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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

KILL IT WITH FIRE!! (Oh wait, they already did...)

This Wreck is from last year, but since they ran the episode on Food Network recently I've been inundated with requests - nay, demands - that I feature it immediately. (And by the way, you guys are just so cute when you get bossy.)

We're fortunate that CW reader Jason got a hold of the actual episode this week, because he made a quick minute-and-a-half recap that captures the true Wrecktastic essence of this masterpiece. It also had John nearly crying with laughter, so you must watch:

I should mention that the challenge was to create a birthday cake for Kerry Vincent, aka the Simon Cowell of cake competitions. This is not the lady you screw up in front of. Or make towering spikes of cake and fruit and paper lathered up with melted goo and then set aflame in front of.

Yep, there were small bowls of alcohol set in the cake, which the creators lit to simulate birthday candles. Unsurprisingly to everyone except perhaps the bakers themselves, the cake then caught on fire.

Here it is covered with a fine dusting of fire extinguisher foam, which most everyone agreed was a visual improvement:

Now THAT is a Cake Wreck, folks.

Still, before you guys rip on these gals too much, consider how boring the world would be without those daring innovators who are willing to go down in flames [smirk] for the sake of their art. I say we applaud these brave souls, and encourage all the ingenuity, forward-thinking, and pyromania that we can. [nodding seriously] Wreck on, my friends, wreck on.

- Related Wreckage: Sandra Lee Shows Us How It's (Not) Done

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Reader Comments (368)

It's on right now...heehee

June 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

So I'm watching it on TV now. I have never seen a cake that was partially digested before.

June 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmish Trivedi

Not sure if this has been posted before.

Here is her website! Someone save her from herself!

Also, this is my first post. It feels good not to be lurking! :D

June 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarissa and Aaron

I just saw her website, I think it is time for her to find a new artistic outlet, maybe finger painting would suit her better. She is NOT a cake decorator

June 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

I swore that thing was a Silent Hill cake. Thank you for (re)posting this, at least I can show everyone who didn't see it what it was.

What was that? :)

June 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrideOfPorkins

OMG!! Checked out the website of this epic disaster-ater and I just want to know one thing, IS THIS CHICK FOR REAL?

June 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

This episode is on Food Network RIGHT NOW!!! (5PM CST)

June 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristine Radice

I swear this episode is a prank of Borat proportions. Carrie Vincent is really Meryl Streep, preparing for her sequel, tentatively entitled, "The Devil! Wears Fondant"

June 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

i know i'm a bit late to the party, but they re-aired this episode today (i'm watching the final judging now) and i have to say, after seeing that wreck "in person"... oooohhhhhh eeeeeemmmmmmmm gggggggeeeeeeeeeeee. The amusing thing is when they lit the cake on fire, a fire truck went down my street. AWESOMENESS.

it looked a little better on the TV than on the internets but still. daymn. fugly isn't even strong enough for that thing. 's what you get when you get an ar-teeest, i guess, instead of an artist who gets their medium *and* the fact that the art is for a client, not for the artist, to enjoy.

June 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKethryvis

Okay, so I've seen this cake in passing a couple of times, but I had to show this to my little sister, who has been cooking since she was pretty young.

The look of utter horror on her face? So worth it. She did say they probably should have gone for a flame thrower instead of the fire extinguisher, though.

June 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

It's not her concepts that are horrifying; in the right hands, many of them could be really fascinating. It's that she's simply not good at what she does. Sloppy frosting, gummi worms tossed about willy nilly . . . most of what she does just screams "2nd grader's glitter-and-paste art project for Mother's Day."

As for KV, I absolutely can't stand her, but she knows what she's talking about, I'll give her that. But what's with those gigantic headbands she always wears?

June 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteremilymichelle

Watching this episode of "Food Network Challenge" (hadn't had time before now). Stevie's "interview" was astounding. A client "interview" that consists of lecturing her about your "art"?? HOW do you cram that much arrogance into one person? Kerry's right, everything's all about Stevie and her planet-sized ego, no one else in the world matters unless they're kissing up to her.

Love the snark by another cook: "What do you want to do?" "Not what she's doing", referring to Stevie. One amusing feature is some of the commentary by other cooks about her performance, including how messy her kitchen is. Granted, my own gets disheveled while I'm cooking, but I'm working in a much smaller space and I don't claim to be a professional pastry chef. I also try hard to find time to clean up as I go. How are they going to clean this mess up? (My vote is to just plow the kitchen under and seed it with salt.)

The powdered-sugar incident: this is an adult doing this? I can picture my favorite three-year-old laughing at this, but an adult? I'm still convinced that looking at her face, you can see some serious mental health issues.

Scary watching these cakes being moved, but everyone made it!

I have to second other posters who say this looks worse in construction during the episode than it looked on the YouTube video. They're right. The video does not do justice to the horror. The fire extinguisher gunk really does substantially improve it. I'd have to nominate Stevie the Queen of Wreck.

June 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFelixAndAva

I loved watching this episode, because it was so schadenfreude-rific! What made me most uncomfortable about her piece was that she insisted that KV had to keep an open mind, when it was clear based on what the show was about that Stevie was the one who needed to keep her mind wide open.

I'm not the best cake decorator out there by a long shot, but for her cake concept I feel like she would have done a better job with making a large number of sheet cakes as layers and then carving them into the shape she wanted rather than the scary dowels.

June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSeanna Lea

i've seen that woman on Challenge before. She has said publicly that she's not a baker, she's an artist. She thinks she's edgy and avant-garde.

I think she's an idiot.

She tries to make the most terrible 'cakes,' if you can call them that, using materials she doesn't understand...

she's great for laughs, at least you can say that.

I also think whoever put her on that show to make a cake for KERRY VINCENT is a sadist. They knew she'd make something terrible and they knew Kerry would hate it.

June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRemy

Poor, poor Stevie. We can only hope that the cure for whatever her psychiatric disorder is includes more K.V. Simon Cowell of the cake world indeed!

June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSherry

I saw this and was so horrified!!! But I couldn't look away... it was like a train-wreck! Actually, make that a horribly wonderful cake-wreck!!!

June 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Jensen Hill

bears a striking resemblence to john carpenter's 'the thing'

the only thing that would have made that video better is kurt russell and kurt russell's beard killing it with fire.

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterchris

Oh, man, I saw that one! What a crisis. Sadly, it looked better after they torched it >< and like the lady said, it was made more for the chef than the customer

poor woman had a nervous breakdown >< cake did too

July 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElkian Lionblood

My husband dubbed this "the afterbirth cake"...after we both stopped laughing, that is. Best episode of Challenge ever.

July 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSquee


Apparently she's not ashamed of this creation at all, she's got the video posted on her website!!!!

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You know...I'm not sure...but after going through the decorator's site...I think she does this sort of over the top, sort of gothic-grotesque thing on purpose.

At least, that's what I'm going to tell myself. It's intentional. It has to be. Nothing else makes sense.

But, you know she really hates KV, based on the comments she made during the show...and so I'm not terribly surprised that her cake was a dungeon of horror.

July 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSoapy Hollow

OMG I saw the vagina too!!! And it has a GUMMY CENTER!!! Aarrughhh!!!

July 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElmo96

So what WAS it trying to be?

All I can think of is a promo for "Survivor- Tropical Haunted Island"



July 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I actually wrote a note to kerry vincent after i saw that. I think that Stevie Famulari should be banned from Cake Challenges.

August 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

So, I went to the cake lady's website after watching this, and get this - she has a picture - and the video - of the fiasco.

No comments, though. Just there it is, like some sort of accomplishment.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJPeaslee

Just in case anyone is still reading this. She's on the new bridge challenge tonight.

August 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

And the birthday cake challenge re-airs on the 24th of September at 7pm (ET/PT), for anyone who wants to watch this trainwreck again. I plan to set my DVR. ;)

August 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFelixAndAva

It's definite: Stevie is seriously mentally ill. For some masochistic reason, I'm watching Bridge Challenge 2 and Stevie, talking about this cake challenge, said she didn't think it could have gone better! In what remotely sane universe was that NOT a totally unmitigated disaster?

September 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFelixAndAva

When I visited her website, I had the same reaction as when I saw the cake: what was she thinking? That is the worst website design I've seen since 1996.

October 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAbrashTX

What people fail to realize, and I am NOT defending her, is that she is a sculptor with an art background. I agree she's crazy with her execution, but she is not, I repeat, not a baker and barely has an baking experience. I really do not know why they would have invited her onto a show like this, other than to see her fail so miserably.

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Lol, having seen pictures of this cake before, I assumed it was just a destroyed cake covered in heaps of icing sugar. Now there's a lovely story behind it. :)

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNathalie

this cake looks like a chocolate dress (called inferno! no joke!) she made in '04.

and her website is just awful! was it designed by a 13 year old? All of her stuff is awful!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

. . . how did those people get onto Food Network Challenge? Was that the "Wrecktacular Challenge" or something?

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstrawrose

I didn't check the comments, but you forgot to mention that the "baker" in this case was actually an Artist. As in, not a baker by any stretch of definition. Also, she had a nice little snot-fest with the birthday girl about what she would be making. By far one of my favorite episodes. heh

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTesha

AND! She even used the cakewreck video on her web-page!!! MWahahaha!

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTesha

Whoa, guys. It's clearly meant to be a representation of the city of Dis, between the fifth and sixth circles of Hell. The foam of the extinguisher can only lend the ironic appearance of a gentle snowfall from the heavens. Frankly I am impressed by her artistic vision in this matter.

October 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLorinda

Lorinda said: Whoa, guys. It's clearly meant to be a representation of the city of Dis, between the fifth and sixth circles of Hell. The foam of the extinguisher can only lend the ironic appearance of a gentle snowfall from the heavens. Frankly I am impressed by her artistic vision in this matter.

Genius! Brilliant interpretation. Your ability to see the subtext of the work surely proves that you are a visionary amongst cake reviewers. ;) (cause it's hard to read emotion in text, I'm not trying to be snarky, just silly.) :)

October 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSoapy Hollow

Ah yes, I remember seeing that. I believe she knew EXACTLY what was going to happen. She WANTED that cake to burn, and be extinguished-it would be the cumulation of her 'performance art'. She won, b/c ppl will always talk about the 'girl who set her cake on fire'. She had no business being on there, but she brought in an audience, so expect to see her again, creating an even BIGGER disaster!

October 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I went to her site and ho-doggie! That woman has some "interesting" ideas about decorating. Her strawberries look like they're covered in vomit, her wedding cakes are worse--what is up with the "pee-stained" blue one?--and who knows what she was thinking about the Christmas tree. She decorated it really nice and then covered it with cheesy, ugly saran wrap? What? The only creations on her site I liked were the ones that look like the stuff *I* made as a kid. From the looks of things, Steve-o was never criticized as a child and now we get to pay for it.

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDominique

I just saw this episode for the first time on Food Network! I knew what the end result was going to be, but it was still hilarious. Even before the flames, it was a wreck (and so was her kitchen!).

November 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I was in complete shock when I saw this episode today. The second she mentioned that she sees herself as an "artist" I knew that we would see something wreck-tastic, and she definitely didn't let me down. She's the kind of person that makes people think modern art is ridiculous. As someone with an art history degree, this makes me cry inside. And that kitchen! How can someone like this have a career?!

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

We think this was a put on. If anyone really did something like that- the disgusting disgraceful mess in the kitchen and the cake itself- when Stevie stood in front of Kerry and said "The client isn't always right." That just tells us they were all having a laugh. Otherwise Stevie would be out of business, or the health department would have shut her down. No one could have gotten so far from their original design and made such a mess for real on national television.
Delhia & Vicky

November 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstephen

i know this is a super old post but i couldn't help but notice that lovely cake lady has this little video clip up on her site now...

i love it!!

November 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermelissa.

To the anonymous who said we don't "get" Stevie's work-If you are in a baking competition to make a cake for a client, you should follow the client's wishes. Even non-food artists know that. A good artist does what a commissioner asks, even if they hate it, because that's what they're being paid to do; the master Michelangelo knew that.

Incidentally, regardless of Stevie's intentions, the cake *is* badly-executed/ugly to Jen, so she considered it a wreck. You may think it's a beautiful, artistic expression of the soul, but you don't own this blog.

WV: dreful. I think this cake is dreful, sir.

December 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Elizabeth

One can only hope that was on purpose. That they said, "you know what would be funny? Making the worst cake EVARRR for one of the biggest cake critics' birthday. THAT would be funny. That would be too funny NOT to do."

One can hope.

January 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I believe that Stevie has been the unfortunate recipient of a lot of well-meant encouragement in something she loves but is obviously no good at. It's like those people that go on American Idol that truly cannot sing.. but someone in their life is telling them to keep trying.

Does no one love these people? Can they not be made to understand that their "work" is craptacular on an epic scale? I almost feel sorry for her.. almost.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterschmaimz

I just had to check out this chick's website and O.M.G.!!!!-(yes it is that bad to need all those points, I better add another one for effect)!, the whole site is a wreck. Apparently the baker is a enviromental artist and does landscaping and fashion as well as baking, you just have to check it out to believe it. I think she should become the spokesperson for Cake Wrecks.

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I tend to agree with most of the previous first thoughts are what was that supposed to be??? and why do that to innocent cake? Burning that thing up was the best possible way out of being judged on it!

April 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLynnea B

With all due respect to the woman who concocted this mess...I watched this episode and others she has been in and she is not a baker/cake decorator...she is an artist (outside the box) who thinks this can transcend into cake decorating. I feel it is a mockery to the other talented cake artists to allow her to compete in these competitions. I am asking her to keep her talent to another venue where it could be better appreciated.

April 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTLFtexas

At June 18, 2009 3:22 PM- I don't think anyone has a problem with Stevie being a food artist, though I wouldn't put her work in a show. The problem is she went on a competition to make something appealing that would be eventually eaten, but her entry wasn't appealing or edible. Her cake not only looked horrible, it probably wasn't edible even before the fire--who wants to eat rotten fruit and dowel rods? She's like a painter entering a photography contest, badly painting a self-portrait, and calling it a photograph. If she doesn't make things to be eaten, she shouldn't offer catering or enter competitions where the results will be consumed.

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

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