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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

Entries in Sunday Sweets (308)

Sunday
Apr262009

Sunday Sweets: James' Sweet Safari

You Wrecks history buffs know that my friend Abby was the one who first e-mailed me the "cake that started it all", thereby indirectly inspiring this entire blog. Abby is also the mother of Sweet Baby James, who spent 482 days spreading joy on this globe before leaving us last August. Since today would have been James' 2nd birthday, Abby asked me if she might share his first and only birthday cake here on Sunday Sweets. Knowing how awesome you guys are, I figured you'd be willing to indulge us. So, without further ado, here's Abby.

My son James lived in the hospital for the first 135 days of his life, and I couldn't wait to take him home like a real mom and show him off! However, the day before he was discharged, my dreams of a big "welcome home" party were dashed. The docs said we had to keep him away from crowds for two more months in order to protect him from germs.

So by the time we got to James' first birthday and he was more stable, we were really ready to party! Not only would it be a chance to celebrate his life with all his friends and fans, but it was a huge milestone for a special needs kid who statistically should not have survived to be born. We invited nurses, doctors, therapists, neighbors, church friends, and everyone else who read James' blog (Sweet Baby James), and commissioned a friend who was thinking about starting a cake business to make a birthday cake to feed 100 guests.

Here's the spread:

As you can see we chose an African safari theme, to match James' nursery. Our friend started working on the design over a month in advance, sending us photos of her progress along the way. The animals were painstakingly crafted out of chocolate and were very fragile, but completely yummy. Each one had a perfect smile!



[Note: the animal patterns are from the book The Whimsical Bakehouse]

The cakes were covered with buttercream frosting - no fondant - and each was a different flavor and filling. The baker's husband custom built and painted the matching cake stand, and they even found a matching "first birthday" photo frame to sit inside it. What a dream for our son's big day!

Then there were chocolate cupcakes with more animal designs to cover us if we had more people than we estimated. These were a big hit with the children when we took the leftover cake to the Ronald McDonald House the next day!


When I asked her to make James a "smash cake," the baker was concerned about his diabetes being affected by the frosting. I told her that if James actually consumed any cake, I would probably die of joy. (At that time James' arms were too weak to "smash" anything, and he was so unused to eating food by mouth anyway [he had a stomach feeding tube] that he probably wouldn't know what to do with the cake!)

Sure enough, when it came time for the smash cake James just looked puzzled. We finally guided his finger to poke the cake a little and put a crumb or two in his mouth. He seemed to really enjoy the little taste he got!


Everyone agreed that James couldn't have had a more perfect birthday cake. As it turns out, he would never need another one, so we are very thankful for this labor of love. And in case any of you were thinking of contacting my friend to order your own professional masterpiece, I have to disappoint you. A month after James' party, she moved on from cake decorating and launched a humor blog for a somewhat larger audience—but it couldn't be a more grateful one than us.



Many thanks to Abby for sharing with us today. If you'd like to learn more about James and his story, you can visit his blog here.

UPDATE: Abby and her hubby John are indeed reading all of your comments! She asked that I post this word of thanks on their behalf:

To Jen & the Wreckers: It's been amazing (again) to experience such an outpouring of love from strangers. Thanks so much for making our first birthday without James really special for us through your kind words, prayers, and thoughts. It's been incredibly encouraging and comforting for us and the grandparents to know that James is remembered and appreciated as the wonderful kid that he was and is.

Sunday
Apr192009

Sunday Sweets: Game On!

Sunday Sweets is my weekly NON-Wreck feature, the better to show how wrecky the Wrecks are.

This week I'm featuring some classic game Sweets. We all know there are TONS of video game console cakes out there, but what about the classics? You know, board games, card games, that kind of thing? Well, here's what I've got so far:

Here's the perfect board game to celebrate an 80th birthday: LIFE!

(Found by Veronica K here, and reportedly made by "that Ace of Cakes guy." Heh.)

Or how about a perfectly sweet Candy Land cake:

(Found by Cristy J, and also made by Charm City Cakes.)

And I just love this Taboo cake:

The most impressive part of this cake, though, is the young lady who made it. Melia is sixteen, and makes cakes as often as friends and family will let her. So check out her site here, and take heart that the future of cake art seems to be in good hands.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting a real nostalgia jolt from some of these cakes over here. Remember Operation?

(Found by Jessica C. over on Pink Cake Box.)

It even comes with tweezers! Nice touch. Now if we can just find a Hungry Hungry Hippos cake, my trip down memory lane will be complete. (Oh - and Mouse Trap. And maybe Battleship, although I'm not sure that counts as a board game.)

Here's one for my good friend John G.:

(Submitted by Myra B., who ordered it from Piece-A-Cake Bakery.)

For those of you who don't know, the game's called Carcassonne, and John G. digs it. I played it once, but I'm definitely more of a Pictionary kind of girl. At any rate, this sweet cake is our Fondant-Free Sweet of the week.

How about a few unconventional Chess sets? First, one in the kickin' Harry Potter style:

(Submitted first by Omegamom, and made by Bronte Cakes.)

Cool, huh? Believe it or not (I didn't at first) each chess piece is handmade without any molds. If you look closely, you'll see that they are all in fact slightly different:

Bron (the baker) also reports that it took two months to make all those pieces out of sugarpaste. Yowza.

And lastly, here's Dahlia's far more whimsical take on a Chess set:

You know me: I'm lovin' all those colors. The side texture is gorgeous, too.

That's it for now! If you have a classic game cake (or any other amazing cake design) you'd like to share, just send it to me at Sunday Sweets [at] Cake Wrecks [dot] com.

Or, if you have an idea for the world's best Geek cake, submit it here for the chance to see your design brought to life by Melissa of Wild Cakes. I'll be helping Melissa & the Great White Snark himself choose the winning entry, and the resulting cake will be featured here and on GWS. So get your geeky creative juices flowing, and enter as many different ideas as you like.