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

Back to Basics

Sometimes we look so hard for Wrecks we fail to see the forest for the trees, as it were. After all, it doesn't take crazy sculpted nonsense or illiterate scrawlings to make a Wreck; sometimes all you need is a healthy dose of what I like to call "the fugly":

For a baby shower, no less.

Green streaked nastiness AND a cupcake cake. Wow, Heather, you scored big.

Die, tie-dye! Die!
(You know, I bet a lot of you are going to like this one. Well, rest assured I won't be calling you a tasteless hippie if you do; I'll just give you one of my patented sardonic looks. Like this: [sardonic look]. Crippling, isn't it?)

I actually made something like this once. Of course, it was with finger paints, and I was three at the time, but still...

Amanda, Anne M., Elizabeth C., & Miranda C., I'm sure these cakes are all beautiful on the inside.

Ok, that's a lie. But I'd still eat them.

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Reader Comments (152)

maybe i should become a cake decorator at my local supermarket because it looks like i could some easy money and not really show up -- or be distracted by all the things of life... or maybe even take long naps... seems like a better job than the one i have to work hard at (although i probably wouldn't be able to read your blog during work hours...)

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The third cake is just misunderstood. I think the wreckerator was going for an impressionistic feel. Am I the only one who thinks "Monet" when I look at it. Of course you know what they say about Monet's nowdays don't you? If you don't check the urban dictionary :)

I have to say..........being the age that I am......I DO like the tie-dyed one.........and stop with that sardonic head is hurting!!! ouch!ouch!

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Fingerpaint cake: it's always darkest after, that's not right.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

AUHhh, my throbbing temples...
What really bothers me--nay, haunts me--about the first cake is the LOOK on the little crescent moon's FACE. I think of it has a "he." Click on to enlarge the photo--go on; I'll wait.
Now, look at it. REALLY look at it. Do you see it?? He looks positively lost, as if he has no idea how he ended up in such a situation. And he doesn't think he likes it there in Gloomy Land. In fact, he looks kind of aghast, or that he knows that he is stuck, with no way out. Poor little moon.
And what about those wonky little blobs adhering to the sides of this creation like barnacles? They almost look like chick peas, but with fleas. I just don't know.
The only redeeming thing (ha ha) is that if you look at the thing at an angle (tilt you head to the right), and squint really hard, you can make out a sort of smiley face wherein the moon is a *smile*, and the pale, yellowy blobs can play as the (unevenly aligned) eyes and one crooked eyebrow.
No, I am not *on* anything.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

The cake with the moon on it is eeew. A mustard yellow-pea green sky for a baby shower? with uncloud like blobs. After studying it a bit, I can't decided if the white is where the airbrushing cracked or if someone pulled some things off it. Some of the lumpiness might be an illusion created by the airbrushing, but the ragged edges sez it's not. That scalloped lace-like cake stand under it just makes the whole thing worse, not better.

The 'over the hill' cake looks like the decorator was still in elementary school. Bright green airbrushing looks like crayon scribbles, the random yellow squiggles, the cannonballs, the poo graves surrounded by greener What are those 'cannonballs' anyway? They remind me of the fake grape clusters in a bowl of artificial fruit my granny had.

I do like the top of the tie-dye cake, but not the sides. Shoulda gone with a solid color. I'd like to know how they made it.

the bottom one I guess was suppose to be a Mardi Gras cake.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Hahaha on the tie dye cake ~ we went to a party recently that had one, except much, much worse than your hideous example (think finger paints overdone... it was kinda muddy ick color). The first thing my son whispered in my ear upon seeing said cake: "Mom, did you bring your camera? That is SUCH a CakeWreck!"

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlemi

The TOP of the tie dye cake is lovely. The trim and sides are fugly.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Honestly, there are so few cake wrecks that are so bad that I would not eat them. Most are just a tragic case of "caveat emptor."

But really, that first baby shower cake is disgusting. I would actually try to avoid eating that.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJess

I think the sky is blue or black (at night ) . This looks like an atomic afterglow

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMella

Those are some UUUUGGGGLLLLYYYY cakes.

I don't like the tie dye one and I am the queen of tie dye. I like the idea of the tie dye cake, I in fact, really want to like the tie dye cake. I was soooo ready to be all mad at you for bashing it, but it was actually just sort of wrong. I know how we hate the airbrush around here, but I bet you could do a wicked tie dye cake with an airbrush.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessi

I can understand the moon on the baby shower cake, I can almost understand the yellow roses (They would have worked better if they weren't, you know, ancient) I don't understand the green and yellow sky. My thought is this was a cake for a baby shower 20 odd years ago that for some reason, didn't happen. The new momma then held on to that cake, and when her baby was ready to have a babyshower of her own, she brought it out.

WV: finesobs. When the customers saw these cakes, they all emmited finesobs.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRedd

I'm not overly fond of the tie-dye cake.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTasteless Hippie

I confess! I like the tie dye.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAshleigh

So I'm guessing the first one was an attempt at a peaceful night scene -- moon and probably clouds. So yes, a muted, darker colour on the background. But honestly, how could you see the result and not realize you had made a horrible, horrible mistake?

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

The first one looks like it is missing something---and the box is tall. Maybe it had a cow on it, as in the cow jumped over the moon??

The rest are colorful, but ugly.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoyce

My two year old really liked the second one. He said, "Oh yah! Cake bug!"
Hehehehehe, enough said.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

My comments on each cake in a poem:

Ow! This mess, it hurts my eye!
Yikes and this! Its my appetite thats died!
Bajeezus thats a painful sugar tie-dye!
And lastly all I have to say is "Why?"

Puke and retch, these are all wonderfully and horribly disastrous wrecks. =)

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think the last one looks like a frozen tv dinner... There's some carrots... whole lot of peas... a brownie?

Yuck doesn't sum up my feelings on the first one. Makes me think the baby puked up strained peas all over the birthday cake.

The tye-dye? I've heard that's what you get if the baker is on an LSD trip. :op

Amy B.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy


The black "cannon balls" are not actually cannon balls they are a cluster of black plastic balloon decorations that many bakeries buy for over the hill cakes

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

When I become the Biggest Loser, I'm giving Cake Wrecks all the credit in my winner's speech! lol

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I HATE the tie dye one! I am a connoisseur of gorgeous fabrics, being a quilter, and tie dye like this is horrifying to me. We quilters love batiks, but this is no batik.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterI Love Baby Quilts!

eeewwww...on all. I just don't understand these sometimes!

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJust a Small Town Girl

The last one looks just like a salad from a good distance õ_õ

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

marion b-w
I laugh soo much at your witty comments!!!! love it,love it, love it! and the cakes euch!! Fungus flavour anyone?

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I wasn't going to comment again, but that first one really reminds me of the petri dishes in 10th grade biology which might be a legitimate cake (well, maybe not), but for a baby shower,no.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdrgns4vr

What ARE those black balls on Heather's death cake?

And what are those reddish blobs? Something bloody? Eeeeewwwww!

That's a really gross cake. I don't think I could eat it.

Ummmmm. Pass, but thanks, really!

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlexander's Way

I think the tie dye cake sort of reminds me of those Mardi Gras King Cakes...only without the big hole in the middle, filling and all the beads and such........or maybe the colors just make me think of Mardi Gras. Who Knows?

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDidda

Love it! Good 'ol traditional cake wrecks! That first one is the worst; it looks moldy.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerraD

The first one is one of the least appetizing cakes I've seen you post, other than the window displays. How in the world did they manage to perfectly replicate MOLD on a cake?

And the last one is just a WTF cake. I have no words.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Sending the Clowns is right...the moon is a bit aghast at how he ended up on that cake. Also, if you tilt your head to the right, it really DOES look like a quirkly little smiley face...much better.
Why are there 3 freshly dug graves, when only two "youths" are being memorialized though? Scary...

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCara

Cake 4 looks like an unopened TV dinner. Mac'n'cheese, green beans, and stewed prunes. Mmm-Mmmm.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSue

I swear the first one looks like it is a left over halloween cake. See the white spots that were the bats used to be...aaah now you see it huh? And the awful round orange flowers with mangled leaves...pumpkins still on the vine.
All I can say is WOW. I can't even believe we still find wrecks. The other day I saw one of those "balloon" cakes that looks like well you know.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChrista

*shoots back a defiant-teenager-look*

I Love the tie-dye cake!It brings back so many far out memories. In fact, it has inspired me to recreate my old tie-dyed shirt collection.

I'm not saying that I like the tie-dye cake, but I am kind of impressed that someone felt they could undertake such a challenge. I imagine it must have been a rather messy process in which fingers got continuously licked... eww.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMekoveya

Mind you, I'm not voicing MY opinion...but my son just looked at the tie-dye cake and said, "wow...that's a cool cake!"

Of course, he's three.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

The second one I swore said "Here Lies Sarah Heathen's Youth"...I thought maybe she grew up in one of those disapproving families that didn't go for you finding your own spiritual calling. (unclean, unclean!)
I won't say I like the tie dye, but it gives me happy memories of ruining my friend's bedroom carpet with one of those paint swirl things, aka Centrifuge Junior.

And you really let the second "cake" off easily. There's a lot more wrong with that cake than just the green streaks and the fact that it's a CCC. What's with the yellow stuff all over the cake?" REL="nofollow">Sell Digital Products

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

another vote for the tie dye cake. Kinda cool! Now pass me the cheetos

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHorribleLicensePlates

Are you sure that it's a tie-dye cake, and not just a blue cake that had a bottle of mustard, and a bottle of ketchup explode on the top of it?

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I agree with some of the other commenters - I like the idea of a tie-dye cake. I do not like THAT tie-dye cake. Honestly, I think what it needs is more white space. You know how, if you tie the cloth really tight before dipping it in dye, you get lots of white space between the streaks of color? If you could get a cake like that, it'd probably look more like an actual cake and less like something the Sesame Street gang has been shedding all over.


March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Did someone pick the bats of the first cake? I am assuming those orange blobs resting on a nest of green squiggles are pumpkins. This sad attempt at a Halloween cake looks like the cakes you have posted that have been sitting in the window for a decade.

The second cake is just... well... It's just crap. If I went to go pick it up and the bakery handed me that cake, I'd give it back. It's amazing what they consider 'passable' these days. Yikes.

As for the tie-dye... well... I hate tie-dye to begin with, it reminds me of smelly VW buses and slow-witted, watery-eyed, armpity-smelling people with birkenstocks. Not exactly something that stimulates one's appetite for sweet cake. Blurgh.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHungarican Chick

The last one is a way to use up all the leftover frosting?

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNancy (nanflan)

That first one looks 10 day-old rotten Kraft Dinner (I used to have a really slobby roommate)

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I thought the tie-dye cake was cool too.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZephra

I'm not big on eating things that are more than 65% artificial color, but the tie-dye cake kicks butt, aesthetically speaking.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMetalNoir

(ducking from sardonic look) I'm just a hippie with no taste, I guess.

The other ones are pretty fugly.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdenisewalks

I agree with the person who said the first one looked like a Halloween cake that had some decorations removed, the white spot on the left is definitely bat shaped and the right side could be a spider on a web. The yellowish blobs up top just confuse me, are they covering something? Was somebody regifting a cake?

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie :)

Was something taken off the first cake, where those two little blobs of white icing now rest?

The graveyard cake is gross.

The tie-dye cake is colorful.

The last one: what the hell is it?

Word verification: sapsh. "You sapsh just THINK I was drunk when I decorated that cake. *HIC*"

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScritzy

I'm with you, the tie-dye cake is ugly.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

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