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

Free Throws

A while back one of our readers suggested a fun activity for the next book tour: set up plain frosted cakes, and let contestants hurl various bits of candy, flotsam, and ribbon at said cakes. Whichever looks "best" wins.

Unfortunately, I think some wreckerators out there took this as career advice.

And believe me: there are no winners here.

Wow. I didn't know you could get that kind of distance out of mini marshmallows.

You know what they always say about edible splatter paint!:

Nothing, actually. They're all too busy trying to avoid the pieces with the poo-colored jelly beans.

Here's one that made use of the drop method:

Most of it even landed on the cake!

Of course, when you're lobbing across such great distances, some breakage is to be expected:


You can see that a lot of throwing went into this one:

(Psst. Throwing up counts, right?)

Hang on a sec, something's wrong.

This one's making me hungry:


Curse you, Wreckerators, and your nefarious mind-washing piles of whipped cream and berry goodness!

I mean, what next? Will a professional chef on a national reality show get in on the act??

[holding head] We're too late! AAHHHH!!

(The 'kill it' caption was added by Serious Eats, btw, which has a hilarious episode recap here. I wonder where they might have gotten their inspiration, hmmm? :D)

Thanks to Jill N., Ashlee M., Cassie G., Julie V., Kimberly B., & Elizabeth L., who all get to be first in line come book-tour-throwing time.

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Reader Comments (85)

Well, I got my neck good and stretched out today.

First cake: "Huh" *head tilt right*
Second cake: "Oh, my" *head tilt left*
Third cake: "What the what?" *head tilt right*

....Might be as close to exercise as I get today. Thanks, Cake Wrecks!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterM. Dale

I wd totally eat that marshmallow one!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Dear Lord, are those cakes things that people actually PAID for? With MONEY? That they WORKED for?

Bosha kohani...

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAvengersWasp

I seriously wonder if the decorators of the cakes actually think they look ok. And I wonder if anyone actually buys them. And why.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJudy C

Um...that's all I have to say. Just um. And weeping for the future of our generation of cake decorators.

Cake 1- *weep*

Cake 2- *sob*

Cake 3- *bawl*

Cake 4- Is this a blanking joke?

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPuckabrinaForever

I flunked basketball.
My wall has my dartboard's pricks.
Hunting buddies, gone.


I darse someone will take aim at these cakes better than I did.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

Until you said they were poo-colored jelly beans, I thought those things on the second cake were olives. Sadly, that didn't seem to be the worst thing they did to the cake.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStacie

Time for some good, old-fashioned cake trebuchet, I think. Anyone who has seen the probably-faked 'how not to eat a watermelon' video will know why I choose a treb over a catapult.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

1-Yes. Indeed one can get plent o' mileage outta a bag of mini mallows. On the other hand (the one that held the nearly-empty Hershey bottle),not quite as much, seemingly.
2-mutant grubs looking for a place to lay mutant-grub eggs
3-Ah! It's the old "paper-ribbon-to-floss-with" on the cake trick.
4- amputated polar bear fingertips
5- peaches & cream ="parfait cake"...
I'd ask for a spoon, but it appaers someone's already had at it with a trowel.


July 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

"poo-colored jelly beans"

Ummm, I thought they were slugs?

--S. Auten, Dallas GA

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Somebody must be buying these things or they wouldn't keep making them. These consumers must be suffering from very low self esteem. They feel they don't deserve tasty AND tasteful baked goods.
They need our help.
Anyone want to help me plan a telethon?
Or maybe a "We Are the World" kind of thing.

WV: avoism-a psychological conditions which causes sufferers to avoid all that is fine and beautiful. People with avoism often prefer poo-colored jelly bean cakes.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

When all you have is a shotgun and a bag of jellybeans, everything looks like a cake?

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRogerBW

You realize of course that the poo-colored jellybeans are an incredibly valuable resource in the cake decorator's arsenal.

At last you can make a very realistic Easter bunny cake without fear that it will be missing that one last vital detail.

WV: speclac--a new laxative that might or might no actually work.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOldish Lady


Were those jelly beans? I thought they were slugs. Or maybe rocks.

wv: burlecta. A scholarly talk on the art of burlesque. Also, coincidentally, sounds a lot like "hurl."

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterelissa

That 2nd cake looks like it has slugs on it! GROSS!!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

that first marshmallow one is a disaster

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCookie Cakes

@RogerBW: that should totally be a bumper sticker. And a T-shirt. Pure awesome.

- DB

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

This is prompting flashbacks to those Sandra Lee cakes you've featured -- if we look closely enough, I'm sure we'll find apple pie filling and corn nuts on at least one of these masterpieces.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Is it wrong that I want to eat the marshmallow one O_o wrong, I know

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You know... it's like they are not even trying anymore.

On the up side... I think I'm going to go buy some whipped cream.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

Yay! You used my suggestion as a daily theme!

(Basking in my five seconds of glory.)

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGary

(3) $6.00 for a pile of pre-used clown makeup?! GROSS.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeisha

Oh man! I think someone (read: not me) needs to go back to the orginal post that had this suggestion and identify that commenter. It's almost like he(?) was psychic!!

And I'd totally go to a book signing with "throw the flotsam at the cake" game. That would be AWESOME!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercq75

Oh wait! Gary just posted... GO GARY!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercq75

The decoration-tossing game could be made even more fun by having the contestants do it blindfolded. :)

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Is the one making you hungry even a cake?! Looks like pancakes to me! Okay, maybe that counts... So do we get to feature pancake disasters here too now?! (:

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

That second-to-last one... is there a word for what they did there, piping a scribble in icing that's meant to harden and then sticking it in the cake? Somebody put a good deal of thought and effort into that, considering how bad it looks.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteroctan

I think they already were blindfolded

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnotherAnonymous

Wow, wreckerating has sunk to a new low.

#1: what a waste of marshmallows. Which are likely the only edible & tasty item under that dome. Sacrilege!

#2: even the border is trying to escape that cake. Or was it the wreckerator's desperate cry for help, attempting to do a Rorschach ink-blot test? Because it's certainly no Pollack painting!

#3: Definitely a case when ribbon does NOT complete the package. Sadly, those weird blotches are actually more attractive than the ribbon mess...

#4 If that's chocolate, it's forgiveable.

#5 that cake is far from "parfait"! (is it also self-destructing?)

#6 Strange. An appetizing wreck. But I guess fruit and coulis and whipped cream can't be that bad :)

#7 the only positive thing I can think of is that perhaps that one actually tastes good. And in all fairness, I've seen more than one home-baker decorate a cake that way. Not for a wedding, though...

I think I agree with @Craig: the only throwing involved here should be with a trebuchet!

And @Haiku Joy, I somehow can't picture Cheney decorating cakes in a kitchen...

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAliza

The moulding chocolate scribbles on the last cake are kind of artistic, actually... emphasis on the "kind of"...

WV - Fitable: These wreckerators' motto is "all the crap that's fitable on a cake".

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma!

The parfait cake looks like it has pimento cheese spread over it...I really hope those are just diced strawberries or something.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGarrick

The second-to-last cake is actually quite impressive, technique-wise. But ... why? Why??

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfurpurrson

I have a particular affinity for the original Kill It With Fire. That wreckplica is still in my display case on the chance that you actually dare to tread in this lethal state again...the cupcake mummified into a sugary crouton of evil doooooooom.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Chapman

Pancakes are cakes.
And pancakes with five gallons of whipped cream, randomly spilled fruit, and some kind of strange wire-like scribbly things on them are ... well, a mess.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGary


1) cake decorator walks into work that morning: "oh, they want ne to cover this cake with marshmallows? Finally, a use for my slingshot!"

2) Decorator walks into work: "I really love Jackson Pollock paintings....and neon green.. and olives... and my slingshot..."

3) decorator walks into work: "ho hum, what should I do with this cake....drop some food coloring on, yep, a start....but it needs something else. Some "wow" factor. Darn, we don't have any corn nuts. But there's a bunch of ribbon trimmings from the balloons! Too bad it wouldn't work with my slingshot. "

4) decorator walks into work: "ooo, a bucket of leftover broken cookies & other assorted flotsam! Well, one decorator's trash is another's treasure! Now, where's my slingshot..."

5) decorator walks into work with 3 year old son on take-your-child-to-work day: "jack, remember, don't touch anyth.... hey, how did you get my slingshot??"

6) decorator has been at work for some time: "100 points for every berry I can slingshot into the fenced-in area. 25 points deducted for hitting the fence. "

7) highly trained decorator walks into work at a very respected bakery: "hmm. It seemed like such a good idea yesterday to use my slingshot to place those berries. Well, maybe some casually tossed orchid flowers will help. "

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLunamothMama

That last picture reminded me of when Julia Child was on the Martha Stewart xmas special. They each built a tower of cream puffs. Martha's was a beautiful, symmetrical work of art, Julia's was a sloppy, lumpy pile. I think she'd already started to lose it by then, but Martha was gracious about it. Julia was always a sloppy cook.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterValerie

Ok, I admit it, I thought the cake with the 'poo jelly beans' has slug good and slug eggs on it. Not sure if slugs lay eggs.

wv: Clese: (two words) John Clese

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKiriD

Awesome post and wreckies again! Thank you so much for posting almost every day. And always being funny and bringing a smile to my face. You guys are terrific.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

First thing I thought of when I saw cake #5 was that it looked like multi-colored ear plugs were thrown all over it.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLCT

I agree with Stacie. I looked at the cake and asked myself, "Why are there olives on the cake?"

I am a little scared about the slugs that some people have in their areas.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdrianne

Um, let's hope that there is no inspiration for a Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean for the poo-colored ones...

At first, I thought they looked more like the rocks Charlie Brown got for Halloween.

Now that some have mentioned it, put the proper eyes and mouths and they could look like those slugs from the movie "Flushed Away" LOL.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLoo-E Loo-I

Finally! A whole bunch of magic -eye cakes!!! These are great examples of those wonderful 3D stereograms that look like squiggles and stuff but actually hide wonderful 3D pictures! Just like with the pictures, hold the cake about 18 inches in front of you, kinda look through the cake into the area behind it and let your eyes relax. It may take some practice.

The first cake is clearly a Rainbow Brite picture, and if you squint your left eye just a little while opening your right eye fully, and tilt your head a tad to the left, you can see Wisp and Twink riding on Starlite. Nod your head a few times and you can almost see the horse actually move.

Second cake: see Kermit? Sure you do, hopping around from rock to rock.

Third cake: opening ceremony of the Olympics where the participants twirl those long flowing ribbons. Rotating your head in small circles almost brings them all to life! Can't you just hear the music in your mind!

Fourth cake: Who ya gonna call? Yes, that's right, keep squinting and blink your eyes quickly, and here comes the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man!

Fifth cake: Made by a beginner, a combination of rapid blinking and nodding only makes you nauseous. I think they were trying for a wiggling Jello effect.

Sixth cake: This is a hard one, but carefully positioning of the cake and total eye relaxation, with accompanying winking, nodding and absolute quiet reveals the scene where Tom Sawyer tricks his friends into whitewashing the picket fence. The brushes almost seem to move!

Last cake: Unfortuantely, though it is well done, this cake contains some'll just have to look for yourself. Caution: do not strain your eyes!

wv-trozymou: an imaginary word frequently used in Scrabble as a bluff.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermel

I thought of cake challenge before i read the caption!
Loved Patrick Coston !!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertiny p elephant

I hope I don't have nightmares about these cakes. They are just horrible. I wouldn't even touch those jellybeans. Okay maybe if someone paid me I would.

I have to wonder about the people that buy them. I could make a cake myself that doesn't look so vomititous and I'm no baker.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

The saddest thing about the marshmallow monstrosity is that there are TWO of them!!!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStacey

"Curse you, Wreckerators, and your nefarious mind-washing piles of whipped cream and berry goodness!"

You forgot to mention the Doozer sticks on it! Yum!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue KuKu

#2 (pardon the pun)

I thought that they were wither olives or slugs (the slimy kind).

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnneke (Mudhooks)

#2 the jelly beans look like slugs with slime trails behind them!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Had to look twice at "cake" number 2...thought it had bugs on it. UGH.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

@Mel at 12:42

You're either brilliant, or you need to adjust your meds.

I'm betting brilliant. That was hysterical.

(Now, if I can just get my eyes to uncross...)

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

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