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

Stick a Pick in It

Some bakeries are using all-plastic character picks for their doll cakes, like so:

(Who else thinks there's a roll of TP under there? Anyone? Anyone?)

And while I applaud the move away from synthetic hair, which tends to get mired in the frosting and cause significant amounts of Jen-gagging, I also see that doll cakes are now degrading into nothing more than vaguely rounded lumps of cake with torso picks jammed into them. Check it out:

With that disk around her waist it looks like Cinderella is popping out of a manhole stuck in a blueberry. Granted, we can't blame the decorator there - after all, s/he didn't make the pick - but if we mosey over to the issue of the glaringly mismatched blues we can blame all we want; they'll make more. (Three words, hiring managers: "color vision testing".)

Or how about this one?

It looks like Dora the Explorer has just popped out of a giant organ and is proudly teaching us the Spanish phrase for "No thank you, I am allergic to purple brains". Which, while handy to know, isn't really something you'd want a visual with.

Jessy, Calla B., & Troy K., you may accuse me of skirting the issue, but that last Wreck really makes you think, doesn't it?

*Related Wreckage: Come On Barbie, Let's Go Party

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Reader Comments (74)

i remember the days when the only doll available for cakes were a barbie like dolls, these days there are varies plastic bits do dump in the cake and call it a princess cake.

i love your crazy critics and i am so addicted to this blog. i check you up whenever i am in front of a pc.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermizzy N Naderiey

yes, i do think that 1st cake is stuck on top of TP.

Wreck on!

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNetFreak

Actually that last one looks like...
A) Dora is popping out of a giant genetically altered boysenberry, and shouting "Bienvenido Berry!" or
B) Dora is returning to her home planet aboard a modified, modernized, and painted "Spaceship Earth" and she's shouting "No swiping los seres humanos"

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieT

Surely you are supposed to put the doll in first and then ice around her, over the big plastic ring?

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterros

No wonder the bakeries do these can see how little actual cake-decorating talent they require.

(Although more talent would indeed improve the appearance of these lame cake concepts.)

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPink

I'm not a children's show enthusiast, but I AM pretty certain Dora the Explorer doesn't wear an enormous skirt.

That just wrecked my morning. :)

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

The Dora one really doesn't work not just because the "skirt" is impossibly round, but because Dora is not actually a princess. A real explorer would have no cause to wear a giant bulbous gown--real mobility issues though.

Side note--I did see a dress really similar to Dora's in China last summer. It was interesting.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I see what you mean! Wow, that seems to take away the whole point of the cake design to some degree. Hmmm...

My wife recently showed me your blog, loving it.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobert W. Leonard

In addition to the end of synthetic hair, let's take a moment to appreciate the fact that no one will ever feel compelled to cover two plastic molded breasts with icing. Which is creepy in the extreme. I did a princess cake for my daughter's birthday last year and used ribbon because I just couldn't stand to do the icing bit.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessi

I'm with Ros on this - I would assume bakers are supposed to cover the base of the pick with icing. Then again, why should we expect as much, given all we've seen on this site! And of course, if they did things correctly, we wouldn't have this site! :)

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Ruthanne

It's just creepy you would want to eat Dora's skirt, no?

If you find a beautifully, well-done, doll-pick cake could you please post a pic. I can see the posibilities in my mind...

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPurplewalls

Love your cake wreck blog! I wish I would have saved pics from some of the disasters I have "created" in the past. ANyway, my aunt made me a barbie cake when I was 9 or so, it kicked butt over these atrocities. Yucky looking crap.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRosey Pollen

Purple brains! Ha!

Angie (from over at

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHalf Assed Kitchen

Not a pro cake. My oldest sister did this (learned from our mother) for our niece's 4th birthday. It's classy. So you can make a good doll cake.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

My mother-in-law has that exact TP holder on the back of her powder room toilet...gotta get a pic next time I'm there. lol

I realize this makes me sound like a horrible pedantic nerd who watches age-inappropriate television, but.... Dora did wear a fancy, frilly dress to her cousin Daisy's quinceañera party in one episode. However, I can tell you it didn't look much like that wreck.

*slinks back into the corner and hides*

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjackie31337

Does Dora even WEAR a dress?

I thought she was a shorts-and-tennis-shoes kind of gal.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterXOXO

My two year old loves those princess cakes. But she's two. =)

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

"No thank you, I'm allergic to purple brains."

No, gracias, soy alérgico a las cerebros moradas.

Also, people who said Dora doesn't wear a dress are correct. She wears a purple shirt and orange shorts:

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBridget Delaney

The Cinderella popping out of a blueberry is hilarious.
~Amy B

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

*agrees with XOXO*

Yeah, since when does Dora ever wear skirts? O_o

And yes, I too was certain there was toilet paper under there. *giggle*

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBITTER OLD BITCH

Uh,oh. This is going to be another day of folks not reading the comments. jackie has informed us that dora wore a dress to her cousin's quinceañera party and folks are still telling us that Dora wears shorts.

Would icing cover Barbie's tatoo?
Here is a picture: and she links to the article.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoyce

lol :P Dora the explorer explored where she shouldn't..

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBilby P. Dalgyte


I feel bad for little girls who get these cakes. At least with the traditional way, they'd have a doll to play with afterwards, right? Now they just have half of a princess corpse.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdesibarbossa


Another day? You mean, like every day with folks not reading the comments? :)

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I never understood the whole doll cake thing anyway. They are all cake wrecks. Just weird.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Does this remind anyone else of a STRIPPER popping out of a cake?

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan

To see what these cakes are supposed to look like, got to the site below and search for "petite princess"

And no, cake decorators at many grocery stores do not need to know how to decorate a cake. They just need to be willing to work for low pay and deal with rude customers.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersnarkygurl

back in the olden days, "doll cakes" were a barbie stuck in a cake that had been baked in an angelfood cake pan.

and the kids argued over who got to lick the legs clean. (what can we say, we were a bunch of heathens.)

these things? ick!

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermiss kitten

Is that thing on the Dora cake actually supposed to be her skirt? Why do we want darling Dora to be a genetically-mutated freak with insanely long legs?? Pity the toddler who gets that monstrosity!

Megan @

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMJ

OMG- I have strep throat and it was horrifyingly painful to laugh but soooooooooooooo worth it! YOU KILL ME!!! Keep it going girlie!

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel

Yes, I do picture a roll of TP under that first cake. My grandma had tons of those TP covers.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBridgete

Dora wore a dress in one fairy tale special... but still... wonder what the spanish word for "I'm being sucked into purple goo" would be.

Jen you made me LOL.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterComfyDenim

Dora wears various dresses in some of the themed showes and has been dressed up as a princess atleast twice. (Fairy tale adventure and snow princess).

However the design I'm guessing they were trying to mimic would be from "Dance to the Rescue."

My daughter has the dancing Dora doll that was designed off the ep.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

"...synthetic hair, which tends to get mired in the frosting and cause significant amounts of Jen-gagging..."Gods, I thought that was just me! I hate, hate, HATE doll cakes for that very reason!


May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterL. R. Jonté

OK, here is my half-full attempt at being kind today. At least those huge hips and butts are not selling the slinky, size 0 body images to our young, impressionable daughters. I once saw my SIL in a bathing suit and I swear she had a body like that. Normal from the waist up and then...Shazaam...big enough for two women. There was no bathing suit skirt able to cover that unless is was one of those bathing burkas the Saudi women wear. Oh, I guess there goes my attempt at being nice.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterheather

I made one of those once lol i am ashamed lol

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

As an avowed Dora-the-Explorer-hater, I move that Jen dedicate a day to nothing but Dora wrecks. Anyone?

And yes, I do have children. And I still hate Dora.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBuffy

My mother made me such a cake when I was eight. A small doll in the middle of a cake made in a bundt pan, the cake a hoop skirt. Over-iced and yellow/pink, it still beats these "pros". Wow.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZhoen

Doll cakes are one step up from from those nylon-yarn-crocheted doll toilet paper cozies my Aunt Peggy used to make.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle S.

Wait.... I thought Dora wore pants or shorts?

These cakes are scary!

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMe

The look on Cinderella's face is priceless!
It looks as if she is staring the creator right in the eyes and saying, "Hey--you DID say I'm getting a REALLY LOT of money to do this...DIDN'T you?? I mean, like, I'm rillyrilly counting on it 'cuz I'm getting all sticky-like, an' I can't , like, move my LEGS or' I'm ON a DIET and all...y'know?"

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

These are really not attractive! I'm planning on making a princess cake for my daughter in 2 weeks and this is a good reminder of what not to do :)

Julie from" REL="nofollow">Kids Birthday Cakes

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMistyGirl_2008

If that's not a roll of tp it's a whittled down angelfood. But I'm betting it's tp too.

All the Dora cake conjures for me is a bunch of little girls chowing down and then gleefully showing off their now purple teeth.

No, gracias, soy alérgico a la púrpura cerebros!

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

You're blog is the best. I love all the crazy cakes you feature. I stopped by to tell you that You're Appreciated over at my blog. Come on by and check out the post.

Ugh. We used to have to make those where I work and they were a pain to make and always turned out ugly.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

i applaud you Jen, for know who Dora is. Afterall, I don't think she associates w/ the Klingons or the Jedi or anything(I probably spelled that wrong) :o)

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I think the main problem 'ere is that most grocery stores can't afford to hire decorators who actually know how to decorate, because that's a skill and deserves decent pay. So they hire teenagers who don't look TOO cracked-out.

But imagine what monstrosities we'd find if those picks were outlawed and grocery store bakers/decorators had to make princess cakes from scratch? Arrrrrrgh.

(By the way,a shout-out to the Hannaford near my Grandma's house - they actually do an OK cake).

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

i agree with miss kitten.

these doll cakes look like a lazy person's creation.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommentermizzyN

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