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

Half-Off Wreckage!

Sometimes the stories you guys send in with your wrecks are so perfect they don't need anything more from me. So, Steph S., take it away!


It was my son's "half birthday" and he wanted a cake. Because I'm a modern mother, obviously I said yes, but "just half a cake." So, I went to the bakery and explained the sitch.

"Think you could make me a half a cake?"

"Well, nooo, 'cause then we'd like, have to throw away the other half."

"Well, it'll be special order so you can just make one cake layer, right? And then cut it in half and stack it. Like a layer cake!"

"I don't know what you mean."

{{ repeats previous statements with hand motions }}

"Ok, like, I have no idea what you're wanting here."

"Look, just bake one round cake, cut it in half and stick the two sides together for a layer cake. Makes half a cake."

"I think that'll be really messy."

"Sure. Ok, just... Whatever. Do what you've gotta do."


And here is the result:

Thanks to Steph for literally making me screech with laughter. Oh, and for next time: there ARE bakeries who sell half cakes all the time. In fact, some will even write "Happy Birthday" on it first before chopping the thing in half:

See? Now that's service!




[THURSDAY UPDATE: Due to some severe server issues beyond our control, most of you who visited yesterday couldn't actually SEE this post, so we've decided to leave it up an extra day. Rest assured we'll have plenty of fresh new wreckage up tomorrow, though!]

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Reader Comments (142)

If only there was some way to use your computer to find fast answers to questions--Is that a joke? Is it real? Something like X-ray Goggles that would let you see inside a magical encyclopedia of useless knowledge.

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjackwire

So this is hilarious, of course, but I started to wonder why Stephanie didn't just bake her own cake! :) I suppose I'm glad she didn't. If she did we wouldn't have this gem!

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVH

I think you may be on to something here ... put the text up without the pictures and make us wait 24 hours - I spent all night trying to imagine what this wreck was going to look like but I never came close. Haven't laughed this loud for a long time!

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

As a December 22 baby, I love the idea of half-birthdays! Problem is, mine would be June 11... my father's birthday. So I never had one. Then again, it wasn't that much of an issue-- Christmas isn't celebrated in a Jewish household, and my Christian friends' parents were thrilled to drop their offspring off for a few hours! (As an adult it's more annoying-- friends have a tendence to go out of town over the holidays. Maybe I should do a half-birthday now. Wait, nope, my husband's born June 24. <sigh>).

I'm really glad that you included the explanation for why the post is up again today. (I must have been one of the very few who saw it and enjoyed it yesterday).

The cake-- wreckorator savant is the perfect description, it IS nicely decorated! But it's a wreck not only for the stacking job, but it looks to me like the visible half is a layer cake! So it's two rounds, stacked, sliced, iced, then stacked again... wow.

And to those who say "shouldn't Stephanie have just cut it herself"... well, her idea was that it would be sliced THEN iced, which can only be done by the baker. To buy a full cake and slice-and-stack, she'd have finger prints smushing it everywhere. Ick!

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAliza

Forget the bunker, I'm heading to Willy Wonka's office to hide halfway under his desk.

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Andrea

I actually kind of like the wreck, even if it looks nothing like it was supposed to!

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZonya

Oh my goodness. I am facepalming so hard right now. >.<

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Stratton

This made me laugh so very hard! Thank you so much for giving me another reason to smile today! (And now I think I want a half birthday too!)

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette

I think that first cake is AWESOME! It's clear that even though it wasn't what she wanted, they took a lot of time to make it 'clean.' I want one!

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia

I'm pretty sure Google won't work for that so I'm just going with that fact that it's a joke. Helps my gag reflex feel better that way. :-)

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

There are people THAT stupid in the world.
!yad yreve ti sevorp sckerW ekaC

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersandy

i didn't think the cake concept was that difficult.

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteraechersangel

I, too, at first thought this was still a double layer cake. It's an optical delusion. (as my family likes to call them) The tray/board the cake is sitting on is very reflective, making it look like a double layer cake. The second "layer" is actually shadow and reflection.

So the wreckerator did what Stephanie asked for, she just didn't line it up.

This totally makes me *facepalm* at the absurdity of it.

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraV

is it over yet
is it over yet
is it over yet
is it over yet
is it over yet
is it over yet

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

What a perfect post for my actual birthday (even if I did have to wait a day to view it!) This one tickled my funny bone even more than usual. But now I'm sad, because I didn't even get half a cake yesterday!

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPamela V.

I am really trying to contain myself, wait can't do it! Lmbo

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTanya

There's no cakewrecks post for Thursday?! How can I go on living?

Please, everyone be okay.

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermolly

Theres no way this is a wreck. It is clever and funny and brilliant. Great way to play with the theme.Love this cake

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelanie

@MeghanKelly ("I don't buy the excuse someone gave that a year is too long for a young child to wait to celebrate their birthdays.That's how you teach them patience.")
RIGHT ON! It's also teaching them reality.We were ALL born on one day.One is all we GET! How does that fact alone not make it very,very special? Is a single snowflake any less amazing just because there are so many OF them? (Not to me!) =^~.~^=

June 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Lol I think that half cake is sort of neat. The poor baker probably had a breakdown after and can never again make whole cakes. Hmm lol.

June 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

I don't know what's going on with that first cake, but I know I want to eat it.

June 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSpooky

"And if that's one layer...why do I see frosting in between??

@Paula: There is frosting in between because when they cut the single round layer in half, they FROSTED the bottom half-layer before stacking the top half-layer on top. Just like you would when making a full layer cake.
If you can, picture in your head rotating the top half-layer around 180 degrees (so it is lined up properly with the bottom half-layer), and you would see what would appear to be the left side of a normal two-layer round cake, with the right side cut away and gone. In other words, HALF of a cake. (Except, of course, there never was a second half of the cake that was cut away and disposed of, because they only baked one layer, then cut it in half and stacked it....)
Sorry to be pedantic, but this misconception is bothering me and I can't stop myself from explaining and re-explaining. Stephanie did NOT take home a whole, 2-layer cake. (Although I suppose you could argue that she DID take home an entire SINGLE-layer cake....)
Maybe the reason so many people are thinking it was an entire two-layer cake is the reflective cakeboard, as SaraV pointed out.

June 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenP

Even though it is a wreck, I think it turned out much better than what was described!

June 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

Step 1 - Bake ONE round cake
Step 2 - Cut baked cake in half and put one half on top of the other lining up all the edges
Step 3 - Frost the whole thing (preferably with less than 3 inches of frosting)

Unfortunately the wreckerator missed something between step 1 and step 2...

June 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

Actually I can sympathize with the baker here I had to read the instructions like 3 times to understand what she meant. Before this site I had never heard of a haft cake before and my b-day falls on a holiday. Ah, oh well I guess it was one of those live an learn moments.

June 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSabriel Jones

It took me a while of looking to realize that this cake is FOUR layers high-- it is a full two-layer cake cut in half and stacked. At first I thought it was one layer cut in half, with the top oriented backwards. But actually, stacking four layers high, this is probably the only configuration that would be stable.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDS

Half-Birthdays? What a bunch of self-important, spoiled brats!!

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSpoiledMuch?

props to them for making it balanced!

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKimmie

just bake your own cake...

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdrcopafeel

Just because someone works in the service industry it doesn't mean you are free to bully them. Most likely the lady was overworked and underpaid - but "ha ha" isn't she dumb for being confused by the special order (and, frankly, I'm scratching my head myself - it doesn't make any sense).

Here is a crazy idea: BUY A WHOLE CAKE AND THEN CUT IT IN HALF YOURSELF. But then, you couldn't harass someone at the store and then mock them on the internet - so maybe not.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered

Burst out laughing! That's hysterical!!I had someone make me a half birthday cake, years ago, when life had been very very hard and wanting to cheer me up (which she totally did.) She wrote, line by line going down, Hap Birt Ali next to the cut-off-looking edge. Loved it!

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlisonH

I made one of these for my sons half-birthday. I thought I was the only person weird enough to come up with something like this.

July 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

I think it looks really nice and super fun.

Sort of think half birthdays are silly. I have a holiday baby. We send in cupcakes the Monday before the school break and have the party the week after the kids are back to school.

We have half pies in the stores by me and mini cakes but not a half a layer cake.

And I think sometimes people forget, just because someone works in the service industry and doesn't always understand what a customer with a special order wants doesn't make the worker "dumb" or a "moron", it just makes them human. I am sure every one on here does every facet of their job perfectly and none of their co-workers or bosses have ever thought "Nice one loser."

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCori

Oh my god I haven't laughed that hard in weeks. They truly, TRULY, did not understand.

July 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercassy

I think part of the problem that the general public does not understand is that with most grocery store bakeries is that we get our cakes pre-baked and frozen. Most bakeries found in grocery stores don't actually bake the cake. We get the cakes pre-baked, with a basic coat of white frosting, with no trim or boarders. So there is no way most bakeries can bake just one layer--the cakes come pre-assembled. We just do the decorating.
I suspect that is what happened here.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

Okay. First off there is now soda on my computer screen because I took a sip as I scrolled up the photo of the two cake halves piled on top of each other. OMG...So freaking funny. Esp considering the conversation.

I have worked with people that are a bit....dense? Where the customer explains something they want and many people would just be like "okay." and some special people just....don't think the same as others. lol

As for the second cake - it's actually done like that because someone either ordered a cake with whatever written on it and never showed up for the cake...or the person that did the writing screwed up and the customer didn't want it, so instead of chucking it they cut it in half and sell it that way.

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatIsidor

Is this bakery actually baking cakes? Or could they just be reselling cakes they buy? If the latter, it would be impossible for them to fill the very simple order. They simply would not have anything in the freezer but full size cakes and no skill to frost the cut end once they sliced on in half.

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Lol, I actually kinda like this cake, far more interesting than what was requested.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElectra

I suspect that the cake came from a grocery store bakery. I worked at one one summer in college, and our cakes looked just like that. They came to us frozen and already iced and bordered, and sometimes with flowers or sprinkles, and we added words or other decorations. So in that world this sort of makes sense.

January 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNexli

This reminded me of a classic..

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Okay - thanks for the Coca-Cola sprayed all over my keyboard!

June 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

When I was a kid, my grandfather's birthday was exactly six months from mine. He always celebrated my half birthday too. I lived with him until I was 5 and I hadn't thought about that in years.

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

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