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

You Got It, Boss


Hey, Anony M., YOU'RE WELCOME.

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Reader Comments (55)

The handwriting is very nice. The rest of the cake is very nice. The inscription needs work.

Clearly, even if the decorator isn't blonde, s/he hears lots of blonde jokes. And doesn't get it.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMuria

My favorite kind of wreck!

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Am I the only one who read "whore" instead of "where"? Please tell me I'm not! I thought it was some uplifting poem about not being a whore if mom & dad love you.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

Sung to "Cupid (Draw Back Your Bow)

Stupid. I should have known, that my order'd be blown.
They wrote out everything for me, for me
Stupid! I'll tell her I, thought I'd give it a try
Happy Birthday, Emma Rylee!

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I refuse to believe that wasn't done intentionally. No one could be that frosting stupid and still write that legibly.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJo

I chatted with the head beaker of the pastry section at my local supermarket and told him about the Cake Wrecks website. (They didn't have ANY wreck worthy examples, by the way)
He told me about a German chap they had hired who made the most elegant Viennese cakes and tortes, but the poor man had lived off Cheese Burgers for the first year he'd lived in Canada, because that was all he knew how to order in English. They had him write an inscription on a cake ONCE. He wrote it literally . His piping was beautiful, but he could not proofread what he'd written.
This must explain some of the samples featured on Cake Wrecks.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

Oh, GOOD GRIEF. How could the Wrecketator *not* get that?! I'm betting they did, but not until it was all done. And then they didn't want to redo it, so it was a game of "but that's what's on the form" after that. I'm curious about the occasion - first birthday? Graduation? And is part of the inscription missing? You'd think there'd have been something before the "Love, Mom & Dad", like "We're proud of you" or "Congratulations", etc. Cuz even if the baker *did* follow directions, having just "Emma Rylee" on a cake like this doesn't tell you much about the occasion (1st day of Spring, anyone?!) which is a bit unusual to say the least...

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

I love the heart shaped dot at the bottom of the exlamation point. Such loving care.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbabb.e

"Nobody could be that frosting stupid..." I always have a great laugh reading the comments, but Jo, you made me SNORK!!! To get a good idea of what a SNORK is...just say SNORK...while inhaling...

*CAUTION* If the above is done correctly, you may suffer some soft palate damage.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFran_kly

Wonder if this was chosen from a template...
...with the example reading "Happy Birthday! Love, Mom & Dad."

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterR3Test

So did I, Cheryl

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Former CB

I went in to a local bakery to order a cake for my son's graduation and the entire time all I could think of was "Am I going to end up sending this cake into Cake Wrecks?" Finally the girl showed me some actual completed decorations and I confessed about my worry. She knew exactly what I was talking about when I said Cake Wrecks!

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTina

cannot comprehend the stupid O_o

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

I read the first word as "Whore" too.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Hartz

The Cake from the Land of Genetically Mutated Butterflies/Bumblebees (Flutterbees?) and Hearts and Flowers... That's where I want to live. With lots of frosting.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaxmom

I do hope that wasn't supposed to be "amorally".

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Polowin

I can only conclude that the wreckorator is a robot.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClassic Steve

I used to work in a supermarket deli, and it adjoined the bakery section. We saw stuff like this all the time!

A lot of it comes down to the work conditions - the decorators would come in at 4 am every morning and on weekends would have to complete 50 to 100 cakes by noon. Usually there were only two decorators doing all of it. I'm sure most of it stems from complete exhaustion and just having to hurry. Couple with that the orders being taken by young girls on the afternoon and night shift who can't be reached with any questions, and the decorators are going to take what the slips say at face value because then at least they can prove they did exactly what was asked of them.

What I learned? If it's really important that it turns out perfect - never order a cake for the weekend if you have the choice, go and do it in person in the morning while the decorators are there rather than call it in so you can see exactly what the order slip says and make sure it's legible and that they can do it, and try to pick the cake up while the decorators are still there so that they can fix any problems that come up. The girls who hand you your cookies are going to say they can do it because that's what they've been told to do, even though they aren't the ones to actually do it.

The worst was when the decorators would make a mistake, and the person would come to pick up the cake after the bakery section closed for the day. Then it was on us deli girls to get them their cake, and if they complained about it being wrong we would be required to fix it for them. Really. We have no decorators training and we never handle piping tubes, and you want us to take up the old writing, smooth it over, and then write something new, at 8:45 at night after a really long shift tossing 15 pounds chucks of meat of cheese? K. Have fun with that illegible scribble!

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

You’ve got a keen eye, Cheryl! Yes, the first word is “whore” and it is part of a poem. As you can see, the poem is written in free verse, using the stream of consciousness form and the stylistic approach of the poet e. e. cummings. A little research (thanks Cakipedia and Poemipedia) reveals that this poem was originally written to an unknown young woman by another poet, Emma (thought by some to be Emma Barrett Browning, an obscure relative of Elizabeth Barrett Browning). The unknown woman was apparently wasting her creative literary talents writing messages on cakes (hence the first word, “whore” – literally used in a figurative sense) in her parent’s bakery. Emma knew that the young woman was destined for greater things, but was being the dutiful daughter and devoting her life to writing only an endless series of Happy Birthday’s. In an attempted to subtly tell the woman how she felt, emma ordered a cake with this message on it. We can understand this cake/poem better if we reproduce it in its original form:

it says
love mom and dad
take that
and just write

A closer look at the poem:

“whore,” as explained above refers to the wasting of talent.

“it says” is a clear Biblical reference, followed by a paraphrase of “honor thy father and thy mother,” both lines indicating that Emma knew that the young decorator came from a family grounded in their religious beliefs.

When Emma says “take that,” she indicates that you young lady should not cast her values aside, but keep them, as in “take that with you.” But take that where? “out,” Emma says, clearly meaning outside the family and into the world, and also implying the literary world.

“and just write,” is Emma’s plaintive plea to the woman to go beyond a lifetime of Happy Birthdays and, as the frosting flows from her decorating bag, let the words flow from her heart and soul.

“emma,” of course, is the woman writing this.

“rylee,” is an affected spelling of the word “wryly,” used by emma to indicate she knows it is ironic to have the young woman write a message on a cake that is, in fact, a message to her.

(An interesting endnote: through additional research (thanks Whathappenedthenipedia) I found that in an ironic bit of irony, the young woman was ill the day the cake was decorated and so it was done by someone else. Thus, she never received the message.)

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

@Karate Lady: I was wondering the same thing. Maybe the first part of the inscription is on the other side of the cake...doesn't it look like it's got some kind of divider down the left side? That pink-brick-road thing looks like it might be over a seam between two cakes. Maybe they ordered a "half and half" cake and actually got it side by side instead of one layer of each. : - )

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Andrea

Maybe the wreckerator was getting paid by the letter and decided to beef things up a bit to get a bonus for the paycheck.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

**facepalm** Love the little hearts at the bottom of the inscription. :)

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteranony mouse

I think the worst part about that cake is that the first word looks like "whore."

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJayde

@Mel, thanks for the insight.

I'm going to be looking for times when I can say "literally used in a figurative sense"!

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEsty

Shirley Fowley is right. Whoever decorated this cake probably isn't an English speaker. Imagine that you were a busy decorator, and someone gave you an order form where the space for the inscription said "Wo es Liebe Mama und Papa sagt, zu entfernen, und schreiben Sie einfach Emma Rylee." You probably wouldn't wait for a translation. You'd just copy it in your best handwriting and move on the the next cake.

Having an explanation doesn't make it any less funny, though.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob

Mel, how many hours of credit do we get for this class? And is your analysis going to be on the final?

And I'm sorry Emma was ill that day, but I was expecting to hear that she'd been in an accident and her piping hand had been run over.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdrgns4vr

In my world, people aren't this incredibly stupid. I believe the wreck-erator was pulling the customer's leg. (La, la, la. I have my fingers in my ears and I can't hear you. La, la, la.)

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShauna

I'm going with the language barrier theory on this one. If we could ask the decorator, he or she might say, "In home country I am nuclear feez-ee-seest. Here, I am cake decorator. You not translate message, you not get good cake."

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

Most of the cake decorators at the local supermarkets don't speak English, and I get the feeling they don't READ it either.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbadkitty

I love me some whore cake.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThatDeborahGirl

There are some clues: The cake seems oddly truncated on the left, but it appears to be intended to be an open book. Each line is capitalized, and the only punctuation is what appears to be an ending exclamation point.

All in all, I'd have to go with the theory of a non-English speaker who reproduced the note on the order form as verse without having any idea what it meant. The sort of person who could say with great urgency, "My hovercraft is full of eels!" and expect you to know what they're talking about. The sort of person who could reproduce a catalog cake featuring a cartoon fireperson and write in script, "Good Luck in China," such that the 'L' closely resembles an 'S', and credibly claim innocence as to the implications of same (not to mention the 'fire hose').

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

@mel: Would that it were true. I love the way your brain works.

Aimed in the general direction of WA: (hugs)

@Haiku Joy: Has the Superman-esque baby shuttle landed safely? Hello? Oh, well. She must be out of communication range on the dark side of the moon.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Andrea

@ Bob:

Did you go onto google translate for that, or are you a German speaker?

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I wonder if these wrecks come from new immigrants that do not speak English. There is no other scientifically plausible explanation.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKat

@Esty: you’re welcome, and good luck!
@drgns4vr: lol… It’s funny you should mention the lady’s piping hand being run over – what actually happened was this (from my most reliable and frequent source: Makinthisupipedia). Due to her illness, someone else had to pipe the message. Fortunately, another decorator was available – Peter – he had just finished working on a large, unique cornucopia for a canning club. Although he was a little tired – Peter had piped a peck of pickled peppers – he took on the task. The lady decorator, somewhat woozy from the medication she was taking, attempted to walk to the bakery to thank him, but unfortunately ambled out into the street. I say unfortunately because at that very time the Kollar brothers were bringing a herd of horses into town. Suddenly one broke free, and, alas, trampled the lass. Fatally. (The local newspaper, in reporting the story, originally said it was Ken’s horse that had trampled her, but it turned out later it was a horse of another Kollar.)

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

My son and I had the exact same thought: apparently they have the frosting piping machine hooked directly to the voicemail, so it just writes every message verbatim.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

yes, I read "whore" the first time, too
then I laughed at "frosting stupid" (great punk band name, by the way)
THEN laughed at "snork" (ever see the Tim Conway elephant joke on the Carol Burnett show?? slightly long but the end is a hoot!!)
and then I get to mel. ah, mel. Cakipedia needs to exist but that translation of an olde poem was inspired, enthralling and engaging. awesome.
lastly, but never leastly (literally this time as mel reappeared for a rare double play), Craig gave us a hovercraft full of eels...goodness- another cool punk band name!

I second Just Andrea's hugs in the direction of WA. Big hugs.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

@ThatDeborahGirl -- your comment reminds me of that famous line from "Oliver Twist" -- "Please sir, may I have some whore...."

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Boy Blue

@ ThatDeborahGirl - LOL - Count me in as reading "whore"

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterblue42

@Just Andrea: brain has a mind of its own... :-)

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

@mel: You are in prime form today! Amazing explanations. I'm totally envious of your creativity, for I was born with none.

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie

Well other than the lovely writing that cake is very pretty. I honestly really wonder if the wreckerators actually read the orders or put whatever the heck they want to on the cake and pretend it is what the customer wants. Nothing can really explain how that happened lol.

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Whoo! My name is Emma. Sadly, this cake was not for me. God, I would love to get a Cake Wreck of my very own.
Actually, this is a pretty good cake; the decorating is nicely done, the inscription is legible; just had a little trouble with comprehension. What's funny is that THIS inscription is way harder than just "Emma Rylee!" Amazing. Screwing up by going the hard way. There's a moral in there, folks.

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

@Barbara Anne -- wait...Cakipedia doesn't exist?! (I'm gonna have to check Makinthisupipedia to see what it says about Cakipedia....) Thank you for your kindness -- you truly are, as I have said before, Cake Wreck's consummate cheerleader (and a cool commenter in your own right!), and for that, we all are grateful for your presence.
@Anne-Marie -- thank you; I did have fun.... Thanks to Jen and john (thoj), this site not only gives us a super-dose of incredible humor, but also allows us to play, too.

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

@Jodee -- I was confused about the hugs going to WA and went back through the posts I had missed and found the reason. My deepest sympathy to you and your family, and may the love and comfort of your family and friends surround and sustain you during this difficult time.

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

@ the general direction of WA - ((((((HUGS HUGS HUGS HUGS))))))

@my brother, who's also in WA - No! Those hugs don't belong to you! They're for Jodee, so give 'em back!

@mel - belated expression of my admiration for your brilliance & consternation at my lack thereof. I am truly not worthy...

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

@Jamie: Mostly Google. I studied German in high school, but I haven't had occasion to use it in the past 30 years and forgot most of it. About all I remember is "Die Post ist am Sonntag geschlossen" ("The post office is closed on Sunday") and "Ich wolle nicht diese Platte kaufen" ("I will not buy this record").

@pikkewyntjie: Go Polar Bears!

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob
May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob

@KarateLady -- thank you, but funny, yes.... For real brilliance, read Jen and john (thoj), and team member Sharyn....they do it every there's brilliance! (And, don't be modest -- you're no slouch -- you can hold your own on this playground!) :-)

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

@mel - Thank you! I think you're a lot better than just 'intermittently funny', so don't you be modest either, eh?! :-)

@Bob - I'd forgotten that one! (Hovercraft!) Hee, hee, hee! Thanks for the link & the laughs! :-)

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

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