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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
Thursday
Apr012010

Pastry Pranks

Far be it from me to try and fool you guys on April Fool's Day. Hey, when Mensa names you one of their top 50 sites of 2010 [Note: Woohoo!] you know your readers are far too clever for those kinds of shenanigans.

Besides, today is also my brother Ben's birthday, and I've just realized that in all these years my family has never pulled a cake prank on him. This must be remedied. So, let's look at some trick "cake" contenders.

First is something I featured a long time ago: the "sandwich loaf."

(Go here for more "fun" "food" - and the recipe!)

First this cruel creation tricks you into thinking luscious buttercream and layer cake is on the menu. Then - WHAMMO! - you've got a pimento-flecked mixture of salmon, mayonnaise, cream cheese, and sour cream tickling your taste buds gag reflex.

[Mercifully the sandwich loaf passed out of favor over thirty years ago, but there are still places making them today if you're looking for a way to make your friends and family hate you.]

Moving on to something slightly more edible, how about a frosted roll of toilet paper?

(What? I did say "slightly.")

Locusflower made this classic cake prank for a manager who was leaving. Here's the end result of the toilet paper cake:

Tadaa!
So perfect, and yet so cruel. Heheh.

On the less cruel and more cool side, check out what WhisperAWish made for her kid's lunch today:

Those "cupcakes" are made of meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and the "grilled cheese sandwiches" are pound cake with icing. Love it!

Plus, look how realistic the sandwich can be when you toast the pound cake:

Source (with instructions)

With this kind of food doppelgangery, I have to say I'd rather expect something else and be surprised by cake than the other way around. But then, when it comes to food, I pretty much prefer cake over everything. [personal motto: "Cake: Not Just For Breakfast Anymore."]

For those of you who don't mind the occasional meat cake, though, here's a clever one by CW reader Maayan Z:


Ever since the Black Widow Bakery first kicked off the craze, I've seen a lot of meat cakes. This one, however, raises the bar with those cheese decorations. Of course, I have to condemn the very existence of this cake on principle alone, but other than that - nice job, Maayan!

Getting back to the tricks, though, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the classic balloon cake prank. The concept is simple: carve out a cavity in your cake, place an inflated balloon in it, and ice over the whole thing. When the victim goes to cut the cake, POP!

Variation include filling the balloon with whipped cream (big mess) or water like in the video above (even bigger mess). I've also seen "cakes" made of everything from upholstery foam to kitchen sponges, which results in some small hilarity when the victim tries to cut through it.

So, what do you think, Wreckies? Which one should my brother be looking out for? [wicked grin] Or, tell me the best cake prank you've seen in the comments - I like options. (Just no overly cruel ones, please; I've seen the wedding vids with the bride near tears - not cool.)


Oh, and Ben? Happy birthday, big brother! Let's get together real soon. ;)

- Related Wreckage: "Cake" Cruelty

« Lamb Fleeces | Main | Rabbit Food »

Reader Comments (175)

Gross.... I'd want real cake, dammit!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Boob Nazi

Seeing delicious-looking cakes and then reading that they're made of meat literally puts a bad taste in my mouth.

It reminds me of thinking my dad's sour cream was whipped cream at a Mexican restaurant.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTaylor@MyOlderBrothers

Now that's what I call a birthday blowout.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClassic Steve

The sandwich and cupcakes is pretty great, I have to say. I'm a bit grossed out by the cupcakes, but the grilled cheese poundcake is a winner! What a fun surprise!

--kate

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

When I was in school our teacher made us April Fool's Day cupcakes. She put cotton balls in them! Bite...mmm...bite...urp! Not funny at the time, but NOW!

Just to note my loyalty to cake ALL this time....I ate around the cotton ball...

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCottagecheap

For my brother-in-laws 50th birthday last weekend someone made him a 12-pack cake, a 12 pack of beer frosted with candles. I don't have pictures yet but you'll get them when I do. It was fun watching him try to cut into it, the point is so that they puncture a can and it "explodes", he didn't hit a can but was laughing the whole time.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I do food pranks for me kids every April Fools. They love it. As I write, they are eating "fish sticks" (wafer cookies coated in peanut butter, rolled in crushed corn flakes) and "peas and carrots" (microwave softened green and orange tootsie roll midgets; cut and shaped.) I also chilled Jello last night in cups with straws. That one really got them!

If you want to see some real doozies, watch the Dinner Impossible episode called "Magicians Meal." I don't remember everything he made but I do remember they quick-froze strawberry ice cream to look like hot dogs. It was absolutely amazing, the whole menu!

Plus, Neil Patrick Harris was helping out!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersteenface!

Am I missing the point of the "We'll miss you" cake

/it's early
//no caffeine

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter~me

Not a cake, but a good April Fool's dessert is to take a clay flowerpot, cover the hole in the bottom with a chocolate cookie and fill with the ice cream of your choice. Embed a couple of straws with the tops just level with the top of the ice cream. Then crush chocolate cookies so they resemble dirt and cover the top of the flowerpot. Stick a couple of real flowers with the stems in the straws. Can also add gummy worms if you want to give a clue that it's not a real flower.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

~me, the "We'll Miss You" cake is the completed frosted roll of toilet paper from the previous picture. I had to go dig through the flickr page to figure that out too.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWendy Qualls

@~me i had trouble wrapping my head around it too and it's 15.00 here in the UK :s. the 'we will miss you cake' is the end result of the toilet paper gag.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElmo

~me, you're not the only one. I've looked at the We'll Miss You cake multiple times and don't get the joke, either!! Maybe that's Jen's April Fool's joke on us!

julie

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

@ ~me

I'm confused too!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Did the kids eat the cupcakes? My daughter probably would have spit it out and threw them on the floor after the first bite.

The "sandwiches" are awesome though!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlysa

I was confused by the We Will Miss You one, too. However, I think it is the 2nd phase of the toilet paper cake. She decorated the toilet paper to look like a nice cake, but in fact, it's TP.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrs MK

The only prank we pulled with our cakes was those relighting candles.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Black Dog

Oh good, I thought I was being dense (wouldn't be the first time)

The loaf cake is wayyyyyy to gagable for early morning viewing

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter~me

Hi Y'all!

We just updated the post to clarify things.

The third cake in the post is the end result of the toilet paper cake.

Sorry for the confusion!

Anne-Marie

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Wrecksistant

I love the balloon cake. But what about the classic kitty litter cake?

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterotterwoman

Okay, the best cake prank I ever saw was at church. Yes church.

I was a potluck dinner. There was a friendly cake contest for the desserts. One of the deacons, a friendly unassuming old gentleman brought a cake. One of the most respected and venerable of the members he served the cake to everyone he could. After all, he'd made it himself. Then with an expectant smile he would ask how they like it. Through forced smiles everyone said how good it was. No one would dare tell him how terrible the cake actually was.

Only at the end of the night did he reveal the joke. He'd iced and decorated CORN BREAD.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarable

*contemplating toilet paper cake*

Anyway... best I have is 70 candles on a cupcake.

It scorched the ceiling.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

My ex-husband, who was quite the baker and turned out many beautiful and decadent cakes over the years, once bought a couple of round concrete stepping stones and frosted them for a prank cake. It looked perfect!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna

These were funny and gross!
Last year we did homemade Oreos and stuck them together with pepsodent toothpaste instead of frosting. Muwahahaha.....

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAimee Lynn

Well, that church/deacon trick comment put me in mind of a song, i believe by Robert Earl Keen, about uh, everclear. He'd soaked a watermelon in everclear and taken it to the Baptist's summertime meeting.

Then that thought put me in mind of what my boyfriends mother actually did- made her special pecan pie and took it to the Methodist (aw, i can't remember for sure which religion) function (potluck? Christmas? i dunno what function, but does it matter?). Y'all know what was in her special pecan pie, right? Jack Daniels. And other special ingredients . . . . When folks asked about her recipe, she "accidently" left out all the "special" ingredients, and gave 'em a recipe for a regular pecan pie, to enhance their confusion.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

@the Anonymous poster who mentioned the flower pot idea:
It was on the Pioneer Woman's site last week. Here's http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/03/a-blast-from-the-past/" rel="nofollow">a link with lots of great pictures.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCat

Before anyone else posts it, here's a pretty epic Rickroll cake. Must be read to be believed...

http://www.instructables.com/id/PortalRickroll-Cake/

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHackerOnHacker

It's not cake, but we had a preacher try to get volunteers to eat "dog food." He'd emptied a dog food tin from the bottom, cleaned it out keeping the label intact. He then filled it with chopped "Mars bars" and jelly (Fudge and some soft caramel sweet would probably work just as well). When it set it looked just like dog food. He taped the bottom back on so you couldn't see and kept that hidden. He opened it in front of a bewildered audience, just as you would normally open a tin. Then asked if we'd like to try it. The expressions of digust were hilarious!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDrawn to Caricature

on the website whatnottoknit there is a knitted cake plate warmer that looks like an actual cake with little knitted roses and all. part of me loves the pattern because of the skill and detail involved and the other part of me is revolted that someone would actually waste the time, money and yarn on such a stupid project :)

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertat2kitten

Years ago one of my friends made a meatcake for a friend of ours who absolutely hated meatloaf. They decorated it with shortening mixed with cocoa so it looked like a real cake until you cut into it. He was not amused. We were when one of our gang took a few pieces home and left them in the fridge, where his roommates stole them and were surprised.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlana

I was really impressed by the children's lunch of meatloaf cupcakes and pound cake sandwiches.

This wasn't an AF prank but a recipe mistake. But since my birthday falls at the end of March I'll mention it anyway. My Mom made Boston Creme Pie for my birthday almost every year (because I asked for it). One year she couldn't find her cookbook but she went ahead and made it anyway. The icing was so hard that it had to be smashed with the tip of a butcher knife and peeled off in chunks before we could eat the cake!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteryellowwoodstraveller

My friend did the water balloon cake, but it was for a Halloween birthday, so no one suspected the cute pumpkin cake would explode. He kept the shirt that is still stained in orange and black splash!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie U

Meat cake??? Gag reflex now in ovr drive!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren Borquez

Back when I was working a summer job in the kitchen at a church camp, we had someone pull the "sponge cake" prank ... with a used sponge. It turned really gross when the prankee and a couple of the other guys decided to eat the frosting off the sponge; it went back to the dishwashing station cleaner than it had left.

(This was _well_ before MythBusters showed just how contaminated a kitchen sponge can be.)

WV: tortepol -- how to decide which flavor of torte to get ;)

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergamingkitty

My mom had 2 experiences along these lines: at a party, thinking the decorated finger sandwiches were petit fours (I can vouch for this triggering the gag reflex); at a salad bar, thinking the vanilla pudding was mayonnaise (& used it as salad dressing on her green salad). et

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I know you're not the biggest cupcake fan but I made these last year (found them in Karen Tack's book Hello, Cupcake!).

http://sixgreggs.blogspot.com/2009/04/april-fools.html

They were delicious!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah

You could pull the prank on him that we used for my diabetic friend's birthday recently, although it wasn't a prank for her.

First, find some sort of melon. Preferably with a smooth rind. Pick out frosting and icing to use. Frost said melon all the way around as much as possible. Ice it however you like. Present it to recipient to cut.

This produced 15 minutes of her trying to figure out how we had gotten the cake so round, and what it was made of. Hilarity ensued.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

We made the Meat Cake for my little brother's birthday one year. He's a Self proclaimed "Meat and Potatoes" kind of guy, so that's what we gave him. It actually turned out very nice. The inside was an awesome version of Mom's Meatloaf Recipe, stacked two layers high, frosted with Garlic Mashed Potates and we used Ketchup for piping and the "Happy Birthday Tony". It was beautiful and really yummy!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLacey

I worked in the kitchen at a summer camp for several summers. One year, for the end of camp dinner, we made dirt dessert(you know, with pudding and crushed oreos, etc) in plastic flower pots with fake flowers stuck in them and placed them on each table as centerpieces. One person at each table was in on the secret and come dessert time, served from the flower pots. What made this prank even better was the next camp, we used the same pots and fake flowers for centerpieces but used real dirt. Half way through dinner, one of the grounds crew, thinking he would spoil the joke, took a huge pinch of dirt and ate it, not realizing we had used real dirt instead of oreos.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlynellenyl

When I worked at a bakery/catering company in college, there was a lady who ordered a ham.... decorated with cream cheese... to look like an easter egg....every year....I had to begin mentally preparing myself for it on Palm Sunday....double bleh..

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWhitney

In junior high, my sister and her friend frosted cupcakes with shaving cream for April Fools. They had to throw cocoanut on top to kill some of the menthol smell. I still remember standing over the sink, seven years old, spitting out the bite.

It wasn't until I was in high school that I finally did my prank. I baked the chocolate crinkle cookies, except 6 of them I rolled in flour and garlic salt, instead of powdered sugar.

They didn't crack the same way and it took a couple of nights before my dad finally took a bite of one.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSue KuKu

That meat cake made me think of Sweeney Todd. But I'm sure she didn't make hers with ground-up turn-of-the-century British winos. Right? RIGHT?

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWendi

When I was a senior in HS I asked a friend to prom by duct taping a phone book and icing it to look like a cake. The I wrote Will you go to prom with me? on it and attached a note telling him to cut the cake to find out who wants you as their date. My name was on an index card inside the phone book. It was so funny watching him try to cut the cake... :)

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMsK

I went to a wedding once which was very small and informal. I hadn't eaten, because I thought there'd be food, which there wasn't. I was very excited about the beautiful cake they had on display, though. Turned out the cake was styrofoam, a gift from one of their artist friends. It wasn't even supposed to be a joke, it was just their idea of decoration. I was extremely disappointed.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

With the exception of the inexplicable "Sandwich Loaf", these are all excellent hacks -- brilliantly and (dare I say?) lovingly executed. I can't pick a favorite!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterflying gargoyle

There is a story of one of my ancestors who owned a candy shop in the late 1800's early 1900's in northeastern Utah. They loved a good prank and would occasionally put samples out of chocolate covered cork, onion and peppers.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

check out the "kitty litter" cake at www.allrecipes.com. Makes your mouth water, doesn't it:)

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeach Mama

I SO want a cake sandwich for my lunch tomorrow!
Funny as always!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScarlett Robyn

I wanted to play a prank on a co-worker so I purchased a large rectangular car washing sponge from a car parts store, that was the right size to be a cake baked in a 9 x 13 pan. I then frosted it, and took it into work. Everyone was in on the prank and anxiously watched as he tried to cut into the cake.

Well, I guess the knife was really sharp because he was able to saw a nice corner piece from the sponge, then put it on a plate, thanked me, and walked off with the piece of cake back to his office.

We all looked at each other - not quite knowing what to do, and waited for him to come back laughing. When he didn't we all trouped down to his office.

He said he thought the cake was a little tough and probably tasted bad, but he didn't want to hurt my feelings so he just took his piece back to his office and was going to throw it away later.

Sometimes pranks backfire on you.

I did have another "real" cake waiting in the wings so we still had cake.

Deb

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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