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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

Parent Appreciation Day

Think you have a shot at "most embarrassing parents?"

Not anymore.

The fact that "period" is spelled wrong pales in comparison with, you know, everything else.

Still, it could've been worse. Lucy's parents could have put her picture on the cake:

And then served it with a side of drippy cherry cheesecake.


Then again, is that really any worse than a commemorative toilet training cake?

Guys, there is such a thing as a generic celebration cake, you know. Just sayin'.

Oh, and Mom? Dad? I love you.

Thanks for the perspective, Anony M., Victoria C., & Britany S. And also for the vocabulary lesson.

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Reader Comments (151)

Reminds me of the "Dharma and Greg" episode where Dharma and her mother are reminiscing about the celebration they had for the occasion of Dharma's menarche. Greg and his family found the whole thing very cringe-making as (probably unfortunately) so do most of us.

wv: poite. It is not poite to celebrate the onset of menses with cake.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEsty

Cultural, schmultural! I was grossed out and horrified by my "transition". I was nine and shy and not ready to "be a woman", bleccchh. I understand that it's 'natural' and means you can procreate. Yeehaw. What am I supposed to do with that? I don't want kids. I'm a cat lady ;) And, moms, what's with all the Public Joy and telling everyone? Read these posts and stop embarrassing your "women", please and thank you!

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercatfest

I agree with Elissa @12:48. I'm not ashamed or think it's wrong to celebrate if that's your thing - it's a natural occurrence. But to write '1st period', 'menarche' or 'potty' on the CAKE?!?! Yum.

I guess to the rest of us, it would be akin to 13th (becoming a teenager) or Sweet 16 birthdays.

To those wondering about cakes for the guys...there are plenty of weird sperm cakes and phallic castles, mushrooms, balloons, rockets, funny noses, and (coming soon) turkey cakes to hint to your young man that you know what's up. ;-D

wv: pusedi. Do they serve pusedi and meatballs at these parties?

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLoo-E Loo-I

Aw, c'mon... Nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, says "we love you sweetie!" like a menarch cake... particularly when paired with an edible visual aid!!!

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma!

My mother sang "happy womanhood to you" (to the tune of "happy birthday")... But, I guess that isn't as bad as having a cake to celebrate the "joyous" occasion. Although, honestly, cake would probably brighten the crappy situation.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia and Justin

Celebrating the first cycle isn't new, it just is not done very widely because most people are still so squeamish about reproductive functions.

I got "Congratulations you're a woman now" (no cake), but at least I was better off than my sister that had no idea what was happening to her. My mother was not big on talks.

Although I have to say I'd probably just take my daughter out to lunch and let her skip school that day. Just because I am all about being body positive does not mean I need to drag her father and brother's into a huge production over something that is likely to make her uncomfortable.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMorbidMiss

Okay, I wasn't going to say anything... everyone's been doing a great job at that, without my assistance. However, just as I was finishing the comments section, the radio played that old Conway Twitty song, "Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man Who Made You a Woman," and I just lost it, for some reason!

Think of the cake that "womanhood" moment would spawn... *shudder*

Merry from Annie's Book Stop

WV: baricily - "Lovonna could baricily contain her feelings when she saw the cake Mom had purchased."

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret. Thanks for giving my mom that great idea to order a cake.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

When I subscribed to this blog, I did it for just the posts, however I often catch the posts on Facebook too, and then read the comments. I think I may re-do my subscription to include the comments. They're almost as good as the original posts! Great job everyone!

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Hey girls, do you all remember that awful movie (or was it a filmstrip?) we had to watch in fourth grade to prepare us for the exciting time about to come our way? When the girl in the movie got her first period, the mom couldn't contain her excitement and had to share the news with the dad. HE was so proud of his little girl that he exclaimed, "Let's go out for ice cream!" All the girls in my class gasped at the thought of our fathers knowing about it at all, let alone having them be excited for us and wanting to celebrate it. Maybe that dad could get together with the families that ordered these cakes so they can have ice cream at their party too.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Re: " In many non-Western cultures menarche is seen as an important rite of passage, which makes a lot of sense socially and biologically. "

Yes, in many non-western cultures, menarche is the time when the girl 'becomes a woman' biologically and can be socially married off.

I shudder to think about young teens being married off to the highest bidder.

I shuddered throughout today's blog too.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterilze

Considering I'm a school nurse and today's schedule included me giving the Human Growth & Development talks (aka: learn about your period!) to the 4th & 5th grade girls....this post was HILARIOUS!!

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpednurse

though the reality of life. disgusting things like that are no call for celebration or cakes. if i were the bakery, i would refuse to do it.


November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That last picture reminds me of one almost exactly the same of my sister and me. I was the little sister on the toilet with my sister standing next to me (possibly sans pants) with her frankenstein looking hair (80's). My Mom was such a bugger with the camera!

Thank goodness they never put it on a cake....

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Several commentators make a good point about cultural differences. Still, I'll definitely take a bat mitzvah (and the attendant anxiety over singing off key in an unfamiliar foreign language in front of several hundred people, among whom are family and classmates) over a drippy red cheesecake and public announcements over something that had me doubled over in pain to the point I was nauseous in the early years!! I'm soooo glad that my mother's welcome to womanhood speech was instructions in using tampons so nobody'll know while doing sports! (And I can't believe I'm writing this on a public website... about cake)

And @Kaede-- what a lovely idea! For a cross-cultural theme, there's a long tradition in Judaism about rubies (also a red gem) signifying a woman's worth (it comes from a lovely poem). For menopause, given the hot flashes, a fiery opal would be symbolic -- but your message of strength is more powerful.

And I also think the idea of a menopausal cake is brilliant. Given what my colleague's going through, definitely an ice cream cake... and I like that summer party idea midwinter (hey, now THERE'S the benefit of a cold Canadian winter!!)

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAliza

"I say it's only embarrassing because women are taught to be embarrassed by their bodies. And I think it's great that some families out there don't do that. And why not write it on a cake? We celebrate all sorts of rites of passages with cake... why not this one? if it's because you're personally grossed out by it... think about why you feel that way."

Er...'cause I'm bleeding uncontrollably for a week? 'Cause it's smelly and messy? 'Cause it's a freaking hassle? Cultures that make a big deal out of menarche tend to do so because it means the girl in question is officially a baby factory who's open for business. (BTW, any cakes for reproductive and prenatal health ignorance, teenage pregnancy, lifelong menial labor, and overpopulation?) If that's what was going on here, and the girl was in on it, that's okay. If not, poor her. The cakes are funny either way.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

To the various dissenters, I have to say this. It's one thing to celebrate womanhood and not shame girls about sex. It is something else entirely to have a cake celebrating a private bodily function. A period is a girl's moment, not a family one. And frankly the idea of a period being the signal of womanhood and therefore something special to celebrate has some unfortunate implications. It's celebrating her ability to become pregnant, which in older eras was special because it would be the time to marry her off so she would stop being a burden on the household.

On the other hand, if the girl asked for such a cake, that's different. But I know the last thing I wanted when I got my first period was a celebratory cake. Because periods objectively, cultural influence or not, suck. It's painful, I'm usually in a bad mood, and it's annoying to deal with. Any cake I had would've been a consolatory gift.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Yeah, what whackos to want to celebrate a girl becoming a woman. Totatly sick! We should be keeping the shameful, disgusting occurance a secret! What utter maddness to think otherwise.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

There are many cultures which celebrate or mark the passage through puberty... They have time-honoured celebrations with meaning. They don't order a cake with drippy red jelly on top.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnneke (Mudhooks)

Quick question... is a "peroid" a period on steroids? 'Cause I think a cake would definitely help in that scenario...

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke

My jaw was on the FLOOR from that last one!! eeeeeeaaaaaaggggghhhhh!!

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

All these people fawning about celebrating a first period and not being ashamed -- I didn't see anyone here talk about being ASHAMED of that; rather, there are just some things that many people prefer to be private. Do those menarche-celebrating cultures also have everyone over for dinner to celebrate a boy's first nocturnal emissions? Just because things happen doesn't mean everyone wants to know. We pretty much assume that these things happen to everyone.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

Peroids? Are they like steroids, but for women?

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Is it sad that I (a 42 year old male) already knew what "menarche" meant before reading this blog entry?

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharles Ellis

I was enjoying the post and all of the comments and felt no need to comment until I just read Brooke's comment at 9:54 pm:
"Quick question... is a "peroid" a period on steroids?"

Good one, Brooke! I can totally relate.
I'll be stealing that line.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjillb-ilslp

I never saw the filmstrips in school as I was out sick both years. my mother and I had a "talk" before mine started and she explained it as a natural, biological function which, like flatulence, one doesn't discuss in public as it's "not necessary." :D I LOVE my mother!!

BTW, in many parts of the South (SE part of the USA for those from elsewhere) even 70 years ago girls were married off after their first period. so, the "cultural" discussion is more a regional thing than international for my family. I would have been an 11 year old bride.

-Barbara Anne

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh Lord...

Words fail to express my utter horror and disbelief that a parent would subject their own flesh and blood to such humiliation. I would NEVER live it down if my parents ever did THAT.

I have NO PROBLEM with them having a cake to 'commemorate the occasion', but really...

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh no not the drippy cherry cheesecake! They just had to embarrass that poor girl lol. I would take the cake and run away and eat it in my period misery. Not nice parents not nice at all.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

All together now... EWWWWWWW!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Menarche cake? With some flower "pads" on the side. That's a celebration cake!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Mar

I'd just like to thank my parents for never doing anything like these cakes. Thanks a lot. :-D

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

I've been thinking about the first cake periodically all day and what keeps hitting me is that some moms would look at that cake and only see it as a wreck because 'period' is spelled wrong.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMissNay

Okaaaay . . . if this is what the girls get when they go into puberty, what do the boys . . . um, never mind.

On the other hand, if those cakes are chocolate, then yes, totally appropriate! The inscription should say, "Happy menstruation, sweetheart! Here's some chocolate. Trust me, you're going to need it!"

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

Haha my mother is JUST the type to buy a happy first period cake. More as a joke than anything else. I'm pretty sure she did try and throw me a party but luckily she thought better of writing it out all obvious-like on a cake.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDesiree

Some of those defending these cakes are killing me...I get that a girl's first period is a milestone and not something to be ashamed of. Still, I don't want to eat a cake celebrating any bodily function. Just not something I want to be thinking about while I eat. My son skipped around yelling "I have penis hair" one day. Yea, him! Didn't go get a (icing) hair-covered cake to celebrate his entry to puberty. Just sayin'.

Got a great laugh from the suggestion of spontaneous erection eclairs.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Not that anyone will see this in the sea of comments but my mom baked a red velvet cake when I had my first period, cut it in the shape of a maxi pad and put strawberries on top. I think it was my most embarrassing moment of my life, and I'm 33 now.

I was 16 and almost 17 when she found out, so she probably did it out of relief.


November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

And now for the REALLY "ick"factor: I wonder if the first period cakes were red velvet? (ba-dum bum!) I'm demanding a change cake when I have mine!!!! I'll be making it myself and cutting it with a chain saw.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTravelGoddess

This may be my favorite cake wrecks post ever. The cakes and the comments have been so, so entertaining. Thank you Sarah for the Gloria Steinem link; I had never read that before and loved it. (And what an interesting website!!)

Charles Ellis - No; what's sad is that so few others knew.

Brooke - "period on steroids" Love it! Finally I have a name for what I go through very month, especially the first few days!

Love this blog!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

When I had my first period at age 12, my mom called my dad, a child psychologist, at work to tell him about it. That was awful. But then my youngest sister wanted to celebrate it with cake since she liked to celebrate everything with cake (she still does). My mom baked it and let her, at age 5, assist with decorating. It was all white with a giant red blob of a period in the middle of it. Very tasteful.

I now have 2 sons and seeing how they should also have a first to be celebrated, I did read that some people do celebrate their son's first successful masturbation. I had a blast going out to coffee with my friends and wondering out loud how this would go. The family goes out to dinner and we tell the server the reason for our celebration? Have a cake made- and how would that be decorated? Endless possibilities!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

I just barely came across this site and it is hilarious! Thanks so much for sharing.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCupcake Liners

omg i wasn't celebrating my 1st period. Guess there is a cake for everything.

wv: ultarica-a really rich person

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterali

This is a cake site not some Political Debate. To the people going on and on about over-population and teen aged brides, give it a rest! These cakes are clearly not made in *those* countries! They are just some over enthusiastic parent's attempt at acknowledging that their daughters are GROWING UP! I do not see, "Now give me grandchildren!" Any where on any of them! Lighten up.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMorbidMiss

Trevor said...
I'm thinking a guy needs to have his first, um, err, I can't find a good way to say this... explosion cake. Yeah, that's it. Or eruption?

Trevor, according to Wikipedia the first ejaculatory experience of boys is termed semenarche.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSandyG

wow, I had to look up menarche, and boy i am glad I didn't have that party! I was MORTIFIED that I had to tell my mom I even started, if she would have thrown me a party, i would have run away from home.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterannacakes

Oh man that cherry cheese cake reminds me of "Ginger Snaps". There is this awesome scene where her mom finds out Ginger has had her first period and gives her something akin to the monstrosity seen here.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh my god, My cousin told me that whenever any of the girls in her mother's side of the family got their first period, they got huge parties. The whole extended family would be invited for a barbecue. I told her I would be completely mortified.

VW - MENDISH - what is done when a wrecked cake gets somewhat fixed. Well, it isn't mended... its mendished.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I can only visit cake wrecks once per week because howling in hysterical laughter for hours tends to make people think I'm crazy.

What in bloody hell were these people thinking??!! Happy Menarche? I can't even laugh. It comes out as some sort of piteous moan that slightly resembles a chuckle and then the sad moan again.

My eyes need more eye bleach please.

Had my mother shown up with a cake like this I would have immediately petitioned for emancipation with pictures of the cake for evidence.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThatDeborahGirl

Wow. I love cheesecake, but some things should not be celebrated so ... vividly.

Could be worse. Could have been a jelly donut.

November 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter3ringquercus

And to think I only got diamond earrings for my first period! Damn I'm unloved.

November 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

A period cake? Really? O_o

The first onset of what is to be monthly episodes of pain for the next few decades isn't something you really celebrate... especially with cake. >_>

Having said that, I still laughed (and cringed) my guts out! XD

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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