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

Signs of Trouble

Sometimes, bakery wreckage isn't just limited to the cakes.

But what is it good for?
(Hooh! Good gah, y'all!)

I'll leave it up to you guys to explain what a "cake derator" does.
(Best definitions gets posted below!)

Every time a surly employee "apologizes," I picture him/her doing finger quotes kinda like this.
(And yes, this was taken in a bakery - pinky swear!)

"Honey, my mom is coming to stay for a few months. Isn't that great? I told her you wouldn't mind. Anyway, be a dear and go get a cake for us all to celebrate with, mkay?"

"You got it, sweetums! I know just the place..."

(From the Engrish "brog.")

And speaking of things to celebrate:

Personally, I like to celebrate cake as often as possible - with more cake.

And finally, a few favs from the archives:


Also known as "Bubble and Squeak."

(That's for you English Wreckies. Please, no need to thank me.)

The lawyers insisted.

Update: I've since heard from the owner of that last bakery, who as I recall blamed the sign on an in-law. Heh. At any rate, I think the sign has now been removed. See? Another example of the power of Wreckage, used for good! :D

Many "thanks" to wreckporters Robb & Abby, Allison M., Matt K., Steph, Kristen F., & Bonbon.

- Related Wreckage: Label Makers

"Winning" derator definitions:

"an apparatus for aerating a derrière after consumption of cake. See also: enema"

"It's clearly a promotional tie-in to the new Indiana Jones movie: Derators of Delost Cake!"
- Christina

"combination of a confectioner's pastry and the Latin word deratoria, meaning "the unspeakable", a professional bakery employee who designs, quality checks, or creates cakes that render the recipients speechless.

But, I think the true essence of the term "Cake Derator" is in the anagram it creates: "Karate Decor."

(I like to imagine "Karate Decor" as being a baby's bedroom decorated with ninjas.)"

- Taylor@MyOlderBrothers

And how about a visual definition, courtesy of Reese B.?

Perfect for those "mouse-filled" party cakes!

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Reader Comments (173)

well... that "cake derator" either injects frosting into the sponge (like you'd inject vodka into a watermelon or something) or it injects frosting where the sun don't shine (with star and rosette tips to add to the fun!! eeuww!)

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStarvingWriteNow

I think that Cake Derator is some sort of icing syringe. It'd be better though if it was for cake derision though.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhomuxeiku-loff

Why a Cake Derator must de-rate cakes. Sounds like just the ticket for you Wreck Mavens!
From Anne in Wisconsin

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I've no idea what a cake derator does. Perhaps they find the most gorgeous cakes and use that ominous looking syringe thing to write "FAIL" in red icing across it, effectively de-rating the cake. Wedding cakes get glittery red icing.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFencey

Those "puntuation" errors made me "laugh" so hard I "shot" "milk" out my "nose." air quoting fingers are sore...

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterViewtiful_Justin

cake derator –noun
1. an apparatus for aerating a derrière after consumption of cake. See also: enema

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwebdance

A Cake "derator" - it means to berate a cake with horrible decorations - thus bestowing eternal shame on said cake.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Dungan

WV cake derator for those times your derriere needs decorating.

I'm boyscoutmomx5 aka Donna S

real WV hunwolit a wallet for your hunnybuns.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

A Cake Derator is the bakery's defense against wreckporters. It makes the CWs immune to being rated and posted on Cake Wrecks, no matter how wrecky they are--in the spirit of those radar detector thingies that speeders use to keep from getting caught on the highways. Wrecks all around. There should be a law against them!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMama G

Anyone know what the "war cake" sign was supposed to say (or what that cake was supposed to be)?

A derator is obviously a tool used to insure low marks in a cake decorating contest. You would use a rator to get good ratings and a derator, perhaps on an opponent's cake, to get bad ratings.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Zikmund-Fisher

Cake Derrator (was that how it was spelled?):

"But my English teacher told me to 'Open my mouth and speak' and not to be afraid of making mistakes! That's what I did! My English was good enough to get me this job as product translator! How was I supposed to know that I was supposed to CHECK each word to make sure it was a real word?!"

Cake derrator . . . it's someone who passed my class who shouldn't have!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWriteCards

I get such a good laugh everytime I read your posts. I love to make and decorate cakes and I am in no way a professional so it really makes me giggle to see cakes that look...well...a little different for a nice way to put it.
As for that cake derator definition....i got nothin'

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Cookie Girl

Cakederator: the living cake version of the terminator.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCJS

OH MY! I have just spent a good chunk of my morning over at the Engrish blog. So between laughing at your signs, and laughing at theirs I'm exhausted. I may need to go back to bed. You are "the best".

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpeewee

And by the way, now I have to go watch "Rush Hour" again just I can see the Jackie Chan/Chris Rock scenes with "War"


January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWriteCards

A cake derator, Derates your cake of course ("to assess the value of (some types of property, such as agricultural land) at a lower rate than others for local taxation").

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicky

sorry, I'm still doubled over at the Cake's like the pre-quel to all the cakes we've ever seen!!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpeewee

Well, if it starts out as a five-star cake, a cake derator works on it to bump it down to four stars or lower, thus "de-rating" the cake.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterInk and Pixel Club

Great! Now I'll be hearing that song in my head all day, but only that part because nobody knows the words past the "what is it good for" part.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'd like to see a Mouse filled cake. But hopefully they would be Chocolate Mouses.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRon and Jessica

I'd like to see a mouse filled cake. But only if it's filled with Chocolate Mouses.

Ron and Jessica

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRon and Jessica

Are there any mouse filled cakes in California? I need one for my cat.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterConnie Moreno

I'm sure you know this, but there really is such a thing as "" rel="nofollow">war cake," although I cannot imagine that the unidentifiable object pictured has anything to do with it. The real thing is a spice cake made without eggs, milk, or butter, which were expensive and hard to get during the World Wars. (No, it's not my favorite flavor of cake, either. Give me good, old, extravagant, German chocolate . . . )

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLatter-Day Flapper

cake derator - n., combination of a confectioner's pastry and the Latin word deratoria, meaning "the unspeakable", a professional bakery employee who designs, quality checks, or creates cakes that render the recipients speechless.

But, I think the true essence of the term "Cake Derator" is in the anagrams it creates:
"O Cake Retard!" and "Karate Decor."

(I like to imagine "Karate Decor" as being a baby's bedroom decorated with ninjas.)

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTaylor@MyOlderBrothers

The Cake Derator will suck the air out of any cake - and resulting celebration.


January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I don't understand the concept of war cake. Is the baker declaring war on cake by piling lumps of chocolate broken in rage all over it?

The cake derator is actually misspelled. To delate means to accuse or denounce something and the cake delator was created as an instrument to further hatred and humiliation of cakes. It is often the device responsible for the more unfortunate wrecks that leave us scratching our heads and asking why? Yes, sadly there is an underground movement of people who purposely abuse and wreck cakes to satisfy their own sick hatred of cakey goodness. Little known fact: this is the same movement responsible for the creation of CCCs! Behold their instrument of evil!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCulinarychiq

@ Latter-Day Flapper: OMG! The cake you're talking about is called "Crazy Cake" - and believe it or not, it's the BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER!!! No eggs, no milk, but somehow, it's fantastic! (I have the recipe if anyone's interested :)


January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Wrecksistant

I'd have to say a cake "derator" is the opposite of a cake "aerator"; namely, it removes all the air from your cake and leaves it a solid, inedible mass.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan W

A "Cake Derator" is the finest tool in any Wreckorator's arsenal. It effectively blocks any intelligence from passing from brain through hands to cake, enabling hilarious misspellings, misunderstandings, and other Wreck-appropriate misses! "Derrr... the order form says 'I want sprinkles', so that's what I'll write on the cake!" Jen, I think you invented this product yourself to keep the blog going ;)

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLalaith

The cake derator is a tool used to help you masticate.

That being said, I think I'll get one for my brother. He likes to masticate, especially if there's cake involved.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpurplewowies

Cake derator (noun):
A moderator of bad cakes - as in Jen of Cake Wrecks.
Proper spelling is "cakederator" and quotes are optional when using this word!
Thanks for another laugh filled (not mouse filled)day!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJBPottery

Mouse filled party cakes? Is that like the strawberry tart? It doesn’t have much rat in it!

The Cake Derator is shorthand for Cakus Deratorsaurus. It's a distant relative of the Cake Rex.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFanboy Wife

The "cake derator" appears to be better suited for, like, some sort of porn store.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRita/Fighting Off Frumpy

I didn't read all the comments yet so I'm not sure that this was posted.

The 'cake derator' was just a simple smudge of the ink while printing. It's should say 'aerator'. This allows the baker to make the cake super light and airy while also giving taste tests to all around without the client noticing! No need to build up the frosting on that corner that 'accidentally' broke off.

Tiffany W.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel and Tiffany Ward

Confession time. I have been guilty of word mix-ups here at work. I make the food labels for our restuarant and here are my more memorable "mouse mistakes":

Mini Dessert Pasties (Pastries)
Pork Lion (Pork Loin)

and my supervisor's favorite (still has it in his office)

Seafood Quickie (Quiche)

For some reason, MSWord doesn't catch those mistakes...I wonder why? [snicker]

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterReceptionist Row

Cake Derator: Rates de cakes according to de Wreckerator Scale.

WV: fecabsts. A medical problem caused by eating too many wrecks.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Cake Derator is used to inject the rat filling into rat filled cakes much like Cake Demouser is used for those mouse filled cakes.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHilary

Cake Derrator: This is actually an off brand of the Cake Derrator-inator. Dr. Doofenshmirtz uses it to wreck perfectly good cakes in order to ruin happy celebrations.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

I'm still chuckling about the poison bakery. Given that there are other languages identifying the establishing I went to the french, where poison means fish. But fish bakery doesn't really make sense either so I've decided to move on.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteraltar ego

A cake derator, of course! A cake derator is the secret of bakers of all wreckie cakes everywhere. Instead of an aerator, which would inject air, a derator injects dares into all cakes that dare us to eat them. All cakes with poop swirls, unnatural neonish colors, designs that defy all logic and cohesion and of course, the dreaded lumpy CCC cake, all have been injected with dares using the lauded cake derator. Of course, in classic wreckie fashion, derator has been misspelled. It should be darator, of course.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDorci

Well, to "derate" is to lower the electrical capacity on appliances, so I think to "cake derate" (which a cake derator would do) is to either lower the edibility or visual-decency capacity on cakes... right?

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Dotson-Thomson

Good times, as always.

For those of us who now have the same 3 lines stuck in our heads and can't remember the rest of the song, here are the lyrics:

War! huh-yeah. What is it good for?Absolutely nothing. Uh-huh. War! huh-yeah. What is it good for?Absolutely nothing. Say it again, y'all. War! huh. Good God. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Listen to me! Ohhh? War! I despise because it means destruction of innocent lives. War means tears to thousands of mothers eyes when their sons go to fight and lose their lives. I said - War! Huh. Good God ya'll. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again. War! Whoa, Lord ...What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Listen to me? War! It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker. War! Friend only to the undertaker. War! It's an enemy to all mankind. The thought of war blows my mind. War has caused unrest in the younger generation. Induction then destruction-Who wants to die? Ohhh? War! Good God y'all. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it, Say it, Say it. War! Uh-huh Yeah - Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Listen to me? War! It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker. War! It's got one friend, that's the undertaker. War has shattered many a young mans dreams. Made him disabled, bitter and mean. Life is much to precious to spend fighting wars these days. War can't give life, it can only take it away. War! Huh. Good God y'all. What is it good for?Absolutely nothing. Say it again War! Whoa, Lord ...What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Listen to me? War! It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker. War! Friend only to the undertaker. Peace, Love and Understanding; tell me, is there no place for them today? They say we must fight to keep our freedom but Lord knows there's got to be a better way. War! Huh. Good God y'all. What is it good for? You tell me. Say it, Say it, Say it. War! Huh. Good God y'all. What is it good for? Stand up and shout it. Nothing!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda in NY

Obviously the cake derator is for clearing out the mouse filled party cakes.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjgulner

Cake Derator: a tool used to make cakes invisible. Usage: "When you use the cake derator, you can no longer c o' cake."

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjaybthe3

step 1: fill the vessle with the thick white 'cream'
step 2: insert the tip as far as you can into the premade hole
step 3: inject the 'cream'
step 4: Congratulations you have sucessfully filled your baby cakes!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My dear ladies and jellybeans---Cherry Flavored, sit down.
We shall now enlighten the audience with the defination of a "Cake Derator". (Stop clapping, Lime.) A cake derator is a tool essential to ALL bakeries. After all, what bakery DOESN'T want to be on "Cake Wrecks". (A surge of bakers rise to their feet)
Uh--- In conclusion, it is the duty of all citizens to eat the deratored cakes as support for bakers who can't afford cake DECORATORS. Thankyou.
Deratored cake will be served at intermission.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPink Toads

I just need to say that that chocolate cake in the first pic looks completely yummy. *drool* What a chocoholic dream!
Not sure why it's a "War Cake" though? At "War" with someone allergic to chocolate maybe? lol

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOne Girl in All The World

The derator is used to remove things that can be mocked. (Or de-berate. See? It's a clever play on words!). It works like this:

1. Stick the needle end into the cake.
2. Pull the plunger (as though drawing blood with an old-fashioned syringe).
3. The derator actually SUCKS the SUCK right out of the cake!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRick

A Cake Derator is of course a weapon, cleverly disguised as a cake decorating tool. "Bakers" use these to shoot poison icing at anyone who comes in their bakery to mock their latest "designs." I'd be careful if I were you Jen... Don't take the phrase "Cake or Death" too lightly Jen, I'm just sayin'...

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieT

Cake Derator: Properly punctuated for clarity would be Cake De-rat-or, or the mini pastry gun used to keep the rats away from the cake. Come with several decorative missiles. A must-have for any professional bakery!


January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKrystine

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