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

Sunday Sweets: Fine Art Cakes

I know you're here to see pretty cakes, but I think it's time to bring some fine art education all up in this joint. Plus pretty cakes.

So welcome to Art History, Sunday Sweets Style!

Jimmy, start the slide show!

(By H Cake Bake Shop)

Can anyone tell me what classic American painting this cake is paying homage to?

If you answered, "That creepy farmer couple," then you're basically correct. Technically, it is a father and his "spinster daughter" depicted in Grant Wood's "American Gothic." But hey, the more you know!


Next slide!

(By La Belle Aurore Sugar Art)
Ceci n'est pas un gâteau.

This delicious piece depicts multiple paintings by René Magritte. I see "Son of Man" and "Golconda" in there. We're off to a great start!



(By La Belle Aurora Sugar Art)

This marvelous cake is a Salvador Dalí mash-up of "The Mae West Room," "The Persistence of Memory," and that egg that he puts in everything. But not a llama in sight! Missed opportunity, that is. (It's Dalí, people. Just roll with it.)



(By Wendy Kromer Confections)

At first glance, this may look like just a painting of a cake, but it is, in fact, an actual cake. It's a lovely representation of Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" series, and one of Amy Pond's favorites.


But, I digress.

(By Christine Santos)

I just LOVE the look of "ah ha!" on your darling faces, readers! Yes, everyone knows Pablo Picasso! Does anyone know which one of his paintings this cake refers to, though? Anyone? Drat. Neither do I. It sure is a fun cake, anyway!


(By For the Love of Cake)

This adorable cake is a miniature rendition of Georges-Pierre Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," which, in real life, is an astounding seven feet high and ten feet long. The only thing this cake is missing is the monkey on a leash. How can you NOT have the monkey on the leash?! Also, the girl fishing that may or may not refer to prostitution. Yay, art! Keeping it classy.


(By Debbie Does Cakes)

Is anyone here a fan of The Velvet Underground? (No, not the night club downtown.) It's a band from the 60s, and Andy Warhol created the art for their 1967 album cover. This cake is a darn near perfect replica of that piece. I wonder if the cake under the fondant is flesh colored like the original LP edition? (Thanks, Wikipedia!)


Let's completely switch it up now and go to back to the rococo era!

(By Flora Aghababyan)

This beautiful work of confectionery art is a three dimensional interpretation of Fragonard's "The Swing." At first sight, the original art may seem to be just another idealistic painting of country life in France. However, upon closer examination, the woman is being pushed by her husband, while letting her lover, who is hiding in the bushes, take a peek up her skirt. OH MY! Who knew sugar could be so spicy?


Let's move on before I get in trouble.

(By Cake Alchemy)

Now that everyone has gotten a nice neck stretch from turning your heads to the right, you can see this one is inspired by Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss." From Klimt's "Golden Phase," this one came after he threatened some dudes with a shotgun over his scandalous University of Vienna Ceiling commission. (Isn't art exciting?!)


Speaking of ceilings...

(By Neli)

I honestly had no idea what this one was inspired by, but leave it up to good ol' Google to help a lady out! It's based on the frescoes in Nymphenburg Palace by Johann Baptist Zimmerman. I don't have much else to add, except WOW.


Let's jump forward a few hundred years, shall we?

(By chickadodle2000)

More kissing! This one is a tribute to Roy Lichtenstein's work, most notably "Kiss II." Everyone should recognize this style, seeing as it's been copied and printed on cheap coffee cups, note pads, purses, etc. for years now...


Alright, last one, kiddos!

(By Sugar Flower Cake Shop)

Let's take a few minutes to just soak in the tranquil beauty of this cake. *wistful sigh* This one is based on Monet's "Water Lilies." Did you know he painted 250 different renditions of water lilies?! And he started painting that series after he had already been painting for 70 years. It's never too late to start being awesome! Not that he wasn't awesome before then... You get the point.

Well, that's it for our class, my little cupcakes! Hope you're having an awesome Sunday!

« "Run To The Dictionary, Baby!" | Main | Wrecktastic Beasts And Where To Find Them »

Reader Comments (89)

Fantastic, Renee! Wonderful cakes, and I'm smarter already!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

OMG so much awesome it's hard to choose, but I love the Dali cake :D

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Possibly the best sweets yet!!! Thanks for the cake versions of art history.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBek

Hmm, regarding the Picasso cake, don't know the rest, but the top picture is from Girl with Red Beret.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSini

I agree with Bek. These are some of the best sweets I've ever seen. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing these!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriammonicasue

Ok, I had NO idea the girl in the American Gothic painting was his daughter.. Who knew you could learn something new about art from reading Cake Wrecks? These cakes are all breathtaking. Such amazing talent out there.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNewb

One of my favorite Sunday Sweets ever! So cool! LOVE the Magritte one!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I can only say ditto to both Sharyn and Newb.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwoodnwheel

These are gorgeous, but why does #2 say 'This is not a cake'? When I go to the website, it's listed as a cake! It looks more like a cake than that incredible swing does!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermmmeeee

The first one is "American Gothic" by Grant Wood, 1930. I think he did it for a cereal box...=^~.-^=

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

The cakes are both beautiful and awe-inspiring, but I do find it pretty depressing that ALL the paintings bakers can recognise are by men.

(It's not as if it would be difficult to find those styles by women, either. I vote Grandma Moses for Wood, Kay Sage for Magritte, Leonora Carrington for Dali, Marianne von Warefkin for Van Gogh, Tarsila do Amaral for Picasso, Berthe Morisot for Seurat, Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun for Fragonard and Mary Cassatt for Monet. Could do the rest but don't like those styles so much.)

Top cakes, though.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

These are the most awesome cakes that I have ever seen. I love the sunflower cake but then Van Gough is one of my favorite artists. Now I have to google René Magritte. I saw the original of George Peirre Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" when I was in Chicago. It is an amazing picture. (My best friend was nearly arrested by the museum guard for trying to get too close to the painting. She wanted to see all the little dots.) The skill of these decorators is blows my mind.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvie_M


Because the cake is an homage to Magritte and one of the most famous paintings Magritte ever did is this one:

"Ceci n'est pas une pipe."

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

normally, i'm really impressed and amazed at the confectionery delights, but this week, i am absolutely blown away. these are BRILLIANT interpretations, and so (dare i say it) artful. i don't think i can pick a favorite -- tho i have to say the 'american gothic' is very witty, 'la grande jette' is just beautiful, and the lichtenstein has that great POP that makes his work stand out. amazing!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermickeyp415

Mmmeeee, I think that "this is not a cake" is a reference to " This is not a pipe" painting.

See here The Treachery of Images

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaaren

mmmeeee - i take it you are not familiar with René Magritte's work?

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSini

This is my most favorite Sunday Sweets ever. I loved every single one of them. I wouldn't want to cut into any of those.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Golconda; 1953 by Rene Magritte; I've always liked this one; it's so weird! It's best viewed while listening to "It's Raining Men" (The Weather Girls-1982). I had a poster of "The Persistence of Time," in my bedroom when I was in high school. I always just called it "The Floppy-Clock" picture. Hey,where's my buddy Rembrandt? I can't believe he didn't stop by; he only has like 9,000 self portraits; you'd think he could have spared ONE. =^-.-^=

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

but why does #2 say 'This is not a cake'?

It's a reference to <A href="">Magritte's famous painting "The Treachery of Images" underscoring that "a painting of a thing is not the thing."

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSilverr

Loved this! So educational!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

@mmmeeee: It's a joke, referencing one of his other works "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" Magritte did a painting of a pipe and wrote underneath it "this is not a pipe"

One of the best Sunday Sweets EVER!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

For a minute, I thought that the next-to-last cake was plugged in to the outlet. Then I realized that the cord goes down the side of the table. It's too bad; I would've liked to see that cake lit up. =^~.~^=

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Your first cake of the day is a homage to the painting American Gothic, by Grant Wood. (Wow. And I even remembered the artist's name before I looked it up to make sure I was right; go me! :-)

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine Raymond

As an Art History major, this is my favorite Sunday Sweets EVER!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Love these! In "La Grand Jatte" it is actually the monkey (singesse in French, which also means prostitute), not the fishing, that was the sexual innuendo. Seurat was thought to be critiquing the stultified bourgeois life where people, even when relaxing, remained stiff and controlled. I think he succeeded.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterteresa from Portland

The cakes are ALL stunning, but what absolutely slays me is the way the Van Gogh is displayed, with the brushstroke-like background and tablecloth so that it honestly looks like a painting of the cake! Such visual artistry in the display as well as in the cake decoration itself! This is definitely one of my favorite Sunday Sweets collections, too -- thanks for the art history lesson. And I'm pleased to say that as a non-art person, I nevertheless was able to identify all but two of the works the cakes were based on!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

best Sunday sweets ever.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercharlotte

Thud... Thud. Thud. Thud. That was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor followed by those of my family when I shared this post with them. Reall, really amazing cakes!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterzoomom

Actually, it's spelled Georges-Pierre Seurat.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClassic Steve

These are the finest cakes I've seen yet. Every single one was a masterpiece.I have to say that The Swing really swept me off my feet while Waterlilies saturated my eyeswith the most delicious colors.

If it weren't for you I'd never get to see such amazing cake artistry. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne

Best Sunday Sweets EVER!!!!!! Can't even begin to pick a favorite out of this amazing collection of confectionery craft. I thought my favorites were the first two cakes until I got to the George Peirre Seurat which I completely flipped for (I want the lady and dog figures!) Then The Kiss swept me off my feet until I saw the Monet's Water Lilies cake. Oh. My. Heart. I can't choose, I just can't choose. Thank goodness this isn't a competition because judging would be a b!t(h.
Feeling pretty good that I knew all but two of the artists. Thanks, Mom, for instilling in me your love of art.
And, yes Renee, art history is full of saucy, spicy, scandalous stories. Isn't it wonderful?
P.S. Doesn't knowing that American Gothic is father and daughter make it even just a little creepier?

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersandy

wow. these made my jaw drop. the artistic ability of cake makers is getting out of bounds!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercorbie

Cake Wrecks, you are blowing my mind right now with this American Gothic father and spinster daughter knowledge. My whole life I thought American Gothic was a picture of a couple. I guess spinsterhood age you horribly.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAri

I was fine until we got to the Lichtenstein one. It's still really well done, but for some weird reason Benday dots give me anxiety attacks so I had to skip to the end. The rest are gorgeous though!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNagzilla

I am in awe!! Thank you for a beautiful, educational and inspiring post about cake artists (how long do these cakes take to make?, what would they cost? would anyone ever really want to cut and eat these?) and the painters who inspired them. Just....marvelous!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

The Van Gogh cake made me sad...damn you Moffat!!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMassiel

Awesome post and I loved all of those, but I have a soft spot for fine art.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentervalerie

Stunning cakes, great post. Before reading the explanation, I thought cake #2 was an homage to Hercule Poirot. :)

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

"American Gothic" **depicts** a farmer standing beside his spinster daughter. The models were not actually related to each other. They are the artist's sister and their dentist.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermbcmom

Wow. Just wow. So beautiful -- who could eat these? ; ) And as a bonus, I happen to be in Paris right now and spent this morning at the Musee LÓrangerie with Monet's water lily paintings. According to the audioguide, Monet spent the last 30 years of his life painting the lilies (so I don't think that he could have started when he was 70, but maybe so -- I'll have to check his birth & death dates).

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGabrielle

Awesome - but nothing by Bosch? No Garden of Earthly Delights? Oh, wait, that would have made this rated R or higher...

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

These cakes are awesome. It is impossible to choose a favorite. I'd almost be tempted to not eat them. I said almost after all cake is cake and I'm betting these cakes are quite yummy.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

In the reflection behind the Roy Lichtenstein cake am I really seeing a baby on top of a fridge?

Just asking, as I may need to change the dosage on my meds if nobody else spots it

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertoonfan69

Even more gorgeous than usual. Wow.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZee

Who would have thought I could learn art history by looking at beautiful cakes - wonderful! The creators have so much talent too! Although I wonder what the occasions were - why would someone request a Picasso or Dali cake? And am I the only one who sees a baby figure crawling on top of the fridge in the background of the Lichtenstein picture?

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

Grant Wood's sister Nan and his dentist posed for American Gothic. The house still stands in Eldon, Iowa, and you can go and have your picture taken in front of it (pitchfork and dour expressions optional!)

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterN. Fritz

So the house depicted in [i]American Gothic[/i] is fifteen miles...


...thataway from where I sit. While I wasn't totally sure that it was supposed to be father/daughter, the models used are actually Grant Wood's dentist and sister.

I believe the "Sunflowers" cake is my favorite. While I recognized what painting it was inspired from right away, someone who had never seen a Van Gogh painting in their life can appreciate the beauty. (Love the Amy Pond reference!)

And finally...welcome Renee!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraV

This one of the best Sunday Sweets ever! I just love the cake-as-art motif; absolutely stunning! I particularly like the homage to Grant Wood's "American Gothic." That painting has been the subject of countless parodies, so it's nice to see it get some respect. Incidentally, the model for the woman was Grant's sister, Nan, and the model for the man was Grant's dentist. Also, that house is available for rent, and the current occupant is Beth Howard, author and pie maker. That's right, pie maker. Seasonally, she sells them in her front yard. I had a chanced to see her give a pie-making demonstration last year. (Hey, do we know how to have fun in the Midwest or what...!)

Also, I remember the Velvet Underground album fact, I had one. Very avant garde for it's time.

Such wonderfulness today! I hope there will be an encore!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

Jen, you are wonderful! I love the Sunday Sweets and every other post. It sounds like you're feeling better.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDoris

I think today was my all-time favorite Sunday Sweets! I was an art history major, and scrolling down the page today was just a series of sighs. "Ah, yes, perfect." The cake artist nailed it, every single one of them.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

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