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

The University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt

Nothing to see here, non-University of Chicago people! This is a special post just for the UC scavenger hunt, so these are NOT the Wrecks you're looking for. Move along, move along.

What, you're still here? Ok, fine, here's some background info:

"The University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt was founded in 1986 by (yep, you guessed it) a bunch of nerds from the University of Chicago. Over time, it has grown to become what many consider to be the world's largest scavenger hunt, with items ranging from homemade nuclear reactors, to elephants, to the one you're about to see right here. A cabal of University of Chicago student judges write all Scav Hunt items and awards points to final submissions, keeping the list secret until the beginning of the Hunt, and teams race to beg, borrow, steal, and do as many of the 250+ items on each year's list over a four day timespan."

Well, this year I was honored to have Cake Wrecks included on the famous list! Here it is, clue #79:

"It’s Scav Inger Hunt's 23rd birthday, and 99.9% of mohawked baby carrot judges agree: I WANT SPRINKLES. Craft a thoughtfully artistic, yet still scavvly commemorative cake, and it better be purdy enough to be featured as a Cakewrecks Scavday Sweet. Under Neat That: submit your Wreck by Friday at 10 pm, and we’ll let Jen pick the one destined for internet fame."

And here are the submissions! [drum roll, please]

From the GASH Team, a "My Little Pony":

Or so they claim.

From Breckinridge House's team: a "thrillin' failure" (their words) of Michael Jackson:

(True story: When John & I first saw this he asked who it was supposed to be, and I guessed "Edward." I'm not sure who that insults more: Twi-hards or Team Breckinridge. So...sorry, everyone.)

From Sonia A.'s team, a "wooden labyrinth game":

In Sonia's words: "We tried."

Stop the press! Someone on the Snell-Hitchcock team actually has a working knowledge of fondant:

Not bad! Definitely the nicest cake you'll see here today, although I haven't a clue what all the stuff is. (Other than the sombrero. [Assuming it IS a sombrero])

The Federation of Independent Scav Teams claims this is a wreckplica of several items on the list:

Which frightens me. What else is ON this list, anyway? 0.o

From Macpierce's Master Chef Allison:

"Scab Hurt" Heh. Heh.

From the Burton-Judson Team (aka "Dr. Scodel's League of Atrocious Wonders"):

Christine tells me they were going for cute, "but I think something might have gone wrong."

From the Glass Panopticon:

Ah, classic Wreck elements. I like it.

And finally, the Max P Team used real honest-to-goodness carrot jockeys, in addition to "misspellings, left out numbers, poo swirls, ant sprinkles, a rainbow of various other sprinkles, and an umbrella, all to top off a CCC shaped like a furby":

Yep, I'd say we have a winner!

Best of luck to all the teams who participated.

(Naturally, any team that didn't submit a Wreck should be doomed to failure.)
Thanks for the fun!

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Reader Comments (68)

Sounds like great fun! Wonderful wrecks and I think you picked the best one to win :)

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Gah! That clown is going to give me nightmares. Forever. *shudders*

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hee hee. I don't know what this is about, but we shouldn't let these people loose in a bakery. God forbid they get a hold of the pro's tools, like airbrushes and plastic flotsam. :) Great efforts, the lot of 'em!!!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

I like that you called the the last one a ferby, though it's probably Totoro from the anime My Neighbor Totoro.
Liza in Portland, OR

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiza

That Edward/MJ cake should have won. I haven't laughed that much at a cake since that UK logo tiger thingy.

VW: Sidet. Sidet cake der? It's wrecktastic.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterR.

This looks like fun! That's not right, I thought U of C was where fun went to die...

/Northwestern student

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLoren


For all of the times we've not done homework to read this blog- WORTH IT x 25 points!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca O

These are all absolutely Wrecktacular! But I agree that the final pic is the Winner Hands Down. I guess this means that you're an official celeb, Jen. Great job to all the participants and big congrats to you for the honor.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJ-Bird

This has got to be one of THE funniest things I've seen in a long, long time!

Thank you to my pal Susan for turning me on to this. I laughed so hard, I nearly cried!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJess


For all the times we read this blog instead of doing homework- WORTH IT x 25 points!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca O

I think the furby...may actually be Totorro...

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Do we get to vote for which one should win?

Because if we do, I say it's "My Little Pony" by a length.

WV: kapoo. Gesundheit.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGary

Yay my sister's team won! She described it over the phone and it definitely do justice to just how wrecky it is.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYojetak

I think that last one looks more like Totoro, especially with the umbrella

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGarland

I am stunned! Although, I have to say that the whole scavenger hunt idea is a very creative and relatively harmless idea for "dead week" activities.Unlike when I was at Rice and some people would etch "things" on rival dorm buildings with dorm room made lasers. I have to agree that the CCC won the competition.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie in Arlington

Lol you just made my day!

Backstory we were watching 90's tech on Modern Marvels and my two year old fell in love with the Furby. I dug in the back of the closet and found my actual Furby that her Dad gave me back when we were dating. She has christened it Owl (and she's right that's what it looks like)

I showed her the "Furby" cake and said "hey look it's a cake of Owl." She looked at it raised a sceptical eyebrow and said, "Uhhh no."

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDani

As a U of C alumna I am SO SO happy with this post. But I have to say I think Burton Judson should have won (not that I'm in anway swayed by having lived there.)

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah B

That first cake, while sloppy and ambiguous, looks darn tasty.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClassic Steve

Here's the rest of the 2010 ScavHunt list (I'm an alumna from MaxP, haha):

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

I think I want to go to the University of Chicago.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterT

Awesome. How fun to be included in the tradition. Love the wrecks!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Haha, that winning team definitely did their research.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmberdawn

Just thought you'd like to know, that is NOT a "furby". It is a Totoro. From My Neighbor Totoro.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That last CCC looks like Totoro to me.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVillicious

The last cake isn't a furby, it's Totoro!

That cake totally made my day.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHolly K.

Frightening to think that these might take on a status of their own. Oh, it looks like that has happened. "Umm, professional baker, can you make me a really digusting lump of fallen pastry with piles of poo." You are my morning's entertainment :-). Norine

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I love it!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCookieMonster

Ah, so THAT'S what happens when you stick a My Little Pony in the microwave! The other cakes look a little too wrecky to be any good if that makes any sense at all LOL although I do love the fondant cake and the last one is wreckily adorable:)

One question though, why is there a llama on the Scab Hurt MacPierce cake? Is that the llama's name?

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCulinarychiq

Definitely the "My Little Pony" was IMHO, the best (?) the only one that made me laugh out lound when I saw it..but guess your choice had more classic Wreck elements...still, I believe that pony cake is the most gawd-awful excuse for a cake I 've ever seen-and I love it!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermizdarlin

have you ever seen "My Neighbor Totoro"? I believe that is what the winning cake might be...japanese wood spirit, a "totoro"..

anyway, yes, def. the best one!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The "Furby" CCC looks more like Totoro. Can you say "Epcot"?

Kathy D

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I want a Totoro cake!!!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Stillwell

I have but one thing to say about the Furby vs Totoro controversy... EPCOT!!


May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I especially love the fact that the winners' cake was actually a cupcake cake, which I know you hate! (And so do I!)

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSherry

Previous Scav Hunt items:

-breeder reactor
-get married
-El car
-shoot a Twinkie across the Midway

And they used to have a Mike Royko item every year. Now that he's dead... they should still have it!

"U of C will teach you think, teach you to drink. Social skills... you're on your own."

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Ah!! Totoro cake!!!

*Jumps in glee*

That's officially deemed the winner in my book too.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

For a CCC the furby one is quite good (or bad, if it's not actually suposed to be a furby)

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBlue Sarah

Scab Hurt? that sounds like something a two year old would say after they had picked off their scab!!!!!
Funny as always, thanx!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScarlett Robyn

To all calling the Furby CCC Totoro:

I can confirm that it is indeed supposed to resemble a Furby and not Totoro. The Wreckerators had no knowledge of what Totoro is prior to creating the wreck.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Ha, fun post!
I've got to throw in another 2 cents that the Furby CCC is probably a Totoro CCC.

I sumbit as evidence 2:47 minutes of magic that is Totoro discovering an umbrella. (I love this scene so much! :) ) Sans carrot baby jockeys.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWinterlaurel

The last one is so ugly it's cute. Thanks for working on a Saturday to share these with us.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLibrarianJessica

I rather like the fondant cake. Someone has talent and may make it to Sunday Sweets someday.

As for the rest, their parents must be so proud that their tuition payments are being used wisely.

wv: stros
My, but these are mon-stros-ities.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia L

As a member of the Max P team, I can assure you with confidence, it is a FURBY. But a wreck of a furby. One of our t-shirts reads, "Keep uchicago weird" on the front and has Demolition Furby destroying campus Tokyo style.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCat

LOVE LOVE LOVE the cupcake cake! that is truly a wreckplica. where did they get the mohawk babies?? I thought things were urban Cakewreck legend.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarianne

That is a great scavenger hunt!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFanboy Wife

Love it!! I didn't know that Chicago had a scavenger hunt, but University of Waterloo's engineers do one with a list like this every year. Back when my friends and I were undergrads, I lived for the tales about their "skunt"!

Congrats Jen on making their list, and winning over some new fans! Now to send the link to my waterloo alumni friends...

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAliza


The llama is the MacPierce mascot. It gets incorporated into a lot of the items we build (as well as our team shirts).

Also you cannot believe how excited we were to see this as one of our items :D.

-Long time Wreckie and MacPierce Scav team member

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I got very excited and was going to say that the last cake was Totoro...but after reading the comments and discovering it IS a Furby, I guess my happiness kind of withered away. LoL. I thought the umbrella was a dead give away. I suppose Totoro and Furby are similar, but Totoro wins in my book.
^-^ ...I'll just pretend it's Totoro.

Brittany, in WV

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrittany

UofC alumna here. Unfortunately, I graduated before Scav Hunt started.

What a treat to see a favorite website and my alma mater conjoined!

The only thing that surprises me is how little research some of the teams did. They should have all had a minimum of 20-25 Cake Wrecks elements on them.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterproudnerd

to totoro or not to totoro? either way i would love to see a catbus cake. and.... go!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEugeneTeam

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