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

Then vs Now: Wrecks Edition

I love - LOVE - old cake photos. Not the pretty magazine ones, of course, but the yellowing snapshots of children's birthday cakes from 20 or 30 years ago. They're a total blast from the past, and even when they're all lopsided and misspelled and ridiculously wrecky, you just can't help but love them.

Like Sarah's here, from the 80s:

It's a one-armed Care Bear, of course. Holding a pair of lips. Stomping on something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike grass.


Compare that with today's Care Bear cakes, and you'll find we've come a looong way, baby:

Oh, how we've grown.


Of course, the only thing better than vintage cake photos are vintage cake photos with the birthday kids in them:

That's CW reader Amanda P. with her cousin Ryan, and she tells me no one noticed his "Ghostbusters"cake was misspelled until her mom uploaded this pic to Facebook ... 22 years later. THIS IS WHY THE INTERNET EXISTS, PEOPLE. To pick apart our childhood memories. And to make me jealous of 4-year-old boys' TMNT t-shirts.

(I also like to think Amanda is dressed as a sailor as a subtle Stay Puft homage, because, c'mon, how awesome would that be?!)


If you're wondering what you get today when you order a Ghostbusters cake, though:

Kristen's husband picked up this "Ghostbusters cake," but neither of them have an explanation.
(Maybe it's supposed to be Slimer? Maybe?)


Still debating if that's worse than this one, though:

YOU. We're ready to believe... YOU. C'mon, bakers, don't you have the entire script of Ghostbusters memorized like the rest of us? I mean, REALLY.


Ok, just one more, in reverse. Here's a "modern" Barbie doll cake:

Come for the ridiculous sinking Barbie, stay for the bonus crotch photo bomb.


And here's the way most of us gals remember them from our childhood:

Ok, so maybe we'll call this one a draw.


Thanks to Sarah R., Tina H., Amanda P., Kristen C., Tiffany G., Linda G., & Celeste R. for the memories.

PS - I'm really getting a kick out of comparing vintage cakes to the newer ones, so if you have some old snapshots of your childhood birthday cakes around - professional or not - then please, send them in! I won't promise not to make fun of them, but I do promise I'll do it with lots of love. And maybe some bad puns. So, you know, the usual way.

« The Far Side Of Cake, Vol. 5 | Main | Pumpkin Invasion »

Reader Comments (53)

I don't think the first one is a care bear, it's George from the 80s tv show Rainbow.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn

My name is Sharene (pronounced just like it's spelled) and my mum ALWAYS had trouble getting them to spell my name correctly. I got an ice cream cake one year with a My Little Pony on it. My mum drew a picture of the pony we wanted and wrote in large, capital letters, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHARENE on the paper. She spoke to the baker and pointed out my name, telling them yes, it was an unusual name, but this is how it is spelled. Please spell it correctly, just like this, as it is written.
When we got it, we had to carefully scrape the L they added to my name off, So it spelled SHAR_ENE at the bottom. *sigh*
Why do they think they know better than the kids' parents?

October 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMadfishmonger
when I was 22 and had no formal training nor a special pan I made this care bear cake for my niece which I believe is better than theirs!

March 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAprilMcIntyre

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>