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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

Ha! Fooled You AGAIN.

There's been a tradition going around for April Fool's Day to either make cake look like other foods:

By CW reader Brenda S.

... or make other food look like cake:

It's a literal beef cake!

By CW reader Barbara G.


Sonya D. here even did both: The "cake" is meatloaf with mashed potato icing, and the grilled cheese "sandwiches" are cake!




Naturally, all the big chain bakeries have decided to get in on this action, churning out a veritable plethora of faux food guaranteed to fool ANYONE who is standing fifty feet away and just got those pupil-dilating drops put in from the ophthalmologist within the past hour.

I think it's supposed to be a hot dog and fries.
I KNOW it looks like moldy doody.

("Howdy, DOODY.")


How about single servings of spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, and tiny cherry pies?

Or these things?


The bakers actually succeeded on this one:

Although I don't remember the Bog of Eternal Stench having quite that much silly string.


Much as it pains me to admit it, sometimes the "corn on the cob" cupcakes can be pretty darn cute.

Happily, this isn't one of those times.


This one's my favorite, though - because only a wreckerator could fail this badly to make a cupcake look like a cupcake:



When all else fails, though, nothing fools customers into believing there are real raw green beans and potato chips stuck on the cupcakes like sticking real raw green beans and potato chips on the cupcakes:

Let's not ask what the lumps are in the other cupcake's icing, though, ok? I'd like to eat again someday.


Thanks to Shellis S., Mia & Trinh, Kris D., Tracy W., Sabrina P., Kae B., & Sheila M. for the faux food foolishness. 

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Reader Comments (41)

Every year I want to do the meatloaf-and-potatoes cake for my husband. Then I remember that would require me actually making a meatloaf...which doesn't sound like something I'm likely to do. But nice job, Brenda, Barbara, and Sonya!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterM. Dale

Sung to "The Teddy Bear's Picnic"

If you go out to the store today, you're sure of a big surprise
If you go out to the store today, the cakes will be in disguise
For every cake that ever there was will look like something different because
Today's the day the bakers all go psychotic

Faux food time for bakers there
The crazy bakers swear they're wrecking the food for us today
It will catch you unawares
To see doody act like hot dogs today
See "spaghetti," "Mac and cheese," and tiny "cherry pies"
There's silly string everywhere
"Corn on the Cob" and epic fail cupcakes will make you shake your head
They can't stick one more green bean in there.

If you're feeling like you've been good, don't go to the store today
'Cause any cake that you see today will make you just run away
You'll gasp and wheeze and fall to your knees
Because these cakes are not meant to please
'Cause it's today when bakers all go psychotic.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I'm so sorry but i have to say it... The cake is a lie!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNight Owl

i like the first one and the grilled cheese 'sandwiches' are cute!!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Former CB

I made one of those meatloaf and mashed potato cakes for my kids one year. They still gripe about it.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Did you catch the "decorations" on the meatloaf cake? The "roses" were made of bacon and the "leaves" were pickles! Not a bad touch.

And lmao @ the "Teddy Bears' Picnic" spoof. Hated that song as a kid, but that totally made my day.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKiana

@Sonya D -- wow. Well done!
@Sharyn -- I love that song! And the book. Awesome.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

Huh. #8 suggests that with care, one could do a very realistic fake corn-on-the-cob with jelly beans. That isn't what happened here, of course.

In medieval times, a food item that was created to look like a different food, or like a non-food item, was called a "sotelty" or "soteltie" ("subtlety"). These are not very subtle.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Polowin

I personally feel that the beauty of comfort food like mashed potatoes, meatloaf and gravy should be left in their original, comforting forms. As should well-made and well-decorated cake. Just sayin'.

The cupcakes with the potato chips and green beans are a scream! Thankfully, I had just finished taking a drink and avoided spraying soda all over my computer screen.

And the Silly String cake demonstrates that indeed, that baker has gone psychotic. Great song, Sharyn!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

Love the Labyrinth reference!! :D I'm sure that cake does "SMELL BAAAD!" (And I use the term "cake" loosely.)

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

Okay, I've used crushed graham crackers for sand when I made a golf-course cake for my Dad.

But try as I might, I cannot come up with any justifiable reason to jam funky, brown, old green beans into a cupcake. I just can't. What did that cupcake do to deserve THAT?

At least I could see the potato chips having kind of a daisy thing going on -- but that doesn't mean I'd actually DO it.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Nimous

Ahem...those aren't "real" potato chips - those are those baked potato slurry monstrosities that are called "Pringles". They fit in really well with the theme, though, being that they are fake food masquerading as real!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

I used to know a lady who molded macaroni salad into cakes and frosted them with mayonnaise.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

I remember a birthday party when I was a kid that had a "cake"---but it was a loaf of bread cut in four layers horizontally, with egg salad and tuna salad in between the layers and cream cheese "frosting" on the outside. What a disappointment! Just because you can, doesn't mean that you should, even if it is April 1.

Sharyn, I love all of your posts, but you really outdid yourself today!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

Having suitably aged children, when I got to the "moldy doody" part, I immediately heard in my head "Not *that* kind of doody!" a la "Wreck-It Ralph". That joke has been playing in our house for what seems like forever now. Also "Holy crab!" from "Ice Age: Continental Drift" and "Da-Da
-Duuuh!" from "The Croods".

I watch too many animated movies.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

Joel, the corn on the cob cupcakes are from a cupcake decorating book (either Hello Cupcake! or What's New, Cupcake? ). They do look quite cute when done properly.

Needless to say, the example above was not done properly.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMuria

As someone that used to use partially melted chocolate ice cream as chip dip, the cupcake with the potato chips (real or not!) actually looked good to me! The rest, not so much...*urp*

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHunBun

Ick. If I saw a cake, it had better be cake. My brain would not be able to handle anything else.

The cake that looks like food in the first picture, however, is very well made. Much better than other "CDAF" (cake disguised as food) I have seen on here.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh

Wonderful job, Brenda, Barbara and Sonya! I think I would have to eat those with my eyes closed, lest my brain catch fire, which would have a negative impact on my sense of taste.

Anyone else waiting for that meatball to roll off the top of that cupcake? *singing* "On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed..."

I wonder if the green bean cupcake is frosted with sour cream...

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Maybe the wreckerator on the "Bog of Eternal Stench" cake was actually aiming for "Fire Swamp", and the ROUS's had a birthday party...

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma

LOVE the Labyrinth reference :D

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

One could say that there is a temptation to go easy on the first three because they were made by people likely to read the comments. But these three actually are well done. Faux food cakes that are well done are rare. Not medium rare, mind, rare.

#1 OM.

#2 NOM.

#3 NOM. Note: The carrots should have jockeys. A reader would be expected to know this, but we'll let it slide, this time.

And then there are...the others.

#4 Better. (No, not a comparative term in this case. Wait for it...)

#5 Get. (Definitely not a recommendation.)

#6 A. (Nope, not a grade...)

#7 Bucket! (Now you know...the rest of the story!)

#8 This one is just sort of sad. You can see what they were going for, but it's just not there. You almost want to get it, saying loudly (in case the maker is within earshot), "What a clever idea!" But you don't do that, because the result might be more of them.

#9 Now, these are... Are... Oy. Potato chips (ok, "baked potato slurry monstrosities" -- great characterization), jammed in what could be... bean dip? Actual green beans that have gone past their prime, inserted in...any guesses? And something that looks exactly like...never mind. No, I don't want to venture a guess as to what the 'cupcakes' might be made of. There are things that are better left unknown.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Hey Jen, are you guys ever going to tell us what cakes last year were real, and which were fake?

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWildstar

Green Beans? That one will have me scratching my head for quite a while.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoemama

The cupcake that doesn't look like a cupcake actually looks a lot like one of the Dow Scrubbing Bubbles.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWill

The cake sandwiches and meatloaf cake are cute :D the chain bakery cakes D:

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

The interior view of the beefcake kicked my morning sickness into overdrive! Blech!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChrista

@Craig, your 4, 5, 6 and 7 made me giggle :-)
@Will, you're EXACTLY right! Sadly, I don't think that's what the wreckorator was going for. o.O

The first one is seriously well made! A mean trick for someone craving a turkey dinner (I can almost TASTE the gravy!) but very well made...out of sugar!

That meat cake has bacon flowers! BACON FLOWERS!!! B.A.C.O.N F.L.O.W.E.R.S! I'm not a huge fan of edible flowers but I could totally stand behind bacon flowers!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

Bacon roses and
Beef cake? Silly string pizza?
April Fool! Gotcha!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarate Lady

@Andrea, it is not sour cream. Because it just isn't. Although I cannot imagine what other substance could possibly be acceptable. There is no edible substance of which I am aware that can bridge successfully the concepts: 'green beans' and 'cupcakes'. Maybe a cornbread 'cupcake' with whipped butter... Why does this even exist?!

I would like to thank Jen and the commenters (which I still think is a great name for a band) for the absence of smorgastarta images and associated Epcot, respectively. Oh, and turkey cakes. Although the year is still young...

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Some of my co-workers made a meatloaf cake one year for someone as a joke, if I remember correctly. Turned out not too bad. It's a fun idea, and when done properly, can be quite deceptive in looking like the real deal.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

The "unidentified" cupcake in the last picture looks like it's supposed to be French Onion dip...

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

this blog doesn't usually make me hungry given the nature of most of the photos. the first few photos made my stomach growl, however. nicely done, ladies!

@Craig very, very funny

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

The first cake was really great. Then I got to the rest of the evil monsters waiting for me at the bottom. Yikes is all I can say especially now that you have me wondering what exactly that cupcake is iced with lol. I think I am better off not knowing.

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

A few years ago (it was before I found CW, or I'd have taken a picture for you), I made my husband a Sushi Cake. It was pretty much a Rainbow Roll Cake, with each layer of rice having a different type of fish/shellfish. He loved it, and it was damned tasty if I do say so myself, but it was SO messy! VERY weird to have to eat sushi with a fork!

Cheers, thanks a lot,


April 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStorm

@Craig: Thank you. Cornbread muffin with whipped butter saved my brain from continuing to try to mash together green beans, sour cream, and cake. Although, I don't think the wreckerator was as clever as you purport him to be...

@Storm: Wait. Actual cake with rice and fish/shellfish? And it tasted good? I'll take your word for it! : - D Glad you and Mr. Storm enjoyed it.

It took me quite a while to put fruit and cream cheese together because that sounded really off to me, too. So, my palate may be somewhat unadventurous!

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

ha, a friend of mine did the meatloaf/mashed potato cake this year - her kids loved it! She also made a dessert with cocoa krispie treats shaped like meatloaf and whipped cream 'mashed potatoes' with chocolate sauce 'gravy'. It all looked fun.

April 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterklb4n6

Those green beans are a dried snack food. Not bad, but keep the gravel out of my cake, please.

April 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

The chicken dinner one looked quite realistic.

April 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Saxon

The first three look great, and I'd LOVE a slice of the "cake" with the bacon roses (along with one of the roses, too, please). Then again, I really enjoy meat loaf.

The rest...*shudder*

April 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbadfae

Oh, dear... I didn't phrase that quite right, did I? It wascake STYLE, with the ingredients of a Rainbow Sushi Roll, with the sushi rice done as "cake layers", and a different kind of fish or veggie in between, and wasabi swirled around the top as "icing". NO ACTUAL cake involved! I thought it was a terribly clever idea, my husband was delighted... and then we tried to slice the sucker. MESSSS! Ate it in a bowl instead of on a plate, but hey, it ends up all mixed together in your belly anyway, right? :)

Cheers, thanks a lot,


April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStorm

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