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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

Hey Rab-baht!

Today, we're going to talk about carrots.

Or more specifically, carrot cake. You see, for hundreds of thousands of years, bakers have been trying to hide the taste of carrots - which is most charitably described as "dirt-like"- by mixing it with truckloads of sugar and cream cheese icing. This makes even the most rancid of vegetables - aka, carrots - slightly less disgusting and, of course, extremely healthy.

But how does a baker, who is bound by law to disclose that his cake actually contains putrid dirt veg, tell his customers without making them want to vomit?

Well, there's always lying:

"That's funny; why do these red velvet cupcakes taste like feet?"

Or making it completely illegible:

"Hm. I feel like these orange arrows are trying to tell me something about my Canb cake. But what could it be?!?"

Or the baker can mangle the shape of the aforementioned foul devil vegetable to confuse people:

"I'm detecting notes of chocolate icing that...? Yes...I think it is! Fetid bunny swill. Huh."

Some have tried tweaking the color to muppet blue:

This way instead of imagining carrots - the ingrown hairs of the earth - in your cake, you can imagine synthetic fur - which is of course a vast improvement.

In the end, though, it's always best to just be honest:

Cak Rot?

Sounds about right to me.

Note: Before the carrot cake coalition comes after me, I should mention that I actually love carrot cake. Carrots, however, are evil like the froo-its of the de-vill. Which just goes to show: if you put enough sugar in something, even the most revolting, repellent, repulsive, sickening, nauseating, stomach-churning, stomach-turning, off-putting, unpalatable, distasteful, foul, nasty, vomitous vegetable known to man can be super duper yummy.

Special thanks to peachesrevenge, Simon L., Nora B., Lacey J., Natasha T., and my Mac Thesaurus, which never lets me down.

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Reader Comments (215)

Love that tiny So I Married an Axemurderer Reference. :) One of my favs!

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterELFRN

I'm getting the impression...I don't know how....that that Jen doesn't like carrots...

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjanet2buns

pity about the hate of the carrot.

I think one of the most perfect veg out there

but WOOT for Carrot Cake

The complete and balanced diet


September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUpupaepops

I love your vituperous languange, but it is best directed at BELL PEPPERS. And who ever heard of a raw bell pepper cake. There is nothing you can do with a raw bell pepper to make it edible or useful - other than compost it perhaps. BTW, carrots and celery grow best in sandy soil. No "dirt" aftertaste with those. Norine

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Excellent post John. Cak Rot made me laugh out loud--twice. As did your description of carrots. Although I like each his own.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKeeley

I adore raw carrots, have you tried them like that? mind you american vegtables are not as good as British ones.....

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdiddleymaz

I lurve carrots myself. Definately in my top 5 fav veggies, especially when baked. My mother makes this fab veggie dish at Thanksgiving with potatoes, onions, and carrots baked together with some salt and pepper... mmmm, I could eat my fill on just that and **** the turkey.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterReepicheep-chan

So, John, how do you REALLY feel about carrots? Don't hold back...

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLSB

hmmm...I must be one of the weird ones then because I LOVE carrots. steamed with just butter...or even RAW! mmmmm carrots......*goes off to the fridge and gets out some carrots to snack on*

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDennis

I feel the same way about asparagus.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne :-)

My mother in law's birthday is tonight. I made carrot cake. Now I'm thinking I suck at life ;-) It is super pretty though. I'd like to thank you, Cakewrecks, for making me paranoid. I triple check every single thing I spell on my cakes, and sometimes make my husband check too just to be sure. I'm pretty sure the stress of it has taken at least two years off of my life.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKara Lynn

I totally agree with the stomach churning monstrosity known as the carrot, and the fact that they can be yummy if baked into a good cake. Love the "cak rot" cakes. What in the world was the wreckerator thinking?

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh my! The second cake is totally a dirty word. Someone was a bad girl!

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbooturtle

Hmm...I must be one of the weird ones. I LOVE carrots. One of my favorite veggies. The only way I don't like them is when they are candied. yuck. However, I do love carrot cake! I think I am going to go have a snack now of RAW

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDennis

Ok, so the second cake down.. That does not say carrot.. I clearly see 'C U Next Tuesday.' I know I am not the only pervert that sees it's either..

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngelina Krell

That second cake definitely says "see you in tea", but in fewer letters...

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephakneeSays

Your post today made me CRINGE... Unline you, I love carrots but absolutely detest CAK ROT cake.


September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterConnie Moreno

The third cake isn't carrot by any means. Its chocolate...with a sad orange flower on top for decoration. But it's delicious and carrot free....I know this because I live off of this delicious cake found at Vons. Are we allowed to say names, point fingers, and say they draw crappy flowers? Oops...I just did

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPartyfoul265

I love carrots. I love carrot cake. I love Cake Wreaks.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

I challenge you to make a cake from brussels sprouts that anyone would want to eat.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura B.

Oh Jen, how I love it that you hate carrots as much as I do. I shall henceforth refer to them only as "the ingrown hairs of the earth."

Made. My. Day. :)

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

Funny post! Carrots are delicious, not disgusting!

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Actually, carrots aren't good for rabbits, either; the amount of sugar in them is too high for rabbits to eat in anything but very small amounts. The carrot greens, on the other hand, are perfect rabbit food.

Personally, I've always loved carrots, raw or cooked. I tend to avoid carrot cake because it often has nuts in or on it, and I hate nuts. I probably would have been turned off by carrot cake as well if any of them had looked like those pics.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJade

Carrots of any kind are delish. Lima Beans (paste packets) and brussel sprouts (smell like feet) are truly the worst vegetables ever!

Love this blog so much :)

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelody

Oh great. Guess what's going in the crock pot today with the chicken and potatoes...

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Interesting note: Carrots used to be purple. King William of Orange (The Netherlands) asked the Dutch farmers to make them orange!

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelody

I LOVE carrots personally, but for all you carrot haters out there, you should try carrot soufle. YUUUUUMMy!!

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMargie

I feel the same way about squishy, squashy, rubbery eggplant. Blekh.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Fortunately for me, carrots that taste like dirt have been, in my experience, the rare exception. But you have to get good ones, and use them before they start to go bad, and prepare them correctly. If you're just going to boil them, you may as well serve paper pulp instead.

Parsnips do tend to taste a lot more like dirt. I wonder if a parsnip cake would be any good. I bet the natural sweetness of carrots makes them a better choice. I think a lot of holiday dinners include a boiled combination of parsnips and carrots, which probably doesn't do much good for either one.

I also think a lot of people maintain a theoretical hatred of certain foods when they've only had a particularly bad variety or preparation, e.g. hating apples when you've only tried Granny Smiths. My mom thought she hated eggplant for years because Grandma didn't know how to cook eggplant correctly. Most vegetables, including carrots, eggplant, lima beans, beets, peas, bell peppers, and yes, even brussels sprouts, can be made to taste good, usually with very little effort, as long as you get them fresh.

On the other hand, if you had said CAROB tastes like dirt, I'd be right there with ya.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGoueznou

Carrots are wonderful, especially fresh from the garden ones.

If you're cooking them until they're mushy, well then no wonder you don't like them. They should be soft but still a little crisp. If that makes sense.

Worst vegetable of all in my book is zucchini - blech! Terrible tasting even when they try to hide it in bread and cakes.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette

Not sure about the rest of you, but I see a dirty word on that second cake....

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Cream cheese frosting=yum
Carrot cake=digusting

No cake should ever have a vegetable in it (and I'm someone who loves veggies and cake, but not together).

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Love it! Carrot cake is my favorite! Makes me want some - now!

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKortni

You have obviously been eating wrong carrtos. Small, fresh carrots are just de-li-cious!

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

" Which just goes to show: if you put enough sugar in something, even the most revolting, repellent, repulsive, sickening, nauseating, stomach-churning, stomach-turning, off-putting, unpalatable, distasteful, foul, nasty, vomitous vegetable known to man can be super duper yummy."

When someone manages to come up with a Brussels sprout cake that follows this assumption, then I will agree. ;)

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJill

oh John, you are priceless. I'm so glad to have cakewrecks to enjoy your and Jen's humor.

At first, i agreed with Anony M. that it's the lima bean. but i guess the carrot's ubiquitousness makes it the "obnoxious" second cousin. I like them, but i feel your pain, man. If you come over to our place for dinner, I promise, i'll never serve you carrots.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I've seen purple carrots before, and white ones (which are probably more commonly known as 'parsnips') but if ANY carrot I'm served is light aqua, I'm running for the hills.

I like carrot cake too, and I like red velvet cake. Thinking of combining them is not a happy thought. *gag*

Do you think the "Cak Rot" was a poor attempt at making a Dragonball Z cake honoring Kakarrot (Goku)? That's all I came up with.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterladyrazorsharp

Love me some carrot souffle at the Piccadilly.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Mathis

Our wedding cake was carrot-- I'm pretty sure there are some people who haven't forgiven us, but I refuse to apologize. I happen to love carrots in all their guises.

And yes, the "canb" cake looks more to me like a highly offensive word, unprintable in this family blog.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPD

Sorry, carrots are delicious. The most disgusting vegetable is the bell pepper hands down. Carrots are the food of God himself.

Also, I love the Abbot and Costello reference in the post title.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbassbone

"The ingrown hairs of the earth" OMG I totally just gagged.... hahaha now I'm gonna have a hard time eating carrots......... hahahaha

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKellyGrrl

Huh... I've never had a 'Canb' cake... what do they taste like?

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMolly Malone

I love carrots. Not as much as onions, but still.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

Aw, I like carrot cake! But those are some funny "carrots". My favorite is Cak Rot. haha

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered

I could not agree with you more. Carrots are disgusting. They only thing more evil are peppers!!!! The taste of peppers cannot be disguised even with copious amounts of delicious cream cheese frosting.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

I like carrots--raw, cooked, or in cake. I have an awesome recipe for carrot cake that has mini chocolate chips in it...oh, now I want cake. I have to agree with "Anonymous" at 9:36 AM about lima beans...or any fibrous bean with a tough skin. Kidney beans, blech. I'm not fond of peas, either; they're all mushy and nasty.

As for the second cake, I think that a lot of you have dirty minds. I saw "carob," which is also offensive, but nowhere near in the same league. :-P

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

I love the "froo-its of the de-vill" in cake, too. I also love the "So I Married an Axe Murder" line.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

being allergic to carrots I LOVE this post!!! Awesome!!!

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

Count me amongst the piggies that think that the "Canb" cake was really trying to insult some poor unknowing vixen with sweetness. And for me -- the title of the post is my favorite reference, and one of my very favorite lines from "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." (I *hate* that guy!)

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSheryl

Interestingly, the whole point of carrot cake is that it lets you use less sugar. Carrot cakes became popular during war-time sugar rationing.

Carrots are themselves a pretty rich sugar source, and their sweetness is greatly enhanced when they are baked. During rationing, baking a carrot cake meant you could have cake and still have sugar left over for your tea or coffee.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave

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