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

Picture Perfect

The Good: You hired a fabulous wedding photographer.

The Bad: Not so much with the baker.

The Ugly:

This has to be the most beautiful photo of a Wreck I've ever seen. The fact that the photographer submitted it - along with tales of watching the baker catch the toppling cake with her bare, unwashed hands before serving it - only adds to the beauty.

And really, what's a photographer tasked with making a wedding Wreck look good supposed to do? Well, after careful study, I've come up with a few options.

Option 1: Try an action shot in the background.

"Ok, bride, groom? You two stand behind the cake here. Now...reach for that wineglass!"

"Hmm, not quite enough action. Bride's dad? How about a running tackle?"

Option 2: Flowers

"We're gonna need another bunch for the middle tier, stat."

Option 3: Blend it with a busy background.

"Cake? What cake?"

Option 4: More flowers.

No, seriously. MORE FLOWERS.


You: But, Jen, those cakes look great!

Me: Exactly.

Option 5: PhotoShop

Take that Wreck from this... this!

The irony, of course, is they'll pay more for the retouched photo than they did for the cake.

Oh, and to whoever starts a cake photo retouching service after reading this post: I want my cut.

Option 6: When all else fails, at least get the money shot.

"Lady, I'm here to document this moment for posterity, not catch cake."

Thanks to Wreckporters D Tyler Photography., Tiffany A., Jen A., Wendy T., Andrew Jordan Photography, Jennifer J., Jacq, Random, Rebecca Z, & Coffee Table Photo Book.

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Reader Comments (94)

Posting horrible wedding cakes on Cake Wrecks is probably the best consolation gift ever for the brides! ;-D

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Today is mine and my husband's 9th anniversary, these cakes make me so happy we ran away and ELOPED!!!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

That one pic of all those cakes on that table with all those purple flowers is actually really pretty, I like that.

That last photo is priceless.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary

I was cracking up at the last one. My mum (who was being nosy) didn't see what was so funny.... She made the mumbled comment "wait til u get married". I said that any cake there would be used in the food fight, not eaten.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous" rel="nofollow">Cake #1

There you go, let's start a business. I'm going to call it "Cakes un-wrecked!"

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRed

That falling one reminds me of the Great Wreck of 1988 (my parent's 25th Wedding Anniversary party). My sis, an excellent baker, had made and frosted the layers to re-create Mom and Dad's wedding cake, found their old cake topper (mercifully well-preserved from dust) Aaaand then....succumbed to, I'm NOT kidding, what we later found out to be Scarlet Fever just before the cake was assembled and the guests arrived!
Sis went to bed nearly incoherent, and I was left to hostess the surprise party and ASSEMBLE THE CAKE! We're descended from a loong line of dauntless Southern hostesses, so being a 16 year old left to host a party of some 25 grown ups didn't phase me a bit..but Sis was unable to TELL me how to assemble those column and tier...err...thingies. I did the best I could, but somehow I got the darn thing wrong, and thus the LEANING TOWER OF LOVE was born!
I swear though, I couldn't have created a better party game if I tried. All my parents' family/friends are other amateur bakers and engineers, handymen, etc., and EACH guest was convinced that THEY ALONE knew HOW TO FIX THIS! So I just stood back and watched, giggling madly, as each guest waited for his/her turn to have a go at keeping the gradually drooping layers from certain tragedy (I DID insist on hand washing first, of course!).
Happily, this distraction turned out to be a FINE way to keep everyone quiet and at the back of the house until Mom and Dad arrived- actually, a few guests got so absorbed in the task that it was hard to pull them away to yell "Surprise!" at the right time!
Needless to say, we cut the cake right away, but since we took the pictures with Mom and Dad at a careful angle, you can't really tell. And the guests certainly had a great story to tell their buddies at work the next Monday!
Who knew a Cake Wreck could make a party a smash (in a non-frosting on the floor kinda way)?

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Please post the story to the first cake! Enquiring minds want to know!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Typo report: "Options 2:"

That's not what sent me into fits of giggles, though. Fabulous post!

wv - disfacal -- How they refer to poo-colored icing in Jersey, as in "What's with disfacal material on my cake? Aw, just pass me da spoon..."

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah

Wedding Wrecks always make me so sad. Those poor brides!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCyndi

Lovin' all the daisies!!

wv: warrecks - y'mean like this?

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJKS

A brown & white dotted wedding cake???
As I looked at it, all I could think of was "How now, brown cow?"

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterilze

I know this is completely off-subject but,

Which do you like better Jen, harry potter or steampunk? answer back!! PLLLEEAAASSSEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

What I want to know is how that last design could have been top-heavy enough to crash like that. I could see a slow slump -- providing time for a rescue -- but look at the debris field on this thing; it must have gone down fast, which takes some weight. Was the top tier an actual flower pot?

wv: vologra -- for guys who need just a little help.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Anon @ 8:27,

Jen likes steampunk a little more than Potter. I, on the other hand, can recite almost every book in a passable Jim Dale impersonation.

There it is!


November 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjohn (the hubby of JEN)

Oh how awful-wedding wrecks are especially sad :(

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Look at the vertical shot third from the left- you'll see it's not the weight on top that's driving the topple (tee hee). The wreckerator didn't put supports in the right side of the bottom layer. The weight of the tower is pushing down into that bottom layer on one side. Classic beginner's mistake- or, and yes this is true- the wreckerator didn't LIKE the bride (or her mother which is often the case).

-Barbara Anne
former cake decorator

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh my.... I would be so sad if my cake were as ugly as my childhood on my wedding day!

It's supposed to be about beauty. But I LOOOOVE that the photog just let 'er fall. Epic, really.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanieC

About the PhotoShop, Actually I know somebody that her photographer did it with her cake. You see, the colors weren't actually what she requested so the photographer did his trick to make it perfect. At least were only the colors....

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSharma Shari

The last cake just needed some damn dowels in each layer. Good lord. I know people want to save money on wedding costs, and yeah, a good photographer is far more essential (I had gorgeous, delicious cake but a lousy photographer, and believe me I'd rather it were vice versa today), but really. It's your wedding. Check out the baker's work beforehand. Not rocket science, but then again, if everyone did this we wouldn't have the wonder of CW.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

"I, on the other hand, can recite almost every book in a passable Jim Dale impersonation.

Clearly, we'll need an audio CW post in the vein of "Pushing Daisies" in the future.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

So I am the bride in the picture of the polka dot cake. The picture I showed the baker was of a turquoise and chocolate brown polka dot cake with FONDANT! I have no idea why the baker thought she could execute a polka dot cake with buttercream. Ugh, thinking about that is a nightmare. But I am so happy to have made Cake Wrecks! It has made my day! (By the way, my wedding photographer was pretty freaking amazing and here's a shameless plug for her:

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStaci

Oh man... the last one brought back memories... I have pictures of my wedding cake. Can't even remember who the wrecker was now, but when I got to the reception my cake had skid marks down the side. I was informed it was picked up off the floor by friends who got to the reception a head of me.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNana Rogers

I've said it before and I'll say it again: this is why we got a tiramisu.

With a Kang and Kodos topper.

Jen/John, though I don't think it's a wreck, would a Kang and Kodos topper on a tiramisu be a contender for the site?

(PS - Kang is wearing a white veil but I wore no such thing. My dress was reddish-purple and I say phooey to veils).

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

What's with the white cake with mini cactii on it?

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpenguintummy

Wow to that action picture lol. I can only imagine the bride's horrified expression as pictures were snapped and no one saved the cake. Ah well it probably had a horrible filling lol.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Thanks for clearing that up, @Barbara Anne. Lack of support was my second guess.

Following on what @Sandy said, I would guess that most people would rather have good pictures -- they last longer. But since cake comes before pictures, I'd rather have both. I wonder if there is a Photo Wrecks blog. Hmm...

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

This inspires me to post some of the *really* bad cakes I've seen over the years :D

The best part about bad cakes is that the bride and groom usually have a pretty good sense of humor about it (at least in Las Vegas they do, as tears have already been spent on slot machines and tigers in bathrooms).

I can recall a cake from last year that was made out of frosted styrofoam with red frosting as trimming. At some point, the frosting went a little crazy and, as a knife was not available, the bride's sister used her fingers to 'fix' it....and also to smooth over the rest of the frosting.

The cake was then covered with *real* rose petals, with extra attention placed towards the frosting mishap.

But honestly, the bride and groom laughed harder than anyone else and the bad cake was a great icebreaker at the reception!

I also have a great halloween cake adorned with characters from the Nightmare Before Christmas that was set upon a 3 foot tall speaker, pumping out the latest hip hop beats.

As the cake crumbled, the little Jack Skellington figurine STILL managed to hang onto his loving bride as undercooked chocolate cake batter rippled and flowed onto the ground like beautifully delicious lava and it was actually quite touching to watch.

But seeing this post tonight has INSPIRED me to submit again!

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeacon Tyler

Speaking of bad wedding cakes, you were mentioned on Top Chef last night.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

These cakes make me mad. I'm really stunned that a "professional" would make these. No clue on cake support. No clue on the proper frosting to use. The only thing I can think of is that maybe some of the fondant covered monstrosities were subjected to some kind of heat or something to make them melt. That's all I got.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChrissy

Oh I'd like to add, how on earth can anyone catch that last falling cake? It was falling from a non existent support at the base. I assume, if the base had no support then the upper tiers didn't either. The best you can do is get your hands all over the cake before it explodes all over you. There is no save from this!

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChrissy

That last one is amazing! It's sad for the bride but man! What an amazing photo!

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Great pics. In that last one you would think that the person would notice the lean as they were making it. Which I'm sure they did notice, but why wouldn't you do something about it, crazy.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJake

That's not the head of Lady Liberty. It's a gargoyle.

And "Dom" must be, who else, Dom DeLuise. I thought he was dead, though, not in jail.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterelissa

This really points out the importance of choosing a professional baker with references. Something that is this important needs to be done right. I have always said that 2 tier cakes simply are not big enough for the photography in a wedding. One of these cakes really proves that point. Thanks for sharing.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDebra Hansen

Lizzy Leigh, how do you know that a child or someone else didn't bump the table hard causing the cake to fall? A baker does not need to be sued for something like that. That's just ridiculous.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

that 3rd cake looks melted. if i were them i would get their money back.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterali kat

Okay... what the HELL are those little blue and green puffball thingies on that cake?! They look like mini- koosh balls!


I feel SO BAD for these couples!

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I keep thinking that I will get up the courage to post my wedding cake here. This ALMOST makes me want to do it. It was a sheer, utter embarassment 16 years ago. My husband and sister said I would laugh one day. Not quite there yet!

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

YO, JEN!!!
Do you like Harry Potter better than steampunk?!?!?!? PLEASE SAY SOMETHING BACK!!!!!!!!!! I WILL CHECK THIS POST TOMORROW TO SEE IF YOU DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Someone mentioned an Aunty Margaret.
Funnily enough my Aunty Margaret makes brilliant cakes.
If she saw any of these she'd be horrified.
Think Sunday Sweets. Thats the sort of cakes she makes.

November 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSenua

wow, these are awful - I so wish I had a photo from my brother's wedding, though. the cake was made by someone the bride's family knew and it was awful - off white icing (because the baker apparently had never heard of clear vanilla), most of it seemed to be melting, and crumbs in the icing as well. it was a monstrosity - I still cannot believe they actually paid this person to make it (it wasn't a gift for the bridge).

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The polka dot cake isn't that bad -- but more appropriate for a little girl's birthday party! Red and white cake #1 in the bakery window, with the worms or snakes slithering around the sides -- a way to make the bride lose her cookies?

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDelia Jean Streefkerk

It is comforting to know that professional wedding cakes fall apart too ..

At least with the photo they have an answer "What happened??? " hahaha

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDolcecakes

You know, I worked for a professional photographer for several years, and in my time there I actually did photoshop two cakes.

One was a multi-layer cake an amateur had made for her friend that collapsed on one side; a little bit of photoshop later, and it was as if it had never happened. It made the married couple very happy. :)

January 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDvana

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