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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

Balloony Bologna

Ahh, balloons. Those colorful, cheerful staples of the classic birthday cake.

And why wouldn't they be? They're so colorful!


And so cheerful!

[glopping noise]


And so... um...

Ok, bakers, we need to talk.


I never thought it'd be possible to forget what a balloon looks like, but apparently most of you have:

Two things:

1) Balloons generally only require one string each.



Look, I'm just a girl, standing in front of a baker, asking that baker to stop butchering my birthday cake balloons already.


And while we're at it, could you maybe stop scalping grannies?

(Tell me you don't see a bunch of pastel hair buns here. TELL ME.)


And don't get me started on all the "little swimmer" balloons out there:

I see what you did there with that "i." EGGSELLENT.


But most importantly, NO CHEATING.

Or at least cheat better. Yeesh.


Thanks to Kevin C., Brittany F., Meredith G., Kimberly P., Robin L., Christie S., Veronica S., & Anony M. for appreciating the gravity of the situation.

« Wrecky Replay: Happy Bossy Day! | Main | Turkey Talk »

Reader Comments (45)

Sung to "99 Red Balloons"

You and I, in a little bake shop
Want to buy a nice cake with the money we've got
Check to see what the baker's drawn
When suddenly it starts to dawn

All the cakes frosted without care
Send the message, "These are OUT THERE."
Look up at the baker guy
"Ninety-nine dread balloons. Oh, why?"

Ninety-nine dread balloons.
There's not one that I would buy.
"Those are bad!" I start to blurt
I think I'm shopping somewhere else

The wreck machine springs to life
Assaults my beleaguered eyes
Focusing them on the guy
"Ninety-nine dread balloons? Oh, why?"

I saw decapitated Grandmas right away. I need to find a therapist...

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Scalping Grannies is my new favorite wreck. I see it Jen, I see it.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

You know, the Emily one is the worst. It's just... It's.... I mean...

There are no words.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

Congratulations, Brittany, for your birthday you get eight big fat orange lipomas.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

"Scalping Grannies" is a great name for a band! It makes no sense, but then, a lot of band names make no sense.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatti

Many green sneakers
joined by their laces to form
Bad Triskelion.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

the dark - i suppose they're black - balloons could be considered to be appropriate for a 40th birthday cake.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjane lewis

I want bakers to stop making the balloon strings the way I drew them when I was 10! Balloons with helium have a tendency to pull the string taut, not swirly. Sheesh. I think they may all need a simple physics lesson about gravity, and anti-gravity, and torque, and the such (yeah, that sounds just about right--can you tell I aced my physics class?).

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

@Lindsey: I'm pretty sure that "Scalping Grannies" needs to be the name of the CakeWrecks Tribute band that Sharyn writes songs for!!!

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Oooh ooh ooh! I would TOTALLY play clarinet for the Scalping Grannies!! --What? It's not that kind of band? Dang!

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

I can't even remember the last time I saw decent balloons on a cake but these really do 'take the cake'

BTW, Jen and Crew - congrats on hitting #4 on the "Top Food Blogs" for My Daily Meal! I saw the repost of the article on earlier today.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLady Kal

Wow, that first cake combines two wreck types- poo and "swimmies."

Actually, for the scalped grannies I initially thought spring bonnets with strange ribbon but... OK, yeah.

The wrecks are truly pathetic when I can look at them and think "gee, I could have done better than that!"

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterakathleen

@Sharyn - You took the song right out of my head! (Great minds...)

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterzoomom

The purple ones aren't balloons. They're protozoans.


October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma

When I saw the first cake, I thougth: "Oh goody! CHOCOLATE sperm!" And my thoughts went downhill from there. Since this is a family blog, I will keep them to myself.

Yes, I do see the scalped grannies. Thank God they're pastel and not in real-life colors.

And poor Emily gets the worst cake of all. Even I can do better than this with the tube frosting. I hope they had super-duper ice cream to serve with that!

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

You know, I might still have that balloon 'bush' that came on The Firstborn's cake when he was two. Perhaps it's time to return it...

I saw the Grannie buns, too.

The CCC (patooie!) looks like baby rattles.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Andrea

I volunteer to play bass for the "Scalping Grannies" band, and I can bring chocolate chip cookies to practice! I trust Sharyn and Jen will be our lead vocalists.

Hard to believe Emily's cake was done by a bakery. *wimper*

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbassgirl

Sharyn and Haiku joy lolol :D I do see the scalping grannies, sperm and everything else, but I do NOT see balloons-WTF bakers

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

I think maybe the worst one is number 4. Actually made me snort.

As for the last one: Will bakeries soon decorate a cake simply by topping it with a printed photo of a decorated cake? (I believe that's what's referred to as 'meta'). :)

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

Last month when my uber creative British Co worker was on vacation I had to draw the birthday signs for a couple of people. I draw bad stick people but even my balloons looked more like balloons than these!
I saw decapitated grannies too. That's just sad.

@Just Andrea ~ Hope things are looking up!

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

I'm so jealous. I want a birthday cake with turds and clown noses.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

As much as I enjoyed the Notting Hill reference, I have to say that Sharyn's parody is pure genius.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeepBunny

I seriously thought the 40 year old's birthday cake was a reminder to put his sperm to good use 'cause he's not getting any younger

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Matt's cake: even stool samples are, ah, colorful.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

@Jodi - I can play flute....maybe a German "oompah" band? Hey! It IS "99 Luftballoons". ;D

I saw spring bonnets, also...the Victorian ones with the really exaggerated brims.

But I do see the granny scalps.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraV

"Two years' worth of icing made a glopping noise as it flowed endlessly onto the cake."

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLycopene

Just Andrea-I saw baby rattles too!!!And I just about spit my Special K Pastry Crisp all over my computer screen when I saw Emily's cake!!!Hard to explain to my boss why there is "chocolate stuff" all over the monitor, the desk, the wall...not sure he would accept "laughing my a** off at a cake wreck" as an explanation-nor that he would believe it was chocolate!!!

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWildDuck

Could the first ones be vermicious knids?

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoann

Oh my goodness, BADKarma. You are absolutely right. Protozoans to the life. It's a whole new direction for wrecked cakes.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKay

1. Sharyn-I have no words. I silently salute you.
2. "Scalping Grannies" must happen and I would very much like to be the harpsichordist.
3. I hate to point this out, really I do, but we have no way of knowing these "decorators" were trying to make balloons. They might be scalped grannies or rattles or IUDs or the ever popular deformed sperm. We really don't know, do we? (Except for Emily's cake. THOSE are balloons.) We immediatetly assume that we know what these people were going for, but what gives us that right? What are we, mind readers? Cake clairvoyants? Balloon mediums? No, most of us are not.
Now, go think about what you've done...

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

da f*k? (love the swimmers!)

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Is it wrong that so many of them look like sperm to me?

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

That first cake is covered with stuff my cat hoarks up. *barf* But the paper balloons on that last one really take the cake. BOOM. I said it.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJasry

Scalping Grannies. Yep.

And why oh WHY do decorators INSIST on making balloons look like "little swimmers"?!

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterE. Anne

Yes, Joann. I think the first ones are exactly what vermicious knids would look like.

The second one looks like purple dancing aliens, or strange monsters you would find on Sesame Street.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindarella

#4 looks like an aerial view of two purple, earless elephants sneezing brown mucous.
you're welcome.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

My in-laws got me a cake last year that had craptacular balloons on it, and I really wanted to take a picture and submit it so you all could laugh with me, but they started getting kinda upset that I was so excited about my cake being a wreck. They see no joy in life.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterveronicabbee


October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

from what i've seen on cake wrecks since i discovered it many moons ago balloons must be very hard to do.

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterarchersangel

@Linderalla -- but these vermicious knids aren't spelling anything. :(

I have to admit that I saw uteruses (uteri?) where others saw decapitated grannies. I guess I'm just 180 degrees off everyone else. I do agree, though, that Scalping Grannies would make a most excellent band name -- can you use a cello?

October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZippy

Great all I can hope for is that the balloons on my 40th cake at least look like balloons lol. I would laugh hysterically if they turned out to be crazy sperms though. Just my weird humor seeing as my birthday is quite a ways a way yet. Yay I make no sense lol.

October 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Hey, can I be a backing vocalist in 'Scalping Grannies'? I do a great 'Doo-doo, doo! (clapclapclap)'. We can all wear CW t-shirts! Yay!

October 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMorag

# 1 No way in heck are those balloons. They're spermatozoa. The clinchers are the kinkiness/loopiness of the "strings" and that huddle the gang on the left side are in. I've seen them do stuff like that under the microscope.

#4 @ BADKarma You're right, definitely some kind of protozoa.

October 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrocketride

'Scalping Grannies' is EPIC. Can I join? I can play flute, timpani, ocarina, recorder, jews' harp and/or glockenspiel. I can sing too!

October 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKrunchifrog

I have an addition to Scalping Grannies! My friend Megan (also a CW fan) plays Vibraphone!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commentershannon

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