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

Ways To Play It Safe

Today's post requires a special intro, so here's Dara G. to explain:

"My local [CENSORED*] bakery has this new policy - not strictly enforced, but kinda enforced - NO PHOTOS in the bakery department. None, nada. Per an ex-employee there, upper management is afraid that one of that store's specific cakes will be posted on 'that bad cake site.' Per what they tell you in the store, their cakes are 'all copyright protected.'"

(*Store name omitted. Because I care.)

She goes on to say:

"Apparently this new 'no photos' thing came about after y'all had posted their 'Popcorn' cakes on the site."


Oh, you mean these ones?

Now, I honestly didn't know all these popcorn cakes were even from this particular store-which-shall-remain-nameless, but it's nice to know folks over there are reading the site and recognizing their handiwork!

Anyway, Dara goes on to say that she was actually accosted by an employee citing "copyright protection" after Dara snapped a picture of this:



The employee of this bakery-which-shall-not-be named even made Dara delete the photo off her phone, not knowing that Dara had actually taken TWO photos. (Sneaky girl...) 

Now, I have always been of the opinion that if you don't want your bakery's wrecks on Cake Wrecks, STOP MAKING WRECKS. But, hey, banning pictures is one way to go about it, too.

After all, if you ban photos in your bakery, then no one will ever know that your bakers made something like this:

Yes, that IS a plastic bunny tail where the mouth should be. A copyrighted bunny tail.


Or this:

As a joke, Katelyn's friends asked for her cake to read, "Katelyn's Failure Cake." Little did they know they'd get EXACTLY what they asked for.


Or even this:

If ONLY we had SOME way of knowing who is responsible for this glorious copyrighted cake design!


Of course, even if you do successfully bar people from photographing your wrecks in-store, there are still all those who'll just snap pics at home and then gleefully send them to me, with captions like, "Yummy piles of candy vomit!!"

In fact, here are two more sitting in the inbox right now, both from the same bakery I'm still not going to name, no matter HOW much you beg:

Jennifer J. writes, "Found this today, post-Halloween, at a [CENSORED] in Seattle, WA."

I've pointed out the unfortunate "I" placement on this design before, but this one is doubly unfortunate:

The fact that there's no period after the "P" might, shall we say, arouse suspicion as to the baker's true motives, don't you think?


And here's one that came in yesterday, where an election consolation cake got "owned:"

We have a winner! 


Of course this bakery isn't the only chain to ban photos; fact is, most stores now have similar rules. I hear from readers every week who are harassed, shooed away, and even outright kicked out of stores for whipping out their cellphones in the bakery.

Now, far be it from me to criticize rules (even ones I find really, REALLY stupid) but I don't see how harassing your own customers  - and ones who often buy your wrecks because Cake Wrecks has made them a world-wide inside joke - is good for business.

Then again, I also thought it would make more sense to train your bakers not to make wrecks instead of trying to prevent people from seeing them, so what do I know?

Oh, and while we're at it, I hear the bakery-which-shall-not-be-named doesn't make those popcorn cakes anymore, so kudos there, guys!

Now, about your spaghetti cakes...


Thanks to Dara, Gabriele, Lisa S., Chelsea M., Jennifer J., Bill, & Jessica A. for the picture perfect moments.


UPDATE: Dara G., our wreckporter on the scene, has recently contacted me to amend a few details in her story. She tells me the bakery employee was very polite in advising her of the photography ban, and while Dara did feel pressured to delete her photo, she was never actually ordered to. She also tells me the ex-employee who credits/blames CW for the photo ban doesn't know that for sure; it was just his/her personal theory. (Drat. Now I have to return that merit badge I just ordered for myself!)

Anyway, just wanted to include those corrections to be as accurate as possible!

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Reader Comments (171)

If upper management doesn't want pics on cakewrecks, why don't they just get employees to get their act together? Srsly, my local safeway never has anything worth sending in. *sighs*

November 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAriaDream

The can toss you out and ban you from their store, but they can't force you to delete a picture. Under copyright law, reproduction of an image of a copyright protected work is allowed for the purpose of critique.

November 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I work at a [CENSORED]!! Not in the bakery, but as a cashier. I have yet to see any wrecks come through. Except the unavoidable turkey CCC at Thanksgiving, but what can you do?

November 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrekkette

@SuBee I'll drive the van and sell t-shirts at the shows!

@Ariadne if Safeway asked them to remove the photos, I'd be surprised if J & J(thoJ) didn't do it. Until they get the request, it's a little arrogant to assume that rule was just due to CW. a\As a former retail employee, it's competition which usually gets management worried- or a lawsuit from Disney or Lucas---oh, wait! Same people now...geez, I hope they didn't merge their legal departments, too. Now, three's a scary thought.

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

Ha, ha, I thought bunny one had a beard.

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPrudynce

I frequent my local *unnamed grocery store* and have never seen a wreck there. There is almost never anyone in the bakery department working, so I doubt I would get shooed away for whipping out my iPhone. *fingers crossed* I will have to stop by more often now and snap away! Now the local Giant on the other hand....

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGirlNamedCorrie

So, this was Friday. Today (Monday) lifehacker posted a tutorial called "How to Snap Top Secret Photos Without Anyone Noticing". ( Coincidence? I think not.

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie W.

Well, that's it. I'm never going to that store again. I must assume that since they wreck cakes, they also sell wrecked groceries. And, I'll tell everybody I know never to shop at that store again. Perhaps we can put these incompetent businesses out of sale.

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

I was sipping my latte and reading the paper in my favourite cafe when my brain did a double take. On the back page was an article about this blog post from CW!

I'd only just read about the baker that does it the safe way that morning, so it was a real deja vu moment for me. I just thought you'd like to know you've made it into the national press down here in 'lil 'ole New Zealand.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah's free advertising! Even negative publicity is good - better, even, as it is more likely to draw traffic to your business. Nobody can resist staring at a train wreck!

As to putting more energy into covering up wrongdoing than into retraining the bakers to do it right...maybe they are taking a page from the Federal Gov't's book?

November 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDataDiva

I'd love for an employee at my local "store that shall not be named" to try to make me delete a photo of one of their cake wrecks & see their response when I say "make me!". Then, when said employee tries to grab my phone, I call the police & have him/her arrested for assaulting me. I bet they never make a bad cake again.

November 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRCC

If you can't take a picture in the bakery department, just put the wreck in your cart, go around the corner to the canned goods and photograph to your heart's content. Then go put the wreck back and be on your merry way.

November 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarly

SuBee, your first post had me actually laughing out loud--I need some mighty unkempt people to make me look good, I think. Can I be in the band? I can play the harmonica...badly, but still. Is talent a requirement for this band?

Sharyn, your song is still running through my head.

November 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelindaB

I do admit to shopping in some of the seedier grocery stores in the neighborhood lately, just for the vague possibility of finding a wreck. No luck yet, but I haven't given up hope. Just please promise me that I won't have to come up with a witty comment for it by myself! That would be WAAAAY to much pressure!
And I desperately want to meet the decorator of that skeleton. I'm so proud of someone for sneaking that past the responsible people - I think I might have found my cake decorating hero!!!

November 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMammaJenny


I'll play triangle if that's available! I also do a *mean* set of bongos. (And the French Horn, but I really hate it now! ;-) And I sing! Really! I can also cook for all the food allergic band members (if any besides myself)...

January 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

Hmmmm, I work at a local [CENSORED]....I should ask about their instore picture-taking policy ;-) lol

January 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen

I find it hard to believe that any copyright law in the world would be willing to protect these cakes! (smirk)

January 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

Glad I don't work at a Safeway :) I work at a Dominicks LOL (they are owned by the same company).

I'm a decorator a Dominicks and if I put anything out like that, I'd be fired on the spot! That's how I got my job actually :)

The popcorn cakes were a design for August that we had to put up . . . district managers even had to check our designs. They were a strange design but I got complimented for mine.

The no-photo thing is silly . . . we are required to take photos of some of our designs and send them in to our district managers . . . I even put mine up on my webiste! Heck, if I made something as bad as the above cakes, I hope I'd be called out on it!!

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBloodlust2012

AHAHAHAHA I work as a decorator in a bakery in that unnamed food chain, and I am sooo tempted to take pictures of any number of our cakes for this site. Not the ones I decorate--I'm not that desperate for internet fame--but there's a baker in there who just doesn't have any cares to give.... Sometimes I threaten our manager with this site. I think my jovial tone of voice has him believing I'm kidding.....

August 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDevi

Never, never, NEVER leave your bunny slippers on the golf course. Poor bunny. (snerk!!)

September 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJMixx

Maybe this is the point (and it's flown right over my head) but why type [CENSORED] in the text entry if all the cakes clearly say "Safeway" on the logos?

September 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAllie

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