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

Wrecking By the Book

When ordering a cake at your local bakery, you may be given a big picture book to choose from. This could cause you some concern: will your cake look as nice as the one in the photo?

Well, never fear, cake consumer! I'm here to help. Now, will your cake look exactly like the one in the book? YES. Absolutely.

Er, with a few caveats, of course.

Caveat #1: Perspective is all relative.
(scroll down)

And to think: you were worried!

Caveat #2: Designs are open to interpretation.

I could be wrong, but I think this translates roughly to, "I hate my job, and you by association."

Caveat #3: The toy is all that matters.

Just look at that icing sky. Perfection!

Caveat #4: No, seriously. THE TOY IS ALL THAT MATTERS.

[sound of head hitting desk repeatedly]

Caveat # 5: On Wild Card Wednesdays, anything goes.

Really? Seriously? This can't be real...[flipping through proof file] Here it is. Hmm. Ahuh. Ahuh. Yeah. Really? No way. Seriously? They told her the Tinkerbell figurine didn't come with the cake?!? Haven't they seen caveats 3 and 4? I mean, C'MON!


Paige, I am so sorry for you.

Thanks to Wreckporters Aimee S., A.E., Cecily C., Kelli R., and, of course, Paige T.

- Related Wreckage: The Joker's Revenge

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Reader Comments (78)

I hope Caveat #5 got their money back.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterksaldria

Hey, maybe Wesley is on a farm-league team; as in they literally play on a farm, in a cow pasture; and that cake is, in fact, an acccurate representation of a situation which might arise during the course of any given game... (blinkblink)...

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma!

If you want to describe "growling" to a deaf person pick the baseball wreck.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh, the cakes are too cute! :) really awesome. especially the spongebob cake is great!

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFl├╝ge

These are my favourite kind of posts. I love seeing the picture of what it's supposed to look like, and then trying to guess how bad it is.

But not all grocery store decorators are this bad. I got the Barbie Fairytopia cake out of the book before and it looked awesome. Just like the one in the picture. Plus I love the frosting they use. It's just the right amount of sweetness. I always get my cakes from the grocery store and (so far) they've all been great.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEhMoLee

@ Vanessa- I know, right? We've been having the same issue with our grocery store bakery. My daughter and I scour the cakes and have yet to find something Wrecklicious. Damn. We're ordering girly girl's birthday cake though, with a specific design on it. She's not worried, because if it turns out crappy she can submit it. So much for high standards.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthesacredandtheprofane

Sadly, that Baseball cake was mine...looked so cute in the picture...Wesley didn't mind at all, but the adults at the party probably wondered why I picked such a horrible design...and I asked them if they could fit the message on there which they obviously could not but still said yes...oh well I didn't have time to fight them on it :)
Thanks for posting it though, it sure made my day!

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon & Aimee

I've made the Tinkerbell Dangler at my store, it's always come with the toy and as a personal note I hate making those big icing flowers with a passion.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShelley

My kid specifically requested the Spongebob cake from our local grocery store after seeing it on display. Our cake was a great match. But we realize our grocery is probably the exception. I keep looking for wrecks in their display case and am happily disappointed.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHendy

Back in the day when my kids were very little, I saw a super cute Tinkerbell cake. Lindsay was turning three and Tinkerbell was her most favorite of all. Back before it was cool to like Tinkerbell, princesses were all the rage then. So, I ordered the cake and my naivety left me believing that it would look like the lovely display picture. It was instead an airbrushed mess of dark purple, blue, and forest green with the Tinkerbell toy plopped in the center. Sad. Lindsay didn't care much though. We were at Chuck E Cheese after all.

On a separate note, I've seen the Spongebob cake around. I want to order it just to get the toys. I wish they had a Pee Wee's Playhouse cake too.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi D

I hope the one who ordered the last cake doesn't have a daughter who was obsessed with Tinkerbell or else that was not going to be a fun birthday.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Black Dog

The Spongebob one reminds me of the old cake-out-of-the-box cakes for my birthday - she would get our little toys, like from McDonald's or my brother's action figures, wash 'em up and stick 'em in (she however, was not a professional) - we loved them! Thank you for bringing back wonderful memories!

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Okay, I ordered that exact Thomas cake two years ago for my son, and it turned out exactly like the picture. AND, I ordered that same Tinker Bell cake 2 years ago for my daughter! It was beautifully done and we still have the toy, but the cake and frosting were stale so we got our money back.

Overall, I've been happy with my "grocery store cakes." They've always looked just like the ones in the book. Thank goodness because we can't all afford trendy bakeries.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I always look for wrecks at my local grocery stores, but I never find any. The cakes always look great, with no spelling errors, no poo icing and nice penmanship.

I ordered a book cake one time for my grandfather's birthday, a cake decorated like a hill with a man falling over it (over the hill, hardy har har). They did a pretty good job and the cake tasted delicious.

My grocery stores just aren't trying hard enough, hah! But those are some awful cakes. You have to wonder why bakers deliberately choose sometimes not to fulfill the customer's order.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBree

While these cakes are hideous, I don't know why people expect better from a grocery store decorater. True I've had many beautiful cakes from talented people who happen to work at a groc. store bakery, but it's the exception not the rule. The job itself isn't exactly high paying. What do you expect? That a talented person would work in a grocery store rather than at an actual bakery? You get what you pay for.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh that Tinkerbell cake does comes with the Tinkerbell. LOL We got that one for my 3 year old's first birthday -

I was just coming here to ask if my cake from my boys' birthday was Wreck worthy. LOL

The bakery is giving me a free one to make up for it.

When I first saw it I immediately thought of Cake Wrecks.

February 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

i know it's wrong but i freaking DIED laughing when I saw the sponge bob cake...poor kid

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFor Loving Me

I have to say that i honestly don't know how some people can stay employed with these cakes. I work in a bakery, and i don't think i've EVER written some of the crackhead stuff that some have put on there. Nor, have i made something that has looked like a turd, or something that is on a human body...

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

All I'm saying people actually pay for those?? I would be so pissed if I went to the bakery and that was my cake. LOL! Guess that is why I make my own. Love this blog! Great idea!

Hey my niece got caveat#5 a couple of years ago. I thought the cake was cute, but the flavor... so from birthday #8 and so on I have been baking her birthday cakes. But then, looking at the picture of the cake, I realized something was *not* quite all right. The flowers were off. But hey, at least we got the toy of Tinkerbell!

March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

The tink figurine should come with the cake..i used to have to make that cake all the dang time..i hate that cake,it's stupid..but the toy does come with it

March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Did anyone else notice that on the Spongebob cake the figurines of the characters weren't even the same ones as in the picture?

April 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSahri

Also, the pineapple-thing in the catalog picture of the Spongebob cake is missing what I assume is a chimney.

November 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJ. R. W.

I'm seriously getting hungry by watching these genuine cakes <3

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNovoline

i've never had a problem with our local Walmart. they've always made our cakes to look just like the pictures...very well done. these cakes are just sad! lol


April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRaquel

I've met many talented decorators who work in grocery stores, and I like to think I'm one of them. In this economy, we have to take work where we can find it.
"Real" bakeries don't necessarily pay well either, and
they often don't do things above board. Grocery stores at least pay above the counter, offer health insurance,
401ks, and a human resource dept you can go to if you have problems. Plus, those of you looking for wrecks in your local stores need a different hobby. I don't go to your offices with a red pen and circle all your typos and grammatical errors.

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergirlwiththemostcake

really i wonder if any onbe actully bought those cakes

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlauren

Aw man, caveat 4's second cake forgot to give the cakes hula skirts and dancing scenes... AND they forgot squidward!!! Really?! Can't they read #3/#4?

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterking josiah

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