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 Kings of Wreckage

My friend John Gjertsen sent me this clip, and I would be downright remiss - nay, negligent! - if I didn't share it with the rest of you:

It starts a little slow, so feel free to skip the first 30 seconds. After that it just keeps getting better, as France's finest pastry chefs drop, devour, and destroy (not necessarily in that order) a cornucopia of cakery.

I can't decide which I like better, this quote:

Or the final few seconds of the chefs chewing. *giggle*

« Sunday Sweets: Threadcakes! | Main | The Roadkill Café »

Reader Comments (49)

Ahhhhhh!!! Way too much giggle first thing in the morning!!!

Thank you!!


WV -- toplogre

I wonder who the top logre is around here and how many posts they've done?

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My first comment on your fab blog which has had me laughing for months. So funny and accompanied by Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt too!

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Q

I saw this film on tv a while ago - absolutely brilliant It starts off slow but by the ending it gets pretty overwhelming. Seeing the sugar sculptures shatter is enetertaining in the trailer, but when you've been watching these guys for an hour hearing about how three generations of their family have all been master chefs and they've spent the last four years planning for this moment, it is heartbraking. And then the supervising chefs lay their medals on the table to encourage him! I don't want to spoil the ending but safe to say the head of the organisation is crying his eyes out as he announces who has made it.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteriseg

My favorite quote was :

"This is the culinary Hurt Locker."



August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSheila

I liked the Chiefs at the end contemplating the knife as they chewed.


August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

as a (currently unemployed) pastry chef, I nearly had a panic attack watching this...

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbetty crocker

I like that quote better too :)

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter愛 - ちゃん

This looks like an extended episode of the Food Network Challenge (probably where the idea came from). I suffer so much watching the creation/move on to the table of those things, it's not even funny. BUT as I was on the plane to my new hometown on Sunday, I was gladly surprised to notice half the plane watching the Dora the Explorer challenge and go "OH!" as one came crashing down. I hope they show it in Chi-town.

Thanks for posting this, Jen & Co.!

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

I've never seen cooking look so stressful before.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterA Paperback Writer

"Culinary Hurt Locker" - Band Name O' the Day!

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

"Feel free to skip the first 30 seconds."

WHAT?! And miss seeing the renown Lyonnais Michelin 3-star chef Paul Bocuse (I literally gasped when he appeared) with a wonderful rendition of La Marseillaise? NEVER!!!

This video clip really made my face light up. Merci beaucoup, Jen! ^.^

-French Bean

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFrench Bean & Coffee Bean

The chefs morosely chewing cake at the end had me thinking "But you get to eat 16 cakes! yay!". Then I thought, oooo I guess after cake 6 everything tastes the same. And you need Maalox.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Now I want to see it! I love quirky documentaries like this.. :)

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEsther Crawford

I've seen the entire film. It is amazing and I agree with iseg's comments about it. If you get the chance to see the full film, make the time to do so, as if you have any appreciation of the skills of pastry-making, cake & sugarcraft, you will thoroughly love the film.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Just added it to my Netflix queue, but release date is "unknown." *sigh*

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Ooo, I know where I'll be September 15th--at the movies with a cake snuck in!

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterzombiekim

i kinda liked the crashing sound at the very end of the trailer - something went amiss just as the cameras faded to black...

And I liked A Culinary Hurt Locker too...


August 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermn_me

I took a demo cooking class with the owner of the french pasty school in chicago who was talking in the clip you posted (I actually saw that white chocolate tree thing from the video in the school's chocolate fridge - yes, they have a whole walk-in fridge just for chocolate). He's hilarious in person. Thank you for sharing the video...I'd cry too if something I spent 12 hours building smashed on the floor.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

This is incredible! I gotta watch it tonight. Just finsihed watchin the Great British Bake-Off here in the UK and as entertaining as that is, it is nothing compared to how this looks.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I read someone watching this competition call watching the sculptures break during a contest call it, "spun-sugar schadenfreude" and I think that may be the best descriptor ever!

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

It's a sick thing, but what got a laugh out loud from me was the first shot of a chef crying. Sorry!

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJ Auclair

It's so nice to see people dropping cakes. LIKE ME. JUST LIKE ME.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArguing with a Doughnut

As a Frenchie who has some experience in the culinary world, I feel for these chefs.
That said, the collapsing cake montage made me giggle. :D

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

That is so darn hilarious. I can relate. I'm no professional, but I've been making cakes for 20 years. The day came to make the cake for my son's graduation this past May. Definitely an important event. The cake stuck to the pan and the frosting was granular. I sat and wept as my husband and son went to the store to buy a *ack!* store-bought cake. I had been defeated by flour and butter.

I'd love to watch that movie. At least I'd feel like I was in good company.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDorci

that looks so great! I enjoyed the descriptive: the culinary Hurt Locker", Ha! Good stuff indeed.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercaferacers66

thank you for a wonderful birthday post for me! Now to find the actual film so I can watch the whole thing...

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMindy

Looks like this is going the film festival route. Check and click Screenings for a list of cities. Mine isn't one of them. Guess I'll have to wait for it to hit PBS. Sacre bleu!

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia L

I personally liked when the guy tasted the red/white thing it obviously was not what he was expecting. I MUST see this film!!

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Minears

Dear god, those weird brown clown heads will give me nightmares.

The only thing more terrifying is if the mohawk carrot jockeys and them allied themselves on a single cake.


August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason

They showed that film on TV a while back here (in Australia). It was brilliant, the sugarcraft would make you gasp, and your heart just sinks when these beautiful creations break.
The chef who wept had just seen four years of preparation and several days of work (which was just glorious) go down the tubes and what was sweet was his fellow chefs cried with him and encouraged him to try again. It's not a competition as such, more of a high level exam that all or none might pass. Highly recommended if you're into cooking.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercolleenoz

I actually attended the French Pastry School in Chicago while Chef Pfeiffer was competing for the MOF-he taught me sugar sculpture :) And Chef Canonne is hands down one of the best people you could ever hope to learn pastry from, with a wicked sense of humor to boot. This clip brings back memories!

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

omg, that's awesome! if it's half as good as the war room (one of this production company's other films apparently) then it will be amazing!

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerrrs-uh

You think for people who make food for a living they could at least look like they enjoy what they're doing! The stress and the downcast faces are the saddest part about this clip!

August 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I loved the somewhat twisted version of La Marseillaise, and the involuntary wreckage

August 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWolvie Girl

OMG.(and I hardly ever say that, at least in txt speak!)

I have got to see that!

August 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuperDaisy

@Anon 12:22 AM
Try not to cry, then, if a cake that you've been planning and preparing (for *four years*) to present in the biggest contest of your life shatters into tiny pieces in a matter of seconds.

Some empathy for the chefs, please! What they do is NOT easy!

(Sorry CakeWrecks & Jen, I just *had* to delurk to say this. After all of the wrecks on your blog, people have got to appreciate the effort and genius that goes into non-wrecky creations!)

August 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbloodsugar

Hey Bloodsugar,

You're absolutely right. I'm a faux finisher by trade and I've definitely shed a few tears when I tried to do a finish that failed. And that was planned for a few hours. I can't imagine the heartbreak if something you've been planning for years came crashing down.

I honestly don't know how I'm going to do with this film since I'm a bit over-empathic. I suppose its a hilariously heartbreaking movie and I'm not sure how well that works. Hmm.


August 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjohn (the hubby of Jen)

Eek. This is THE first post on this blog that didn't make me laugh. At all. The world has ended. *flail* Maybe I just need cake. Yeah. *wanders off*

August 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

They aired this fantastic documentary in the UK several months ago. It was amazing & I have to agree with the commenters that state you should see it before laughing at the crying chefs.

The work, preparation, stress & skill that goes into these works of art really makes you feel for them when something goes wrong. The documentary was wonderfully made and you really did feel for each chef they featured.

If you're a baker of any kind I urge you to try and see it, you cannot help but be moved/ empathise.

August 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

OMG... I got mentioned on CW!

August 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Gjertsen

This documentary was on BBC 4 a while back - it does start slowly (I almost gave up) but then when you see their creations falling apart and all the judges sobbing you can't help but be fascinated

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Caked Crusader

I saw this film when it aired on TV! SUCH an intense competition, more so than the Olympics! The sculpture drop moment had me and my boyfriend in tears along with the chef...

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Where do I sign up to back Christopher Guest making his version of this?

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

That last part with the guys chewing reminded me of children who didn't want to, being forced to eat their vegetables. I don't know why, it just did!

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeighanne

The chefs chewing is probably hands down the best clip I've seen in a while. And I think I will actually use the phrases 'culinary hurt locker' and 'i've never seen so many strong men sobbning at once'.
I am going to watch this movie

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMissNay

The orgasm face right before the end was definitely the best pat.

August 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Fae

I've actually seen this documentary. Its REALLY interesting and makes you super hungry.

August 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTassiegal

Let's give a hand to the Kings of Pastry!

September 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFeedMeFremont

I loved, "this is the culinary Hurt Locker" HAHAHA!

October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandra Valentina

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>