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

Spring Love is in Despair

So now that Spring is officially here, you know what's coming, right?

That's right: wedding season.

[rubbing hands together gleefully]




Let's kick things off with a lovely Spring Fling inspiration:

...that in execution got a little, well, flung:

I like to imagine that this was delivered on the back of the baker's scooter, and that those smushed fondant butterflies on the sides were all tragic road casualties. Because, somehow, that actually makes this more excusable/believable.


What the baker says:

"Yes, I can do that!"


What the baker means

"Yes, I have some shiny ribbon!"


Maybe at the reception they shone a spotlight on the ribbon so the glare would blind all the onlookers. That's what I would do.

Oh, hey...maybe that was the baker's plan all along!


Bride: "That looks TERRI..."

Baker: [flashing ribbon]

Bride: "I CAN'T SEE! Where'd you go? Are you here? Where's the cake? Hey! WHERE'S MY PURSE?!"

[sound of running feet]


This next one could be a metaphor for life and love in so many ways. Not that I mean anything by that, fellas. 'Cuz I don't. So never mind. In fact, can we not talk about this anymore, please? It's just a cake, ok? SHEESH.





Because wedding cakes are like marriages: some settling may occur.


Thanks to Valentina V., Michele W., & Paula B. for sharing their wedding day woes. We're here for you, ladies. Right after we finish laughing.

« Ahhhhh....GOOF OFF!! | Main | Spring Has Sprung »

Reader Comments (66)

and they did such a good job on the flowers of the last one.....

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCB

those poor brides,
the " butterflies " on the first wreck look like locust or grasshoppers
IMO the flowers on the last wreck aren't that bad.. i would find them acceptable lol

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

I'm going to have to use the shiny bow camouflage technique for all those things I find painful to look at:
I scraped the fender -- shiny bow!
IRS audit -- shiny bow!
My son's last math test -- shiny bow!
Giant perimenopausal chin zit -- shiny bow!

Normally I'd comment on the cakes, but as soon as I saw the end result photos I wrapped my monitor in a big, shiny bow. Now, I really can't see anything wrong with them.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I always love the missed marks wedding cake posts... but then remember that I've agreed to do someones wedding cake for them! *gulp*

when I still don't get is how the teirs are half the height of the ones in the photos, how do they think this is acceptable?!

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScotland

The last one might just be the best the baker could do given the picture, and requested servings.

I'm only barely seeing the resemblence between the first two and their inspiration pictures though.

I think I figured out why I like the before/after cake posts. It's like getting Sunday sweets AND regular wrecks all in one post! How much more awesome can it be?

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMuria

Though I didn't see the crack along the bottom of the last cake until after I'd posted. Settling, indeed. (though all the settling cracks in my house are at the tops of the walls).

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMuria

Oh, that first one.. the inspiration cake is breat taking. But the wreckerator really committed a crime on that one.

And I also LOVE the idea of the BRIGHT SHINY BOW! I had a project and have 3 entire rolls of that same exact ribbon in that same color left over!! Now I don't have to worry about returning them. This is almost as good as the uses for duct tape!

My daughter's bedroom - Shiney Bow on door!

Ahhh, the possibilities are endless.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandy in SoFla

I just want to say, these missed-the-mark wre-ckreations are my favorite posts of all time....OF ALL TIME!!

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFlartus

Big shiny ribbon
can't fix bug-encrusted
sad little blue cake

I actually think the last cake is funny for a different reason - it looks like someone is playing with their shrink ray gun again! (Gru? Is that you?) The execution isn't terrible, the flowers actually look pretty well done but the settling is a huge distraction. Thanks to the brides who shared! May your marriages be happier than your cake experience!

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergrneyes6

I like the piping and flowers on all these cakes. They're just nothing like the inspiration cakes. Well, and the too short tiers and the squashed fondant and.....

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen

The very first inspiration cake, while well-executed, was awfully close to being a wreck on its own. Sure, it's pretty, but it has SO MUCH going on--it was just asking to be wrecked. I knew the "persipration" would be epic with that kind of inspiration.

From this blog I've learned that if I ever decide to order a fondant cake (which many readers suggest I not do since it apparently does not taste so great), I should ask the decorator, "How many times have you made a cake with fondant?" and if the answer is anything but, "Too many to count" I should find a new decorator.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterM. Dale

Sharyn, I'm going out to buy some shiny ribbon right now!
Remember "Tie a Yellow Ribbon"? Well I'm thinking:

Tie a shiny ribbon round the ugly cake,
cover your mistake.
Time for coffee break...

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterzoomom

"Some settling may occur" --- hahahahahahahaha
Sure are some purty daisies on those cakes, huh??

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

The minute I saw the first cake, I started thinking, "Oh no, this is NOT going work out....." and I was right! Incidentally, those of you with better-resolution monitors - what's that gray stuff on the first "actual" cake? Behind the roses? It looks like --- cobwebs, maybe? And just a word or two of advice to the Wreckorator - somebody's wedding cake is NOT the place to try fondant for the first time!

And the "settled" cake? The example is about three layers per tier - why would they do a single layer per tier? If they didn't need as many servings, why not just go to smaller cake pans, for heaven's sake? Or did they forget to put any leavening in the cake batter, so it never rose?

And one last thing - you can buy those kinds of royal icing flowers, so I'm not giving any credit for the perfect flowers on the wrecked cakes!

The last cake is pretty, it just needs some little blue pills ;)

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

That first one really is an authentic point-and-laugh wreck. Seriously. It looks like it was done by a twelve year old with some Sculpey. When the bride finished laughing, she asked, "Okay, so where's the real cake?" And things got awfully quiet...

The second one couldn't even get the shape right.

I was ready to give the last one points for trying until I noticed just HOW tiny it was.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBetty

@grneyes6 -- That's so funny. I thought of Gru, too. Or a vacuum pump -- my son did an experiment with a vacuum canister and marshmallows. (Peeps work well...) Suck the air out and they shrink, add air back in and they puff right up. All they need to do is expose that last cake to atmosphere, and it'll be perfect.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

My favorite part is [sound of running feet].

Sharyn, you are so hilarious. I think I need some of that shiny ribbon, too.

@ grneyes6: love your haiku! However, I think it might help if the shiny ribbon was REALLY big....ok, probably not.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

The last cake is mine. I ordered the EXACT cake in the picture. I told the baker I wanted everything to be the same as the picture, dimensions, details, etc. The baker was proud of her creation. I am so happy I didn't pick up the cake or I would of been in jail on my wedding day. To this day my husband cannot understand why I didn't love our wedding cake. Men. To top it off they put not one but 2 of those huge wedding flower topper monstrosities on top of the cake. TWO! The cake was very tasty though.

I am so proud to have my cake on cakewrecks!!!!!

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaula B

I was going to say that the last one wasn't so bad, if you assume the expected attendance was low — the calla lilies are still impressive — but then I realized that someone, probably whoever ordered it, thought otherwise or they wouldn't have sent it in along with a photo of the original. Then again, bridezilla goggles can turn even the tiniest flaw into an epic tragedy.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve the Pocket

@Paula B - Had I been there with you to pick up the cake, we would have shared the jail cell! Great googely - it's FLAT! And, it was about to slide off the foundation-thingy. They couldn't even manage to put it on the table correctly?! Ugh!

I hope you, and the other brides, have written many a comment on different review boards regarding these bakers.

But, yeah, it is awesome to be on Cake Wrecks, huh? :-)

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh524

The last one was probably a budget wreck - look at the height of the layers in the inspiration, then compare a 4 cake layer with a 2 cake layer - I'm betting they didn't have the budget for the real deal - because except for the height? It's great!

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha

I like how the height of the last cake is such a distraction, nobody seems to notice it's sliding off the board.

The first wreck is what happens a few hours after you feed smurfs to an elephant.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

Um no. Marsha, it's not. And way to reveal your snobbery with your presumption. Scroll up 3 comments from this and READ.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJT

The last wreck has 3 tiers just like the photo. The bride says she ordered and paid for the exact cake in the photo so it wasn't a budget cake. Another lousy baker I guess.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPinky

You know, that last cake isn't that bad. It's just not ... quite ... the original.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJules

So... moth's on wedding cakes, huh?

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLalis

The first cake, the inspiration one, is breathtakingly gorgeous. Unfortunately, it is a wreck on its own. See all those festive little wires sticking out of the cake on every side?

That's lead poisoning.
I know we see it All_The_Time on cakes, but YOU CANNOT PUT WIRES IN CAKES. Even the wires that are sold in the cake aisle at the craft store. Unless the wires are inserted into picks/straws which actually touch the cake and not the wire. But in this photo, I see just wires sticking directly into the cake.

It looks cool, but if you do that, you are poisoning your guests.

Yum, yum.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDebby

The last cake isn't THAT bad. But if it's not what the baker promised, it's not okay. Still, a WRECK? That's harsh.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermouse

I have to agree that the last cake isn't really a wreck, just not what was promised (but not hilariously-not-what-was-promised). To a lesser degree I'd say the same for the second cake. Now the first cake - fantastically wrecky.

Of course, many of us read CW for the smarmy comments and those are first-rate :)

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Cake #1: Wrong color, moths instead of butterflies, ropes instead of pearls.

Cake #2: Is it just me or is the cake leaning to the left?

Cake #3: I am so happy for you that it tasted good.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelticat

What happens when you order a wedding cake that turns into a wreck? Are you allowed to get your money back?

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCurious

If you look at the last cake element by element, it's pretty nice. The flowers are lovely and the icing detail is pretty well executed (shape, symmetry, evenness of size are stellar for a wreck). The smoothness of the flat icing on the top of the bottom layer isn't very good, but that's nitpicking. All in all, a rather nice bakery-department-in-a-grocery-store cake. (The shifting on the cake board might be the result of careless transport. Which, if the bakery did the transporting, is inexcusable.)

The first two cakes are wrecks on their own, without the example pictures to compare them to. The last is a wreck because it looks like someone took the cake the bride ordered, simplified and roughed it up a bit, and then took a side trip to Jupiter, where the higher gravity compressed it to a fraction of its original height.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

I made a cake inspired by the first photo!!!
Can I show it to you? here it is!!!

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulyah

Yeah, the flowers look good on the cakes because they are preordered! Dont let these "decorators" fool you guys. You can order these flowers online or through any cake decor company.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAudrey

I actually think the last one is fine - maybe they didn't need as many servings so the tier isn't as tall. The cake looks fine and the flowers look fine.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYvette

Moths on a wedding cake might work IF the bride (or groom) was a fan of "Little Girl of the Limberlost." Or a special collections librarian? Cake #2 is not so bad if you remove the ribbon, but as a reproduction of the lace-draped number . . . no.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTXRed

The first one is just plain bad. The second one looks like the customer insisted on buttercream where fondant was needed, and I agree that the last one was probably a budget or number of servings issue, because those look like single layers...and yes, I saw the comment from the bride.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJudi

That first one is truly awful. My kid makes better butterflies, and he's two.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKooz

I would like to know what the brides paid for these wrecks. I feel so terribly for them.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

@Julyah - very nice! :-)

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh524

These make me wonder if the bakers hand the cake orders to their 7 year olds to do.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna M

These cakes wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have the picture of what they were supposed to look like.

Showing brides these pictures is kind of like sending your Internet dating prospect a picture-- "Yes, it does look a lot like Brad Pitt, but it's really me, I assure you."

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGary

I can just imagine the baker looking back and forth between the picture of the cake the bride has given them and the cake they've just made and saying: "Yep! Nailed it!"

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBekkaBoo

Okay, I really want to know something - in all seriousness. Do the bakers of these wrecks honestly believe they have created something acceptable, or are they hoping to clear the building before anyone notices? Jen? John? Anyone?

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMKLMom

Julyah, that is lovely!

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterzoomom

I love these posts. I always see the photo before reading the text above, and it was totally one of those "What a BEAUTIFUL CAKE. Wait, it's not sunday. Crap."

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

What happened to the picture of the first one? Did it get taken down?

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEjia

It drives me BANANA SANDWICHES when people say "The problem is the Inspiration was fondant, and the customer ordered buttercream." NO. The problem is that the decorator oversold their talent level. And that is wrecky!!

Also, you can downsize serving levels without downsizing quality. smashed-looking, wonky, and disproportionate is not the definition of "smaller." And even worse, the bride told us herself [in a previous comment] that she didn't request "Smaller!" Ai yai yai, you Epcotmongerers! Last thing, then you can shoot me off my soapbox. Those gumpaste flowers ARE, as another commenter suggested, preordered! You can buy them right now, and stick them on a Sarah Lee cheesecake if you want. They say nothing of a caker's talent. Nooooothing!!!

That said, I GASPED at the shiny ribbon. Dramatic, horrible-noise-making, GASPED.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRocka

Yep...the gumpaste flowers aee bought...not handmade. Id recognize those flowers any day.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterheather

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>