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

Hanukkah Blues

Usually around this time of year someone will always say to me, "Hey, you can't do that here!"

So then I put my pants on and take my carton of eggnog back home, where I find people are asking why I haven't posted any Hanukkah cakes yet.

The reasons are simple, my dear wreckies: Firstly, bakers don't make many Chanukah cakes to begin with. And secondly, see reason number one.

But really, who can blame them? Do you KNOW how hard it is to spell Hannukah? I mean, correctly?




And then there are those mind-bendingly complicated Stars of David. They have six points, you guys. SIX! Pre-school did not prepare us for these kinds of manual dexterity challenges, ok? It's not like you can just draw a regular five-pointed star and then stick an extra point on it!

(Oh, wait, you can?)

 (My bad.)


Even the Dreidel, that spinning top thing that's ALSO impossible to spell, to the point that my spell check is telling me I'm an illiterate doofus for thinking it's spelled that way, and SURELY I mean "Deirdre" instead, but I googled it, spell check, AND I AM TOTALLY RIGHT, so stop pushing this Deirdre chick on me, because I am out of eggnog, and I am not in the mood!


[sitting back down]

[smoothing hair] 

Where was I?

And what is pyramid-head Mr. Bill doing here?

Or is that a house with a giant electrical outlet on it?


 Well, whichever, you can rest easy, my dear Chanooka celebrants, knowing you'll always have the classic, elegant option of a blue-and-white-snowflake cake for your festivities:

Or a frozen sanitary pad with wings. 


Thanks to Ali A., Elizabeth C., Tom F., & Jamie for helping put the "huh?" back in Hannukhuh.

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Reader Comments (94)

The Dreidel looks like something out of The Neverhood.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterImaLemming

As a Rabbi's daughter I must tell you that since it is just a matter of spelling out a Hebrew word phonetically with English letters - there really is no wrong way to spell it. Unless you spell it "Chanaukah" That S**t is just crazy.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJBS

Sperm-oozing balloons on the first cake? Ack!

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary Ann

That snowflake cake! Crying! Also, why are there balloons on the second cake?

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

@E, one for you. @BB, what's this "know ahead of time" stuff? Jen has been trying to trigger an EPCOT all week. It's a safety measure; the idea is to have small, controlled EPCOTs to relieve the pressure as opposed to a huge blowout. Kind of like firing explosive charges at a snowpack to avoid an avalanche, only without snow or explosives.

Sharyn, you didn't know there was a bunker? Right. Clearly, you're having us on, what?

As for me, an object lesson: Be careful for what you wish; you might get it. Oy.

So the bunker is full again, the parts of the sparring cage are stored... somewhere, and Theardare is back from wherever he went. Life is back to A.B. Normal.

I would, however, like to point out -- strictly in the interest of accuracy, mind -- that the dreidel is upside down. And Firefox spell check flagged 'dreidel', which I *know* is correct, because Jen said so. I'm not even going to check Wikipedia.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

The last one is obviously a Blueberry-Vanilla Gingerbeargolem.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDancesWithSpatulas

I, too, saw a frost-bitten teddy bear embellished with lovely snow flakes. I assumed it had been formed with cupcakes, creating its somewhat lopsided appendages.

The second cake doesn't even attempt to spell anything. The letters just sort of smudge together at the end, like a visual mumble. Are the blobs supposed to be upside-down balloons? Odd, indeed. Small wonder the stars are wonky. Let's hope it tasted okay.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermouse

I like how they try to get around the spelling issue in the second cake. “Happy Hanu[incomprehensible squiggle]”

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike

It's kind of sad how much I enjoy the Epcot bunker . . . that said, how much whiskey am allowed to bring?

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLis

Can I just say? I love this blog.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Jen

Wondering how many of the cakes are kosher?

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

LOL! These comments are as funny as the cakes!
As a side note... to Aliza and anybody else that has never played dreidel, here are the rules...
2 or more can play (the more ppl, the better!). Everybody starts with a set number of chocolate coins or whatever you may be playing for. And there is a pot in the middle, start w/ about 2 pieces in there. When you spin the dreidel, you follow the instructions according to the symbol that is facing up once you've spun. The symbol shin means put one of your pieces in the pot. Hay means take half the pot. Nun means you get nothing. And gimel means you take the whole pot. The person w/ the most wins-though I'm not sure you determine when the game is over.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvy

I feel the need to state the obvious since nobody in the first 50 comments did - if the dreidel cake is upside down in the picture, that means that the baker who put it out thought it went that way. So whoever made it (side note, I'm pagan and I know that's the wrong hebrew letter) has so little clue about what a dreidel is or looks like that they don't even know right side up. Even having never met Jen, I'm remarkably sure that she knows right way up.

I'm going in the bunker, too.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMML

Well Craig, it appears that you got your wish!

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJodee in WA

I was working in our kosher store today &
had to write Hanukkah, Hanukah &
Chanukah on three different cakes

I also see the pi symbol on the dreidel cake

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAna

Degera, I think it's better if we don't know (and more fun to imagine the possibilities).

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElissa


I've already asked Santa to slip an extra pair of eggnog-proof pants into Jen's stocking for her. Just in case she needs it.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy


That's a chet? I thought it was pi, lol! Sure looks like one. (Or maybe that's just what my nerd brain WANTS it to be.)

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley Penn

Degera I was just wondering the same exact thing!!
Jen - Please explain yourself!! haha

Oh, and Melonie, your link is a bunch of awesome sauce! =)

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenBen

Here is your need Evan Williams egg nog.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeloise

I second "E" above -- there is no right or wrong way to spell Hanukkah. At least not in English. People need to relax and remember what it is all about -- the celebration of a miracle.
Miracles go great with cake. All cake. Even weird and ugly cake. Happy Chanukah to all!

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

This was hilarious:) I love it! Hebrew is just not spelling friendly.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren


You're the first person I've met besides my family who knew that part of the dreidel story. My grandmother heard it from a rabbi who was so old, he might have been alive at the time (just kidding, but he really was old) and she's been reinforcing it to me for as long as I can remember (I'm 1/4 Jewish).

Actually, the story goes that the dreidels came in sets, with various letters of the Hebrew alphabet written or engraved on them. They were used in teaching the Hebrew children Psalm 119, which, if read in the original Hebrew, is an alphabetic acrostic poem. The poem is divided into sections of 8 verses each. Each verse in that section starts with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet in succession. The first 8 lines begin with Aleph, the next 8 began with Bet, and so on.

Children would select a dreidel from the set, and spin it. Whatever letter it landed on was the section of Psalm 119 that they had to recite from memory. If they succeeded, the children were often rewarded with treats or small toys.

When the Greeks took over, if any of the children were caught playing, the adults would describe it as merely a child's game, or even one of gambling, in hopes that the soldiers and officials would look the other way. They succeeded.

It was one small part of the Jewish people teaching their traditional scriptures to their children so that they would never be forgotten, no matter how downtrodden and oppressed they were. As long as they had God, and the words of their forefathers, their culture would survive.

I still have my complete dreidel set. I've never forgotten the lesson. (Though, sadly, due to passage of time, most of Psalm 119 has escaped my memory. Maybe it's time to learn it again.)

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley Penn

Happy Hanusquiggle, everybody! Here's to bakers who don't even try to spell it!

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

I decided to skip most of the comments to say that all I could do when faced with the snowflake/pad with wings cake was to blink. I don't think that particular wreckerator has seen many real snowflakes.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

@Lis- The whiskey quotient is determined directly by the rule of 72. Which states that you must share your whiskey with SuBee and me.
Only SuBee and Me.

Theadare must never catch wind of our plan. He's a gossip and then we'll have to share with everyone.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim in ID

You are looking at the dreidel cake upside-down. That is the hebrew letter Hey on the dreidel. That is not a cake wreck.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWildCard

Frozen sanitary pad with wings...*gags on coffee* Isn't that what they use post childbirth? Haha Best. Cakewrecks Line. Ever.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

Jodee in WA: Bwahahahaha!

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Chappy haunnukah everyone :P Good lord, for a holiday usually celebrated without cake, you've managed to find some doozies.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

LMAO "frozen sanitary pad with with wings"
There's been many a hot, humid summer day where I've made a bundle selling those out of the back of an ice cream truck here in FL.

(crazed woman pushing child aside)
"MOVE it, Tommy, Mama's gotta get HOOKED up!"
(child on ground, crying)
"But Mama, I want a Freezy Pop!"
"Tough patooties, Mama's low on quarters this week."

[oh, Sharyn, that beats ANYTHING SNL's done on the subject- you rock!]

@Melonie- I like that link!

Lis, SuBee and Kim in ID: remember that what goes in must go out; you hog the whiskey, you swab the latrine. (Hey, Craig, kind of late to ask but did the plumber ever fix the pipes?)

P.S. I love eggnog but can only have non-alcoholic stuff now so my pants tend to stay on.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

Chanukah is easy to spell - Chet, nun, vav, caf, hey. (חנוכה)

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarion

My brother-in-law and his family are Jewish. In the 25+ years we've known them, I've never heard them talk about how they celebrate Hanukkah with deflated sperm balloons (cake 2) and scribbles. And I've never seen them celebrate or decorate anything with sparked maxi pads. Huh.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

@Lis ~ psst... and me!

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJodee in WA

And the trifecta is complete. Ok, I don't know what the third element is, but I've never heard of a bifecta, so we'll have to work with it.

@WildCard, @WildCard. Have you ever met Theardare? He has this song he likes to sing to people who say cakes aren't wrecks. A catchy little number, by one Barry Manilow. I think you'll like it; at least the first two or three times. Buh bye.

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

I just realized what is missing. The third element: No one invoked the SL. No blue frosting on poor, innocent angel food cake. No marshmallows spackled over with frosting. No bogus attempt at a Star of David. But there are still a few nights yet to go...

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

I liked the Conan O'Brien comment that Hanukkah is a holiday that lasts for eight spellings.

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlison in Indiana

Waaah! What the elf's blisters!? I've facepalmed to a number of these wrecks released during this season every year, and yet I can't stop facepalming anyway!

Sweet wreckorded post, Jen! I'd like to see them spell "Maccabees" correctly, or incorrectly and in such a way that's so hilarious it would stick for the next 24 hours. :)

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIzzy

Cannot stop laughing about frozen sanitary pad with wings!

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

To 'Another Jen' - (not-related-to-topic but just curious) - would you happen to be Mrs. Lancaster by any chance...?

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

@Ashley Penn-- I hadn't heard that story before. Then again, I didn't know Psalm 119. After all those years of Jewish day school, too! See, Cake Wrecks is highly educational, as well as amusing!

@Marion: that's exactly what I was thinking, but couldn't figure out how to do Hebrew letters on this particular computer.

@Craig: I completely forgot about her Hanukkah and Kwanzaa cakes! <shudder>

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAliza

"Maybe a nice slice of sanitary pad will cheer you up."

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDread Pirate Robyn

I love the Mr. Bill reference!

December 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTanya

Speaking as a girl named Dierdre, spell check does try to change my name to Deirdre. Better yet, my nickname - Deedee, spellcheck recommends Deeded or Dead-eye, much to the amusement of my dear sweet friends. :-)

December 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDierdre

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