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

Sunday Sweets: Your Holiday Happy Place

By now many of you are no doubt in that stress-filled haze of pre-Christmas panic - the one that results from too much shopping and too little eggnog. (Because, seriously, EGGNOG FIXES EVERYTHING.)

So listen, I want you to just sit back, relax, and let allll that holiday stress go. Because this, my friends, is your happy place.


(By Karla's Little Bakery)

Is this not the sweetest, artsiest bit of edible quilling you've ever seen? So perfect! Now I want to try quilling again just to make this pattern into next year's Christmas cards.


And speaking of cards, doesn't this remind you of all those vintage-styled pretties - the ones on thick cream paper with embossed lettering?

(By Alliance Bakery)

I think it's all the handpainting; it's just SO perfect it looks printed.


And now, ruffly goodness:

(By Inspired by Michelle Cake Designs)

See that pattern on the white? I love that pattern. I want it covered in crystals and made into wrapping paper - which I will then hoard, Smaug-style, along with thousands of rolls of sparkly Christmas ribbon, because I seriously can't stop buying that stuff.



You may have heard that the Three Wise Men brought the baby Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but did you know they also brought something a little more festive?

(By Yuma Couture Cakes)

Because it's not a birthday party 'til there are balloons, dangit.
(That silhouette is too, too cool.)


This one makes me hum "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" - and with the right words, even!

(By Chanata sweets 'n Decoration)

That pop of lime green in the middle with the teal is just about the cheeriest thing ever, and I love the dusting of powered sugar snow on the chocolate pinecones. And did you notice this is an anniversary cake? SO SWEET.


This next one is as cozy as your favorite Christmas sweater:

(Photography by Simone van Den Berg, cake by Evelien Keijer)

It's also baffling the heck out of me, since I have no idea how the baker did it. She couldn't have individually piped every single "stitch," right? Right?? Please, someone tell me; I may lose sleep over this.


Another handpainted beauty with a vintage vibe:

(Found here, anyone know the baker?)

I'm digging the "snow" dripping off those berries and branches.


And this one manages to be modern and classic at the same time:

(Artwork by Illustree and cake by Three Little Blackbirds Cakes)

Black, white, and sparkly red glitter will never go out of style, people. NEVER.


And don't underestimate the power of a little red accent on a soft gray palette, either:

(By Of Cakes and Cupcake (and Apollo too))

Airbrushing done right makes me all happy inside.


You know, I've seen a lot of cakes, and I generally pride myself on being able to spot what's edible and what's not. This next one, though? Completely fooled me:

(By Gateaux Inc.)

I thought those were stacked hat boxes, but nope; it's cake, and everything on it is edible. The bells, the silky gold robe, and of course the sheet music sides. Plus the solid side has this gorgeous shimmer you can really only see up close:



And if you thought that was stunning, then hold on to your giant pearly antlers:

(By Cake Heart)



And just like that, blue is my new favorite color.


Well, I hope you enjoyed, my friends, because your happy place is now closing. So get on out there, and go drink some eggnog. [lifting cup] Cheers!


Curious which bakers in your area have been featured here on Sweets? Then check out our Sunday Sweet Directory!

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Reader Comments (34)

Ohh so many pretty cakes :D I think the wise men with balloons has a cute sweet touch, and the snowmen couple is so cute :D

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

If I received any of these cakes, I would have to Miss Haversham it, because I can't stand the idea of a knife ruining their beauty. How could anyone eat such a work of art?

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstaying anon.


December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I'm not a baker, but were I to try to make something like the sweater cake, I would probably emboss fondant so that it looked like the stitches (tiny round lumps, there has to be a tool to do that, like a small meet tenderizer) and then cut out the shapes and put them on the cake.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Wow. That snow-covered blue beauty with the Currier and Ives vignettes is an absolute masterpiece.

Had that appeared for my party, I've have stood there, cake knife in hand, threatening to hurt anybody who even *thought* about carving that up and putting it on a platter.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Nimous

Every time I thought I had a favorite, the next cake came up. These are all wonderful!

The balloons on the wise men cake did get a giggle. Not that I picked a favorite cake, you understand.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

I did enjoy that, Jen. Seriously beautiful cakes! Thanks.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

That blue has ALWAYS been my favorite color...the color of the sky when the very first star comes out.
I love all these cakes...but I don't want to eat any of them. I want to display them as art.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancie

Wow, also!

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErica

yes, they make all kinds of textured strips, puts the design right on it...

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlibby

Holy crap, the sweater cake! I have to know how that was done.

All the cakes are gorgeous. Thanks for the holiday cheer!

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKW

I want them all! Not to eat, of course. To put in the center of the table and look at.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoxy Random

I remember seeing an episode of Ace of Cakes, where the cake recipient had made handmade, cross-stitched Christmas stockings.

In this case, yes, the decorator hand-piped the stitches onto an acetate sheet printed with the pattern. So, it was ridiculously labor-intensive, but at least she wasn't having to free-hand it and worry about different-sized X's.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

I now provide another declaration of my love for Cake Wrecks.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

These cakes are gorgeous. I love the reindeer. So adorable

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

You have seriously outdone yourself this week! Those are all gorgeous!

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEllon St. Croix

These are stunning. The sweater cake... There are no words.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

wow, gloriously, wow!

These are just BEAUTIFUL... love the three wise men cake with the balloons. very sweet touch.

That first cake (with the green and red outlined birds and flowers) is just cheerful. Love it. I'm not usually a fan of gilded things but that FA LA LA cake is so beautifully done - it's simply elegant. And that last reindeer is just amazing.

Thanks for showing us that there ARE bakers out there who know what they are doing, in spite of the evidence that we see Monday - Friday...

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAddie

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who can't resist buying Christmas ribbon! Seriously, I have to stay out of the craft stores during after-Christmas sales. And, oh my gosh! Well-made frosting balloons!! It's a Christmas miracle! Seriously, all these cakes are gorgeous.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura P.

I think those are the prettiest cakes EVER. I can't pick a favorite, either, but there were so many great details. Like the balloons, the "stitched" sweater, the sheet music cake --- and I don't think I could bear to eat them! They just have to stay like that, perfect, forever!

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonkaloosa

That anniversary cake is so beautiful, it makes it easy to overlook the spelling mistake!!

[Editor's note- Wow. Good catch. I totally missed that. -john (the hubby of Jen)]

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnnonymous

Oooohhh! I love that little gray one - so pretty!

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKirsten

Thank you so much Jen for featuring my cake. I flipped out when I saw it at the top. I just can't believe the company it's in. You really did make this holiday a lot happier. Thank you!

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkarla

Thank you so much Jen for featuring my cake. I can't believe the company it's in! You just made my Christmas even happier!

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkarla

Fondant quilling! Nordic sweater piping! So amazing!
However, the musician in me has one bah humbug to point out: the cake reads "Fa la la la la" from the song, "Deck the Hall" but the music is for "Jingle Bells."

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVioletRose

Jen, the birds on the gray one and on top of the blue with the berries are exactly the same, could they be from the same baker? (mostly positive you already noticed that and checked it out, but what the hey). Merry Christmas to you and yourn!

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdnana

The one with the birds on top, the second "antique card" one, actually reminds me more of this jug that we have. See, my grandparents owned and ran a fair-sized pottery studio when my mom was young, and my grandfather made this ceramic jug of a snowscape that used this puffy white glaze for the snow, and it dripped JUST like the snow on that cake. It even used pretty much the same colors as the jug in the little "plaques."

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn S.

<<sigh of pure contentment>>

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZippy

Hi all! What an honor to see my own cake in this gallery! Thank you all for the really flattering comments. This makes my Christmas extra special. :D

The sweater cake, as you all call it, is piped. Yes, all the stitches are individually piped. :D No crosses but 'V' stitches to create the sweater look. Since I was inspired by scandinavian sweaters the cake was named "God Jul". I made this cake for our dutch cake decorating magazine MjamTaart! in which the how-to with pictures can be found. The free pattern can be found on our website. It took me about 10 hours to decorate.

Happy Christmas!

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvelien Keijer

First, @Evelien Keijer...thank you for sharing the details on your lovely cake! It's so beautiful!

Second, I love them all, but I particularly love the Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland anniversary cake. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year, and today is my 13th anniversary with my hubby. It's the perfect cake to celebrate a special day!

On the first cake, I love the little face on the tulip! (or is that a daisy...?)

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorma

maybe the sweater texture was created by using tons upon tons of little pearl candies, because I know, personally, that I would end up getting frustrated and smashing the cake before I got halfway through hand piping all of those little TINY stitches.

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRiane

I saw the spelling issue on the snowman cake but was to distracted by the chocolate pinecones to worry about that. Seriously, I NEED chocolate pinecones in my life!

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

I did a cross-stitch cake for my daughter's christening. I used a grooved silicone rolling pin on the fondant to create even ridges, then rotated 90 degrees and repeated. the result was a texture not unlike cross-stitch. at that point you could cut the shapes out and, if necessary, draw stitches on the fondant with edible ink pens. Since the sweater cake is monochromatic, you can skip that having used only red fondant. That's my best guess, but I'd have to see it zoomed in to know for sure.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMoominmama

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