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

International Incidents

What do you get when you go into a Mexican bakery, where they speak English, and ask them - in Spanish - to write "Happy Birthday" in English?

I mean, besides confused.

You get this:

Which, if I remember my 1st grade Spanish, means "The Happy Complaining Eagles."


I took French.


Ah. "Happy Birthday English!" I guess that does make more sense.



What do you get when you go into a Chinese bakery and ask them to write "Congratulations Ian!" in both English and Chinese?

You get some reeeally enthusiastic Englrsh chunese, that's what.


Hey, I'm actually starting to feel a bit better about U.S. bakeries! Maybe we're not the only wreckerators out there. Maybe there are places even worse off in the wreckage department!

Never mind. Feeling's gone.


Thanks to our wrecky ambassadors Chris L., Mary S., and Kendra P. for fostering international unity. In wrecks.

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Reader Comments (55)

The last one gets points for nice handwriting though. :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCeeCee

Today is m birthday and I love to travel so I'm glad that you have honored my day by putting up these (probably) delicious international "incidents"! Thanks for always being hilarious!!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary C.

I am a little in love with the green question mark on the bottom of the last cake. Freudian slip? Or intentional expression of wreckfusion?

We'll never know...

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

At least the Chinese one spelled "Congratulations" correctly.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen B

In this case, I can't help but think of the "State of Texas" as being a spell that is cast on someone.
Hopefully on this book tour no one will cast the "State of Texas" on you!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterzoomom

No no no, they got that last one right. See the squiggle in the center bottom? That's a question mark. And speaking as someone living here, I can assure you that the state of Texas is questionable.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Chapman

Aw, I haven't the heart.
These bakers know more than one language, how wonderful it that?

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermocking

A wreck in any language is still a wreck!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTina

First cake: It must have been an English person's birthday.
By the way, that icing color is a popular one in Mexico.

Second cake: How did this Chinese baker manage to spell "Congratulations" correctly, when none of the English-speaking Americans seem to be able to spell it?

Third cake: The three-year old who piped the border has remarkably neat handwriting for her age.
... And is Ben a girl, or does "her" refer to the person who ordered the cake?

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGary

The writing on the last cake is beautiful, even if it's wrecky. The border, however...well, that must have been done during the East Coast earthquake. Or possibly after the wreckorator had a few too many.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelindaB

Put the state of Texas on it for her!
WHat girl could resist that?
Esp. considering Texas size, and all that.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLily

When did Pepto Bismol become the new icing? That first cake wouldn't give anyone a tummyache for eating the whole thing. The pepto would cure it.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermiss_paper

I don't get it.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTyphoon Mary

Hey, Ingles can celebrate her birthday any way she wants, damn it!


August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterilikebeerandbabies

I cannot get over how many people screw up the notes vs. message. I mean really??? You thought they wanted you to just tell him that he was supposed to have the state of Texas and not actually give it to him?!?!

Oh, and either Ben's parents really wish she was a boy, or they just called Ben a her.....


August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

"Put the State of Texas On It For Her" is Texas' state motto. It's on their licence plates and everything.

While I'm at it--Oh Lily, that's a good one!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

At least the roses one the first one were pretty!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWanderingSeeker

The border on that last one looks like those little nylon strips you get at craft stores to make potholders out of ... I made a lot of those in my after-school program. I have to agree that the handwriting is nice though!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda M


August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMINDY1

The second one leaves me wondering if the message was supposed to be "Congratulations Ian!" in English and Chinese, or just "Congratulations!" in English and Chinese?

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Polowin

New pick-up line:
"I'll put the state of Texas on it for ya, honey!"

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGary

It's like a whole world of potential wreckiness has opened to us. How many different ways can you misspell "cumpleaños"? If you're running out of space, do you write "Felíz Dias-de-C" instead? Do naked mohawk baby carrot jockeys have a deep cultural significance in parts of mainland China? Can a Cake Wrecks / Hanzi Smatter crossover be far away?

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

Considering how HOT it's been in Texas, they could have just put a huge yellow sun w/ the word TEXAS

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterali

They could have just melted the cake with the word Texas sliding off the edges. It's supposed to be 102 degrees again today before they put the heat index on it.

You put the State of Texas on it
You take the State of Texas off
You put the State of Texas on it
And you shake it all about
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around
And that's what it's all about !

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie in Texas

The first cake is so weird when you know Spanish. Normally, I'd be rolling my eyes at the mark over the 'i' (should be, "feliz" instead of "felíz"). But I'm currently giggling like a twelve-year-old.

Because, really, a little diacritical mark can change everything:

Inglés = English
Ingles = groins.

Well... I suppose groins have birthdays too. Now I think there are millions of groins feeling underappreciated because they have never had a birthday cake.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAna

I was going to be secondarily offended (that's when you get offended on someone else's behalf) about the Texas jokes, until someone in Texas complained about 102 being 'hot'. Speaking as a Southern California snob (which I'm *so* not), 102 simply means going outside without a jacket.

@MelindaB, it's just too soon for more earthquake jokes. You have to give people a chance to rest their abdominal muscles. (ba-dup!)

#1 That's like the standard bit about asking someone to say something in Italian (as an example, not picking on Italians or deliberately leaving out other nationalities) and they say, "something in Italian" in what passes for an Italian accent.

'The Happy Complaining Eagles' would be the perfect name for a tribute band.

#2 They left the exclamation point off the third line!

#3 Obviously, the wreckorator was trying to be helpful: "Anybody knows the state of Texas won't fit on this cake. I'll quote the instructions so that people will know I wasn't the doofus."

The question mark is the international symbol of wreckorators everywhere -- it perfectly and succinctly expresses the concept, 'what?'

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Wondering how many complaints you're going to get about the phrase "Englrsh chunese" ...

[Editor's note- I would hope we wouldn't since that's what on the cake. But since when has that ever stopped anyone?]

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Ummm they spelled Cumpleanos wrong... *sighing*

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNo Cake Fo' You!!!

Those are classics. And they're such nice-looking cakes.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Ann

You know, every day I laugh and laugh at these. I just can't get over these incredible errors on these cakes. I would love to be at the counter when someone comes in to pick up any of these. Do they not look at it first and pay and walk away with it? Oh, these absolutely make my day!! :-)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJean

You don't get your groin a birthday cake? I thought everyone did that!?!
Although in retrospect, if not everyone does, it would explain why noone shows up to my birthday parties anymore...

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDark Lord of Marketing

call me crazy but id eat every cake on here. Richard from Amish Stories

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmish Stories

Can't convince myself that the Chunese one doesn't say " Congratulabions : 1an! Engbish chunese ...

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRev W

Englrsh & Chunese

They! Should Have!
Put Exclamation Points!

After the Englrsh & Chunese!

(You know, just to stay consistent.)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebby

Maybe it was an Amish bakery and they call everybody "English."

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWill

Well, I feel much better now about the cakes I just made for my sister and cousin's birthday party tomorrow. They may not quite be Sunday Sweets material (especially since the cream cheese frosting for one of them somehow turned out lumpy) but I managed to at least spell Happy Birthday properly in both French and English. :P

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

If you like it then you should've put the state of Texas on it
If you like it then you should've put the state of Texas on it
If you like it then you should've put the state of Texas on it
Oh oh oh. oh oh oh...

- from "Single Texas Ladies"

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHarold

the cakes taste the same no matter how it's spelled

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeez guys

Hope Ben made it down the road to Texas despite the earthquake, or the hurricane (whatever got that hand a-shakin') humming the song "A Boy Named Sue". And no, the state won't fit on a cake.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOMGTexas

I'm with Joel. I don't think Ian is a person. I think it's a messed up Englush werd.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFsurica

You've probably seen this or been sent this many times, but its new to me so here:

I think the pun is hilarious and the cake is well done.


{Editor's note- Yeah, it's fantastic. We actually did a post about it here-
Wreck On!]

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoelle

nice cakes, don't worry about names!

[Editor's note- Hi Sure! I took the liberty of removing the spam portion of your comment. I hope you don't mind. Best, john (the hubby of Jen)]

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersure

On the plus side, everything on that last cake is spelled correctly.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJerel

Today is my birthday and you made me feel pretty awesome about my cake! No words at all, so hopefully nothing will be mispelled! yay! better than the professional! lol

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersparky_writer

well, we've had all sorts of torso cakes so it was time for a groin cake...I guess. at least, it wasn't an actual groin so I'm going with WIN!!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

Well, perhaps the Ingles grocery store chain (found in parts of the southeastern US) was celebrating its anniversary.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWhirled Away

Is that ribbon of seaweed from international waters? Ick!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarnieB

When i lived in Brussels back in '78-79, someone called a bakery to order a birthday cake and explained about writing happy birthday on it with the name of the individual and gave their address. They picked up the cake and it was all there in frosting, including the address!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRegina

Am I the only one who is amazed that Wreckerator #2 misspelled both "English" and "Chinese" but managed to spell "Congratulations" correctly? How did *that* happen?

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

I wouldn't trust a random cake decorator to accurately draw Texas. That cake was destined to be a wreck no matter what.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Ann

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