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

By The Book

So what really happens when you order a cake from the bakery's big book o' plastic kit designs? 



Amanda D. ordered this Cars design, which was not only in the bakery's book, but also on a giant banner behind the counter:

Even so, Amanda made sure to ask if her cake would look exactly like this one, and was assured it would.

Which was, well, half right:

I was about to point out how nice those yellow lines on the bottom are, but then I realized they're just another piece of plastic. So never mind.

Oh, but for the full effect you really need the side view:

You can almost see the cake tipping over in slow motion.


Jessica W. ordered this design:


I still think sticking stuffed animals on a cake is kind of questionable, but hey, who am I to judge?

Especially when the end result comes out looking this good!

As you can see, it's exactly the same... toy.


For this next one I'm going to show you the cake first, just so you can experience the same bewildering confusion I did until I looked up the original e-mail to figure out just what the heck it's supposed to be:

Any guesses? 


Aw, c'mon. Look reeeeally hard!

It could be there's MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE. Eh?

Ok, ok, here's the design:

Yeeeeah. I'm pretty sure the toys aren't going to help much this time, Bronwyn.


Sam's baby shower was jungle themed, so she asked for this Dora design with some "jungle animals" on it instead of the toys:

Aaaand this is what she got:



John actually wanted me to pull this one because it's "exactly what she asked for." (Don't worry; I'm checking his temperature as we speak.) Still, I decided to leave it in as a valuable lesson in advertisement vs reality. And also so I can get some support here: This is fugly as all get-out, right? It's not just me?


And finally, my favorite of them all:


Wyatt ordered this Star Wars design, but I guess the bakery ran out of the toys? Maybe? Wyatt doesn't say, but I'm guessing that's what happened, anyway.

So, are you ready for this?

Aw, what am I saying? You'll never be ready for this.




Thanks to all of today's wreckporters for the reminder that not just brides-to-be have to be afraid: WE ALL DO.

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Reader Comments (70)

I've looked and I've looked and I'm not quite sure, but I think the stuffed panda is up-side-down. Or at least I like imagining that the Panda gave one look at the cake and kicked the bucket.

April 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMapleGirl

theres a birthday in my family this week the person in question wants a godzilla cake depending on what we get it maybe sent in here im hoping for a sunday sweet but im thinking wreak i am glad they were tlaked out of transformers after seeing that one as the bakery had the same pic in its book as well

April 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkira

@SuBee:'re too funny! That's a good question (though, based on your previous post, I'm surprised you didn't answer it yourself....)...I'd guess not...but, if it did, in the make-up world that would be the icing on the to speak....

April 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

Theardare's making john (thoj)* a get well card. but he's still humming Manilow tunes.

as expected, I love everyone including Sharyn, Haiku Joy, SuBee (Audrey fro the win), Craig and mel. (dreamy sigh)

sadly, I cannnot see an Oreo cake and I love Oreos. I had to keep going back up to the post wondering what I was missing. apparently, Oreo cakes. I checked; it's not 4/1, Part Deux, today but I thought it would be a killer joke amongst the regulars: reference a cake that wasn't there. :)

*has John legally changed his name to that yet? that would just be AWESOME

April 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

Hey, what happened to the Oreo cakes? I thought they were the most hilarious, and purposely got on here tonight to show them to my hubby. :-(

April 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

What Oreo cake are yall talkin about? I've scrolled about four or five times, and I still don't see it.

May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

Lol I am dying here just looking at what should be a Death Star. It looks more like a black glob of goo ready to attack at any moment. I just hope whoever gets that piece doesn't die from all the sugar shock and black frosting hehe.

May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Is it just me, or does the Dora cake look like its been digitally rendered? The figures' "shadows" look wonky and the green frosting is just weird. Looking at it makes my eyes hurt the same way 3-D animated movies do.

May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJMB

There was a pair of Oreo cakes on the page earlier, Tiffany. When I checked it first thing yesterday, they were there, but late last night, when I wanted to show it to my husband, they were gone.

May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

The problem here is that we've got un- or improperly-trained people being asked to achieve the impossible. If you're also a shelf-stocker, cleaner, assistant and so forth, you cannot be a cake decorator. It seems chain stores simply don't recognise the fact that this is a job for the artisan and expect overworked and undoubtedly underpaid non-artisans to accomplish it. BUT. While I sympathise with the aforesaid overworked and underpaid non-artisans (having been one myself), I just don't accept the 'we don't lack skill, we lack time' argument as a justification for serving up a hot mess in a box and expecting customers to be satisfied with it. Your customers don't know the background. They're told they can expect a certain standard. When that standard isn't met, they therefore have a right to complain. Maybe that's the only way the chain store powers-that-be will realise they need to stop promising the unachievable. In the meantime, whether it's because the individuals who made these cakes lacked time, skill or simply any kind of interest in their work, these cakes remain wrecks purely because THEY DO NOT DO WHAT IT SAID ON THE TIN.

Here endeth the lesson.

May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

Crissy, you are so right to point out the grocery store situation. It does seem like we are picking on the decorators. I do understand the difficulties. But the powers that be shouldn't have examples that can't be realisitcally created with the tools on hand. It just makes your job harder.

My sister worked at a big wholesale club bakery and she was constantly complaining about the new hires didn't even know the basics of cake decorating and had to be taught while having to get those 50 cakes out the door on a Saturday. I coudln't imagine having to do that many for picky people. With that in mind, these cakes aren't really that bad.

May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

The grandstand on the first cake looks like a giant pop tart.Hmmm... gives me ideas!

May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary Ellen, no, no I have ordered the Dora cake before and it came EXACTLY like the picture, so yeah, it CAN be done, and the 'effort' made on this cake is...distrubing.

Plus, HOT NEWS: ponies are jungle animals! :D Who knew, right?

May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

Perhaps a second, secret picture book of what comes out of your bakery on a 58-cake-order day would be helpful.

"You want cake #45? Okay. If the boss asks, you didn't see this from me...Here's a picture of what we've actually done before. It may look a lot better than that if we only have 5 cake orders that day, but it probably won't look any WORSE than that. Unless we get a new hire. Or someone calls in sick. Still want to place that order?"

May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Andrea

So sad that I missed the party :-(

I did see the Oreo cakes and was reminded of the cake I made for my oldest girl child's 3rd birthday. Hey, I've already admitted that I draw bad stick people!

May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

Hahaha, Andrea! That idea would probably end the '58 cake orders in one day' situation!
We could never stop taking orders either and sometimes it would be crazy how many cakes we would have to crank out. I consider myself a very competent decorator, and have made many a beautiful, correctly spelled, perfectly copied cake, but not on the weekends where I was by myself on a 5 hour shift doing the work of 3 people... Was it my fault, no way. It was the fault of the corporation I worked for, thinking that in order to cut their losses they needed to cut employees and hours. Let me tell you, there's nothing customers like more from an almost failing grocery store that already stands on tenuous ground than less workers doing a crappier job because they are now supposed to do twice the work in half of the time. Ugh. I am SO GLAD I am not working there anymore (which is too bad because I love cake decorating). Oh well. I still get to decorate for free for friends and relatives. Yay!

May 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoemama

I work as a cake decorator and i do know that the Cars cake does have a explanation for why its diffrent but not why they did not call the person who ordered it. We get our supplies from a outside company and they changed the design for the cake and did not tell the stores who make the actual cakes. I had a similar problem a couple years ago.A customer saw one thing and turns out that the box had something completely diffrent. BUT I CALLED THE CUSTOMER! She was very understanding. And FYI that huge banner it is STILL hanging up in all our stores.

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commentervegasbound19

Yep, no death star

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChoc girl

I have made all the designs in my cake decorating times and I cringed at the disaster of all of them except the Transformers Cake. That design I've made dozens of times and you cant make the Earth and Moon look like the picture. You just cant...even with all the right tools. Also there is nothing "professional" about the grocey store decorators. They will hire anyone who can pass a pee test and then give them a frosting bag. So dont expect the world when you order one of their cakes.

August 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

The last cake is probably because the customer insisted on a kit cake being iced in chocolate frosting, and duh, that's not possible. You'll get no airbrush color. Or he just picked a cake out of the case and said "I waited until the last minute, make this look like the picture."

October 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

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