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

Cake Wrecks: The People's Court Edition

Guys, I get a lot of wreck reactions via e-mail. I've seen multi-page rants IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS from bridezillas, blistering sarcasm from disappointed parents, and more "LOL"s than I can count. I've even known one or two brides who had to take their bakers to court to get a refund.


I've never - ever - seen someone sue a baker for over $4,300 over a misspelled name on a $55 cake.


If you can't see the video because you're at work, count yourself lucky. Frankly, I was ready to bash my own head in after the first three minutes. That lady gives crazy a bad name.

Oh, and here's the wreck in question - or at least part of it:

The judge reads the baker the riot act over the cracks in the icing, but also points out to the mom that if you saddle your child with a ridiculously spelled name (it's pronounced "Kiesha" but spelled "Keshia") then you pretty much have to expect people to screw it up for her entire lifetime. And so stop sweating the small stuff already.

Good advice all 'round, wouldn't you say?

Oh, and if *I* were that baker, I think I'd have replaced the cake with something a little more appropriate:


(Then I'd direct Ms. Crazy Pants to this blog for an eye-opening dose of perspective.)

Thanks to Kathy D. and David S., who are consulting their lawyers. So watch out, moms.

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Reader Comments (226)


July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Pfft. My first name is ridiculously common and therefore never spelled wrong, but my troubles have always been with my last name. It's Holyoak, which is apparently the most difficult surname in the world to get right. Not only did I grow up three hours' drive from Holyoke, Massachusetts (thus resulting in 12 years of misspellings in school before the system finally got it through their thick skulls), but we've seen all sorts of variations on snail mail we've received over the years. Two of my favorites were Hollindak and Halycak (and no, neither was due to poor handwriting on our part). Then I went to school out west, where there are a lot more people with that surname, and people could *spell* it right, but couldn't *pronounce* it ("Hollyoak" would have two L's, not one, people! It's Holy-as-in-Bible-oak-as-in-tree.)

Then I got married to a guy with a surname that should be ridiculously easy to spell (Wallace) thanks to things like Braveheart and Wallace and Gromit. In fact, Hubby had never had a name-spelling problem before. I swore to him I was cursed, and sure enough, within a year of getting married I had *two* people misspell my new surname as Wallis. People who should've known better, no less.

What do I do about it all? Do I get sue-happy? Not at all. I laugh it all, and collect the most amusing instances of it.

Crazy Mom is Crazy.

WV: Sorshuno, pronounced "Betty."

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkogarashi

My name is Alison and i get that sort of thing all the time. I usually dont even bother to correct the spelling because its more trouble than its worth. That woman has to get over it!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Years ago I had a student who was writing an essay about someone he admired. His essay was fine but he repeatedly misspelled the name of his hero. I sat down with him and explained that "Anthony" was spelled A n o, well, you know. But he insisted *he* was correct and I was spelling it wrong.
His hero?
Anfernee Hardaway

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

My name isn't that unusual and I still have to spell it for everyone. I've gotten used to people asking for Wendy or Britney when they mean me. I've had Starbucks cups with nearly every misspelling of my name- and thankfully, my mom decorated all my cakes as a kid, so it was never a problem.

It really is a small problem, misspellings of names. Yeah, the party planning people really did screw up by not making sure the name was spelled right... but that woman is unbelievably crazy. Wouldn't it be hilarious if she misspelled the name on the birth certificate and has been angrily covering for her mistake all this time?

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWhitney

I'm glad I spent the 15 minutes watching Judge Nicey turn into Judge Stuff It. Not to be a cake snob (would I be here if I weren't?) but clearly $55 for a boring slab cake tells me that this woman didn't give a damn about the cake at that party. She just likes being a pain in the a**, and she even said so at the end. Unfortunately, her daughter is saddled with her ineptitude slathered in misdirected rage.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJay

My first name is Annemarie,
which has about 5 'common' spellings. Any time I have my name put on something, it's always fun to see if they spell my name right or not. The only time I get annoyed/mad, is if they decide my name is Mary Anne. This has happened before. More than I would like to admitt. Though I would never dream of suing a baker for spelling it wrong.

2 of my kids have uncommon names, as a result of me having too much family (It's what happens when both sides are Irish). But we -expect- their names to be mispelled AND mispronounced.
My daughters name is one of the top 10 in Ireland, so I'm hoping some day she will come across someone who will know how to pronounce her name by glancing at it.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBadCookie

mel, you're a hoot. (note that I included the silent, invisible i. You just can't see it, because it's invisible.)

At least my full name, Elisabeth, is a legitimate alternate spelling of a relatively common name. Yeah, I see it with a "z" a lot, but friends get it right, and that's all that matters.

My son's name is Eric. Does his grandmother get it right? No. Erich. [sigh]

I think if I were Keshia, I'd think seriously about having my name legally changed.

Finally, "Run, Rob, run!"

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterelissa

I get that the misspelling of name on the cake was a bummer but I am pretty sure that the bride to be is used to it. But $4300 bucks ...seriously...REALLY??? Good luck with that. And I love the way she told the bakery in advance that she was going to sue them if they messed it

I guess they misspelled her name one tumne times for this mom!!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm showing my age here...but, I miss Wapner. At least he's not completely gone, I found him on a bottle of root beer recently!" rel="nofollow">Judge Wapner Rules! *snicker* He rules, get it?

WV: messen - Defendant: Accused of messen up the cake.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeena Marie

We had a Geoffry in high school who went by Geoff for short. Everyone took the liberty of pronouncing his name 'G off' instead of 'Jeff'.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Okay, I admit, as I have gotten older I have become less tolerant of mispronouncing my name: Margot. It's not that hard people! I get 'Margaret' a lot and that's not even close! Worst ever: Maggot. True story. By a substitute teacher in 7th grade. Yes. I did live to tell about it but I just got up and walked out of class. Don't even get me started on the misspellings...okay just this one. My name is misspelled on my driver's license, an error by the STATE and to get the letter "T" put on my license I would have to have a certified copy of my birth certificate which cost $25. I've just lived with it for 30 years. Jeeesh.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMargot

wow my last name (pronounced like oreo with an L in front) is constantly spelled and said wrong. once i think i even got mor-eye-ee! you would think that since my first name is kate it would never be misspelled but i constantly get people asking if it's a k or c and calling me katie or katherine. how many letters could actually be silent? come on!!!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Can we nominate Judge Milian for President? I love her.

I was ready to rule against this woman when it was obvious that she couldn't talk... it's SAW, not sar. It's ASK, not aks. For the love of Pete, I'm guessing SHE was the first one to misspell her daughter's name.

WV: "calcoma"... but it's pronounced Joe.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

I wouldn't sue the cake maker for spelling my name wrong but I would be pissed off about those cracks in the cake. If I tell you and show you how to spell my name then it should be done right.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStaci

The bakery should reimburse her for the cost of the cake, since that's what was destroyed, but not the whole party. That’s a bit much.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thirty-one years ago, I met a guy named Mark in high school who, upon being told the "correct" spelling of my name, asked that in the future I spell his name "'Pmarq' -- the 'P' is silent."

I married him.

You have to have a sense of humor about these things.

(Yes, we're still married. I use "Pmarq" on his anniversary cards.)

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

@Anon at 11:01

No but the L is ;)

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteryellowpickup

I keep wondering why they couldn't call around and find someone to fix the name. Though, in retrospect, we've seen how well THAT works, haven't we??

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

First, My name is spelled Jessyca. It does tend to get "misspelled" but it's something I have come to get used to after 30 years. The funny ones aren't when they spell it normal with an I, it's when they add the I before the Y or replace the C with a K. No idea where that comes from.

Secondly, why does that writing look like it was written with a fading crayola marker?

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter~*Jess*~

Hey! Watching the video you posted will have to wait till this evening after I’m home from work. (No speakers on my computer at work.) BUT... I have an entirely different reason for sending you a note this afternoon. Check out the awesomeness of this Rubik’s Cube cake:

I just thought you’d like it!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarebabe

Once a person called and spelled her last name...I wrote the letters down, looked and panicked!
When I addressed her as Mrs. Out
House there was silence...
She imperiously corrected me:
"It's outhouse"
(au thuse accent on second sylible.)
I was mortified- but she didn't sue. LOL

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh, ARRRGH.( pronounced Orgyle) Having spent my entire life having to spell fairly ordinary first, maiden AND married names and dealing - professionally - with crazy people AND being an editor ... a cracked cake is soooo appropriate.Also: Run, Bob! Hide somewhere and change your name to Ernesto so they can't find you and sue for breach of promise.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Margot/Margaret/Maggot-- you gave me the biggest laugh of the DAY! Oh my goodness; you deserve a trophy for subbing in a 7th grade class.

You can imagine I've had my name misspelled umpteen-thousand times. I get Joanna, JoHanna, Zonna, Donna, ZoeAnne, Roxanne. When my daughter was born, her name was right on the birth certificate but they made mine "Loanna." My guess is the mom in this case was under the influence something when she filled out the birth certificate order. Maybe she was on "crack."

phara- King Tut's mummy also got upset when they spelled the pharah's real name wrong. It was such a (Tutan)khamun name back them.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZoanna

I LOVE that the judge [I can't remember her name, but I love her!] went off at the end, that's what I would've done. Only, I would've said "Ok, you're suing her for over $4300 for a cake misspelling? I'm in favor of the defendant," and sent them right along without hearing what they had to say.

People crack me up..

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKimberlyAlsp

My maiden name was Duso, someone in the army messed up when my great(x3)-grandfather joined. We just kept the "Americanized" spelling. My sister did gymnastics in school and once our last name was pronounced "disco". We just laugh about it and I think she uses it as an e-mail address. Another sister's first name is Anneliese (anna - lee - suh), it is rarely pronounced or spelled correctly. She is used to it and laughs it off.

This groom needs to run very fast away from this family since they have no sense of humor!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather J.

I have been called "Dana" and "Diya" my whole life. It's actually "Day-uh". Then I went and married someone with the last name Tracy. Now I am always called Tracy. You have to just smile and answer anyway. At least it helps with telemarketers. They ask for Diya or Tracy and I tell them "Wrong number".

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDaya

I LOVE the People's Court, and this was simply the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen! That man needs to RUN AWAY QUICKLY!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWendy and Nick

Admittedly, I was listening and watching while two other things by the 7 minute mark. But, if I heard correctly, the party folks offered on the day of the party to offset the cost of the cake by paying her bar tab. In fact, wasn't that why the Judge dismissed the case, because Plaintiff Crazy Momma had already accepted satisfaction for the cake error? The bar tab was twice the cost of the cake, so damages had already been paid.

Here in Texas,there is a case going around the legal circles or the fb circles or something about a woman who gets upset because people mispronounce her child's name L-sha. How would you pronounce that name?

Well, this particular mother pronounces it L' dash-a, cuz the dash not be silent here!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTexAirhead

SO embarrassed for this 'lady'. Momzilla to the nth degree!

The real issue now is... who in God's name would EVER agree to do this chick's wedding cake?

wv: kibinske (kuh-bin-skee) If you showed up in my bakery with that attitude, I'd kick you straight out on your kibinske!!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelvira

My brother likes to say..."My name is xambiexqjt. I pronounce it Bob."

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBetty Martin

I really am looking forward to the cake i have to command in two weeks for our daughter, Jylianne.

Funnily, it isn't her name that get mispelled (i'm asked to spell it every time) its the family name. A simple family name that get butchered over and over in way i didn't think possible. The good part is that you don't write those on cakes!

And the crazy lady probably saw an opportunity to help pay for the wedding...Still crazy though!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVinie

@anonymous at 2:36 PM:
There's a farm near our home called "Outhouse Orchards." For years we thought it odd that they chose a rustic loo to represent their farm. I recently found out that the family name is Outhouse. Maybe your Outhouse is a member of their family.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Harvey made a comment about people naming their kids with weird spellings, but to me it's not so much about "weird" spellings as it is there are so many ways to spell things. My name is Catherine (the original English spelling), but no one ever gets it right. I usually don't correct anyone unless it's being written on something important. Otherwise, as long as you can pronounce it, spell it however you want. Most people ask if it starts with a K or a C and try to drop the vowels to make it Kathryn. If it were on a cake, I'd make them redo it or ask for my money back on it, but not for the whole cost of the party.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

I don't get it... who's giving crazy a bad name, the mother or the baker? By Minute 12 I would have bet it was the judge.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

RUN, ROB, RUN!!!!!!

Its the only way!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Well, as you can see, I'm another who sees alternative spellings of my name a lot. To complicate things further, my other name is Katherine, for which there are a half dozen common spellings and another half dozen variations that also make sense. And we won't even get started on my last name, especially my maiden name, although my married one isn't much better. And my husband's grandparents used to misspell his very common first name, and my mom can't remember which variation he uses. Plus we have a relative whose name was mangled on her birth certificate because a grandmother decided to be helpful and fill it out herself, but the parents got that straightened out legally so that was never a problem, just a funny story.
And yet I - or anyone else I know - have never even thought of suing someone for butchering my name. I've gotten snippy, but I walked away and moved on with my life. I would suggest to the groom to be that that option is still available for him.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-with-an-e

I also took a different spelling on my first born. After much misspelling, I went with the biblical spelling of my daughter's. Still misspelled. Silly me, who knew I could sue? LOL

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenaryTen

I was on a fourth date with this guy (that a friend had set me up with) when he told me his name wasn't John. It was Gian (G-on). In my embarrassment/confusion (they sound very similar)I looked down to discover he only had nine fingers. True story.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I’ve enjoyed the heck out of reading all your comments, and there’s one thing I’d like to share. It’s not about my name. First name “Mary”, last name “Evans”. Yes, I know and appreciate how very lucky I am!

As a long-time receptionist, I sometimes think that I’ve encountered almost every name there is. And the name “Sherry” sort of stands out as a bulletproof (OK, bullet-resistant!) name for a couple of important reasons. It can be spelled in a staggering variety of ways, but even so, nearly everyone who can barely-sort-of read English can pronounce it correctly, or at least come close. Check it out:

You can start with either SH or CH, followed by either an A or an E, followed by either one or two Rs, then for the big finish, Y or EY or IE or I or EE, with or without an accent mark! And those are just the regular, normal variations I’ve run across. With the introduction of silent letters, the possibilities are endless!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarebabe

This reminds me of the classic Britcom," rel="nofollow">"Keeping Up Appearances."

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBob

Re Sherry, over here UK we have Cherie Blair pronounced share ee.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdiddleymaz

One thing I never understood is when I was receiving letters from colleges asking for me to apply a handfull of them spelled my name, Jessica, as "Jessicad" I have no clue where that spelling came from but I got a lot of letters to "Dear Jessicad" All I can guess is my middle intitial is E so perhaps they typed in my first name but hit the wrong letter when typing in my middle initial and realize they typed the MI into the wrong box.

But still...


July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWhere's My Pen?

I have to jump in here too, because my full name is Genevieve. Standard spelling for an uncommon name, so the misspellings get impressively creative. The most boring are when people see it and jump to Jennifer or Guinevere. My favorite ever was (and this is after my mom spelled it over the phone for them, not once, but twice) JENEVIDEE.

For a few years after that, my family and I would talk about my invisible twin sister, Jenevidee. I think I'll have them put that on my engagement party cake on purpose.

Also, one college frat decided from my name that I was a boy, so I got an invitation to come to a get-to-know-you weekend for the new freshmen. (I should've gone!)

Nowadays, when someone asks my name, I spell it first, because as soon as people hear the soft 'jeh' sound they write down a J, and then even when I say G, they hear J.

So I collect the misspellings and laugh over them. On the rare occasion someone gets it right on the first try, I give them a prize!

(My sisters are Jocelyn and Elinor, so they're in the same boat. Elinor almost always gets 'Eleanor', but the best she ever got was 'Flinor'. Yes, you read that right.)

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEve

There are a few ways to mess up my name. I've had people tell me I was wrong and the proper way to say (and spell) my name is "Jo-Ann." (Like those folks who correct people from Iowa and tell them it's properly pronounced "Ohio," I guess.) But my all-time favorite screw-up was when somebody who had never heard of "Joan" as a first name decided I must have told them my last name by mistake, and filed my Sears pick-up order under "Jones." True story.

Maybe all cakes should just use "Hey you" for safety's sake?

wv: coneses - The coneses on all bakers to double and triple check the spelling of every word on a cake.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarion T. Librarian

Note to "Rob" the future groom: Dude run. Just ... just run.

wv: Deediniz. Pronounced "Didi".


July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbtbsgal

I get called Marie instead of (the correct) Maria all the time. Mom and dad gave me three syllables...use them all!

But the best/worst spelling came when I moved states and my new drivers license said 'Manatee (lastname)' instead of 'Maria T (Lastname).

wv-azupspat: I nearly azupspat when I saw that.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaria the seacow

I saw that episode when it aired! Here's my theory on the crack in the cake: Crazy Mom saw the mispelling, slammed the cake down on the table, and that's when it cracked. Had nothing to do with the catering people or the hall at all, entirely due to her. Just my theory but really, after watching her, can't you just totally picture her doing it?

My name isn't all that common, but it's not unheard of either. It's almost never spelled right. It gets spelled as: Anet, Annet, Annete, Anete, Anite (huh?), Anita, once in school I had a classmate give me a birthday card with my name as Annetetete. She knew there were a few t's and e's, in there, just no idea how many. In high school I tried shortening it to "Anne", which many people then insisted on either spelling as "Ann" or calling me "Annie".

I haven't sued anyone about it yet.

wv: dinidogg - if I had a rap name I think that would be it.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette

I happened to see this ridiculous case - the woman was insane. Sort of an example of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Lady, just accept the fact that no one is ever going to spell your kid's name the way you want it. BTW - did you catch that she threw out any award, etc. the girl won that had her name wrong? Heck, I know a NY Times bestselling author who won three writing awards at the same event - and each award had a different spelling of her name (none of them were right!). She put 'em up on her wall anyway.

WV: bedaweti. Another example of a poor choice in baby names...

Merry from Annie's Book Stop/Sharon, MA

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I can relate to Margot's problem with the DMV. They dropped an l from Michelle and I had to show my birth certificate to get it changed. But then they didn't want to take the BC because it had been written on! Yet they wonder why people hate them.

wv: noding.
I bet nobody was noding off during this case!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

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