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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 really think Joe Camel was the original idea behind these cakes. But then they tried to make them into smoking lambs??? For EASTER???
And give them to little KIDS???
At least the little girl is showing how she feels about smoking..... She should be a spokesperson on an anti-smoking PSA. You go girl, OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!!

April 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlisa

These lambs need to kick the habit! They need to get on "the patch" asap.

April 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

At least you didn't have to eat the first cake. It was a crappy cake with disgusting frosting piled on. There are no words to describe that cake or how it tasted.

May 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

is it just me or does the last cigarette smoking lamb look like it's made of dirty snow?

June 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Maybe the lamb is smoking a "last cigarette" before its execution? Like in old movies? What else could it mean?- Adrienne

August 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Another possibility from a friend of mine...she said this was an incredibly popular YouTube video during Passover:

Featuring a smoking lamb.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

What is hilarious is that one of the lamb cakes actually has an actual cigarette in its mouth, regardless of what it's supposed to be. If the bakery used a cig to represent a small paintbrush because they didn't have one.... well, that is a pretty fail cake.

December 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergreengeekgirl

I may have found a long awaited answer! They aren't smoking at all. It's a passover thing. When God sent for Moses to free the Hebrews from egypt, the last plague sent on the Pharaoh was the killing of the first born. All of the Hebrew people were told to paint their doorways with the blood of a lamb in order for god to pass over their houses and spare their children. "7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. "

Happy Passover! Get your chocolate yarmulkes, toss on a few sprinkles, and get your Kosher on!

December 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPlasticstarsrus

Maybe it's something to do with the whole trad. Easter meal of Smoked Lamb... You know instead of smoked lamb, smoking lamb...??

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermarthajanebrown

I believe those are bloody paintbrushes symbolizing the blood painted on door knobs from the sacraficial lamb. I like the smoking lamb theory better. His last ciggy before being slaughtered.

March 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

thumb sucker 101

its an execution cake you get to enjoy a smoke before you die ???? baaaaaaddd idea

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

My husband and I both work in the church so we were especially interested in what the smoking lambs were supposed to really be. The best we could come up with is a horribly misunderstood interpretation of the image of the lamb with the banner that you often see in Christian imagery. This would, in fact, be appropriate Easter imagery. For examples see: or

Maybe if someone were just really confused about that, it could look like the stick was coming out of the lamb's mouth? But maybe we're being too generous about the intent.

Also, we LOVE your site! Thanks for a good laugh every time we check out your blog!

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnjie

Hey all,
I know this is waaay after the fact, but I really do think it's meant to be the red-and-white Resurrection Banner, taken from Polish tradition. There are quite a lot of pics of lambs holding the banner unfurled, so that the red cross on the white field shows, but if a lamb were to *actually* carry a banner (for whatever reason), it would be rolled up in its mouth, and appear as a white cylinder with a red tip. It was this site that tipped me off:
and googling: Polish + "Resurrection Banner" sealed the deal.

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndy47

I first googled "easter lamb cake" and easily got to a site stating that the Polish easter lamb cakes are ALWAYS depicted with the "Resurrection Banner".

Googled that, and found a page on worshipbanners dot com that shows an image of the banner that has a sort of fire on one end.

States that the banner conveys the power of the resurrection moment (by the way I'm totally agnostic so this research is WEIRD for me to report on) and the tomb was "bright with light; the power unleashed at that moment was even greater than an atomic reaction." Hence the "fire" on the tip of these rolled scrolls/banners.

"The banner has pieces torn from it to represent the blasting away of physical material in this wonderful climactic event".

And there ya go.

FWIW I do NOT see those items in the mouths as cigarettes at all...unless those lamb cakes are tiny!

-Molly B

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterM

These cakes are hilarious. Those smoking lamb cakes must be Joe Camel's long lost nieces or nephews. I can't get it through my head that someone would actually want to eat that. I mean, if you think about it, (which I would try not to do in a situation like that, eating a smoker is bound to be nasty, even if it's made out of sugar and flour), these cakes are foul.

I couldn't find much out about the smoking lamb cakes. Just a few snippets here and there, nothing worthwhile. I have seen those cakes before, but I wasn't sure what they were doing. I thought it resembled smoking, so now I'm just surprised as well as disgusted because people actually bought them.

The little girl's expression is most likely my favorite. I mean, who doesn't like chopping the heads off lamb-shaped pastries?

And about that last smoking lamb cake... The gray splotches on it look like patches of ashes. Oh jeez. Now I'm questioning the taste as well as the appearance...

April 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I'm the one who bought that last lamb cake (2nd to last photo). The dark patches are just the areas where the white icing was thin, so the cake showed through. The interior was a cinnamon raisin bread, rather than cake. I bought it in early December, before Christmas, from an Italian bakery.

April 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

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.

June 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterE.cigs

It is a candle! Here is a reference I found...

Early Christians often lit bonfires on the night before Easter.
Now the candle is used as a symbol of the light of Christ. Many churches use a large, white Paschal candle in their Easter decorations.

Long ago, people put out all of the fires in their homes on Easter Eve. On Easter morning, "new fire" was taken from the one large Easter candle at church as a sign of the new life offered by Christ.

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Someone just sent me this as I had made a lamb cake which turned out very nice actually! I'm thinking since these are supposed to be 'professional' cakes, I'm assuming these Smoking Lamb Cakes are actually made in bakeries! So why not go to the bakery and ask why they add the cigarette.... assuming you know what bakeries bake these so called 'professional' cakes!!!

Oh, and the little girl, she could care less about the symbolism of what she is doing. She just wants to eat the danged cake. She's a little kid for goodness sake!!

August 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think the "cigarette" is actually a poor wreckorator's attempt at making a piece of hay for the lamb to be chewing... at least the 'traditional' lamb cake is usually chewing hay or grass.

May 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

These are actually "Jewish". The "cigarette" you see is supposed to be a paint brush with blood on it, representing the lamb's blood that is to be painted on doorways signaling death to avoid their home.

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberley

I know I am REALLY late to the party with my guess here, but I sort of thought after seeing the photos, was that the lamb was smoking because it is sort of on death know...the sacrifice of the passover he gets a ciggy! ha ha!! Like when they put a dude in front of a firing squad, he is always smoking.

Do I win a prize???? :D

February 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternanciejeanne

I think the cigarettes are probably brushes with blood on the end. Part of the Passover story is that the Israelites had to paint lamb's blood over their doorways to escape the angel of death. Still I'm not sure a bloody paintbrush is any better than a cigarette.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCassie D.

My niece said it's probably a noise maker with streamers at the end.

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAInsley

I do believe it's a Paschal Lamb holding a Paschal candle. It's a Passover thing, I think. Just VERY VERRRRY poorly executed. ;) From what I've read, the "Paschal Lamb" is supposed to be the centerpiece of the table & can be made out of cake, or butter...etc. Google "Paschal Lamb Cake" and you'll get a whole new collection of wrecks. :)

February 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMel

Paschal lamb cake...polish easter dessert recipe.
Thank you google. I can now sleep tonight.

March 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterredsongbird

Easy. Smoked lamb.

September 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVia

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