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

Wrecky Replay: Come On Barbie, Let's Go Party

It all started with those kitschy toilet-paper cover dolls:

I think every grandmother was required by law to make enough of these things for her family to cover a mountain of TP. (My personal favorite was our red-dressed flamenco dancer. You?) After this was done, those dear crafty souls had to come up with new ways to use their stockpile of doll torsos.


Enter: the doll cake!  

It was understandable when at first children assumed they were being served yarn and TP. Here Jenn L. is saying, "How about you put that over there and go fetch me my real cake, before someone throws a hissy, Ok?"

Fast forward 30 years or so, and doll cakes have come a long way. Why, just look at all the diverse styles they come in now!


The "Hawaiian Shaving Brush":


The "Easy-Chair-Under-Her-Dress":

("My lap! My lap! My lap is on FI-YUR!")


The "I'm-a-Little-Teapot":


The "Girls-Shouldn't-Have-ALL-the-Fun":


And the ever popular "Climb Every Mountain":


Cherie, Andrea M., Sanne, & Cattie P., all together now: "Life in plastic - it's fantastic!"


Hey Oklahoma City!  We'll see you at 7pm.  WOOHOO!!!

« Heeere Leezard, Leezard, Leezard! | Main | Child's Play »

Reader Comments (89)

Oklahoma City? I thought y'all were in Memphis tonight!

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

OMG!!!! doll cakes!!!! my aunt would always make one for my christmas birthday. hideously ugly yet a family tradition growing up!!!

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbigred74

My mom made me a Ken-in-a-dress cake for my 20th birthday! My sisters (much younger than me) had the Barbie versions and I joked that I wanted a Ken one for my birthday and I got one! That was 15 years ago... thanks for sparking that little trip down memory lane! :-D

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

That Ken doll is fantastically fantastical. I kind of want one.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Oh-my-word, I had one of these as a child.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Like I said in the original post: the Cake Gallery in San Francisco makes the "Ken in drag" cakes as well as "erotic" cakes of various kinds. They know their audience. Tacky? For sure, but this audience is also responsible for the existence of Billy dolls and teddy bears in leather drag, so...

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Does the pink and white one (easy chair under there) look 9 months pregnant to anyone else, or is it just me?

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCari

My grandma had one of those toilet roll doll in her bathroom. My sisters and I liked to play with it.

Grandma also made one of those doll cakes for my younger sister and I made one (with fondant) for my niece's fourth birthday. Like to think I did an okay job, as far as doll cakes go.

But for these...

On that last one... was the baker going for some kind of record?

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

I saw the 3rd cake and all I thought was "Look!! Someone made Courtney Stodden into a doll cake !!"

This was so funny! My mom crocheted toilet paper covers, mainly with 3 rows of ruffles on the sides & a flower on top. My mother-in-law still has one on her toilet. One of the young grandchildren asked, "why does Granny have a cake on her toilet." When told it was a cover on a roll of tissue, she said, "Granny doesn't need a toilet paper cake in her bathroom."

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJean

I guess I am a tacky soul at heart....I LOVED my doll birthday cakes; they were always Deviil's Food cake with German Buttercream icing - with the doll in a dress on TOP of the cake. The iciing was made to match the dress color but the dress was crocheted. Of course those were the last ones anyone made for my birthday and the last one of those was 47 years ago so that may explain (and perhaps excuse) my fond nostalgia.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate EP in Columbia MD

Wow. Just wow. I had a barbie themed party for my 21st... My best friend and I shared it together. We didn't even attempt something scary and traumatic like those dolls. *shudder* I shall have nightmares forever.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZodi

The Magic Earring/Drag Queen Ken cake is more ironic work of genius than wreck, imho.
Yes, the colors are hideous, but it seems that was purposeful.
Nothing wrong with a boy in a dress. :)

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrj

@BB, Miami Yes, yes, it is wrong and I’m sending you my hospital bill when I wake up with screaming nightmares and jump out my second story window.

@Betty You’re getting the the therapy bills!!

zoomom rocks!! :D

J & J(thoJ), aaaaaannnddd I'd just gotten the Spice Girls out of my head (finally). Gee, thanks.

I thought the armchair one was preggers, too.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

Climb every mountain to get away from that zombie face! That scares me.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarnieB

I love that Ken's got a transparent shirt to go with his awkward skirt there. And "Dolly" has some awfully large ackhem, tea cakes there for a child's cake don't you think?

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered

The best decorated one is Jenn L's cake! :)

My mom, bless her heart, fancied herself a cake decorator but she wrecked every cake she touched. I think I was 9 when she made me a doll cake using a small angel food cake as the skirt. Actually, it was one of her better efforts. Even though they never looked great, she really put her heart into her cakes.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

My mum has the old school Australian Women's Weekly 'Kids' Birthday Cakes' book from the 80s. The instructions for the doll cake have always terrified me - "If doll is too tall, trim legs."

I believe the current edition advises removing the legs altogether. I'm not sure which one would terrify small children more when the cake is cut...

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelbourne on my mind

I'm thinking the "Little Teapot" could be a blond Medusa. That hair - yaaaaaaah!!

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Lol reminds me of my doll cake my grandmother got me for my sweet 16 not only was it a cake I hated aka angel food cake my boyfriend at the time thought it was hilarious that it looked like it had pooped m and m's lol. Ahh the joys of doll cakes. And I had to take the naked doll home with me..nightmares ensued.

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

@Jean, I needed that laugh! Too funny and too cute!

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

@Candy, yes all my aunts and my Nana had the toilet paper covers and Nana had a crocheted toilet lid cover with flowers and crocheted ruffles. It was so think that the lid wouldn't stay up! Male relatives had to be especially careful when using the facilities. But the weirdest thing I saw was in my aunt's mother-in-law's house. Mammie had these things, huge things on her beds, huge crocheted braided octopus things with a doll in the middle, sort of like Ursula from the Little Mermaid. I don't think I've ever seen anything else quite like them. Ah, the 50's and 60's, a remarkable time in crochet design.

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie in Texas

Ken is my FAVORITE!!!!! I made the Wreckplica for the St. Louis signing. and he turned out AWESOME!!!

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTriciamama

My older sister had one of those horrible original Barbies, and I hated it ; always thought that it was the most disgustingly- made doll ever...the legs 10 times longer than the body, the ridiculous, udder-sized mammos, the face of an evil mannequin... What kind of MESSAGE were those Mattel men sending to our female children. (!) Pigs! All men are pigs!!!
We'd see those crocheted monstrosities at craft fairs and such, and would smirk and giggle when no one was looking.
I'm convinced that when the world comes to its violent and natural end, those toilet paper covers will still go on, swirling happily through the cosmos...smiling away like miniature Stepford wives.

Stupendous cakes, by the way! ; )

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter~anamorous~

I had one of these cakes for my 7th birthday. Unfortunately, that was November 22, 1963, and all I remember about it was my mother crying in the kitchen and my older sister shedding tears as she spread the icing. Didn't really care for Barbie much after that.

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFielle

Transvestite Ken cake! WAhahahaha *gasp* Can't. Stop. Laughing! *gasp* AHhahahahahahaha! *dies*

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterleorising

My mom had that crochet pattern book. Luckily, she didn't find it until after my wedding, but my sister's wedding and a couple of my cousins, the bride and all the girls got one. The bride's was white with a little bouquet, and the girls were in the colors of the wedding party. Yea. Glad I dodged that bullet.

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Zoomom - love love love the Cake Doll lyrics!

And Ken sporting a Cake Ring!

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRuby

Ooh, now I have a use for my daughter's legless Ken doll! Thanks for the idea. Muahahahahaha!

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSay g'night, Gracie

Oh, zoomom, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1. You post hilariously wrecked lyrics that compliment the day's post.

Huh. Just the one then. : - p

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Whoot! Earring Fun Ken!!! I remember all the kerfuffle when he came out back when I was in college. Though that skirt is completely NON-Fabulous.

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMea

my babysitter growing up had these! forgot all about them....

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlynn @ the actor's diet

Dunno whether I should confess this, but I still own my Wilton doll cake pan, complete with center post to ensure even baking! It's much more tapered than o bowl, and turns out a pretty creditable-looking skirt, believe or not. And yes I have made several of the cakes, none of which were as hideous as these! My daughter loved them.

Is it just me or does the "Dolly" cake look a lot olike Betsy Johnson? (Don't get me wrong, I love Betsy Johnson, but that was the first thing that popped in my mind when I saw it) @Twinmom, the doll should be wrapped in plastic wrap from the feet to at least the waist to avoid getting crumbs in those joint crevices, and there is a big hole cut down the middle of the cake so it doesn't split when the doll is unceremoniuosly shoved in.

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

I love all the cake mistakes and funny...

12 years ago my daughter ordered a cake for herself from her son that was a couple years old. Cake was supposed to say " Happy Birthday Mom." It said (in horrible writing) "Happy Birth Mom." Had not thought of this until I saw these cakes. I had such a good laugh....thanks, made my day.


November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Omg! these cake are so funny :)
My mum laughed her haid off when she saw Ken in a dress and she
said it remminded her of my dad! hahaha!

go cake wrecks!
- Lauren :)

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlala lauren

I made a Ken cake (by request) for the 14th? birthday of one of my daughters. The cake wasn't deep enough to look right with the torso standing, so I cut out a wedge and iced the inside, draped the fondant to reveal the wedge, and had my oldest daughter ink fishnet thigh-highs on one of the legs. (She also gave him a few tattoos, on his arms and bare torso.) Then I stuck the leg in at the proper angle so that it looked like Ken was pulling his stocking up.
The birthday daughter liked it so much that she made me promise to make her a permanent one some day ^*~*^

November 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBlueCrab

My mom made one of those cakes for me when I was 4. I absolutely refused to eat it or let anyone else cut into it. It kinda creeped me out!

December 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

My mom made one of those doll cakes for a combo birthday for my little sister and grandmother one year; with the rather large number of combined candles, as I carried the cake into the living room from the kitchen, the doll's hair caught fire, and I moved from "Happy Birthday" to "OMIGOD! BLOW IT OUT! BLOW IT OUT!" One of our more memorable family birthday celebrations. ;)

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKarin

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>