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

Sunday Sweets: Harry Potter

Years ago, Jen and I were in an airport with nothing to read. So, like so many other hapless victims, we decided to peruse the local den of thieves (aka airport gift shop). On a whim, Jen picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Little did I know that that would be the beginning of what has become a minor obsession in my life. We've been to midnight book releases, I listen to the audio books at work over and over, and naturally I'm far more excited about the movies than any grown man probably should be. So, with the sixth film coming out this Wednesday, I asked Jen to let me do this week's Sunday Sweets.

Now, put down those Fizzing Wizzbies, and let's admire the works of some of the finest Muggle bakers around!

You guys asked for more 2D cakes, so check out this awesome fondant-free example:

We're pretty sure that's either a chocolate or butter cream transfer on the top - cool, huh? I found it on Decolicious!'s Flickr stream.

Next is Margie's amazing Sorting Hat:

For those of you who are not (yet) die-hard Potter fans, the sorting hat is a magical talking hat. Who sometimes sings. Or produces swords. Or bursts into flames. (Just read the books, Ok?)

This next one is reeeeally exciting [pushing up glasses]:

It's a book cake, yes. But not just ANY book cake; a book cake with the very last line from the series on it:

"All was well." [tearing up] This is so beautiful. It's from the aptly named Mike's Amazing Cakes.

And finally, here's the Hogwarts cake Duff and his team from Charm City Cakes made:

I think this was for the last movie's premier.

Here's a closeup:

I know what you're thinking, and yes, there actually are more great Harry Potter cakes out there. You'll just have to tune in next Sunday to see the rest of them. (And if you have one to nominate, you can send it to us at Sunday Sweets [at] Cake Wrecks [dot] com.)

And finally, I know there are still some folks out there who don't like Harry Potter, for any of a number of reasons. I doubt I'll be able to change your mind if that's the case, but I do want to share what I think is the best end result of JK Rowling's work:

Little kids reading 800 page books - now THAT is Sunday Sweets worthy.

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Reader Comments (255)

Not to ignore the HP awesomeness happening here today, but have any of you checked out the cakes at Mike's Amazing Cakes?? I saw his comment as I was reading through, and, since I loved that book cake so much, I had to take a look. These cakes are STUNNING...if only I had a special occasion coming up that required a cake! Wow, wow, wow. I'm in awe.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKenyonJen

"Little kids reading 800 page books - now THAT is Sunday Sweets worthy."

Whooo HOOO! Couldn't agree more!

VillageMom, don't let the nay-sayers try to make you feel bad. You can choose to let your kids read or not read whatever you feel is best.

To those of you harping on her for being closed-minded or ignorant, shame on you! Her reasons are hers alone and assuming she did no research or put any thought into coming to her decision shows you are being just as close-minded and ignorant!

If a kid discovers a love of reading, does it really matter what kind of author or book awakened it? Not every book has to be a stellar classic of literature. Everyone does not have to like the same kinds of books.

That's the beauty of books, there's something for everyone! ^_^


Though I do love all of these cakes!! :D

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDawnspring

Thanks for the HP cakes! My friends and I are all VERY excited about the release this week, and these pics are just icing on the cake. (couldn't resist!)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Go to wikipedia, read the plot synopsis for the Harry Potter Books. THERE IS NO AMBIGUITY.
Love, compassion and mercy are big themes in the overall series. As a matter of fact, they are presented as being far more powerful than the strongest and most evil magic. Please don't deprive your children of a great story without researching it for yourself.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSuzie

Little kids reading 800 page books

Exactly! That's what got me to read them in the first place. I worked at an elementary school and I figured anything that got the kids to read such big books had to be special.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Already bought my ticket for a screening

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMella

The sorting hat looks like it's covered in chocolate powder, like a giant truffle or something!

*boggles briefly over the number of people who believe in real-life witches, wizards, and magic, whether black or white*

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMorgi

If Mike (or, more likely, someone who works for Mike) is still reading,

I love it when you're on Food Network Challenge! Keep up the awesome work!

Check out their website if you haven't. They mean it when they say, "Amazing."

WV - dental - This is the first time I've had a word I recognize! Yay!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCyndi

Wonderful cakes...the sorting hat looks like it may say a few choice words any minute !

I especially love your thoughts on the last photo of the children reading, since Harry Potter books have made it cool for boys to actually read too !

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

beyond awesomeness!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbarbie2be

Wow, this blog has really become a rant/attack center, no matter what Jen or John post.

I used to get a kick out of all the truly funny and clever comments readers posted but now I'm afraid that there might be a little too much pontificating going on.

Let's all lighten up friends and give the wonderful blog owners a break ! (I include myself in that request too )

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

oh my gosh, you are both so funny. I wish my husband did hilarious posts on our blog, so we could be a tag-team of hilarity, too. I still love him, though. Good job, john.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBreanne

Amen, Amen, Amen!!! Great books! Great cakes! GreatEST kids!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPat

I find it surprising that you would make those remarks about CS Lewis, who is known best as a Christian apologist and professor, rather than as a novelist. His book "Mere Christianity" is, as I understand it, one of the most commonly studied books in church Bible studies.(I do know this really isn't on topic, but it baffled me.)
John et al.-
It is lovely to see how much a series of children's books can inspire a group larger than its target demographic! People who read ask questions, after all.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

*claps excitedly*
With the impending release of the sixth movie I've been rereading the series for the last several weeks (Deathly Hallows twice!) These cakes make me happy. Thanks for posting them!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhello jessi!

Yes, they are reading 800 pages but is it QUALITY reading material? Before you answer that I make my children read text books.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Anonymous -- I, too, did not think they would live up to the hype. I didn't read the first book until after the second movie was out, but since I'm a teacher, I finally gave in. I found out that I was wrong all along. The books are awesome, and while the movies don't do the books justice (do they ever?), they are still worth it. Rowling's writing is far more advanced and her storylines far more complex for the ages that are reading the series, yet they continue to read, comprehend, and love them. That's not hype -- that's phenomenal.

(BTW, I love the book cake!)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Millers

Ok, speaking as someone who appreciates the Harry Potter series AND a fundamentalist Christian, I'd like to assure those folks who claim to know everything about the books and the author yet obviously do not (for one thing, Rowling belongs to the Church of England. Take that as you will, but I'm pretty sure they aren't a bunch of satanists, no matter how liberal an interpretation of scripture they may have), that the books, at their core, are not about magic. They are about friendship, love, loyalty, and bravery. And above all else, they are about good defeating evil. The magic in the books is no different than the magic the fairy godmother performs in Cinderella- it's nonsensical, silly words. You have every right to pick and choose what you want your children to read, but it might behoove you to pick up one of the books yourself, before you judge. I don't claim to know everything about what Jesus thinks, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't have a problem with fantasy or playing pretend. This is what the HP series is. As to bookstores setting up displays of sorcery and witchcraft near the HP books, I highly doubt that. I spend most of my free time in bookstores, and I work in a library, and never before have I encountered such a thing. It seems particularly implausible since the books are intended for children. Do they set up adult books about Christianity near the Chronicles of Narnia series? No.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

To those of you who dislike the Harry Potter books because you don't think they're "quality" material, not worth kid's time, etc., may I remind you that these books were originally meant for children? They don't HAVE to be great works of literature. They are, incidentally, fantastic stories that spark a love of reading in children. I am a librarian who primarily works with children and teens, and I have seen firsthand this magic that Rowling has let loose. I have kids come in that want to read more about the background of the series, which then leads them to other famous works of fiction AND nonfiction books- many that adults wouldn't check out- about mythology and folklore. Who knows where they will be led next? It gives me hope for children in our country. For every child that comes in whining and complaining about having to read a short novel for school (is it really so difficult for an advance placement high school senior to finish "Lord of the Flies"?), there is another who is reading at LEAST two or three grade levels above his own, owed in part to the Harry Potter books. It's fabulous, honestly.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessi

Villagemom, it sounds like you are trying your best to teach your kids about the wonderful and wide world of reading! :)

And yet I still feel I have to say it--restricting what your children read won't do them (or you) any favors. If they are very devout, or very Christian, or whatever term you would prefer, it is likely that they will stay devout no matter what it is they read. I remember I once read an article examining Phillip Pullman ("The Golden Compass") and the people who read his books when the last of the trilogy was published. There was such a hue & cry over it...("It'll encourage atheism," "It'll make people want to be witches," etc etc etc.) and the most telling line was when a "good Christian girl" was quoted as saying something along these lines:

"If a book shakes my faith*, I didn't have much faith to begin with."

To expand upon this idea further and in a more personal way, when *I* read the Chronicles of Narnia, I was ignorant of C.S. Lewis's original intent (I think I was.... all of eight or ten? Maybe?). I loved the books, but ironically, the end result of reading them was to encourage me to consider atheism! And yet, Narnia is considered by many Christians to be a very "Good Book," whereas Harry Potter (which never made me consider anything deeper than "oh, I'd like to eat a chocolate frog, too") sometimes makes the blacklist.

I guess my point is this: no one book should be considered "bad" or should be banned from any household. Any faithful child will not have their faith shaken; any child with doubts is likely to have had the doubts anyway. And *all* creative children will manage to find a message in any book they enjoy that jives with who they are and what they want to be. That last part, by the way, is a big part of what books--all books--are about.

On the cakes--I <3 the book the best, I think. I like Duff & Crew, but I don't think the castle quite compares to the book's elegant simplicity! :)

*(The girl quoted was talking about faith, but you can replace this general idea "makes me want to be a witch" or anything else you prefer. It still works.)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The sorting hat cake is amazing! They've actually manage to make it look like it's speaking. And the Hogwarts cake is stunning.

Thanks for the Harry Potter cakes, it pretty much made my day!

To all the people who feel the need to argue and focus on anything but the cakes:
What's the point? There are a lot of things that are featured on here that I'm not a fan of. Star Trek, Transformers, among other things, but the cakes are still the main point of this and if everyone were to nag every time something they weren't a fan of is featured, this would be one sad blog.

Jen and/or John aren't here to cater to all our individual likes and dislikes. So when you see something you don't like, pass it by or focus on the cakes? We're all here for the crazy/ugly/amazing cakes, so I don't see the point in ruining the fun for everyone else.

*steps down from soap box and slides back into the shadows*

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIngeborg

To one of the other Anons, on C.S. Lewis--
If I remember correctly (High School was so long ago...), Lewis was once very very much an atheist. Tolkien, on the other hand, was very devoutly Christian. He and Lewis became good friends, Lewis changed his faith, and Lewis began changing his writing to reflect his newfound love of God.

This might be one of the reasons his work has some of the weird undertones it does (and why I started considering 'the world without God' after reading his Chronicles of Narnia). I could go on about this at length, but I doubt anyone wants to read it here :)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I don't suppose it would be too much of an exaggeration to say that Harry Potter saved my life when no other 'Christian' literature could have. In the depths of a depression I somehow managed to stumble upon The Sorcerer's Stone. Reading through those wonderful books was the only thing that kept my mind occupied with things other than self-harm, pity, and despair. I am a Christian, but I will tell you that all the prayer in the world did not have the same effect that Harry Potter did. Now that I have recovered from that dark place in my life, it makes me EXTREMELY sad and angry to think that someone might be banned from reading those life-changing books due to ignorant ideas on the part of those who have most likely never read them at all.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I read the first book in the HP series and didn't care for it, so I didn't read the rest. So what? I didn't like Tolkien either, but I could still admire the cakes based on LOTR. Isn't that what this blog is about? Cakes, not books.

I felt the first cake was a bit lacking, but the book one was beautifully done.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh that is so adorable. You could get into so many women's pants like this (sorry Jen, don't hurt me).

However, now I want to read the books again, dammit.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermags

I'm just reading the leas part of the Harry Potter. It's so great that I can't move away from it. Every second word that I say is Harry Potter related haha. I love this cakes! They are so beautiful. And since I'm commenting for the first time: Your blog is amazing! I love it! I check it every day!

Ursha from Slovenia-Europe

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterUrsha

/boggles at hatred for Harry Potter

/double boggles at idea that Narnia is somehow inspired by Satan

That Hogwarts cake is sooooooo cool!!!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

I *need* the Sorting Hat cake! And the book cake!!
Amazing, amazing, amazing!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIndy

@ jamie...

You're kidding, right? You'd never let your kids read C S Lewis? You realize the Chronicles of Narnia, specifically The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, are the story of Christ clothed with the mantle of fantasy?

As someone who never had to be "encouraged" to read, but realizes there is a huge problem when kids think reading isn't cool -- and sees schools sending out nearly illiterate teenagers out into the real world, I think anything that gets kids reading is great.

If it teaches lessons, like the world isn't always black and white, loyalty, friendship, then all the better!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

omg yes! I am so happy to finally see some HP action on cakewrecks!!! Well done!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

There's something about a book that can gather a whole generation, young and old, to cry together, laugh together and share a certain ounce of pride in a 17-year old orphaned wizard. I love the series, and I am God Willing, going to the premiere at midnight, dressed up as Tonks! Thanks so much for the sweets of Hp-ness, but i'd love to see some wrecks too, I mean some people try so hard to dedicate a cake to the great teen hero, and fail so miserably, that we have to appreciate it together, just like J.K. intended.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterblah blah

im not sure if anyone else mentioned this yet, but my favorite harry potter movie is called "dear, readers: Wizard People" it is a hilarious dubbed track by a man named brad neely. he doctored it and showed it to his friends in austin, it is now a worldwide sensation!
imagine a world where harry drinks and says what he really means
(i am not doing it any kind of justice)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNoelle

The book cake with the last line quite literally gave me chills.

At first I thought it was Tom Riddle's Diary, but I like it more as is.

So cool!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterangelchicken

What a lot of fuss caused by these cakes! Of course its really HP and the Philosephers Stone, The American Publishers thought you lot wouldnt "get it" with the correct title.
Reading is what counts once you can enjoy it the world is in your hands even if you never go further than your local library!
I read like other people breathe,but over the years my tastes have changed Ive read Good Literature and trashy romances,the bible cover to cover more than once and poetry.
But only one of my 4 children is what I would call a reader, they can read but they dont live the book! I wish they were as keen as me its not for lack of encouragement!!But they find their own path.
By the way HP is very British you know,its great to see so much of the rest of the world loving it!JK wouldnt allow it to be Americanised!!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdiddleymaz

I propositioned Jen after the Princess Bride cakes... Now I want to proposition John... You two Rock!!!

Only, I also want to read the books all over again.

WV: mousktol - a laxative for kitties?

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLizard

I fought the HP hype for 3 books. Finally, I sat and read the first one and quickly devoured them. I waited on pins and needles for each book. I didn't think I would like them because I have been such a big reader from such a young age. I have read, and re-read Tolkien. I started Wheel of Time.
They are fun, enjoyable books and they get kids reading. (Not that I didn't have issues with the ending mind you!)
Wonderful cakes! Love your blog.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKittyH

This post makes me *so* happy, you have no idea. As another poster said, Harry Potter was my childhood; I loved the series to death, and they were my go-to books when I was stuck at home sick. I still reread them even though I'm now in college, and although the movies are nowhere near the quality of the books, I already have my ticket and will be there at midnight. Possibly in costume.

As far as arguments against the books go, I think people who dismiss them for religious reasons have never read them. Yes the characters are wizards, but the strong themes of the series are love and friendship. There's a very distinct line between good and evil, with maybe the exception of Snape who has been forgiven for his past deeds.

That was my two cents. As for the cakes: they are breathtaking and the book cake is especially poignant. But the picture of the little kids with the books is in a class of its own.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSpygel

Wow. Amazing. Some people just go way out there to do wonderful pieces like these. Nice to know there are some professionals who actually do good work.

On a side note, my sister introduced me to your blog and I love it. She's been reading for over a year and I just took the day today to go over 2009. Gonna need another day to go through 2008. *face palm* How do some of these people keep their businesses?

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachael

The Sorting Hat cake is my favorite! They all make me want to read Harry Potter again :)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrain Picker

I just peed myself.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAllyson

ABSOLUTELY CAN'T WAIT FOR THE MOVIE RELEASE... the day after my birthday. I'm getting tix for a present.. I hope. And, yes, my favorite thing about the books is exactly that... they got children everywhere back into reading again. YAY!

Thanks for the sweet, J&J, and for the site, love it and addicted....and not to fondant or CCC's (ptooey)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNightingale

I LOVE HARRY POTTER! Thank you, Jen!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSeven Of Diamonds

I love, love, love that sorting hat. I want one. Do you think if I chant, "I wanna Sorting Hat" 275,000 times it will happen? No, wait, that's my kids' strategy, not mine.

I really wish JK Rowling had continued to use an editor right through the series, but the books make such a great rollicking good tale, I'm not that fussed.

I read the bible when I was a kid (it spelled the end of my Christianity as it happens), and it's hard to escape the conclusion that HP is much more amusing. And people telling me HP encourages evil and atheism and witchcraft just makes me want to ensure my kids read it, but then I'm perverse like that. :)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAriane

oh those are AWESOME! I'm so excited for the Half-Blood Prince movie. I'm going to the first midnight showing I've ever been to (thanks, but not to the fact that our local Imax isn't bringing in the film until 2 weeks post release date. What's with that, anyway?). Can't wait to see the rest of the HP sweets!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJules

YAY Harry - YAY! I loved that my 10 year olds gave up they're game time to READ when the 4th book came out. It made me so happy.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBlythe Hopes Vintage

Those cakes are awesome! I love the sorting hat. I actually watched the episode of Ace of Cakes where they made the Harry Potter cake. The staff from the bakery made a point of going to find a knife and plates and cutting into the cake when they overheard people talking about not eating it. They made a very good point. Pretty or not, cake is MEANT to be eaten. Otherwise, they put all that work into it just to see it go into the garbage. And yes, the castle part is styrofoam covered in fondant, but the grounds are made of cake.

To Anonymous @ 4:50: You make your kids read textbooks? I pity your kids. Nothing put me to sleep faster than reading my textbooks at University. And I loved the subject matter. They're just dry and boring. And by the way, just because it's a textbook doesn't mean it's QUALITY. I've had a few classes where the prof told us NOT to buy the text as it was bad.

On the general subject of reading, I disagree with people who limit their children's opportunities to read. I recognize that that is their right as a parent, but I DO disagree with it. I will never tell my children that they cannot read a book. I WILL, however, ensure that I teach my children to recognize what is real and what is fictional. I think that's the more important message to pass on to your kids.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShelagh

Those are freaking Awesome cakes! The detail on them is fascinating.

And yes, despite the naysayers (Hi, Dad!) the HP series did get kids reading. And that, my friends, is a good thing.

Amy B.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Quite a debate?

I can't weigh in on the HP love. Yet. I'm holding off on starting the series until I can read them to/with my children (now 4 and 2). That will be fun.

What's going on in the close-up photo of the Charm City cake? It looks like an angry blonde woman with sunglasses on her head getting a back massage.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Q.

I *heart* Harry Potter. :) That Sorting Hat cake is AMAZING!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen

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