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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
Thursday
Apr092009

Lamb-entations

Like the Mardi Gras King Cake, I suspect that the Easter Lamb Cake is just inherently Wrecky. I mean, this one Jamie B. sent in is a good one:

So really, it's like shooting apples* in a barrel to go after these things: just too darn easy.

However, I will go after the smoking lamb cakes:

I've seen several of these cigarette-puffing lamb cakes now, and I'm totally baffled. I get the lamb/Easter connection, but where's the cigarette feature? This one Monique R. found actually has a "Happy Birthday" sign around its neck, but most say "Happy Easter". Here's a better example:

What I find even more hilarious is the fact that it looks like both lambs are wearing chocolate yarmulkes.** Oy vay! An Easter lamb schmokin? What kind of mishegas is going on here?

Here's a variation, lest you think only one bakery out there is making these crazy things:


I'm guessing this is some kind of regional tradition, but I look forward to you lovely readers filling me with your wisdom. Explain this madness to me in the comments, so we can all learn something today, eh?

And before I leave you, here's one more photo sent in by Kat:

It's not really a Wreck; I just love that little girl's expression as she's preparing to lop off the lamb's head. You can almost hear the Responsible Adult going "Now, dear, let me help you..." as she's gleefully hacking away. Heehee! Oh, and that spot of jam is well-placed, too.

*Yes, I know it's supposed to be "fish in a barrel", but I would never shoot a fish. Too messy.

**For the record, this is the hardest word to learn to spell by looking up in the dictionary, ever.

UPDATE: And the answer is....[drum roll]

I don't know. Yep, despite having lots of theories floated my way - each one seemingly more bizarre than the last - I still haven't heard a silver-bullet explanation for the smoking lamb cake. However, reader Rosemary was kind enough to compile the most prevalent/reasonable-sounding theories in her blog here, so check those out and see which you think it is.

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Reader Comments (326)

Maybe Joe the Camel has been having fun with some sheep....

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

The gleeful expression on the (lamb-murdering) little girl's face kind of gives a Stalin-esque impression, does it not?

I would keep her (1) out of politics and (2) away from the borders of any weaker national neighbors.

http://www.captainjackmakesport.blogspot.com/

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEl Comodoro

I'm assuming that by "good" you mean "good compared to crap"? That first lamb is really scary.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterOphelia

What in the world? I have never seen anything like this, I'm almost too scared to google the smoking lamb cake now.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJacki

I've read this too early, no one else has commented yet and I really need an explanation for these smoking lamb cakes!


WV: geded. I geded no sleep until I know about the lamb cakes!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBaffled & Befuddled

I'm thinking the lamb with the cig looks more like the Marlboro camel, no?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterD Dennis

Is the smoking lamb supposed to be Joe Camel? That was my first impression.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAshleigh

The second one I thought could possibly be Joe Camel and the third one looks like my mother-in-law's chihuahua more than a lamb.
Maybe the church is being financed by tobacco companies now? I know there has to be an explanation behind these and I hope it's interesting and peppered with Yiddish.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

that is so weird! I'm curious, too, to see if people know why there is such a creation?

I came for the comments. Really hoping someone can explain these ...

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSally

Oh...lambs and cigarettes, they go waaaay back... doncha know?

Love the cake with the little girl about to whack off the lambs head. That's the funniest part about making your own bunny or lamb cake, cutting it.... you just want to yell "Off with it's head" as you're cutting it. Or maybe it's just me.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStuffCooksWant

*deep breath* Okay...I've been doing some research, because I must - MUST - find an explanation for this madness or else my brain will implode. SO, with that said, the very best I could possibly come up with (and, yes, I know it's a stretch) is this: there's a brand of pipe tobacco from New Zealand called Lamb's Cake Slices. Perhaps these cake wrecks are making some sort of reference to this product? Please? I realize pipes and cigarettes aren't the same thing, but I can find no other link that brings lamb cakes and smoking together, so I'm going to have to accept this as an explanation until someone else comes up with something better. And I reeeeeally hope someone comes up with something better.

Great site! Thanks for the hilarity!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Okay, I am going to say it: These are very baaaaaaahd.

Heehee.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHorribleLicensePlates

I personally love the first two... the bakers had time to create cigs' for them to be "a smokin" but not the time to do any sort of icing besides the Jackson Pollock splatter-paint?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

okay, i'm jewish, so i don't know anything about all this madness with the lambs and the cigarettes, and it seems that google doesn't know either.
on my travels, however, i did find this rather creepy wreck:
http://images.allrecipes.com/site/allrecipes/area/community/userphoto/big/184047.jpg

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlauren

I too am not going to sleep until there is SOME EXPLANATION FOR THE SMOKING LAMB!!! The only thing I could find was that some lower east side bakery in NY is making them. ACCCKKK -- what IS THAT?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm thinking it's a 'scroll' in the lamb's 'mouth' (excess quotations marks intentional). Hideous in any case.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

Is that last girl cutting a cake, or a butter mold? It'd be a pretty big mold if it is, but looks like there's the tell-tale seam running down its back. My mom used to make one of those for Easter, and it looked just like that, but not quite as big. Heck if I know what that spot of jam is, though.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Best Hannibal Lector voice --- "You still wake up sometimes, don't you Clarice? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs"

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHestias Gem

I've decided it is a birthday horn. Really-- I have to believe...please let me...can't mentally accept lamb cigarette.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

O, how vice conquered
innocent lambs, Christ-like, pure!
Let's hack off their heads!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

Here's my guess for the smoking lamb. The members of some religions choose to give up something for the 6 weeks of lent, and many of those people give up bad habits. Perhaps the smoking lamb is celebrating with the arrival of Easter that a person can now return to their vices?

Other than that, I'm at a complete loss.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAng

I have NEVER seen a smoking lamb! What's the deal/point? Besides being hilarious I mean. Because now I totally want to go find one for my family!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAce

I've been, um, deprived of these lamb cakes. I had never seen them before. I think I'll stick with misshapen bunnies and kooky chickies for my Easter table, though, not being into the whole smoking thing.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My unverified opinion is that cigarette-puffing lamb cakes stem from regions with Eastern European influence. I celebrated Easter once with a Polish familiy in rural Poland and would not put such a lamb cake past any of the housewives I met.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I've decided it is a birthday horn. Really-- I have to believe...please let me...can't mentally accept lamb cigarette.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

I hate to sound like the morbid person, but could they actually be representing the sacrifice of the lamb, so that the doors could be marked so the angels of death would pass by? although that's more Passover than Easter... but it makes me wonder if the bleeding of the lamb is what they were going for... odd for a cake though...

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

It's truly troubling to me to see a small child lopping off the lamb's head with diabolical glee. I had always imagined that the lamb represented -- in addition to springtime and youth and fertility and what-not -- *Christ*. A child with a butcher-messer hacking away at a metaphorical Christ with red jam oozing from the wound is deeply disturbing, and may be an [admittedly inept] analogy to the human condition: Let his blood be on us an on our children . . . who will then lop his head off with a butcher messer in his most innocent allegorical incarnation . . .

Then again, I suppose I should have real trouble with that same image as a smoker.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterELISABETH

My grandmother would always make a lamb cake (never looked this awful: coconut wool and raisins or chocolate chips for eyes/nose).

We always ate the butt first.

And it never smoked.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMary

I think I might have a good idea for why the lambs are smoking, but it is still just a guess. Easter marks the end of Lent and I assume a lot of people give up smoking for Lent. The smoking lamb symbolizes their regained freedom to smoke on Easter.

Lots of people give up sweets for Lent so the cake in itself is usually reward enough, but hey, smoking lambs are hilarious so let's do that too!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMolly G

Smoked lamb for dinner and smoking lamb for desert?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Those lambs actually look like the smoking camel from cigarette packages...

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

Clearly, smoking kills. Let this be a warning to us all - direct from beyond the grave. do do do do....

Karin

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDearness

I don't know about the smoking ones, but a lot of lamb cakes are filled with raspberry or strawberry jam so that when you cut into it, it will ooze jam "blood." Whose gross idea was that? Probably an ancestor to whoever decided the lambs needed cigarettes.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKlayre

What the heck? A lamb smoking? WHO thought up this craziness? lolol...I too eagerly await some great wise one explaining this phenom!
As for the girl chopping off the lambs head, that has got to be the funniest thing I've seen all day...wait..it's only 7am..there COULD be something funnier happen today, but I doubt it...
As for the other lamb cakes, all I can say is 'ewe'

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJaye

Allow me to shed a bit of light on that last one. In the Polish culture, every Easter we make a Butter Lamb (a lamb carved from butter). This one looks like it's made from mashed potatoes, though. Here is a little Wiki entry for you!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_lamb

But that smoking sheep is questionable at best.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Mayor

Alright, so instead of googling "smoking lamb" I googled "Smoking sheep" and I came up with a website, a Facebook and Myspace fan club for "Toot the Smoking Sheep."

Here's a picture:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t185/tootthesmokingsheep/Tootwithballoon1.jpg

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

jen -- in chicago here, i've never seen the smoking lamb. i thought cw3 was, perhaps, joe camel.

re: spelling words via the dictionary: I read the word "yarmukle" before I ever heard it, and I always thought it was pronounced as it looked: "yar-mukle." as i got older, i couldn't understand why young jewish men needed a "yamika." i somehow figured it out. (no surprise - i have been rejected to appear on jeopardy.)

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEtiquette Bitch

Okay, I too HAVE TO KNOW or I'll go MAD I Tell YOU MA-AH-AH AH- D!!!!

Okay this is what I've found so far ...it appears to be some sort of brand of pouch tobacco and the character is called "Smooky"

http://en.dawanda.com/product/3002182-tabaktasche-smooky-das-rauchende-schaf-rot-weinrot-oder-oliv

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

I think it is meant to be a candle not a cigarette. For Easter it would be a Paschal candle and for a birthday a birthday candle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paschal_candle

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

omg horriblelicenseplates!: i almost fell off my bed i was laughing so hard.

also Jen, can we have an update if we ever find out what the smoking lamb means? im in class and its hard to sneak cakewrecks if i have to scroll through the comments. ha ha ha.

the best is the little girl. i agree with el comodoro. lets keep her out of politics shall we?

w/v: redicq - smoking lamb cakes are sooo redicq.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWakeGrace

You know, that second one looks like a camel....LMAO!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I don't know why or any sort of back story, but from what i remember, Hot Bagels & Pizza (formerly on Houston in NYC--I'm pretty sure it closed last year), I believe, was sort of known for the lamb & cigarette cakes and others picked up on it... like everyone else, I'd love to know the back story!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTara

oh lovely. first the demented bunnies, then the sincerely screwed-up chicks, now smoking LAMBS?! sheesh......i have no adequate explanation, but let me just say that is WEIRD!!!!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCheesy Ninja

Like others, I'm thinking it's supposed to be Joe Camel.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKari M.

If the lambs smoke cigarettes than that would explain their ugly and misshapen forms. Yes/No? It's a really inventive 'do not smoke' ploy...

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia

Going out on a limb here...

Maybe the tobacco sheep were part of a "Happy Re-birthday Jesus" marketing ploy? And they didn't go with the "It's a boy!" cigars because they're too big for the sheep's head. Maybe?

Or maybe all the sheep gave up smoking for Lent. And once Lent is over they're free to smoke all the chocolate-dipped, sprinkle-tipped cigarettes they want?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMary

The first one looks like it says "Chappy Easter"

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermarybindc

I thought maybe it was supposed to be a deer during hunting season, awaiting its fate. But then the Happy Easter sign makes no sense.

Am perplexed.

Angie (from over at www.HalfAssedKitchen.com)

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHalf Assed Kitchen

It's telling us that ewe shouldn't be smoking!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLana

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