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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


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 (327)

I'm guessing they are supposed to represent either smoked lamb or baked lamb (depending on the kind of cigarette it is). ;)

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenifer

No solution to the mystery, but apparently this is not a *new* tradition; here's a young woman waxing nostalgic about lamb/cigarette cakes." REL="nofollow"> here

My speculation is that the cig started out as a real paschal candle or "candy" paschal candle decoration,
but this religious decoration was coopted into an "end of lent" joke by some clever blashphemer as an easter party joke.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarahW

I think we've hit on it. It's a Passover lamb, with a paint brush to mark the door frames, and a Jewish yarmulke on it's head.

That Communion explanation sounds about right for the one with the girl, though I'm not Catholic and can't verify.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

No idea but that it's the traditional last ciggarette before the sacrifice/shotting squad.
My lamb cakes were always buttercream frosting and coconut grass. mmmmm cake.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercarebear8six

I'm trying to connect smoking lambs to Passover, but it's not coming together.
Now, let's see..
Blood on the doorways to prevent the angel of death from entering your home, skull cap (yarmllukas ) as you always cover your head in a holy place..uh...nope. Not finding the connection.
Joe Lamb!! Hahaha

~Amy B

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Nice pic of Clarice at Easter silencing a lamb.

The badly iced white lamb smoking in the library also appears to have a drinking problem. Not to meantion a housekeeping problem, take a look at the grime on the remote. EWE*LOL*

wv woolve....wolves disguised as sheep.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHyena Overlord

I also found a sermon for sundays after Easter titled "The Lamb and The Scroll" So I'm going with Sara's explanation. I actually found several of these. Try googling "easter lamb scroll".

I have a feeling some unknowing wreckerator decided it was a cig instead of a scroll and made with the creative fire decorations.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenifer

Did the first one say "Chappy Easter"?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJumpyham

I LOVE these!!!! Smokin' lambs!!!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

The paschal lamb with a brush with blood on it makes sense--kind of. But frankly, I find the image of a lamb ready to paint the doorframe with its own blood much more disturbing than that of a lamb smoking.

Oh, and I love the little girl. I totally would have been that little girl, if the religion I grew up in had a simalar tradtiton.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRedd

So I did some googling of my own...I think originally it was supposed to be a scroll not a cigarette (of course if you roll up a scroll and stick it in something's mouth, what else is it gonna look like?)...based off of this bible quote:

"'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth...Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!...To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!'" Revelation 5:9-13; John 1:29-34; 1 Peter 1:19-21, Revelation 5"

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEric

I was wondering the same as JoeDuncan. Why not have the people who took the pictures ask the bakery?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

“Smokin’ in the lambs’ room,
Yes indeed, I was smokin’ in the lambs’ room!
Now rancher, don’t you clip off alla my wool,
‘Cause everybody knows that smokin’ ain’t allowed in school!”


April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTigerwolf

That last lamb-smoking cake looks like it's frosted in mashed potatoes.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda #1

King Cake is awesome.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershoeaddict

Okay I'm officially going with what my friend said. It's a sacrificial lamb...only the baker didn't realize that lambs are typically sacrificed with a knife - not in front of a FIRING SQUAD. All it needs is a blindfold and you've got the quintessential firing squad image. The doomed with the cigarette hanging lop-sidedly out of the mouth and a sort of grim resignation about the whole thing.
That's my story and I'm stickin to it.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

Okay I'm officially going with what my friend said. It's a sacrificial lamb...only the baker didn't realize that lambs are typically sacrificed with a knife - not in front of a FIRING SQUAD. All it needs is a blindfold and you've got the quintessential firing squad image. The doomed with the cigarette hanging lop-sidedly out of the mouth and a sort of grim resignation about the whole thing.
That's my story and I'm stickin to it.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

Guys, look closely at those pictures...they are clearly REAL cigarettes! So no scrolls, no paintbrush.

I'm going to go with the jokey end of Lent, now we can smoke again theory.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiki

So many think it's a Passover lamb but forget that you're not allowed to have cake during Passover! So I highly doubt that's the case.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErica B.

If you google "Lamb of God", (i.e. Jesus) go to the Wikipedia definition (opposed to the heavy metal band sites) and there are some pictures of altar pieces depicting a sacrificial lamb that has blood pouring out from its chest. So, my guess is that what is supposed to be a spear has, for all intents and purposes, become a cigarette!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I just read 111 comments, and am no more enlightened than when I got here. The lamb and the cigarette is going to bug me all day!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJesica

I'm going with the M*A*S*H explanation - makes the most sense....

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Last lamb is definitely a butter lamb. A HUUUUGE butter lamb, but a butter lamb nonetheless.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterasifyoucare

The passover lamb doesn't make sense... Cake is not kosher for Passover.

I asked Twitter what they thought.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteramber of TheAmberShow

Well if you think about all the people who love to gleefully bite the ears off chocolate Easter Rabbits, then the little girl's grin at lopping the head off a lamb cake isn't that far a stretch.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterswenholt2

If it wasn't enough that these lamb's are smoking cigarettes... why are the cigarettes dipped in chocolate and SPRINKLES? lol

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBreeAnn

I'm Catholic and have never heard of bleeding lamb ice cream. But, I'm of the South Louisiana variety and not the Eastern European. I'm confused with the "sounds about right" comment. What part of a small child beheading a bleeding ice cream lamb "sounds about right"?

And, what's up with dissing King Cakes? Seriously?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRememberMe

Yeah, I'm going with 'a condemned lamb's last request'.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFyrefrog

Eh... maybe it's the lamb going to slaughter and it's having one last smoke before it dies? That's really, um. I don't have any words for what that is.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

@JoeDuncan: You beat me to it. If I hadn't taken the time to check the meme links that "YesILive..." posted I may have been the first to offer this seemingly simple solution.

So Jen? Can you help us out here, or sic someone else on it because I'm sure you have more wrecks to hunt down.

People, if these bakers have the time to hunt down a lamb cake mold and haphazardly decorate it, I'm pretty sure they could find a frigging paint brush (and not a what is clearly a cigarette) to represent a bloody paint brush. I think you're reaching a bit far with the whole scroll thing too. Your precious lamb is smoking, deal with it. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps he learned it from watching "ewe". ;)

p.s. I'd like to know why the cigarette is bigger than he is, and where I can get one.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZombieCat

I can't explain the smoking lamb cakes at all... Especially since the lamb cake is supposed to symbolize the Passover lamb and new life and Jesus... But what do I know. I'm not a cake decorator.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

All of the tips of the lamb’s cigarettes have been dipped in chocolate and have red/orange sprinkles on them!!! LOL! The lambs lit up!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathye

maybe someone was just making fun of all the lamb cakes and thought putting a cigarette in the lamb's mouth would be a funny way of disrespecting it?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershann

I don't think scrolls or other guessed objects would be decorated with an orange flame with dark sooty area behind it. For whatever inexplicable reason, I'm convinced they are supposed to be cigarettes.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNakia

Please post when the mystery of the smoking lamb is solved!!!

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Maybe the lamb is smoking his/her last ciggie before the chopping block?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I actually still have this cake pan set. It also came in rabbit form too. This of course was back when butter cream was the norm and you actually had to know how to use cake tips. These are just kind of scary especially the ones without icing.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZorilita

@ Judy:

FABulous! Your comment made my day.

I'm gonna have to ask around on this one. I have a couple of interesting sources: 2 pastors and 1 sheep farmer in the family oughta do it, don't you think?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlori

Smoked lamb is a common food at Easter feasts. Perhaps people don't like the taste of smoked lamb and are getting the cakes to keep up the tradition without having to eat the meat?!? (best guess)

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

To Trish at 11:01 AM-- Nope, not a New York thing. Unless it's a New York Easter thing-- being Jewish, I couldn't speak to that.

Word verification-- outies "Get these things outies here!" ;)

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNYCGirl

Many thanks to Hestia Gem for including the obligatory Silence of the Lambs quote.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

The "Agnus Dei" is the Lamb of God. If you google images for Agnus Dei, you will find many pictures of the Lamb holding the banner. The banner is usually held by the Lamb's front right leg. But in some pictures, the Lamb's head is turned, and if you don't pay attention (as some cake decorators are wont to do) it almost looks like the flagpole is being held by the Lamb's mouth. That would explain the red on the end of one of the "cigarettes"; it's the flag on the end of the victory banner's pole.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Maybe the lamb gave up cigarettes for Lent.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermnmlst

I can't believe no one yet has suggested it's not a lamb, but a smoking gnu.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

I am taking a guess here, but it would be the "chocolate" lamb cake smoking is suppose to be a BLACK Sheep? Like in, the black sheep of the family? Just a guess.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Since when is Easter a jokey holiday?

The second one is clearly a real cigarette. Chocolate and sprinkles represent indicate a lit ember.

The white meregue-y looking one could be holding a symbolic paint brush in its mouth, but the surrounding items (dusty remote, liquor mini, book titled "Karma") lead me to believe it may be a lamb with a lit joint, which gives new meaning to "wake and bake."

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

Random(ish) guess?

I think that the lambs are smoking because Lent is over, and if you gave up cigarettes for Lent, you can have them again for Easter...does that seem plausible?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterblair

Don't those lambs know that smoking is baaaaaaaaaa-d for you?

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna

I don't understand why so many of you are upset by the little girl whacking the head off of her lamb cake. I think it's a normal children's attitude to pretend to destroy things. When I was that age, I alwyas had to bite the heads off of my gummy bears before eating the body.

April 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. B

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