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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

Sunday Sweets Visits Japan

[Note: Before you get confused, today's post is by Sharyn. You can always see who wrote what at the end of each post.]


In my junior year of college I went to school in Osaka, Japan to learn the language. Recently, while giving my hubby a crash course in useful Japanese, I started to feel nostalgic. So today's Sweets are a little cake walk down memory lane:

Here are a few cakes that give a snapshot of what I saw every day.


Hello Kitty was everywhere.

By Manjares

Since my host family had a black cat named Mimi, of course I had to start with Chococat. At first I was horrible with chopsticks, so Mimiko always sat under my chair and pigged out.


My host mother taught me a lot, including some simple origami.

By Cakewalk Custom Cakes  Photographed by Leap Photography

Once you get the knack of it, paper origami cranes are pretty easy. I have a feeling gumpaste ones are a lot harder.


There was a big bamboo patch on the way to school.

By abbietabbie

This bamboo is hand-rolled fondant, slotted together and hand-painted, while the curly bamboo is gumpaste. She got the squiggly parts just right.


The food in Japan was fantastic. Most restaurants had perfect, plastic replicas of their food on display, so they didn't need menus.

By Whipped Bakeshop

I think they should have made them out of cake, though.


The very first souvenir I bought was a wooden puzzle box for my Dad, and it had this iconic print on it:

By Alix's Cakes

It's called "The Great Wave Off Kanagawa" by Hokusai. Now I really want to nibble on that box...


Since I lived midway between Osaka and Kyoto, I spent a lot of time in Kyoto. It was spectacular, especially during cherry blossom season.

By Pink Cake Box

There were days when it just rained pink flowers.

Did you know it's impossible to maintain a bad mood when it's raining pink flowers? Seriously. Try it sometime.


Kyoto had a zillion gorgeous temples.

By Gateaux Inc.

I never saw one that was all white, although there was one covered in gold -- and no, they don't make that one in cake. (Really, I looked!) This reminds me of rice paper screen doors.


Most temples had gorgeous gardens, lots of water, and little footbridges.

By Cake Central Member semalo63

Of all the cakes I looked at, this one evoked the strongest memories.
(Ah yes, I remember that Thursday well...)
Oh, and I think this is royal icing...
(Note from Jen: Yep. Although the top collar is done with a run-in technique, which starts out liquid & then hardens to that perfectly smooth surface.)


Of course, every garden had a Koi pond:

By Elizabeth Hodes Custom Cakes and Sugar Art

These guys look better behaved than your average koi, who could get downright obnoxious if they thought you had a handful of koi chow. And I often did.
("Heeeere, fishy, fishy...")


Temples were a favorite place for weddings, and the wedding kimonos were stunning. This cake was inspired by a champagne silk kimono:

By Something Sweet by Michelle

Wedding kimonos can cost thousands of dollars. If the kimono that inspired this was even half as gorgeous as the cake, then I'd say it was worth the money.


It was always the most fun when you'd see a happy girl out in a fabulous kimono, enjoying the perfectly-kept grounds.

By Christopher Garren's

Not one of them ever offered me cake, though.
Probably because it was (almost) too beautiful to cut.
(Look, if there's a cake, I will cut it.)

Of course, I can't show you everything I saw in Japan with a few cake pictures -- and who really wants to see "creepy subway guy" in cake, anyway? -- but I hope this helped give you all a Sweet little taste. さよなら (Sayonara.)


Do you have a Sweet to nominate? Then send it to us at Sunday Sweets [at] Cake Wrecks [dot] com!

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Reader Comments (61)

Stefanie B- Long time cake wrecks fan...I've nearly flunked out of 3 degrees now, thanks to your fabulous website.

My point is- "Be a beacon," "If you really, really love her- than just keep on loving her- and never let her know that you know, you know?"

And that my friends, is why I am one of your many loyal fans.

Thank You Cake Wrecks, Thank You.

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStefanie B

Ohhh so pretty and soothing :D

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Wow, amazing how many of us have connections to Japan! When I visited, most of my time was spent up north... But I did get to go to the Sapporo ice festival which was incredible. And I took Japanese in school instead of French... I don't have any Japanese characters on my iPad, demo... Watashi-wa nihongo-o sukoshi hanashimasu! Sadly it's been over a decade since I've used it so much of it is lost. :(
Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

November 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

This had me nostalgic for Japan as well. I was stationed there as a Marine for 2 years (92&93) and I loved it so much! I was in Iwakuni (outside of Hiroshima) and traveled to Yokosuka as well. LOVED IT! Thanks for sharing!

November 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica

Damn. The Japanese are pretty much awesome at everything.

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

Sugoi. That is all I have to say.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLia

Great blog! The first picture is Chococat, not Hello Kitty! Still cute and delicious!

November 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

Actually it's さようなら。
Just lookin' out ;) どういたしまして(^ ^)

January 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

So beautiful! No words to describe these wonderful cakes - Truly works of art!

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaryO1230

Just thought I'd let you know that the cat on the cake is Chococat, one of Hello Kitty's friends, not Hello Kitty herself.
Lovely cakes! Makes me miss Japan!

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannah M.

How did I ever miss this beautiful post? Its my favorite thus far in the "Sunday Sweets" category. My husband is in the military and he has been trying in vain to get an assignment in Japan. We ended up in Germany, which was also wonderful. He has just a few years left in his career, so there is still a chance. As a Hello Kitty/ Sanrio fan, I would lost my mind in Japan.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline

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