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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

My New Favorite Thing Ever: STICK A STICK IN IT

Ahh, black and white weddings. So classic. So chic. Why, just look at this beribboned beauty here:


That's what the bride wanted.

This is what the bride got:



And how about this little number?

Simple white tiers, drippy dragees, a flower topper - what could go wrong?


[deadpan stare]

[uncomfortable silence]

[slow, creepy grin]



Oh, you know you love it.


Ok, last one. Behold this black and white flight of fancy:



Now behold When Flights of Fancy Collide With The Telephone Pole Of Ineptitude:

Here's what Angela, the bride, had to say:

"...the cake was falling apart when she brought it in and once she sat it down she started grabbing glow bracelets and stuffing them in the cake along with a stick she had my mom break off a tree outside...."


I'm going to stop you there, Angela, just so we can all savor this moment.


Everyone done savoring?
Ok, Angela, please continue.


"....and the cake was not even fully decorated...the back of the cake was bare....and I had asked to have burgundy hearts and white daisies added as well... it wasn't even the cake I had wanted and she said she could do them no problem!"


There's a lesson to be learned here, my friends. A lesson which I am not prepared to reveal because I'm too busy looking for the tree branch jammed in that cake up there.


Thanks to Karie C., Mikki J., and Angela for sharing their pain with us today. So that we may laugh. At their pain. But in a supportive way.

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Reader Comments (111)

Oh my, these wrecked cakes are in a sorry state, if ever there was one! That second cake is just so sad - barely iced, sagging and squishing out the filling, not remotely close to its inspiration. There have been many wedding wrecks posted here on CW which, if they had been mine, I could have laughed over, but this one - I'm not so sure. This one could have been a tear-inducer for me.

And creating structural integrity (WAAAAY too late, mind you) using glow sticks and a tree branch?!!? Is that for the photo op and cake cutting, since it's such a stunning example of mag baking skills? :P I doubt I would serve that thing to my guests after all those (probably not cleaned) foreign objects were inserted into it - blech.

@Sharyn, @mel, and the rest of you clever, creative people - well, well done, as always. Mr. Shakespeare and Messrs. Rodgers and Hammerstein applaud you!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie

I did see a cute cake once done with the dragging groom topper. It had her dragging him away from a television with two football helmets on the screen. Apparently their wedding was on the date of the big college rivalry game (which they didn't know when the date was picked). It made for a cute and funny topper.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisaCat

Have said it before, but, I think if you want to dream big and have a topsy-turvy cake (just as an example) you need to be willing to pay the price associated with the work. I have NO doubt that these cakes are either made by well-meaning acquaintances or bakeries which quoted something far lower than the prices of the original, attractive cakes. If you are on a budget, then you need to choose your cake accordingly! Something simple. And look at the bakers/bakeries previous work.


September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Catherine said:

I know it's just personal preference, but I hate those toppers that show the bride dragging the groom down the aisle. Sister, if you had to drag him you better have some chains to tie him up with later.


Oh, these kind of bridezillas do have chains. They call them 'children'...sad for everyone involved in such a marriage.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterE!

I think you need to make a list of "cake wreckers" so nobody buys a cake from them! Like Angie's List, but for cakes! Oy!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPMcOuntry

The last one looks like a decent try that was then stored in a hot car. There's no coming back from that, though. Not even with sticks.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLemony

The champagne flute next to the first wreck would probably have eased the pain if it were full.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShazS

What gets me about this post, is that the last cake was photographed from it's GOOD side. I mean, I can only imagine the side with no frosting and a tree branch sticking out of it.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennyMcG

Oh my, as a former Mother of the Bride, I would have broken off a stick in that bakers....well, you know! Thanks again Cakewrecks for brightening up my day :-)

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathie

Wow. Craptacular. The first wreck looks like fondant covered tires of differing sizes. Mmmm...tempting! (NOT!)

I have thought (and maybe even said) "Heck yeah, I could do a better job than THAT!" and last weekend I had to put it to the test. I travelled to a wedding the day before the event and when I got there the Maid of Honour said "Oh great! You're here - I need you to make icing and decorate these 48 cupcakes for the wedding and then I need you to make cream cheese icing and ice the three carrot cakes that are the wedding cakes."

I usually make things like cheesecake or use stuff that can be poured like ganache. I am not skilled with a piping bag and my experience with cream cheese icing has been limited to spreading it on a cake in a 9x13 pan. Nobody cares how neat that is. Wedding cake? OMG.

I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I was covered with icing when I was done, but the people who came to look at the results asked "You're not a professional? Really?" I can PROUDLY proclaim that I DID do a better job than these wreckorators...and DAMMIT JIM, I'm an archaeologist, not a baker! So - I really REALLY hope that those poor brides and grooms didn't have to PAY for those monstrosities. That really adds insult to injury.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkrunchifrog

@Mel - Have fatal events been known to occur???

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Honest and truly, I am NOT a trained cake decorator, although I did take lessons at the high school through the continuing education program back in 1970. (*OW!* So long ago!?) I am quite competent to do buttercream birthday cakes (fondant came much later than my "education") and have actually made quite a few for money over the years. People seem to like them...

I have even made two wedding cakes (for two nieces) and a fiftieth-anniversary-cake-that-was-an-exact-replica-of-the-original-wedding-cake and transported them (at different times) to a venue a 1 1/2-hour drive away - and they still looked a thousand times better than any of these missed marks. I would be ashamed, deeply ashamed, to present anything like these horrors, and would stop at the supermarket for sheet cakes before I would claim a wreck like these ("I'm SO sorry [bride], but the kitchen caught on fire this morning, and your heroic cake saved my life by selflessly throwing itself upon the flames!")

BTW - that hole in the next-to-the-last cake? I think maybe it might be an incriminating thumbprint... Check with Interpol, quick! Further insults to cakehood may yet be prevented!

In defense of the second baker, that cake is drippy. :-\

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermichesith

I have been a long-time lurker and I just have to chime in on today's post. I am a newish cake baker/decorator and have only been decorating cakes as a job for about 2 years with 2 years as a hobby, but I just have to agree that I don't even remotely understand how a "professional" can say these are replicas. I know what my decorating ability is and I make sure my clients know my ability too. There have been some requests that I knew were going to stretch my abilities, but I always let my clients know ahead of time. (Thanks Jen for your Epbot post the other day that is helping me to be less of a lurker. I love both of your blogs!)

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

For the love of all cakey goodness!!! Watch a couple of episodes of Cake Boss!!!!!!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Where's @Craig??? Has Theardare kidnapped you again???

@mel ~ That was painfully awesome.

It took me forever to get through the actual post because I just kept going back and forth trying to find ANYTHING similar. **scrolling back up** Nope. Still can't find anything. @mel, is this supposed to be one of those "Can you spot the differences" things?

A stick??? Seriously???

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

Mel you have me in tears!! That was hilarious!! :P

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRita

Ouch. That's all I can manage

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGleeWitch

"Telephone pole of ineptitude" made me snort! So funny.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTeal

@ mel and Sharyn - brilliant! Now I'm imagining you two putting together a YouTube show.

@OP - I have NO experience with cake decorating. Like, I'm not even sure helping students frost cupcakes and make little school buses on them with those cream-filled wafers counts. And chances are I could STILL do a better job than that trio of ninnies!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterE. Anne

The second cake looks like the bride dragging the groom across a barren, yet flowery wasteland.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTurtle

Well, the internet swallowed my earlier post. There was much wit, much LOL-inducement, much discussion of cats vomiting acoustic ceiling popcorn. Ah, such a shame.

@Craig: Looks like you spoke too soon. 'They' have made up for their restraint by posting in droves today.

@SaraCVT: Not only did the wreckerator have the nerve to ask the MoB to get the stick, the MoB WENT AND GOT IT. I am flabbergasted. I am assuming the MoB was in pure shock.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Andrea

When my 2.5-year-old daughter saw a picture of the last wreck she exclaimed, "Look, a cow!" Yeeep.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKendra

This is hilarious because... I utterly and completely agree with those saying the "you get what you pay for" bit. Every single argument against trying to find the "basement bargain baker" is so true. But the hilarious part comes from the fact that as a designer, I see tons of people deciding they will do the same thing with their company/brand design or logo. "I'll just have my family/friend/this random website on the internet design my logo for 50 bucks." And in return they don't get a tried and true professional who gives great results, and instead they get a proportional return to the amount they invested.

Lesson to learn here.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaughing Designer

From where exactly was she 'grabbing glow braclets?" The roses on 2 just make it look that much worse, like why bother at that point. My fiancé wants to have Little Debbie's at our wedding. I may end up going that route. I think Jen is in cahoots with him to turn me against traditional cakes.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa

@Sharyn: from song parodies to poetry – you’re branching out! (Just don’t ever leaf us….) And, thank you for your kind words – you inspire us all…not to mention make us laugh and laugh….
@April: you transfer of knowledge from accounting to cake structure is natural – you probably work with columns a lot….
@Anne Marie: Thank you!
@krunchifrog: kudos!
@SuBee: I wondered the same thing, so I e-mailed the company. Here is their reply: “Dear mel: Do the math – wrecked cake, pointed stick and one seriously angry bride-to-be: this is the trifecta for trouble…creating conditions that are the perfect storm for death and/or disaster. It’s only a matter of time.”
@Jodee: Hopefully not too much pain, but thanks very much. And, yes, this is a spot-the differences cake post. I founds two in the first two cakes, four in the next to, but was stymied by the last two. :-)
@Rita: Thank you, and I’m glad you enjoyed! (I do have so much fun here….)
@E. Anne: Thank you! (What’s You Tube?)

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

To me the first wreck is not a wedding cake at all but unmistakably one for a funeral. At first sight I even mistook the embracing couple for a Madonna with the child on her arm wrapped in her wide cloak.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHartmut

There are all sorts of faces of pain, horror, amusement and derision I am making here which emotioncons on made from my keyboard characters simply cannot emote.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

I didn't get a choice for my wedding cake. I was told my groom's grandmother would bake and decorate it (she had, in fact won many awards in her younger days for her baking) and she had made the wedding cakes for all of her grandchildren to date. A week before the wedding I was brought over to see the completed cake. It was topsy turvey before that was even a style. The borders were uneven and even off the edge of the cake. Random silver balls (the entire wedding was accented in gold) and her fingerprints dried into the royal icing were the fiinal personal touches. Shockingly half the family thought the cake was gorgeous. Thankfully, my future mother-in-law saw it later that day and flipped. We got the best last minute cake ever from a young French baker that had just opened shop. As it turned out 'nan' had actually suffered an un-diagnosed stroke and its what I chalked the whole disaster up to, which leads me to my next thought...maybe some of these 'bakers' were off their meds when they had the gall to even show up with these hot messes?

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

@mel: Whoosh-that "commercial" was AWESOME~I read It ReallyReallyFASTandLOUDandRunTogetherToGetTheFULLeffect!!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

my son said the last one looked like a dalmation got sick on cruelle de ville

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkira

Oh my this brings back awful moments from the 2000 wedding of my daughter in Grand Prairie, Texas. She wanted the hat-box fondant look but it looked like a glob of mashed potatoes. We kept her away from the cake and tried to smooth it out and up popped HAT PINS! Instead of Glow sticks and a stick, this "professional baker" used HAT PINS ... Yes, needles ... To shore it up. Unbelievable. We were beside ourselves and fell on the mercy of a bakery (who had several weddings that same day) and they patched together cakes from their freezer and sugar orchids to make a lovely cake. My daughter didnt know until later. We gave

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOhio mom

I think if this had happened to me I would have done without a cake rather than display any of these horrors... and then pretended it was the new trend not to serve cake!
@mel: inspired parodies as always! Thanks for the laughs!
@Catherine: I agree about the cake topper - especially since a few friends have gotten a divorce recently it just doesn't seem funny to me anymore.
@Debby: I hope the brides did their homework. If not, well, maybe a civil judge will have to decide.
I would have ended up in front of a criminal judge since the baker would have experienced death by having their entire monstrous creation shoved down their gullet - with the stick! So Angela certainly handled this with more grace than I would have.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGingerSnap

When you post these disastrous wedding monstrosities, I'd love it if you could post the fall-out: Did the poor brides get another cake from a competent bakery in time or were these delivered too late to get a substitute? Were any of them actually served or were they thrown out straightaway? Did they get their deposits back from the wreckerators? Did any of them take the wreckerators to court &/or manage to put them out of business?

I always feel so sorry for them having their weddings ruined I want to know the denouement of these stories. & I want the satisfaction of learning that the wreckerators at least weren't paid.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRowena

Ha ha hilarious!! Moral of the story...1. make sure the cake business has posted their OWN photos on their website & not used another cake businesses photos (happens a lot) & 2. see some REAL samples of their work. These posts are always so funny (sad for the Brides though)..

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKylie

How on earth, dear GOD, can bakers deliver such disasters??? I would never be able to show my face if I made something that disastrous. I would rather call the bride and tell her that there was an accident and she wouldn't be getting a cake at all. They can't possible expect people to pay for such ineptness.
Also, I'm shocked that the Mother of the Bride would actually go get the stick. If I were that mother I would have handed the baker her cake and marched her out the door.
There is absolutely no excuse for these cakes. I do agree about brides needing to do due diligence when choosing a baker but seriously, who would ever dream that a baker would bring them something that looks like it's been vomited on and has a mouse living in it???? Or jam glow sticks and tree branches in their cake??? Or fondant cover cow pies and tie black ribbon around them??? It's just not something you would ever EVER expect...unless of course you read cake wrecks.

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersandy

Oh man. How on earth did the bakers survive once the brides saw these cakes? I just hope they didn't pay for them. But if they did I hope they at least tasted better than they looked cause ooooh boy bridezilla would have gone for the wreckers lol.

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Re: That last set of cakes. In terms from the Drag World (and let's face it, that's a Drag Queen Cake right there. No shade, I think it's gorgeous), that first cake would be considered a "Heather", and the second cake is a straight-up "Booger". CHILD. Who let you out the house like that? Doesn't your baker love you?

Your Pal,


September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStorm

**blink-blink** **blink-blink**

That's all I've got.

@Sharyn, snort-inducing hilarity, as always!

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZippy

Whoops! Somehow I missed the Stick-Wow infomercial on my first trip through the comments. @mel, you are truly my hero!

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZippy

@Vivian: you must be new to Cake Wrecks. The rule is that all the cakes presented in this blog are professional, in that the creator actually owns a business selling cakes, and the victims are asked to pay for their products. The only part of Cake Wrecks where non-professional work is presented is Sunday Sweets (which are not wrecks), and the occasional odd photo where the text says "Note, this is not a professional cake."

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSkeptic

WOW! I cannot believe someone would call themselves a cake decorator and make such terrible cakes! Surely these are not from professionals?

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJofi

Having my wedding cake posted on Cake Wrecks I can sympathize with these brides. I know for my wedding I went through a friend through very reputable chain store. The decorator had worked for the store for 20+ years. I paid extra for my cake just to make sure it wasn't a wreck. It was. At the least the cake tasted good.

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaula in Calgary

@mel: I have evaluated your statements, and I find them HILARIOUS. And demented. You have my full approval!

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

I'm melting!!!!!!

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYouDoodleApp

Dear God, the third one is the wreckiest wreck I've seen in a while.

If I were the bride, I would have thrown the woman bringing in the wreck out and refused to pay (or, if payment had already been made, sued in small claims court to get it back). Then I would have had someone run out to a supermarket to get a (probably much less wrecky) cake, just to have something to serve at the reception.

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine Raymond

@sendingtheclowns-- :-)
@GingerSnaps: you are so welcome. my goal is to move from causing regular laughter to causing coffee-thru-the-nose laughter....
@Zippy: awwwww....shucks....thanks....
@TLC: Thank you...most people would look for the approval of the FDA, but I think in this case TLC wins!!!

September 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

Uhm, on that last one, while it's undoubtedly a wreck, I notice from the table edge that the camera appears to have been held at a very odd angle, as if to make the cake look much more lopsided than it actually was.

And I do wonder about the safety of using glow-sticks in food.

September 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOldish Lady

I'm looking at the second one and I think I figured out what happened (partly). There's a rolled fondant, which is what you use on cakes, and a poured fondant, which is that glaze-y icing that goes on petit fours. I bet the "baker" looked up fondant and found the poured fondant recipe, and thought that was what you were supposed to do, which is why it has the interesting doughnut glaze look. Oy.

September 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkara Buntin

True wedding Cakes...I love cakes designs...

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercakes hyderabad

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