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

Powell's Portland Pastry Party

For our first "world" tour event away from home, John and I boarded a plane the morning of the 25th, flew for eight hours, and then were taken straight to Powell's from the airport. (There's nothing quite like entering one of the world's largest book stores rolling all of your luggage behind you, btw.) We were astounded to learn that some of you had already been waiting there for hours. Wow. I would make a crack here about Portland needing better entertainment, but frankly I'm just too darn flattered. Y'all rock.

I was immediately ensconced in a back room where, single-handedly, I signed 350 books in just one hour. As super powers go I realize that's not terribly impressive, but I take what I can get. :) (The folks at Powell's are awesome, too. Thanks, guys!)

Then John and I got to do the fun stuff: our slide show presentation and talk with the crowd. For those of you who weren't able to be there, Becky B. was kind enough to send in some audience perspective pics:

Er. It was a bit crowded.

But enough of that. Wanna see the CAKES?

Of course you do. Here ya go:

Angel & Robin of The Dessert Tray had the audacity to bring an airbrushed CCC. Rest assured that I gave them the ol' stink eye for it, too.

I couldn't be too upset, though, because they also brought this:

See if you can't count all the Wrecky homages in this thing.

(Sperm balloons! Yay!)


The Western Culinary Institute students provided this:

And this:

"Book Singing" Heheh.

I *think* that's a mouse and a baby pacifier on top. I, uh, didn't ask.

And finally, Jessica from Black Sheep Bakery provided the vegan chocolate cake, which I think was one of the first to go:

Yep, I'm pretty sure everyone got cake.

Next: the cupcake Wreck-plicas! Here's our grand prize winner, made by Elizabeth:

Our other top three "winners":

And a few more of my favorites:

You can see all of the great entries in the CW FaceBook album here.

I'll be posting pics from Third Place Books in Seattle very soon. Stay tuned!

Many thanks to Elizabeth of Artisan Cake Company, our grand prize winner, for allowing me to use her Wreckplica photos. (John and I were so frazzled that we neglected to take our own. Oops!)

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Reader Comments (41)

Yes! Go Portland!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

yummy cakes! I love the cupcake wreckplicas.

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkristy

OMGosh Portland Rocks! I only wish I could have been there to see them in person! Enjoy the rest of your trip.

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Queen of Chaos

Oh now that looks like it was to fun! I really was wondering what the baby mouse and rattle were I thought it was hmmm poo!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Daphne

Awww bummer! I meant to go to that. 8(

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Those are fantastic!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Indeed, Contragulations on your "book"! Man, I wish I could get to a signing (or singing). They look like a blast!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfrigglesnitz

Yeah...Portland! You did me proud! Wish I could have been at my favorite bookstore in the world!

Congrats on the tour! Love the blog.

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

What fun! And what outstanding wrecklicas!

Oh, I can only imagine what it must be like to walk into the largest bookstore in the world draggin' all your luggage with ya.

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCookieMonster

Im excited to see you went to powelle's in Portland. I'm rip city born and raised but have transplanted to Charlotte NC. I think you should post more pictures of Portland. I miss home. OH@!!!! if your still in portland go to VooDOO doughnut. (

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaizyred

I am so amazed at the talent and humor of your fans . . . "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!" I'm absolutely green with envy that I can't come to any of the book signings. But I love that you are posting about them so that the rest of us can live vicariously. Enjoy!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWriteCards

Hey Jen and John,
We want to see a picture of you guys!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

*scream* I'm in one of those pics! Ahh! I'm on Cake Wrecks! :D

The first audience one, I'm the one in the grey shirt! People moved out over time so I actually got to see the end. :P

The stool the girl was standing on my dad got for me, but I let her have it, aren't I nice? (Actually, I was just scared the Powell's guys would get mad at me, but the girl got a good deal out of it, huh?) :D

Oh yes, and more emoticons: XD :D :P

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

It was a hoot! It was great getting to meet the brains behind my favorite morning read! Now that you've seen the best - you can go see the rest!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBetty

OMG. the vegan chocolate cake is HILARIOUS. looks like you guys had fun! impressive cakes!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Oh wow that is awesome: the WCI cake is priceless, although I think my favorite would be:

Congratulations on your "book"...

which unlike the WCI cake is both a wreck and appropriate all at the same time!

I don't know now if I'll be able to make it to the kansas city stop, but I'll be rooting for you from Salina!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieT

A Vegan cake being popular in PORTLAND? I'm SHOCKED! :)

(word verification : spermiel ... now all I can think of is balloons)

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBobman

The lady who won the cupcake contest has a website.

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Is it just me or does anyone else feel that the grand prize cupcake should be the last picture on the page? When I see it first and then go on to the runners up I think to myself, "well that one is better. Oh, and that one, too!"

You know, we need a bit of a build up. Just like Letterman's top 10 list.

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfoobella

Haha these are absolutely fantastic! How can people cram so much win into one single cake? The CCC is truly hilarious! They're all awesome, really. That tiny cupcake with the college logo... omg! XD

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle S.

How can you not love that CCC? It's two-tiered! Carrot jockeys on top of cupcakes on top of airbrushing on top of cupcakes...

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

hahhhaa Wheckers!!!! hahah

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkyooty

omg Portland did an amazing job of welcoming you. I saw you in Petaluma and I am so bummed we didn't do a better job :( you did not get the best of Sonoma county. I really hope SF comes through.

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Ooooooooooh, I love any cake that pays homage to "I Want Sprinkles"

Jen, you will see me at Bethesda wearing that on a shirt.

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Black Dog

Glad you made it to Portland. I so wanted to be there! Powell's is awesome.

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Vance's

I love Powells!! When I lived in Seattle the family would drive down there once a month just to browse. Looks like it was a fantastic event!

Megan @

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMJ

I loooove the mini-wreckplicas! So bad, they're excellent!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa (& Billy)

Am I the only one who noticed they misspelled "Falker" in the Happy Falker Satherhood part of the cake from the culinary institute? They spelled it Falkner... Whoops...

WV: pergen - the cake read "Contragulations, your pergen in cursive!!!"

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I bust out laughing when I saw the WINTER cupcake. That is one of my favorite wrecks. Da Boss woulda been proud!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBree

These are so funny! I get what went wrong with "Welcome Baby in Pink" and "Halfway 230"--but what is "Happy Falker Satherhood" *supposed* to be?

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I just realized that I'm in one of the pictures, too! Though, it looks like I'm being a crazy person and am in the middle of attacking someone. I'm the headless green-shirted thing in one of the WCI cake pictures.

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Dang, I only live 20 minutes from Powell's. Would've driven like a maniac to see you if I'd known! Congratulations on the book tour!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAfricakid

The Portland tour was so amazing! (I was the one second to last with the purple and pink hair and my boyfriend had the "skull radishes" tattoo. And I had John sign my book along with Jen :) Oh yes. It was incredible.

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStrawberry Blogs Forever

I thought it was FALKER Satherhood? They put an N in the word Falker and made it FAULNKER. Did anyone catch that?

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSixxlet

I'm still sad that my carrot jockeys didnt even make honorable mention but i'm glad i was able to make it to this event. It was well worth the near heatstroke from the crowds.

It is also interesting to notice that they wrecked a wreck.

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre

Did you get a chance to sample any of the baked goods at Powell's? The almond croissants are VERY good. Portland is a good pastry city in general...

Ooh, I wish I'd been there! But I've been in school in Massachusetts for nearly a month and there was nothing I could do...darn.

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMax

You people have wrecked my make-up again! Please please please please come to London so we can astound you with our british homages to the cake wrecks!

September 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKingfisherBlue

Am I really the only one that noticed on the Book Singing cake, the lower tier says Cake Whrecks? Looks like a fun tour.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermsbelle442

Oh! That's me and my wife in the back, straining to hear through the cheap PA system! (Second picture, guy in white shirt with arm around adorable one with purple sweater-thing and green/purple tank top)
We ended up moving further back because we couldn't really see anything and we could hear better next to the speaker in the ceiling :)
The event was just as hilarious as reading your posts, although funnier because we got to hear your inflections and such. You guys sound like you write, which is an accomplishment many fail at.

October 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFateduel

Aww poor little carrot jockey. He fell off of his cupcake

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The airbrushed cake with the "rainbow" effect says "congratulation's"! CAKE FAIL!

"Congratulations" is what it should be :p

October 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkylew

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