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

Come On Barbie, Let's Go Party

It all started with those kitschy toilet-paper cover dolls:

I think every grandmother was required by law to make enough of these things for her family to cover a mountain of TP. (My personal favorite was our red-dressed flamenco dancer. You?) After this was done, those dear crafty souls had to come up with new ways to use their stockpile of doll torsos.

Enter: the doll cake!

It was understandable when at first children assumed they were being served yarn and TP. Here Jenn L. is saying, "How about you put that over there and go fetch me my real cake, before someone throws a hissy, Ok?"

Fast forward 30 years or so, and doll cakes have come a long way. Why, just look at all the diverse styles they come in now!

The "Hawaiian Shaving Brush":

The "Easy-Chair-Under-Her-Dress":

("My lap! My lap! My lap is on FI-YUR!")

The "I'm-a-Little-Teapot":

The "Girls-Shouldn't-Have-ALL-the-Fun":

And the ever popular "Climb Every Mountain":

Cherie, Andrea M., Sanne, & Cattie P., all together now: "Life in plastic - it's fantastic!"

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Reader Comments (251)

never tell ken he can be in a cake EVER!!!!!1

March 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

kitschy: I love that word... I had to look it up so see what the heck it meant!

March 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPatty L.

Until she passed away when I was five, my grandmother made me a doll cake for every birthday. I really wish I had a photo.

March 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterToni

At a recent 7 year pld party there was a fairy-doll cake and candle were put in the skirt of the cake... Imagine the faces of the horrified 7 year olds as the fairy went up in, wings, arms... you expect a little melted wax on your cake, not so much melted fairy...

April 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfrosty

I just recently made a doll cake for my niece and posted about it! :) I hope mine doesn't look like a wreck. These pictures cracked me up! Especially the one with the easy-chair under her dress and her lap on fire! Anyway, if you want to check out my cake- go here:

April 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDani

The "I'm-a-little-teapot"'s skirt wouldn't be that bad if it was a solid blue (I mean the wrinkles are fine) and the top part wasn't so bloaty, but from the top up...


May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFlüf

Has anyone else noticed that the Hawaiian Barbie cake doll has frosting in her hair? I wonder how they'll get THAT out - you wouldn't really want to lick it off now, would you?

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaty

Hahaha! They are somehow very mesmerizing to the eyes, i can see that. :D

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie Linda

I did a Cinderella cake for my daughter's 4th birthday. The cake was georgeous, but when my little girl pulled the doll out of the cake and started licking the frosting bodice off, I realized that doll cakes are very, very wrong...

May 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My aunt has made both the crocheted versions and the cake version. Hers are/were actually sort of cool compared to these.

May 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

OMG! For my 21st birthday my dorm mates made two of those cakes one girl one boy. the girl was upside down wearig a pipe cleaner thong and the guy was upside down naked! man that was a good bday.


May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

AHHH! JANE! The same thing happened to me! except only one cake two naked dolls male and female the cake only came up to the knees. GREAT DAY!


May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My mom was our local amateur community cake-maker, and she had the Wilton doll cake set (the mini one with 4 cakes and 4 dolls, not the bigger single one). It was much less trashy to use the kit, since the skirt shape didn't turn out looking like a TP cover. Plus the dolls were attached to picks so they didn't start leaning like 1/2 a barbie does.

I loved making those doll cakes as a kid; in fact, I inherited that set when I moved away from home (those plastic dolls do NOT age well!)

Mom, however, did not generally use the kit to make doll cakes. She bought the kit specifically for the pan, which she used in tandem with the Wilton T-shirt pan to make her famous boobie cake. (She'd often fill the other 2 "boobies" with batter so I could make doll cakes while she made her boobie cake. Usually the only colours of icing to use would be "skin" and "nipple," though.)

I'm TOTALLY NOT a professional cake maker, but a couple of years ago some friends and I used those pans to make a 2-tiered, 4-breasted cake for Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stevens' yellow wedding. Topped with 4 very perky yellow breasts.

My mom specialised in getting a lot of mileage out of those cake pans. the boobie cake was usually for bachelor parties, and for bachelorettes, she would use the guitar pan. (You'll just have to use your imagination.)

- Cindeb

June 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercindeb

seriously, pretty much ALL of my birthday cakes were like those hehe. i like them... they're kinda weird, yah, but they bring back happy memories for my. fyi, mine weren't as awkward as the picture ones, and i never had a ken cake. although now i sorta wish i had!!

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I had a barbie cake when I was three. The only problem was, I wanted a Hotwheels cake. Yes, I'm a girl.

My younger sister had one of those cakes for about three birthdays.

By the time my birthday came out, Mum chucked out the giant mountain dress and just assembled a Barbie on top of a flat cake. That was a pretty rocking cake.

August 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Lexy

Usually I manage to stop myself laughing out loud at the cake wrecks... this is a valuable skill learned back in the days of ICT teaching when it's a REALLY bad idea to laugh when a teen boy is telling you his 3" floppy caught a virus... but the Ken in a skirt with a c**k ring? That is still making me laugh, and I'm not even LOOKING!

I need kids, so I can make them a doll cake.

August 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFlump Me

Ironically, my 4 year old has been begging for a dolly cake for her next birthday.

August 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeni

oh my gosh!!! my grandma used to makes those cakes! but hers were way prettier than these (atleast to me). i want one :(

September 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

Those cakes are tragic poor children!!!

September 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I know the bakery that makes those "Ken doll drag cakes" (unsurprisingly, it's in San Francisco) as they have them out on display on a picture window, along with cakes that would have to be censored here! No, I don't know anyone who actually ordered one!

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRawhide Almond Maché

Late to the party, but now I'm just thinking about the year my step-mom got me a Barbie cake for my birthday. I was probably between eight and ten, and the thing I remember best was gleefully licking all the frosting off the doll. I was just old enough to get a kick out of the concept that I was licking frosting off Barbie's chest.. And yes, I am a girl. ;)

Fun times!

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDreamer

Aw, I really wanted one of those doll cakes as a kid! My cool friend had one and I was so sad that all I got were lame cakes my mom made. This brings back great memories of childhood envy. :P

October 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiane

I tried to make one of these for my little sister once. I believe I was 14 and thought that the round dress could be made with a bundt cake pan. I borrowed one of lil sis's barbies and let's just say that the barbie was taller then the cake so the dress looked like it flounced of her thigh area, definitely nowhere near her waist.

I wanted to throw it away right then but our mom made me serve it to lil sis in front of the whole family. She's now the age I was when I made it and still likes to remind me of it just to see me squirm.

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie Cupcake

"My lap! My lap! My lap is on FI-YUR!" NEVER fails to crack me up. I've been to this one page a gazillion times and I ALWAYS laugh at that one.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaige

Oh my I can't stop looking at the Ken doll gives a whole new meaning to fruitcake, makes you wonder what they stuffed under that dress....

I'm never giving my kids a barbie cake after this! lol

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMunchkinland

Hahahahahahahaha - I love Wilton, especially with their doll picks used in conjunction with their Wonder Molds!!!

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwhizkidforte

I like how the easy chair barbie has a highlighter marker neon pink rose plunked down on her lap like that is going to compensate for a disaster done in sugar! And now I feel this strange urge to make a drag queen ken cake!


March 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAng

How awesome would a drag-queen Ken cake be? Eleventy-nine awesomes, that's how awesome.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaige

The "Climb Every Mountain" cake is hilarious!

March 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwhirlofwings

I have to admit that I made a princess cake like this (but much better!) for my daughter's birthday. She saw one at the grocery store bakery and had to have it for her princess party. Can you believe the grocery store bakery sells them for $60 and it's not even a real doll inside.

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Looking at these made me remember the Barbie Doll cake I made my daughter. I wish I had a picture of it.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentershamare

I wish I had a picture, but when I was a little girl, my mom ordered a "doll cake", supposedly like those above. Instead, the lady got us a cute (but weird) dog cake with head phones??

July 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertavo14

My older sister got a Barbie cake for her 1st birthday (she is now 22). We have this event on tape, so I have seen it many times. She wasn't allowed sugar until she turned one, so upon seeing the "dolly" she gave it a BIG hug... and ruined the cake. Gotta beware of those cakes pretending to be play things!

August 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

Oh..the memories!
condensed version:
2nd grade, Mom made me a gorgeous doll cake. Candles around the bottom of the skirt part, she lights the candles and carries the cake to the the time she gets there the dolls hair is on fire...burning like a torch! A house full of screaming 7 year olds.
This is the same birthday that a girl came up at lunchtime and asked if my party was still on for after school..when I asked why she said her Mom called and wanted to know because our house was on fire earlier. HUH?!!! I called my Mom in tears...Dryer fire..damage only in part of the basement, yes the party is still on. And then... the same girl (who was a snobby thing)gave me "Toilet Water" as a 7 I had no idea and coud only assume it was water from the toilet.
Birthdays... who needs em?

September 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

hahaha these are great. Imagine being at the party. Magic! xx

October 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCupcakes Lady

*gasp, wheeze* The 'lap is on fire' and the Ken cakes made me laugh so hard, tears sprang to my eyes and I started to hyperventelate.


April 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My friend Allie's doll cake's hair caught if fire and set the entire cake on fire. This reminded me.

July 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterViper

That Ken doll has been sold with the mesh shirt and co-umm, silver ring necklace included, though sans cake-y dress. It was in a cracked article XD I'd love that, if only to laugh at it.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMyriamD


September 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette

Hm... my grandmother had a crocheted flamenco dancer on the back of the upstairs toilet for years... you wouldn't have known an Ethel, would you?? (hahah, these are great. I vaguely remember a friend having one of these for her birthday and being vaguely disgusted when thinking of her licking her new toy clean, and then putting it in with all the other toys we played with all the time... now it carries even worse connotations than friend-germs all over the toys...)

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

OMG!! We had one of those TP cover dolls way back when at home. I come from India and we didn't have anything like this over there. So when we got this from someone who was visiting from the US, we thought it was an actual doll and it was on the shelf in the living room for ever! I was always confused about the lack of legs every time I played with it though :)

PS: Just found this site couple of days back, and I love it!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVin

Is it just me, or did someone else have 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun ' rolling through their head while looking at The Ken cake?????? Thanks Jen!!

March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

the last one looks like my 1st (1th?) birthday cake :/

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDawnG

My grandma drank whiskey and took Jamaican cruises, so I never got a crocheted TP cozy. Also, I used to BEG my mom to get me a doll cake for my birthday, she never did. :-(
And Earring Magic Ken? That's how he came, mesh shirt, c*ck ring, and all. I don't know what the designers were thinking when they gave him that necklace, LOL!

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterButcherBaby

I confess, I really like the Hawaiian doll cake. I made a larger ballerina doll for my daughters birthday. She was doing the splits, but to fit the round cake "tutu" on her, I had to pull her legs off (the doll's, not my daughter's) and stick them in the bottom of the cake. I also buried "gifts" of jewelry tied to bows which were on the skirt. Each little girl pulled out their bow and had a ring. It was lovely, really. What was very shocking to us all, and I think my nieces remember is still, 23 years later, was when we pulled out the legs to cut the cake. They made a great sucking sound! Hilarious. :)

January 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMrsLee

I've never wanted a doll cake. I've never had a doll cake, I've never even made a doll cake, BUT after seeing this Ken cake I know exactely what I want for my Birthday. :-D It's

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

I actually like the " Climb Every Mountain" cake. It's by far prettier than Ken in a skirt. XD

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarhath

I used to work at a shop that did children's birthday parties, and I overheard a conversation between two women discussing these cakes; the one said that hers did not turn out properly, as the Barbie doll melted when she baked the cake...I still don't know how I kept from commenting...

July 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC

Loved the pictures! I make cakes for people and some of these just cracked me up. I cannot believe some of these that came from professional bakeries!!!!!! Thanks for the laughs!

September 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorma

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