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

Sunday Sweets: Harry Potter

Years ago, Jen and I were in an airport with nothing to read. So, like so many other hapless victims, we decided to peruse the local den of thieves (aka airport gift shop). On a whim, Jen picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Little did I know that that would be the beginning of what has become a minor obsession in my life. We've been to midnight book releases, I listen to the audio books at work over and over, and naturally I'm far more excited about the movies than any grown man probably should be. So, with the sixth film coming out this Wednesday, I asked Jen to let me do this week's Sunday Sweets.

Now, put down those Fizzing Wizzbies, and let's admire the works of some of the finest Muggle bakers around!

You guys asked for more 2D cakes, so check out this awesome fondant-free example:

We're pretty sure that's either a chocolate or butter cream transfer on the top - cool, huh? I found it on Decolicious!'s Flickr stream.

Next is Margie's amazing Sorting Hat:

For those of you who are not (yet) die-hard Potter fans, the sorting hat is a magical talking hat. Who sometimes sings. Or produces swords. Or bursts into flames. (Just read the books, Ok?)

This next one is reeeeally exciting [pushing up glasses]:

It's a book cake, yes. But not just ANY book cake; a book cake with the very last line from the series on it:

"All was well." [tearing up] This is so beautiful. It's from the aptly named Mike's Amazing Cakes.

And finally, here's the Hogwarts cake Duff and his team from Charm City Cakes made:

I think this was for the last movie's premier.

Here's a closeup:

I know what you're thinking, and yes, there actually are more great Harry Potter cakes out there. You'll just have to tune in next Sunday to see the rest of them. (And if you have one to nominate, you can send it to us at Sunday Sweets [at] Cake Wrecks [dot] com.)

And finally, I know there are still some folks out there who don't like Harry Potter, for any of a number of reasons. I doubt I'll be able to change your mind if that's the case, but I do want to share what I think is the best end result of JK Rowling's work:

Little kids reading 800 page books - now THAT is Sunday Sweets worthy.

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Reader Comments (255)

Great cakes! The SECOND best thing about Harry Potter books is getting kids to read. The BEST thing about Harry Potter is that is the name of my collie/border collie cross who is the joy of my life!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDonkaloosa

i love your last shot of the little guys reading. so true! and i can't wait for wednesday's movie release. actually i'm seeing it tuesday - our friend's father owns a movie theatre and we get to view it early - yay!!!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

Those are some nice cakes.

I defiantely agree John, if it gets kids to read, then who cares if you hate the series.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterApril

Yay! Thank you for doing a HP-related Sunday Sweets! Of course there aren't any Harry Potter cake wrecks, because if it has Harry on it, it can't BE a Cake Wreck! Hahaha. ;)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Defiantly agreed!

I may not have fallen head over heels for the books when I read a couple of them, but the fact that my sis who couldn't make it through most of the books I handed her that were pretty short would pour through these was an inspiration.

Love the cakes, but that Sorting hat is the best!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEkio Locatiare

Those cakes are wonderful and I'm glad I don't have chose which one is "the best", although as a librarian I must admit that book is terrific.
And the shot of kids reading is even better--now can we see it in cake? (Just kidding.)

WV Synalk=After seeing these great cakes, I'm not such a synalk about the baking business.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdrgns4vr

THAT HAT IS FABULOUS! And I have my midnight ticket safely in hand.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDottie park


July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

I remember when my son asked his dad for the books. His father hates spending money..but how can you not buy a child books? lol..he ended up getting them and years later my son still reads them faithfully. When he gets to the end of the last one, he starts all over again. Ya gotta love the fact that she did make reading an obsession for so many kids that otherwise wouldn't have cared to. I'm not a HP fan, but I have respect for the huge phenomenon it was and still continues to be. =)

*Personally, I like the book cake.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

To John, Hubby of Jen:
I too am an adult (mid-40's WWF) who completely and totally LOVES the entire series of books and all the films. My 14-yr-old child thinks I am insane. I also play the video games, which could have been done better. But I think I have found an ally in you!
Harry Potter Lives!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine H.

I have a similar photograph of my son on holiday although I was slightly less thrilled about his obsession:" title="Bookworm by sylvia@intrigue, on Flickr" rel="nofollow">Connor at the Grand Canyon

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersylvia

OOOh now I'm all excited for the new movie... AND movie cakes. Yay.

Kids reading... awesome. Way to go, JK.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Amazing cakes and perfect parting shot of the little ones reading. We are HUGE Potter fans as well - I bought the first one to read to my son when he was in kindergarten and as soon as I finished he grabbed it and re-read it himself!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterProud Mom

You are so right our middle daughter didn't like reading untill she started these books. In 7th grade the teacher said the books were somewhat younger but she let her use the pages to make her quota. This gave her so much confidence in reading just what she needed!
The cakes were amazing too, Love the Hat!! Can't wait until next weeks!! Thanks again!!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNona

yay! going to see a sneak preview of the movie tonight..if the theater's not completely packed!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Well done, John, Hubby of Jen (sounds like an old english name). The cakes are great. I like the variety you chose. Looking forward to the movie and more cakes next week...and oh heck, the movie again.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSirius

I love how we blogged about Harry Potter at the exact same time.

And I'm not going to lie - the "all was well" cake did make my eyes water a little bit.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

Shhh...don't let Kanye West know that there are kids out there who love to read...

"Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him."
--Maya Angelou

~~Jan (8th grade reading teacher)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJan

I love how we blogged about Harry Potter at the exact same time. All of those cakes are amazing but, the last picture is definitely my favorite.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

i dont like them very much at all i read most the series and then got bored partway throught the last one but i am surrounded by harry potter lovers.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Harry Potter was my childhood. Period. And my entire family, the young and the old still love it just as much as I do. It makes my heart lift to see these awesome cakes and recognition so close to the movie. ^_^

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIvey

I was just thinking this morning (while my kids were watching HP/SS again- I would bake my son's 11th bday cake myself (words and all)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersamma

omg! i've read all the books in less than one week, and i'm twelve years old!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersarahjnell

Agree on all counts.
Awesome cakes.
Awesome series.
Awesome to see small children reading by choice.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstr4y

Am I the only one on the planet who has never read a Harry Potter book or seen a movie or never even wanted to? They may be great but by now they have been so extremely and completely overhyped there is no possible way they can live up to expectations even going in thinking "They've been overhyped. Don't expect perfection."

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I was a supervisor for Borders Books for a number of years and as *insane* as the midnight releases could get everything was justified when I saw hundreds of kids promptly finding a space on the floor to crack into the new book.

These cakes are perfect examples of the imaginations nurtured by this series.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

My husband and I are as obsessed as you two are! I'm currently listening to book 7 while at work. :)
I think we need to find a golden Snitch cake like Harry got for his 17th birthday!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Lindsay, Yawn because the cakes are boring? or Yawn because 12 years later Harry Potter is still a phenomenon that kids & adults enjoy discussing and discovering?

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Awesome! John you are not alone, my husband has been listening to the audio cd's in his car for weeks now in anticipation to this new movie. He is squeaking like a small girl about it! LOL Love men into HP!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAKatC518

You know what would be even better? For little kids to be reading a WELL WRITTEN 800 page book. Or a WELL WRITTEN 100 page book. 800 pages does not spell "quality". Sadly, Harry Potter is derivative of every other myth, legend and fantasy novel Rowling could copy, steal from, adapt, or rip off. And her prose is lousy, too. How about getting the little guys to read Tolkien, Blume, Cleary, L'Engle, Tannenbaum or others? There are good modern children's literature authors out there, but Rowling really ain't one of them.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Great cakes! I like the book the best.

I used to be a Harry Potter naysayer. How could something popular possibly be good? In any event, I thought I should start the first book so I could say I gave the series a try.

I was completely and utterly hooked after two dozen pages. I started Book One right after Book Seven came out, so I read them all in one fell swoop. There may or may not have been some next-day deliveries from in there...

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaiane

Sylvia, that pic is priceless. I can't say as I blame him, I would have been the same way (still am.) Meals were almost torture for me because I wasn't allowed to read at the table. It was almost a physical ache.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterholly

Thanks for that last note - getting kids to read is the most incredible gift you can give them, and Rowling's contribution to the world, in that sense, can't be overlooked. Powerful magic, that.

And some great looking cakes!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Oh how I miss Harry Potter.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke

Is it bad that I got goosebumps reading this post? HAHA.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermrsrazon

Okay, but do you prefer Jim Dale reading the books, or Stephne Fry? (Personally, they are both good, but I prefer Jim Dale)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterllamaface

I was lucky enough to see a sneak preview on Friday and can't wait to go back again on Wednesday. The new movie is very good and one of the best to live up to the book (I think). As always, seeing it made me want to reread them all (again!).

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

Wow, great cakes! Can't wait to see more of them. I'm also a big fan of the books and movies. They're just plain fun.

@Amanda; If it has HP on it, it can't be a wreck? Well, just google "harry potter cake" and you'll see that there are in fact some pretty scary specimens out there ;).

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSjak

To Anonymous at 11:10,

First off, well written is a matter of opinion. I have devoured all of Madeline L'Engle's books. I have also slogged my way though Tolkien (who was also accused of thievery by naysayers). I often wonder who defines "good" literature. Hemingway's "Old man and the sea" was captivating but had one of the worst endings I have ever experienced. Yet that's a "classic."

You need to remember that while you can force a child to read, you can't force them to want to read. Rowling, love her or hate her, wrote a book that children stood in line to buy and read late into the night. And if, by reading these "lousy" books, a child chooses to crack open the dusty old "Two towers" on his dad's bookshelf, then all the better.

And Llamaface?

Jim Dale. Is there anyone else, really?


My name is Jill. I'm 35. I <3 Harry Potter. Hi Everyone. My daughter is 10 and read all the books in about 6 months... and is currently re-reading them.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJill

With all due respect, I'd rather my children be illiterate than read Harry Potter. Thankfully, those aren't my only two options. Believe it or not, there are many other books that draw children into a love of reading.

I can still admire the cake artistry, though! Amazing work.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVillageMom

Thank you, thank you John!!! I was hoping you guys would have HP Sunday sweets. I will be tuning in early next Sunday for more HP-cake-awesomeness! ;)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeray

I practically bounced up & down with happiness when I saw that this week's Sunday Sweets was HP. I LOVE HP!!! When all my friends were getting into it, I thought "no way, too much hype & drama about it, not interested." After they convinced me to read one, I was hooked. All of the last 4 were read in less than 24-hours... and I am 22 right now.
I am a proud HP geek. (Maybe too much sometimes... I even read the fanfiction.)

Those cakes were FANTASTIC. The book was a little cheesy, but the castle made me very happy. Keep it up!
(Maybe even some HP wrecks?)

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSerena

John you made my night - I have been a huge Potter fan for years now.
I love how HP converts kids to reading. I am a 30 yr old teaching student at the moment & have converted the 11 yr old I tutor in English to the series. Love the book with the last words of Book 7.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine from OZ

There is no "minor" HP obsession!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoxie


Well that's just silly. You wouldn't want your kids to be illiterate. I do have to wonder though whether you have ever read a Harry Potter book. Is it the hype or the subject matter that turns you off?

If it's subject matter, I always try to remind my anti-Potter friends that Aslan was a talking lion and Gandalf was a wizard. If you're coming from where I think you're coming from, you will know who I am talking about.

Ah well...


Loved todays sweets!! Harry Potter is great and Im a grown up too, love it, sad its over but looking forward to the films!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdiddleymaz

Well, John, I'm glad you think it's great for little kids to be reading these long books, but what about Kanye West. How would HE feel about it?

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

This may sound crazy, but I actually teared up at the picture of the little ones reading! HP also got my husband interested in reading. And by reading I mean listening over and over again to the books on CD! Kudos for the great sweets!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks for the Potter post! My husband and I are equally obsessed (no kids in our house) and we are holding tight to our midnight tickets. We even took a trip with 2 other adult friends to London for the book 7 release. The castle cake is AMAZING!!!

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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