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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

Fill Me Up, Buttercup.

The great thing about cake is you can make it look like anything. Dead rat? No problem! Broken toe? Gimmie an hour! Dong cake? You want that in chocolate, red velvet, or Funfetti?

The only problem is that many decorators just don't have the "skillz" necessary to pull off a really good dong cake. [smirk] So instead, they make their cakes look like popcorn.

(For what it's worth, that segue made more sense in my head.)

Now, bakers, the first thing to do when making a popcorn cake - and this is very important - is to try to make a cake that looks like popcorn.

Or maybe just label it "popcorn."

As useful as labeling can be, though, there are still times when you want your popcorn cake to kind of look a little bit like actual popcorn:

So I guess this is not one of those times.

Really, though, I think you can do a little better than that. Go on! Give it a try.

Um. Well, I've never seen beige popcorn before...

Maybe you could try for a more "buttery yellow?"

Too much! TOO MUCH!

Those appear to be Bugles.

Cheetos. Definitely Cheetos.

And that's the back of this guy's head:

Ok, obviously this isn't working. Tell you what, bakers: why don't we try something a little more... drastic?

A-ha! Success!

So the moral is: when you can't figure out how to make something in icing, just put the real thing on there instead!

Although I wouldn't suggest it with the Dong cake.

The health inspectors might complain.

Thanks to John B., Mia & Trinh, Melissa S., Dolly N., Chelsea E., Miles J., Amy S., & John M., who think all popcorn should come with a side of icing. Yeah. Just imagine all that soggy, salty, greasy goodness! Mmmmmmmhurk.

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Reader Comments (101)

How are there so many popcorn wrecks available? And they are all so similar. Is there a sample in some Baker's Handbook? And who is purchasing all of these popcorn cakes, anyway? For what purpose? Taking a cake to the movies? This post filled me with SO many questions!

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

stupid bakers! how can anybody can buy something from that "bakers"? i will never know.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercccris

Loved today's post! I laughed quite loudly and startled my children at the "Those appear to be Bugles" comment.

wv: deetrap
"It's deetrap!"

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

While reading this post, I began to wonder to myself: Who is going to buy these ugly popcorn cakes? Why do you need a popcorn cake to begin with? Then I went back and looked at the other three posts you referenced in the intro and realized, oh, those people will.

Also, nice 30 Rock reference in the broken toe post. I always knew I liked you guys.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHannah B

It's a good thing that the last cake had real popcorn in it. By the time I got down that far, I'd forgotten what *real* popcorn looked like.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJasini

I don't know why, but there's just something inherently wrong in the entire concept of a cake that looks like popcorn. Maybe it's that the two things are just too different--polar opposite snacks. There's a mental breakdown, like those brain teasers where the word for a color is printed in a different color?

I would think that making icing look realistically like popcorn is probably about as impossible as it gets, though.

WV: rashedib. Claiming the popcorn cake icing was a rashedib, Susan realized when she caught sight of the glowing orange globs.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterelissa

Popcurn is delicious. Cake is delicious. Popcorn on top of cake...not so delicious. Like pickles and peanut butter...well, maybe not, because I hate pickles. BUT THE ANALOGY STANDS!

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

Hahaha...that cake totally looked like Naruto's hair. Nice call.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I as I looked at all the popcorn wrecks all I could was shake my head. And then I got to the last dong comment. Didn't see that coming and I burst out laughing and almost choked. The visual in my head didn't help much either.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRoyce

You've never had beige popcorn? My spouse has it all the time. It is "slightly" burnt microwave popcorn. He swears by it.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCostumeholic

Popcorn IS hard to make-although I imagine it could be done MUCH better than those cakes

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My kid loves popcorn with whipped cream. I have never brought up the possibility of frosting as a dipping sauce, but I bet she'd go for that, too. And we had popcorn for breakfast today.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlexa

Terri M.

interesting popcorn cakes. <--this is how you make a popcorn cake.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

When I talk to my psychiatrist this week, and start talking about dong cake, he's gonna up my meds, you just wait and see.

I'll blame you of course, but it won't save me.


March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary Connealy

Egads, it's like white poo!

For the record you can make miniature popcorn by not-quite-thoroughly mixing lots of white fondant with a little bit of light brown and the dried crumbs of some dark brown. Then let it sit and dry for awhile, then chop it roughly into tiny pieces. Then let those dry until completely hard.


Making a gelatin-"glass" machine is more advanced but any beginner can make the basic popcorn, sculpt a little fondant bowl, and that'd look lovely on a cupcake or some other small setup.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Chapman

Although I wouldn't suggest it with the Dong cake.

The health inspectors might complain.

Bwahahaha! Not to mention the donor of the, er, "cake decor."

I love how the last one still had to have a label that said "popcorn," despite having the word written on the cake and, well, actual popcorn.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

Anonymous: The cake you provided a link for is better, but it looks more like cottage cheese, or instant oatmeal...

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLily

Cake 7 (Back of the guy's head) actually looks more like Peeps to me. Which would be ok, if you like marshmallow....I was waiting for a dong cake with a real dong though..something to kick off my Friday right! :)

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Loved the post but I have to say having successfully made one of these cakes popcorn and icing IS delicious, just like icing on saltine crackers.

As for why? movie themed bridal shower ;)

WV: comindip

Comindip your popcorn in some butter cream icing, it will blow your mind ;)

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Funfetti dong cake! It's not just for breakfast anymore!!

wv: begiz-I can't begiz to tell you how much I enjoy this blog.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Bowls of popcorn and dong cakes....brings back a little risque behavior I heard about as a teen.....

wv: itatraph -- Don't put your hand in that box of popcorn - itatraph!

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

WV: exixi. "A real dong cake would be rated exixi."

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Popcorn on a cake sounds pretty nasty to me. Yuck

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Anonymous 11:31
"Don't put your hand in that box of popcorn - itatraph!"

I'll be laughing all day!

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm peeing in my pants right now laughing so hard. If I hear the words "Dong Cake" one more time I'll loose it completely...

Please say "Dong Cake" again tomorrow!!!

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHillary

The last cake (with the real popcorn) actually sounds pretty good. I love combining sweet & salty foods together like that.

WV: mispill - at least they didn't mispill the word Popcorn on any of the cakes today

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

Waiting for the dong cake post...

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJ.

dong cake.. {snorting so hard my kids are staring at me} dong..


There, that's better.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSunshine

Is there a popcorn cake trend that I don't know about? Seriously? I suspect that as with CCCs (ptoooie!), there's a publication out there somewhere that supermarket chain bakers who lack creativity rely on for ideas...(shudder)

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy

Just like to say that I'm proud of us as a cake loving community, as we have so far been able to resist the temptation to suggest mixing a, ahem, "detailed privates" cake with a couple of popcorn balls.

...oh. Well I suppose now we have.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSquirrel Leigh

What I don't understand is all of the frilly icing borders. If you're going for anything near realistic, why would you include that? I've never seen a tub of popcorn with a frilly border.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterM. Dale

"Although I wouldn't suggest it with the Dong cake."

Or the dead rat cake. Please.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGary

Putting actual popcorn on the cake might work with caramel popcorn. Butter

Popcorn is one of my most favorite snacks. I feel so wronged by these cakes that I *demand* a Sunday Sweets of snack themed cakes :)

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJabby

maybe some of the um, *brighter* colored popcorn is "cheddar" or movie style "butter"..? Now with extra FD&C Yellow #5!

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

I work at WEIS Markets as a cake decorator and I have a degree in pastry arts. I use mini marshmallows and air brush them and use chocolate like dots to make them look like popcorn. People love them lol. These are sad.. Sad, Sad popcorn containers lol. <3

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHidden Desire

I know it's been said, but really, popcorn cake??? Why?

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTara

I just hope the poo cake decorators don't read this blog and take your advice on using the real thing instead :/

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

Iced popcorn sounds magically hurlicious.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersarajean80

Damn you, Cakewrecks. Now I have to not only make a Queen Cake ( not deep fried), I have to make a Happy Dongday cake. And resist combining them. With popcorn. Life is hard.
Rev W.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRev W

It looks like the bakers all had trouble with the lettering, too! "PoPcoRN" - did the same wreckerator bounce between bakeries? I'd probably have fired him/her, too, once I saw the PoPcoRN cakes...

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

You just keep hitting more of my personal Geek buttons.

Go Naruto!

Just one question? Why would anyone *want* a popcorn cake?

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlisagems

Am I the only one who gets tempted to try and make a better one just because it looks like anyone can?

Popcorn and cake??? Who'd thunk it.

wv: plitact - no matter how many ways you try to apply buttercream as popcorn, it ain't tactful.

JB in Florida

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Ok NOW I'm having a craving for Bugles.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristers

I laughed so hard at today's post I almost peed a little. Oh wait... :)

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMr.Sprinkles

Laughing, as always!

At my advanced age, I no longer crave salt and sweet in alternating doses. But, when I was younger, I might have found the cake with the real popcorn convenient . . . um . . . once a month . . .

wv - centm

Ellen, this time you've centm TMI!

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

You see wrecky popcorn cakes. I see lots of yummy frosting goodness. (At least it's not blue, green, or brown!)

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh

Colleen @12:41,
Is it so wrong that I kind of like the cherry pie cupcakes? I don't know what the heck the other cupcakes are supposed to be though. They look like someone took a torch to them!

wv: spermsi: There's no way I'm gonna touch this one. Especially with all the dong cake references!

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I kind of liked the first cake even though it looked like meringue on top. The third one looked like white chocolate kisses.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

If there is one 'improvement' theater 'food' needs, it is to be even messier than before.

Most of these look like a mug of...Shaving Cream! (Cue Dr. Demento.)

#2 A bucket of Peeps does sound like a good idea -- until you actually eat it. I wonder if there is a dentist that is open after the movie...

#3 'Pop Couch'? Clicking reveals that the 'r' looks suspiciously like the symbol for Pi. But that was four days ago. In any event, why the insistence on making 'popcorn' into two words? I see a theme developing here...

#4 Oh, 'Pop CoRN'! Ok, I get it now. Perhaps a bucket of potatoes au gratin will catch on as the next movie food fad. Works for me. (If these wreckerators worked for me, they wouldn't work for me.)

#5 A bucket of Bugles also works, though buttercream (I hope) frosting is not my first choice of dip. *urk*. I like how this one goes for the compromise by eliminating the space: 'PopCoRN'.

Perhaps these wreckerators are working their way through nursing school -- which is as scary a thought as I've had in a while.

#6 Cheetos, yes. Frosted Cheetos, not so much. Still another name variation: 'PoPCORN'.

#8 Points for 'realism' at least, even if it is cheating. Also odd that this is the only one of the set that didn't FiNd it NEceSSaRY to mIx cASeS, like a ransom note in frosting.

I like the helpful sign -- from our friends at the Department of Redundancy Department. The neon pink one to the left probably says, 'cake'.

Come and get your hot, butter(cream)ed popcorn! Yum!

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

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