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

The Cherry (Blossoms) On Top

One of the hottest new trends in weddings today is the cherry blossom wedding cake:

This elegant design not only looks beautiful, but is a cinch to make, too! In fact, here are a few tips to ensure your own cherry blossom cake looks as gorgeous as this.

First, always make sure your icing is niiiice and smooth.

It helps if you lick your fingers first, so they slide smoothly over the icing.

Next, mold or pipe your branches to gracefully scale the tiers of your cake in a natural, realistic fashion.

I know it's hard to believe but, yes, that's really just icing.

Remember, the flowers are the most important part!

[Crickets chirping]

It's usually best to leave off a wedding topper for this style, but if you do choose to have one, make sure it's simple, understated, and elegant.

Note the baker's restraint. Not a single balloon animal!

And finally, when all else fails, remember:

You can always jam a stick in it and charge $200.

(Yes, this was someone's actual wedding cake.)

(And they paid for it.)

(With money.)

Leanne W., Danielle L., Moxie, Holly J., and Robert V. did you know you can make a forty dollar cake look like a 500 dollar cake with just some cookies and sprinkles? Just imagine what you could charge if you jammed a stick in it!

- Related Wreckage: Wedding Day Advice

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Reader Comments (125)

No!!!!!! I actually groaned out loud twice! poor brides.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKirstie Rulka

Number one made me sad. The flowers were actually nice, if only the icing behind them had been better...

I liked number two in spite of the crazy lines. XD

The last one... tell me they didn't pay 200 dollars for it. Please?

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWildroses

First, always make sure your icing is niiiice and smooth.

Hey Jen, I’m pretty sure “nice” is spelled with just one “i”.



December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTigerwolf

Oh snap! Those are some HORRIBLE cakes!!

One comment I have about wedding toppers - I ask every bride if they will have a topper and most say "Oh No" and then I deliver the cake to the venue and sometimes, just sometimes, there sits this god-awful topper that doesn't match the cake design at all with the instructions "Please put this on the cake".

Just sayin'... toppers are not always the baker's fault ;o)

WV: wershall - Those cakes just kept getting wershall and wershall

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenniffer

Long time reader, first time commenter. Just forwarded this blog to a friend who LOVES it!

The first one is the WORST. I mean you need a magnifying glass to see most of those flowers.. what's the point.. it looks like the flowers are dying.


December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBB

I'm sure someone will have already pointed this out, but the flowers on the loverly green cake? Not cherry blossoms. I'm not a botanist, but I'm pretty sure orchids don't count.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthesacredandtheprofane

The second and third wreck look like Dr. Seuss tree cakes!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSharla

I had a little nut tree nothing would it bare...

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChrista

Why is there a snake draped across disaster #3?

Never mind, I think I just answered my own question...

WV: loger.... The loger I look at these, the more questions I have.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

hahahahha "you can always jam in a stick and charge $200"

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNatballs

I'm not sure what is worse on the green cake (3rd one down)-the fact that the brown branches are running (gross) or the big copyright over the picture (please don't try to pass this work of art off as your own).

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommentercakesforLeah

Poo, butterflies and a groom with faerie wings...what's not to love?

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNitrocat

I love it: "with money!" You guys are simply awesome!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJimh.

When in doubt and you can't smooth out your buttercream you must either use a comb on iy or cover it with fondant..

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkatrotta

yes, what's with the fairy bride and groom?

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The wedding wrecks always fascinate me- someone knew this was someone's wedding and brought these monstrosities.

Were they proud of this cake? Did they know it was a wreck when they delivered it? It just boggles the mind.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknitorpurl

One of the funniest posts you've done, this provided a much-needed laugh this morning. Thanks Jen!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterccinnkeeper

SOMEONE paid for that last cake. My 7 yrd old son can frost better. The icing is spotchy, the branches a joke.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermitushi

When you look close at the cake-topper one, the cake is beautifully embossed, and it's actually a pretty cake. *shakes head* Some people just don't know when to stop....

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJasry

LOL "Jam a stick in it"...LOL
and what is so hard about smoothing that icing??? I feel bad for the brides that actually paid real money for these!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

I appreciate this post, Jen. No, seriously for once. :) I have a cherry blossom wedding cake due next year, and these tips are very helpful for me. I'll be coming back to this page when the time coems for me to decorate.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

Most of these would look better if you just jammed a stick in them.

... Going outside to look for a good stick now ...

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGary

Vines, branches, it's all the same right?

Great blog post as always. You make my day, every day!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPetalsYoga

I heart you John and Jen!!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

The 4th one is sad--it would have been decent without the flotsam on the top.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeAnn

The 5th wreck looks like a deformed Truffula cake.
Dr. Seuss would not be pleased.


December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I am tearing up a little. (Tiering up?) Either way.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh my god. If someone sold me an unedible lump of iced flour with a stick in it I'd have to beat them to death. I'm definitely making my own wedding cake!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Most of these "different from the picture" wrecks seem to stem from cake decorators trying to do things in butter cream and royal icing that are clearly intended for fondant. I can't tell for sure, because my monitor is bad, but it looks like it's pretty much all fondant, even the branches are cut-out fondant shapes.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

noooooooooooooo............the last one.......was soooo tragic.....!!!!!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterioyces

I think that if those cakes showed up at my wedding, I would immeditately smash the cake and serve it like that. It all taste the same in the end.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWonder Kat!

I am unashamed to say that I like the green one with the unrealistic branches. I like the twisty, Seussianesque vibe without it being busy.

WV: phooexp - the sound made whenever a CW reader sees a CCC.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterb

I always feel so bad with these wedding cake wrecks. Makes me glad we just had a tiny cake and a dessert buffet at my wedding!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJHill

the topper's bride and groom have wings?!?! what the what?!

the last cake reminds me of a church lady i used to know, who wore hats that look just like that cake ... with ribbons and flowers sticking out of it. we called her the hat lady.

good times.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Lee

Oh my. Dreadful!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine

Oh, bad bridal cakes are my favorites! Maybe 'cause I never have to worry about being saddled with one, but how can you POSSIBLY bring yourself to pay hundreds of dollars for this kind of crapola?

I'd rather run to WalMart for a sheet cake and sprinkle flower petals on it myself, if it came to that.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFlartus

wreck #3 looks like lava flow downing trees in it's path.

love your comments. always make me snort!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterduffylou

The first cake is so beautiful, it just makes the others more painful...

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMs Avery

I have no words for that last one. Those are fake branches, right? The baker didn't just see some guy out in his yard doing some pruning on the way over, right?

And our cake topper with the crystal hearts and the foofy white tulle was part of the head table centerpiece...miles away from the cake.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeftWingLock

About that "cookies and sprinkles" link -- I watched that video very carefully, and not ONCE did they mention sprinkles. The stuff they scattered over the cake were "beautiful embellishments." The lady said so herself. ;-D

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGoosey

Yeesh! Maybe that third cake - the green one - is actually written in Amharic? (Ethiopian) Weird, that's all - just plain weird.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLady Anne

I just want to point out that some people actually like the rough iced look that is on the first cake. I had a bride specifically request the rough iced look. So even though most people prefer a smooth finish, some do not.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarla

Wow.... I live right in front of a bunch of trees so I guess I can start making wedding cakes now.. I can just start jamming sticks into a betty crocker cake mix cake and ...voila!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJust Me,Pilgrim

NIIIIIIIIIICE. Or not. That was a sarcastic remark (and reply. The third cake looks like there's cascading waterfalls of mold on it. Gross.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAsh

Oh my god rofl ha ha ha ha, that is all I can say, thanks for the laugh!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersleeplessnights04

The green cake wouldn't have been half bad if they'd've left the brown stuff (which appears to be leaking) off. I could even maybe live with the orchids....


December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTabitha Corsica

I'm still laughing at your comments now ha ha ha, the last one was the kicker wasn't it?

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersleeplessnights04

Holy sh*t this was funny, Jen.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

Wreck #1 -- nice flowers, nice branch, ohmigawd, why would you let a four-year-old ice a wedding cake?!

Wreck #2-- as if the frosting tinted to match Tums Wintergreen weren't enough, someone obviously doesn't understand the difference between Florentine Scroll and Cherry Branch.

Wreck #3 -- oh yes. Poison Ivy on a Wedding THAT bodes well!

Wreck #4 -- I'm more repulsed that someone would have authorized any payment for that disaster than the disaster itself. I would have preferred to announce to my wedding guests that the cake had been dropped en route than serve that mess.

and Tigerwolf? I'm pretty sure Jen knows how to spell a 4-letter word (I'm certain of it, acutally...!) ....but that using multiple I's indicates a prolongation of the pronunciation of the word.

WV: dinge -- Some of these cakes might be okay, if the cherry blossoms weren't such dinge.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh....WOW! Thease are really making me think I could make some money as a cake decorator.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSuSuseriffic

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