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

Bakery PSA

As an insomniac I naturally despise setting the clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time. I mean, suddenly I'm a whole hour lazier than I was before. Granted, the fact that this requires absolutely no effort on my part IS pretty sweet, but still.

Anyway, it occurred to me that we should use this annoying occasion to not only remind everyone to change out the batteries in their smoke detectors, but also to change out any cake displays they may have lying about. You know, in case you have something like this in your living room window:

Those decorations make this an appropriate cake for itself, but thinking about that makes my brain kinda hurt.

Or this:

Looks like something you'd find in the abandoned town of Pripyat, doesn't it? All it needs is a little singed teddy bear lying next to it. So sad.

This Wreck is also the lucky recipient of Jen's Unsolicited Rant of the Day:

"Attention bakery persons: this is a display cake, meant to advertise your product, is it not? Because I could almost forgive the two giant blobby flowers on a soccer cake, the fallen players, and the thick coating of dust, but you know where I draw the line? THE RIBBON. Seriously, you couldn't take an extra 5 seconds to put the ribbon overlap in the back? Really? Do you want me to write an entire sentence in italics? Well, do ya?!?"


They could also use this time to weed out the mysterious stains:

The spelling errors:

(So pretty! And wrong.)

And I dunno, maybe all the stuff from 1999?

Seriously, guys, it's done its job. Let it go.

Meg M., Sarah C., Alexandra Y., Sarah B., & Erin F., let's party like it', you know.

*Related Wreckage: The Displays That Time Forgot

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Reader Comments (70)

I bet that last one is pretty...crunchy by now.

Angie (from over at

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHalf Assed Kitchen

Holy yikes! You'd think that they would have picked a display cake with NO SPECIFIC DATE on it. that way, it's good forever...although the look of the model on that one is a bit dated.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterViewtiful_Justin

Ohhh soooo bad. The brown one actually looks like it has cobwebs.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkara

Oh, wow. Those are SO gross!

Nothing makes me say "mmmm, I want to order from that bakery!" like moldy frosting on top of a dusty cake.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterUptownHippie

That's no spring chicken. It is a turkey.

And that next-to-last cake is just dyslexic with both hands.

;^) Jan the Gryphon

wv: dograt --dograt it, all of them cakes need to be landfill

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergryphondear

Yeah... The bakery I work at has some of these. I take a small amount of comfort in that they are 10 feet up on the wall almost out of view.
I will be saying something about them now.
Granted, they aren't as bad as some of these (what is up with that soccer one??) but they could certainly use a face lift.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

Oh. My.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFreedomFirst

I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds outdated cake mock ups kinda creepy and's a wonder some of those cake examples actually generate new business !

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

O M G.....
I hit the Comments button....
I hit the Back button....
I gagged...again...
Comments button...
There just isn't a suitable (and printable) comment coming to mind.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

You're suppose to have your cake & EAT IT TOO!! Not save it for umpteen years!" REL="nofollow">Daily Gif Blog


March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoublebanker

So, is that supposed to be shag carpet or fiberglass insulation on the first cake?
Which one would fit the theme better?
70's harvest gold or scratchy "it looks like cotton candy, but soooo isn't!" insulation.
Hmmm, neither can explain the footsteps. I guess we'll never know.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi 'n' Jeff

I love the blue roses on the side of the soccer field full of drunk soccer players.......WTH???!!!!

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVashti

It's a tradition! Here is the passage from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens:

I crossed the staircase landing, and entered the room she indicated. From that room, too, the daylight was completely excluded, and it had an airless smell that was oppressive. A fire had been lately kindled in the damp old-fashioned grate, and it was more disposed to go out than to burn up, and the reluctant smoke which hung in the room seemed colder than the clearer air - like our own marsh mist. Certain wintry branches of candles on the high chimneypiece faintly lighted the chamber: or, it would be more expressive to say, faintly troubled its darkness. It was spacious, and I dare say had once been handsome, but every discernible thing in it was covered with dust and mould, and dropping to pieces. The most prominent object was a long table with a tablecloth spread on it, as if a feast had been in preparation when the house and the clocks all stopped together. An epergne or centrepiece of some kind was in the middle of this cloth; it was so heavily overhung with cobwebs that its form was quite undistinguishable; and, as I looked along the yellow expanse out of which I remember its seeming to grow, like a black fungus, I saw speckled-legged spiders with blotchy bodies running home to it, and running out from it, as if some circumstances of the greatest public importance had just transpired in the spider community.

I heard the mice too, rattling behind the panels, as if the same occurrence were important to their interests. But, the blackbeetles took no notice of the agitation, and groped about the hearth in a ponderous elderly way, as if they were short-sighted and hard of hearing, and not on terms with one another.

These crawling things had fascinated my attention and I was watching them from a distance, when Miss Havisham laid a hand upon my shoulder. In her other hand she had a crutch-headed stick on which she leaned, and she looked like the Witch of the place.

"This," said she, pointing to the long table with her stick, "is where I will be laid when I am dead. They shall come and look at me here."

With some vague misgiving that she might get upon the table then and there and die at once, the complete realization of the ghastly waxwork at the Fair, I shrank under her touch.

"What do you think that is?" she asked me, again pointing with her stick; "that, where those cobwebs are?"

"I can't guess what it is, ma'am."

"It's a great cake. A bride-cake. Mine!"

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

I was playing along nicely (sort of) until the 1999 cake and the sad scenario of a cake not picked up because the guy didn't graduate stuck in my mind. Now, I know it's supposed to be a demo cake, but it's my story and I'm sticking to it.
And why does the Old Crab look like a hippo?

WV reduper--the second copy of a display cake, made to look fresher.
All these cakes need a reduper.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdrgns4vr

Those are nasty.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Is that a straight pin in that ribbon? I hope they don't do that with real cakes.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

It looks like Owl from Winnie-The-Pooh did the writing on the pretty pink and white cake. If so, it's actually a small step up from "HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDY."

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDelibird

Hmmm, two only questions come to mind...
A) Do these bakeries actually get business?
B) Do people actually look in the window "before" entering the bakery?
Just wondering cuz' I was thinking this cake decorating gig might be easier than I thought, better than those "make millions quick" infomercials even. It's certainly something to consider...

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieT

Okay, question here. If the food court has mastered faux pretzels that always make the guy in front of me argue about whether or not they are really out of pretzels and the only slightly more upscale restaurant waiter can show everyone all week what the 6 dessert option are includng the icecream sundae, why then can't the cake bakeries find a way to display their talents with 'icing' that will not mold?

wv - inarveri - the clerk to customer, 'as you can see by the example inarveri old er own display case, Edna had er has a very steady hand with the icing bag."


March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Next time you come across a grouch, get them a Happy Bitterday cake!

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie Alender

Do they not care how their displays look? Yuck.

~Amy B.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Ahhhh...Miss Havisham's cake! I do remember the scurrying of spiders, and how goosefleshy I got picturing that.
I don't remember ever seeing a cake made out of a dirty old shag rug.
The soccer game seems to have been interrupted by aliens in the shape of huge blue cabbages, and these aliens had something to do with the fallen blue team players. Not at all sad; just messy.
I really think the art deco-y squiggles on the brownish cake are kinda cool, but the effect was altered somewhat when someone carelessly "hawked a looie" on it. *tsk tsk*
I actually think that the pale pink leaves on the bitter-dee-hay day cake are lovely--a nice change from the usual Play-Doh green crap most cake leaves are made of.
Don't really have much to say about the last one, other than it seems to be displayed within the siderails of a hospital bed or gurney of some sort. Huh.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Okay, I just have to ask. Do these bakeries exist in some sort of twilight zone where vermin does not exist? Because where I'm from, there would be a small army of extremely fat roaches sprawled around the room, and the ants would have built small interstates leading to and from the spot where the cakes are displayed. On the plus side, there would no longer BE any cake on display.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRedgryphon

Nothing to say about the cakes because they're beyond gross but good on you for the Pripyat reference....I've always wanted to go on a photography expedition there but your link sort of cured the need for now. ;-)

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

It looks like there's a roach over the top of the "B" on the brown cake- and the deco looks cobwebby too... So sad...


March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKritterBugg

these are like the baker's equivalent to amazing. what a great site.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Wait, they have a display cake that is misspelled?! That's horrible! and that soccer cake? Who puts a ribbon on a soccer cake to begin with!

I swear, the more you post these, the more I think about opening my own shop.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

You seriously need to include disclaimers for pregnant women to avoid certain posts. My morning snack WAS undecided if it was staying down, but these photos made the decision for it.

Please excuse me now...

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeccy

i think that stain on the brown one is a brown cowboy hat

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfiction

I wonder what would happen if someone tried to cut into one.... okay, don't picture that.

On a happier note, there is a lolcat I do believe you would appreciate:

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMalMal

Display cakes from 1999? Hilarious.
More importantly, are they on special or can I get free delivery or something?


March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Happy Medic

I'm trying to figure out what a Bitrdhay would be would you celebrate?

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Z

Yes, that soccer one has a definite air of post-atomic apocalypse about it. You really nailed that. Yikes.

Donna, well played with the Dickens. The spiders running to and from the moldy mound...blech.

Is there any chance that the photographer of the last cake has been holding on to that picture for, oh, I don't know...ten years or so? No? Sigh...

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkate

Anyone notice there's mouse poop on the soccer cake? Look at the H close up and around the players on the left side. Definitely makes me want to order a cake from there!

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The first comment about the cakes being crunch made me URP.

And in response to James' post about the bad paintings of Barack Obama--WTH is with the painting of him wearing a taco on his head and proffering underwear??

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

Now that I've picked my jaw up off the floor from the shock of those pictures, plesae remove the "s" in Daylight Saving Time. :)

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

second cake has rat poop on it. just thought you'd like to know.


March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhoshi

I graduated in 99, it's just sad that there are cakes still around from then. Why would any bakery display something from 10 years ago? And why would they think that anything made back then would be even remotely interesting to someone today?

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

Are those mouse droppings on that second cake? I think I'll go throw up now.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

LMAO Those cakes look so unappealing.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaty

The soccer one is especially sad and lonely looking, even with the blue flowers...the rest, kinda scary.

WV: traph...I think you could get a traph infection from eating those cakes.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwolfmom

The soccer one at first glance made me think they were having a fight on the field!

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAthryn

So...I'm sick at home today, and I'm not entirely sure if all these cakes make me feel sicker or what's going on. Because I do. I do feel sicker.

As for that Ukraine cake...I think that ribbon is actually Fruit by the Foot. I'm not even going to comment on how gawd-awful the rest of the cake looks. Not. Even. Going. There.

As for the Happy Bitrdhay (did I spell it right?) cake--phonetically it sounds like Happy Bitterday. Hmm...

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDangGina


The local Bruester's has faux ice-cream cakes on display. Surely a fake cake in a display window never hurt anyone.

I feel compelled to point out that the soccer players remind me of the little football players that used to dance across the electric field. My husband has one of those games, and it still works!

I would eat the misspelled cake. It looks good. The others ... gag!!!!!

Word verification: reent. One of these bakers needed to reent a dictionary.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScritzy

I love that you used "it's" and "its" correctly in the last sentence. I knew there was a reason I love this blog.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoybells

That looks like post-apocalyptic deliciousness to me.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHungarican Chick

I hate seeing dusty cakes in bakery windows. So sad :(

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterksaldria

I had to make a four tier dummy cake for a fondant class, but I didn't own the bakery, so my cake did not go on display. I carried it around in my back seat for a few days then finally pitched it at a carwash.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Being naive on the conditions of cakes that have sat around too long...I would have thought that the decoraters all used the same recipe to get that lovely dust brown shade of icing. Who knew! lol. sidenote: my great grandmothers lace doilies from 1906have turned the same color...

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercocilian

I call fake on the Happy Bitrdhay cake - looks Photoshopped.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSherry

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