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

Oops! They Did It Again

Will you guys ever get tired of seeing wedding missed marks? 'Cuz I'm thinking, "no."

Let's test that theory, shall we?


What the bride wanted:

What the bride got:

That'll buff out.


A lovely leaf motif:

And a lovely...oh good grief:

Actually, that leaf design is so popular I have two wedding wrecks based on it:

Whoah. This baker needs to make like a tree, and get out of tree decorations.

(Hm. I feel like that line didn't go quite right. Maybe I should follow it up with something clever.)



(Theeere we go.)

This next one's in reverse order; here's what Anthony L's bakery replaced another bakery's initial wreck with, and with only an hour and a half to do so before the wedding started:

Not bad for less than two hours' work, right?


Especially when you compare what the original cake (again, from another bakery) looked like:

Am I the only one who thinks this looks like Play-Doh? I keep expecting it to spring to life, claymation style. And then maybe turn into a giant demon dog and terrorize a nerdy New York accountant.

Just me?


Here's a fun, modern pattern:

Aaaaand the fun stops HERE:

It's never a good sign when your cake is crying.


Goodness gracious, great balls on wires!

Seriously. They're like shiny little bubbles of joy - totally cute.


These, on the other hand, are just...



Thanks to Krista V., Emily B., Allison I., Anthony L., Tempest J., & Sarah B. for feeding our horrible wedding wreck obsession.

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Reader Comments (122)

I agree with Annie. It's not like buttercream can't look nice, neat, and wedding/special event appropriate.

My wedding cake was buttercream (because my husband and I think that fondant tastes gross and it wasn't worth paying extra for something we'd just remove when eating). The reference photos of my cake baker's cakes looked like fondant, and I was surprised to learn that they were all buttercream, as she only decorates in buttercream and doesn't use fondant. My cake looked crisp and neat, similar to fondant, with simple decorations, straight edges, and with layers that were not collapsing in on themselves. We heard a lot of compliments on the look as well as the taste of the cake.

So I think that part of it is that the cake bakers in question didn't know or didn't feel like making it look professional, because I'm sorry, those cakes don't look professional, or at least not wedding professional. It may also be that they were afraid to just be up front with their clients and say that the intricate and super-involved designs they were looking for would simply not fly in buttercream.

August 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

My comment didn't pass moderation. :'(

Not sure what I said that was offensive, but I will try to sum up politely.

I wish people wouldn't blame the brides and assume they were being cheap. We know decorators misrepresent their past accomplishments. We know a nice cake can be had for a couple of hundred dollars. We don't know what these cakes cost or what the budget for the weddings were. Expensive cakes can be wrecks too. I didn't see any prices posted on those wrecks. And even if someone is struggling to put on a nice wedding with a very limited budget, why do you thi k that means they shouldn't get a nice cake or some sympathy if the cake is a wreck.

I don't think a cake needs to cost thousands to be expected to be nice.

[Editor's note- I don't think we ever got your first comment and there is no reason we would have screened it out. Sorry about that.]

August 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I can't believe that bakers actual thought those cakes were good enough to give to a bride that might have gone off the deep end...I'm still total amazed. Bravo to the bakery that replaced the cake in less then two hour you really got to wander how long it took the other bakery to come up with that wreck of a cake.

August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

I feel so bad for the brides who ended up with a wrecked cake in their reception. I feel sad too to the bakers who not only humiliated him/herself but also, jeopardized her/his business. Why cant say no to customers who pushed you to make something that you are capable of.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonnaD

Oooppss typo error.. It should be ... NOT capable of.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonnaD

The bottom one looks like Dippin' Dots...

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAli

Well I thank God soooo much because I planned my entire wedding from my country, the dominican republic, I got married in Pennsylvania. I hired the flower lady based on my mother in laws recommendation since I never saw any of her work, she did marvelously!, everything I asked her to do exactly how I envisioned it, and we only met once! As for the wedding cake I finally went for Oregon Dairy and they delivered! exactly what I wanted and very very professionally, it was delicious! The wedding planner, she was a day-of-wedding planner, and she was excellent!!! and only cost me 350 or 300 I can't remember. The reception was at a Hotel, the Eden Resort, I had only been there once, to their restaurant to eat with my inlaws but I didn't know what the food would taste like, it was pretty good. All in all it was the wedding of my dreams, all planned from my foreign country. God was merciful towards us :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRita

Just stumbled upon this website!! I was very excited to see the cake from Anthony L's bakery!! I was the Maitre d' who decided to bring in the bakery in the hotel to make a new cake for this couple. As soon as I saw it I practically ran to the bake shop. When the lady that dropped off the cake left I overheard her on the phone say "It's almost what they wanted" NOT EVEN CLOSE!! make this story better, the inside of the cake was filled with what we could only assume was cat hair. DISGUSTING!! Luckily the bake shop prepared a few sheet cakes just in case. The one in the photo was a dummy cake that only had a section of cake for the cake cutting ceremony.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLarissa T

I would also like to add that the cake from Anthony L's bake shop was all BUTTERCREAM!!! See how smooth it was?? And in less than two hours?? It can be done, not everyone likes fondant.
Also, his bakeshop is made up entirely of STUDENTS who are getting their degree to become professional bakers.

Some "professionals" out there should maybe take a class or two!!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLarissa T

OMG these are hilarious! the leaf one has got to be the most epic fail since this

August 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRavenBorne

Ok but i ask this, how much was the customer charged for these wrecks, they were for sure dont by amateurs, and sure they look horrible, but, too many times i see ppl coming to my wife, asking for one of her beautiful cakes, and start complaining about the "high pricing", so this in fact might be the customer's fault. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

August 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam


We all know that some people expect a lot for a little. However, if the bride demands a "Cake Boss" - style cake for $1 a slice, then these bakers can just say NO. They are not duty-bound to take on that job just because of a customer's demands. Also, considering that they essentially want copies of another artist's work, it may be in the baker's best interest to decline attempting a copy cake.

That said, once the baker accepts the job (at whatever cost), he or she should then deliver on what they promise. If they cannot do it, they should not take the job in the first place.

I did bring in photos of the wedding cake I had in mind to the baker I ended up going with. My baker, though, was up front about what she could and could not do, considering her expertise, her limitations, my vision, and my budget. My cake turned out absolutely amazing.

We do not know if these wrecks are the product of cheap brides and grooms (as if budget couples deserve bad quality wedding cakes). But even IF this is the case, it is the baker's responsibility - not the customer's - to let them know if for whatever reason (cost, lack of proficiency, wrong medium) they cannot create the kind of cake the couple envisions.

August 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Um... (inches out) Maybe I don't have any artistic taste and should be doomed to forever watch videos of cats staring at Walter Keane paintings and playing Zamfir's pan flutes, but the icky cakes just don't look that bad to me. (runs) Anyway, they make me want cake. :)

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnise

I agree with some of the other posters. I bet these customers either went to Walmart or had a friend make their cakes for them. My niece just got married and had a friend maker her cake, which was obviously made with a mix and frosting out of a can, which was applied horribly. But the bride didn't seem to mind, so we all kept our opinions to ourselves. I make cakes for fun and am the first to admit that I'm not nearly as skilled as a professional, but I also know enough to tell people what my artistic limits are...although I think I could do better than the wrecks on this post!

September 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpunkypower

That first cake, with the green ribbon and red flowers, would cost $500+ if done by a professional baker. I'd need to know what the wreck cost. If it was $75, then I'd say they got what they paid for.

And just remember, the Anthony's replacement cake looks great, especially for one done in two hours. But if that cake was done in two hours, it means they didn't use fresh cake. There's no way all that cake was baked, cooled and decorated in two hours. Can't be done. So what's more important to you? What it looks like? Or what it tastes like?

October 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanna

i have been a cake decorator at a local grocery store for 10 years and i have had all kinds of requests for cakes but it is people looking for wedding ones that take the cake (pun intended) when u come to a grocery store asking for a cake boss you only are going to get me and i can't even draw a stick figure (alright that ain't true but you get the point) we can only work with what we got we ain't God and our spatulas are not magic wands.

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjenn

what's wrong with the 2th cake? sorry jen, i thought the 2th thing looked funny.

October 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermiranda ferguson

Well like the old saying says, you get what you pay for. I betcha alot of these people went in wanting something elaborate done for less then 50 bucks. You can always blame the baker, and no you don't goto a grocery or retail store for a wedding cake.

October 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbenefactr

I read the first 50 of the these comments and I want to know how come no one has pointed out the turquoise wreck says "sex" on the side. Oh yeah they would be replacing it and refunding my money if they did that. How awkward.

December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

I'm so glad several people have pointed out that you can translate a fondant-covered cake to buttercream successfully! When my brother and sis-in-law got married two years ago, they took their inspiration cake, which looked like stacked video game consoles (they are gamers, big time) and were covered with fondant. Very few people in our families like fondant, so they asked their baker if it could be done with buttercream. The baker said it could, but that it wouldn't be exactly the same. The end result looked and tasted fantastic (and even included the original Xbox that was black)!!

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily H.

I am an part-time cake decorator(I work from my home). I don't advertize. I just get work from word of mouth and reputation. It started as doing a favor for my best friend. Her twins were haveing a birthday. I have taken no classes or ever worked in a bakery. My source learning was from reading books and watching those cake shows. Then I did a lot of practicing. I have seen some posts dissing those who have learned in nontraditional ways. Well, it can happen with very good results. I am very clear about what I can do and if its something that I have not done before I let the client know so they can make informed desions. I love taking on new challanges and widening my skills. If something did not turn out satifactory I fix the problem before the client is due to receive their cake. I take great pride and care in my work. I think some decorators over book themselves and have to rush and end up with really bad results. I recommend that everyone ask their cake decorator if they will give your money back or at least a discount if they fail to give you a quality product.

January 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa

I know this is years after the fact (this popped up in my TimeHop today) but I feel I need to speak up in defense of the "you get what you pay for" comments. Mine was the last cake. I went to a professional bakery that had many great examples of beautiful cakes. I did not cheap out. In fact I paid extra because she said putting the pearl balls on wires would take a great deal of time. Also, the lady called the day before my wedding to confirm the date after jokingly telling me she was calling to inform me that her bakery was closing and she wouldn't be able to do my cake (who DOES that to a bride the day before her wedding?!?!?). But even after confirming, she was over two hours late and claimed she thought the wedding was the next day. I can just picture her rolling play dough balls in the back of the delivery van on the way to the wedding. So before you all assume that these cakes are from Walmart I suggest you realize that there really are people with their own cake shops out there just waiting to wreck somebody's cake.

August 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah B.

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