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

The University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt

Nothing to see here, non-University of Chicago people! This is a special post just for the UC scavenger hunt, so these are NOT the Wrecks you're looking for. Move along, move along.

What, you're still here? Ok, fine, here's some background info:

"The University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt was founded in 1986 by (yep, you guessed it) a bunch of nerds from the University of Chicago. Over time, it has grown to become what many consider to be the world's largest scavenger hunt, with items ranging from homemade nuclear reactors, to elephants, to the one you're about to see right here. A cabal of University of Chicago student judges write all Scav Hunt items and awards points to final submissions, keeping the list secret until the beginning of the Hunt, and teams race to beg, borrow, steal, and do as many of the 250+ items on each year's list over a four day timespan."

Well, this year I was honored to have Cake Wrecks included on the famous list! Here it is, clue #79:

"It’s Scav Inger Hunt's 23rd birthday, and 99.9% of mohawked baby carrot judges agree: I WANT SPRINKLES. Craft a thoughtfully artistic, yet still scavvly commemorative cake, and it better be purdy enough to be featured as a Cakewrecks Scavday Sweet. Under Neat That: submit your Wreck by Friday at 10 pm, and we’ll let Jen pick the one destined for internet fame."

And here are the submissions! [drum roll, please]

From the GASH Team, a "My Little Pony":

Or so they claim.

From Breckinridge House's team: a "thrillin' failure" (their words) of Michael Jackson:

(True story: When John & I first saw this he asked who it was supposed to be, and I guessed "Edward." I'm not sure who that insults more: Twi-hards or Team Breckinridge. So...sorry, everyone.)

From Sonia A.'s team, a "wooden labyrinth game":

In Sonia's words: "We tried."

Stop the press! Someone on the Snell-Hitchcock team actually has a working knowledge of fondant:

Not bad! Definitely the nicest cake you'll see here today, although I haven't a clue what all the stuff is. (Other than the sombrero. [Assuming it IS a sombrero])

The Federation of Independent Scav Teams claims this is a wreckplica of several items on the list:

Which frightens me. What else is ON this list, anyway? 0.o

From Macpierce's Master Chef Allison:

"Scab Hurt" Heh. Heh.

From the Burton-Judson Team (aka "Dr. Scodel's League of Atrocious Wonders"):

Christine tells me they were going for cute, "but I think something might have gone wrong."

From the Glass Panopticon:

Ah, classic Wreck elements. I like it.

And finally, the Max P Team used real honest-to-goodness carrot jockeys, in addition to "misspellings, left out numbers, poo swirls, ant sprinkles, a rainbow of various other sprinkles, and an umbrella, all to top off a CCC shaped like a furby":

Yep, I'd say we have a winner!

Best of luck to all the teams who participated.

(Naturally, any team that didn't submit a Wreck should be doomed to failure.)
Thanks for the fun!

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Reader Comments (68)

I went to UofC law school, but this sort of makes me sad that I didn't experience the true unabashed nerdiness that is UofC undergrad!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily M

//"That Edward/MJ cake should have won. I haven't laughed that much at a cake since that UK logo tiger thingy."

@R., that UK logo CCC had me laughing like nothing before. thus hooking me on CakeWrecks... though, without Jen's (and John's) wit, it wouldn't be so successful.

huge kudos, CW! getting featured in a university tradition :D
i like the furbie wreck!
what the heck is a Tortoro-whatever-character? xD

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercris

Anon @ 8:48

umm... a breeder reactor? They put a nuclear reactor on the scavenger hunter list? lol

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEvalis


Yes- and it was built.

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterB

Thank you so much for doing this for the Hunt, Jen.
Yes, Max Palevsky's wrecktastic cake is definitely a "Demolition Furby."

I was on the Snell-Hitchcock team, and we (obviously) interpreted the item as "make a Sunday Sweet," which nobody else did. The items on top of the Snell-Hitchcock cake are an Easter Island statue, a vending machine, and a monowheel, all items we built in previous years. In addition to being gorgeous, it was delicious.

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSnitchcock Scavvie

Jen - I love it!

This is exactly why I tell my young clients NOT to go to a Junior College. This is the stuff that dreams, memories, ambition, and lifelong friendships are made of!

Congrats to all the U of C teams for destroying these cakes! I couldn't be prouder if I had wrecked them myself.

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerri

Yes!!! Thank you from one very happy U of C alumna :). When I was on a scav hunt team (oh goodness. Was that really fourteen years ago??) we had to create the world's most disgusting pizza, which was far less appetizing than these cakes. After loading ours with tripe and edible insects (plus some peanut butter to make it stick in the throat) the judges informed us that one of our team members had to eat a whole piece in order to get the points. we did it, but we would much rather have eaten any of these fine wrecktastic creations.

-Liz in Seattle

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

in response to Julie in Arlington...

Scav is neither harmless nor a "dead week activity." It is a religion. And we are good at it.

Such good memories! I remember when I lived in Max P and the hammering, drilling, and general insanity of the Scav team in the courtyard would drive me crazy- but it was always worth it in the end to see the stuff they came up with! Thanks Jen for voting Max P the winner, unfortunately it wasn't enough to prevent Snitchcock from ultimately winning the hunt :(

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUofC Alumna

LOL those are all funny! GREAT blog!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterialmostlaugh

Heh heh. My husband knew the breeder reactor guys. We've got photos...

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Jo

I am SO EXCITED to see that the U of C is on the Cake Wrecks blog!

Jenny, AM 2008

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

I thought Slimer and Jabba's love child was a World of Warcraft goblin...then I saw its ears had fingers. -.-

And I don't recall anything in LOTR looking like a brown epcot center.

I never cared for Mickey Mouse. I like him even less now that he's turned to skin bleaching and plastic surgery to look like Porky Pig.

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I think the unicorn should have won!

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think the last one is supposed to be Totoro? (Studio Ghibli)

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

ZOMG, a Totorro wreck. Best ever.

May 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSatal

OMG, Burton-Judson's "clown" looks like the spawn of Bette Midler and an Oompa Loompa! Love it!

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

[To the tune of the MLP theme song]
My little decayingmutantyakhorsecross, my little decayingmutantyakhorsecross,
Ah ah ah aaah...
My little decayingmutantyakhorsecross!
I used to wonder what bad cake could be...
Until some baker made this thing for me!
Big laughs but,
Tons of barf!
A cute little horse cake gone so wrong,
Plop on flotsam, it's an easy feat!*
But some crazed baker ain't so sweet!
You have my little decayingmutantyakhorsecrosses!
D'you know you're made me projectile

*Flotsam is never exactly the best cake decoration technique, but ANYTHING is better than a decaying, mutant yak-horse crossbreed. ANYTHING.

February 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWreckophile #1

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