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: That Takes The Cake Part 1

This week, we're featuring some amazing cakes from That Takes The Cake, a show that took place in Austin last month. The theme of the show was Sci-Fi and Fantasy but we'll be showing you those cakes next week. For now, I thought we'd bring you some slightly more traditional beauties. All of the pictures are from Devrah's Flickr page (thanks Devrah!) but sadly, we don't know who any of the bakers are except for the first one. Please let us know if the cake is yours and we'll give you proper credit.

Let's start with this chocolate masterpiece:

Here's a close-up
This cake was made by Tammy Luckey who obviously rocks. And the stringwork? It was done off-site and driven to the show. Crazy awesome.

And this one is just adorable:

(Update: This amazing autumn cake was made by Carley King. You rock!)

If you take a close look at this, it looks like crewel embroidery. Totally unique:

And I think this is my favorite:

I think the shape on this one is really cool:

And finally, here's a preview of next week's Sweets:

Awww Yeeahh! See you next week!

Update: Apparently, today is Pie Day or something. It's the day when the people of Finland come together to celebrate the liberation of Flurnburg by hurling pies at one another and singing traditional fish-slapping songs. "Shlip, shlap. Shlip and shlap all day..." It really is majestic.


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Reader Comments (91)

Crewel embroidery, not needlepoint. But fantastic nonetheless!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkayk

Again - AMAZING cakes! :)

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAFWingMom

so excited for next week's!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Great cakes!
Some of them even look edible!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGary

Why do I feel like the purple and blue cake towards the top completely misused the paisley-shaped pans? I didn't realize they were paisley at first until I saw the other one in the same shape, and then I noticed that the first one looked really weird because of the shape and the fact that there is no paisley anywhere else in the design.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlaura

Not even a mention of pi day? :[

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'll take the chocolate one!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Ahem, that's not a cake that looks like needlepoint - half cross stitches worked on a canvas - but it does look like crewel embroidery - embroidery stitches worked with fine wool yarn. But either way, it is gorgeous.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

They ARE art!
I'm gobsmacked.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

AAAaaahahhhhh! Why the teaser, Jen?? Now I can't wait until next week. It's gonna be awesome!! :)

I'd have trouble picking a favorite from these, they're all great. But if I was forced to, it would probably be the chocolate.... maybe...

Have a great Sunday!!!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

These are gorgeous! But I can't WAIT for next week!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdoula_char

Wow. The detail on that chocolate cake is amaazing.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Boob Nazi

I about had a nerdgasm at the preview for next week. XD

Loooved that first pic too, btw.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarilyn

Thanks Kayk and Anonymous,

I changed it because I have to believe you're probably right. In all fairness though, I'm a dude so you're lucky I didn't call it "real purdy stitchin."

Not to say that dudes don't enjoy a bit of crewel embroidery. In fact, I should probably learn to do it so I don't get it wrong again!

(See how I backed out of that one? Take note married guys.)


March 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjohn (the hubby of Jen)

Gotta side with poor John on the needlework cake; I'm female and "real purty stitchin'" is about the limit of my embroidery knowledge too! A real purty piece of cakework, though, of that there's no doubt. :D

Lots of love for all of this week's Sweets, as usual. If I have just one slight downer, it's that I wish they'd've gone for a less autumnal colour-scheme on the third one. I'd sell my soul to see those top-tier flowers in pastels.

Word Verification: 'paggentu'. No idea, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were a kind of embroidery. ;)

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Holy Bejeezus, a cake with Dune AND Foundation? My two favorite sci-fi tales + cake=!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait for next Sunday.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOstrakos

I love the chocolate one!! Ymmm! And it looks amazing!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Kauz

@ laura:

That's part of the freedom of being a cake artist.. Nothing's written that you HAVE to use paisley in the design just because you used a paisley-shaped cake pan. Do you always use round designs when you use a round cake pan?

I didn't think so. :)

I always appreciate thinking outside of the box, as these cake artists have done.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergoblue562

I think the paisley cake on the bottom is too busy, while the one toward the top really lets the unique shape shine with the simple decorating. I'm pretty in love with that cake. More than any other one in this post...except for the preview for next week.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

Chocolate one looks the most edible. My favorite thing about having cake is the icing. The fondant trend, while beautiful, is really unappetizing. A lot of skill went into making these cakes, there is no doubting that, except they might as well have been made out of play-doh.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I agree with goblue562 on the "paisley" pans. I just loved the design on the purple/blue cake and I loved the shape - it was so different.

They're ALL gorgeous, though. A shame to cut into them!!(almost)

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I wish I still lived in Austin. I would have loved to go to that show. I would also love to get my wedding cake from the baker who made the chocolate cake.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjackie31337

These are all so amazingly gorgeous. Beautiful!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I was going to celebrate Pi day, then I thought, "why bother, it doesn't really add up...."

Please don't hurt me!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKirri

The Crewel Embroidery one is perfect! That is exactly what I would love for my wedding with just slightly different colors. It is just

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMadi Bo

Not to take away from the other cakes (all impressive), but the preview cake was awesome!

And I think John should teach Husband 101 classes. A little more insincerity would go a long way, if my husband could just figure that out! But no, no... always gotta tell the horrible truth... :D

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Would it be wrong to wish everybody a happy Pi day on a cake blog?

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentershreveport

Wow. Those cakes are great!! Just shows you how cakes can and should be done! I wish I could do cakes like this...don't have the time but I'd buy em!
Thanks for sharing. Can't wait for the sci fi it!!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpurrduedvm

Ohmigosh, that last cake! I have all of those books in my bookcase right now. Can't wait for next week's Sweets!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Can't believe that the last one has so many of my favorites in one cake!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIslandPearl

Extension work always impresses me because I'd have to have the Skywalker Special Surgery to be able to have a steady enough hand to do it without painnnnn.

Happy Pi day! I'm making Pi gummies to take to a pie swap, nom nom nom.

And thanks for posting about the show! We missed you!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

I love all the cakes, especially the chocolate one because chocolate is definitely my favorite sweet and it's making up for the demon poo zombie from Friday. *shudder*

Anywho, it bugs me when people whine about frosting being their favorite and how much it sucks that cakes have fondant on the outside.

Fondant and gumpaste are almost always used to sculpt things and make things that you just cannot do with buttercream or chocolate. And to get a lovely smooth finish on the outside of a cake.

If you don't like fondant, don't order a cake with it. Fondant isn't supposed to be "appetizing". It's supposed to function as either a smooth outer layer or as sculpted pieces that you aren't supposed to eat. I much prefer gumpaste and fondant figures to plastic flotsam (as funny as they are).

The Sunday Sweets that use fondant are held in high regard because of the amazing workmanship and creativity shown, not because it looks really good to eat-though in some cases they do.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Ooh! As a part-time embroidery fanatic, I love the crewel cake! I'd love to know how it was done. Even the stems are done in recognizable embroidery stitches.

I wonder if that chocolate cake had to be decorated on site. Can you really move something like that?

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

jen do you have any pictures with piping that looks like cross stitching- ya know tiny x's

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPluto

Lovely-i so look forward to the scifi next week

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentervluin

The chocolate cake looks like JILL Sugar's work!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPiccadilly

It's not posted this week but the Aliens cake that took 1st place in the "2010: A Cake Odyssey" competition was created by Earl Vallery. He's a P&B instructor at Texas Culinary Academy and one of the coolest cake guys ever.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTristan Elyse Jude


The chocolate cake was not decorated on site. It make the trip from Ft. Worth to Austin. Without any breakage.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

All beautiful cakes. Favorite would have to be the Harley cake.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

More on fondant: if you peel back the fondant there is always a yummy layer of frosting underneath. So you can have your pretty cake and eat it too.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke

Ahh I best see a Buffy cake next week.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I have to say, the crewel embroidery one is absolutely fantastic! Nice!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary Corbet

I think I could excuse a headless dress cake if it employed the crewel decorating and made this dress:

As someone who studies this stuff, I was really excited to see that cake! One day I will probably make one and I will be sure to send Jen the picture of the wreck or sweet that it becomes.

WV--Coashili: A sunny day that is still cold, especially in the fall or spring.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeaghan

These are amazing! I especially love the paisley.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

They are all beautiful but my favorite is the chocolate. Usually chocolate cakes, while nummy, just look unappetizing to me but this one is beautiful. The flowers keep it from being monochromatic and the detail work is exquisite.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAE

The chocolate cake was done by Tammi Luckey.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That autumn cake is absolutely awesome! When I get married I'll want a cake like that :D Although it looks like there's more gumpaste than cake, it's fabulous!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStefania

Tammi Luckey is the cake artiste extraordinare responsible for the chocolate cake. It won Best in Category, Adult Advanced, and deservedly so!

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

I am the baker of...all of these. That's right. I did 'em all. Especially the crewel embroidery because that's my favorite out of the bunch.

Hot dang, I'm talented.

March 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaralyn

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