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

National Cupcake Day

I'm told that today is National Cupcake Day. So, we could celebrate all that's good about these mini-cakes in paper wrappers, and look at beautiful examples of them made by talented people...


We could take a little refresher course on why Cupcake Cakes are evil. After all, what better way to celebrate the cupcake than by protecting it from unholy perversions which must be stopped before cake art as we know it is ruined beyond all saving!?!

[patting down hair]

Yeah, I like Option B better, too.

There are two types of CCCs: your basic, all-slathered-together model:

(which Wreckerators are forever trying to make round shapes out of)

And the "mosaic" style, wherein the cupcakes are each iced separately:

(Either a crying fish or an airplane turned sideways, dumping out the pilot's lunch.)

As you can see, both types of CCC are what baking industry insiders refer to as "fugly."

Plus, cupcake cakes come with enough frosting to induce a diabetic coma merely by being within a ten-foot radius. Usually we're spared this sight because CCC photos are taken from directly overhead, but you can sort of see what I'm talking about here:

What's worse: that this is supposed to be a sombrero, or that there's even more icing underneath those paper wrappers, gluing them to the board?

CCCs almost always result in shapes that baffle the imagination. If you wanted to put that in a positive light (which I don't) you could say they're like edible Rorschach tests (so I won't). And so one person's hamburger becomes another's highway o' caterpillars:

One person's flip-flops becomes another's necklace-wearing alien blobs with hives:

Or one person's [Note to John: what the heck is this? Find out and insert here] becomes another's Mardi Gras cactus mask:

Or maybe it's a flying pickle. [head tilt] Huh.

Rather than fighting back against the evil infiltrating their bakeries, I'm afraid most Wreckerators have simply given up:

[throwing down spatula] "Meh, it's a football. Time for my break."

Others write us little clues on the cake board:

I'm pretty sure "No Intelligent Life Found" means this is supposed to be a UFO, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the irony.

And still others are clearly having so much fun that they may need forcible restraining:


Well, I think you get my point: cupcakes are great, cupcake cakes are - to put it nicely - fugly icing bombs sprung from the bowels of Hell's kitchen. (The real one, I mean. Love ya, Gordon!)

Matt H., Chessa N., Lauren R., Jennifer R., Brittany H., Amy L., Nathan, Nichole B., & Beth, go forth and eateth thine cupeth caketh in exceedingeth celebration.

Related Wreckage: Cupcake Cakes: Always Wrecktastic. Always.

« A Day in the Life of a Wreckerator, Pt 2 | Main | A Day in the Life »

Reader Comments (169)

I have to give props to the "mosaic" style though, because at least their only offense is being ugly.

Those icing-dump ones could put a whole room into a diabetic coma just by looking at them!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaurenH

Jen, that last one is Poochie the Flower Power Puppy (a cartoon from the 80s)!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle Boinay

Gaaahhh! The banana slugs return!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterelenion

WHY??? Honestly, if you want cupcakes, just make some freaking CUPCAKES ... with a flip flop on each, or a sombrero on each, or something, but seriously ... too much icing, too ugly in general. ugh. people.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark and April Skinner

insanely bizarre. the lot of them.

diabetic coma? you bet. not enough insulin in the world to repair that kind of damage ...


August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Lee

Those are FLIP FLOPS? Surely you jest. Looks more like they gave the preschoolers coloring pages of bacteria pictures.

And the first one is a beach ball? Huh. I was guessing hot air balloon but the basket was missing.

WV: helne--self explanatory for these wrecks!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Right on, Jen! CCCs, ptooey!

I love that we totally think alike on some stuff: I looked at the caterpillar highway picture before reading your comment on it and thought "why would anyone want to make a caterpillar highway???" and then found you had thought the same thing. So cool!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

While I do think every day should be "National Cupcake Day" I'm not sure if it's actually today.
According to this: today is actually "National Soft Ice Cream Day" and "National Cupcake Day" falls on December 15th! Doh!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoody Mac

You had a spongebob CCC on a while back and THAT was the funniest CCC EVER. Bit coming in second in the mustachioed poodle, with the eyes of Tammy Faye.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpeewee

Don't be ashamed, Horserider. I saw TX too.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

Hey where's the huuuaaack Ptooey?

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

These are quite memorable, but in the wrong kind of way! This has cemented my anti-CCC stance.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRio Runs

I kinda thought the flying pickle/cactus one kinda looked like a dragon head but without any eyes.

We could give that picture to a room full of 5 year olds and get 30 different answers. It might be fun :)

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterYota Armai

It looks like a spaceship to me too!
CCC's are made at the bakery at the grocery store where I work, and they don't look all bad, but then again, we have an awesome decorator!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMissy

OMG! "Highway of Caterpillars!" That was the best!
Thanks for a good laugh this morning!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJust Me,Pilgrim

Cupcake rant: The record breaking, biggest cupcake has been in the news recently (and I think Duff from Ace of Cakes once tried to create the biggest cupcake). But, via the fact that they are regular cakes stacked and cut to look like a cupcake, they aren't really cupcakes at all! Why are we allowing this travesty? What is the true definition of "cupcake"?

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

these are just so wrong on so many levels

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Lovables

Check out this blog post from Cupcakes Take the Cake.... National Cupcake Day isn't until Dec. :)

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJava Cupcake

Wow - these are super bad. I thought the sombrero was a piece of candy corn... I would have never figured it out on my own. And those so-called flip flops!?! Seriously? Still confused about what the 'flying pickle' thing is supposed to be? The football made me laugh... it does look rather defeated doesnt it?

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

The last one is trying to look like Poochie.

The rest? What were they thinking??

Although--I have to admit--I went to make a payment on my wedding cake this last weekend and I saw a CCC that actually looked good. Granted it was definitely under a sheet of frosting (thought not excessive from what I saw) but it was a charming Mario Bros. scene. I would have taken a picture but someone was picking it up at that moment. So not ALL CCCs are of the wrecky kind...just most of them! =D

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa (& Billy)

Highway o' caterpillars. Thanks for the best laugh I've had all week!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think I now know why my friend Betsy is so anti-sandal. That was probably her cake one year. I now understand, and will no longer poke fun at her completely covered feet.
Seriously, I can see alien arms reaching down to hold those daisies.

WV-forese "Forese a jolly good fellow, Forese a jolly good fellow..." (sung with a British accent, see?)

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfrigglesnitz

I think the cactus one is a dinosaur footprint. Maybe.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternarkej

Not good. Not good at all! Ugh. No cccs for me!

~Amy N

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

i have to say, i did enjoy the eric carle caterpillar cupcake cake, but i think that was the only exception to this rule!

umm.... to keep adding frosting doesn't mean you are adding quality. that sombrero seems like it would feel like biting into an icing pimple.

and is that a football?

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterUdanax

I thought the "sombrero" looks like a fireman's hat.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

The first one is a beach ball????

I thought it was a rainbow that ended in a white cloud.

Wow. Interpretation is everything in CCC world.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda in Austin

is it a cactus??

from Jessica

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I appreciate your judicious use of the word "fugly." It pretty much summed up the whole cupcake cake experience! Lol!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBaker's Cakes

I don't believe for one moment that cupcakes themselves are in favor of being used in this demeaning way. Has anyone ever asked? Probably not.
I say that, given half a chance, most of them would gladly rise up and walk off the job, sharing the weight the heavy frosting load like so many ants trundling off with a hot dog bun. All in the name of freedom...sweet freedom...
But they can't! They are invariably trapped in plastic-container prisons, doomed to be sold "as is," never to know the joy of being recognized as unique (more or less) individuals.
I'll get off my soapbox now, but leave all merchants of this cruel (and ugly) practice with a word of warning:
The day WILL come...


August 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

I actually love cup cakes...little cakes, get your cake fix. However, these CCCs make me want to barf and never eat cake again....sadness.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEast of Eden

oh so ugly!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLucia

No Intelligent Life.... so, so true. It all left via the highway 'o caterpillars.

Sombrero- I thought it was supposed to be a bell, but no clapper and no relevance to a birthday. Not that relevance is needed.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknitorpurl

I'm ashamed to admit. I did order a CCC for my son and daughter's birthday one year. It was frosted with gobs of black icing and had a plastic batman symbol stuck in the middle. Not that there is any excuse for that level of abuse, but I was two weeks away from giving birth and at that point I probably would have been happy with the "decorated" cookies in the previous post.
Ok, now that I've gotten that off my chest, love your blog! Please, keep the laughs coming.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Totally thought the sombrero was a broom.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPerkinsClan

I've always maintained that there are cupcakes and there are cakes and never the twain should meet! after seeing these ccc's, I am certain of it now.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGraceful Moments

I agree with Jasini, the fish is upside down and those are air bubbles. See, now it looks like an eye and a smile (?) on the "face" cupcake.

And the sombrero looks like a broom. There's even a white pole coming out of the top.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Hold me, Jesus.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMySnellvilleBlog

The "sombrero" should be in a locker room somewhere with "Cuidado Piso Mojado" written on it.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

I think that alien cake is an homage to one of the best onstage productions of an Alien actor in the history of the the people who brought you 'This is Spinal Tap'...'Waiting for Guffman'. Tell me that isn't directly from the film, the 'no intelligent life' sounds pretty accurate as well.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwebwolf404

CUPCAKES RULE! Obviously, you've never been to this place:

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh my goodness. That football looks like a potato!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Wow, some really awful CCC's (and some fine writing) today. I especially liked the "cake board" (hastily torn up cardboard box) that that fine sombrero CCC was presented on. And the Mardi Gras cactus cake...seriously...WTF is that supposed to be?

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

I think the Mardi Gras cactus mask/flying pickle cake looks vaguely like an attempted map of Africa....

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElisa

That is a whole lot of delicious frosting...

Never before has a website given someone diabetes.


August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterProfessional Hamster

Somehow, the only CCCs I've seen are on this very blog. (Not that I'm complaining!)

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDangGina
August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterG.H.

Those are bad. Just bad. Especially the googly eyed poodle(?)at the end... I'm scrrrd.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Leggett

i know that any posters who read my comment will accuse me of not having a sense of humor. but as a diabetic i never find "diabetic coma" jokes amusing. people BELIEVE that diabetics can't eat sweets and i often have to fight the food police in order to have a damn cookie. (yet no one blinks if i eat fruit, which usually has more sugar than the aforementioned cookie.)

this is a very, very common misconception and it bothers me when i see it reinforced by authors that i usually enjoy.

all carbs break down into glucose. i have to take more insulin for eating a sandwich than for eating a cookie.

please, please don't make diabetes a joke. thank you. ^_^

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhoshikaze

They aren't all evil. I happened upon a Cupcake Festival in New Hampshire this summer with some amazing CCC's. I took pictures with your blog in mind, but they weren't for sale, thus not qualified as Cake Wrecks.
God is good

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Umland

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