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

Here Fishy Fishy...

How to tell if the sushi served at the wedding is fresh:

Yes, those are live fish in wineglasses.

Naturally, I have a few questions.

1) Live animals in a wedding cake? Really? What next: hamster rolly-balls?

2) On a scale of 1-10, how bad is it that now I want to see a hamster in a rolly-ball jammed between two cake tiers? I mean, are we talking "not our first choice for babysitter" bad, or "your name should be on a national watch-list" bad?

3) Is "rolly-ball" even what you call those things?

4) What was I talking about?

Oh, right.

5) Getting back to the fish thing: if you MUST have fish in your wedding cake, why wouldn't you at least use pretty ones? Was the bait shop having a 2-for-1 sale?

6) You know how the wedding cake usually gets set up a few hours before the reception? Well, just how long do you suppose the fish were in there? I mean, not to be indelicate or anything, but what happens if one croaks before cake-cutting time? ("It's ok, kids, he's sleeping! And his friends are just...kissing him! Yeah! Really!)

And if you're not completely grossed out yet, just imagine the smell of old fish water mixed with the smell of icing when they took that top tier off. Mmmm.

Perhaps you think I'm coming down too hard on this cake, though. After all, the cake itself isn't so bad, so maybe the whole live-fish thing was an isolated incident. Right?




If this groom's cake teaches us anything, it's this: when there are live minnows embedded in your cake, RC cars mashed down into the icing can seem downright classy.

Stacey W. & Karen W., believe it or not, these aren't the first wedding cakes with live fish in them here on CW. There was also this one. So, are we looking at a terrifying new wedding trend? (And who among us secretly hopes so?)

- Related Wreckage: The Groom's Revenge

« A Little Rough Around The Edges | Main | Guess That Cake »

Reader Comments (185)


Hopefully, they were an outdoorsy couple, and this wasn't a surprise by the groom?

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Boob Nazi

I'm assuming the couples involved in these weddings must have been known for some weird stuff. I only know a few people who would do that. And if I went to their weddings, it wouldn't surprise me.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you're willing to do this at your wedding, the guests who know you probably won't be surprised.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTaylor

Ugh... my sister had live Chinese Fighting fish in her centerpieces at her wedding (and then gave them out as favors?) but not IN the CAKE! Gross.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGina

I must be honest: Looking at these pictures, I thought it was a creative idea to embed a mini-fish tank into a wedding cake, and I was not opposed to it if it was well executed (and these were NOT!).

But then I read, "just imagine the smell of old fish water mixed with the smell of icing when they took that top tier off" and nearly gagged.

Never mind. It's a terrible idea.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily J

Oh... guh... *gag*... I can't even handle thinking about what that was like right there.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatjaMouse

What they should do, is insert a large plastic bag of fish into a cavity cut in the cake, plaster it all over with icing, so that when the bride and groom cuts into it, fish and stinky water gush everywhere....

Just a thought.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermorriganscrow

I am torn between pity and worry over the fish and disgust at the ruined cake...

wv: distritt. I am distritt at the poor fishie's fates...

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSue

As a cake professional, I can tell you that live fish as cake decoration has become a big thing (in my area at least). I had so many requests that I finally had a custom cake stand built with an aquarium in the bottom. Now I do fully understand that just because people want it doesn't make it right. I'll have to see if I can come up with a good picture to send you.


March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenniffer

I'm pretty sure my Aunt and Uncle had fish on their wedding cake. It was the 80's.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I think this is worse than fish: Buddy (The Cake Boss) did a cake on his TV show that incorporated a cage with two live doves. I believe they were released just prior to cutting the cake. The reception was indoors. All I could think of was poop on the cake or in the guests' hair.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

I think it's a trend... Facebook shows me there were goldfish in a glass bauble spacer...thing... holding up the top tier of the cake at my cousin's wedding this winter. They were pretty goldfish at least. The pic shows the bride and the bud light she was drinking as well so I can't/won't share it. (She's so pretty in the pic she actually pulls it off!).

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkenandbelly

Man, a betta would have been a better choice. At least they don't have a reputation for rapidly polluting their water and since they actually breathe air they won't run the risk of suffocating when the oxygen level in the water drops (especially since each glass had several fish and glasses don't have the necessary surface-to-air ratio needed to keep up said oxygen level).

Except that you can't have several bettas altogether for a cake like that. Put them in a glass together and they'll fight to the death, and if they see each other in seperate glasses they'll still try and possibly die from heart attack thanks to the stress.

Also, fish have a habit suddenly jumping with no warning whatsoever. It's bad enough when they jump onto the floor; having them jump into icing would ruin the cake and probably kill the fish.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Gravekeeper

Where is PETA when you REALLY need them?

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I can't work out if those cakes are amazing or just really, really wrong...

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShoSho

Live fish. INSIDE a wedding cake.


March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTamara Mitchell

Sooooo gross...ewwww!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren Borquez

I was thinking along the EXACT same lines as Emily J.

Actually the pond one was sort of neat, but yeah....I wouldn't want to eat it.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I want to know what happens if the fish jumps out and gets all covered in buttercream?

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaty32

Anyone who has ever had a small fish bowl will know that even fresh fish water has a fishy smell. And let's not even begin to think about the possiblity of dripping onto the cake! This is one cake I'm sure I would not be eating.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterA Girl In Her Kitchen

Not that I'm condoning such behavior, but if you're going to have live fish in your cake, at least go for the Siamese fighter fish (bettas). So much prettier and can do okay in small containers.

And do the guests have to throw ping pong balls at the cake to see who gets to take one home? It's the new alternative to the garter/bouquet toss!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

"just imagine the smell of old fish water mixed with the smell of icing when they took that top tier off"

yep, i was happily enjoying my bowl of cereal until I got to this part. Yuck, yuck, yuck!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

So how do we know none of the poo-water accidently splashed onto the cake during transport?? I'm so grossed out I can't even THINK STRAIGHT!!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStacie

Reminds me of what one of my relatives did for a wedding reception. The table centerpieces were bowls with goldfish with floating candles on top. Looked nice, until the goldfish started going belly up because the candles warmed the water and killed the fish! I thought it was funny; the bride's mother, not so much.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFelicia Kramer

Am I the only one disturbed by this trend because nobody considers what happens to the fish? Sure, they aren't fluffy little kittens, but neither are they party favors or objects to be discarded after the party.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterandrea

My, your description of removing the top tier of the cake was particularly...vivid. Urp.

Also: way to title this post. Heeeeeeere, fishy fishy FISHY FISHY FISHY!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterabi

wow. the smell was the first thing i envisioned when i saw this cake! srsly!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKayleen the Violinist

What is it about fish poop that the wreckreators don't understand?

atimsho: Atimsho never gonna eat a cake with fish poop on it.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrick

...are the rocks on the second one chicken nuggets? O_o

Probably not what the guests were expecting when they made the "chicken or fish" choice on the RSVP.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHistoric Orange

Is the "pond" in the last photo an old ham can? You can never get those perfectly clean and un-smelly! Imagine THAT smell mixed with fishy icing. Ew.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Poor things. Not a lot of room for swimming. I hope they are REALLY CAREFUL when they cut the cake or take off that top layer, that they don't knock the glasses and fishy water all over the bottom cake. or crush a glass into the icing.

There's a few hundred dollars of sugar gone to waste.

The wedding cake disturbs me more than the dirt and dune bug cake. Part of me thinks it's cute. careful not to slosh when transporting!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjo

I get grossed out by the smell of fishy water even when no food is around. Stinky, stinky, stinky....


March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

Gina--Chinese fighting fish? is that prophetic for what she expects in her marriage? I hope the fish weren't dueling throughout the reception!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think it’s sweet when people want to make their pets part of their big day. What other options were there, a ring bearercuda or flower gar?

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAbby Normal

Hah. I would pay to see "a hamster in a rolly-ball jammed between two cake tiers". Someone HAS to make this extraordinary... creative... errr... travesty of a cake!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSybil

Fish water, good heavens. Nope, not a smell I want mixed with a wedding cake. As for the pond on the other cake --- yep, you're right, it does look like a small ham can. Ham and fish water. Barf.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I was talking to my mum about this, and she said she'd eat them cause she doesn't think the fish would actually affect the cake, that much. (Even after I pointed out the frosting and fishy water!)

But she does agree with the general consensus that betas would've been better...

Personally I wouldn't touch the top tier, but wouldn't mind the bottom tier my-self....

And I'd happily take home some betas from a wedding and keep them as long as they live, I think they're beautiful, and easy to take care of. Get some of those halfbowl things that hang on the walls and you have living artwork for a room. Add a air freshener and you're good to go until they need fed/water cleaned.

WV ingsopo - Did the wedding make ingsopo they couldn't afford prettier fish??

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLady J'ssem

We think it's fantastic! But then...we are turtles.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter3T

I totally agree with Gravekeeper. Goldfish are completely inappropriate for keeping in little glasses on cakes (or as center pieces, either way). Not that there is really a fish that is "good" being used as a disposable ornament, but goldfish are worse than most, they just happen to be available for cheaper than betas for example.

And yes, fishy water and cake smell would be nasty! The fish tank one awhile back at least actually looked like a aquarium and had plants and things, but I can't imagine it's in any way sanitary to have a live animal on a cake, even if it is in a container. I also can't imagine it's healthy for the poor fish to be shipped all over the place with a cake (and what do they do with them afterwards?). Plus, I do rather wonder how many times the fish jumped out before they managed to get the tier on top.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

The cake in the old post at least had the fish in a proper aquarium, instead of cramming them into glasses or tiny bowls or the like.

Being kind of an aquarium geek, I take part in several online aquarium discussion groups. Very frequently, some newbie asks a question about using live fish as centerpieces or party favors at her wedding (these questioners always seem to be female), or, yes, even how to imbed them in the cake or use live fish as a cake topper. Either goldfish or bettas, or both, tend to be the victims of choice.

I, and everyone else on the forum, always try to explain that fish are live animals that should not be mistreated in that way, and that there are plenty of nice fish sculptures or pictures that could be used as decoration. I suspect that this dissuades almost none of them, though-- there's no stopping the wedding-induistrial juggernaut.

The fish in the first cake look like what pet shops call "feeder goldfish" (maybe that's why somebody thought they should go in food)-- more or less the same thing as bait fish. They are basically rejects from goldfish breeders, and they sell for about ten cents each. The fish in the jeep-stuck-in-mud cake do look like minnow, and I notice that their water is already quite dirty, which makes me wonder how long they've been in that torture chamber.

By the way, fish water (in an aquarium; I don't mean on a cake) should not smell noticeably bad. If it's stinky, somebody's not taking good care of that aquarium.

And (sorry, but I have to say this) the betta fish (Betta splendens) is the Siamese Fighting Fish-- not Chinese or Japanese, as many people seem to think-- and its name is pronounced BETT-ah, not BAY-tah. Thank you for your attention.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGary

I really, really, REALLY want to see the hamster cake too!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMy name is Michelle.

I will volunteer to be the crazy animal lover here. I don't have fish, I don't WANT fish, but I still consider fish an animal and animals are not DECORATIONS! Not for cakes, and not for wedding centerpieces. Animals as wedding decor makes me want to punch someone in the face. It is selfishness at the height of it's who-cares-about-the-rest-of-the-world glory.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrandi

we had thought about having live fish in our center pieces but then we thought about dead fish floating during the reception. These cakes are awesome in their reckness.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

bettas are definitely the better choice as they are pretty hardy fish. Goldfish are really prone to dying and need a lot more water than other fish that are about the same size.
I have heard of live fish as centerpieces but the cake should be a fish-free zone (unless this was a fake cake and you got slices from a sheet cake hidden in the back)

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkalli6

I have to wonder how long until the water in there doesn't look clear any more... not to mention the smell of fish poop.

The hamster in a ball on a cake... well, as long as there are no "chocolate sprinkles" all over the cake, maybe.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

How in the heck do you give away fish as party favors? Do you print on the invitations, "Come prepared to be a new pet owner?" Odds are most of them get forgotten and/or flushed. Not good for your karma in your new married life.

I'm not exactly an animal activist, and fish probably rate with most people somewhere down the list well below furry animals, but I can't see how this is a winning idea at all for people, and especially not for the fish!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

None of these people seem to be thinking in terms of all five senses, as the cakes 1)do not look good, 2) would not smell good in no time at all, 3)no one wants to touch them, for fear that they’ll 4)taste awful like fish water. And obviously, they had no sixth sense to tell them how they’ll 5) be hearing the unfavorable reviews for years to come, especially after they wind up on CW.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

As a pastry chef I shudder whenever I see that someone has put glass between the tiers of a wedding cake. It's so unprofessional. Glass can break way too easily. Add to that fish... I'm simply mortified!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjin

Cute, gross, but Cute

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSaffron Viola Blume

The first thing I thought of when I saw these cakes was the cake they made on Cake boss with the doves. I had to go and dig up a video for those who haven't seen it.

While the cake they are putting them in is beautiful and thankfully they only seemed to be in it for a few minutes it's still gross.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDraven79

I <3 Lisa's ping pong toss idea. Perfect for keeping the kids entertained! lol! At least the fish were in enclosed in glasses and not swimming around in one of those cake fountains!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWideAwakeWife

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