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

The Letter Of the Flaw

This redditor discovered there's more than one way to interpret "sprinkles on the side."


(One of the few times when the wrecked version actually required more effort.)


Dae's local bakery offers number-shaped donuts for birthdays, so she ordered "20 number 6 donuts with pink icing and sprinkles."



Cory S. asked for a cake that was half white, half chocolate, but made the mistake of not specifying WHICH half: 



I feel ya, Jean-Luc.

And finally, Lindsay A. was very clear when she ordered these two cookies cakes: "Happy Birthday Jessica" on one, and on the other, "Happy Birthday Alan."

(I'll spare you the headache: they both read "Happy Birthday Jessica and the other Alan.")




Thanks to Libby, Dae S., Cory S., & Lindsay A., who I'm sure can't stop staring at the wonky Picard arm, either. Right? Please tell me I'm not the only one.

« Dental Training | Main | Sunday Sweets: Childhood Friends »

Reader Comments (71)

The photo of Jean Luc and Riker is photoshopped. The creases/folds on the sleeves are identical.

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia

Theardare's day has been made. *Four* not-a-wrecks (at least as of the time I'm writing this) and a bonus "it's the customer's fault."

T has been spending an extra-long time rifling through the song catalog, so obviously something stronger than Manilow is required, this time. Maybe even "Christmas Shoes" won't cut it. He might have to open the sealed vault that contains the...Celine collection. (Assorted screams) He cites this enlightening passage from Sidebars 3:2: "A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons."

#1 I've seen this done before, I'm sure many bakeries advertise their ability to do this, but it isn't what the customer wanted, thus a wreck.

#2 The irony of this happening at a bakery known for numeral-shaped doughnuts is truly OM NOM NOM NOM... Sorry, I was distracted.

#3 If I ordered a half-and-half cake, I would expect the halves to be side-by-side. If I were told to get two separate cakes because of the possibility of 'splittage', I would get myself to another bakery. The logistics of a birthday party are daunting enough without a debate over whether the customer should be allowed to have what they're attempting to pay for.

#4 Can't you just hear it now: "Who's the other Alan? Mommmm!"

FP2: What happened to Picard's arm?

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Love the double face palm! This is just too funny!

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRikki

I've got to say, out of all the wrecks I've seen over the years "sprinkles on the side" was probably more of an honest mistake than flat out incompetence.
For the definition of flat out incompetence, see "Happy Birthday Jessica and the other Alan".

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPuppygirl

A question for those bakers who insist "half and half" *always* means contrasting layers:

How would you slice a cake in half, hmmmm?

I thought so. It stretches the English language beyond all bounds of reason and custom to suggest that you'd cut the cake horizontally.

So please don't go around saying this is the customer's fault. If I want "half a cake," that means the left half or the right half. Not the top half or the bottom half. So "half vanilla and half chocolate" means one side vanilla and one side chocolate. If I want one layer vanilla and one layer chocolate, I'll say so.


April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Johnson

I've both baked and ordered (and received) half and half cakes with one flavour on one side and another flavour on the other side. I fail to see how it 'can't possibly be done'. If that's true, how do bakers create checkerboard cakes? (run for bunker)

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPuppygirl

You have to remember #3 is grocery store 1/4 double layer sheet cake and thats what you get if you ask half and half as a double layer 1/4. You want 1/2 and 1/2 next to each other not on top get a 1/2 sheet cake (which is the same amount of cake). You order a 1/4 half and half thats what you will get. Thats how I do 1/4 double layers half and half. On another note you order a 1/4 cake single layer it can only be one flavor.The company I work almost never ends up here.

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCrissy

I went to the reditter post and found out that those SOTS cupcakes were for an anti-bullying campaign. Interestingly enough, one third of the comments were either accusing the poster for cyber-bullying the baker or cyberbullying the poster. Facepalm, headdesk, sigh.
At least all the wrecks today look yummy.

p.s.@KarateLady: have you read a cookbook called Paleo Desserts by Jane Barthelmy? The author has a sugar allergy and has adapted recipes to use no dairy, grain, or processed sweeteners. My GF sister likes her suggestions on baking cakes using coconut instead of flour.

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkelticat

I wouldn't do that size of a cake half and half that way. Never have and never will. You order a 1/2 sheet cake thats the way you can have it. I don't know of many chain stores who would because you would have to cut 1/4 and half try to make it equal and than try to even it out with frosting. No way. I am not saying you can't have a cake half and half one on the left and one on the right. I am just saying with that size of cake you can't.

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCrissy

SuBee, Sharyn, Just Andrea: Thanks for some of the best giggles I've had in a long time. And to Jen, of course. I plan on emailing this one to a Jean Luc fan I know:)

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanna

For all those out there wondering about Picard's arm: there is no scene in Star Trek with the double facepalm. The picture is indeed the work of photoshop, and not too bad of a job other than the arm being a bit off.

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Can anyone explain to me what "anti-bullying-themed"-cupcakes are supposed to look like and what was intentioned by ordering "sprinkles on the side"? = sprinkles on one half of each cupcake or = sprinkles extra ? Huh???? I tried to work it out but I have to give up.
Actually, the don´t look so bad!

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

@Rachel: Re: the pizza story. "Half mushroom and half pepperoni" is exactly the way I ordered it, and always had until that day. Since then, I've made it a point to say "one half mushroom, and the other half pepperoni."

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob

@Arlene: I believe the sprinkles were to be separate/extra, not on the cupcakes at all - like when you order salad dressing on the side.

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Andrea

I'll just come out and say I work at Publix, and yes, by default the "1/2 and 1/2" cakes are one layer on another. Now, I would assume that one should TELL the customer of this practice. I know at my store that if a customer reeeeeally wants a side-by-side cake, we will do it, but inform them that it may crack down the center (esp. w/ larger cakes; those full-sheet boards bend way too much for side-by-sides). I'll not pass judgement on whose fault it is, but just a little info that may prove useful for the Southerners.

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrittanica

To the Bunker! I'll have one chocolate and one vanilla cupcake with the icing on the side and the sprinkles on the bottom, please. Theardare can lick my fingers of any extra icing when I am done.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindarella

@Just Andrea,
thanks for the explanation. I googled "sprinkles on the side" and all I came up with were pictures of cakes with sprinkles around the side just like this baker has done, so I couldn´t figure out what was so hilarious about the cc. Blame it on English not being my mother tongue :-)

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

I have to admit, this made me think of Brian Regans comedy sketch "the donut lady"

"I want a donut, with frosting alllll over it. And I want sprinkles too.... but not allll over it. Got anything like that?"

Look it up on youtube :)

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenn Hamilton

dwarves. sorry

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaryA

The 1/2 and 1/2 cake is not a wreck, it just isn't, it's nothing more than a miscommunication, and I don't understand why it's on this site. If a customer can't correctly describe what they want their cake to be, why hold it against the cake decorator? What's next for this site?... "I asked for custard filling and the cake decorator gave me pudding, the birthday party was ruined!!!!"

[Editor's note: I guess we have different definitions of "wreck," Kelly. Ours is "any cake that makes us laugh" - a definition that is clearly posted in the sidebar, and has been for years - and miscommunications are often funny. You seem to be under the impression that we're here to beat up on bakers, which means you must be new. Welcome! And rest assured, if any of your customers were that upset over a custard/pudding mix up, I promise we won't post it.

Have a fantastic day!

- john]

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly S.

I know I'm just driving people farther into the bunker to get away from the side-by-side/top-bottom-layered debate on what "half" is, but I just don't see how a customer would *know* that asking for a cake "half vanilla and half chocolate" would result in the above picture. I can understand why a baker would be hesitant to do it (although, I can see ways around the cracking problem [said the non-professional-baker-who-rarely-does-layered-cakes]). However, if one doesn't do true half and half cakes, shouldn't that be explained to the customer when ordering? Shouldn't one tell the customer , "We can do a vanilla layer and a chocolate layer on a 1/4 sheet cake, but if you want one side chocolate and the other side vanilla, you'll need to order a 1/2 sheet/go to another store/pay a million dollars/sew wings on pigs and teach 'em to fly" ?

April 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Andrea

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>