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

Gee, Ya Think?

So someone at the bakery felt this cake needed an explanation, but not a do-over. I also can't help but notice that that particular "someone" has rather nice handwriting.

Of course I mean nothing by that; I was merely making an observation.

Thanks to Claudia D., who tells me this is her "favorite" birthday cake, even though her name is NOT "Genenick Claudia Shawn".

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Reader Comments (58)

Shouldn't that sticky note say, "New chimp on duty?"

oh my gosh! that handwriting is worse than my 13-year-old brother's! what a rip-off! heh heh, yes, the person who wrote the explanation DID have rather nice handwriting.....

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterClara

I'm surprised you didn't comment on the balloons!

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterA

Amythest scrawl
Piped by nondominant hand?
But hey - nice balloons.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

More cakes on this site need to come with explanations. They could probably make an entire movie with the backstory behind some of these wrecks....

... not this one though. This one has very little backstory I'm afraid. (Poor Genenick Claudia Shawn)

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBilby P. Dalgyte

why are these cakes even making it into the box? are managers so lazy and greedy that they have no pride in their work? this is part of a larger problem!!!!!

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Aside from reading it as "Happy Biffday" I did like the balloons, even the one with the string running over the top of the other. Kind of a nice whimsical touch.
Is Genenick one person or two, or Siamese twins?
wv arstorks==the bird that brings our babies so we can have biffday cakes.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdrgns4vr

Okay, seriously. Can someone please tell me - if I were to receive a cake like this, could I demand my money back? I just don't understand why people even take cakes like this home with them.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Grant

The "writing" does not bother me nearly as much as this: since when does gravity give up on balloon strings making them all squiggly?

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterP

And the new girl is 3 years old. (At least, my 3-year-old can write about this well.)

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Next time, they should swap - New Girl gets to write the sticky note, Experienced Decorator gets to write on the cake.

After a few weeks of that, they can let her try it with icing again!

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergreyfuzzy

Did Genenick Claudia Shawn at least get a discount?

Two of my three kids birthdays are this month, and my oldest graduates next month. This blog makes me so scared of ordering from my grocery store bakery.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

My husband, Bob thinks four were having birthdays: Gene, Rick, Claudia, and Shawn. I am wondering if it was suppose to be generic--Claudia, shown.

vw: bolavo: like the song, "bo-la-vo, whoa, oh" or maybe a Swedish car?

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoyce

Perhaps the text was copied from a decorating instruction manual in which one of the photo captions is "generic name shown."

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstudiorose

Oh how I WISH this blog had been around in the early 90's (just as Al Gore was gearing up this thing we now call "the internet") as I would have had a doozie to share with the many fans here.

Think DQ, sail boat, dad's 40-something birthday and this fine example of kindergarten-esk decoration. You can almost see it now, can't you?

Thanks Jen for bringing back that wonderful memory. =)

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwebiegal

friends don't let friends decorate while under the influence!

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah K

My first thought is that the new decorator was looking at a list. Make birthday cakes for Gene, Nick, Claudia, and Shawn. You know - one for each, like NORMAL people get :) Or maybe she comes from a family where people actually have names like Gene Nick Claudia Shawn? Another good example of pick-it-up-early.


I have nice handwriting on paper, but in icing, I couldn't guarantee it wouldn't come out looking like that.

Angie (from over at

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHalf Assed Kitchen

One would think that good handwriting skills would be a requirement for the job. Or at least a couple of days training. Just a thought.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Like, I'm so sure that it's totally acceptable to put that cake out there--AS LONG as they have the disclaimer/excuse there about the lousy writing job.
("Oh, it's OKAY-whatever-I'll just put a little note thingie on, so they'll GET that it was the NEW girl. Rome wasn't built in, you know, a day!")
Now, if *I* were picking that up, I'd put on my own Post-It- note--stuck on my forehead, with an arrow pointing to my face--and it would read: "Old Customer is NOT paying for this mess!"

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Wow, there are SO many ways to interpret that cake!

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My sympathies to that girl because I know what it's like. Luckily I was never that bad since I write neatly anyway.

It looks like she doesn't know how to control the icing, in which case she should have changed the tip to one with a little bit bigger hole. It's hard to control the icing with the tip has a small hole. (Yeah, the tip probably has a name, but I'm only a merchandiser in a bakery department who only writes on cakes for customers who decide to get their cakes last minute in the evening. :P )

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEeyore-chan

Maybe "GeneNickClaudiaShawn" are two conjoined sets of conjoined twins, and the cake virgin got it right!

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStuffCooksWant

I laughed out loud. For a long time. This is just too funny.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

My name is also Claudia, and my favourite birthday cake was the one that said "Happy Birthday Caludia" in very pretty, swirly writing.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia

That would have been my favorite birthday cake too!

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

sadly, that handwriting is better than mine. *sad face*

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterk8lynr

Well...maybe the cake was from Gene, Rick, Claudia, and Shawn.
Maybe.. they actually say "Biffday"
Maybe..the balloons were filled with plain old air and not helium & since they were laying on the cake the strings would be squiggly.

Sorry, I can't think of any excuse for the writing.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRegina

Is this one of those, "Way to go, Captain Obvious!" moments?

I thought when one began decorating cakes, one practiced writing on waxed paper or cardboard before attempting it on a cake.

Guess that's not true any more.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScritzy

I have good handwriting, but if I tried to decorate a cake it would probably look something like that. It's not the same as writing on paper. For one thing, your hand can't touch the writing surface to steady the pen!

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLizzi K.

Did no one notice what a nicely shaped [ahem] rump that blue balloon resembles?

wv: reamin - lol couldn't find a family friendly way to connect this to the blue balloon...

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCaren

Lord, please tell us why, if a store has the nerve to call itself a bakery, why do they give cake-decorating duty to any dumb schmuck who happens to fill in an application? SO sad.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine

At least they spelled Happy Birthday correctly!

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Lady Cakes

No real comment but the word verification "scrat" was too good to pass up on this post.

Scrat, indeed.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Cotton Wife

I have NEVER actually piped icing on a cake, but from the one time I have piped icing AT ALL, I could say I'd probably do better than that.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpurplewowies

To ad to my amusement, the add on the left side of the screen included an arrow pointing to the cake. The words on the arrow read "get funky".

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWalk On

hahahahahahahahahaha ********deep breath******* hahahahahaha!

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Wow. That's one of those wrecks you don't want to look at, but can't help yourself!

Hope it at least tasted good.
~Amy B

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Is that a biffday cake for one person or quadruplets Gene, Nick, Claudia and Shawn?

wv exili....the new girl should be exili-ed to the hot cross bun section.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHyena Overlord

that cake is ridiculous - i hope that person got a refund, the explanation is not sufficient.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBald Outing

A post-it.


April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

Happy BirFday Claudia.

New girl or not, my kids could have done a more "professional" job. Heck my cats could have done a more professional job.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfuzzandfuzzlet

Does anyone else find themselves hoping for a really screwed up cake for their next birthday? lol

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfuzzandfuzzlet

Yeah...the sticky note on top is my favorite part of the entire wreck. As if that makes the hideousness that it is...ok? Funny!

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDangGina

...Wow. I read the "GeneNick" as "GeneRick" XDDDDDD

April 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My first job was washing dishes in a grocery store bakery.

I once had to do a graduation cake for a girl whose order had been lost. Her dad came in the night before her party, after the decorator had left, and we did not have her cake. Completely our fault.

So we offered one of the premades, and he insisted that I add "Congratulations Rachel!" to it. I was not a decorator, and I told him so, but he wanted it anyway. The results were similar to this, even though I do have nice handwriting.

He got a very deep discount on the cake.

Quite often, though, the problem is the customer who demands a specialized cake at super late notice when a decorator is not even on-site (not everyone in a bakery is trained to write on cakes). Discounts are offered when appropriate, but that's not always the case. And hey, at least it's cake.

April 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKath

Am I the only one to feel sorry for the new girl? I'm suprised they didn't have her practice on wax paper or something before giving her a cake to do, THEN the displayed the results of what was very possibly her first attempt at piping EVER, with an explanitory note. THEN all the people at cakewrecks made fun of her.

It's okay, sweetie, things'll get better. In the mean time, grab one of your practice cakes and come over to my house. I have ice cream.

April 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCora

LOL as a teenager sacking, then checking (and not remotely near the bakery) they used to pull me back there to write on cakes.

I managed to spell them correctly AND it looked as good as the decorator in the mornings. It really isn't that hard to write on a cake, and I never get why they do.

I got a sheet of paper on mine saying "Happy Birthday Elaina" Thursday instead of icing. MAYBE the new girl should try that.

April 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersewducky

hahaha Happy Biffday! Is that really someone's name? Totally odd and so funny!

April 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterQueen Lindsay

I used to work in a bakery and had no prior experience writing on cakes, but I have nice enough handwriting and took my time, and most cakes I ever wrote on looked very nice. I do think the girl who wrote the post-it is a dummy for not writing on the cake to begin with.

April 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAgatha

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