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)

Great post. Very funny. Thank you.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh524

Come on now folks, we all know wreckerators don't need an earthquake to do things like those.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

Wonderful! Eleven points of ten;-)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElisabet

Back at May: '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). '
Please don't confuse my feelings toward this post as an inability to understand how this blog or parody in general works. To do that shows insensitivity and is just rude.

'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.'
I did not seek anyone's pity in my post, my loss is my own and I don't need your sympathy.

Luckily I live outside the US so I didn't have to see endless hours of over hyped news broadcasts from ratings seeking networks. We got a 30 second snippet on our national news. There was a quake in the eastern area of the US where no such events had occurred in more than 100 years, there was varying degrees of damage but no deaths.

So perhaps with that in mind you can see my perspective. Yes we can agree that the media's agenda is higher ratings generated by sensationalising everything reported.

To John: Thank you for your note, I was not/ am not having a dig at you guys personally. I have always adored your posts (even the one that almost make me hurl on my monitor) and spray coffee out my nose or nearly choke on my toast on a regular basis.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Earthquakes would explain why so many cakes look so wrecky. From now on, when a wreck makes my head hurt trying to figure out "Why!? Oh, god, why!?", I'll just take a moment and imagine it was made in CA during an earthquake or mudslide.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJabby

I am crying my contacts out with laughter. NO LIE

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBLP

I'm sure you tire of hearing this, but you are genuinely funny.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary Connealy

It makes me wonder how long you have had these cakes saved in anticipation of an earthquake...

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMel

This was no Japanese Earthquake. It was no New Zealand Earquake. It was no Loma Prieta Earthquake and Dear God it was no 9/11 (yep as a New Yorker I, too, lost several friends.) I it insulting to compare this quake to a terrorist attack on our country. However, if you watched the local news coverage you would have thought this rumble was right up there with the attacks our city has suffered. The reporters were desperate to find something, ANYTHING, tragic (there was a parking garage damaged in Yonkers, and a fallen chimney in Brooklyn) to report on. There was nonstop coverage all afternoon until 7:00 (when let's face it, I had to watch Jeoplardy.)
It's obvious that no one is laughing at any property loss or trauma suffered by those who lived close to the epicenter, but rather at the overblown media coverage.
BTW, New York has had several earthquakes since the 1800s. I remember one from an early morning in the 1980s (as I've said before, I'm very old.) What we didn't have was round the clock, never ending, 30 minute news cycles. Everyone heard it on the morning news, said "oooh" and then went to work. At least I felt that one, didn't feel a thing this time.
So Jen, John and everyone else who's kept their wits about them. I will meet you in the bunker as soon as I can. I just bought school supplies, so I'll bring my pitcher of margaritas.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Wait...people were offended by this. o_O Just had to come back and that the second half of the joke, or something??? Because the comments...they just made me laugh harder. Maybe I'm loosing HAS been a long day.... ;)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBLP

Is the Epcot bunker safe to enter?

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMin

I liken the whole "I live in CA so you have no right to be scared at an earthquake" or "no one is dead so it really wasn't that bad of an earthquake" to the woman who says oh your labor wasn't as bad as mine...oh really?? Laughing at ourselves...requires both parties laughing or it's mean...calling it a parody doesn't make it more palatable...sorry...

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMcGee

Apparently we felt the quake all the way out here in Michigan, but, to be pregnancy-addled brain didn't register and can't even remember what it (and the rest of my body) were doing at the time of the quake, so I couldn't tell you if I'm traumatized or not.

That said...for safety's sake, let's head for the good ol' Epcot bunker. I'll bring the Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Soda!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKae

Such seriousness on such a fun site! Many of my friends here in Baltimore are making jokes about yesterday. I'm not ready. I was scared, and the one thing I'm not afraid of right now is to admit it. Many of us here have some minor post traumatic stress going on. We recognize how lucky we are. Some of us are dealing with our stress by mocking it and making jokes. I'm not gonna get pissed at my friends for dealing with this in their own way, and I'm not gonna get pissed at Cake Wrecks for reaching out to us in their way. But please, don't be mad at us for being scared. A lot of us still haven't recovered from the whole "planes crashing into the building our friends were inside of" thing, and we didn't have prior experience of what an earthquake feels like to prevent our minds from immediately assuming that's what had happened. Please be patient with us, we'll laugh soon, just not quite yet. Cake Wrecks, thanks for reminding us that it's really all gonna be okay...

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAliceBlue

@johnsmomworks - Well said.

Jen and John - This post, like all the others, was hilarious. Thank you for brightening my day, each and every day (I re-read old posts on Saturdays!) Keep Calm, and Snark on. :)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

I'm sorry to hear about the damage and injuries in the Mineral/Louisa area. And it is a sad commentary on the hypersensationalizing news media that this is the first place I've heard about them. The tiniest bit of cracked plaster in DC gets wall to wall nationwide media coverage, but I've heard nothing about circumstances near the epicenter.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVolcano

Before I head to the bunker (I wish I had a box of shaken up cupcakes to bring, but alas, I am out), I just want to reiterate what so many have said so well. John & Jen were making fun of the overblown news coverage seemingly comparing the earthquake in Virginia to the huge ones in Japan, Haiti, and New Zealand. Yes, property was damaged, but I don't think you can compare that to places that had tremendous loss of life. I used to live in California, and got through my share of earthquakes, so while I found it amusing to hear about all the people who felt the earthquake (from as far as Ohio), my first thought was to be glad there have been no deaths or greater devastation. Let's all keep the scale of the tragedy in perspective. As far as the talk of September 11th, the point wasn't to make fun of people who may have been scared by the earthquake for whatever reason, just to tease sensationalized media coverage. Sheesh. If we can't make fun of the crazed media, what is left? I found the post very funny, as well as many of the commenters (new anime sliding panda and the mysterious cupcake box shaker, among others). :)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

It has already been said, but I will add my comment. Laughing is how you get through the bad things. It is an important skill to learn. BTW, I live in California, so the west coast has now spoken! :-)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDorothy

Jen + John: It's pretty obvious that you were NOT mocking what happened on 9/11, or any other tragedies.
I am claiming "West Siiiide!" on this one :) This post was awesome.
Disneyland yo! What what!

P.S. Keep up the good work

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJGValdeezy

As someone else from Jersey, lemme just say: KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK <3

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCalli

"Thousands of dollars worth of damage" that their insurance companies won't cover?! IF you lived in earthquake country, aka California or Japan, you'd be happy that it was just a 6.0 instead of complaining that your Lladro fell off and broke. And guess what?! We can't AFFORD earthquake insurance in California so we'd eat it everytime we have a quake.
200,000 people DIED in an earthquake last year in Haiti, 600,000 are STILL left homeless. Get over yourselves, the overreaction is pathetic. I believe that is what Jen and John are mocking, not the quake.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentery

Loved the post! A great way to lighten things up as we are grateful that there was only property--and apparently, cake damage. I'm heading to the bunker. I've got Cheerwine hoarded from our drive through NC, and kit kats.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre

The cupcake jostling reminds me of the 4th of July cupcake table we had at work. One day I had the, erm, pleasure of watching a mother ignore her young son as he picked up containers of cupcakes, give them a thoroughly violent shaking, and return them to some random spot on the display. Not once, but three or four times.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterUmmy

Veatch's Theory of Humor:

"Humor occurs when something is wrong that you care about, but everything is actually okay, and only occurs if you see (and feel) both views at the same time."

In other words, you need to care about the possible consequences of an earthquake, and then find out that this one wasn't such a big deal, to find this post funny.

As someone who used to live in San Francisco, I thought the post was hysterical. Perhaps if you had thousands of dollars of property damage, you may not think everything's OK, so you might find the post less funny. But compared to other earthquakes that make the news, things are pretty darn OK.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLMR

As a citizen of Louisa, I must insist you change the description to "The Great LOUISA Quake of 2011." As nothing exciting ever happens here, we claim all the press we can get!

On a serious note, after reading the posts, and seeing comments from both sides of the Epcot Bunker, can I just say that while it may not be major news to the whole country, when your house is 4 miles from the epicenter of a 5.8 quake, it's SCARY! And yes, there are people who have lost their homes. Granted, not a national disaster, but still serious to us locals.

Thanks John and Jen for helping us see the lighter side! P.S... sign me up for a "quake" t-shirt!!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

*looking around the Epcot Bunker*

My first time in, I brought Moonpies and Ale8 soda. =) (Southern Ohio gal here)

Love the comment about the cupcake shaker.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Call it the East Coast Shake'n'Bake Disasters

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergabsmom

I just want to throw out there, you can get an earthquake rider added to your homeowners policy*. It's always best to be prepared just in case, especially if your home is near a fault line. It's kind of the same with flood insurance- even if you're in an X zone (aka not typical to flood), the chance of flooding is always present.

*sorry for this disclaimer- I work in insurance ;) Please return to your regularly scheduled program!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

As someone who lives in NY, I didn't feel a thing and was highly annoyed my facebook feed was blown up with "OMG!!11!!1 The gound JUST vibrated for 2 seconds!!!11! VIBRATED!!" It was minor, it was creepy but different..and I have to honestly say, I'm offended that Godzilla didn't burst out of a street. I mean...I had to go back to my normal day. What the heck.
I 'witnessed' an earthquake when I was 12, lasted bout 10 to 15 seconds. I'm still not traumatized. It's called humor. Embrace it, love it, and take it out to dinner.

I'm heading to the epcot bunker...but first I need to let my 2 year old decorate a cake, while blindfolded, so we have something to snack on.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBadCookie

I will admit that I am a "west coaster", Southern California to be more exact, and a native San Diegan to be most specific - 5.8 is nothing to us and that is why we find some humor in this post - the over-hype of the news reporting. When we had the 7.2 eathquake on Easter '10, we rocked and rolled for almost a minute - and we made national news. It was exciting and weird...that is a HUGE earthquake, even for Earthquake Country. At the epicnter across the border the whole town collapsed and there were 3 foot cracks in the freeway - and lives were lost. We have lived here for 48 years, do not have an earthquake rider on our insurance. That's how we roll...
Jersey Girl - this post is as brilliant as any Jen or John has ever posted. I sympathize with anyone who was freaked because of the proximity to the 10th anniversary of 9/11. And yes, you don't get big earthquakes on the Eastern Seaboard. But that doesn't mean we can't have some great parody, at which these two excel.
Take a deep breath, everyone - and wreck on!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlaura

Loved the post. The comments were very enlightening on our normal human nature. Happy to see it confirmed. The cakes were a beautiful wreck!!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFignie

Columbus Ohio chiming in here. I think our local newscasters were shoving their microphones in front of ANYONE walking by and asking "Did YOU feel it?!?!?!" And I'm pretty sure most people said "Felt what?" Over half of the local news, in OHIO was about the quake. Yes it was unusual event, and I am very glad there was only minor injuries and the property damage wasn't catestrophic. The press made this out to be way more dramatic than it really was. But on a happier note, the lead story WASN'T about Buckeye football/ Tyrell Pryor... those stories were the second and third leads instead...

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercq75

@BadCookie I'm also offended that Godzilla didn't burst out of a street LOL

I was standing outside in NYC and honestly thought I was having a personal medical problem like Vertigo before I had to be told it was an earthquake. Once we realized what it was and there was no danger we did what anyone given a break from work on a sunny afternoon would do - went to the local cupcake truck to indulge. :)

However, I was highly alarmed to return home to NJ to find that the shelf that hosts my bobblehead collection suffered quake damage and tipped over while I was away - and then burst into laughter at the thought of what 100+ bobbleheads in a quake would have looked like.

Jen/John - great post, as usual. Everyone in Irene's path - stay safe and stock up on cupcakes.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

This was REALLY FUNNY!! I'm from Cape Cod, MA and I did get "wiggled" for about 10 seconds. I also witnessed what appeared to be a very dramatic over-reaction by many people. This post incorporates that over-reaction beautifully and I found it laugh-out-loud funny! Thank you for this!

Side note: I have a friend in VA who had no idea there was an earthquake...meanwhile, I'm several states up and I felt it....too funny and a little strange. So that last quote "Earthquake? What Earthquake?" was very appropriate!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine E.

having been through the "big one" in northridge when I a west coaser,
heard the news I called all my east cost friends to make sure they were ok.
then I laughed. I remember the fear,damage,and deaths of both the northrige
and 9/11. but seriously I love this post! we have to laugh at things when they
happen its what keeps us sane
p.s. I am sure I would have freaked too btw!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjenzi

Hey, now, wait a second. Don't mock the trauma. I was gently jiggled for a full 25 seconds ... on the 16th floor of a high rise building. A high. rise. building. The twisty thing on my mini-blinds swayed in a small parabola. A parabola! The gentle jiggling was so intense, the receptionist threw up. Not kidding! I narrowly escaped with my inner ear stability intact, thank you very much.

Anyway. I have a sinking feeling that someone was very proud of that fireworks cake. "Look what I did with straight-up food coloring!"

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Actually, I sort of like cake #5 - it looks like someone was channeling Jackson Pollock. Now we know that it is possible to recreate Pollock's throw-paint-at-the-canvas technique in buttercream. If that actually is buttercream ...

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJules

Jen & John, I don't know how you guys put up with all the negativity. YOU BOTH ROCK! (Funny, funny post and where I live we get quakes all the time.)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSandra

Most people get a sugar rush during the 3-4 slump, I get my jolt from Cake Wrecks. I just snorted a little. Thanks for shaking up my day!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDishin' With Daisy

I am saddened that no one has recognized the real tragedy here; there are snowflakes on those cupcakes! I hope its an old picture and not a forecast for an early winter. I just got the kids "bak 2 skool" and I am not ready to have them sent home for snow days!!!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

As one of those subjected to "violent wiggling" yesterday, it was quite the experience. There's no excuse for these cakes though. The yellow cake with sprinkle overload is truly horrible.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterswimmybean

I have to say that while this is amusing, I'm disappointed so many are making a joke of it. I am from New York, and I will NEVER forget the horrible tragedy of 9/11, nor will I forgot the fear that gripped the entire city and state. Yesterday, my entire office building was swaying and shaking back and forth, and even if was only a matter of seconds, it caused a sudden dread deep within my gut. You had this horror that it was happening again - at least that's how I felt. Unless you've lived through something like 9/11 you have no idea. And since the anniversary of 9/11 is only a couple weeks away it made what happened yesterday seem more ominous. Unless you've seen people screaming, emergency vehicles crushed, and burning bodies you have no right to judge how we react to a "minor" earthquake. I think making jokes about how East Coasters reacted to the earthquake yesterday is a lot like how these cake wrecks probably are - tasteless.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrue New Yorker

I love the fact that you were able to pull together a post for this, with appropriate cakes, so quickly. (Or should I be sad that you had pictures of cake that horrible readily available in the first place?)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrobyriker

Dear Jen & John,
I work in Philadelphia. We neither had damage nor were we targets on 9/11. We freaked the f*** out yesterday. Please feel free to laugh at us.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTami

ROFL! One of your best!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKP

I love you for making fun of the quake...made my day :)

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Ok,ok,ok. This has been said MANY MANY times today, but.... Not making fun of the quake or people who experienced it!!!!!!!!! Making fun of the MEDIA is the name of the game.....

I live on an island off the coast of Massachusetts and there have been a few memorable hurricanes that have whacked us good - Carol, Edna, Bob.... But we also get the OMG HURRICANE COMING BUY CANNED FOOD AND TIE YOUR HOUSE DOWN media hype (like last fall...) And then it turns out we get sprinkled & a nice breeze. Then, we laugh at the media for covering the "aftermath" of slightly wet lawn furniture, and we laugh at ourselves for actually buying the canned spinach. Even people who lived through Carol & Edna in 1954 laugh, and they saw 15 foot tidal waves and the complete destruction of the main harbor & most of that town. They are not going around in a huff about me laughing about the media overreaction. Now, this said, we do keep extra supplies around just in case one of the OMG HURRICANES actually does end up as an OMG HURRICANE!

this post literally made me Laugh Out Loud - it sounds exactly like what the media is saying...and those cakes are truly funny - add $10s of damage to the thousands for cake rebuilding...will insurance cover that, I wonder? Will FEMA build some emergency cake shelters?

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlunamoth

I love this site and I don't post comments. But here I am. I've been having a bad few days (okay, weeks). I come here to laugh. I laughed (thank you for that!). But it makes me sad that some people feel the need to throw their pain at others in the hopes that they'll be miserable, too. This is cake people. The earthquake was overblown by the media. I'm sure it was scary. Both my kids are adopted from Haiti. We have never found their birth families. This isn't about that. It's about cake. Funny cake. Please stop trying to make Jen and John feel bad about their humor. If you haven't got something nice to say, keep it to yourself (Grandma's words are still true). I'd also like to say a big thank you to all you whose comments are awesome as well. I will now go back into lurkdom and continue to giggle quietly to myself. :D

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZaz

Ok so I skipped like the last 50 posts because they were depressing me.
Hilarious narrative today. Keep on keepin on.
You guys are awesome as usual.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFsurica

Uh, thanks Smartypants. I live near the epicenter and my freaking house has huge cracks that the insurance company will not pay for because it's an earthquake. Broken family photos, broken antique lamps, etc.. it's not a laughing matter..I guess when your house gets eaten by a huge monsterous mutant alligator I'm going to point and laugh and throw cake.

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShaken Not Stirred

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