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

Yule Wonder

If you're like me, you may have seen cakes in your local bwreckery (<- New word! Booya!) that look a lot like logs. Yule logs, to be exact. And if you're like me, you may ask yourself, "Why do I always get the cart with the wonky wheel?" Which is a mystery. But you might also ask yourself, "Self, what is a Yule Log?" To which your Self might answer, "42" - at which point you should make a mental note to adjust any prescription meds you might be taking.

But, I digress.

Where was I?

Right. Yule logs!

Here comes one now:

I promised Jen this wouldn't be a knotty post! Ha! See, Jen? I can pun with the best of 'em.

Look! It's Santa riding a log!
Oh, that sort of sounds suggestive. Uh. Never mind.

Okay. Well how 'bout some other Yuley goodies?

Ahh. Das Yule Boot™.

The Yule Shotgun™©.

The Yule Corn-Nut Turd™©®Esq. MD. III.

And finally...The Last One.

'Nuff said.

So there you have it. The Majestic Yule Log. All warm and fuzzy? Good, good.

Thanks to Carrie F., Melissa B., Jenichan, Anna L., Shannon K., and Jessica S., who I'm sure know what the phrase "dropped a log" means, even if Jen doesn't.

Note: Yes, yes, we know what a Yule Log is. It's the First Fruits tree branch that was carved into a Menorah and given to the Baby Jesus at Winter Solstice. And I'm pretty sure there were Pilgrims involved too.

- Related Wreckage:


It's the last day in our charity countdown! Woohoo! So today, what with it being Christmas Eve and all, we thought we'd end with a charity that helps promote the wonder of the season year-round for kids who need it most: Give Kids the World.

This organization 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. (This place is amazing, too - check out some of the photos!)

Click here to donate your dollar via our First Giving Campaign page.

« Make Today Marry | Main | Happy Festivus! »

Reader Comments (76)

I thoroughly enjoy the Hitchhiker's Guide references sprinkled throughout this blog.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHayley

john, yule be sure to sleigh many of us today with those puns (ugh. i know.)!

knotty or not, santa and i are aghast at these wrecks. what the what?!

great new word, btw.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Lee

I think I'm going to skip the Yule log and just eat some Swiss Cake Rolls. Don't worry, I'll make sure to wipe my mouth with my towel.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFanboy Wife

Is that a boob on the Yule Shotgun?

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPeeJay

Ahahaha! I think I've been waiting all year to see these-- worst idea for a traditional cake, ever!

And if some of these cakes are really supposed to be logs, I hope someone burns them! "Winter" to you, Jen and John! :)

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Them's some saaaad logs.

I started reading CakeWrecks earlier this year, and I'm noticing more and more post scripts at the end of many new posts. Because some irritating readers have no sense of humor, Jen&John have to explain that the previous Wreck is meant to be a joke. It seems so unnecessary, but I guess they have to over-explain so people don't leave dozens of comments explaining what a yule log or croquembouche REALLY is or that their offended by something that is meant to be funny.
I LOVE Cake Wrecks, but those readers need to get a life.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica

Hi Jen and Wreckers -- I'm living in France, home of the buche de Noel -- and just got back from shopping, so I've been looking at Yule logs by the hundreds -- ice cream buches, cake-based buches...of every shape, size and description. What a treasure -- black and cream...hazelnut and chocolate...peach and raspberry. Yep, it's hard to pick one (so I bought two, one for Christmas Eve, and one for Christmas Day!) I usually make one, but this year a nasty case of food poisoning left me with not much time and even less desire to do much cooking.

Anyway...just thought I'd let you know that the first three, especially the first one, are very, very typical of an authentic French buche de Noel. They don't usually have the frosting spirals on the "cut ends", but other than that, they could be in the display case at my local patissier.

I don't know why a country that is capable of creating cakes that are so mind-blowingly gorgeous that you don't want to eat them is also capable of creating such plastificated messes at Christmas, but they do...and they're fun.

Let me know -- I might be persuaded to send you photos of French NON wrecks (trade for a book, mebbe?)

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thank you, thank you for choosing Give Kids the World! It is a wonderful organization and provided a much needed break for our family during our son's illness. I can't say enough about what they do to encourage families coping with life threatening illnesses. Thank you so much!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hurrah for Yule log cakes: back when I was working like a frantic elf at a flower shop, we used to get one every Christmas and get all giggly from the icing and the meringue mushrooms and such. However, they looked a LOT better than these! Someone needs a few lessons in real Yule-loggery from the now (sadly) retired Mr. Zach.

And cheers for the Hitchhikers Guide, too!


December 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermissalg

Those are God-awful! do they realize a yule log is supposed to be a log, like part of a tree, and not some kind of muddy landscape for plastic flotsam santa to land on? honestly.

I made a kick ass yule log last year, complete with cocoa dusted marzipan mushrooms, blackberries, some powdered sugar "snow" and some marzipan berries and holly leaves. My mother actually got mad at me. She thought I put dirty mushrooms on the cake. *pats self on back for realistic mushrooms*
And the bark was fork-ribbed chocolate, unlike that weird white monstrosity that is cake #1.

Thank you, wreckerators. I was already proud of that yule log. Now I know I can do better than the wreckerators!

Meanwhile, pastry chefs in France are laughing their butts off at what our wreckerators did to their beautiful traditional logs! Joyeux Noel, amis!

wv: minti--This green icing tastes a little minti!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoanne

Am I the only person who immediately started humming a certain Talking Heads song?

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeslee Beldotti

Did anyone else notice the label on the Yule Shotgun says "French Bread?"

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVivian

Great opening paragraph, John.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdeckardcanine

good god what is the last one?!? I don't even want to contemplate it. frightening.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterandygirl

I was in the bwreckery yesterday and saw, get this, a YULE LOG DOG! I almost peed my pants, thinking of this site and THAT dog, err log. Thanks for sharing these great examples of what not to put anywhere near a fireplace this season. Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

"The Yule Corn-Nut Turd™©®Esq. MD. III"

I just threw up in my mouth a little hahahaha

Yay for the Hitchhiker's reference! I often anger my coworkers when I answer '42' to any of their questions lol

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTainda

Bha hahahahahaha!

AWESOME post! Thanks so much. I haven't laughed this much in a long time. Hideous cakes. :-)

This is the perfect Christmas present, this hilarity. Thanks Jen and John for all the rejuvenating laughter you bring all year round. :-D Lily

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

All I could think when reading this post was:

Don't Panic.

PS HHGttG is also making an appearance on my Austin show cake...

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Chapman

I love Yule log cakes. This is just a shame. Could there be a Sunday Sweets dedicated to Yule logs done right sometime? Their reputation has been besmirched!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You had me in stitches with the first paragraph, but the Yule Shotgun ripped them wide open. Keep up the hijinks and merry Christmas eve!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterashlucard

That last one looks like something out of a Clive Barker novel.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

I'm with Hayley, awesome HHG references! And Das Yule Boot...well, full speed ahead and all that! Seasonings Greetings!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJimh.

hitchhikers guide!!! yaaaay

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Don't you mean Yule Boomstick on number 4?

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I've got a big case of the Christmas Blues going on here, but this post made me laugh out loud. Thanks, Jon! That's just what I needed on this Christmas Eve!

I also really appreciate what you're doing with the charities. I'm unemployed, and my budget is stretched to the breaking point, but I was able to give to one or two. I wish I could do more, but that might leave me in need of help from one of the charities I'm supporting :P

Anyway, Merry Christmas, and keep up the good work!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercorianne

"The Yule Corn-Nut Turd™©®Esq. MD. III." - I LOVE IT!

I also wonder why they reserve the wonky wheel for me.

I also posted 42 as an answer to a question on my blog, and my mother made a comment arguing that 42 was NOT the answer. sheesh.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

uh, @Veronica, that footnote was tongue in cheek, and is not really what a Yule Log is. It's called sarcasm. You just crossed over into the class of readers you are deriding. There is nothing irritating about John's sarcasm. funny. haha. smile and enjoy. I have gotten irritated at the less than helpful readers also. but silly footnotes are for the rest of us who do have a sense of humor.

Merry Christmas to J&J and all you guys. Thanks for gifting us everyday.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Ah yes, the atomic number of molybdenum. The angle in degrees for which a rainbow appears.
The time it would take to travel through the Earth, rather than around it. The information one gets at putting 42 into wikiped. The Genius of Douglas Adams. And finally, the reason why I, too, get the shopping cart with the wackado wheels.

I love yule logs. But I'm pagan that way. And in lots of other ways too. 42!

wv: mockded: tooooo easy.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEm

Thank you for reminding us of the true spirit of Christmas! A little late, but all of my dollars are now donated - Merry Christmas! I'm looking forwars to many more wrecks next year!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichele


December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCookieMonster

Not really related to todays post but I felt I should share my ineptitude with the masses.
I made a gingerbread house today, tried to write 'Welcome' on the door lintel and managed to put two 'l's in it! *facepalm* I'm so ashamed!!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermjm

My Yule Log wreck story takes place in San Francisco Airport, where a very famous and fancy-schmancy bakery has an outpost.

In the case was a lovely, non-wreck looking yule log whose tag used the French word for yule log......sort of.

It said "Bouche de Noel."

Now, "log" is "Buche."
"Bouche" is actually "mouth."

They had a "Christmas mouth."

The guy behind the counter refused to see the problem.....My little francophile brain just about exploded.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkat

As Anonymous 10:15, I also live in France. This year, because I make peanuts for a living and also live hyper-expensive Paris, my flatmate and I decided to spring for a buche de Noel that cost all of, um, 1.50 EUR, I believe.

It looked sufficiently log like (and included a tiny plastic saw), but apparently to this patisserie, "arome praline," which SHOULD mean "praline-flavoured," ACTAULLY means "cardboard-flavoured." Because it tasted exactly like the box it came in. I'm assuming so, anyway - it certainly smelt similar.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaty

42. That made me laugh! Celeste

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNocturnal Sanders

I'd just like to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for choosing Give Kids the World as one of your charities! I had the pleasure of taking a trip there a year ago (Jan 1st, 2009) with my goddaughter who is 3 with various illnesses, her mom and my son! The facilities are FANTASTIC and I would be more than happy to share any pics of the facilities if people want to see it! THANK YOU AGAIN!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaite

Most of these aren't really that bad in my opinion, but the last one looks like a moldy boot.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Uh, Jon, man, that's not what a Yule Log is. It comes from the pagan traditions as Yule (the winter solstice) is a fire holiday and you can't had fire without wood. Read the bible, there is no mention of wood in conjunction with the birth at all.

That being said, should I just be happy that my religion is being sort of recognized or annoyed that they plastered Santa and Jesus all over it....

The cakes are awfully bad though.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Lyons

Yule put your eye out!!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

It's times like these I'm grateful that Islam prohibits religious imagery, so we can all be spared Eid wrecks.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

the last one just fell on the ground

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

This is one of the funniest posts in a long time.

And I still have no idea what a yule log actually is and yet, I still don't really care enough to spend 30 seconds with a search engine.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Nobody else laughs when I say "42" to answer questions. This is why I love you guys.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershadow

Bwreckery! brilliant. Thanks for so much joy this past year.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered

That last one is freaky. . . whatever! I am constantly amazed at the incompetency of bakers! Merry Christmas!
Hannah, age 12
P.S: JESUS is the Reason for the Season! =)

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercrazycrafter

I am a huge fan of your site even though I don't bake (I think my parents had that portion of my brain removed at birth). I just wanted to say I belly-laughed at today's post.

Rock on, CW!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Am I the only one who thinks even a well-made Yule Log cake looks gross? Who wants to eat a rotting dead tree carcass covered in mushrooms and leaves. Weird.

At least, now I know the meaning of life.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJHill

I liked the Hitchhiker's Guide reference :) Some of the ugliest yule logs I've ever seen. Hopefully, though, they're still yummy.

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

HAHAHA I ah um kinda tried to make a " you'll" log and it well kinda started to decompose -you know break down.... natural recycling etc. so i did what any smart thinking baker would do....
turn it into TRIFLE yeah yum. So instead of a red velvet with white chocolate cream yule log, we'll have red velvet white chocolate cream trifle!

Happy festivus yule all : 0 )

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Although 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything, it is not the answer to "what is a yule log". Sorry, half credit for a good try though!

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJubilee

If I squint real hard, the last one is some kind of Cthulhu Log.

wv: tolets. where the Cthulhu log came from ....

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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