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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
Wednesday
Feb182009

Come On Barbie, Let's Go Party

It all started with those kitschy toilet-paper cover dolls:

I think every grandmother was required by law to make enough of these things for her family to cover a mountain of TP. (My personal favorite was our red-dressed flamenco dancer. You?) After this was done, those dear crafty souls had to come up with new ways to use their stockpile of doll torsos.

Enter: the doll cake!

It was understandable when at first children assumed they were being served yarn and TP. Here Jenn L. is saying, "How about you put that over there and go fetch me my real cake, before someone throws a hissy, Ok?"

Fast forward 30 years or so, and doll cakes have come a long way. Why, just look at all the diverse styles they come in now!

The "Hawaiian Shaving Brush":


The "Easy-Chair-Under-Her-Dress":

("My lap! My lap! My lap is on FI-YUR!")

The "I'm-a-Little-Teapot":


The "Girls-Shouldn't-Have-ALL-the-Fun":

And the ever popular "Climb Every Mountain":


Cherie, Andrea M., Sanne, & Cattie P., all together now: "Life in plastic - it's fantastic!"

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Reader Comments (250)

I cannot believe those were made by real professionals...

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrightfootforward

You know there's nothing more offensive than naked TP.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

I can't stop laughing at my lap, my lap my lap is on fy-yur!

I still have Big (questionable orientation) Ken in my collection. I like him too much to make a cake out of him.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Horrible or no, I desperately want to go to whatever party commissioned the Ken Does the Castro cake. HEAVEN!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Where do all the left-over legs go?

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Hmm, I wonder if anyone can procure the video clip of 'Whatever, Martha!' for these little nightmares?

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

For those of you who don't remember Earring Magic Ken (and I'm so glad to see some of you do), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earring_Magic_Ken" REL="nofollow">Wiki knows all, of course.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkshandra

I will never, ever listen to Barbie Girl the same way ever again.
I wonder......why would someone make a KEN cake? Doesn't everybody hate that doll? (shivers)
Thank God my mother never made a Barbie cake.
she always made a castle or a ladybug.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJumpyham

The Earring Magic Ken cake is the BEST. I totally want one for my next birthday.

(And yes, most people are pretty sure Mattel cluelessly provided Ken with what amounts to a c**k ring on a chain. It was probably the best doll of the early 1990s for that very reason.)

- Lisa.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thank you so much for posting these! My Mom made me a doll cake for one of my birthday's and I was just over the moon about it! I think I'm going to see if I can order one for my next birthday. LOL

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

**blink**

Uh, the Ken cake..what? Why?

Just because you can, does not mean you should!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

no no no no no. these are TOO ABSURD! please tell me WHAT is happening with the teapot one- ARM! what happened?? also, like always- the commentary is spot on, esp regarding the shaving brush barbie. excellent.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhessica

I laughed until I cried...I thought these cakes were like the rest of the 70's horrors - never to be seen again, never to be admitted that I wore some of those styles, did my hair that way, etc.

Oh my goodness....no words left to say...except, um the blue teapot, did they frosting-ly enhance her? she was gigantic.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCharlene

And someone always gets to lick the frosting off! I remember that from one of my childhood friends bday parties. Her older brother, probably like 10yrs, got to lick the frosting off. Yeah, bad mom. But I've always wanted one...even in adult life I still want what I couldn't have as a child. That's probably while the're still made because people are giving their kids what they didn't get. Weird. What's with the 10ft tall cake and the angled pattern?

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I thought maybe the Ken one was supposed to be Scottish, but that just wouldn't explain the mesh shirt and earring/necklace combo. I would love to hear the backstory to that one.
(Should I admit to making a bridal dolly cake for a wedding shower several years ago? I still have the poor half-doll pick around somewhere....)

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJasry

i am most disturbed, actually, by the hawaiian doll's lick-off frosting bikini. that was before the mention of what may or may not be around ken doll's neck. now i'm in a serious moral debate about which is less appropriate for children...

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNiki

I always loved loved loved my mom's doll cakes. There were all very "Gone With the Wind" although I always felt bad that the poor doll is actually an amputee from the waist down. These however are just awful!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMJS

Earring Magic Ken! The "necklace" apparently comes with the doll, as does the purple mesh shirt! That is too awesome!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterevil cake lady

OK, the barbie cakes are creepy enough, but throwing cross dressing Ken in there. That just begs too many questions for a young child's birthday party. Or maybe this is a "coming out" cake?

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJo

Sadly, my soon to be 7 year-old wants one of these so bad. She loves Barbies and saw one at the grocery store. I have been trying to think how to utilize my basic baking skils to make one 'cuz $50 for a cake (especially one as hideous) is outrageous.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermonamildew

I think the cake that says "Dolly" on it is Dolly Parton...check out the boobs. What little girl needs a cake with DDD boobs....that's surely setting up large expectations, eh?

The Ken cake is just wrong on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin....nice bling .... wait ... what is that bling ... oh no! Dude ... what kind of party is Ken attending?

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStuffCooksWant

As a rank amateur who took basic cake decorating as a lark, I made better-looking Barbie cakes than these.

HOW BIG did that "mountain" cake pan have to be? Or are there multiple layers under there? The doll should have been on top of the cake, wearing climbing gear.

Holy freakin' cow.

Word Verification: tingen. I started tingen all over when I saw the Ken cake.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScritzy

I totally had one of these cakes when I was little. I think mine was a blonde barbie with vanilla cake and pink frosting. I was 8 so of course I LOVED it.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachael Berkey

hee heee heeee... the Ken!!! The flaming lap!!!! *gasp* hee hee heeeee

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

WEIRD!!!!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

If I showed this blog entry to my Gran, she would adore each and every one of these 'wrecks'. I recall a babyblue princess knit toilet roll cover that graced the back of her throne. Hilarious!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I've really GOT to stop visiting your blog at work. People are coming out of the hallway wanting to know what is so funny! My lap ... my lap ... my lap is on fire!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

Hey now...I am getting my feelings hurt here. I made one of those for my daughter's birthday a few years ago. It was a "princess cake" and she asked for it after seeing one in a Wilton book. It was better looking than these...but really, pretty standard for a little girl's birthday. My daughter loved it! Those of you who are disgusted are either jealous you never got one, you have never had a 4 year old daughter, or you throw some lame birthday parties!!!!

Of course, you wash the doll in soap and warm water and maybe bleach and rinse and dry...no big deal! Granted...the cake pictured rate from, "what pan did they use for that?!" to "Yuck!"

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSuz

So funny!!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDabbling D

my favorite TP cover was my grandmother's Mrs. Claus one. It was disturbing to say the least.

did you ever see the crocheted mushroom to cover the ajax can? i still have that one in the living room on the entertainment center w/ a 30 year old little plastic bottle of ajax because it's just too bizarre.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly

I think the burning lap barbie is not in an easy chair, but rather about 9 month pregnant

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

These are really funny....and so much funnier because they were supposed to be "cute" or "sweet".

What horrible cakes!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlbie

We refer to these as "bitch in a bowl" cakes.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe McKay Clan

my sister and i had doll cakes when we were kids, but thankfully, mom took her time when she made them and they came out really nice. otherwise i think we both would have needed therapy. for some reason my mom still had the doll torso in a kitchen drawer until sometime after i graduated high school. i'm not sure if she was planning on making a doll cake while we were in our teens or what. i'll have to check next time i'm at her house and see if it's finally gone.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjanie

Dang. I actually think the Hawaiian ones are adorable. I wouldn't mind having that Ken at my birthday (mwahaha i'm a loser d'aww).

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBalgram

"My Lap is on FI-YUR!" killed me. I'm still crying and the kids what to know why "fire" is spelled wrong. I haven't laughed that hard in ages, thanks!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNykie

LOL, the whole "My lap is on FI-YUR!" thing cracked me up.

Honestly, I think I enjoy your commentary more than the cakes. :P

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMommyAmy

That Ken doll cake may be my favorite thing ever. Who thought that would be a good idea? Did s/he do it in secret, or did this idea actually pass through more than one person's hands? Because if more than one person didn't see the problem with that cake... well, just color me flabbergasted. Or grateful, I suppose, because now I get to look at it all the time.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

That hawaiian doll is sitting on a coconut. Once you peel off the thick outerskin, looks just like that.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohara

I wish I knew these were wrecks, my local supermarket has had one on display forever, although I always thought it was cute. Much better than most of these, anyway.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda M

This cracks me up and brings back a tragic memory: Me, an excited 8-year-old, smiling at the doll cake placed in front of me. A crowd of friends and family look on with delight as I make my wish. Then...FOOM!! Her hair goes up in flames as I blow out the candles! Cue fire extinguisher and uncontrollable sobs. "Nekked" Barbie has a nasty charred scalp and the room reeks of burning hair. Ahhh...the memories. Thanks for digging up that old wound :)

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan B.

Wow... I keep seeing those cakes at Meijer, thinking I should send a pic in--too late, I guess!

Is that supposed to be Dolly Parton??? That's horrible....

The Ken one is just creepy.

...and is the big white one supposed to be a wedding cake or something???

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSerena

I always thought these cakes were called Dolly Varten cakes and there are special tins for them?

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDataceptionist

wow. the "girls shouldn't have all the fun" cake is so great.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelsey

I wondered when I'd finally see these. I made one for my daughter's 3rd birthday. It was definately a wreck. LOL

-April

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You can buy a regular Barbie (as opposed to generic doll picks) and wrap her legs in plastic wrap before inserting her in the cake. That way b'day girl gets a new Barbie. Probably no less sanitary than eating out at a restaurant...lol.

As far as Hula girl Barbie, I think it's actually kind of cool. But every doll cake I ever saw had the torso covered in frosting, usually those star tips making a dress top of some kind. So for all the *gasp* lickable tops, they've been making doll cakes that way for as long as there have actually been doll cakes. No kid ever thinks about it.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterholly

Mona, use a mixing bowl to make the skirt, as in actually bake it in there. That's basically what they are.

I had one of these, my sister had one, my stepdaughter had one in her turn. Most of these cakes (not Ken or Dolly Parton obviously) are made for little girls who adore ruffles and flowers and pink and purple, preferably with sparkles. I LOVED these cakes as a kid.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterholly

At my boyfriend's camp there's a disturbing red satin/black lace miniature merrywidow hanging in the bathroom (which is otherwise decorated with license plates). I think it holds toiletries, and maybe the little garter clips on the bottom hold towels??? I don't know why, or who thought it was a good idea.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfunnycide

Is it just me, or does the gorgeous Ken look suspiciously like he's sitting in the lower half of a Dalek?? (For those who don't know them: http://www.geocities.com/dalektimeline/NewDalek1.jpg)

Now that's one Captain Jack could go for!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFinisterre

They do a similar thing at Fecci's Ice Cream Parlour in Tenby, Wales.

They call it the Crinoline Lady and it's ace:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/robandkatie/482382050/in/set-72157600399004575/

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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