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

Here Fishy Fishy...

How to tell if the sushi served at the wedding is fresh:

Yes, those are live fish in wineglasses.

Naturally, I have a few questions.

1) Live animals in a wedding cake? Really? What next: hamster rolly-balls?

2) On a scale of 1-10, how bad is it that now I want to see a hamster in a rolly-ball jammed between two cake tiers? I mean, are we talking "not our first choice for babysitter" bad, or "your name should be on a national watch-list" bad?

3) Is "rolly-ball" even what you call those things?

4) What was I talking about?

Oh, right.

5) Getting back to the fish thing: if you MUST have fish in your wedding cake, why wouldn't you at least use pretty ones? Was the bait shop having a 2-for-1 sale?

6) You know how the wedding cake usually gets set up a few hours before the reception? Well, just how long do you suppose the fish were in there? I mean, not to be indelicate or anything, but what happens if one croaks before cake-cutting time? ("It's ok, kids, he's sleeping! And his friends are just...kissing him! Yeah! Really!)

And if you're not completely grossed out yet, just imagine the smell of old fish water mixed with the smell of icing when they took that top tier off. Mmmm.

Perhaps you think I'm coming down too hard on this cake, though. After all, the cake itself isn't so bad, so maybe the whole live-fish thing was an isolated incident. Right?




If this groom's cake teaches us anything, it's this: when there are live minnows embedded in your cake, RC cars mashed down into the icing can seem downright classy.

Stacey W. & Karen W., believe it or not, these aren't the first wedding cakes with live fish in them here on CW. There was also this one. So, are we looking at a terrifying new wedding trend? (And who among us secretly hopes so?)

- Related Wreckage: The Groom's Revenge

« A Little Rough Around The Edges | Main | Guess That Cake »

Reader Comments (185)

Personally I think the grooms cake was kind of cool.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenna


March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShelley Dayton

I think that's a SPAM can they are swimming in! That's horrific!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfoodierachel

Have you seen the episode of Cake Boss where Buddy makes a wedding cake with a cake with two live doves as the middle tier of the cake?

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPromise

This is probably one of the craziest things I've ever seen...both cakes are so bizarre!

Btw, I think they're called Hamster Balls. Even though you can put mice in them (or gerbils or bunnies.. or small rodents..), I will forever call them Hamster Balls.

:) Loved this post!

A Kay Krex Fan,

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

I actually like the wedding cake. The only thing that bothers me is when decorators use live animals (usually fish) to set a table or decorate a cake, what happens to the animal afterwards? Nine times out of ten, fish are considered 'disposable', and are flushed down the toilet!
I hate the use of living creatures as disposable decorations....

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterenjis

Jenniffer wrote:

"I'll have to see if I can come up with a good picture to send you."
A good picture of a bad idea. That happens all the time! I guess that's why we have all these "fail" blogs!
@Brandi: BRAVA!!! I agree 1,000%.

The whole idea is just T.A.C.K.Y.
But of course, if it IS the latest rage, and everyone THINKS that it's just SO wildly innovative, it will keep happening until some other, edgier, "Oooo, what a racy idea" stunt comes down the pike.
Oops--no pun intended there.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

..."Except that you can't have several bettas altogether for a cake like that. Put them in a glass together and they'll fight to the death, and if they see each other in seperate glasses they'll still try and possibly die from heart attack thanks to the stress..."

A harbinger of marital bliss to come?

wv: pinot: Something that should be in those wine glasses instead of feeder fish.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHyena Overlord

I'm sure i'm the gazillionth person to say it, but re: CW1: Who the hell thought this was a good idea? No way would I eat even a *taste* of that cake. It might have fish on it...or near it. Barf. Glad I ate lunch already.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEtiquette Bitch

manster.. what next your pet mice, pet snake...

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpinky

I'm sorry, but on behalf of the entire state of WV I have to point out that those are not cars embedded in the icing but ATV's.

Otherwise, I love your site and laughed out loud. Fish? What will they think of next? - Wait don't answer that.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHolly E.

What! No! No no. Are we even CONSIDERING a viable replacement for the crappy fish in that cake? No. No fish in cake. If a fish is anywhere around a cake it'd better be salmon, tilapia, tuna, or flounder (etc); it'd better be dead; and it'd better be prepared superbly.

This is comparable to those live fish disco platform shoes back in the 70's. At least you didn't have to eat the shoe.

No bettas, no goldfish, no pretty flowery fish, no replacements. No fish. The only thing I would except as a replacement for those wine glasses would be more cake.

And no hamster balls, for pete's sake! Even for the novelty. Rodents and cake. Sheesh.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterE.M. Green

I can't believe that ANYONE would think incorporating goldfish into a cake is a good idea. It's tacky, disgusting and inhumane! And it's becoming a trend? Oh dear, at least it will give you some more Cake Wrecks fuel, Jen.

But really, my offense at the treatment of the fish and dirty fish water aside, both cakes are two of the ugliest that I have seen on this site!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllyson


March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSquid Girl

Stuck in the mud
Stuck in the mud
You're a MUD-STUCK guy!
(He's a MUD-STUCK guy!)
Stuck in the mud
Stuck in the mud
You're a LIKES-MUD guy!
(He's a LIKES-MUD guy!)
Let's have a Bud
Let's have a Bud
(He'll HAVE a Bud!)
Let's have a few...let's ha--

WAIT! Why, pray tell, are they hooked up that way? The puller-outer guy should have his tow-rope /chain /(wire?) thingy attached to his BACK bumper.
No wonder it's still stuck.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

I don't remember which birthday it was, but when my brother was little, he had just gotten into fishing with my Dad and wanted a fishing themed birthday party. Mom made a cake like the second one (though MUCH nicer) and just before the party started, put a goldfish into a bowl of clean room temperature water set into the cake like that. (I am fairly certain that there was a little figurine of a little boy fishing sitting at the edge of the "pond".) The fish was fine, the water didn't get smelly in the two or three hours that the birthday party lasted and the fish went on to live happily in a regular fishtank for the rest of its fishy little life.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJena the yarn harpy

Second comment, I am totally inspired to make a hamster-ball birthday cake for a friend's birthday... I'd have to learn to do sugar work, but a poured-sugar ball with a fondant hamster inside? That would just be wicked awesome! (I'm anticipating being laid off at the end of the school year, so I apparently am deluded enough to think I can learn advanced sugar work by December...)

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJena the yarn harpy

I would tell that bride and groom off at their own reception for mistreating animals. It wouldn't be much more tacky than that cake.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEm

Not a good trend! How long before someone decides that their wedding cake and party favors are a good place to get rid of that box of kittens!


March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerri

Ugh. That is pretty nasty. I can eat an ugly cake, but I can't eat a cake that has living animals eating and pooping in it.

I'd also like to see the hamster rolly-ball, but maybe with a few of those tube things. Of course, I wouldn't eat it, but it would be funny to see.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFanboy Wife

Using live animals as decorations and party favors = fail. I know someone who did it at their wedding and all I could do was sadly watch drunken people carrying fish bowls home. Not cool.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My first thought was how it would smell, and I am glad Jen addressed that as well

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Black Dog

oh I am disturbed!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter~Bry~

Really, when people started having dogs and cats as members of the bridal party, could this possibly have been far behind?

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Hey, you guys are featured on the Today Show website!


March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

I went to a wedding once where there were fishbowls with fish as centerpieces and by the end of the evening almost every centerpiece had a dead fish in it. Bad idea!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermerbear

Minnows are the WORST choice there for that groom's cake! The thing about minnows is they JUMP. Trust me. I once took a bunch of minnows home from a fishing trip to keep as pets, and the only thing I had to put them in was a shallow(ish) plastic container. About half of them jumped out that night, onto the floor...
Seriously if you're going to put live fish in your wedding cake, you could at least spring for some prettier fish rather than the 2-cent feeder goldfish from Petsmart!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRed Wolf

This is the first time I'm ever going to say that I don't think these are Wrecks. I LOVE fish, so I think these are really cute!
Weird yes, but not horrible.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne Dargie

I actually REALLY like the first one! It's so pretty and the glasses make it elegant.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeart

Awesomeness! I want a cake like with live fish too! Except I'm picking out the fish. Maybe some pearl goldfish or kissing gouramis; maybe bettas.

But no minnows! Yuck! Minnows! XP

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Ew, it never takes fish water long to smell like fish & then it evaporates up & there's the bottom of the cake above. Oh, I'm all sorts of grossed out here. No problem skipping cake at this wedding.

lol! Fish is dead & floating at cake serving time, my grandpa always told my sister the fish was tired & giving it's fins a rest.

Fish & cake don't mix, bleh! What next live miniature poodles dyed the colour of candy floss then they do that bit, like where they drag their butts across the floor, ewww that's not chocolate!

Whoops I thought the grooms cake was a kids cake. Live minnows, maybe he's planing on going fishing right after he has his milk & cake.

It makes me wonder if any of the fish in the glasses were accidentally drunk by
people who were already three sheets to the wind.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCan't See Sheep

I hate to say that this reminds me of my days working wedding receptions. They would have fish bowls, with live fish in them. Then they would have floating candles. Usually by the end of the night the candles had warmed the water up enough that the fish didn't make it. Why did anyone think that was a good idea?

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Gibson

The wedding cake is pretty but using live fish is not a good idea. I have seen fish try to jump out when they're enclosed in small spaces and it's not a good thing.

I think sea-themed weddings are nice, but why do you need the real thing? They could have filled the glasses with seashells or matching colored glass beads floating in water instead.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBree

If they had been in there a while then there would also be floating fish poop. I'm sure that was a nice touch as well.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrachel e.

That is some disturbingly bad taste. It makes my soul/artistic sentiment a little sore.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSylvia

I've seen caged birds in a wedding cake.. compared to that, the fish aren't so bad... kinda...

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

OK! I totally want to see a hamster ball in a cake now too! I think people are running out of ideas and they'll do anything to be unique! Even gross fish in their cake!!!!
BTW: I spent HOURS (4) reading your website when I first discovered is hysterically funny!! Keep up the good work!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterC-squared

You do not hafta be the Ace of Cakes; just make a fondant fish stew! (Wreckies: guess that song lyric!)

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarrietastic

Sung a-la the McD's commercial:
Gimme back that cake-o-fish,
Gimme that fish.
Gimme back that cake-o-fish
Gimme that fish.
What if it were you, swimmin' 'neat this cake?
If it were you in this glass you wouldn't be laughin' at alllll

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

I think it's in bad form to ask your baker to make a side trip to the bait shop on the way to your reception.

And I keep wondering: when it was time for the wedding toast, did they go "lose" the fish to make use of the wine glasses? *gagging*

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjj

Wow! Where was this reception held? At a puppy mill? Next to the pony rides? What year is this again?

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Are those REAL shells, covered in (hopefully) food-grade paint? Yuck!

And I don't see how you can attempt to put together or serve either cake without fish water coming into contact with the cake or icing at some point. Double yuck!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

This is terrible. And for all you people who think that its ok to keep any fish (including bettas) in such small containers, that is untrue. while they can live in them, they will not thrive and will have a very short lifespan, not to mention a very sad an unenriched one.

please read here:

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteradkjenn

Good grief.

Fish produce ammonia along with their waste. It comes from their poop and also they excrete it from their gills. Not only is this a disturbing thing to have around your cake, but that means these poor fish are stewing in their own waste in those tiny glasses. It's like being locked in a toilet. (In large, established aquariums, beneficial bacteria break the waste down into something less toxic so the fish aren't poisoned.) The fish in the picture, common goldfish, are high-waste species of fish -- they poop a LOT.


Plus, there's no air circulation in those glasses, or the little "pond" thing. The fish are also suffocating. Would they survive through the wedding? Probably. But it's very, very unpleasant for them, along with whoever has to eat that cake.

Goldfish need huge tanks with double filtration and lots and lots of aeration to live out their natural lifespan, which is 30+ years. Live animals are not decorations. Tacky, gross, and mean.

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTserisa

I don't mean to be gross, but all I can think of is what if one of them has one of those mile long poop strands hanging when you go to cut the cake.... ewwww!
Can we just have a rule... nothing that poops neat the cake!

Is that really too much to ask?

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

The first wedding I ever went to (when I was about 6) had two fish embedded in the cake in a little acrylic container. I thought it was the coolest thing on the planet but now . . . oy.

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

Oh man who in the world would want these cakes? Oh wait insane people would probably want those and yeah we have plenty of them around. Gross just thinking of the smell and the cake and ugh.. if this is a new wedding trend they should all go for piranhas now that I would love to see lol.

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Well, HAVE you seen the episode of Cake Boss? Would ANYONE else like to comment on that? I swear, people who do not read posts before posting are the reason why "Epcot" was invented.

So, no fish in cakes or other situations that will stress the fish. Get Buddy or Duff to design a cake with a gum-paste hamster in a plastic ball that runs.
The End!

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJimma Lou

Holy carp.

I cannot believe that anyone who actually LIKES fish would ever approve of these cakes. The casual cruelty plus fish-water on the food adds up to a gross, unappetizing wreck.

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Seeing as fondant icing is crap anyway, I wouldn't care about the fishwater smell (I never eat fondant, not even the "good" fondant which is still not that good).

But otherwise, bleeeaaaaarrgghhh. I am all about non-traditional wedding cakes - I think the normal looking white with flowers or pastels or pearls or whatever ones are pretty fugly, in fact - but this. This. This is just not on. Ew.

Lovin' the "two for one sale at the bait shop" comment! :)

WV: seces - feces of the sea! (Seces - sea+feces, get it?)

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

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