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 Whale of a Tale

[shining flashlight spookily in face] Come gather 'round to hear a tale of a Wreck.

And not just any Wreck, either.

A wreck [dramatic pause] to the third power.

Er, or something like that.

Last week a local news website in DC ordered a cake for their fifth anniversary. The site is named DCist, and Sommer, who sent this in, asked the bakery to just write their name across the whole cake.

Here's what they got instead:

Bringing a whole new meaning to the Fail Whale?

You've got to admire the tenacity of this decorator. Even while operating under the assumption that the customer wanted something written "on a whale cake", he still went ahead and just wrote those instructions out instead. The fact that the baker actually made more work for himself (by writing the extra text) while trying to make less work for himself (by avoiding drawing or carving a whale cake) is what makes this such a gem. Ah, good stuff.

Thanks to Sommer and to, which also posted it (under the same clever title, I might add - great minds and all that) here.

- Related Wreckage: Wreck Creators

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Reader Comments (67)

Just... wow. It's not even decorative either. Some anniversary cake! Though I have to wonder why a place like that didn't go somewhere a bit classier for that special occasion.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

You have to wonder if people aren't doing this intentionally just to get their 15 minutes.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Courteous Chihuahua

Cease and desist! After yesterday's beauties come this . . . how wrecky can you get?! (No, don't answer that!)

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVickie

I thought of a really groan-worthy pun!

The people responsible for this cake need to seas and DCist! (cease and desist, get it?)

I'm sad for myself now.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTaylor (My Older Brothers)

Courtesy of my husband: "Wow. A wreck to a higher power! I mean, once religion is involved..."


September 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterheather (errantdreams)

To be fair, that letter looks more like the "o" than the other "a"s in that person's handwriting. So it's probably just meant to read "on a whole cake". Which is still bad, but not as... weird.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow! I'm nearly speechless after that "brilliant" display of "talent." Scarier yet to think these people may even be allowed to vote!!

WV: painsph - what some cake wrecks cause

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

They've gotta have a plastic whale decoration he could've slapped on that thing. Maybe way up in the corner so there'd be room for all those words?

Angie (from over at

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHalf Assed Kitchen

Ehrm, I would call it creativity. Some wrecky sort of....

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara Otterst├Ątter

...what does that even MEAN!?


September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBilby P. Dalgyte

Wow!! How dumb do thee decorators have to be!?

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSuburban Princess

Since reading this post the following verse from 20000 Leagues Under the Sea has been stuck in my head:

"Got a whale of a tale to tell ya lads.
A whale of a tale or two
'Bout the flappin' fish and the girls I've loved
On nights like this with the moon above.
A whale of a tale and it's all true
I swear by my tattoo."

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrittany Blais

aside from the ridiculous-ness of adding that text, i do see a tiny loop on the "o", making it "whole".

but "whale" is funnier, eh?

oh, and did they really want a black and white cake?! seems rather boring for a celebration.

save the wholes.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Lee

To be fair, anyone with handwriting like this should not attempt to draw anything, even something as simple as a whale. They could at least have jazzed it up a bit with some sprinkles!

Did DCist request a funereal cake, or did the bakery choose the color scheme as well?

WV: misol The painful pun by Taylor (My Older Brothers) made misol hurt a little.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Are you sure this isn't from the same wreckerator as the one that started it all (i.e. Under Neat That)?

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

I am pretty sure that says "on a whole cake", not a whale cake. Looks more like an "o" but still...

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMary

For bonus points, it also looks like the "K" in "caKe" was originally an "h."

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelsey

It's just so good. Happy Monday!

Natalie from

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

To be fair, DCist's logo, and all other "ist" sites, are black and white, so I think they probably chose the color scheme. Avid reader of DCist and cake wrecks!

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMal

Oh geez....

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer B

Ahhh that reminds me of your old post of the cake that had spelled out "and underneath that put ___" I can't remember, was it someone's name?

Yes on a whale cake.... will be a cake to remember!

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterS3XinthePantry

Yeah I too wondered why the color scheme was black and white, until I went ahead and looked at their company site. I guess its their company colors.

If I ever want a cake with big letters across the cake,or what ever for that matter, I think what I'll do is draw a picture of what I want for the baker/decorator to follow. They SHOULDN'T messed it up much from that.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGoof

Are these people really that literal-minded, or are they just trying to get onto Cake Wrecks? And which is worse??

WV: beerifyn. I'm gonna need a beerifyn gonna keep thinking about this question!

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFamous Hat

This cake was MADE for Cake Wrecks!!!

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMs. Bright

sad...just sad.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Welch

They put it down in black and white. Maybe this crew can book Charm City Cakes for their 10th year celebrations-if they call now.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

Yeah, I would say that is definitely a wreck to the third degree... *shakes head*

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Not even an outline of a whale? Outrageous!

~Amy B.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I'm surprised no-one has come up with:


September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterOmegaMom

Don't they actually read the site? It should be required reading for decorators to check this site before beginning their careers. Seriously, someone pitch this to Wilton or whoever does cake decorator training these days.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNorkio

Aww ... and their logo is all in lower case. The "decorator" even put their name in all caps! Wrong on SO many levels ...

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDebbi


September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

Now I'm going to be humming Mr Scruff's Whalefish Song except with the word Whalecake.

There's a whale, there's a whale, there's a whalecake he cried...

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGlory von Hathor

Well, I don't know, sometimes my o's look like a's.

But then again, I'm way more careful when I'm doing something serious or that I want people to understand. So there's no excuse.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I dunno, o or a, a or o. I think it was one of those situations where the wreckerator is saying to him/herself, "gee, I can't tell if that's supposed to be 'whole' or 'whale', so I'll just make a letter kind of half-way between both and maybe they'll think it's right."

Sort of like when middle-schoolers try to make they're "t's" and "f's" indistinguishable on a true/false test. But just like in middle school, either way, this is WRONG!

Instead of trying to work out the a vs. o dilemma, would it not have been more reasonable to question the entire concept of writing "...on a whole/whale cake" on the cake???

WV - faccap - this cake (seriously, that was the WV - I love it!)

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCake_or_Death

How precious. I think this looks better than a whale cake, though, so perhaps we should thank the wreckerator.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter12 hour pills

Something is wrong with the site...I am getting all this white weirdness at the left margin of the text.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterViewtiful_Justin

Do these wreckorators not have phones?
"Excuse me, I have a question about the decoration on your cake you ordered...Do you want it the way you asked for it, or do you want it featured on Cake Wrecks?"

WV-aming These clowns were not aming too high, were they?

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfrigglesnitz

Wow.. that's a Whale of a Fail LOL

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStuff On My Blog

Whale or Whole, this is one of the ugliest cakes I've ever seen. What's with the black wiggle border? This may have been professional, but it screams amateur. If it was my company's cake, I would have refused it. Rather have no cake at all!
This wreckerator needs to find new work. UGLY, UGLY, UGLY.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSheri

it doesn't say "Whale," it says "whole..." They were supposed to write it on a whole cake... No whales needed to be harmed during the decorating of this cake

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Jo

I'm guessing it was a two-step fail -- first, the person who wrote it down thought they'd said to put it on a whale cake, and then passed the instructions on to another baker who doubled the fail.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHunter

i agree with kelly, anyone with ugly handwriting should abstain from decorating cake.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommentermizzyN

Are you sure the "a" in "whale" isn't just a poorly cursived "o" (as in "whole")?

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

whoa! Talk about overuse of flotsam and color!

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpeewee


That just...


There are no words.

God, I can't believe they...

Wow. That's a whole new level of failure, right there.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercapri-chan

well that was a ^smart^ wrecker! i love it when they are soooo tenical! ;)

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLucille Ball Jr.

hmmmm..... I think these people are related to the people who did my cake last year.....

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow, I'm not even sure if people are reading these instructions when they go to decorate the cakes. :o Honestly.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Scarf Girl

I thought those things on the outside of the whales were barnacles, not cysts. Huh.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterM.B.

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