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

What's Black & White & Wrecked All Over?

No, not this guy:

"Dude, are those Cheetos?"

See, his stripes actually look like zebra stripes. Which is fortunate, since he is, in fact, a zebra.

Ask for zebra stripes on your cake, however, and there's no telling what you'll get. Maybe Jim's "huuuge pointy teeth!" model:

Or perhaps something that makes you e-mail Christina B. to ask what the heck it's supposed to be, since the pattern has burned out your visual cortex:

(Yes, she really did have to tell me this is the number 30. How embarrassing.)

Then there's Kristen N.'s post-modern, depressed zebra stripes:

(Why depressed? Because it's a little blue, of course.)

And then, the really lucky ones get a little of Beth P.'s airbrush action:

Ah. Such skill. Such attention to detail. Such...airbrushiness.

But the really, really lucky ones get a shell-less albino turtle covered in gills:

Ha! Just kidding! Those stripes are way too good.

Kayla U., maybe your baker was trying to make the majestic zebra turtle. Eh?

- Related Wreckage: Monkey See, Monkey Doo-Doo

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Reader Comments (101)

That last one is very, very sad. Poor albino turtle.

PS You're killing me with the Python references!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJHill

I couldn't tell that was a '30' either.
And what the heck is the last one?(besides an albino zebra turtle of course)

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda M.

Thanks for telling me that was a 30. I was cocking my head in all directions trying to figure it out.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPerkinsClan

Dang, my eyes hurt. It's like those optical illusion pictures... with no pictures.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

The stripes on the blue cake look like crazy centipede type creatures, disco dancing...

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJayne

what the what?!?

i cna hrdddaly ssssee to tyypp nyw.

aside from all that stripey wreckiness (!!!) ... again, what's with the cake sharing?! i think peeps deserve their v. own birthday cake.

as far as mr. zebra himself, awwwwwww!!! i LERVE him! too cute!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Lee


I think Christina B.'s "30" cake looks just like a diagram of muscle cells. Click on my name to see . . .

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarliO

Oh my word.... and the word is YIKES!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPetalsYoga

Are you sure that's a turtle and not the rare, zebra-striped prehistoric manatee?

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHalf Assed Kitchen

I like that last one. Looks like it was made with… you know, longing. Made by a person really longed to see a zebra. Perhaps because they'd only heard of them by rough description.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAbby Normal

Wow, that is such a bad idea for a cake,who would want an animal print cake anyway ? yueche! By the way is that baby called Cambria? if so its latin for Wales.Why would anyone do that to a child, dont get me wrong now, we live in Wales,and gave welsh language names to all our children. but its not a personal name!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdiddleymaz

well, now I know what not to order at the bakery.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That last one CANNOT be a professional cake!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Is that baby's name Cambia? Odd.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdeckardcanine

Any attempt at a brown striped zebra is going to look like diarrhea, that's a fact.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHorribleLicensePlates

I had no idea it was a 30 either. The pattern going across both numbers blends them into one wreckful blob.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Chapman

A very close friend of the family has offered to make our wedding cake. Although she is a retired baker, after much time on this website, I've decided to make our wedding cake very simple (and hopefully foolproof).

Having said that, I'm definitely asking for a "wreck" cake for the shower.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSaRa

Hey, that is a "30"! I thought it was a splayed out "zebra" hide with the tail cut out.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDennis

Are we sure the last one isn't the extremely rare Majestic Turtle-headed, Zebra-striped Cat? (Scientific name: Wreckius horrificus) After all, it's extremely difficult in this day and age to find AN ACTUAL PICTURE OF A ZEBRA!
Andrea S. (wreck-porter in training)

wv: drasie The cake is such a wreck 'cause she couldn't drasie?

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Back-to-back days with Monty Python references! I like it! Go for three!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTaylor@myolderbrothers

the blue one looks like it's covered in leeches.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJD

Forget the horrifying cakes; bring on more of the Cheetos-loving zebra! He's awesome.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPunk

Is that albino turtle cake extremely poorly frosted as well? It looks as if there's hardly any frosting on it in places and that you can practically see the cake through it.

Or is that just some brown frosting mixed in there to show how "dirty" the turtle is?

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That poor kid--her parents will probably make her childhood a misery by referring to their marriage before she arrived as the "Pre-Cambrian Era". Even worse if they are paleontologists! Shame, though, because it is a pretty name for a beautiful country.

I did get the 30 but couldn't for the life of me read the names on it. Still no idea what they are.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

No...seriously....what the heck is that last one SUPPOSED to be? I'm at a loss....

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

Heh, even with you SAYING it was a 30, it took me a bit to see it.

"What? Does she mean a thirty on the cake? I think I see a zero [which was actually the hole/center/whatever of the real zero], but where's the three? And what's with that side of the cake? Did someone eat part of it? OH! Okay, 30!"

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercapri-chan

Albino turtle....So funny! You crack me up. Thanks!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterarabelle marie

As I chuckle over the albino turtle comment, my four year old comes over to see! I say...
"that's supposed to be a zebra...does that look like a zebra?" "No!!!!" She replys with a laugh..."that's a turtle with stripes!!"

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRuth

Is it bad if I actually like the first one and the blue one - of course, with the caveat if it's not supposed to be a zebra cake and just a few random designs. As zebra stripes, they're pretty bad - random, abstract art - pretty.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen K

Honey, I'm pretty sure this is NOT Bethesda. Are you sure I can't roll down the window and ask for directions?

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHMCIV

That last one is SAD. Have they ever seen a zebra? Do they know it looks like a horse and not a turtle? The fish gills are pathetic attempts at stripes. If they wanted to do gills, stick to a few by the neck, people! I think I can even see the cake through the icing. was it smeared off? did they run out and have to spread it REALLY thin? PA-THE-TIC!

but you have to love these wreckerators inventing new animal breeds. The shell-less albino gilled turtle is right up there with the majestic coiled craphound and oh, so many others!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoanne

Check out today's Washington Post. Your signing in Bethesda is mentioned, even if the article isn't really about you so much.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

Some Cake Wrecks are obviously the result of someone attempting something that's just too hard for them, and some are inexplicable (Cupcake Critters), but maybe the most intriguing ones are where someone utterly fails at doing something that ought to be very easy. "Paint some zebra stripes on a cake." "Write the word 'Birthday'". How do some people manage to find their way to work at all?

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGary

And that sad excuse for a 30! (I had to study it to see it.) But why are people choosing zebra stripes for 30 year old and 1 year old girl birthdays? Unless, the cake of poor baby "Embia" was attacked by an out-of-control airbrush (what DID it think it was doing??)

And why does Brendi and Lindsey's 30 cake look like a mass of muscle tissue?

I can't decide if the tooth cake looks like Kat's name is being attacked by black slugs or if her name is magnetic (thinking of middle school science project here) or what. Oh never mind.

The third cake is actually kind of pretty, except for the mismatched green border. But the blue and brown is nice. No room to write anything so it's a bit of a pointless cake and certainly NOT zebra stripes, but kinda cool in a modern way.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoanne

HAHAHAHHAHHAHAAHHHHAAAA!!!! That last one's face/head/whatever!!!!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpeewee

Somebody needs to tell the baker of the last one that zebras have hooves, not paws.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarly

Was that first picture of a live animal a zonkey?!?

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

The 30 cake made my head spin, I had to look away. And the blue one reminds me of murderous vines encasing the cake, like from some sort of horrible fantasy story. Nightmarish!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKarenlibrarian

@ diddleymaz

Surely you must have observed by now that reason, logic, and taste do not always enter the picture when people are naming their children? We should be fair though--who knows what the kid is actually named...wrecks may or may not represent reality.

If you're looking to kill some time laughing your tail off and fearing for humanity, google "baby has a bad bad name". :)

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

WTF??? The last one looks like a turtle-headed, dock-tailed westie with black low-lights.

YOUR zebra pic is waaay cute.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLulubelle B

Whoa... Marli you are right!
A muscle-bound, borderless, hard to see #30 it is!

WTH is that weird albino Zebra turtle actually supposed to be? I mean... the head and the tail ARE kinda turtle looking... but the feet? The color? The stripes? weird.
And surely the airbrushed mess is just supposed to be ugly stripes, right?

Also what is up with that insane shade of blue covered in brown poos?

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLizard

Oops. 11:59 anony is "--kate". I know you guys hate true anons. :)

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh yeah, now I see it - thirty. A three and a zero. I thought at first it was a mini-toilet plunger dropped on a zebra skin rug, and couldn't get the reference.

wv: tubicant
Tubicantid with you, I miss a lot of the MP references, anyway.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWATERBABY CHRISTINE

The albino turtle may not be a very good zebra, but I have to admit that I find it absolutely adorable. Look at that happy expression in its face as it gambols along! Charming and very cute if not-a-zebra.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteramconway

Compared to the last four, that first cake can hardly be classified as a wreck. I think that I just might have guessed those were an attempt at zebra stripes without being told. Maybe. If there was a zoo theme to the party, or something. But the rest? No way.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMina

Have these people never seen even a photo of a zebra? good heavens.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiranda

"A little blue"

"Thank you folks, I'll be here all week!"

*groan*.... that one was REALLY, really BAD Jen. Really.
But I still laughed.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJust Me,Pilgrim

wow, amazing, you have to be pretty talented to get them to look that bad

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Lovables

I like the blue zebra cake. Although, it looks more like a painting than a cake I'd want to eat.

Saw you guys at the book signing in Atlanta a week ago! Good times!

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersittingpugs

Dude, the 30-year-old cake looks EXACTLY like a black and white version of muscle cells! Crazy.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermeg

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