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 REST of the Story

"Welcome to the K. Krex Evaluation Center! Please have a seat, and we'll begin the exam.

[consulting clipboard] "Ok, let's start by having you cover your left eye and spell out the top line here."

"Uhhh.... M. d. W. 2. K. 1. O?"

"Perfect. Now go ahead and read me the bottom word here."

"Oh man, that's tough. Um...matheridby?"

"Good, good. Now, please cover your right eye and spell out the letters on the bottom line here."

"N... O... T.. T.. P.. P.. L.. B.. S.. S.. S.. S.. L?"

[writing on clipboard] "Mmmhmm. Now, kindly read this for me:"

{squinting} "Uhhh.... Is that even English?"

"Excellent. Moving on, now I'm going to change the lenses over your eye. Tell me which is more in focus:

"Number one...

"...or number two?"

"Gosh, I don't know. They look about the same."

"I see. Ok, for our final test, let's have you put on these glasses and try reading these:"

" I have no idea what that says."

"And I'd rather not say that one out loud."

"Oh! That's the artist formerly known as Prince, right?"

"Well done. And congratulations - you're hired! Here are your apron and piping bags, and you can pick up your spools of ribbon and plastic flotsam in the morning. Now, go make us proud!

"And a bunch of cupcake cakes."


Thanks to Brandon D., Rosie, Melissa M., Becky, Rebecca M., Sara B., Judy R., Abby M., and Grace N. for the eye-openers.

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Reader Comments (64)

That one in fact is NOT english. It's french. Joyeaux Anniversaire or somesuch. Still terribly wrecky though.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKappa the Imp

How do you keyboard smash with icing? That takes talent. These people are under-appreciated.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMimiheart

Ahh, Cakewrecks, the site that makes me feel better about my skills at piping words on a cake.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

Actually, the French cake isn't bad, although for some reason "Wiggins" doesn't strike me as a very French name. The "Happy Birthday, Francesca" is rather pretty, but what's with the moldy green roses?Are those pecan pieces around the side of the cake? Not a good choice for a one-year old. The first cake - I wonder what is said before it was "corrected"? I *think* the seventh one reads "Happy Birthday, Jasmine + Jordan" but don't quote me. At any rate, I don't think any of those folks graduated from kindergarten, with handwriting that bad. Yeesh!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLady Anne

Kappa the Imp has it right: that fourth cake is French for "happy birthday".

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterC

Aww no patriotic wrecks ;) these were god awful. BTW, for the annual give a thon, may I suggest Fisher house foundation for families of wounded vets, or the Wounded Warrior PRoject??? With so many vets coming home soon, they will need our help.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMINDY1

Wsdjbpibfnnohcn! N'est pas? Slebfbibc? Ha!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

This goes to show why you don't get Chris from Produce to write on the cake, even if the customer comes to pick up early, while the decorator is at lunch! Most of those cakes were pretty good, until the writing happened.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLady C

Are these works of cake
transcribed from electronic
credit card signatures?

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

and a Hoppenglobber Finglehef to you too?

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRixie

Except it doesn't look like "Joyeaux Anniversaire." It looks like "Joyeaux Ann'sDerzix WIGGINS." Which makes me think that it started out as "Happy Birthday" in French, but then the decorator had a seizure.

Also, "MdW2K10"?? I'm assuming the last bit is a "clever" way of writing "2010" (though were we trying and failing to save time? Space? What?) but whattheheck is MdW? Mother's Day Week?

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEve

@ Lady Anne:

Those "pecan pieces" are simply crap-colored icing pipings. Of course, there'll be 97,655,178.3 other folks letting you know this, before the day is done.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter~anamorous~

About that 4th cake: I figured it was supposed to say "happy birthday" in French, and while I sort of got the first word there's NO way that says joyeux anniversaire. More like "JoyeuD AmiDersoix."
And this from a person who had to figure out why I had written that I needed "fur command" on a shopping list (finally figured out I had meant "fine cornmeal.")

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFM

how auspicious! i'm on my way to an eye exam today!! also, k. krex - glorious.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjill

I don't think a lot of these today are "wrecks." They look more like the purchasers added the writing at home. I don't consider that the same thing as a "wreck." I hope a lot of people don't start doing that and sending in photos just to get their cake photos up.

[Editor's note- It's pretty hard to believe but there are a LOT of cake decorators who write this poorly. To give you an idea, we have 257 unpublished photos in our "Horrible Handwriting" archive. And for what it's worth, Jen and I spend way too much time making sure these are professional. It's kind of our thing. -john]

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

"Which is more in focus, number one...or number two"
I dunno, personally I think they both look like number two...

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDark Lord of Marketing

I'm pretty sure the first cake is supposed to be "Mahalo," but the wrecktator thinks it's spelled "Mawhalo."

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

If I ordered a cake from a bakery and the bakery gave me a cake that looked like ANY of the above pictures, I'd demand my money back. Probably by slamming the cake over the manager's head.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine Raymond

Some of those would make great "captchas" to try to prove that a blog poster wasn't a bot. Or that the decorator wasn't a person.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Polowin

Yes, the WIGGINS cake is supposed to say Joyeux Anniversaire, but there's no end e, and it's definitely a Wreck.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterukelady

#1 That's post-correction, yet. Scary.

#2 I can actually decipher this one: Hoppy Mother'sday. They used the apostrophe, and put it in the correct position, too. Just replace the spacebar on the piping machine, and they'll be good to go.

#3 Aww. You shouldn't have. Really. Showers of jumbled letters to you, too. At least it has the good stuff inside, so the eating should be a lot better than the reading.

#4 I didn't know Mr. Tudball's secretary was French.

#5 New decorator: "Okay, who put raw egg yolks in the piping bag again? It was funny the first five times, but I'm starting to think it may not be an accident."

#6 The following day, a note appeared in the bakery: "Do NOT use the 1" diameter nozzle to write on cakes, as it wastes icing. Use the 3/4" nozzle instead."

#7 "Lady, for the last time; your kids might LOVE grape jelly, but there is no way it can be used to write a legible message. Okay, if you insist -- can't say I didn't warn you..."

#8 "Class of '04 5th year" -- well, we can probably rule out decorating class...

#9 I love the understated elegance of this one.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

I'm pretty sure the second one is written in Elvish.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Wilde

Isn't "Happy Mather'sdby" is the female equivalent of "Happy Falker Satherhood."

@FM -- I once spent 10 minutes in a store pondering my list, wondering why I would need "meat powder" and what the heck it was. I was driving home before I remembered we were out of malt powder.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Man, those are awful! Nice work piecing them all together, "The CW Team"!!

Go, K. Krex!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh524

Brought to you by the creators of CAPTCHA.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlen

I hope they got these poor epileptic decorators to the hospital after they were struck by seizures while decorating these cakes! Especially that third one, poor dear..

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternani

I refuse to believe that most of those were "professional." Or at least for sale. Any bakery that produced a cake like #3 should not ask people to pay money for it.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

I have decided to give only good feedback today:

1. Well, the balloons don't look like "swimmers", so there's that. Also, they got my driver's license number exactly right.

2. Mmmm, chocolate.

3. The 4 year old who decorated that cake has obviously mastered the rose.

4. There are wed wose petals on the table. How womantic!

5. Very realistic mucus. Great job!

6. That "Pepto Pink" really pops against the cream colored icing with the white border!

7. Wow. Okay, that cakeboard very cleverly states the company's name on it.

8. Really?! Huh. Oh! I got it! It has sprinkles!

9. Oh for the love of.....! Come on! Even the CANDLES on the cake are all crooked! Fine. I can definitely tell that the cake is in the shape of a "1".

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

A giggle inducing post.

I need to look at them again!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

@ FM and Sharyn:

I often do shopping for my elderly neighbor. He likes to abbreviate. I have learned that "pots" are actually "potatoes" and that "grass" is not that kind of grass. It's short for "asparagus". Really.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

I'm pretty sure the first one might be an African name, Nigerian maybe?

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

Definitely NOT Engrish - it's French: Joyeux Anniversaire, I think.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRaybob

Showers of Happiness to you, too, #3! Can I get that in a CCC?

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Usually I can figure out what it's supposed to say, but this time, wow. Just wow.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I'm so glad I am not at work reading these today, since I am laughing all loud!! Good job!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

As someone who actually enjoyed eating Cake #1 (which was an ice cream cake) - I can tell you that it was, in fact, meant to be MDW2k10 - and that it stands for Memorial Day Weekend 2010. Inside joke among friends. So awesome that our confusing cake order landed us on Cake Wrecks!!!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Confession time: I once worked at a frozen custard shop, and we sold custard cakes. There was a lady who would come in maybe twice a week, and make, decorate and write on the cakes (Congratulations, happy birthday, etc.). There were maybe 2 other girls I worked with who could pull off writing on a cake, and none of them were there when I worked.
One night this lady came in close to the end of the week when we were low on cakes, bought the smallest cake possible and wanted writing on it. I told her the lady who usually does it wasn't there, but she pretty much yelled as me until I caved, and pretty much looked like the ones displayed above. And it satisfied her. I think that was the worst part about it...I will always feel bad for whoever's birthday it was.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBadCookie

What, no wrecks to celebrate Nigel Tufnel Day? very disappointing, but great post anyways!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFlower Girl

Me too Trevor! Once you get the hang of it, it piping letters really isn't that hard to do!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBetty

You know, those cakes may explain why they gave me progressives at my last eye exam.

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterev

My brain just exploded. Lol no great loss really.

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Just wanted to say that dragging the boyfriend along to the book signing in OKC was one of the best things ever. I'm thouroughly enjoying watching him crack up at your blog, and his giggles while reading through the book we go had me rolling on the floor. You should add a dsiclaimer: Asthmatics should either read the book in stages, or make use of their inhaler. We made it to page 43 before we had to stop because he couldn't breathe. Don't worry, he's fine now.

Also, the robot will be framed when I'm done moving.

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKat H.

Funniest optometrist visit ever! I'll never be able to quit giggling when I get an eye exam now...

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

MdW2K10 reminded me of this town in the For Better or For Worse comic Mtigwaki. I never learned how to pronounced that either.

I love the K. Krex Evaluation Center. All bakers should have to report there bi-annually for an exam.

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThatDeborahGirl

Kudos to Craig!! Bad handwriting is sort of a family speciality of ours and I did actually work in a bakery. If people preordered a speciality cake then the decorator would write on it in her beautiful perfect handwriting. We had the most amazing decorator! She was complete wasted working in a grocery store. She would also premake ones with blank spots for the writing for last minute shoppers. Those are the ones who got me trying to write on their cake. No it's not hard to write on a cake (my trainer made me start practicing day 1 but plenty of coworkers got no training) but I had bad handwriting to begin with. And then of course there would be the people who'ld pick an 8 inch cake with like a 3 inch circle left for writing and want "Congratulations Corporate Marketing Team on a Perfect Attendance Month and Happy September Birthdays Julie, Susan and Michael!' or the ones getting a half sheet cake and wanting 'Mom' written in the center and then complaining I wrote it in icing that was too thin. :P

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

Haha, K. Krex... totally did not notice that until I read this the second time.

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKayla

The last one is actually pretty cool. "Happy" looks like cross-stitch written in several different fancy fonts. Even the top of the cake is dimpled like it's supposed to look like linen. The random straight stitches and the moldy looking roses don't make much sense, though. Although a one-year-old probably wouldn't appreciate the cake (except the taste of it), the rest of the guests might, especially if they do cross-stitch.

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhedge

*self-important generic comment pointing out that the cake says happy birthday in French*

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterme

Oh Jen, these ones crack me up more than any of the other wrecks. What the heck are you thinking when writing this stuff on cakes?

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersugarfreesweetie

Hey Jen and John, check out the chocolate "focus" cake with the pee stain! Why, you ask? Well, the cake is on TWO small white boards on a large black one! Hee hee! When someone goes to pick up the cake, it will split in two! Now that will be a wreck!

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

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