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

Spelling Airs

We all know that nearly all cake decorators misspell "congratulations" every day.

(Um, John? I don't think...)

This is obviously because they're either drunk or completely incompetent.

(Okay now, we're totally gonna get in trouble for that...)

Now you might be saying, "I thought all drunk and completely incompetent people were politicians?"

(Well, that's true.)

But you would be wrong!

(I would?)

Which brings us back to cake.

(Oh, good.)

See? Comgratation. Interestingly enough, there are close to 3,000 accepted spellings of "congradulationed" in the decorators' dictionary.

Occasionally, though, they do spell it goodly:

Like so. Of course, sometimes after successfully spelling a word the thrill goes to the baker's head. Thusly we get "Ternifer" - a hybrid creation of "Terrific" and the name of the person who ordered the cake, perhaps?

Here again the decorator got the "hard" word right:

Sure, the number's a bit, well, wrong...but hey, numbers are hard!

Wisites: n. [wi-SET-eez] Small, fuzzy mammals indigenous to Uganda prized for their venom, which is said to cure gout and certain types of restless leg syndrome.

See? No misspellings here!

Well, y'all have a grrr-reat day now. Oh, and decorators? Bottoms up!

Jessica E., Christy C., Dana S., & Jessica, watch out; I hear those wisites spit.

- Related Wreckage: The "Year" of the "Grad"

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Reader Comments (64)

I work somewhere that teaches English and when i got the job the message said Congratulation!

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

It's like they made cakes out of word verifications.

wv: mantnes - Happy Mantnes!

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTaylor@MyOlderBrothers

That last one cracks me up. I know what happened. If you squint your eyes, the "it" looks like a capital H.

The order form had bad handwriting, and our decorator was either completely devoid of imagination, or was opting for a bit of subtle revenge.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSparky

Hmm. I'm not 100% convinced the lettering on #3 is by a professional. Different icings (gel = ew), childish hand-writing + bad spelling? I think mommy let someone help with the blank cake she bought.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSolgrundy

Or #4. I blocked out the real #3 for yellow icing.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSolgrundy

Honestly. Dictionaries should be a requirement in bakeries. Wisites? Or maybe just an editor before cakes go on display or out the door. I'll do it!

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSouthern Gal

I really, really don't get it when the cake is nicely decorated and then then the writing is horribly scribbled all crooked and misspelled. WTF?

The anniversary one doesn't even have that much going for it. Kinda looks like someone's kid was trying out their icing tips.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiranda

"Wisites"? I thought that was a question, usually answered by "I dunno. What do you think?"

In this case, I haven't a clue!

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLady Anne

No, No, No! A WISITE is the species of bird in the movie "UP." So, it's Venezuelan.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda in Austin

I have noticed friends on facebook who have started spelling the word congratulations as congradulations. I am hoping they are just big Cake Wrecks fans. I'm probably wrong.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I cannot believe the number of holiday wrecks and misspellings on cakes that exist, but at the same time I'm grateful because they keep this blog going!

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

People stupidity just kills me!

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoo

I have never left a comment before because, well, someone else usually says it first!!
OK, here I go, this is only mildly relevant because usually I am paralytic on the floor by now pointing at the screen and gurgling inanely but today I managed to control may regret that!
I have to ask, is this a USA thing?
I have peered hopefully now, into the window of many cake shops and all the supermarket cake aisles as well.
I have yet to find a single, not one single, misspelled cake, and of the notorious "Cupcake Cake" there is NO sign, none at all (not that it would be accepted or bought if it did rear it's ugly little head....that's something that surprises me, btw, why do people buy those things??) So, I know you have had cakes sent from the UK, but they have usually been humorous, not "bad".
Is this international?
Is is confined to the Americas??
Inquiring minds wish to know....

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKirri

I fear Kirri is right and this is a "New World" problem....north of the 49th parallel we get CCC's (ptooie), irrational placement of plastic flotsam, and yes....bad grammar and spelling on our bakery products. However my partner wishes to add that the CCC (ptooie) appears to have only recently reared its ugly head and he is concerned that CakeWrecks is inadvertantly spreading this plague in much the way sensationalist news coverage encourages copy-cat murders....but I digress....

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

It's a shame - the last one has such pretty flowers.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlbatross

OMG, I'm laughing so hard, I can barely breathe! Ternifer sounds like a Mormon name, or something generated automatically but the definition of "wisites" just did me in.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergirlfmkitty

Taylor - Mantnes sounds like a holiday you celebrate with men without pants...

I have found a few wrecks, mostly of the CCC variety, locally. One of the bakers/decorators was my high school geometry teacher though... so the lettering is usually very accurately centered and spaced and even spelled right! (Makes me wanna retire to become a wreckerator!)

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLizard

I just LOL'd so hard at "Wisites". Thanks for that, I needed it :)

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeana

May I ask what those ...umm things are on the top of that chocolate frosted wreck?
Looks like covered up poo. Eww.

WV Lingt "Happy Lingt"

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Dang, I always thought Wisites were one-eyed Ugandan yak pups... they're endangered you know.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

Look, I just want to point out...of course, I am not a professional cake decorator...but as a young teenager I once wanted to congratulate my sister and her husband on their wedding anniversary and I STAMPED OUT IN A SNOWY FIELD "Happy Anniversity". God, how embarrassing. But I can understand it. Sort of.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCatanea

These spelling mistakes make me think the wreckorators are people for whom English is not their first language.

Up until now, I hadn't seen any wrecks here in Toronto (Canada), but recently, since another company took over our local grocery stores, I've started to see some! This other company is based in Montreal (where they speak French). Is there a connection?

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne Dargie

Comgratiations john, for your wondrefal pst. I llo'd

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieT

Oh my sister is so getting a Best Wisites cake for her birthday. And Jamie if your reading this I'm putting myself as anonymous just to keep you guessing if it's you or not!

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

as i've said before, mithspellings are my very favorite kind of wreck.

love. them!! and these are friggin' hilarious. especially the 1 frs.

however, i'm thinking best wisites may be future cakewreck folklore.

it's rather sad for jamie, though, because the roses are lovely.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Lee

Was I the only one that thought of Chekov when I read 'visites?' xD

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I asked for a wisites for Christmas, but they were all sold out.


December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNitrocat

@girlfmkitty: Just out of curiosity--why does "Ternifer" sound like a Mormon name? Do you know a lot of Mormons with weird names or something? I don't think our names are any weirder than those in the general population--and I see a lot of weird names (I work in a hospital). I'm from a family of 8, and all of us have perfectly normal, spelled correctly, names. In fact, all of my 54 Mormon cousins have normal names. Who do you hang out with?? :)

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

That's the USA for you: excess flotsam and made up grammar.

I'm so proud.

wv: bertsche
I need the name of these wreckerators so that I can order my bertsche cake!

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh

Maybe the probably lies with the ESL (English as a second language) decorators or people with no work ethic or maybe it's an homage to our failing school systems where standards are lowered and spelling skills have become "irrelevant" in the age of computer spell check. The problem is, there's no spell check with icing!

What will happen when this generation of texters who abbreviate everything and spell nothing must graduate to cake decorating?

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

All I have to say is . . . Thanks for making me laugh!! Love it!


December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShake-N-Bake

The real wreck may be that the chocolate cake is toxic--if the seeds haven't been removed from those things that look suspiciously like the fruit of a yew!

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhmmm...

You didn't even mention the "a ... seasons" (that is, the plural seasons) How many ternifer seasons were there to be congratulated on? (oops, I mean congradutated)

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnnMarie

Diana said: "...copy-cat murders...."

That would be "copy-cake murders..." I presume. [wields knife of red frostinged doom]

And Anonymous? You wondered "..what will happen when this generation of texters who abbreviate everything and spell nothing must graduate to cake decorating?"

We all b ded x thn, i hope.


WV olect.

(I really enjoy these WV words. I intend to collect and save them for when I write my next SciFi novel.)

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNoni Mausa

I think on the last cake, the fact that the message is printed but the name is in cursive means that the cake decorators name is Jamie.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

After hoping upon hope to find a CW-worthy wreck, I came across a dandy at my local grocery store yesterday. But I was too chicken to take a picture of it with the bakery staff standing right there behind the counter! Oh why am I so lame? Also, I did not have a camera. That would help next time. Anyone have tips for how to get a good shot of a wreck without offending the wreckerators? Without buying the horrible thing, I mean. And presuming you have a camera.
Liz in Seattle

VW: Debri
Oh come on--too easy! All these bad cake are covered in debri.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

So I read a story on MSN about how many adult Americans can't do basic math like making change, figuring sales tax and tip, interest payments, etc.....

Then I wandered over here.....

I'm starting to believe that reverse evolution is taking over the human race. It's not the meek that shall inherit the earth, it's those that can spell and add that will.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjulie

They spelled Hylton correctly.

-roger hylton

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterroger

I think Ternifer was supposed to be 10-4. Tenandfour season? Sounds possible, no?

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErica

I like Witines. It's like Resetti from Animal Crossing + Witness. Or whiteness? Someone learning English could go insane trying to figure out what these cakes say.

wv: suchor - There's a suchor born every minute.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

@ Kirri,

I am not familiar with UK cakes, but I can say that highly decorated cakes with texts etc. are called American cakes in Holland, because traditionally this is not done here.

(Which does not mean that CW hasn't managed to find some Dutch wrecks)

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermarcel

Honestly the last one looks either photo shopped, or messed with. As others have pointed out, it almost looks like a capital H, and scraping some of the icing off with a toothpick would be easy enough to do.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hey better not pick on us cake you want to know how many times I have spelled Congratulations right..only to have customers argue with me that it is wrong...and that it should be a d instead of a t ...please save us ....

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJackie Blue

@Liz in Seattle--

I would pick up the cake as if I intended to buy it, but then take it to another part of the store, snap the photo with my camera, and then either return it to the counter or give it to the cashier as if I had changed my mind. I used to work in retail, so I wouldn't just leave it elsewhere, because it's a real pain to hunt down all the misplaced stuff in a store, even if it's in your job description. Plus, I'd feel like a double jerk otherwise.

I know it seems silly to go through all this Secret Squirrel maneuvering, but this way, no one gets offended (well, yet). :P

--CC in KC

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Never trust a tattoo artist or cake decorator that can't spell. Never.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJillian

I have an answer for the cakes that are "nicely decorated with horrible writing". I work in a grocery store, and in the bakery department they sell cakes that are shipped in already decorated. All they have to do is write on the cake when the customer places an order. Most of the time it is done by someone with no training or past experience writing on a cake.

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow, I really needed a laugh today! I can always count on you for one :-)

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWomanUncensored

OH Jackie Blue, I totally am on your side..I once had a lady customer on the phone ordering her graduation cake and insisted that I spell congratulations with a D instead of a T. I insisted that was wrong. She argued with me, and angrily told me to "hang on a minute!", and she went and got a dictionary. I waited patiently and then when she returned to the phone..guess who was eating I mean CAKE..with congraTulations spelled correctly on it! LOL

WV: I want to herta her she made me so mad!

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

I'd like to see a cake inscribed with some of these word verifications.

"Hapy Mantnes"
"Congradlation Mike & Debri"
and, of course,
"Marry Dumphypo!"

Perhaps on your next book tour...

December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Love your blog Jen.
I have a feeling that you may have been taken for a ride on this one.Try blowing up the picture and look at the pixels around the t and i in wisties. I have a strong feeling (not 100% sure though) it may be photoshopped into saying wisties

December 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngeliqua

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