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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
Monday
Dec122011

The 2011 Charity Countdown

Hi, guys! I know the holidays can leave us hectic, hassled, and (sometimes) decking more than halls. That's why I first introduced the Cake Wrecks Charity Countdown back in 2009: I wanted to reconnect with that holiday spirit everyone's singing about, and I wanted a way to band together as Wreckies to make a difference for those who needed it, one teensy, easy-to-give dollar at a time.

 

 

The results were awesome, inspiring, and downright sweet. (Remember this?)

So this year, by oh-so-much popular demand, we're doing it again.

Here's how it works:

I'm asking each of you to give one dollar - just a single buckaroo - to each of our featured charities. Most of our picks are signed up with First Giving, a charity payment service, which means you can enter your info once and it wil remember it for each charity - a real time saver.

And because we're all so busy this month, I'm going to switch things up by announcing all of our charity picks today, so you won't miss any of the later ones while you're off traveling and celebrating and whatnot. Feel free to give to them all today, or come back and give one day at a time with your families. (I've heard from lots of folks who use this as a teaching tool for their kids - cool idea!)

By itself, a dollar can't do much. But that's the whole point: if we work together, our individual dollars WILL make a difference. And seeing that happen - knowing that a new well was drilled or a little boy got his surgery or a family will have full bellies this Christmas - and knowing you made that happen? Well, wow. Just...wow.

Let's do that, Wreckies.

 

So, without further ado, here's our 2011 Charity Countdown lineup:

 

Give Kids The World provides children with life-threatening illnesses and their families truly magical experiences at the Give Kids The World Village, a 70-acre Orlando resort specifically designed for children with special needs.

Click here to donate your dollar. 

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Love146 has one simple, compelling, gut-wrenching goal: "The abolition of child sex slavery and exploitation. Nothing less."

Cick here to donate your dollar.

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Operation Smile provides free surgeries to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children around the globe.

Click here to donate your dollar.

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Share Our Strength’s goal is to end childhood hunger in America. "Working with others, we believe we can do this by 2015."

Click here to donate your dollar.

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charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. We use 100% of public donations to directly fund sustainable water solutions in areas of greatest need.

Click here to donate your dollar.

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Free Wheelchair Mission is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations.

Click here to donate your dollar.

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To Write Love On Her Arms is dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.

Click here to give your dollar.

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Heifer International works to end hunger and poverty by providing livestock, training, and related services to communities worldwide.

Click here to give your dollar.

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Also, feel free to share links to your favorite charities in the comments - especially local or lesser-known ones - so we can all find some new causes to support this year!

Sunday
Dec112011

Sunday Sweets: Gingerbread Goodies!

If ever a baked good was meant to be played with, it has to be gingerbread.

So, since it's that time of year again, let's take a look at some gorgeous gingerbread creations to get us all inspired and googly-eyed and stuff.

 

Of course, we HAVE to start with traditional gingerbread men, right?

Er, wrong.

By Sweet Pudgy Panda

Hee! Love it.

 

Ok, we WILL start with a traditional gingerbread house, though:

By Sweetopia

Is that porch light a jelly bean? GENIUS.

 

Hey, ever see a birthday gingerbread house?

By Graella

You have now! (And now I want one. So. Cute.)

 

We just saw some of Nevie Pie's fabulous painted cakes last week, but she also does fanTAStic painted gingerbread houses:

By Nevie-Pie Cakes

Do you see the tiny little mushrooms on the center roof? Do you?

And did you squeal like a little girl over those teensy painted blue flowers? Did you?

Ok, good. Just checking.

 

I'm pretty sure this is my all-time favorite traditional gingerbread house:

By sassybeautimus

Check out the oh-so-intricate piping under the windows! And the cookie assortment on the roof! (I want to grab off the mini chocolate bundt cake. Mmm.) Oooh, and the ice cream cone fence! It's just all so, so good.

 

Less traditional, but how can you not love all these pretty swirls?

Baker unknown.

Yay, whimsy! And the snow drift by the door is so clever.

 

Ah, but perhaps you're like me, and not really wild for the taste of gingerbread. (Just me?) In that case, how about this so-cute-you-will-melt-into-a-small-puddle sugar cookie house:

Also by sassybeautimus

Between the pastel rainbow roof trim, the pink woodgrain door, and that sparkly sugar roof I am now a limbless heap of cooing girliness. DO WANT MUCHLY.

 

Seriously, I'm not sure I could possibly be more excited about anything in today's....hang on.

What's this?

Submitted by Margaret B.; made by Ann Zeleny

[gasp] 

It's a companion cube made of gingerbread! AAIEEE!!

Ahem.

Sorry - I promise that won't happen again.

Well, unless someone made something like the Burrow from Harry Potter out of gingerbread - but really, what are the odds of THAT ever...hang on.

By mezcraft; found via craftster.

Oh. My. Potter.

How is that thing even standing? What architectural genius is this?

Hit the links above for more detail shots; Michelle even made Molly Weasley's famous homemade sweaters to hang on a clothes line!

 

And now, more cute:

By the decorated cookie

As a button, you might say.

 

I have no idea how, but this next one even lights up:

By Somethin' Sweet

I want to ask where the wires are, but I feel like it might spoil the magic if I knew.

 

If there are little gingerbread houses in heaven, then I'm pretty sure they look like this:

By De Koekenbakkers

Am I right? It's just...heavenly.

 

Ooh, and here's the cherry on top:

 Also by De Koekenbakkers

Literally!

Btw, I never knew how much I wanted a lollipop tree until just now.

 

Ah, and speaking of trees...

By Gigi M.

Gives a whole new twist to "peppermint bark," doesn't it? :D

Now, I *think* these trees are made from stacked cookies, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, Gigi.

 

And finally, let's go out with a jaw-dropping gingerbread house bang:

Submitted by Lisa M. Spotted at Circlefest at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens; baker unknown.

BANG.


Hope you enjoyed today's Sweets, guys! And remember, if you have a Sweet to nominate, just send it to Sunday Sweets [at] Cake Wrecks [dot] com.

P.S. Have you checked out my new book Wreck the Halls yet? It's less than $10 over on Amazon, and makes a perfect stocking stuffer/hostess gift/generic present for that person you have to buy for but don't really know all that well or don't want to spend much money on.

Wait. I mean for that person you love dearly and would spare no expense on. Uh, yeah. [winkwinksecretfistbump]