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

Doilies and Squiggles and Spray Paint, Oh My!

It's time again for everyone's favorite:  WEDDING WRECKS!

(Well, everyone but the bride.)

(And possibly the baker who may or may not have been assaulted by the aforementioned bride)


What the bride wanted:

 What the bride got:


Hey, Jen has a dummy cake in her office this exact shade of Wilton Spray-On Blue!


Don't ask.

(Or do; Jen's rather proud of it.)

 Moving on...


 What the bride wanted:

 What the bride got:

I like to imagine a bakery order sheet somewhere with the words, "Pink, brown, and squiggly" all checked off.


(Btw, "Pink, brown, & squiggly" is the name of my topless Vegas act.)


 What the bride wanted:

 What the bride got:

To be fair, it's probably just the lighting.  Really, really bad lighting.  Like hospital lighting.  Or maybe morgue lighting. Heck, I bet every body looks like this in a morgue.

 [Later that day:

 "John, why do we have 300 emails from morticians?!"]


 What the bride wanted:

 What the bride got:

  When only the best will do: Doilies.


Thanks to P. C., Jenni S., Brett R., Esther G., and Jen for keeping the baby cake locked in the closet and away from the knives...

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Reader Comments (76)

Lolol@Sharyn XD Those cakes, they burn my eyes D:

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Other than the first cake it doesn't look like they even TRIED to copy the design that was requested. As a cake decorator myself, I love to see these because it makes me feel better about the prices I charge. I always feel that if you want a really specific design, especially one that involves advanced techniques, you shouldn't try to cut corners price-wise. People are always shocked at what custom cakes cost, but getting it right takes a lot of time and expertise. If a high-end cake just isn't in your budget, lower your expectations and opt for a simpler design.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChrista

I like the DeLorean on Jen's desk when we see her baby doll cake :)

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterarmed pacifist

This is like taking a hairstyle picture to a stylist and coming out with a completely different haircut. (Been there, done that). Do the bakers honestly believe they have recreated the inspiration cake? Do they have eyes?! I just can't believe they pass off these cakes and then charge the poor bride.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLorrie

The first one isn't that bad. At least they made an effort to make it look like the original. The other cakes however are disasters.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

Eh, this is what happens when people have Bride Magazine taste with a Walmart budget. Or, they order a cake from "that cake lady my auntie knows".
Well-designed cakes aren't cheap.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

For those of you wondering about the origin of the dummy cake in Jen's office, go here

and scroll up.

John - is there a reason why old posts are nearly unfindable now? If so, I'm sorry. This post was one of my favorites, along with the fan halloween costume inspired by it, but feel free not to post this if you want old posts to disappear.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLMR

There is no way that any of these wreckorators completed or passed those matching games we had to play in kindergarten.

And that last cake: oh, the horrors! I have a couple doilies in my house, but that's because my Grandma made them and they're pretty. And they don't have nylon net flying saucers encircling them.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

The most painful part about the first is that it looked like they really did try...and they got pretty far in before the process imploded. The last one was a classic wreck...more fun in a way

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTammy

Read to the tune of the nursery rhyme "This is the house that Jack built".

This is 3 tiers of colors light airy

This is tri-tiers with flowers scary
that is heavier than colors airy

This is doubled tiered delicate swirls
that outshown the flowers scary
that is heavier than colors airy

This is the pepto pink brown curls
that didn't match the delicate swirls
that outshown the flowers scary
that is heavier than colors airy

This is the 2 cubes perfectly molded
that bested the pepto pink brown curls
that didn't match the delicate swirls
that outshown the flowers scary
that is heavier than colors airy

This is the squares badly folded
that failed to copy the cubes molded
that bested the pepto pink brown curls
that didn't match the delicate swirls
that outshown the flowers scary
that is heavier than colors airy

This is 4 tiers pretty garden dew
that stood over the squares badly folded
that failed to copy the cubes molded
that bested the pepto pink brown curls
that didn't match the delicate swirls
that outshown the flowers scary
that is heavier than colors airy

This is circles with roses globbed blue
that is unlike the pretty garden dew
that stood over the squares badly folded
that failed to copy the cubes molded
that bested the pepto pink brown curls
that didn't match the delicate swirls
that outshown the flowers scary
that is heavier than colors airy

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterC.W.

Okay, I'll admit that when I first saw Cake #1, I thought "If I comment on this, Theardare will come get me", because while it wasn't perfect by any means, we've seen so much worse on this site. And then I scrolled down, and it was SO SO much worse. Now, a story about a cake topper, from my own wedding. We had asked for a groom's cake and this was in the days before the unique, creative grooms' cakes became popular. At the time, it was usually just a sheet cake, often done in a style to match or at least coordinate with the wedding cake. The only thing we specified about it was that it be a chocolate cake. So, I walked into the reception hall and next to our beautiful wedding cake was a chocolate cake with a topper that depicted a groom trying to run away, while the bride hung grimly onto his coat. It was hideous, but there was nothing to do about it at that point but ignore it and smile a little tightly while our picture was taken with it. I had not made the order for the cakes; my mother had and I know for sure that she never requested anything like that. I guess the baker thought the cake was too plain and the topper was cute, so they added it. Believe me, when my daughter got married, we were VERY specific about what we wanted for both cakes! Thankfully, there were no surprises at that wedding.

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRPainter

I actually like the little pink flowers on the "morgue" cake, they kind of make everything else about it look that much worse tho'...

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I will be shocked if those wreckerators weren't run out of town by the entire wedding party for these cakes lol. Especially that last on earth does that compare to the picture of what the bride wanted?? Honestly if you can't do it say so don't make the poor bride have to want to kill you..sheesh.

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Cake #3 went viral on FB and was made by a patisserie in Victoria, Australia.
I know this because I was one of hundreds of FBers to share it. I also remember sending a link to it to Jen.

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat

This is what you get when you cut the budget and go with a home baker who has taken a wilton class and decides to start get what you pay for ladies!!

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

I have to believe it goes something like this: Couple MUST use the baker the reception venue works with. Because the baker is the cousin/niece/aunt/mom of the venue's owner. This relative opened a "cake shop" for the express purpose of getting the venue's business and enriching the bottom line. Bride comes in with perfect cake clipped from bridal mag and asks "can you do this?" and the baker says "oh sure" even though the only real experience said baker has is a month-long Wilton course at the local fabric store ...

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

I am a cake decorator and while most people would feel very sorry for these brides, I know that the brides probably got exactly what they paid for. People want elegant and beautiful cakes that are VERY expensive (because they require an incredible amount of time and talent) but they don't want to pay for them. When you go to pick out your wedding cake, go to a reputable baker who can show you a portfolio of their work, and can even give you names of satisfied customers. Tell the decorator up front how much you can spend, and then they can tell you what you can get for that price.

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdebbyrose66

I had the same question as Angela. Do the brides check into the bakers' previous work? Or do they just show up at a random neighborhood bakery with a photo and say "I want this!" I wouldn't fork over good money to someone if I didn't know they could do the work.

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbbi

Debbyrose66, you are right on the money. A LOT of the blame here must be on the brides themselves for a) not making sure the decorator they chose could pull of the design they requested, and (as someone here already said) b) Expecting a Bride Magazine cake on a Wal-Mart budget. I have had people request a birthday cake that should cost around $300 and tell me they didn't think it would cost more than $75. People have no concept of what custom cakes sell for these days.

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChrista

These are my favorite posts!

I willsay that at first blush I thought cake 1 wasn't too bad, but after a second and third look I can see all kinds of wreckniness.

I wish I had taken pictures of mine, it was a wreck but tasted divine! I honestly only saw it at the cutting and by then I was too "in the moment" to care. I'm pretty sure there was a gaggle of people keeping me from it. And, for the record, the Baker was recommended by a friend, I had seen her work and my chosen cake was simple. Ahhhhh well. I didn't dwell on it but now I wish I had a good picture to submit to you!

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

For the record, I ordered my wedding cake at a grocery store due to my limited budget and the baker did a FABULOUS job recreating the exact cake I requested from a picture from a well-known wedding website. Not only that, it was delicious! I still get compliments on it to this day and my wedding was 8 years ago!

I think it ultimately comes down to bakers knowing, accepting and communicating their limitations.

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYogaJen

Now that my wedding is nigh, I'm finding these posts rather funny! I don't have a lot of choice in terms of who does my cake (there's really only one kosher caterer in the city), but he has a reputation for everything looking great... plus I've seen the sample at the tasting... plus I haven't specified ANY design at all. So that it's something they can handle. There are some stunners here on Sundays, but I simply don't have the budget to spend thousands on a cake. And, frankly don't much care-- the cake will be the gluten-free offering come dessert time, rather than some big fancy affair with a cake-cutting ceremony that rivals the wedding ceremony in length.

And, to be honest, if the cake is as nice as the one at the tasting... great. If not, I'll FINALLY have a wreck to submit!!!

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAliza

Bride: "Oh, I love this cake in the magazine, I want that. I bet Aunt Glenda can make that, she made those cute cupcakes for the church picnic. And best of all she'll do it for free!!"

Aunt Glenda: "Oh, I don't know sweetie. I mean I did take that class at Michael's, but I don't know. It might not look exactly the same, but for you I'll try."

Bride: "Yea! Aunt Glenda your the bestest ever!"

<cake happens>

Bride: Aunt Glenda sucks.

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdcgirl!

Change the colors on the second cake and that is almost exactly what my niece wanted/got stuck with for her wedding!

August 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdh

I am sobbing.
Can you imagine flowing out of the chapel on your new husband's arm, entering the reception hall where everyone is clapping for you, then heading to the cake table and.....AAAKKKKK!

This is tragic.
There would be no time to get a new cake. You're stuck with this one. And its going to be in your wedding album FOREVER.

OH, the Humanity!!!!!

August 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne in CA

Grocery store bakeries don't do wedding cakes like that. We don't not use fondant at all. I don't know why people just assume it comes from grocery stores because they don't. We don't even have the tools do something like that.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCrissy

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