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 Day the Earth Wouldn't Stand Still

Yesterday the United States of America suffered one of its darkest hours, in what is already being called "The Great Richmond Earthquake Of 2011." During the crisis, literally billions of unsuspecting East Coast citizens were mercilessly and violently wiggled for an agonizing duration of nearly 25 seconds.

Already, hospitals have admitted hundreds of thousands of injured office workers complaining of whiplash. Said one local executive assistant, "That's covered under worker's comp, right? OW! My KNEE! I mean... MY NECK!!"

Damage reports are still coming in, but since this is America, preliminary estimates are topping 7 trillion dollars.

Hardest hit, however, were our nation's bakeries.


Yes, tragically, the quake caused baked goods to slide off boards... cakes to collapse in on themselves:


...and cupcakes to receive a really thorough "jostling:"

In addition, many areas had entire bottles of sprinkles tip over, crushing everything below in a rainbow hued shower of stale crunchiness.

There were also similar disasters with the food coloring:


But amidst all this tragedy, a few shining rays of light emerge.

Heroically, some wreckerators refused to seek shelter, choosing instead to continue their work:

This kind of sacrifice might be called selfless. Valiant, even.


We caught up with one anonymous hero in the Richmond, Virginia Shop-A-Lot to ask how she did it.

"Well, I just kept squeezing on that icing tube, and squeezing, and squeezing, and tried to stay on my feet, you know?"


When asked if the earthquake frightened her, the baker responded,
"Earthquake? What earthquake?"

An attitude worthy of a local hero.

Thanks to field wreckporters Seanna B., Rachel O., Kelsey, Yello, Carissa B., Lara A., and Kristi M. for their in-depth coverage today.

[Editor's note: Upon further investigation it appears all of today's "earthquake cakes" were in fact made last week, and the baker quoted was asleep on her lunch break during the quake. CW regrets the error.]

« Something's Afoot | Main | Breaking News: EAST COAST CAKETASTROPHE »

Reader Comments (137)

So appropriate. I shall try to work the phrase "mercilessly and violently wiggled" into my conversation today.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

Ahahaha it sure looks as though they worked during the quake :D

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Er. Keith... no... er, James.... no er... BRUCE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRUCE! let's add squiggles to blend in the 4 times we wiped the cake clean of icing...

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSororS

"wouldn't stand STIL"? Intentional typo?

[Editor's note- Nope. Late night editing snafu. Thanks for catching it.- john]

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

When the bakery's rocking, you probably shouldn't come knocking.

(Side Note: As a native Richmonder so I liked your Quake name. However, the Louisa, VA store that my employer runs got lots of inventory damage-- so it wasn't just a "wiggle"---they lost thousands of dollars. That being said, I may have to pay their bakery a visit to see if their wares are similar to what you've posted. You know, for comparison's sake.)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLulu

This is NOT FUNNY! Here in the northern suburbs of NYC the earthquake was so intense that some people actually FELT it. Had I been one of those people, I could have been jostles for 10 or 20 seconds! That ccc makes me tear up, knowing that that could have happened in MY kitchen.
I have to go compose myself.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

And, of course, topical.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGary

Nicely done. The Quake wasn't really in Richmond, however, but I"m not going to quibble over that! (I grew up in Richmond, but have since gotten wise and left! I mean, really, look at those Wrecks! :) ). However, third from the bottom looks like it was made with Spin Art. But you're probably too young to remember that.

[Editor's note- Okay. From now on, it shall be know as "The Great Just Outside Of Charlottesville (Virginia Not North Carolina) Earthquake of 2011."]

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

This made me laugh. Great post. I'm in SC and didn't feel it in my building, but friends around town in homes and various businesses felt it. I've been loving the earthquake/Washington jokes on FB too.:-)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarnieB

At first, near Baltimore, we thought they were just flying too low overhead again but then we realized it was a great time to make some awesome earthquake modern art! It seems that food dye expert had a similar notion.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIsabella

Time for Jen to take the next step and write/direct/produce a feature length film. With writing skills like this, the world needs to be exposed to your brilliance (and imagination!) Great post today, as always!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbassgirl

I LOVE this site and read it all the time. But this one makes me kind of sad. Everyone is making fun of this....yes, it was silly in a lot of places. But I have family and friends in Mineral/Louisa, VA, where it actually was, whose homes have thousands and thousands of dollars worth of damage that their insurance companies won't cover because no one in VA has an "earthquake rider" on their policy. Funny cakes, sad post.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSad Face

i actually like that food color disaster cake.
those cupcakes though did they drop them on the floor and hoped noone would notice?
i hate to think how many bottles of sprinkles are used by the bakery with the "all on one side" cake.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDouglas

I'm sorry, you "west coasters" are ignorant. Born & Raised in New Jersey & living 20 minutes outside of NYC I recall the ground shaking from the terrorist attacks on 9/11. With the 10 year anniversary around the corner excuse us for freaking the F**K out. So stop being haters.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJersey Girl

This is probably not funny to people in Louisa. Although there were no deaths, there were injuries and many homes and schools have major damage from the quake.

Love your posts and if I didn't live so close I'd probably think it was funny too.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Did anyone else start humming the refrain from the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" once they got to the "shining rays of light" part? Anyone?

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I love how you keep current with the news--yesterday's overdramatized earthquake (yeah, I felt it too and wondered why I suddenly had a massage chair and my desk was shaking, not that it interfered with my ability to read the computer screen). What fabulous and varied examples of alleged earthquake caketastrophes! very funny stuff.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjojo

I love the idea that you have a variety of similarly-themed photo files ready at any moment for the natural disaster that's bad enough to make news but no so bad that we can't make fun of it. I can't wait to see what you have next time there's a mudslide that only takes out millionaires' second or third homes (oh the chocolate-cake horror we'll see, then!).

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterM. Dale

If I remember 7th grade art class correctly, that food coloring design was made by blowing through a straw. Eew.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie W

@Jersey Girl...whoa, slow down there. No one here has yet claimed West Coast status (you might recall that Jen lives in Florida), and there has been no "hating." Just a little humor. If we can't laugh at ourselves, then we have bigger problems than a little earthquake. Just as the rest of the country laughs at Florida when we have a hurricane bearing down, or Floridians laugh at the all the hype over an oversensationalized "blizzard." Of course, to those who experience it, it's a bit more serious, but in the long run, there were no injuries and no major damage (yes, some damage, but we're not talking millions upon millions of dollars). I'm glad no one was hurt and glad it wasn't terrorism, but do lighten up and have a little laugh. For your own sake.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnna B

We were wiggled here in DC. In fact, when I finally arrived home after work, I found - to my horror - that some glasses on a display shelf had been jostled out of their normal spots and you could actually SEE the dust patterns from where they'd been moved! Tragic, I know, as I will now have to dust that shelf. Oh the horror.

Jersey Girl, I'm not sure anyone here on this site is being a "hater." In fact, I rather get the feeling that it is East Coasters who are poking the most fun at themselves, out of relief that there wasn't any kind of apocalyptic damage. Even the property damage in Virginia doesn't compare to the devastation of earthquakes in places like Chile and Japan and Haiti. So why not laugh a little at ourselves and be grateful that the quake wasn't terrorism?

Especially if we can laugh at cakes like this while recounting out Great Earthquake of '11 stories!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoanna

umm, you know, virginia wasn't the ONLY place in the u.s. to be hit by a massive earthquake. trinidad, co saw a larger earthquake at the same time. only, i'm not it was only cakes that suffered....

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermere9

lordy, what i MEANT to say was 'i'm sure it was not only cakes that suffered'. i'm a comment-wrecker.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermere9

To those of you offended: Sorry about that. The news kind of blew this out of proportion and we attempted to parody the news.

To Jersey Girl: Jen and I are South coasters and generally just sit back and watch the jabs between you guys. Of course, Florida is usually the butt of most jokes...

And finally, we have family in Virginia. I called immediately because the news made it seem like they were lying dead in a pile of rubble. My father told me that it kinda felt like his engine was running rough. I'm sorry that there are crappy insurance companies but I'm grateful that injuries and damage were minimal.

-john (the hubby of Jen)

August 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterJen

Nope. We have every right to freak out & people who think that's funny need to STFU. We suffered the most from 9/11. I lost several people I love dearly. So when that ground shook again, most people around me also freaked out because 9/11 was the last thing that made that happen. It's a sensitive area which many people still have not fully recovered from. Sure this earthquake is something some people are laughing at- but those that lost a lot because of it are not laughing. We don't have "earthquake insurance" because we don't get earthquakes.. the last big one around here was in 1897. So people who think it's funny need to calm themselves.. or else when s**t goes down by you we'll just sit back & laugh instead of doing something to help.

[Editor's note- I'm sorry you were offended. I edited out your swear so that you could have your say.- john]

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJersey Girl

MaggieW, I'm right there with you -- my first thought was EWWW -- somebody BLEW on that cake.

And so glad to know that we have another entry in the OMG People, Take A Deep Breath tag file.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergateau dommage

Jen, this is my first comment. I have been a reader of both of your blogs for quite a while now, and well, this morning, I felt I needed to tell you how amazingly awesome you are. That is all. Continue on with your life.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

Hilarious post! To some of the commentors: Yes, the earthquake was probably scary, but nobody died. At least, not after just googling "Earthquake in Virginia deaths." Only the earthquake near Japan came up.

There may have been damage to property and national structures, but there were no deaths. Hence, not a tragedy. Just a large inconvenience. Let me know when you're struck with a tsunami after the earthquake and then maybe you can accuse Jen of insensitivity. Then she'd really have no wiggle room, huh? :)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIz

Having been through the Northridge earthquake 10 miles from the epicenter, and now living about 50 miles from yesterday's quake, when the ground started shaking I honestly was more shocked that it was an earthquake -- HERE? -- than worried by it when it became clear it wasn't going to be anything like as strong as Northridge. I'm sorry people very close by had some property damage, but honestly, the way the quake was so insanely overblown on the news just cracked me up. This post is a perfect mockery of that. So thanks for a good laugh this morning, Jen and John!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura


August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLarisa

I do love your site and enjoy tuning into see your daily post. Today I have a kind of sick feeling in the pit of my stomach after seeing the jest with which you are treating the earthquake event. Luckily it seems like, while frightening for those that witnessed the quake yesterday, the actual damage caused was not catastrophic. As a person with family and friends who have been left homeless, been injured, are currently listed as missing and some who have been confirmed dead in earthquakes in both New Zealand and Japan this year, I am failing to get the joke. I'd also like to remind you that many 1000's of people are still suffering great hardships (emotionally, economically and socially) in both of these areas and they will continue to do so for many years to come.
Today's post has broken my heart all over again.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca


We were not mocking the tragic earthquakes in other parts of the world. We were mocking the overblown news coverage for the earthquake yesterday.

I'm sorry we offended you.


August 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterJen

Thanks, Jen and John, for the chuckles. I'm amazed by your ability to pull together such a timely post so quickly!

Even more amazing? Your composure while dealing with commenters who are hurt/irate/offended by this post. Seriously, people? It's ok to be scared... it's healthy to laugh about it afterward.

Cake Wrecks Rocks.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHalle

to those taking this too seriously:
get over yourselves. it's better to take these things in stride than getting into a hulabaloo over nothing. i lived in earthquake country for 10 years and currently living in tornado country and know the difference between a mean joke about a disaster/extreme weather and a joke just meant to laugh it all off and get on with your lives. it's not like it'll take 5 years to fix whatever got damaged unlike NO.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDouglas

Jersey Girl,

Lighten up, dear! I remember 9/11 VERY clearly since I lived only 5 miles away from the Pentagon at the time. I can tell you stories about terrorism that will turn your hair a natural white and stand up without hairspray. However, I found the post quite funny....and I live a heck of a lot closer to the epicenter than you. I was just south of Baltimore at the time and have friends in Fredericksburg (about 15 min from the epicenter). Stop comparing a very natural "disaster" to a very man made monstrous event.

The earthquake -to many of us that were in it- was funny. No one got seriously hurt. The damage is pretty minimal. The fun factor in it is HIGH. After all, they are always about "earth shattering events" taking place in DC -this time it wasn't an exaggeration!

Jen and John, I thought the post was quite amusing. Of course, I also posted Jerry Lee Lewis' "A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" on my Google + account immediately afterward.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIsabella

Uh oh...should we prepare to go in the EPCOT bunker?

I thought it was a great post! Loved how you had just the right cakes! I guess cats & dogs living together creates mass hysteria! :-D

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLoo-E Loo-I

I'm not even going to TOUCH whether or not Jen should have written this post, her sensitivity, earthquakes in general, etc. There is already plenty of debate floating around this site--even 9/11 got dragged in. 9/11, my God, REALLY?!?

But I just have one question: on the last cake, I can make out "Happy" and "Bruce", but what in the world is the second word?? "Boy"? "Boat"? WHAT?

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

I guess some readers just don't understand how parody works (although I now wonder why such a person would visit this blog in the first place). The media blew this event way out of proportion, equating it with the tragedies of New Zealand, Japan and Haiti, but obviously, that is not the case. No one lost their lives, homes, livelihoods or even their jobs. Some people lost some inventory, some had chimney damage, some may have even remembered sad things, but on the scale of national tragedies, this was not on the level that the media portrayed it to be. If anyone should be offended by anyone's actions, those of you who have been affected by the serious tragedies of the recent past should be more offended at the media, who are now equating the minor property damage along the east coast to the seriousness of such tragedies as the Japan earthquake and tsunami, by giving it the same amount of attention and sensationalism in nothing more than a ridiculous attempt to garner higher ratings. Jen and John were mocking the media's terrible lack of sensitivity.

Those of you who are attempting to use such terrible tragedies as a means to gain attention and pity from a group of internet strangers; that's a sad existence, friends. You're insulting the memories of the loved ones you (and countless others) have lost in those tragedies.

In other news, the cupcake tragedy made me picture some kind of masked bandit, darting in and out of bakeries and grocery stores, shaking up the boxes of cupcakes, giggling, and then setting them back down for sale. It made me giggle, though not nearly as much as the abundant sarcasm in your writing, Jen. Thanks for the daily laugh :)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMay

Loving your earthquake entries! You guys rock (oh wait that was the rest of the east coast)! Also loved the Charlottesville, VA (not NC) reference. That made me snort. I live outside of C'ville and my sister lives close to the epicenter and Lake Anna. Glad to report that we survived the Great Quake with no damage at all to life or property. Can't wait to get my t-shirt! I'm beginning to wonder though if Epcot might be starting to wiggle?

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

Hey, that first cake is no mistake, haven't you heard of the hot new Japanese anime 'Sliding Panda'?

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkristine@SugarBeams

This is one of the funniest, most clever posts ever! I love it!!! I hope it makes it into the third book!! Or in the Holiday book as an addendum!!

Now, I am rarely serious on this blog, but: This is a humor blog, folks, and today’s subject includes the over-sensationalization of the news. No one is trivializing tragedy. As a native Midwesterner who spent over 30 years living in NJ, I can recall with amusement how every winter when the forecast was for maybe “up to one inch of snow,” the stores would be wiped out of bread and milk and people would actually plan on staying home from work – and some did. Over-hype is the name of the game, folks. My area has frequent tornado warnings, and while, no, tornadoes are not funny, and yes, I have seen their damage first hand, the hype that surrounds this is sometimes, well, hype. Recently there was a threat of “severe weather” in a farm area sixty miles from my area. One local TV station broke into the regular programming to bring viewers up-to-date – fine, except for the fact that there was nothing to report. Someone may have seen a funnel cloud (never verified but mentioned again and again and again), someone else might have see hail. It was dark. And cloudy. Well, this MIGHT happen, if that happens, or that MIGHT happen if this happens, though there was no evidence that anything had happened or would happen. This non-information broadcast went on for 35 repetitive minutes, folks. It is this kind of ratings grandstanding and fear mongering that scares the crap out of us for no legitimate reason, and dulls us to real information. When I was a kid, if the sirens went off, you went to the basement – we didn’t need anymore information than that. So, I’ll stop typing, and hope the news folks stop hyping.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermel

Jeez people, if you are reading this blog, you must KNOW that Jen & John are trying to be FUNNY! If you have nothing nice to say, walk away from your keyboard, while the rest of us chuckle, guffaw and spurt coffee from our nose cause we are trying not to laugh out loud (since we are working). Luv you guys!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeg

HILARIOUS! I live in Virginia Beach and didn't feel a thing! I think I was in my car when it happened. But it's funny how people just can't stop talking about it and it wasn't that big of a deal! The hurricane coming at us is a much bigger problem!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

Brilliant! Living in Durham, NC have to admit I was a little freaked out when the world shifted slightly yesterday, however I can proudly proclaim "I survived the great quake of 2011!" and will be ordering my t-shirt to prove it as well! Excellent post as always, Jen!! :o) Go, icing squigglies!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterButRCream

Oh, the HUMANITY!! Wait...

Oh, the BAKERY!!!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrekkie Gal

Cake #4: I don't want sprinkles.

I can understand why some people are offended. My mother was severely traumatized by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake; it's the main reason we moved out of Oakland. She still breaks down crying after minor quakes that the rest of us just sleep through.

At the same time, the way some people are responding to this post and the one before, you'd think either the Yateses or some of the less sensitive commentators actually caused the quake. Or perhaps it's a contest: whoever suffers the most psychic trauma while sustaining the least physical damage, wins. Thanks to the scare tactics employed by vast sectors of the modern news media, everyone's a winner!

In conclusion, HAIPY BONI BRLCE.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

Folks are VERY sensitive today... I can't wait for you to do the hurricane edition... and yes, I live in South Florida.... :)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNo Cake Fo' You!!!

first: this is a very funny post. in the spirit of parody/satire/whatever you want to call it, kudos!

second: instead of telling people who did not find it funny to "get over" themselves or get a sense of humor or anything else, maybe commenters should follow john and jen's lead. sorry you were offended, hope you and yours are ok, come back tomorrow for a funny and hopefully not-sad post.

we are all only products of our own experience and it doesn't help to make assumptions about or say mean things to someone who may be hurting - even if you don't think they should be.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjohnsmomworks

ahh.. there are the quake cakes! that wedding cake just gives me chills.. check out the horrific-looking bride on top of the cake! agggh!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

Oh Lord! I'm heading for the bunker now. I've got the chips. Who's bringing one of those cakes? Jen, I thought the post was HILLARIOUS. Sorry that some people offended.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

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