or maybe I'm just thinking of the Amazon.

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternuccio

The croak-em-butchy comments are the best I have ever read. I am in tears!

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterblueiguana

Any person that went to a culinary school for their pastry education would not only know about, but how to assemble a croquembouche. At Le Cordon Bleu schools it is the first thing you will create in the wedding/celebration cakes class.

As for their design, the tower should be significantly taller and thinner than the example image and the spun sugar, while an option, is not the only way to decorate this dessert. (And judging by the wreck, should probably be avoided by people with no idea how to do so.)

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTristan

The first 'correct' one actually looks worse to me than the cakewreck approved one. Least the second one looks like it's a bunch of doughnut holes sheltered under a shiny little web. First one looks like it sat on a table too long ala-Ms.Havisham.


December 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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