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

Not-So-Basic Instructions

There's a certain creativity to literal LOLs - a kind of "outside the box" thinking that never fails to impress me. The kind that says, "Oh, you want the words written in purple? THEN THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I WILL WRITE."

"But not necessarily in that color."

Also, it turns out those are not garbage bags in a windstorm.


You might think it would help to spell out the name for a birthday cake, but that's not always the case - as "Alison with one L" discovered:

Wait for it... waaaiit for it...


And lest you think it's better to write it down  - and perhaps add a helpful footnote:



Adding a P.S. is never a good idea, either:


The fact is, sometimes wreckerators just have a hard time getting the picture:

Or maybe they just really stink at drawing.


Thanks to April B., Alli N., Robin G., Kalisha G., Kelly & Craig, & Carole for helping us all appreciate the finer intricacies of the English language. And also for the snort-giggles.


NOTE: In times of tragedy sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is your job. Our job is to make you laugh - but never for a moment think that John, Sharyn, and I are not heartbroken by the events in Boston yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this senseless act, and we wish you all every healing and peace.

« So Easy, A Wreckerator Couldn't Do It | Main | The Seven Stages of Wrecks »

Reader Comments (49)

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the first cake is correct. It is probably for a military change of command ceremony, also known as a "Hail and Farewell." Hail to the new commander (they don't usually recognize the troops at these things) and farewell to the old guy. Of course, that doesn't explain the magnolia blossom.

[Editor's note- You are absolutely right. It was horrible handwriting but it was correct. I pulled the cake and very cleverly moved the second cake up. (tapping forehead) I'm going back to bed now. Thanks for the heads up! -john]

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLDM

Sung to "The Hokey Pokey"

You put the right words in
Of that there is no doubt
Read the instructions and
Then you piped 'em all about
'Cause you're a Wreckerator
And your job is to confound
That's what it's all about

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Those poor deflating balloons in the 2nd cake make me want to cry

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermiss_paper

Could you guys do a Boston Sweets on Sunday to let them know we love them?

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah

The first cake says "Alli." Clearly the wreckorator couldn't follow instructions without knowing all the right words. Along those lines, the fourth cake probably should have said, "Y'all did us well," and I'm not sure of the names Nado and Haze.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClassic Steve

Loved the note at the end. Thank you for doing your job and making us laugh today.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterann

I bet Alli's cake went over like a lead balloon...

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElissa

As an "Alison with one L," I would have LOVED getting that cake!!! :D Anyone who has a name with various spelling varieties understands the headache of all the misspelled cards from pseudo-friends and dimwitted relatives, messed-up paperwork from the government, even defective awards from your own school... Not that I am bitter. The worse I ever received was from a doctor's office-- they wrote "Allicin" on my medical file. Really?

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

Thanks for the literal LOL. @Sharyn -- exxxxcccellleennnnntttt my dear

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

Wow. What the. I don't even. I hope to god that they were trying to make some sort of statement here. Any statement. Besides 'we don't understand how writing works.'

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolly Folly

Thank you for "doing your job" today and giving us something to smile about. :-)

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

FWIW I thought your handling of Boston in the post was spot on - appropriate and balanced way to acknowledge what's going on without having it take over. Kudos.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLouise

Thanks for doing your job so well!!! When the choice is to laugh or cry, you help us with the laugh part!! :) We know where your hearts are!! :)

That being said, how did the "purple" wreckorator think they were on the correct side of the cake? You know, the balloons didn't give it away, obviously. LOL

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteranony mouse

I snorted so loud that I scared the cat when I read "yall old as hell" ... sounds like something we'd say down in these parts. Thank you for the laughs, today and always.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDegera

I wonder if the cake is pink inside.

For the last one, I can almost understand, as "mouse" could be the actual rodent or the computer device, but when in doubt, clarification should have been sought.

Also, I'm guessing -- hoping, actually -- that the quotation marks around "uncle" mean that he's not actually related, but he's pretty good with kids, so he gets called "Uncle John" or whatever.

(Yesterday's news brought to me by Cakewrecks, Google, and WIkipedia. Man.)

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNyperold

I'm not one to quote scriptures, but I was looking for something to sum up my feelings and came across this: "Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good." Romans 12:21. Pay it forward today--in your case, making us laugh and appreciate bad cake art.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren O

Thank you for your comment on Boston. And for your unwavering dedication to making us laugh. We <3 you all.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

I have never laughed so hard in my life as I did when I saw that “Alli Purple” cake! What a masterpiece of comedic cake decorating: bold, yet subtle, combined with not only a hint of irony but a dash of in-your-face bravado! If we look closely at this cake, here’s what we can see. Alli is clearly a girl who has been struggling to loose weight, and the name “Alli” is a subtle clue since that is also the name of a weight-loss product. Thus, Alli on a cake offers a humorous contradiction between a calorie-laden food and its antithesis. Now, purple, in and of itself, would appear to be innocent; in fact, the color is frequently associated with piety. On first glance, it might, to the naive, seem that the sender wished to offer a compliment – Alli is pious. Yet, if we look beyond the obvious, we see the smarmy reality that the sender is suggesting – nay – boldly proclaiming! No, my friends, Alli is not actually pious, and while she may show that as her public persona, the truth is much, much darker! We know this from looking at the surrounding decorations. To the most casual of observers, the supporting decorations are little dots and two balloons. O, my dear, dear fellow wreckies….if we have learned nothing else over the years, we should have learned two things: brown icing always looks like poop…and…balloons always look like…well...that baby-making stuff. Yes, here, cleverly disguised as a cake from a well-wisher, is an expose! Alli, that seemingly pious person…is pregnant! And…she doesn’t know who the father is! The devil…or reveal, in this in the details. See all those “dots”…what are they really? Of course…unfertilized eggs! Now, look closely at the “balloons.” Note how each one has a “dot” on top near the end! Ah, the mystery of fertilization! And, of course, the two “balloons” represents two possible fathers! Thus, while on the surface we have what might appear to be a mistake in decorating, what we actually have is a fiendishly clever and perhaps catty expose of what might be another kind of mistake.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

I came to the site today, because I needed a break from all the horror from our world. I'm so tired of having to see flags at half mast for one tragedy or another. :( I just want it all to stop.

So your "doing your job" was a very important thing for many of us. We needed a place to come and laugh and feel like the world is its normal, "crazy cake" self. Thank you for giving that to us today.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

I live in Boston, and I needed that smile today. Thank you.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Picture of a Mouse...... I cant stop saying this in a bland monotone voice...

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Well, it's a good thing those balloons on the first cake are on opposite sides of the cake. Because they are awfully saggy and wrinkly, and if the were next to each other......

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

I was lost trying to figure out the name on the third cake--until I saw the footnote.

It is obviously supposed to be Diane with one "n". Too bad they left out the one "n" and put Pike's Peak in its place.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

@mel hun, you need to slow down and take a deep breath. Then you might need to find a creative outlet for that mind of yours. Like writing soap opera script or hollywood movies. I do mean this in the nicest possible way and with all kinds of love and concern... just sayin.

otherwise.. that "yall old as hell" remark just made my day. Why can't I get a request to write such witty and well thought out verbiage on my cakes?

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjenjen

I love it when Mel gets wound up that way - bad writing at its very best. He's so good/bad, he's probably disqualified from the Bad Writing Contest at San Jose State Univ each year.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorine

Sharyn bahahaha thanks for the needed giggles :D laughter is the best medicine :D

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Alison should be happy. I mean, at least the cake didn't say, "Happy Birthday Allison 1-L".

I'd say the same for Diane, but her's looks like "Diare", which, no.

@Nyperold: You're right. They didn't ask for pink frosting afterall. ; - )

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Andrea

Thanks. I needed a big smile today. I think we all do. Well-done!

Thanks for all you guys do. Even in the midst of chaos you are still here to make us smile.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

#1 The Purples (Deep and Royal) are very proud of Alli, even if her name isn't a color pun. As fans of the artist known-then-not-then-known-again-as Prince, they got back on track by naming their youngest daughter Rain, knowing that their favorite song would be called to mind every time their daughter's name appeared on a file. BTW, anyone who has been reading CW for more than .01 second knows what those things on either side really are.

#2 The manager decided to do a series of these. This one is for people whose last name ends with 'I' through 'L'.

#3 The wreckorator wrote "Diore" because they couldn't decipher the meaning of "with on n!"

#4 I've heard of cherry Coke (my favorite) and even vanilla Coke, but Pink Coke is a new one on me.

#5 I don't know whether to laugh or be annoyed at cakes that are full of in-references. "Happy Birthday, 'Uncle' (nudge-wink). Here's a picture of a mouse -- know what I'm sayin'?" Unfortunately (or perhaps not), the wreckorator wasn't 'in' and so didn't know what sort of mouse was indicated. Thus, s/he decided to go all literal and stuff.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Thank you for all of the laughs and smiles! We need more laughter in this world!

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRikki

@mel - please pass my thanks to Mr. Potato, Head Counsel, for his heart-felt letter yesterday. And kudos on your post today! In addition, I hereby make the motion that the next 'guest' Cake Wrecks post should be authored by none other than Mr. Potato, Head Counsel. I bet it would be hilarious! (2nd choice would be you, of course! :-)

And I'd like to 2nd the motion put forth by Rebekah & suggest that, if possible, a Sunday Sweets of Boston would be a great idea (assuming there are enough "sweet" cakes on the subject).

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

Thank you for the laughs today! <3

Mel, I think you're onto something. heh

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Thank you for your post and also for the note at the bottom. As it turns out, that's exactly why I came to visit today. Struggling to wrap my mind around what happened in Boston, the familiar is comforting... xo

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermichelej

In other encouraging cake news today, I found this at the BBC: :)

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermillbrit

Poor Alli. Not only does she not get her name in purple, she doesn't even get inflated balloons on her cake.

Sharyn: I sang right along with you!

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

"Diane with one N" ended up having no N at all! Diare? Looks like an Italian verb.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

the "sprinkles" on cake #1 look like technicolor rabbit poo

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

Never credit to creativity what can be explained as STUPIDITY.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJo

Thank you for being here to help us find ways to smile even when we're feeling down. You're correct: sometimes that's *exactly* what's needed.

According to Wikipedia, the first line of the Harvard fight song is Illegitimi non carborundum...which seems appropriate. (Disclaimer: no disparagement of anyone born out of wedlock meant - I have friends that fall into that category!)

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhyphen8

@jenjen -- I tried a soap opera once -- As the World Churns -- a sad saga of a diary farmer who got milked for all he was worth by his younger wife who buttered him up and then ran away with a ranch hand...critics said it was too cheesey....
@Norine -- thanks for the compliment...(I think it was a compliment)....I've never been disqualified from that contest, though I have been declared persona non grata in several cities....
@KarateLady -- I'll pass your thanks along...and your motions are too kind...I've had a lot of fun with Mr. Potato, Head Counsel, since he first appeared, and I'm sure he'll be back now and then. One of the greatest things about this site (in addition to the absolutley fantastic humour of Jen and john (thoj) and the now team member Sharyn), is the wonderful freedom Jen and john (thoj) give us in our posts -- they certainly have been more than tolerant of my off-the-wall stuff.... This is a wonderful place to play and my fellow wreckies are the funniest people I've never met....(my fantasy is that we all get together for a picnic to meet each other, and then eat cake, and laugh and laugh and laugh....
@Mary -- that was kind...most people would have said "I think you're on something...."
@Craig -- lol...loved the "I through L" line!

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

Thanks for the laughs. Literal LOLs are one of my favorites, although they make me wonder about our educational system. Doesn't anyone read?
And what does an uncle have to do with a mouse? Is is Mickey Mouse, a real mouse, a computer mouse?

As for the tragic events, I'm with the late night host (Craig Ferguson?) who said last night, "Is anyone else sick of this?" Yes, so much. My heart goes out to Boston, and Sandyhook, and the long list of others.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ.J.

Well they really take the instructions literally lol. I so needed this laugh so thank you for posting these hilarious things. At least there were no clowns so I can finally come out from under the bed.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

I third the vote for Boston Sunday Sweets, or something of the sort. What makes the tragedy worse is that this Marathon was dedicated to those in Newtown (sp?) who lost their children in the school shooting. The last mile was supposed to have been run for them. Jen, John, Sharyn, (and any others) I think yall are doing great - just keep bringing the smiles and making something good in this world. We love yall.

P.S. This comment is my first! I am no longer a lurker! :)

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

Urgh. Mom would scold me: I should have said "I have friends who fall into that category."

I hope the grammar police are feeling merciful.

On another note, perhaps it's Alison's first year of law school? Nah, probably not.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhyphen8

I also appreicate the one-L Alison cake.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlison in Indiana

Another Boston-area Cake Wrecks fan who loves the Literal LOLs and who appreciated business as usual here. I actually was back at work the next day, and I have to say that everything I saw - marathon runners and their families supporting local businesses and tourist sites, Bostonians coming together - shows we'll be OK. Maybe not like before, but OK. Keeping our sense of humor will only help.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-with-an-e

mel, in keeping with our relative posts' length, I'll bring the shortcake if you'll bring the long johns to the picnic.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

@Haiku Joy:!

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

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