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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

Stop. Helping.

It's only natural, I know. You see all the wreckage on this blog and you think, "Ok, but surely I can keep my order from being wrecked, right? I mean, all I have to do is help the baker out a little!

"Why, if I just spell it out clearly, military style..."

Nice job, Ace.


"Or maybe if I write it all down...


"And if I indicate which part is the actual text..."


"Um... Or what if I ask for just a single letter? That's easy, right?"

Color me impressed. Or magenta. 


"Ok, fine, I get it. You've made your point. No text. I guess I'll just ask for a flower or something."



Thanks to Katy E., Cristina B., Terry M., Brandt H., & Anony M. for making this post literally painful. 

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Reader Comments (72)

It took me 3 reads of the first one to get why it was wrong. I guess I'd be a good wreckerator. Sigh!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess

E - as in egregious error
P - as in perplexity
I - as in ignorance is bliss
C - as in complete disbelief

F - as in facedesk
A - as in absolute astonishment
I - as in "I'm buying pie next year"
L - as in look of loathing

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Ahhhh...this had me LOLing for realz. So funny all together.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBethany

Nothing beats these type of wrecks of bakers copying things literally.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermarcel

I love these most of all. Because no matter how Wrecktastic cakes can become- I feel that cakes like these embody the true spirit of Cake Wrecks - the cakes that say how on God's Green Earth could this happen? Did the wrecker speak a foreign language? Are we truly an illiterate nation? Or could an English-speaking literate person who was just busy and distracted (or maybe taking revenge on a rude customer) create something that, literally, takes the cake.

No matter the reason, these are funny.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThatDeborahGirl

ACE is not spelled military style, it's for sure Elementary style. Everyone knows that every alphabet in every elementary classroom features first an A-for apple, and B- for ball and C- for cat. Can't have it any other way. Then the elementary grading scale is E-S-N-U. E for excellent, S for satisfactory, N for needs improvement, U for unacceptable or AKA your butt is trouble when you get home.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Thinks that make you go *headdesk*!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSoundSorceress

@ Sharyn

Actually that inscription would make for a pretty good passive-aggressive cake. Trick would be finding a cake big enough to fit all that in. that i think about it, a lot of meme phrases would work well spelled out on cake military style.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvalis

Maybe CC was celebrating a hysterectomy?

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynne

I have to admit Jess: it took me a while as well to see what was the matter with the first one. I blame the earliness of the day (8:30 is early, right?)

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNewb

So, I was thinking that the Hawaiian shirt actually looked good (writing aside), until I realized that it was a CCC... and then the realization of how much frosting had been spackled on there kind of horrified me. And that's coming from someone who views cake as a vector for frosting delivery...

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

The one time I ever asked for a cake to be decorated, the bakery was INCREDIBLY unhelpful and eventually shoved the blank cake back at me and my friends with a tube of gel, saying they couldn't write the words and we had to do it ourselves. At the time, I thought they were being stupid (yeah, the inscription WAS unusual, but not that hard; WE did it on the first try, and we had no decorating experience. Zip.) Now I'm thinking we were lucky.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

Jess, you got the ACE cake quicker than I did...I kept looking for misspellings! But you gotta admit, that Hawaiian shirt CCC was probably the best-looking CCC I've ever seen, right? Admit it, come on...

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiza

Maybe Ace is a pet store/apple orchard celebrating it's excellent year of success selling felines and fruit. Alternatively, Apple and Cat are the two excellent employees responsible for the year of success.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEris

Totally embarrassed that it took me a minute to get the first one. I was looking for poor grammar or spelling. Duh!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

I got the first one when I saw it. I also thought that, as wrecks go, this isn't a bad cake to get/present.

I loved the Hawaiian shirt: excellent artistry in that one.Any text would mess it up. I didn't even notice it was a CCC until it was pointed out above. This may be the best CCC that I've seen on this site.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBerk

These are my favorite kinds of wrecks! Thanks for the laugh!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I imagine at least one or more of these wreakors didn't appreciate being talked to like an idiot, so he or she did the wreak on purpose. When the customer comes back to complain, they put on their best "Dude" impersination... "Awww, man, dude. I was wondering why you would want to put something like that on a cake! Hey, y'know, just between you and me... it sounded kinda stupid, y'know?"

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah I the only one who initially read "A as in apple" as something completely the short word for donkey?

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

It's really a shame that they made a text mistake on the third cake, because otherwise it's pretty awesome.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbananacat

@Lynne: LOL!!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermcranny

I'm thinking the person who wrote the job order is not the same person who decorated the cake. The "Telephone Game," with baked goods.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterteabunny

@ Lynne - I nearly lost my chocolate milkshake on that one! Ha!

And that first one was so nicely done, too. Such a shame.
These are perfect examples of cake wrecks. Well done. Woof! Woof!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh524

ma.gen.ta.ty (ma-jen-ta-T)
1. stunning lack of common sense; obtuseness; crippling literal-mindedness.
2. the state of being overwhelmingly pink.
2011 < Late English Magenta T clear instructions, equivalent to a "T" that is magenta.
wreckiness, dunderheadedness, oh-goodie-more-balloons
discernment, perspicacity

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

@ Amy, I agree! Military spelling would be Alpha, Charley, Echo
(born in a Navy hospital, grew up in the Air Force and married into the Army)

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren.Valinda

To Do: Clean snorted diet pepsi off keyboard. (Thanks, Lynne... That was hysterical -- pun intended.)

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Or CC just hit menopause.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

Thanks for the the giggles today. This is my favorite kind of post. :)

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

The first cake works (wonderfully well, in fact) for a Preschool/Elementary Teacher or a tutoring company......

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlisa

I really like the flowers on the Hawaiian shirt. That could have been a very pretty cake, But damn That's a 50/50c ake to frosting ratio since it's a ccc.. yikes!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

#1 ...And extraneous quotes, to boot.

@Liz: Complete agreement.

#4 ...And the 'balloons' we all know and "love".

All in all, I favor the passive-aggressive theory: "Oh, I'm terribly sorry. I thought your recitation of the alphabet was part of the text you wanted on the cake. I put everything in caps and used the ten exclamation points to convey the volume at which you were speaking at the end of your phone call. I decided to leave out the swear words, though, since this is a cake for a six-year-old."

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Ugh, the neon icing on that last one hurts my eyes.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Yeah, I'm totally questioning the literacy of cake decorators.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErica

Taking "literal" to the literally the next level.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergabsmom

Is it just me or does the Magenta cake look like it has an IUD staving off the horde of sperm balloons?

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeona

So I can tell how well they follow written instructions, I'd love to see how a cake would have been wrecked by a phone order!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

The Magenta one makes me think of this Doc Rat comic strip.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIsolder74

Whomever ended up with the "Magenta T." cake should use it as a nickname. You don't have good nicknames just fall onto your cake like that everyday.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarrieW

Are we sure the "no periods" cake isn't a happy menopause cake?

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Other than the errors in the text, most of those cakes are actually kind of nice...except "Magenta T". I mean, the decorating is well done, and the writing looks attractive and well-spaced, mostly.

Lynne, I made a pact with my mom when I was a teenager that I would have a party when menopause hits. Now I know what my cake is going to look like. :-)

If I could "like" a post, I would like Naomi's "magentaty" definition numerous times.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelindaB

I am literally lolol'ing XD

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Sometimes I wonder if people just wreck cakes on purpose, could they really be that stupid??

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdriel

I think I need the first one s p e l l e d out for me? What am I missing! ~

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHopeless?

Having been a decorator in a grocery store bakery, posts like this one really make me want to write a guide on how to avoid a wreck.

Tip #1: Order in advance! At my store, I was the only cake decorator. If you came outside of the 8-5 I worked 5 days a week, chances were that the "writing" on your cake would be done by someone who would have to take half an hour to mispell congratulations on your cake.

Tip #2: Order in person and ask to speak to the decorator if at all possible. If you are going to call, try only to do so to find out when the decorator will be there.

Tip #3: Bring a sketch of what you want your cake to look like, including writing. It needn't be particularly specific, but if you can draw a box, scribble a couple of "flowers" and write the inscription, that will go a long way toward ensuring that you will get the product you want.

Tip #4: Do not show up early for your cake. If you say you will be there at 4pm to pick it up, do not show up at 3 and ask if it is ready. It may be, but your decorator will then feel the need to hurry and something will, inevitably, get screwed up. If you think there's a chance you'll show up early, ask for your cake to be done sooner, like 1pm.

Tip #5: Do not ask for a kit cake done in whipped icing. It will never look the same as the buttercream, the amount of dye to get it even close to a similar color as the buttercream is probably cancerous and definitely makes the icing runny, and in general the colored whipped icing tastes horrid because of the large amounts of dye.

Tip #6: Do find a creative cake decorator and let them "play" if you can. You may get a wreck, but you may also get something wonderful. Plan some time to actually talk with the decorator about ideas if you don't have any of your own. Listen to their brainstorming and see if they're even someone you want to deal with.

Tip #7: If you are asking for something a little unusual, ask for it to be done much earlier than you need it so you have time for corrections.

Tip #8: Do not ask for black icing. If you aren't aware, it will turn your poo green. Then your guests will either call you or the bakery you went through to ask why their poo is green. This makes for some interesting phones calls about BMs. Some people will not be forthright enough to call, though, and will judge you on their poo's color from thereafter. You are warned.

Tip #9: Do not over-order cake. If there will be 12 people at your party, you will not need half of a sheet cake. You could get by with a 1/8 sheet cake easily enough. Though, be warned. All of the kit cakes are designed to go on a 1/4 sheet cake. Any bigger or smaller and things will not look as you hoped.

Tip #10: Do not buy your 1 year old a gigantic cake. Get them maybe a jumbo cupcake to play in, but there will be many other birthdays that they'll actually have a shot of remembering where you can shell out $50 on cake. If you buy your 1 year old one of the Barbie doll dress cakes, your decorator will be judging you.

Tip #11: Just say no to CCC's. The cupcake-cake is a monstrosity of epic proportions and is not any less messy than cake. If your heart is set on cupcakes, get cupcakes and have your message written in individual letters on top.

Tip #12: Just say no to balloons.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKiko

@Naomi: Excellent! I love it. Always appreciate vocab humor! These wrecks are great.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPerrie

Unfortunate text aside, that Hawaiian shirt is actually not so bad for a CCC. I mean, you can tell what it is and the flowers are pretty cheerful.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

SO glad I wasn't the only having a hard time figuring out what was wrong with the first cake. Hmm, nothing spelled wrong, no grammatical errors, then...*smacks forehead.* Whew!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl from New York

classic cake wrecks!!!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertiny p. elephant

Kiko F.T.W. (per this former decorator, anyway)

also, I literally thought CC's cake was a "happy menopause" cake. it took me a minute (or three) to realize my error. :D

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

Literally out of my seat laughing. A perfect Cake Wrecks day! @Naomi, I love your post. I've got a new word in my vocabulary now. @Lynne, great addition! It took me a second look to get it.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLora

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