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

Sunday Sweets: Hope Springs Eternal

Many of you know Cakegirls from the show Amazing Wedding Cakes, or from Food Network cake challenges. Sisters Brenda and Mary and their staff have a reputation for fantastic, modern cake art, like this:

Many of you also know that on the morning of March 29th, the Cakegirls bakery tragically burned to the ground. Fortunately no one was hurt, but they did lose everything - and their staff is jobless until they can rebuild.

I have no doubt that Cakegirls will be back, bigger and better than ever, before too long. In the meantime, though, since their website gallery is currently down, here are a few of their lovelies I had on file:

I think this is my favorite; the yellow with the stripes is so cheerful, don't you think?

If you'd like to show your support for the girls, then buy a Cakegirls t-shirt. The proceeds will help all of the employees stay afloat until the bakery can rebuild.

But wait, I have more!

Read on a for a sweet story.

This next cake is by Jane, of Cakes Come True and Truffles, Too in Cincinnati. Jane has no idea I'm writing this today, or even that I write a blog (much less this one! [evil snicker]), but I recently had an encounter with her I'd like to share.

First, some quick background: For the past 9 months or so, I've been following the story of junior Wreckie Jacob Taylor, a courageous 9-year-old who battled brain cancer with a big smile, right up until the day he earned his wings. On the tearful day when we learned Jacob was gone, I read that the funeral reception would be serving food, and naturally thought of sending some sweets over.

Since this was in another state, I scrambled to find a local baker. I found Jane's website, and John called her. Miraculously, she agreed to make and deliver three cakes with less than 24 hours notice. Amazing, right?

Ah, but there's more...

About a week later, John and I got a card from Jane. In it, she told us she was so touched by Jacob's story that she'd decided to take all of the money we paid her and donate it- in his memory - to The Cure Starts Now, an organization working to cure pediatric brain cancer.

Now, if you're like me, then sometimes you get convinced that pretty much everyone on the planet sucks. (Or at the very least, everyone on the internet. Heh.) Some days you think everyone is just too self-absorbed to care. But sometimes, on those days, someone like Jane will come along, and give you a little hope. She didn't know us, or Jacob, and she had a regular 9-5 job in addition to her bakery business, but she still went above and beyond for us and for Jacob's family. So Jane, you rock. Thank you.

Well, that's my sweet story. Stay tuned for our regularly scheduled sarcasm.

- Similar Sweets: Cute-Tastic!

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Reader Comments (84)

Thank you for your post Jen; a few tears and a smile were just what I needed to start my Sunday, and maybe have a little more faith in humanity as well. As much as I love the wrecks, the little ray of beauty and joy offered by Sunday Sweets always boosts my spirits.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEponita

That is so sweet! AND I had no idea about the Cake Girls! Thanks for posting this! Think I'll pick up a t-shirt.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl, Wendy, Max, and Lil

Someone will make sure that Jan gets a link to this, right? She should know that her act of kindness is impacting others and her gesture is appreciated.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow. That totally made my day today....thanks Jen.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSimplySweeter

This is an amazing post with amazing timing! I just came home from a heartbreaking funeral, and while I'm in a semi-awake emotional state, it was so nice to read! As I sit here sobbing, it's the good kind, like an emotional catharsis.

Thanks again, Jen!

(this comment was not meant to be really helped a lot!)

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Its heart warming to know that there's still people like Jane out there who put others needs before theirs, especially when its helping out a stranger in a time of need.
Keep up the good work guys.


April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."

I had one of these moments at work this week...and this story just reminded me of the same thing! Have a sweet Sunday! ;)

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I loved this post. Is there anyway to get money to the Cakegirls directly? I have enough t-shirts and cutting out the cost of production of the t-shirt means they get more money. ;)


April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Rhoswen

What a sweet story! Thanks for sharing. Also, thanks for the info on Cakegirls, I'd had no idea!

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKerri Lynn

All I can say is, wow! Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement!

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermose68

Lovely post. Very sorry to hear about the Cake Girls.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

Great post, thanks for sharing!

How lovely :) Since starting up (asking people online to send happy post to seriously ill children) it restored my faith in online human kind too.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPost Pals

I live in Cincinnati and Jane will be on my list when I next need a cake! I love supporting local small businesses.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLynnea B

I didn't know that there was a specific group to cure pediatric brain tumors... I need to get on that. Thanks for the information.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Boob Nazi

This is a great post, Jen. I live in Cincinnati, and am in the market for two birthday cakes this summer. Perhaps I'll be giving my business to Jane, and I'll be sure to tell her I heard about her in the SUNDAY SWEETS section of Cake Wrecks. You know - as opposed to the NOT Sunday Sweets section of Cake Wrecks. *shudders*

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthat girl down south

Wow... what a touching post!
Cake Girls' work is simply amazing! And it's so nice to hear that there are still people like Jane in the world.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCody

@ Anonymous 10:37:
What a beautiful quote! Thanks for sharing it.

Jen & John,
Both of these oddly-intertwined stories--the tragic fire, and the little boy--make me want to promise to NEVER whine again about some trivial, stupid thing...but I know I won't live up to it. I will, however, try to remind myself of this as often as I can (one of my favorites, from "Desiderata"): "With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

Thanks for today's meaningfulness.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

I've got tears in my eyes...

If I wasn't a recently unemployed chef myself both of these worthy causes would be getting money. Hopefully that'll change fast so I can make good on that.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterM. Drake

I hadn't heard about the Cakegirls - I live in the City but have been traveling for work. I'm forwarding this to everyone I know...

Thank you Jen for sharing Jan's generosity. It is nice to be reminded that there are such wonderful people out there.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErika

The fire is an absolute tragedy!! I love the Cake Girls and their beautiful work! Best of luck to them and their staff in getting rebuilt ASAP! and it is wonderful to hear that there are still people in the world, thank you for sharing that story and reminding me that .05% of the human race is good and selfless enough to do not only what you did but also the baker's donation...

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

I'm with Anna @ 10:41, I have tons of t-shirts and would rather donate to Cakegirls directly. Any possibility of some info for that?

I have just sent a donation to The Cure Starts Now.

Thanks for this Jen!

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy in NC

I had no idea it burned down! OMG! ...and I love your story, so fantastic on both your parts! - it does help to think there is hope somewhere

Kim @" rel="nofollow">
party inspiration

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim @ Frost Me!

What a beautiful post.

Thank you for sharing these stories, and for the links so we can support the relevant causes.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks for posting about cake girls! I'm glad there's a way to help out the employees!

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I was already having a teary Sunday morning (good tears), so thank you for adding to it. Sunday Sweets are my favorite posts of the week.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrsTiara

RE: Jane- What a wonderful story! :-)

RE: Cakegirls- I had no idea about Mary & Brenda's shop. I grew up in that neighborhood, walked to Lane Tech some days right past that building (and it wasn't great then).

I will certainly pop in and buy some t-shirts!

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Dual Role Grandma

Way to make me all sniffly... luckily i'm just headed out for a hike in the woods, so i don't mind looking a bit puffy-in-the-eyes. Can't we all just bake a cake? Give cake a chance? Peace, love, and cake? Okay, i'm done. <3

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersarah

That was a lovely thing for the baker to do. My faith in humanity just got a boost. Thanks for a lovely post, Jen.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Isn't it amazing how people like Jane tend to pop up in our lives when we really need a reminder that there are good, decent, kind-hearted people left in this world? Thanks for the warm fuzzies!

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErica C.

How sweet! What a perfect story to post on my birthday.

Also, I had no idea about the Cake Girls!! I'll have to get a t-shirt, they're one of my favorites on Amazing Wedding Cakes.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBridgete

Jane is a beautiful person as are you and John. It is wonderful to know that such people still exist.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Jen & John, thank you for being the kind of people who care about paying for cakes for a little boy's funeral in another state. Jane, thank you for being awesome in doing so much in a short time and then donating your fees on top of that! You guys touch my heart and truly inspire.
The older I get, the more I realize that being kind and loving is what gives life real meaning.

OK. Order CakeGirls tee (note to self: will go great with Nick & Nora Cocktails pj pants! Mmmmm cake. Mmmmmm cocktails.) Also, strength & fortitude sent to the whole CakeGirls family!

Finally, "My name is Terrell and I had Chocolate Truffle cake for breakfast!." There, that wasn't hard. I know you all understand.

WV: musent-- The stories of kindness and giving are like musent to my ears.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLifeStartRN

That last paragraph is so true. Thank God for the "Janes" who make life worth getting up in the morning sometimes. And thank you for honoring her in the way you do best. You really do have quite a way with words. <3

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda


I'm so glad you featured the Cake Girls. When I heard about the fire, I immediately thought about you & hoped you would post something.

The Cake Girls do still have a website up:

with a temporary snail-mail address to contact them in case anyone wants to donate directly. I won't post the address here - but it's on the website.

I agree they do fabulous work & although I only know Mary through her Food Network appearances - I'm always so impressed with anything I've seen her create.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie K

Tears...Some sad ones,but mostly joyous tears for the strength of the human spirit.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjac

Love it. It's so refreshing to read something positive. I think that if we all try to help where ever, how ever or when ever we can the world would be much more pleasant. Thank you Jen, John and Jane.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersarah

Oh no, I didn't know about their bakery burning down. I've LOVED every single cake I've ever seen them make. Seriously, never seen a bad (or even mediocre one) in the bunch. I'll donate to the cause-I could use a new t-shirt anyway.
And I don't think it was just my raging hormones that made me tear up reading the story about Jan and the cakes. Very touching.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhalfbakedcake


I KNEW you had be wonderful people to have a blog like this one! You are among those who give us hope!

Thank you for sharing these two great stories of also wonderful people!

Bless you and wishing you a good week ahead!

Barbara Diane

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWhimcees

I loooove the wave cake up there. So simple and elegant all at once. I had no idea about the Cakegirls bakery fire, but hopefully they'll be able to bounce back even better than before.

And as for Jan? There should be more people like Jan in the world. 'nuff said.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterksaldria

It is truly heart-warming that initiatives like that exist...

I've had a really hard week-end (my country's President, his wife, Ministers and many others died in a horrible plane crash) and your post somehow cheered me up.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGilia

See, that's why I love you guys - always keeping thing in perspective.


April 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterknaegeli

Jane sounds awesome, and her cakes look great! Thanks for sharing this story, Jen.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKendra

Wow, that was a really sweet story. I'm so glad you told us about it. May he rest in peace, and god bless Jane for being good like that.

I really hope the Cakegirls get back on their feet. I'm broke for the next month and a half or else I'd be buying one of those shirts. XP This is what I get for not having a job.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDg

Wow, I was feeling pretty stressed and annoyed this morning and your post today really puts things in perspective. Thank you.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen

Thank you for those stories! It makes a lot of us believe in humanity again. :)

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

thank you for A) posting such gorgeous cake pics; B) helping out Cake Girls; and C) giving a shout out for Jan. somedays i too feel so cynical about people, but today i don't, and it's lovely to know there are people who do the right thing.

also, i love cakewrecks,and want to say thank you for putting in the time on it for us to enjoy. i own a bakery, and so i try never to laugh tooooo hard, because who knows, i may be only one cake away from a wreck! :)

thanks again....

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

On the morning Cake Girls lovely bakery burned, Courtney Clark (from Cake Nouveau) and I (mom) were on our way to Chicago. We've been so impressed with the swift action of the cake community pulling together for Mary and Brenda!
And Jane is a perfect reflection of the kind of person I would like to be!
x Linda

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Jen and John-
I agree with Anna R. I really don't need a shirt and would prefer they get ALL the money. Any chance of sending it to them directly like we did with the other family at Christmas?

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

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