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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

KILL IT WITH FIRE!! (Oh wait, they already did...)

This Wreck is from last year, but since they ran the episode on Food Network recently I've been inundated with requests - nay, demands - that I feature it immediately. (And by the way, you guys are just so cute when you get bossy.)

We're fortunate that CW reader Jason got a hold of the actual episode this week, because he made a quick minute-and-a-half recap that captures the true Wrecktastic essence of this masterpiece. It also had John nearly crying with laughter, so you must watch:

I should mention that the challenge was to create a birthday cake for Kerry Vincent, aka the Simon Cowell of cake competitions. This is not the lady you screw up in front of. Or make towering spikes of cake and fruit and paper lathered up with melted goo and then set aflame in front of.

Yep, there were small bowls of alcohol set in the cake, which the creators lit to simulate birthday candles. Unsurprisingly to everyone except perhaps the bakers themselves, the cake then caught on fire.

Here it is covered with a fine dusting of fire extinguisher foam, which most everyone agreed was a visual improvement:

Now THAT is a Cake Wreck, folks.

Still, before you guys rip on these gals too much, consider how boring the world would be without those daring innovators who are willing to go down in flames [smirk] for the sake of their art. I say we applaud these brave souls, and encourage all the ingenuity, forward-thinking, and pyromania that we can. [nodding seriously] Wreck on, my friends, wreck on.

- Related Wreckage: Sandra Lee Shows Us How It's (Not) Done

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Reader Comments (368)

What was that cake suppossed to be? It's the culinary equivalent of Anna Nicole Smith . . . you know you shouldn't look but you have to and everyone is happy when it's finally put of it's misery!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I kind of want to throw up now. D:

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnu

Wow! This cake embodies the word "fiasco". Setting the horrible thing on fire was really the only humane thing to do.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterClare

wow - what a disaster! and for KV? I've met her (love the Simon Cowell comparison, that is dead one!), and I can't imagine dreaming that up for her, let alone having to hear her critique it!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershe who must be obeyed

OOOOOHH MY! I'm SO glad you posted this-- my husband and I were watching Sunday and we both said, this has GOT to be on CakeWrecks!! I think she really thought it was pretty awesome. ...Pretty hideous.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlauren

I saw that episode this weekend and I couldn't BELIEVE that the baker ever thought this would be a good idea. I mean, I don't bake *at all* and I know that trying to shove small blocks of cake down wooden dowels is not going to create a nice "wall" look - it going to create a freaking mess!

I'm not even sure I understand her initial concept. I know she was wanting to make something sculptural that was "vertical" rather than the usual horizontal (much like the tipped-on-end rice krispy treat bridge disaster she had created on an earlier episode,) but I figured she's stack the cake layers up normally and then cut down into them to create the vertical points - OR that she'd use thicker cake layers that would be able to stand vertically, so that you'd have the frosting between them running vertically, too. Pretty much anything but shoving small blocks down wooden dowels.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthorswitch

Wow. That's a wreck on quite a grand scale!! =-0 Fire? Really? ::shakes head::

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTristan's Mom

I have so much to say, being a fan of the cake cChallenges, but I'm going to keep it short...


Sort of says it all.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

This was a professional competition? Please tell me this was just a case of overzealous amateurs. Because suddenly I feel like the Da Vinci of cake decorating, and that's just wrong.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaniFae

I have never seen that competitor make a cake that is not wrecktastic. Seriously.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That is just hilarious - been looking at this cake all week trying to figure out WTF the 'artist' was thinking....still don't get it, but am now highly amused. THANKS Jen!!!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle P

I am pretty sure that this episode aired for the FIRST time this past Sunday. I was taped last year.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I have no words...

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

holy cow, that is a mess. I saw the ad for the show but forgot to watch it - which is probably good, I would have broken my new TV when I threw things at it! That "artist" made a horrible bridge sculpture thing out of rice krispies treats too, didn't she? Maybe they should just not have her on anymore... but then who would we gape in horror at?!?!
Thanks for the video and photos, it made my day!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda


I think you might be a little confused. This episode had not aired before Sunday. It was the first time it was on the air. It was taped back in Dec actually, because that's when Norm got sick. I got an e-mail when he was in the hospital, and that's why he missed my New Year's party this year.

That said, my partner looked at me on Sunday night and literally said to me "Now THAT'S a cake wreck!" I cracked up!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

Having watched a lot more of these Challenges than I probably should, and having seen how. . . umm. . . "pleasant" Kerry Vincent is to the contestants, I can't help wondering if this was an attempt at making a statement upon being asked to make her a birthday cake. If it wasn't, I would suggest they lie and claim it was.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Having seen the decorator's website, I would say this is just the tip of the wreckburg:

Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercarrera

I watched that the other night. I saw the concept and the first befuddled attempts to build it like you build a brick wall. Then I had to go rescue my daughter who fell out of bed. When I came back, the judging was going on and I was all WTF happened to that cake!! I really love/hate it when Stevie is on because she is a trainwreck.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessi

So I saw that SAME "artist" (I hesitate to name her a cake decorator) not to long ago do a cereal bridge contruction. SHE WAS LUDICROUS!!!! It is painful to watch her work on cakes. Her art work is semi-palatable--however her bridge (no pun intended) to cake artistry is undeniably a mistake. Sorry if that's too harsh, but there are SOOO many other WORTHY cake decorators that should be invited to participate in the Food Network Challenge and they waste time on a nut like her.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhsfisher95

Jason, that was amazing! Now just think how boring our day would have been if those poor women hadn't been insane enough to think they could make a pretty cake.

On a more serious note, in what warped and twisted version of reality would that have been a nice cake? Even from the initial sketch?

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCait

This is even worse than the crazy lady that made the gingerbread "cave". Yikes.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

Oh, I am so hoping that now they don't invite Stevie back for another competition!!! This Wrecktastic disaster is just another one of the ruins that she has created on Food Network Challenge.

I have to say, though, I LOVED that they invited her for this competition, seeing as she and Kerry Vincent have, shall we say, differences of opinion when it comes to cake art!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersarakate

My boys and I watched this episode. We laughed so hard. We thought that cake was disgusting. Who would ever want to eat it? We also thought it deserved to be on your blog as the ultimate wreck.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

This episode was great! Her kitchen was as much of a mess as this "cake" and the worst part is that she was actually proud of this mess! if i were her i would stay away from the challenges, i have seen both of hers, and she may go out of business with how bad she has done on both.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Given my thoughts on Ms. Vincent every time I see one of the cake challenges (I kinda wish *she* would go up in flames; they should've doused the cake in water since that's how they put out - and happy accidentally defeated - the Wicked Witch of the West; she makes the most inane, nothing-to-do-with-the-cake-itself, nasty, backbiting comments such that Simon Cowell could only hope to be her; you get the picture), I believe this cake should've won.

(Oh, it's a hideous creation, no doubt, and I did have to wonder what the heck they thought they were doing, but it's on FIRE! That's awesome. I'll have to keep an eye out for a rerun.)

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdiopsideanddiamonds

I saw this and was so shocked by tehe craziness. That woman is crazy! Her website shows much of the same weirdness.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMamaMia

I feel bad for the baker but man what an ugly cake before it flamed up!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCALpumper

OMG! I watched this episode on Sunday and was blown away by this cake... It's so horrible, and on national t.v. no less!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkristen

I saw the episode for the first time this past weekend and this baker had me absolutely speechless. As in jaw hanging on the floor because I couldn't BELIEVE that she would actually be paid for creations like that. I agree with thorswitch in that her initial concept was completely lost on me. And I'm all for innovation, but badly cut chunks of cake crammed together and jammed on skewers, then frosted (sort of) and set ablaze doesn't exactly strike confidence in the hearts of the public.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElleBee

Oh my word! I just went to her website ( and she actually has that wreck on her TV Appearances page - along with the toppling rice bridge (though she doesn't show it in it's post-collapse state) and a "Wrapped Christmas Tree" from another FoodNetwork challenge that I'll let her describe:

an edible garland, ornaments, tree topper and wrapping. The theme for this artwork is memories from NYC Christmas, including large colorful fruits and vegetables from the deli displays on all NYC streets; garland of the ingredients of lasagna- a staple at every holiday meal in an Italian household; and wrapped ala Christo inspired, with edible cling wrap (which disintegrates with water).

Yes, garlands of lasagna ingredients! What I've always thought my Christmas tree needs! (The edible cling wrap is hilarious, too, because it pretty much covers up everything else.)

Yeesh! LOL

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthorswitch

Installation art cake ,obviousley.
In other words,pretentious, ugly and even sordid,uggh by some "artist" who cant draw or paint, put a huge price tag on it and sell it to Tate Modern!! it would probably win the turner prize...sigh.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdiddleymaz

Wow. And I thought looking at a Pollack was confusing.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Oh yes, one last thing. I dunno if this episode has aired yet or not, but she's also got pictures up of a different cereal bridge she made during a FoodNetwork Challenge in April 2009. Here's her description:

Main Avenue Bridge (Veteran's Memorial Bridge) in one-point perspective, created in a three dimensional structure. The artwork has ramps flooding with milk on the sides and sugar for the blizzard, as a commemoration to the 2009 Flood in Fargo, ND & Moorhead, MN.

The pictures for this one actually don't look nearly as bad as the other stuff she has posted, but you can't really see the milk or sugar in them, so ....

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthorswitch

Oh my...reminds me of the results of "sacrificing" a cake to a little kid:

On occasion, I've handed over a plain, un-iced cake to a child, along with a couple of containers of frosting, some food coloring, and a lot of other edible cake accessories like sprinkles, food writer pens, those tubes of colored gel, etc, and just let them go at it.

I've yet to see a kid manage to light one on fire though...

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLayla

I also watched this episode. This cake is truly the ultimate of Cake Wrecks. Thanks for posting it.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMotorcycle Grandma

I thought of you the whole time I was watching this episode. Oh and I went to her website...
Many a wreck to be had there. I wouldn't hire her if she were the last decorator on earth and I couldn't pipe to save my life.
Frankly I'm tired of the "artists" that go on the challenges and then whine that "they don't get it" Because really, it's cake, you shouldn't have to "get it"

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRedheaded Mama

Holy crap, that is so awful. Was it supposed to be a garbage castle?

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterelizabeth

I still don't know what she was thiking when she planned that cake. Insane. lol

I looked at her website and was looking at some of the Medium Scale Edible Landscapes and let me just say.....THAT WAS NASTY. Why in god's name would you make a va gay gay out of chocolate?! And put red beans in it?

This woman needs to be locked in an insane asylum!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterApril

Seriously, what were they thinking? That thing is awful!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeAnn

The cake design is a complete trainwreck. But I have to admit, it does look tasty! Mmmm... chocolate!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNick

Does anybody remember the edible christmas tree that she made? (

She wrapped it in what looked like plastic bags at the end and it looked a mess. I really don't understand this 'artist' and her work.

What a wreck!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow! This may be the mother of all wrecks. I can't believe that a "professional" created this disaster, and as part of a competition no less.

I have seen kids make prettier mud pies than that wreck.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That cake made my cry inside, enough said about that.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

There is nothing that can't be fixed with a good fire.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHorribleLicensePlates

Well, I'd eat it. Don't knock fire extinguisher dust until you've tried it.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTiggy

Man, the only way that video clip could have been better was to show Kerry Vincent's reaction! bwahahahaha

WV: volomato - the italian word for what happened to that cake when matches were applied.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter~Anne

@Jen: Well I thought it was a new episode. So now I'm glad I didn't e-mail you about it.

@DaniFae: Yes It is a professional competition, you should have seen the other cakes each of them much better for a sunday sweet

@carrera: Wow, Now I have seen her website... hmm... Frosted real Trees, Check, edible face paints, Check, cereal bridge 2, Check, Edible boxes that make me like airbrushing *shudder*, Check, oh and this: Moldy Strawberries, Check! Hmm, It appears she's enviromental artist guru, that really shouldn't have anything to do with food.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieT

I have seen that particular baker in other challenges... the other challenge was a complete wreck that actually forced Ms. Vincent to chastize the baker for not taking the competition seriously.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentereopichka

@redheaded mama -

Did you catch her Environmental Art (which is basically vertical panels for growing grass or other air-cleaning plants on walls?)

Hmmm.... a vertical bridge, a "vertical" cake, vertical grass panels... am I sensing a theme here?

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthorswitch

Man, the only reason people like her get invited to go on shows like that is because it boosts ratings. You know what they say, everybody loves a train, er, cake wreck!

The creations on her site are beyond horrifying. Her concepts might not be so bad if her execution weren't so ridiculously sloppy. But honestly, her concepts are pretty terrible too.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

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