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

Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want

Your wish = my command.


"Ok, but I'm adding these decorative scrolly bits to show you what an awesome decorator I am."


"Oh, I'm getting the picture alright." [winkwink]


"Hey, you know those times when you should be seeing red, but instead you feel kinda blue?"

"Yeah, me neither."


"Fortunately for both of us, I don't have to understand your weird code language to follow orders:"



Thanks to Kevin B., Eugene K., Tiffany K., Carrie B., & Melissa O., who, of all my wreckporters, are literally the most recent.


Hey St. Louis!  We'll see you tonight at 7pm!  WOOHOO!!!

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Reader Comments (70)

That second one wouldn't be so bad if the person doing the piping weren't an idiot.

And that last one? I'm not even sure what was supposed to happen there...

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMissy

I was at Disneyland for fall break with my family and I saw the greatest t-shirt in the shop at the end of Buzz Lightyear's ride. It had an animator's sketch of a row of seagulls from Nemo, and below them it said, "mine...mine...mine...mine...mine" I started reading it aloud in the correct voice from the movie and we all got to laughing. It's just perfect! And I can totally see every piece of that cheesecake saying "mine" with one little slice designated for him!

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa

If someone could explain the little red pompoms on pool noodles around the Big Font 25 cake, I'd be grateful.
Of course, if someone could explain ANY of this... perhaps explain would take too long... Sum up?

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

The last one would have been AWESOME if done correctly.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

What did the RN symbol do to deserve such "Congradulations"?

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGary

ooh. that first cake is ugly. unfortunate color combos--and that's my husband's name, too.

that last cake would have been so funny if they did it right! nice joke to play on the recipient. I'll have to remember that one!

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjo

Was that supposed to be a 1 instead of a capital I on the cheesecake? So "mine" on all but 1, 1 piece with "yours" written on it? Kind of funny (I don't care for cheesecake), but wow, the execution sucked. That goes for all of them, really .

And they misspelled "congratulations." Again.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMuria

If you were anywhere near Chicagoish yesterday afternoon, that Big Noise From Winnetka you heard was not the 1938 jazz composition, but the sound of sustained laughter as a standing-room only crown of Wreckies gathered to meet and pay homage to Jen Yates and john (the hubby of Jen) at their “Winter Underlined” Tour. An incredible and incredibly funny show filled with laughter, tears from laughter, questions and answers, funny cupcakes, a cake replica of the book and a rotating cake complete with Jen and john atop the world with a moving, globe-circling baby carrot jockey! Did I say there was laughter? And cake? What an honor and pleasure to meet you both; thank you so much for being there! You guys are amazing!

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermel

there should be a required course somewhere for bakers on interpreting the cake order slip. Seriously. (if it exists somewhere, someone post a link)

Also thinking Little Nemo on the last one (love the seagulls). Next Little Nemo reference will come when Jen receives a wreck that's written in whale.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvalis

I think I have it figured out. I think when someone wants a job at a bakery, to make sure they are qualified they ask them questions about how they would make certain cakes. If they fail to follow simple instructions and have no sign of common sense, they're hired. Hey, makes sense to me! How else would you explain this total lack of brain cell usage on these cakes? (love the cheesecake! MINE!)

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrnEyes6

Love the concept of the last one - Muria, of course you must be right about the 1! Makes much more sense now. Going to try that for the next birthday!

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVJ

How flipping literal minded are some of these wrecorators????

Seriously. One second's worth of thought would have prevented these.

We used to joke about so and so wanting to be an elevator operator but who had to go to trade school to learn the route; looking at some of these I don't think it's a joke any more. :-(

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBea

@ Gary-- it "gradulated"....

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermel

Ah the classic cakewrecks oopsie-gets me every time XD

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMINDY1

R. N. Symbol is the nom-de-plume under which I write cheesy fantasy epics for the airport paperback market, starting now.

I like how the #25 cake has twenty-eight candles. Maybe the customer went back and forth with the baker trying to order a "Happy 4th 25th Birthday" before they gave up and ordered that.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

oh man...the #25 cake was so pretty too :( Alas, it only goes to show that even the most skilled can make some boneheaded moves.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda H

@Fluffy Cow: this cake was ordered by a company that encourages its employees to think, so the red pompoms being held up by the pool noodles are a subtle reminder of the company slogan: use your noodle.....

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermel

HOW do some of these people remember to BREATHE???

"Happy Birthday 'Space Cowboy' in Red" and they grab any old icing bag that's closest... there is no excuse for stupidity such as that. Just none.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBernadette

I need to stop visiting this site....

....It just makes me want to go out and beat people.

Not everyone...Just a few of the cake decorators out there.....I think it might've been the cheesecake that has finally done it in for me.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWPArtist

Whenever I see "Space Cowboy", I think "Cap'n Mal". But he was brown, not red. (Yeah, I'm a geek. Sue me.)

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

Was the post title a reference to a certain Spice Girls song?

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSM3

FluffyCow - I think those red pom-poms are actually raspberries on the pool noodles - but it's hard to be certain.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaggieck

The "space Cowboy" cake reminds me of the scene in the movie Liar Liar where Jim Carrey is trying to lie-which he can't do-and say his blue pen is red. . . OR. . .Maybe they thought if s/he wrote "in red" it would fool everyone into seeing red (I'm sure the person that ordered the cake saw red!!)

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Ironically, these ultra-literal wreckorators are probably the same people who use "literally" incorrectly whenever they talk about things.

"So, I was, like, at work, and there were literally, like, 6 million customers, and this guy came in to pick up his cake, and he was, like, "This isn't right," and I, like, showed him the order form, and his brain, like, literally exploded, and he asked to speak to my manager, and she like, literally bit my head off. Literally."

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

My theory on the #25 pool noodles is the white "pool noodles" are little arms and the red blobs are little heads covered by swim caps--it's a synchronized swimming team commemorated in cake.

Or not.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdrgns4vr

I love the comments. I would never get some of the cakes without them. I totally didn't read the "I" as a "one" so was completely mystified as to what the cheesecake was supposed to say. Clever idea - too bad for the execution. I think it's the worst wreck yet. Imagine having such a great idea and having to pick up this cake.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I have to believe that many of these literal wrecks are wreckorated by people who do not speak English as their first language, so they are painstakingly reproducing the full written directions onto the cake, without knowing exactly what they mean. I cannot, just cannot, believe that this happens regularly with people who have a full command of English... or maybe I just don't want to believe it.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterskeptical1

I have kind of an odd sense of humor. Many people find tiny errors, such as a typographical error, tremendously amusing. However, I don't. I just see that as one the tiny things that just happen to even the best of us and which are just too commonplace to have much entertainment value.

What absolutely cracks me up are ill-conceived advertisements, poorly written ad copy, stuff like that. With advertising and marketing down to a science by this time, one really has to be trying, and really trying HARD, to mess up THAT much.

This sort of thing is somewhere in between. As hysterically amusing as it was at first, after seeing similar things SO OFTEN... well, personally I have stopped laughing and am now wondering a lot of things.

How people so lacking in even such simple job skills relevant to their position are finding gainful employment while new grads and people with decades of experience are going jobless...

How simple does a cake order have to be before it will not be botched...

How mind-numbingly boring many jobs are if people just do this sort of thing so mechanically that the irony completely escapes them...

How the average IQ of our species certainly must be below 100...

Sorry if I brought anybody down. I think I need to take a break from this site for a while.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I'm really, really sad that I understood that title immediately. Worse, I now have that song stuck in my head.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDana the Biped

#1 The person who took the order was Jerry's Uncle Leo.

#2 Raspberries and matchsticks. Make sense now?

#3 The irony: If 'congratulations' had been spelled correctly (and written slightly smaller), it would have fit. "Shouldn't those balloons be inflated?" "Do I look stupid? I'm not piping inflated balloons, only to have someone think they look like 'swimmers' and put me on Cake Wrecks."

#4 At least 'space(d) wreckerator' left lots of room for corrections.

#5 "'Mine' on all slices but one, 'yours' on the one slice. That's so I know which one is poison. Oops -- just kidding! Heh. Heh." I, on the other hand, would have had them write 'mine' on the whole thing...and purchased a second one for the recipient, of course. (Whew!)

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Bwahahaa... The last one was the best. Hilarious!

Oh, by the way: I finally got around to buying your books.
I must say they are worth every cent (and euro).

So... When are you going to write another one? :o)

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMafdet

They wrecked a Firefly reference? They should be shot.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Anyone who orders icing on cheesecake doesn't deserve it anyway. Disgusting.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFuzzbutt

Ohhhh. That says "yours" on the cheesecake. I thought it said "youhb".

I was reminded of My Cousin Vinny when the judge says, "What's a 'yute'?" because he can't understand Vinny's accent when Vinny says,"youths". Anyone know what I'm talking about there? Anyone?

So, even if they had executed it correctly on the cheesecake, it would still be a wreck. Penmanship matters, folks.

Also, a wreckerator's "Big Font" is the average person's regular-old-Font, apparently.

@Naomi - I love your nom-de-plume idea! I will eagerly await your first publication. : - )

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

*snort* Wow, I just heard that Spice Girls song for the first time in over ten years last night at karaoke and was completely ashamed that I still remembered all the lyrics to it... Now it's going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the day!

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDark Lord of Marketing

@ Andrea.
Yup. One of my favorite movies. And my favorite line is, "I shot the clerk." Vocal inflection of stunned disbelief makes it a question (I shot the clerk?!!), but in a transcribed statement (as my boss keeps telling me) I would have to place a period there thus making it a stark confession to the crime.

"You actually told them to write that?" or "You actually told them to write that."

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermsyendor

Hey Jen,

Wanted to meet my favorite Blog Author in St. Louis Tonight, but the whole family has an awful stomach bug!! Drat!! So I guess I will have to meet you some other time. Hope it goes great!

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather in MO

To SaraCVT; It's shiny!

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKayT

Gullible is written on the ceiling. Or maybe that says literal.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKennedy

These all come from graduates of the Amelia Bedelia School of Cake Decorating, obviously.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertaj

This post made me laugh out loud. (As did the comments.)

But ... it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out what a "pool noodle" was...

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

So, I can't decide if "space cowboy"'s supposed to be a Firefly or a Cowboy Bebop reference. Any ideas, folks?

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOverly geeky

@Sharon-I (sigh) just have to go lie down now (sigh.) I was laughing at this (moannn,) but now I just feel soooo sad. Under neat that Sniff.

Ironically, @Sharyn- made me snort (but that was before my great depression set in, and now there's no turning back.)

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

"But a blog will mock
you," I warn students. One cries:
"So I'll be famous?"

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

Yes, Sharon, I think you should.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

Oh, man, is that a Cowboy Bebop cake?! Way to mess that up.

....Apparently everyone else thinks it's a Firefly cake, though. Huh.

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbbblue

Space cowboy is a reference to the anime "Cowboy Bebop."

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStTheMary

Oh, I get it now....the last one was making my brain hurt..... O.0

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

"The #25 in Big Font" - hahahaha!! I think that's my new favorite wreck! It's even funnier because it's so pretty! Definitely needs to be on a t-shirt!

BTW - Jen, I moved to Petaluma literally a week after you came to that town on your last book tour. I hadn't heard of you then - please, please, please, please, come back to Northern California soon!!!

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFlower Girl

@ Sharon:

"How simple does a cake order have to be before it will not be botched..."

I would say: pretty DARN simple.

Last week, I saw a "Job Opportunity" ad in a local newspaper which stated the need for someone to take a "disable" person for " RURAL WALKING and Commutinity interrogation."
They also added that the applicant must have "reliable transportion."
I have to laugh out loud at something that bad/ridiculous- but then I almost want to cry.

¡Ay, caramba!

November 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter~anamorous~

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