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

Well, I'm Stumped

There is a tradition of making wedding cakes that look like tree stumps. Why? Beats me. And since many of them have little shotgun shells decoratively sprinkled around the edges, I'll let one of you ask.

Here's an example of a stump wedding cake, and also what bride Zsofia asked her baker to make for her wedding:

As you can see, it is remarkably stumpy. Now, again, you may be questioning the reasoning behind celebrating a new life of love together with a murdered tree. To this I say: It's not like it's a real tree, so let it go already. Besides, that's not the point.

So what IS the point?

The point, my dear Wreckies, is that Zsofia got THIS for her wedding cake:

See? Betcha don't give a poo-streaked muck pile why people order stump cakes now. Now you just want a better view of this poo-streaked muck pile.

Happy to oblige, my friends, happy to oblige:

This is a wedding cake, people. A wedding cake. For somebody's wedding. Which people were expected to eat. With their mouths.

Now don't get me wrong: the green shredded coconut adds a festive touch to those 15 cent cardboard rounds, and the fake bird is totally workin' it. Still, the bride suspects (and from this photo, I think with good reason) that the cake may have fallen over a few times en route, since in addition to looking - well, like this - it was an hour late to the reception.

Happily, though, Zsofia reports that by the time the cake arrived most of the guests were too drunk to care what the cake looked like, anyway.

[sniffle] Aw, I just love happy endings, don't you?

- Related Wreckage: Inspiration vs Perspiration

« Who Ordered the Poo Poo Platter? | Main | Sunday Sweets: Transformers »

Reader Comments (181)

Ok, these wrecks have scared me to the point that I've decided I'm just having a plain white sheet cake for my wedding. Kind of hard to screw that up, right? Umm... right?

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjackie31337

This is a wedding cake, people. A wedding cake. For somebody's wedding. Which people were expected to eat. With their mouths.

ZOMG! I'm sitting in a cubical farm deep in forensic accounting trenches and I LOL'd (actually, I snorted hot tea out of my nose onto my keyboard). Do you know what they do to accountants that LOL?

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter*MagPie*

Wow... how depressing.

Raychel -

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRaychel

Is there even any icing on that cake? It looks like it was rubbed with brown corn syrup. And the bird looks real. But dead. Ewwww.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My only question is the same as it is on many of these wrecks...

Did they actually have to pay for that?

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

I think the butterflies really tie it all together...*snork*

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersambrael

I AM STUMPED!!!!!!! That is SOME Wreck!!

Is it just me, or does it look like there is dried blood on top??!?!

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLucia

That's just embarrassing! I am embarrassed for the decorator!

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Is that cardboard in there?

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJillian

I've seen the little yellow butterflys working the puddle over the septic system. Who knew Nature could be so aptly replicated in buttercream?

Now I don't have to wonder and can get on with my life.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbeege

That is one seriously horrific cake, and some seriously awesome commentary. Go Jen!

If I went to a wedding with a stump cake I would assume the bride was pregnant (up the stump being a euphemism for pregnancy)and they were making a joke out of the situation (since few people are horrified by a pregnant bride anymore. If there were shotgun shells as additional decorations I would assume they were taking it up a notch to joke about a shotgun wedding.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris (Mombie)

It really does look like someone might have dropped it whilst delivering, let it roll down a hill through some poop and then picked it up at the end, stuck a few butterflies in it and hoped for the best. My god, what a mess.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJade

Please tell me she didn't pay for THAT! If I had received that I would have thought that it was a SIGN that I shouldn't get married, jajajajaja

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeray

Regarding the relationship of stumps to weddings, the only connection I know of is the phrase "jump the stump" which refers to marrying within their own family. Not something you'd brag about by way of a cake. Not a problem with the second example as it bears no resemblance to any form of cake ever known, cow pie maybe, but cake no.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoust

Oh god. *No comment*

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBookworm

That is really bad. LOL

~Amy B.

wv: entel "The latest entel reports that there are more wrecky stump cakes out there somewhere just waiting to be discovered!"

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I had a whole comment ready about how someone told me their family tree didn't branch out, it was more like a stump, and maybe that's the story behind these stump cakes, but now I just don't have the heart to do it! No one deservies a wedding cake like this! Why can't a baker just admit that they can't pull it off when the order comes in?

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVivian Guest

So many questions: Is that cardboard I see peeking out from under the top layer, In full view? Is the bottom layer trying to eat that bird? Is the green supposed to be grass, moss, or something else? Are the butterflies just as confused as I am about how to look away from this wreck?

I'm curious what the bride's experience was receiving this.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristina M.

I'm betting the tree stumps are supposed to reflect "The Giving Tree". This is a children's book which I've always thought was excellent training for young codependents who didn't quite grasp the need to discount their own needs _completely_ in order to get sadists to believe they are loved. . .

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTruCelt

It looks like a charred round of meat. Now I want kielbasa. With kosciusko. Mmmmm...

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVanilla


My favorite part is that unmistakeable edge of the corrugated cardboard smack in the middle. WE can even see the little wavy line running through it. LOVE IT!!! Absolutely mindboggling why this couldn't have been smeared over with the same delectable frosting, or maybe even covered with a line of plastic insects....

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Did you notice that there's a "JR" written on the top tier? There might possibly be an "S+" to the left of it, (it's hard to tell in all the could-be-poo-could-be-smeared-blood frosting wreckiness), but that still doesn't make sense if the bride's name is spelled "Zsofia". So add misspelling to the list of what's wrong with this cake! Hurrah!

Oh, and the blue butterfly is upside down. The list goes on and on...

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDomanda

Are we 100% sure the bottom two bits of wreck aren't glazed ham? Looks kind of meaty to me.

Of all the colours to mix surely brown is the easiest?

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGlory von Hathor

I also tried to look up "tree stump cake" and found refs to: golf, paintball, old-fashioned. In Martha Stewarts wedding mag she has a tree stump cake with branches on it. It does seem to be popular though I don't know why???? I did find a link to some that at least look like a tree stump! Most were "wrecks" though!

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSonya

I agree with Chris (Mombie) -- I immediately thought "up the stump" when I saw these cakes.

I come by that immediate reaction honestly. I had my wedding photographs taken in a forest, and for one shot the photographer stood me on a tree stump, leaning down to kiss the groom. My mother's immediate reaction to the pose was that it was crass in an up-the-stump kinda way.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGimme a sign


Just... D=

Wow. There really are no words.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa (& Billy)

I have to know, did the bride for it?! You need to start telling us these things!!!

Your mention of...*ahem*...shotgun shells...reminded me of a phrase you might hear in Newfoundland (originally a British phrase, which makes sense if you know NL history) - if your beloved is pregnant, you'd say she's "up the stump". I don't know why that is, but lots of traditional Newfoundland phrases make no sense to me, why should this one :).

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Jen, can we please have a warning at the top when your comments will make us laugh out loud, like today's post? A person could get in trouble reading this at work! :)

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

ugh. okay, i think it's understood that tree stump cakes are not a great idea. but still...i gotta say i love the fake bird -- looks like he's pooping on the fake grass.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEtiquette Bitch

In the deep South, in the 19th and early 20th century, there was a tradition in funerary monuments of carving tree stumps in stone to signify a life cut short. Maybe the bride and groom are viewing their impending nuptials in the same light?

Love your blog by the way!

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh. My. GOD! That is beyond hideous and I'm thinking the baker was wasted when he/she made this monstrosity. Good heavens, I just can't believe that someone made this and then BROUGHT IT TO THE WEDDING!

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoMama

OMG! I don't know WHY brides are wanting stump cakes, it must be the new in-fashion thing! I have done 2 as groom's cakes over the past month!! I think mine came out a little better than those though.. WHEW!!


July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenniffer

You know how you always remember every little detail that went wrong at your wedding? I'm thinking Zsofia's husband will be hearing about this for years.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknitwit

I always enjoy these posts but this one had me laughing to the point of tears. I had trouble reading the final paragraphs. This after a long, grueling day of work- thank you! Thank you!

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

and THAT, boys and girls, is why you serve alcohol at weddings. >nodding sagely<

WV: Manti: man panties.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Ay, yay yay! I'm surprised the guy who delivered it didn't lick some of the "frosting" off and let me say that Bird looks way too real. Maybe they killed it and stuffed it and then put it on the cake.


July 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbernthis

Thos fake plastic butterflies really bring it all together. :b

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermochaxlight

Lordy Cripes, I hope she didn't pay for that.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMama-Beans

That coconut looks like exactly like cole slaw. o.O Some things cannot be unseen...

I don't care what the baker says - I'm overseeing the making of my wedding cake. End of story.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShoshana

I must defend the stump cake because we had one at our wedding... Only it was a groom's cake and not the actual wedding cake. And it didn't look like poo. And we had a pet squirrel that we wanted to include in our reception so the cake had an adorable figurine of two kissing squirrels on it. Our cake was awesome... Poor bride. :(

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephW

Are you sure that's a fake bird? Could be a dead one that was crushed by the falling trunk! Worse, from the height of the box on the right, it looks like the layers of this abomination were transported individually, for assembly on-site - perhaps by the guy attending this wedding wearing what appears to be a T-shirt. If so, there was yet another slab to go atop the melting poo-goo pile.
Stand back!

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergreygarious

Oooohwow. The second cake makes the inspiration cake look a little yummy.

And for the record, a "poo-streaked muck pile" has ruined my craving for cake today.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRooManda

Shameful. I wouldn't even have left the "bakery" with it, nor would I have paid.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Good gosh, I nearly choked on my hot pocket. You can turn away your own wedding cake, right?

I too enjoyed the "With their mouths" remark, keep up the good work!

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I googled "tree stump cakes why" in case there was some sort of traditional symbolism at work here. And found this. I have nothing more to say.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Can someone please tell me what the objects on the right side of the middle tier are? Because they look to me as though they are somewhere between leeches, slugs, and poop from that bird next to them. Thoughts?

WV: cousi - you're keeping it in the family if you get hitched to your cousi.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

OH....MY....GOD!!!!! There are just no words....


July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think the 15-cent cardboard rounds were the cake decorator's attempt to make the tree stump as authentic as possible and he/she deserves credit for the that - since cardboard comes from trees.

The stump tombstones are for "Woodmen of the World", a fraternal organization, that I believe is actually quite good. I was wondering if there might be some sort of tie-in. Anything to not have to look at or think about today's entry. Welcome back, Jenn!

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie in Arlington

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