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

A Lesson in Proper Penmanship

Today, class, we're going to review the art of cake inscriptions, as well as some problem-solving techniques that will come in handy while on the job. Now remember: the hand-written message is the crowning jewel of every cake, and should showcase not only your skill, but also how much you care.

Take this one, for example:

Lovely, Dana K., lovely. There's no question that Ben felt special upon seeing this. Oh, and class, see how she filled in that awkward blank area with a mass of ribbon? That's called "thinking on your feet." There's no sense in wasting edible decor when you can simply reuse gift wrap you have on hand.

Andy B., pop quiz: What do you do when you run out of icing mid-inscription? Do you make more, or simply switch colors and hope no ones notices?

Haha, that's correct! Remember, class: Many children are colorblind. And the ones that aren't are generally too buzzed on sugar and caffeine to notice petty things like spacing, spelling, or sperm-like balloons.

Now, Erin S., say you have a small cake that someone wants you to write a message on, but you've also been wanting to try out the new 'blob' flower technique you saw on Careless Cakes. Which gets priority: the message, or the blobs?

Also correct! You see, class, this is why it's important to fill the entire cake with your design; so the message you write on top of it is uniformly difficult to read. As an added bonus, it's much harder for the client to spot any misspellings this way.

And lastly, Bethany T. is going to show us two things every baker should make more use of: plastic picks and abbreviations.

Wow, Bethany; I think that "BS" stands for "Beautifully Scripted!" I like how the color almost matches the birthday pick, too, but is off just enough to clash spectacularly - that took a lot of talent, I know.

[bell ringing] Well, that's all we have time for today, class. Remember to practice those blobs for next week's "Plop-a-Flower" review!

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Reader Comments (79)

Wow! we seem to have a pattern here with Carvel and Walmart.

Lesson learned: If you have absolutely no talent as a cake decorator you can still get a job as one if you just put in your application at the right places!

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

Plastic birthday wish
really shows "dedication."
But hey, great knife lines.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

Oh please... please please please.... please let my unordered, undetermined wedding cake have an abbreviation like "BS."

I wonder what it would stand for...

Bride Sweets?
Bachelor: Shattered?
Bologna Stack?

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHelpMakeCents

Just makes me not want any cake.

And that is sad.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKerri

When sperm jerks go wild:
"The fittest survive, suckers!"
("Hey, who tied our tails?")

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

I think that there is only one solution to these cakes. Write your message on a piece of paper, and ask the wreckorater to just leave a blank space in the middle of the cake. That way, your message says exactly what you want, since you are going to end up with inedible decorations anyway. -Erin Q.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe

Wow, priceless. xD

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterYakira

Apparently that last one doesn't know about a thing called CENTERING.

Angie (from over at

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHalf Assed Kitchen

I think the one with pink icing looks like one of those puzzles they have for kids, where you tip the paper to read the tall stretched out letters. As if eating cake isn't fun enough, now its a party game to figure out the message!

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGiana


May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLostLifeFound

Ouch! That blob flower/writing on top cake hurt my eyes! Maybe it was supposed to be a "find the hidden image" cake. Now I'll be blinking all day.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCakedreamer

I can't believe they actually gave the "BS" cake to a customer. What were they thinking?

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

That BS is really unfortunate...

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterViewtiful_Justin

What else can you do when you have a teeny tiny cake with no room to put a beautiful message? You almost HAVE to use a teeny tiny pick and abbreviations. Where on earth would she have put the full name?!?


wv: alowdozl-Some folk should not be alowdozl near a cake with icing.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

This has to be one of my favorite updates.

Great job, Jen. :)

I showed it to my brother, who said "I don't know, some of them seem alright..."

I should probably convert him to Wreckism.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You better cover sprinkle placement in the next class, too. It's obvious your class has some talent in that area as well. :)

And when did just randomly squirting icing along the edges become acceptable as "decoration"? All of these are horrible.

WV: jolob. Verb, to squirt randomly and carelessly. "I'll just jolop some icing along the edge and I this cake will be ready to go."

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMonique in TX

Silly cakes. Everyone knows that pie is superior anyway. ;) How about a pie-wrecks day? *laughs*

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

LOL, love it! Starting my morning with a cup of coffee and a moment to read your blog, puts a bounce in my step for the rest of the day. Thank you!

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElegantSnobbery

wow...These make me sad. They're unfortunate cakes...I felt almost bad for laughing at them. Almost. Meh...not really.

Did the Magic Colour Change Frosting decorator write that inscription with a butterknife or a matchstick or something other than a piping bag?

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPassion Fruit

I'm going to be generous and assume the round cake with "Welcome Baby Hlrhlr" was a tiny, pre-decorated cake that the customer had to have written on THAT VERY SECOND. Not that I've ever had that happen.


May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMorgi

It's a good thing "Hayderd" is colorblind.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRecoveringActor

Hm. These are. Um. Special. (Scratching my head.) (Furrowing my eyebrows.) (Sighing.) (Turning my head away.) (Weeping.) Yeah, really, uh, special.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

I like the big BS on the last cake. So appropriate...

Wow. I feel pretty d@mn good about my cake-writing abilities now. Thanks, Jen!

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDangGina

I'm seriously crying, I'm laughing SO hard at the "BS" cake!

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMandy

I would feel bad if I had to reuse my christmas colors and ribbons on someone's birthday cake (like the first shown). Then again, maybe they were Ben's favorite colors. I just can help but see recycled christmas decorations...

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristina M.

I am the proud owner of the BS cake. :) We (my friend Stephanie and I) went to the store to pick out our own birthday cake after we and our group of friends had just not enjoyed a meal of eh-ish quality that cost us an arm a leg to pay for it. When we got there to get a cake and we asked the people behind the decorator counter to write on it for us, they told us they weren't allowed. They wouldn't even hand the frosting bag over to my friend Stephanie so she could decorate it herself. After we had told them about our already subpar birthday night, they finally agreed to decorate it. It took one of the decorator's a full 10 minutes (NOT exaggerating!) to write BS. When she held it up and asked if it was okay we were like "Yeah, it's great...." but it was perfect. It totally went along with everything else that happened that day on our birthday celebration. When we brought it back to the house for the party, our friends and spouses couldn't stop laughing. :) Def a memorable birthday. :D

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterB

The decorators of the BS cake told us they weren't allowed to decorate the cake b/c they "hadn't practiced enough". We relayed our already eh birthday night and convinced them to decorate it for us. When they showed it to us we were like "Greaaat...." The B in the BS cake is supposed to stand for my name Bethany while the S stands for my friend's name also celebrating her birthday (Stephanie).

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterB

EEEEK! The last cake! Not only is it hideous, it's an ICE CREAM CAKE! (I HATE those)

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne Dargie

BS! Oh dear... Bloodcurdling-ly Sickening...?


May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKritterBugg

I love the sarcastic cake decorating teacher. Like Snape on happy pills...or a sugar high.

*giggles madly*

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterA. B. England

I have seen some work like this at my place of work! Since I am or was a cake decorator! I have to admit I did find myself thumbing through the older posts to see if any of MY cakes made it on this blog...Whew! (There wasn't any) But I can say this usually if a cake decorator is on break or off that day then the other peeps in the bakery get to do the honor of writing on cakes! And it is not a pretty site! My coworker mispelled congradulations. Yes, she is a cake decorator for 20 years! Uhm how can you mispell that? I always check the cake orders and there it sat. A plain white cake with red writing.Congradulations...I am thinking wow I have to hand this cake to a CUSTOMER? Well, after trying to scrape off the red writing which didn't work I had to refrost the whole damn cake! I added red roses and red border. This cake was for management I found out later. I am glad I caught the error right away!Congratulations!

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

> hope no ones notices

Someones did.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDennis

What kills me...these people have jobs after letting stuff like this go out the door! Seriously.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Welch

Almost all the cakes at my local supermarket look like the Carvel one, with artfully(?) applied icing squiggles in your choice of coordinating colors (or, near graduation time, in the local school colors) and sprinkles. They are, in effect, blank canvases for messages of thoughtfulness and good cheer...or wrecks like these. 0_o

I agree with Morgi; the flower blob cake with the pepto-pink icing probably went something like this:

Friend 1: Have we got everything we need for the baby shower? Oh no, I forgot to order a cake!
Friend 2: How about one of these over here? I like the one with the flowers.
Friend 1: Well, she IS having a girl...but it's kind of impersonal as it is.
Friend 2: They could write something on it--like with pink icing.
Friend 1: Wouldn't that look funny?
Friend 2: Oh, it won't matter. We're just going to cut it up and eat it anyway.
Friend 1: Why, you're right!


May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa (& Billy)

Why on earth would someone use red and green (clearly Christmas colors) on a birthday cake?!?

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJusti

Great. I'm going to be giggling at "Sperm-like balloons" all day!

PS- thank you Haiku Joy. That. Was. Brilliant.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

This was truly hilarious! Thanks!

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPatti

ha, what is with that last one, really? Geez.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan the Muse



May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The BS on the last cake looks like it was written with the same stuff. You know, the stuff you find in a pasture full of cows? :op

~Amy B.
wv: subtable "there are some very subtable mistakes in those wrecks.." LOL

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I FINALLY got it!! That third cake says "Welcome Baby Hannah". I think I need glasses now...

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMy Feet Hurt

I wonder if they meant "PS" but then didn't know what to say.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennyF

Great now I've got a song stuck in my head. *sings* 99 sperm balloons sitting in my living room...

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterksaldria

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the needs to be a Cake Wrecks show on Food Network. Maybe it could be a reality show where random people with no cake decorating experience are dropped into a bakery and expected to churn out cakes.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjackie31337

Jeremy said Silly cakes. Everyone knows that pie is superior anyway. ;) How about a pie-wrecks day? *laughs*

I can't remember if Jen commemorated Pi day on March 14th, but she still has a chance to get some pie wrecks up in time for European Pi Day on July 22nd (22/7).

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjackie31337

Perhaps Hayden is a Seattle FC fan?

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hayden's only one year old -- I don't think he can even read his birthday cake.

And I think that pink thing reads "Welcome Bitchy Hannah" -- welcoming a new employee and angling for a sexual harassment lawsuit at the same time.

Thank you...they say laughter is good for your health. And since I have started reading your blog I am getting my daily dose. This blog is just about the funniest thing I have ever read!

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKarla_s

Hilarious! Love the "BS" one.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

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