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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

Possibly the Most Depressing Cake I Have Ever Seen

Ah, birthdays: A time of celebration, friends, cake, and, of course...

...dying animals.

Notice how, even if the elephant were able to escape the tar pit/Swamps of Sadness, there's a lion coming over to finish him off. See, that kind of thing sends a message. A message that says,

A) this baker has clearly never seen The Neverending Story, and

B) "Don't forget the tissues, Mom & Dad, 'cuz this'll make little Suzie cry for sure."

Josh W., I may or may not be having Artax flashbacks, and I may or may not need some of those tissues. Also, John won't stop singing The Circle of Life. That's definitely not helping.

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Reader Comments (117)

what makes it neverending story? its an elephant, not a horse and its a lion not atreyu. I think its more jungle/tar pits/evolutionary than anything else. it really doesn't make me think of neverending story at all, and I've read that book/seen that movie umpteen times...I think you might just be projecting ; )

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm hoping that isn't the price for that one!

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterallaboutcake

the circle of life,Artax...I'm laughing so hard I'm crying...pass the tissues.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Anyone know the Flanders & Swann tune (originally written for a love-struck hippopotamus, but hey, we're not sticklers are we?):

Mud, mud, glorious mud!
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood.
So follow me, follow, down to the hollow,
And there we shall wallow in gloo-oo-or-i-ous MUD!

Or tar, if you prefer.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterelissa

Maybe the kid is a huge fan of the La Brea tar pits, and the bakery substituted an elephant for the wooly mammoths and a lion for the sabertooths for a dramatic re-enactment of the tableau at La Brea. Maybe they even rented an asphalt machine to waft the scent of cooking tar through the room for that touch of authenticity. And then they filled a kiddie pool with molasses and made huge sulfurous bubbles slowly bloop to the surface. So lifelife! I don't know about you, but that sounds like one heck of a party to me! (especially the part where the neighborhood brat is pushed, er, falls, into the tar pit and slowly disappears under the surface, never to be seen again.)

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen Bradean

Instead of "Circle of Life" perhaps "Circle of Poo" from South Park...

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh poor elephant... Maybe it's just my eyes, but it looks like that reads 'Hoppy Birthday' as well. But that could just be the angle and glare from the plastic case.

Everyone's comments are cracking me up. And I knew there was a reason I have blocked out what happens in NES (I used to watch it a lot and now can't for the life of me remember what happened - probably a good thing!)


July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow, that is depressing! :(

And I think Jo-Ann's must have somehow known there would be an evil CCC Wreck today, I woke up to see this as their FB status:

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores FRIDAY POP QUIZ! The ideal cupcake = (A) 50% cake + 50% frosting? (B) 75% cake + 25% frosting? (C) 25% cake + 75% frosting? (D) They come with cake?

*cringe* There was actually someone who said they only use the cake as a vehicle to get the frosting into their face! I bet he would make a great Wreckorator!

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

Holy crap. The Swamps of Sadness scene in "NES" is still traumatizing all these years later. Still remember the first time I saw it . . . Picture this:
Slumber party circa 1986. Four 10 year old girls. A VCR and a movie rental from Blockbuster. After the squealing died down about how cute Atreyu was and how much we all wanted a horse "just like Artex," that damn scene comes on and suddenly we've gone from being an overly-sugared crowd of preteens to a gang of wailing little girls, one of which (not me) went home early because she was so upset.
Damn scene still makes me cry to this day.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Why, oh why, did I click on the related Labor of Love? Oh yes, I will be having nightmares for sure! Good God who thinks of these things-then eats them?!

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdpkennedy

I think I love John. Sounds way much like my hubby!

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterToni Ware

I can't seem to count 24 cupcakes WITHOUT having several actually beneath the elephant/Slough of Despond.

Do they sell little flat-bottomed doomed creatures to set atop cakes---those Barbie picks with no nethers come close---or would they just plunge the little plastic feet down into the cupcakes?

Of course, if it's for a child, all the little animal figures are playing cheerfully, frolicking in the Cool of the Pool, all innocent and happy.

It's all in the eye of the intender.

My secret word today is chripes. Indeed so.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterracheld

Anonymous said...
Never fear! Only FEMALE lions hunt. The males don't. So, they're probably just sharing hot weather survival tips!

Actually that ia only Male lions that are part of a pride. lone male lions hunt all the time.

Well come to the Light Side we have NORMAL cupcakes!!!!

Let me say that if you didn't cry at the Swamp of Sadness then you aren't human! For all those crying remember Artex is brought back at the end.

And that reminds me....

Rockbiter: "They look like big, good, strong hands. Don't they? I always thought that's what they were. My little friends. The little man with his racing snail, the Nighthob, even the stupid bat. I couldn't hold on to them. The nothing pulled them right out of my hands. I failed."

Atreyu: "No you didn't fail. I'm the one who was chosen to stop the nothing. But I lost the Auryn, I can't find my luck dragon, so I won't be ableto get past the boundaries of Fantasia."

Rockbiter: "Listen, the nothing will be here any minute. I will just sit here and let it take me away too. They look like big, good, strong hands. Don't they?"

I love that movie!

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIsolder74

Artax is the first thing I thought of when I opened the page. Poor, poor Artax. I was like eight when I first saw that movie and I cried like a baby at that part. this elephant isn't helping the therapy.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertuckerclucker21

That decorator has some issues for sure...traumatic and disturbing !

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNonna Beach

Looks like a party at the La Brea Tar Pits to me - every kid's birthday dream party.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

Ell oh ell @ the Neverending Story. Good times, good times.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLP

Don't know if you're a So You Think You Can Dance watcher, but on Tuesday they had a cake to celebrate their 150th wasn't a wreck exactly, just the saddest cake ever to appear on prime time television. A big white sheet cake with a printout of their logo (all black) with tiny, black, crappy lettering. EMBARRASSING.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy



I just want you to know I'm going to be singing that softly to myself through the tears all day.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPD


July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think the animal under that label might be another elephant, perhaps a baby, rearing back on its hind legs.

How's that for a depressing turn of events? Mom is up to her neck in tar, watching while her baby is attacked by a lion.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTori

Aw, I cry every time I see Atreyu trying to pull Artax out of the quick sand stuff! What an awful cake! D:

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSami

OK I just have to say it:

Are ANY of the crappy plastic things on the cakes made of food grade plastic?

That's the only thing I ever wonder when I see them.

Makes me scared of cake.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

I figured the dead animal under the price tag was a rhino... Killed by the rogue elephant, as they've been doing lately in some parts of Africa. The lion is simply enforcing justice by making sure the elephant pays... At least that's what I saw. :)

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterunseeliepixie

My 4 year old just said, "What is that? A jungle on a carrot??" LOL!

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary Jo


Oh, man. I love that movie.

But, I gotta tell you, that cake makes me wish The Nothing would take IT away.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous


I wonder how many of those comments there will be by the end of the day :)

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTori

thanks jen,
I forgot about that!
I LOVE that movie, why don't they play it more on TV.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCooking Monster

My daughter just had a field trip to the La Brea Tar Pits and came back talking about how sad she was that the mommy mastadon got stuck in the tar lake. I think I need to order this cake to cheer her up!

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Maybe the person receiving this cake is really interested in the La Brea tar pits in California, where they found all the mammoth and sabertooth tiger skeletons that were preserved in the tar pits? That's actually what I thought of first...though, yeah, the Neverending Story angle does make it way more depressing.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

You know, the last time I caught Neverending Story on TV, a thunderstorm was coming in.

During the scene where 'The Nothing' is being described to our hero, the storm warning interrupted the audio for the movie. So we were watching Atreyu stumbling around with The Nothing rumbling and roaring, and... 'de DO WEEP! This is an official thunderstorm warning! Winds up to 30 miles per hour...'

Probably the hardest I've ever laughed in my life. The timing was beyond perfect.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCesna

It's a re-creation of the LaBrea Tar Pits in prehistoric times. Every child needs this type of education on their birthday!

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjanet2buns

Oh dear! Death is a part of life. That doesn't mean it has to be a part of cake.

The sinking animal/Neverending Story reference made me think of" rel="nofollow">this Doctor Who macro. (spoilers through The Hungry Earth, the first of this season's Silurian episodes.) Let's see someone put that on a cake!

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie apparently I'm the only one who thinks this is awesome. It's the La Brea tar pits - ON A CAKE. For no apparent reason! What more could you want?

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGen

That kid will need therapy!~

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa1

If it is ANY consolation, male lions do not do the hunting. The females do, and they do it in packs.

SO, if the pitiful elephant were to escape the bog of sadness (is that what it was called, I forget) he stands a good chance of surviving.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGina

Neverending Story gave my kids nightmares for weeks when they were litte (Artax in the swamp, and that wolf-beast thing...)
the little guy with the racing snail is Deep Roy. He was the Oompa Loompa in the Willy Wonka movie with Johnny Depp...
I always turn to Cakewrecks for a laugh at the end of a long, long day..

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMomKat

Alright, I'm getting ready to go to bed soon, so I completely believe that the large elephant is playing in a pool of cool water to get away from the heat. The half hidden baby elephant is rolling in the grass. And the lion is separated from them by an electric fence. Yeah, that's what it is. A nice peaceful day at Busch Gardens. (repeat to self while falling asleep)

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia L

Man, it was YEARS before I could stay in the room during the Artax scene...

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Michelle - cake as a vehicle to get icing in their mouth - Oh dear, you know my husband.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh my goodness! That lion is the Aslan Happy Meal toy from The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe!

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinny

My first thought was, 'tar pit'. I thought perhaps the wreckerator was going all educational on us and stuff. But then, the elephant would have to be a mastodon and the lion would have to be a saber-tooth cat.

My second thought, on noticing the telltale border of a CCC, was 'patooie!'Although I must say this may be the most artistic effort to hide the cupcakes I have yet seen. The animals and landscaping are even the same scale!

My third thought, on reading the above paragraph, was that 'hide the cupcakes' would be a fun game. Just get some cupcakes, enough frosting to plaster a house, and... we know the rest.

So the story shapes up this way: no Artax, no Swamps of Sadness. Mr. Elephant decided to take a tar bath in a generic jungle setting (any resemblance to any fictional character or setting is entirely coincidental -- nudge-nudge, wink-wink), and the non-hunting male lion stopped by to cheer up the elephant by saying, "Sorry, Dumb-o, I can't do jack to help -- no thumbs. My wife and her friends should be along any minute, though."

By the way, you go, John.

wv: domed. The frosting had to be domed to get the entire industrial-size bowlful on the cupcakes.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

I'm thinking this might be a Saggy Baggy Elephant cake gone wrong.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNay

Oh not another CCC! That poor elephant looks like it is drowning in dark blue goo. Ick. I wouldn't go near that thing if you paid me lol. Let alone want to eat it. Makes me wonder what exactly were the wreckerators trying to say with this cake? Happy birthday now an animal is gonna die? I fear these wreckerators lol.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Artax - don't leave me!!!!!!!!!! Oh, I haven't watched that in years! I love your pop culture references!!

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeslee

African Artax? What the peas?

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwhizkidforte

tl;tr so maybe someone already said this but.

it looks to me like someones sad attempt at a cake wrecreation of the scene outside the La Brea Tarpits.
^^ that's it. and i can't believe this is the best pictures i could find. must go back and take better ones. but there are sabertoothed cats stalking the mammoth also, about where the camera man must be standing.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMattie

AND, it's a ccc! That makes it extra depressing.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You see, I look at this cake and go "Yay! The lion will be able to feed his adoreable little babies!" Thus not depressing at all ^__^

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVelasa

It's an OK La Brea Tar Pits cake, not great but OK. The mammoth sculpture is in the big artificial pond near the Page Museum. The Tar Pits web site shows a lion (I didn't remember there being one) but it looks more like a mountain lion than an African one, so probably therefore no "mane" on the males.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterserns

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