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: Hanukkah Blues

Given that Hanukkah is traditionally celebrated with foods fried in oil, it's no wonder that Hanukkah cakes aren't terribly common. However, in honor of the occasion I've hunted down the best I could find, and then threw in some gorgeous wintry wonders, too.

Let's start with one of the best: a gorgeous hand-painted design by Dahlia's Custom Cakes:

WOW. Clean, modern, and vibrant. Love it.

I've given Wilton some good-natured grief before, but I've gotta hand it to them: this Hanukkah kids' cake is adorable!

Full instructions on how to make it yourself on the Wilton site here.

Some beautifully detailed cookies:

Made by Cookie Crumbs

And believe it or not, this menorah is actually made of royal icing:

By Cake Central member bankruptbaker

I know: I can hardly believe it, either! Just amazing.

That's the extent of the Hanukkah-specific Sweets I was able to find, but while searching I also found these fabulous winter-themed treats:

By Melissa of My Cake School

That snowman topper made me squee like a little girl. Or a very big geek. One of the two, anyway.

I am in awe of Dimitrana's skill. Not only are her cakes gorgeous on the outside:

Even the reindeer is handmade!

...her cakes are just as impressive inside:

Those are vertical cake layers, kids. I have no idea how she did it, but she claims instructions are somewhere on her blog. (And while you're there, check out her amazing acorn cookies!)

I'm loving this swirly snowflake topper:

By For The Love of Cake

Such a neat design: you can almost hear the wind whipping through the snow flurries.

And check out the sculpting on this one:

By Cakes By Roselyn

Ah, this restores my faith in the airbrush, right here. Beautiful.

A bit more subtle on the winter theme, but this piping work blows me away:

By Martha Stewart Weddings

If only I had hands that steady. And talent that...uh...talented.

Ok, and just one more from Dimitrana, because I can't help myself:

A cake candle! How cool is that?

And once again, there's a surprise inside: it's a giant jelly roll.

Well, once again, Happy Hanukkah, everyone! (Oh, and if you bakers could see your way to making more Hanukkah cakes, that'd really help me out. Yeeeeah. Thanks.)

Have a Sweet to nominate? Then send it to Sunday Sweet [at] Cake Wrecks [dot] com.

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Reader Comments (71)

Aren't Hanukkah cakes rare because they're leavened, and you can't eat leavened food during the holiday?

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The vertical cake layers are made just like a jelly roll. Bake a thin layer of cake, roll while hot, then unroll & fill. She cuts hers into strips before rolling up with the filling. The cakes on her blog are actually spirals, not concentric circles. If you want to read about it yourself, first type this word in her blog search "торта" then click to translate the blog to English. Doing it the other way around doesn't bring any results.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

Just to be facetious...what's a "squee"?

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That's passsover-you can't eat unleavend foods during passover

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm pretty sure you can make a vertical layered cake by essentially making it a swiss roll that stands upright. Tricky to do, though, as cake is much more delicate than your usual swiss roll sponge...

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

BTW, those cakes are all so adorable

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I really wish I had a reason to make a Christmas cake. Then I could try my hand at the vertical cake layers and maybe a snowfamily, or reindeer, or santa, or ...

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Anon 9:42 -

Chanukah is all about the fried food.

Passover is the non-leavened holiday.

Hope this helps!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterM

Ps - Jen, The secret to the vertical lines in the cake is a jelly roll. A REALLY large Jelly Roll. If you cut into it, it looks like vertical lines.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterM

The Google translation of Dimitrana's site is charming, too. Seems as though the vertical layers is her thing, she uses them a lot, Cool to see her techniques :o)

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKat

I was compelled to hunt through Dimitrana's site till I found out how she does the vertical layers. It's actually deceptively simple! She iced sheets of cake and rolled them around the center, adding sheets as needed. Brilliant! And the cake is another for your Sunday Sweet's category!
Here's the link:|en

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrianne

wow!! the Hanukkah cakes are just stunning! the wintry ones are too bad, either... tee hee!!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRosemary

Lovely!!! Now, this is what cake is supposed to be! I'm so glad for Sunday Sweets - restores my faith in decorators.

Brenda - thanks for the tip on the ropra!


wv - vitorga --- there's a few things I could say about this one, but as I just watched one of his hilarious routines, I have to say it's shorthand for anything Victor Borga!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermladybright

With regards to leavening, remember that most Jews are not Orthodox, or even Conservative. The vast majority 80-90 percent do not keep Kosher.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersdfsdf

What I have never been able to figure out is how anyone can cut into these beautiful cakes!! They are always so stunning, I could just stare at them forever.

And then there is the rest of the week, which makes you want to cut into them just to make them disappear forever.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterev

The Hanukkah cakes are beautiful! Love the hand painting on the first two. The candle cake is also so exquisite!

I'd make a comment about Jewish holidays and leavening a kosher vs non kosher... but that is what the internet is for.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

Beautiful cakes! I was wondering what's on the other two sides of the hand painted Hanukkah one?

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSwan

I went to Dimitrana's blog to look at the rolled cakes and found the Google translation hysterical for the blueberry cheesecake. Good humor. At one point, it says to: "Mix and leave the country."

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeannette

as always, the cakes are gorgeous. the first two hanukkah cakes were done similarly to a peacock cake you had posted previously -- with the artwork done in something of a stained glass-like of art.

the multi-tiered white/blue cake with all the white lattice work on the blue layer... outstanding. and the one with the little deer, so cute! (ok, they all were pretty spectacular.)

thanks again as always...

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermickeyp415

I'm so excited to see my cake! Glad it made you squee :0)

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

See all the things I learn from this blog? The difference between Passover and Chanukah. What will make me squee and what will induce my gag reflex. How long I can read on a daily basis before I collapse in laughter.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Okay, I get why the fried stuff...but how the heck does challah fit into that? (I'm currently being pestered for challah. I told him I'd make it for 8th night. Hopefully he won't see the fancy cookies until next week sometime. :P)

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfixer

That second cake reminds me of when they decorated Cinderella's Castle in Disney World to look like a cake-all the turrets were candles that looked EXACTLY like these candles!!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That Candle Cake "blows" me away! I love all these cakes. Thanks for brightening my Sunday!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenn in GR

Also, for the Passover/Channukah people, there are plenty of non-leavened cake recipes out there. They even sell unleavened boxed cakemixes for the lazier Jews on Passover.

Stunning cakes!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLurker on the Doorstep

Amazing Christmas cakes!! There are incredibly lovely.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I absolutely LOVE the Silver Reindeer & Candle cakes!!!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlysa

that candel cake made me say OH WOW! LOOOOOVE IT!!!!!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Absolutely stunning! Both the holiday and the season cakes. :-) I love Sunday Sweets!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Anon 9:42, I do hope you're joking. I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

Fixer, challah is for Shabbat (the Sabbath) - that's irregardless of Chanuka, so it doesn't have to be this week. Chanuka foods are potato pancakes and jelly donnuts.

Too bad that two of the Chanuka cakes feature un-kosher menorah. (They're actually called chanukiyas - A menorah have 7 branches, a chanukiyah has 9.) The candles have to be in a straight line in order for it to be "kosher" - not for eating, obviously but to be allowed to light it according to Jewish law.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Hoffman Kids

Here is the link to how Demetria does vertical layers. She basically does a jelly roll vertically on top of a thin layer of cake. Very cool!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous


Challah is for every Friday for the sabbath (shabat).

or for any decent hunk of french toast

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShadow

The "Martha Stuart Wedding" cake is actually I believe by Creme de la Creme in the DFW- at least they have a giant mock up in their bakery (they're making my wedding and groom's cake!)

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreene

My boss is fairly observant, and when I noticed that he was not taking any time around Hanukkah, I asked about it. He said it is such a minor holiday, it's not a big deal. A friend posted a great Hanukkah explanatory link on FB and here it is...
Keep the Han in Hanukkah!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Ah, since nitpicking has already started, I'll join the dance.

Third cake from the top features cute dreidels. Too bad that they spell the letter ח instead of ה. For non readers of Hebrew - the left leg of the character that looks like a capital Pi should not be connected to the top, but have a little gap. They are two different letters. One sounds like "h", the other like you're choking on your cake. :-S

@The Hoffman Kids: Hanukkiah is a Hebrew neologism. It was coined in the late 19th century by the wife of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. As such, it's a permissible term, but the traditional name for it was indeed "Menorah" and there is nothing wrong about it. It simply describes a vessel for lighting candles, and you can find it in books of Halachah.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHerouth

the martha stewart cake is not piped but stencilwork

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I love your Sunday sweets posts, and this one especially! I read it with my girls, ages 5 and 7, and love to hear them "ooo" and "aah." Thanks for digging up these beautiful works of edible art.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennyF

Gorgeous cakes! That little snowman on the topsy-turvy cake is so adorable I want him on display at my house!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre

here is the web link to find out how she did the vertical layers- you have to read between the lines for the translation (I use google translator)

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh MY gosh! I looooove these winter cakes. LOVE!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Stuart

Is it just me or is the Martha Stewart cake covered in piped vaginas? Spell check wants me to change that to vaginae. For serious.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNZNeep

The beautiful cookies are from A Dozen Eggs bake shoppe - I think Cookie Crumbs was the name of Laura's blog. A Dozen Eggs bake shoppe And I can tell you they taste as good as they look! :)

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

My Cake School is totally stoked they made your site for Sunday Sweets...I have them as a Facebook friend and was going to tell them I saw them here...but they knew about it already.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I know it's called Cake WRECKS, but Sunday Sweets is my favorite. That first Hanukka cake? Awesome.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEG

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! All of the cakes are wonderful, but I especially like Dimitrana's and the one from Cakes by Roselyn. On the Menorah cake, is the shawl also made of edible material? Learning a lot about Jewish traditions here, a plus for a friendly blog. Thanks to all.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

These are some of the most beautiful and incredible cakes I have ever seen in my whole life... thank you for sharing!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPilgrim

This post is a pure winner! Actually, I've come to be disappointed if there is no CW post for any given day! Entertainment AND education! Who could ask for more?

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPam

wow, what a winter wonderland!

I think NEXT year, I am going to have to request some Hanukkah cakes from our various bakeries, just to see what we get (a Sunday Sweet or Weekday Wreck ;-)

LOVE this blog, LOVE this post, thank you for all the spit-take humor AND all the SQUEE prettiness

Hanukkah Sameach
חנוכה שמח

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRuby Re-Usable

I sat at my computer with my jaw on my desk for about a minute straight at those vertical layers! How immensely cool. And the cake was gorgeous to begin with. As is the candle one. Is that a real candle on top, too?

All the cakes today are fabulous! That menorah? Wow. I am once again blown away by the talent some people have. Great post as usual.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura P.

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