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

Bridal Tears

It's time again to see why the brides are crying - or, as I like to call it, "Reminders that your day could always be worse."

Yep, it's everyone's favorite, "What They Ordered vs What They Got!"


Kimberly P. asked her baker for this scrolly beauty, only in red and with icing flowers instead of real ones:


Instead, she got...this:

Or, as I like to call it, "The Dance of the Earth Worms. With Fresh Beets."


Katie Leigh asked for this classic black and white number:


But ended up with all sixes and sevens*:

 (*That's a little British slang for you English folk. You're welcome, guv'na!)


Olivia G. wanted her cake to be black and white all over, too, in this pretty damask pattern:

And in case you were wondering if it's possible to pipe a damask pattern by hand...


It's not.

 (I literally stared at these two photos for five minutes, trying to figure out where those shapes came from. I'm still at a loss. Do you think they flashed the pink picture at the baker for thirty seconds, and then told her to go recreate it from memory?)


Let's take a break from all that black and white and take a walk on the wild side:

Awesome, right? Mary M. ordered this fun mad hatter style for her wedding. 


 Unfortunately, I suspect what she GOT just made her mad-as-a-hatter

Only not in the "Wheedle-a-doo! Lemme dip my watch in my tea!" kind of mad. More like the, "Lemme go, so I can whoop someone's ASCOT," kind of mad. I guess this might pass for a three-year-old's birthday, but c'mon: a wedding?

(Side tangent: Don't you wish people would yell ridiculous things like "Wheedle-a-doo!" when they're ticked off? That would be sooo cool. If anything would make me watch reality TV, it'd be Gordan Ramsey yelling, "Boopin' Flibberty Gibbets, you Stronkin' Honk-Nobbit!" Right? Right?? I can't be the only one.)


This next couple wanted something simple and understated for their wedding, so they ordered this:

What they got, however, reduced our poor blushing bride to tears - and I'm pretty sure the groom is preparing to vent some frustration, going by the way he's brandishing that serving knife:


Holy plastic meltdown, Batman! Swans and cherubs and pillars, oh my! Looks like the only thing this couple and their baker had in common was they both ended up seeing red. Yeesh.


And finally, it's time to get back in black (and white) with this sweet little creation Kelly L. ordered for her big day:

Now, as pretty as this is, there's nothing terribly complicated here, so I can see why Kelly thought her baker could manage it.


[shaking head]

Kelly, Kelly, Kelly....


Er....Is your cake erupting? 

 Oh! That's just the topper at an odd angle. Sorry. Anyway, that cake is just...sad. Really, I can't think of any other word for it. Like it's shuffling dejectedly down the sidewalk and sighing a lot, and you just want to give it a hug. Or throw a towel over it.


Thanks again to all of today's brides for letting us laugh along with them - assuming, of course, that you're laughing by now, ladies. If not, then thanks for letting us gasp in horror and yell things like  "Doofin' FINKEL Shmirtz!!" at the screen.

(Why, yes, I have started watching Phineas and Ferb recently. Why do you ask?)

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Reader Comments (133)

Buttercream cakes can look as lovely as fondant. There is no excuse for these ugly (albeit funny) cakes. I would bet money that the brides used friends or a relative to bake their wedding cakes. I hard can it be, right? Or worse yet...went with a grocery store because they didn't like the quotes they were getting at custom bakeries! usually get what you pay for!

June 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercarmijok

Oh lord and cake number two. All that crusty icing just chiseled away at to make that "pattern".

June 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatja

Stronkin' Honk-Nobbit! haaaa!!!

I'm adding that one to my list of most often used curses. Made my day :)

June 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKrunchifrog

i mustache you a question? Do you do damask?


June 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermustaches?

These posts drive me NUTS.

When you are ordering a wedding cake, or any custom made thing, please don't expect that you can bring in a magazine picture and have it matched.

Cake decorators, graphic designers, dressmakers, etc, are not copy machines.

LOOK at the portfolio of the craftsperson's previous work. You can't just walk into the first bakery on the street and expect them to be able to make whatever cake you want.

June 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatey

I don't get why the last couple ordered a cake at all. They should have just bought 3 plain cake from a supermarket and added ribbons and roses themselves. Easier, way way cheaper, and a lot more reliable.

Hell, some of these abominations even make Sandra Lee's "no bake love cake" look good.

June 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRu

I hope most of those people didn't pay for those cakes and walked out because I'm pretty sure had I gone to a professional, taken the time to peruse their portfolio of work and selected a cake only to be presented with something that looks like I tried to do myself, I would've told them to shove their p.o.s. cake and that I was going to Carvel on my way to my reception.

June 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

Boopin' Flibberty Gibbets, you Stronkin' Honk-Nobbit! would actually make me want to own a TV. . .really. Or I could just yell this when I see a cake wreck. . .

June 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTonia

People! Stop defending the wreckerators! If you are a professional baker - which I'm told that's what these people try to pass themselves off as - and someone brings you a picture they want recreated, it is up to YOU to either explain to them "I'm sorry, that's outside of my skill range; let me show you my portfolio" or "OK, but you realize that buttercream, while cheaper, will not give the same visual effect as fondant."

And even if the stabby-guy's cake had been made in buttercream instead of fondant, it wouldn't have been so bad if the baker had just stuck to the script :|

June 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Love your blog... love your Facebook page... love your sense of humor... and I LOVE the idea of TV characters yelling ridiculous things instead of naughty words... so you're definitely not the only one :-)

June 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie Goodpasture

The black damask cake is obviously the suit from Fizzbin. and they only work the 2nd tuesday of the month when you are facing east. Or they could go to Dragon Poker, earth rule book. All I know is that if I were the bride who paid for these cakes I would weep and then hire a trained assassin. someone from the assassination bureau like Ivan Dragomiloff. it would be worth the money.

June 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Jo

I wonder if someone would be willing to have something like these cakes I've made for a wedding cake. I understand the tradition of the tiered cake but sometimes less is more.

June 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIsolder74

Love Phineas and Ferb! :) I feel sorry for these brides (and a bit sorry for the bakers).

June 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

I know where the weird shapes come from!! Many years ago I was given an old Wilton cake decorating for beginners kit. In it was plastic stamps in those shapes, you pressed them into the icing to make a design and then piped over them. they were never meant to be used for anything other than practicing technique on a cake instead of flat on a hard surface, Some people think they can get away with anything, hope these brides got their money back. And where's Perry?

June 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbynn

I think these are one of my favorite wreck posts on this site...My own wedding cake was not at all like the picture...unfortunately the baker kept my only picture so I can't even submit the two here :)

June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeneen

If you use the right kind of buttercream, you can come pretty darn close to a fondant look. At least I can. These are just disgusting. Damask templates are SO easy to use. Come on people!

June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

Oh, "flibberty gibbet"!!!!! Bless your steamy, talking-goose-in-a-barnyard-loving soul :)

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmity L

I research every step of my cakes, I am in touch with the bride, I do not sleep the night before the cake has to be delivered in and set up. Its a nightmare, but I would rather be like that, than give someone a cake so terrible it ruins their day forever. These 'professionals' should be ashamed, but they are the exact opposite.

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

Ok, I've been following this blog for a while and just haven't commented b/c... well, I'm kinda lazy like that. Actually, I just get afraid that I'll make so many new friends and won't go to work b/c I'm engaged in very important comment banter...

Anyway - Jen, I love your posts. I love the comments. I love your sense of humor. I love your other blog Epbot. And now that you've revealed that you're watching Phineas & Ferb.... well, I hereby publicly announce that you are my virtual soulmate. (see what I did there? "virtual" as in online, and... yeah, you get it.)

That is all.

A new Cake Wrecks commenter,
Agent B
(or Becky the Mominator - depending on whether I have my hat on or not.)

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAgent B

@Jeneric, It's Tatamagouche, which works well. But I find that Shubenacadie often works better.

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

The pin-to-black damask cake - I think the shape on the middle tier of the black cake comes the the center of the top tier on the black cake.

At least the last cake looks like they tried. Which sorta makes it all the more pitiful.

Really, what is going through these baker's heads as they finish the cakes? Do they really think they're delivering what the customer asked for? o.O

July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJonB

I find it quite irritating that many people seem to blame buttercream for these disasters. It is not buttercream's fault, it is the fault of the baker. I can make buttercream as smooth as fondant, but then, I am a professional, and I get the big bucks to do it. If the cake matters to you, then spring for a professional baker. That is what matters, not fondant vs buttercream. I will agree that there are many items that should be fondant, but even the Harlequin pattern can be done with frozen butter transfers. Though it is not quite as nice.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

wow. if my wedding cake looked that crappy i would undoubtedly have killed the baker in cold blood. COLD BLOOD! but im not married. yet. and after seeing those hideous( but nummy ) looking cakes, though i would enjoy a piece of ALL of them, i dont think im going to tie the knot anytime soon. though i AM currently dating.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTalia A. G.

I have to say, after pouring over this site after I discovered it back when it was on blogspot a thousand years ago, it was posts like these that cause my husband and I to say, "Eh...I could do that" which resulted in 7 beautiful wedding cakes made by us for our own wedding. That way, if they sucked, we could only blame us. Thank you cakewrecks because now I make cakes as a side business (charging only for the cost of supplies) so people in my rural community (that I know super well, sorry strangers!) can have non-wrecks for weddings and birthdays.

That some point when you get a hideous ridiculous awful cake like some of the ones in the past (I still can't get over the plaid one....really? plaid? c'mon!) you can't help but wonder if those cakes resulted in a food fight only holy matrimony could inspire? it'd be cool if it did. . . . .plaid frosting all over the groom. I would TOTALLY pay to see that!

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleighann

How does a white cake with red ribbons on the bottom of 3 connected tiers (which is EASY in buttercream) become 3 separate tiers (at least) with swans and hangy ribbons and columns? Did they give the baker a picture, or flash it for 30 seconds and tell the baker to recreate it from memory?

It IS possible to do a damask cake in buttercream by hand, we've done it! And continue to do it every month it seems.... Now the fact that we do it WELL makes all the difference in the world! :)

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaimz

That's my wedding cake in the last photo! Here's the story behind it: Yes, I got a friend to do it. However, the friend at the time worked in a bakery and has just graduated culinary school, and had beautiful cakes in her portfolio! She also was in the process of starting up her own bakery. The topper is sideways in the photo, it's a laser-cut acrylic piece of two swallows in a heart I got off of Etsy. The cake was red velvet, but she didn't even manage to make the cake taste good. It was dry and crumbly. I wasn't there when the cake was delivered or I would have had something to say. Another friend who was helping to set up told me it actually looked worse when it got there, she made the baker smooth out the frosting a little and adjust the anemones. This was hands down the worst part of my wedding day, everything else went perfectly. We joke that the cake looked like a fat kid in spandex. Kinda wish the baker would have just dropped it on the way in so I wouldn't have known what a horrible job she did. Needless to say, we're no longer friends. Unfortunately I never got any of my money back, but not for lack of trying. I'd rather just try to forget that poor cake.

February 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly L.

The swanny cake isn't a wreck, it just doesn't resemble the original in any way.

April 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdolphin

The second one was actually really well made. :)

May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClaire F.

I think if I would have received one of these, I would have turned into Bridezilla!

August 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterQueen

I look at your last little endnote about Phineas and ferb and completely forget the cakes.

What is the topper supposed to be on that last cake?! raspberry punch? Squirty blood volcano? Strawberry pasta? TWIZZELERS?

Wow... I can only hope that when I'm old enough to get married, I WON'T get something that looks like someone grabbed some stuff randomly , slapped it on a cake of aproximately the same shape and size and said "That looks like what she ordered, right?"

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter-Unknown-

This should be called: Fondant vs buttercream!

November 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLenne

The problem with most of the cakes on this site is clearly very simple. Most of the design idea cakes are made with fondant and the idiot bakers decided to try to recreate them with icing which in quite a few of these cases is not possible with the design.

November 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRuth

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