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: Happy Mother's Day!

Hi guys, Number 1 here!

I have fond memories of baking with my mother when I was growing up. Mom would make the most delicious homemade red velvet cake with the BEST butter cream icing every year for my birthday. (I still ask for it now, and I'll be 30 this year.) My mother is a Cake Wrecks reader. She forwards my (and Jen's) posts to her friends, and she is so super proud. So in honor of my remarkable mom - and the rest of you moms out there - I've scoured the web for cakes that remind me of her.

For the piles of stinky clothes you sorted and washed...


By Debbie Brown in her book 50 Easy Party Cakes




For the countless mittens knitted for my tiny hands...


By Pink Cake Box



(I know this is a birthday cake, but it's too cool and mom-ish to pass up. And I love the details! Fondant cat-eye glasses, sugar knitting needles, and rice-krispy treat yarn balls!!)

For all the torn hems you mended and homemade dresses...


By Zhanna Zubova


For the million messes I made that you cleaned up...



(Those suckers are adorable!)


For all the loads of dishes...


(This cake is from a page in Jane Asher's Calendar of Cooking from 1995. It wouldn't be my choice to remind mom of the constant mess in the kitchen, but it's too hilarious not to include. "Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Say, the kitchen's pretty messy - would you mind?")



And finally, for your beauty and elegance...


For all this and so much more, I just have to say thanks, Mom. I love you!


And for the rest of you moms out there: Happy Mother's Day! Here's hoping it's the sweetest one yet.

From John: Today's cakes are about Jen Dorsman's mom. And yup, they're a bit "Traditional." But that's who her mom is. If I had written this post, the cakes I would choose to represent my own mom would involve baseball and learning to fix things and becoming a gentleman. Because my mom had to be my dad as well. Just for today, let's look at the pretty cakes and
remember that it's all about Moms and the many and varied roles they have played in our lives.

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Reader Comments (117)

Those cakes are truly beautiful (in particular I found the knitting basket one amazing), but I'm not sure what the message is supposed to be going by the cake selection. Being good at doing the laundry, knitting, sewing and washing dishes are not the first things that come to mind when I think of my mother, nor would I give her a cake that seems to say, "your place is in the kitchen, doing all sorts of domestic tasks for your children".

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercjk

Those hoovers are Henry Hoovers!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

i mean, i dont mean to be a feminazi here, but what about... anything at all that moms do that don't fit a 1950s mom stereotype? i mean... come on. knitting? vacuuming? dishes?

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhessica

knitting cakes FTW!!!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarianne

Heh, I hail from the land where Mother's Day was two months ago... but happy American Mother's Day!

Also? So much love for that knitting cake. It's one of those "I can't believe that's actually cake" cakes.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Fun cakes! My mom always baked me a red velvet cake, too. They are so pretty and yummy. I live in Europe, now, but if I am at my parents' anywhere near my birthday, she'll bake me one. When I turned 42 my Dad made a three-day drive to meet my husband and me in South Dakota to bringone us a car to use. He arrived on my birthday. Guess what he had in the cooler? He had driven that cake from East Tennessee to the Dakota prairie in searing July heat and taken great pains that it arrived in one piece. Now that is love from both Mom and Dad and a wonderful memory.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms that read this today. As usual the posts are AWESOME! I'm really interested to know about that sewing machine cake. Do you guys know any details about what its made of and stuff like that?

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Those vacuums are Henry and Henrietta (aka Hetty) Hoover! I wish they had those in the US. It would make vacuuming that much more fun.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshers

Absolutely delightful cakes. Not sure I'd want to eat the one with the dirty dishes, though. Love the sewing machine and the knitting baskets. The details are so realistic. Wish I had a tenth of their talent.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

That last one is absolutely beautiful! The creativity of the others are wonderful, but that last one - wow! That's the kind of cake *every* mother would love, even if she doesn't do the cleaning or knitting ;)

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah

I think that last cake turned out even prettier than the wrapping paper that inspired it!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey E.

Wow... So we're honoring our mothers by making cakes that symbolize their domestic oppression now?

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Oh, come on, it's not like this post is a social commentary.. it's a fun Mother's Day-esque post. Everyone knows that moms can also be police officers and lawyers and doctors and CEOs. This feminist thinks some people are just too touchy. :)

That knitting cake is fantastic!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I just love that knitting cake! I love to knit! I HATE to wash dishes (I have a terrific husband who does that chore in this household!). Tradition, shmanition! Moms do what need to be done. So do Dads.

Happy Mother's Day everyone . . . from China where the day is almost over.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWriteCards

That knitting basket cake is fabulous. I can just see my friends (and myself) carefully dissecting it to see how it was made.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia L

ohmywordthesewingmachine!!! That is amazing! And they really went to town with the bobbins and scissors and other items around it.

For the worried feminists - I see your point, but I read it as a tribute to all the selfless and unpleasant tasks that mothers have done for us (and usually get taken for granted), not a definition of a woman's role. It's limited to the topic of the frustration of raising kids, and some tradition, but it doesn't represent everything the woman is. It could have included changing diapers or mopping up vomit at 2:00 AM, or meeting with teachers, but balls of yarn are far cuter and more nostalgic! I'm okay with nostalgia.

A really appropriate cake for my Mom would have been a half-disassembled VCR. She loved pulling apart (broken) stuff and showing kids how they worked.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

I love that last one. And I probably would use the other cakes as an ironic symbol for my mom haha.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Boob Nazi

I always ask for a red velvet cake on my birthday and will also be 30 this year! Maybe hospitals handed out a pamphlet to new moms in 1980. Great cakes, happy Mother's Day!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSydney

For a couple of pretty funny people, you both did a beautiful tribute to your Moms.
I'm a huge fan of the dirty laundry cake.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn

The first cake may be from Ban Bakes, but I think the original was made by Debbie Brown and is on page 33 of her book "Easy Party Cakes". Debbie's is much more detailed (and executed better) than the one pictured.

Sharon's Edible Art

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

They're all so beautiful - but that knitting cake - wow. Amazing!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Fabulous post!!!

Symbolizing domestic oppression?? NO!! (jeez...)
Clearly this is celebrating ALL the caring and nurturing that mom's do - note John's addendum. Jen felt drawn to these cakes (and probably more, but couldn't post all) for a few memories of special things her mom did for/with her.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle P.

I love all those cakes, they are great. And for the anonymous feminist, please realx and chill, people like you are the reason I would never ID myself as a feminist-too much pressure, not enough light hearted fun in life, if you see everything as oppression

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

For me, as a mother, all those "traditional" things are the things I WANT to be thanked for doing. They're the things that I HATE to do, but do anyways, because I love my family. They're the things that usually go unthanked, unnoticed.

Non-traditional women's roles? You usually get more recognition for a job well done.

Besides, this is MOTHER'S day. The things I remember about my mother are the things she specifically did for me and with me. The sacrifices she made for me, the things she did with me.

Same with my dad. I might say "thanks for working so hard for providing for us" but the things I am most thankful for is the example he was for us, the things he did for us. I'm not going to name any of his achievements at work on FATHER'S day, except for the fact that he kept us from starving. Otherwise, what's important to me is the time spent with us, the sacrifices he made for us, the dishes he did.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

While shouldn't be solely a mom's job to wash the dishes, sew, do laundry,buy groceries, cook, carpool, etc., etc., I never saw my dad do _any_ of those things. And I get the impression that's more the norm than not. So I think this is a greater testament to mom's hard work than anything else--most of them work all day and come home to domestic jobs everyone just assumes they will do. And that's one of the things that makes being a mom a hell of a hard job.

And here's a big hug to my honey, who does the dishes, vacuums, keeps the kitchen clean, and is always game to cook, even though he doesn't know how!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Amazing! I love looking at these as much as I love laughing at the wrecks!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmyann6

I think hessica has a point - of all the things to choose from to put on the cakes, every one keys in to the stereotype of the domestic female.

I don't think you can say they represent all the caring things women do either - if I made a cake of a black guy picking cotton, I'd be hard pushed to convince people it represented all the hard work black people do in any jobs...

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErrantmolecule

Remember that these cakes symbolize what the author's mom meant to her. It may not be every mom. There is a lot of talent and creativity that go into all of these Sunday sweets!!!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Jen, these are lovely, and a beautiful tribute to your mother. To all the people out there upset about how "traditional" these cakes are, I don't care how traditional or nontraditional a mother is--she still deserves love and respect. Being a mom, especially a mom that takes care of all the domestic tasks of a household, takes a LOT of work and dedication. This is a day to recognize that contribution, not say unkind things about it.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

The Singer!!! It's so beautiful!!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLuna

haha! These cakes are GREAT and they totally represent my life as a young mother (I'm 24, with 2 girls ages 3 1/2 and 2). I look forward to many MANY more years of taking care of my family in these (and more) ways! Happy Mothers day all!!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Geez people RE-lax! I consider myself a fairly non-traditional mom (for fun and relaxtion I head to my workshop and build furniture for family and friends) and I would be thrilled to receive ANY of these cakes! Because they are a way to thank me for doing the things that have to be done, not the things I love to do, because my family needs me. And who doesn't want to be thanked by those who need you?

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiz W

Those have got to be some of the most creative cakes I've seen in a while. So well done that you have to look closely to see that they are actually cake and not the real thing.
The sewing machine one would be perfect for my mom. She had a machine like that for years.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMercy

Oh, get over yourselves, people. I'm a mother, and the bread-winner of my family, my husband is a stay-at-home father and I'm in the Navy, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with these cakes representing motherhood. Domestic duties aren't oppressive, they're something every family needs someone to do and thank God for all the mothers who are able to do them! Most of us have very fond memories of our mothers making a special meal, or heart-to-hearts over folded laundry, or the joy of wearing something our mothers made just for us. I often wish I didn't have to work so I could do these things for my own son. Mothers do these things out of love -- to compare washing my son's diapers or giving him a bath or knitting him a teddy bear to SLAVES PICKING COTTON is so insulting, to mothers AND to black slaves, I can't even begin to dignify such a comment.

LOVE these cakes, especially the gorgeous laundry cake! Would that I were so talented!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWrench

You "feminists" give me, a woman and a MOM a bad name....and a bad taste in my mouth.

This post was about the simple memories of one woman and her joyful honoring of her Mom.

If you can't see the love, joy and humour in this post, you have a seriously closed mind.

Feminists are supposed to support and defend women. Not look for an evil in every word a person says. Your bashing of this post clearly shows the issues *you* have....for it is not in jen, it is not in her mother...and it is not in me...a mom with three kids who laughed and shed a tear at this wonderful tribute.

Go shake your fist and be rude somewhere else. But leave one woman's tribute to her OWN mom alone. And try your best to realize what love...real

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJemma

Henrey Hoovers!! Those are absolutely adorable! I don't think my mom ever touched one though. That was always dad's job. hahahaha

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthechubbygrl

wow- the knitting cake just takes the prize.
Are those yarn balls really made of rice crispy treats? The yarn texture is what I find just amazing!

The last one was really beautiful too. Still, yarn takes a special place in my heart!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrogersfamily

John, your comment at the end choked me up for REAL! God bless your mom for being mother, father, and friend.

And to those who are worried about what kind of message the selected cakes are sending, I think John said these were cakes that made Jen think of HER mom. Those are the things that her mom did. Doesn't mean that EVERY mom HAS to do that. :)

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelvira

aaaaaaaaaaaah! i love the last one!!!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScarlett Robyn

My daughters and I are in awe of these cakes. My daughters do their own laundry and take turns doing the dishes. One daughter shares the hobby of knitting with me.

Show me a mom and I'll show you a woman who washes the dishes, does the laundry and vacuums the carpet. Wait. Show me a woman and I'll show you a person who does all those things.

All you complainers... do you not wash your dishes? Do you wear dirty underwear?? (wait, don't answer that. we don't want to know.)

These chores are things that must be done. It's part of making a home. Dad's day might find a lawn mower or some power tools.

I can (and have) mowed the lawn. I know how to wield power tools.

As a mom I've built furniture and removed stains. I've fixed peanut butter sandwiches and taught my children how to ride a bike.

Really.... if your life is defined by a cake you need to get a life. These cakes are adorable. It's just hard to make a cake that depicts the advice given, the boo-boos kissed, the broken hearts mended.

The only problem I would have with getting one of those cakes is cutting into them!

BTW.... if one is a knitter or a sewer, it's called "having a hobby". I also have a full time job. Knitting is my "me" time and relaxing. Those of you who are uber-offended at these cakes might do well to take up a hobby.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy D.

I am offended.

I turned 65 a week ago. I have three children. Two sons and a daughter.

I am "just" a mom.

I "just" raised my kids.

I "just" did the laundry every day.

I "just" cleaned the house every day

I "just" just knitted every week.

I "just" wiped up vomit when they threw up

I "just" gave them hugs when they cried

I was "just" a mom.

And I am proud of it. I have three kids. One is a teacher, one has their own bakery and one is a cardiologist.

I was "just" a mom who "just" took care of the house and "just" raised my kids.

I was "just" a "50's sterotype.

How DARE you "feminists" make the job of a mother sound as if it is something you wouldn't want to walk in??????

How dare you lessen the power of a a mother better because she has as you call it...a JOB??

You just punched million's of women in the face by calling this post an insult.

I love "just" being a mom.

And I wouldn't trade all the laundry, baking or knitting to have the mindset...or "values" of the "femisnists" who commented today.

Just a Mom


(please excuse any errors in post here may be a wreck in that way...I just got very angry and let my emotions go)

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Amazing Cakes!

Also, are we seriously getting offended over CAKE now???? People are WAAAY to touchy these days.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

I think all those cakes are brilliant - I love the knitting and the sewing machine ones!

I have the best of both worlds as I am in europe but with a daughter in the US so I got a second mothers' day today, prezzie and all!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShirley

Aaahhhh, as a gift wrap addict I LOVE the last one! Hey, give us a Sunday Sweets of cakes that look like wrapped gifts! I would drool for more reasons than one...

Oh, geez. Lighten up! Those cakes are really cute. My mom manages a financial portfolio that puts Charles Schwab to shame, but she'd appreciate the humor/cleverness of these cakes!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurieD

Even those moms who are working "high-powered careers" probably have to do laundry and clean dishes. There's nothing ANTI-woman about those activities. It's about caring for yourself and your family. My mother worked (and still does, at 72) running her own business, but she managed to be a traditional mom when it mattered most. I'm the same. I have a career, but I'm also a caretaker.
That doesn't make me any less of a feminist, thanks.

GREAT cakes. I love the laundry one. If laundry was so tasty, I probably wouldn't mind it so much!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

What an amazing array of cakes.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJDaniel4's Mom

Really Linda? People who don't like this collection because of the message they feel it sends really just punched every mother in the face by not liking it? I mean really? Hyperbole much?

Here's the thing, a mother's role is defined by having and taking care of her own children--sorry, but none of those cakes really have anything to do with that. Really those cakes just represent duties that everyone has to do at some in their lives. Single people living alone do most of those things, whether they are male or female. Many men with families do those things. None of those cakes represent anything that is inherently motherhood or even womanhood. So someone not particularly caring for the message that this series of cakes sends doesn't reflect ANYTHING on how they feel about motherhood itself. Now, maybe if the series had cakes with images of mothers interacting with their children and people were complaining about that message, you might actually have a point.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

True--my Mom did all these things--dishes, laundry, etc. She also kissed boo-boos, never let me win at checkers, and smacked my butt more than once when I well deserved it.

These are all valued too, but harder to put in cake-form... Besides--Making Mom as nurse/lawyer/etc. would be almost too specific for a broad audience. Most moms do what has been pictured here. You want a more specific cake for your mom? Make it. And send Jen the pictures. :)

I am very surprised though--My Mom has made at least 210 cakes for my family over the years. Where is the Mom making a cake?!?!?!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

These are all incredibly cute cakes, but also depress me to the point of never wanting kids. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing-I was on the fence anyway?

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia

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