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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

Stairway to Heaven

I have to be honest: I've never really understood the whole wedding-cake-plastic-staircase thing. I mean, who first decided the wedding figurines might need to take a stroll down to one of the side cakes?


Not to mention this looks more like a video game level than a wedding cake.


"Ok, what you have to do is, hop over the leaf-shrooms, collect the heart rings, and then duke it out with the Moopa-Moosers down at the bottom. Oh, and watch out for the barrels."



Then, after providing this thoughtful pathway, the decorators go and make it completely inaccessible!



How are they supposed to get down there?

Or battle their way through all that foliage?


Granted, I can't think of a better place to put your plastic deer collection.


Of course, it goes without saying that all this extra height means you have to put a clear plastic light-up fountain under the cake. (Don't bother questioning it. You just have to.)



Mmm. Drippy.


You know what, though? These cakes still don't have enough going on. What do you say in addition to the stairs, tiers, figurines, and light-up fountain, we cover everything in Louis Vuitton?

Ah, rampant materialism climbs to new heights. I like it.

But it's STILL not enough. Can we get a few dozen miniature bridal party dolls, a Barbie cake, a few bolts of tulle, and the Amazon rain forest in here now, guys?


No, no, don't take away the stairs, fountain, or multiple topper figurines; we need those.


All set? Alrighty, let's take a look.





Hey, Rafael S., Genevieve F., April L., Anony M., Marla B., & Elle J., you must admit: this thing is so gosh-darn tacky it's almost kind of awesome.




« Sunday Sweets: Fun Wedding Cakes | Main | A Day In The Life »

Reader Comments (163)

The one that mentioned "battling through the foliage" made me think that might be a homage to Sleeping Beauty, where the prince has to cut through all the thorns to get to her tower. Or maybe it represents a battle between two wedding favorites...the flowers versus the cake! Maybe the flowers are trying to climb onto the cake and take it over?

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRainbow

I immediately thought of the movie "Carrie" when I saw cake #5. Dripping, bloody cake. Yuck.

I'm ashamed to say I thought the Louis Vuitton (sp?) cake was actually kind of cute, for the right type of girl. In fact, I'm surprised one of my coworkers didn't have that at her wedding.

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

Walking down stairs is so yesterday. I think modern cakes should upgrade to elevators.

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermella

Please tell me all the pictures were from 1984. Please?

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlison's Book Marks

After wasting an hour an a half I need to get back to work before my boss notices I'm not actually doing my job....thanks for such an awesome lunch break/lunch HOUR site!

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen Fenstermaker

Last cake: M.C. Escher reincarnated as a 5 year old princess and pony obsessed girl...

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Yes... When I got married in 2003, there really weren't and "custom" cake shops that didn't exclusively feature the white royal icing traditional cakes or Italian shops with horrible monstrosities. And certainly nothing within my limited budget. I finally found a woman who would do a custom-ish cake.

I went to her house and 99% of her "portfolio" was cakes with stairways, water channels and layers spread over 30 square feet of acrylic wonderment.

I was worried about what my cake would look like but she did a wonderful job... THANK GOODNESS!

I had two cakes -- a regular cake and a fruitcake. My mother made the fruitcake. Or fruitcakeS. She made one to cut at the wedding for anyone who wanted fruitcake and one cut up ahead of time for people to take home.

Despite my mother being a WONDERFUL fruitcake maker, there was tons of the already cut cake left over and almost the entire "cutting" cake left over and aside from the bit we put aside for posterity, we had to eat the rest ourselves over the next few months.

My mother put so much booze in that that it was seeping out of the bottom and we could have bottled it!

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnneke (Mudhooks)

thank you for FINALLY covering these horrible cakes. Yuck, what were people thinking????

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Kell

I can understand multiple cakes for a large wedding. I can understand separate stands, rather than a giant tiered affair. But, why the staircases? Wouldn't a common design, and being on the same table, be sufficient?!

And shouldn't fountains serve some purpose? ie be a CHOCOLATE fountain??? If you provide me with melted chocolate and fresh fruit, all is forgiven ;)

#1 the cakes are actually rather pretty, although the plastic stilts make the side cakes look like stilt-walkers. Seriously tacky topper, too. Maybe one spouse had taste, one didn't, and this was their compromise?

#2 Seriously overdone cakes (*what* is all that... stuff... on top of each tier?!). And why is the topper spouse-less? (Plus what the others said about the colours, writing and mis-spelling)

#3 So, so close to being an inexpensive cake that's nice-looking. *sigh*

#4 So is it that the guy's a turkey for marrying her, or is she feeling like a deer in the headlights for marrying him?

#5 Flowing and dripping blood, unless they're vampires... I'm worried about what they were saying. Frankly, if I ever saw a cake like that, I'd call the police.

#6-- I'm with others here, who think LV (and Gucci) tacky. If you're so insecure you have to plaster a logo all over over-priced plastic bags, you're a fashion victim. Quality is recognizable without logos. If the cakes were just cream, brown and gold, without bridges, this would show taste rather than reek "pathetic wannabe"

#7 I bet this 14-cake monstrosity was expensive (proof wealth does *not* come with taste!). Bright little-girl pink. Ferns somehow made to look tacky(?!). Toys (just how many attendents did they have?), ridiculous toppers, horrendous bridal gown (can we say "cheap plastic polyester" three times fast?). The groom's suit is tasteful, the bride thinks she's still 4; poor fella.

These cakes were all well-executed wrecks, so clearly the problem was couples with no taste! That made them particularly fun to mock

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAliza

Fo sho this is the tackiest post in quite some time. I think there's actually more plastic, knick-knacks and gew-gaws on some of these cakes than there is cake.
The drippy thing has emerged from a Wal-Mart bakeshop. How the hell did that happen?

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

Oh, the horrors!

Perhaps this last one is a commentary on the factory-like production of wedding crap (dresses, trinkets, etc.).


January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer H

I started with Cake Wrecks after my Cake Boss obsessions...Buddy only has to say one thing....Those cakes are OLD SCHOOL! Just like my ol man used da do!

kisses cake fans!!!

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Just don't tell hipsters about these monstrosities.

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertotalfrog


January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I REALLY wanted a cake with stairs and such, but at least I got my fountain!!!

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterB-Jo

I didn't know they still used the plastic staircase flotsam. I thought that went out in the 70s, in which case it makes it retro and kind of awesome. Kind of. You would have to go all out with the vintage look (super lacey wedding gowns and colored tuxedos with ruffled shirts and giant bow ties) and have a disco-themed reception, of course. Yes, this could work.

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

Did you see that on the Walmart (drippy red) Cake they used 3 sets of small pillars(!!)to hold up the big tiers instead of using the correct size one-piece pillars that would be waaay more stable? Maybe they have dowels hiding inside them, but it looks like it could collapse at any moment to me!

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My brother just gave me a CakeWrecks calendar and he didn't even know I love this site. SCORE!

WV: Poisha. What people from New Joisey call Persia.

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeachy

Here's what was OH at my house while looking at these cakes, mostly from my husband: The first one looks like a skeleton. The second one looks like it is on fire. Why is there spinach on the stairs in the third one? Where are the guns to deal with the rampant wildlife on the 4th one? The 5th one looks like a Hot Wheels track. They needed bug netting for the 5th one, and why is the base of it on fire too? Were these some sort of dual purpose cakes, you know like new job AND wedding?

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie Miller

Hahahahaha Oh the memories of cakes past. Reminds me of my childhood and all the gawdy weddings attended.

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Full Time Wife

(trying to hold back snorts of laughter)

but, why, is this a Friday post instead of Sunday????


-Barbara Anne

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The deer & the red loops are a little odd, but really I don't see much "Wrecky" about them. Just kinda tacky and not to my taste.

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertottergirl

Well now I know never go to Walmart for a wedding cake unless you really want to figure out how they get that huge cake to the wedding without any incidents..scary to contemplate lol.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

As outdated as the staircases are, the cakes are skillfully decorated. They are evidence of a better time in the cake world where one needed to master piping and smoothing frosting to be considered a cake decorator. Now if you have a rolling pin and some cookie cutters, you get a tv show.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPoly

This might be my favorite set of cakes ever.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdenise396

That red drippy one from wallyworld looks like someone was murdered over it. My fiance said it looked like a coleman lantern on a hunting trip that went wrong. Yuck.

Here's a suggestion for music to be played at the reception:
"We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder"!

Your blog is part of my daily internet routine - thanks for many good laughs!

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterestelyn-strider

#1 should be an actual video game cake...then it would be awesome. :)

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

"That last one is like a Habitrail for extremely prissy hamsters!"
This just sent it over the top for me. Seriously, ROFLOL, Raider.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterwinsomebulldog

OMG - number 4's looks like the Saint Valentine's Day massacre.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Ya know, that last one is really pretty. The cakes are done pretty well on all of them, it's just all the other stuff it has going on that deters your eyes from the cakes.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary

I suspect that cakes with plastic stairways are like that precisely because certain customers want them.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Raymond

was that a wedding inside walmart? ha

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJG

I think my parents had a staircase cake back in the 80's.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

OMG!!! -- like, I never say that, but these deserve it.

Okay, seriously, a couple are decent. Um.. well, one? Gads. I have seen the staircases used well, but these are -- not.

The bloody drippy one -- beyond belief, and sitting on the counter in front of the WHAT???

ROFL!! Deer! *sigh* Wonder what the groom's cake looked like, or were the deer in deference to him?


wv - undips -- If the wreckerator would just do some undips, this one should be just fine.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermladybright

The deer, it's all about the deer.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRuthie


January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

No no, I agree, that last one is just awesome! I'm so glad they didn't go with a muted color or anthing too, nothing says wedding like hot pink. I had lots of stuff on my wedding cake, but t was all chocolate filled or dipped :) (cream puff swans and strawberries)

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNicole Pelton

I have to admit, the chocolate one got my mouth watering. It looks like heaven to eat, even if it is silly to look at.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGardenMom

uff da!

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterConnie Moreno

What? No trains?


January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMT C

What? No train?


January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMT C

Ok, put the date on the cake -- it will help the groom remember. Har har. Will he need help remembering their names, too? Is it likely that anyone in attendance doesn't have a handle on those two key pieces of information?

"The groom looks like he's holding a little bag, and the bride appears to be hauling a suitcase." Where I come from, that adds yet another level of wrong to the LV mess.

What I took on the last one to be groom candidates who didn't make the cut turned out to be foliage (Chrome users: 'Ctrl +' zooms, 'Ctrl 0' returns to normal). The guys in pink tuxes on the left hand stairway are a tad concerning, though. Why do I think no rental company (they would have to be rented) has ever lost a pink tux.

I heard 'Stairway to Heaven' at a friend's house today. Not on purpose -- it just happened to be on the radio in the background. I think the station manager got tired of having listeners or something.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

I know this is a REALLY random question, but the "deer-way to heaven" cake has a prop (or something of the such) that brought it up~ While we've seen plenty of Steampunk and Victorian sweets and wrecks, are there any Roman or Gothic ones? I'm sincerely fascinated by the idea of having a Roman shield w/ crossed spears on my next cake... or slave Leia, whichever comes first.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I have never, ever seen something like this before. And for that I am glad. I am also glad to have your cakery comments to laugh at tonight. Thank you, Jen!

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTorey

These staircase cakes remind me of many a childhood trip to the Publix bakery, awaiting my free cookie while mom ordered the thin-sliced buttercrust bread. I was in the cart gazing in awe at the staircase cakes complete with bride & groom topper and several bridesmaids & groomsmen figures each on their respective side. 5 year-old me was totally taken with them and convinced that that would be my wedding cake one day. Thank GOD 5 year-old me didn't do all the planning on our actual day!

January 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJackie the Artsy

I'm with D, that last cake has to be from a Pacific Island wedding.
A Few years ago, my Cook Islander guy mate married his girlfriend- The oldest daughter of a Samoan Methodist Minister. Gorgeous couple, huge beautiful wedding, enormous reception in a Samoan community hall the size of an aircraft hangar. The cake looked Just like the last one, only no pink, no net and no $2 Shop Barbie, with maybe six more cakes round the edges. Epic.

WV= Redsies- "Stick some more redsies round the edges!"

January 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterReo

I think I've seen that Louis Vuitton cake before. If you think the cake was bad, imagine the LV logo plastered all over the bride, the groom, the groomsmen, the flower girl, and the car. If you google "Louis Vuitton Wedding" there are pics at the first few hits.

January 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCharles E

I have to comment on the 5th cake with the dripping red.

Seriously, I was like 'Uh... ah... umm..." I ran my hands through my hair, speechless at the sight. I've come to the conclusion that it looks like a wedding cake based on one of those old, cheesy '80 horror films.

January 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

@Gloom Raider - or Zhu Zhu pets ...

January 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

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