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

Signs of Trouble

Sometimes, bakery wreckage isn't just limited to the cakes.

But what is it good for?
(Hooh! Good gah, y'all!)

I'll leave it up to you guys to explain what a "cake derator" does.
(Best definitions gets posted below!)

Every time a surly employee "apologizes," I picture him/her doing finger quotes kinda like this.
(And yes, this was taken in a bakery - pinky swear!)

"Honey, my mom is coming to stay for a few months. Isn't that great? I told her you wouldn't mind. Anyway, be a dear and go get a cake for us all to celebrate with, mkay?"

"You got it, sweetums! I know just the place..."

(From the Engrish "brog.")

And speaking of things to celebrate:

Personally, I like to celebrate cake as often as possible - with more cake.

And finally, a few favs from the archives:


Also known as "Bubble and Squeak."

(That's for you English Wreckies. Please, no need to thank me.)

The lawyers insisted.

Update: I've since heard from the owner of that last bakery, who as I recall blamed the sign on an in-law. Heh. At any rate, I think the sign has now been removed. See? Another example of the power of Wreckage, used for good! :D

Many "thanks" to wreckporters Robb & Abby, Allison M., Matt K., Steph, Kristen F., & Bonbon.

- Related Wreckage: Label Makers

"Winning" derator definitions:

"an apparatus for aerating a derrière after consumption of cake. See also: enema"

"It's clearly a promotional tie-in to the new Indiana Jones movie: Derators of Delost Cake!"
- Christina

"combination of a confectioner's pastry and the Latin word deratoria, meaning "the unspeakable", a professional bakery employee who designs, quality checks, or creates cakes that render the recipients speechless.

But, I think the true essence of the term "Cake Derator" is in the anagram it creates: "Karate Decor."

(I like to imagine "Karate Decor" as being a baby's bedroom decorated with ninjas.)"

- Taylor@MyOlderBrothers

And how about a visual definition, courtesy of Reese B.?

Perfect for those "mouse-filled" party cakes!

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Reader Comments (173)

A cake derator is an item that instantly turns the cake into a Wreck when used to decorate it (either by adding unneeded letters, or apostrophes, or something else entirely). It de-rates the cake, you see.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaaike

A Derator is something like a debrider, only it works internally. Here's how: Using Royal Icing, decorate the entire surface of your cake with tiny stars. Now showcase your lovely creation prominently in your display window for a few months, until the dust has settled nicely into every crevice. The icing stars should now be set, and hard as granite. Serve to your guests, and just watch their surprise as their esphogi are derated!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCecile

The 'War' isn't good for 'absolutely nuthin', it's making me want some chocolate right now.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaryanne

Are your "cakes" anemic, lifeless, void of pizzazz? Rejoice! Now there's the Cake Derator to solve all your cake-y problems. Just insert a cartridge of nitrous oxide, adrenaline, or methamphetamine (cartridges sold separately) in the handy syringe, insert the tip in the cake, and "PRESTO!" Your cake will be lively, exciting, the toast of the party.

And if you call now, we'll double the offer, and you'll get two Cake Derators for the price of two, including extra syringe tips and a starter cartridge of hydrochloric acid to get you started! Don't delay! Order your Cake Derator today!*

*price does not include shipping and handling, or legal counsel.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermadrobins

A cake derator is the tool used by wreckarators the world over, to make the cakes drop as far in the ratings as possible. To de-rate the cake.


January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZibu

Well, the cake derators have been extra-busy lately. I may have to eat a mouse-filled pastry to calm down.
And thanks to you, I know I'll spend the rest of the day humming "War Cake-- What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'! Huh!"

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGary

A Cake Derator derates cakes, of course...which is much more PC and kind than berating them.

Or maybe it's just a Cake Wreck Rator rating system that was made just for you! Since we can't "rate" a bad cake, we just de-rate it!

I give it a -8.5 derating.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterem-jay


That "Sorry" sign reminds me of the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" "Quotes":

See also:


January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterskreidle

It isn't Cake Derator. It is a Cake De-RAT-or. I suspect it would also work on those mouse filled cakes too though.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLutherLiz

"It's not mine, baby!" - Austin Powers....

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVR

I didn't know what a "Cake Derator" was until I saw the sign for Mouse Filled Party Cakes (which would be perfect for my cat's birthday, by the way). Obviously, a Cake De-rat-or is used to remove rats from cakes when the baker has mistakenly filled your cake with rats instead of mice, so you can then fill the cakes with proper mice.

I don't know what's up with the "Poison Bakery," but maybe there's a clue in the German signs in the window (e.g. "Kase Kuchen" = "Cheesecakes"). The word "gift" in German means "poison" in English, which is why German tourists laugh themselves silly when they see a sign for a "Gift Shop." So, maybe through some kind of backwards computer assisted re-translation, a bakery for gift cakes turned into a "Poison Bakery."

WV: exozed. Yes, that's exactly what I was saying.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGary

A Cake Derator (properly spelled "Cake De-Rater") is a probe used to rate the wreckiness of cakes at home or in any bakery.

I hope that baker who has no public restroom to offer takes his hand "washing" after he does his business in the private loo more seriously than he does his "apologies".

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

Obviously the cake derator was packaged by a wreckerator's family member. It should read: Cake Berator. For all those moments when you just have to assault a cake with too much flotsam, squiggly misplaced ninja stars, scary babies, and other paraphernalia. That would certainly qualify as berating an otherwise innocent cake.

I was going to mention War Cake's origins, but I see some have beaten me to it... I never liked it. Takes out all the good stuff ;)

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBek

The "cake derator" is actually a package wreck -- it's supposed to say "cake berator," which is what we are when we comment on these awful creations!

WV: stslug -- patron of snails and other garden pests.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkayak

The Cake Derator! Leave out the "C" for Cuality!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteryellowsnapper

Why, the Cake De"rat"or is to help get rid of all those pesky "Mouse Filled Party Cakes", of course!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoulaVallere

i'm not entirely sure what a cake derator does, but i know by the shape and name - it goes in the bum. eeep.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlstew

I wonder if the War Cake would make more sense after someone set fire to it?

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkadyb

A cake "derator" (or, more appropriately, deaerator) is a cylindrical device used in the removal of "hot air," or ego, from certain cakewrecks usually called boiler cakes or boiler CCC's, sub category: boiler patooey!.

These particular wrecks are done by wreck artists that see no problem with what they've constructed on cakes no matter the offense or distress it has caused insofar as to calling it art and making a living by it.

Jen's Cakewrecks™ blog is a long-form version of a cake deaerator.

The device shown here leads to instant gratification, allowing the wreckie, or person who received the wreck, to physically disarm the cake using various torture implements without enacting any actual damage on the wrecker.

While the blog acts as a more subversive agent I much prefer the end result of Jen's patented long-form cake deaerator. It often has a more effective and less messy end result.

Besides, that may be a fancy schmancy cake deaerator but I find that a fork often works just as well if not better.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterE.M. Green

It's clearly a promotional tie-in to the new Indiana Jones movie: Derators of Delost Cake

wv: rechorat-the act of retching while decorating which results in airbrushed poo-swirls

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

A derator is used for de-rating (that is, the lowering of) a cake's score overall for good presentation, which leads then to the deriding of cakes. It's what this blog was founded on.

Example: Has that "War" cake been through a war itself, hence the title? I'd rate it a "D".

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJiminycricket

Oh my word!
The pix are odd and funny.
Jen and the posters have let their imaginations run riot today!
Gotta ask...why, why name a bakery "Poison"?

Thank you all for the laughs.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The "Poison" bakery is supposed to be "Poisson", that's what the Korean underneath it says. Why fish, I don't know.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJane

I bet that bakery's not "Sorry" at all.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The War Cake pictured is made by Publix but is usually called Chocolate War Cake. It is Devil's Food cake, fudge icing, jagged shards of chocolate and chocolate dipped strawberries. It is so good. My office will order one for special events.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTina

Oh look, they misspelled the size in the upper-left corner of the Cake Derator. Isn't that supposed to be a "U" instead of an "O"? It IS a big Derator!

(Oh, come on... no one else thought the shape was a little... suspicious??!)

WV: ouchler (need I say more?)

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I couldn't stop laughing about the mouse-filled cakes.... I think that's my favorite. :)

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJo

All I can think of re: the cake derator is the scene with the "Suck-Cut" on Wayne's World. "It sucks as it cuts!"


So there you go. It sucks the will to be a good cake out of perfectly good cakes and we're left with a wreck. Not humankind's best invention. Sort of like the Slap Chop.

(I wanna see Fitz throw a cake derator over his shoulder into the sink! XD)

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa (& Billy)

Did anyone else notice that the UPC/Bar Code has it spelled correctly? Anyways...

In an Emergency Room in China (where said product was made):

Doctor: "Nurse! Quick! Get me a 2500ml triple thick syringe!"
Nurse: [Confused] "A what?"
Doctor: "The Cake Derator! This guy needs to raise hid blood sugar stat!"
Nurse: "So THAT'S what those are used for!"

~Mark T.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Nobody's ever been quite sure about the origin of the mystical cake derator, but what is known about it is this: it is created with a little bit of magic. It does just what it sounds like it would do: it de-rates cakes. That is, it adds an impermeable layer to the cake with the frosting that keeps the cake from being rated, as in judged. No cake that has been decorated with a cake derator ever receives negative comments (or positive comments), as every being that sees it is immediately stricken speechless. It has been rumored that the cake derator is now sold by a devious decorating company as an easy way to raise money off of wreckorators (for every wreckorator worth his/her sugar has heard the legend of that magical item which will keep the wielder's cakes free from insult).

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

War cake--hmm. college town? maybe they sell those for food fights? cream pies are a better choice, but with those chocolate spikes, maybe this means "war" (and it's gonna hurt).

cake derator was obviously made in China. Where everything is made these days and English is tough to grasp. Maybe they ran out of room on the package. Still working on a definition/function of a cake derator.

"Poison Bakery"! LOL practical joke? language problem? Chinese mafia post? would love to know the back story on THAT one....

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Another great collection of wrecks!

I don't know WHAT the War Cake is supposed to be ... but that must be the way it's supposed to look, since there's another one behind it.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Cake Derator-

Favored mid-evil torture device of Queen Marie Antoinette for cake wreck makers

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterefsuffolks

My office prefers to avoid superfluous punctuation, so instead of putting sorry in quotes, we do things like writting "sorry for the inconvenience" in a font at least five points smaller than whatever the rest of the sign is in.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBethanyB

The Cake Derator, manufactured by Hong interprises, artificially inseminates your cake with your choice of "filling". Perfect for any "special occasion".

Thanks for always brightening my day!!
Steph in CA

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

(Hooh! Good gah, y'all!)

... that's definitely in my head now.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBreanne

It's the CA KEDERATOR. It's for applying keds to the feet of the people of CA. A state where everything of significance is now required to end with "ator."

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

I've had more fun reading the responses today! Ya'll are very fun and creative.

I loved "Derators of Delost Cake"!! Hahaha! That one gets me! Heehee!

Not sure if that's "poison" or "fish", but either way, I'll keep walking, thank you.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh

The definition offered by Taylor@MyOlderBrothers gets my vote. After reading his, I didn't want to even try. I was thinking something very similar, but he states it so much more eloquently. Love it!
I also vote him as guest moderator/blogger/poster (what is the correct title, anyway?) - if you and John ever decide to take some time off. Between him and the fantastic Anne-Marie, we'd manage quite well until you returned. (As long as you promised to actually return!!!)

By the way, I'm with Anne-Marie on the War Cake! Even as ugly as it looks, I'd eat all that yummy chocolate in a heartbeat. In my world, there's no such thing as "too much chocolate." (or fun!)

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjillb-ilslp

Cake Derator: a syringe-like apparatus that removes the inside portion of the cake, thus leaving only the wrecky decorations on the outside. This is used to make a statement: it's the inside that counts.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I may be wrong, but it looked as though that 'War Cake' had whole fruits (persimmons, I think) coated in chocolate and globbed onto the sides.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstr4y

I know a place that has a sign in the bathroom that says
All emplyees must "wash" their hands before returning to work. :)

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I know, for certain... the purpose of a Cake Derator is to make on laugh till coffee comes out your nose.

Fluffy Cow- who is off to celebrate cake.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

I'm sure I'm not the only one who read that next-to-last one as "Mouse Filled Panty Cake."

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterD.B. Echo

Gah, nothing like a "Cake Derator" to spice up your culinary life, eh? My (fantasy) definition would be something like this:

Cake Derator (noun): A weapon that relies on air preassure and cake pieces to expell cake at a lethal speed towards a target; opperation is similar to that of a water gun, but a pump is used, instead of a trigger. EXAMPLE: ( Hmmm...Cake Derator. Me like. Turn down the speed volume on the ol' derator and shoot cake into opponant's mouth!)

Hee hee...And what cake to shoot? War cake, of course!!! :) Thanks!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

Use of a cake derator enables any cake wreckorator to turn a would-be 5-star cake into a 4-star cake, etc.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdp

the cake derator is to get the de-rats and de-mouse out of the mouse filled cakes

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

"Cake Decorators" are people who like to "spread icing", "lick spoons", go to "Bad Spellers of America Untie" and "How Not To Make A Good Cake" meetings, "bake cakes" and sell the "cakes."

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteph Smith

"Cake derator":

1) A simple misspelling (which you're all too familiar with, I'm
sure). That should be a "cake deaerator", which, of course, is used to deaerate cakes. Because there's nothing worse than a fluffy, bubbly cake full of air.

2) It's you! Again, a misspelling, it should have been "cake
derater", one whom lowers the ratings of cakes. If that's not you, then I'm not me! (Except that I am. QED)

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAFNetherton

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