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

Antique Mystique

John and I spent the weekend traipsing through one of the South's largest annual antique fairs. BECAUSE THE FUN NEVER STOPS HERE. (And also THE WEATHER WAS VERY NICE.)

Of course, the stuff we like is less "antique" and more "cheap junk we can take apart and make into rayguns." So if it's not broken and/or rusty and/or less than $20, don't talk to me.

Anyway, sometime after our third hour of backing slowly away from tables filled with what I can only assume - going by the prices - were Shakespeare's personal knick-knacks, I had an epiphany:

Bakers, don't change out those old window display cakes; call them antiques and sell them!

Here, I'll get you started:

Lovely Art Deco centerpiece. Very Rare. $1,200 FIRM

See? Not so hard! Just leave out any nonessential details that might hurt the sale, like the fact that the stuffed birds are lined with asbestos.


Buyers like antiques with interesting stories, so be sure to include lots of historical anecdotes with your cakes. Even if you have to make them up.

Authentic WWI-era German Weiner Schnitzel, model THX1138. Very rare. Once gnawed on by the Duke of Gloucester. $7,500 or your left kidney. (Left only! Do not ask me to consider the right!!)


Pop culture items are super valuable, which allows you to capitalize on anything that evokes even the slightest hint of childhood nostalgia:

Batman memorabilia! Very rare. Perfect for collectors! $835 or will trade for 1947 Superman Golden Carrot Trophy with original "Bat-a-Veg" chopper/axe.

(And if you can spot the Batman piece in under 30 seconds, you win a gold star.)


Naturally, vintage Disney items are ideal for bilking delighting your customers:

Authentic Vintage Disney Snow White collectible cake - complete set! Comes with original 1927 cat litter garnish! Eyeball not included! $4,000


Still, nothing can compete for your client's money quite like antique dolls. And as every serious doll collector will tell you, the creepier those suckers are, the better. Chipped porcelain faces with vacant soul-sucking eyes? BINGO. Shove that thing on a cake, pronto! Preferably face down.

Original Kewpie doll and accessories. Very rare. Found in the ruins of an abandoned asylum. Possibly haunted. Seller not responsible for any damages or demon possessions. Priced to sell. I'll give you $50 if you take it.

Ok, $75. NO RETURNS.

Creepy Kewpie there still isn't THAT creepy, though, so I did you a favor, bakers. See, this weekend I found you the perfect cake topper. So just put one of these on your old cakes...

...and watch it fly out the door!

Probably under its own power.

Because it's haunted.

And will no doubt try to kill you.


Hey, Rebecca H., Ann P., Clara B., Elvira E., Leah B., DON'T GO TO SLEEP.

And before any of you ask, yes, I *did* send that last picture to Jonathan Coulton. ;)

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Reader Comments (117)

Hey, thaaaaaaaanks for that last image. I'm a SAHM with two kids, alone on this dreary, rainy day and now I am too terrified to take a nap when my son takes his in a few hours. This will haunt me until my husband, the vanquisher of dolls and clowns, comes home from work IN 7 HOURS. Serious case of Pediophobia and Coulrophobia in this house.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEli & Ember's Mom

The Batman symbol is his mustache! Did they do that on purpose? (And I'm not going to say anything about the dolls--they scare me too much).

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

Great, that last one will stay with me all day. And not in a good way....

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOldish Lady

Kudos to you and John for surviving the madness at Renningers. I saw the parking lot just to get IN and drove past it. The last doll HAS to be possessed and evil, who would make such a hideous thing? yikes I'll be having night mares about that one for a while.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Jo

I get a gold star. Yay!
(That - IS a weird place for a Batman logo, though. And I'm a Batman fan. With a beard.....)

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrankN.Stein

The last picture, that doll. It is" Poor Pitiful Pearl". I actually have one. I saw her 40+ years ago in a store while shopping with my Grandmother and said "Grandma, she needs me". Still have her to this day. And yes, she does creep out everyone....but she still needs me!!!

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjayce

Can't sleep. Creepy crying doll will kill me. Can't sleep. Creepy crying doll will kill me.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRamey

Yes, dark, dark stuff. I'm presently cowering under my desk. I'll probably have to actually do some work now to try & forget these horrors...

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDocbanger

The first thing I said to myself when I saw that one picture is "Why is a potato wearing a Batman mustache?" LOL So weird.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

AHH! The last picture is going to give me a nightmare. Or two. More? D;

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEltias

It took me 45 seconds to find the Batman symbol, do I get a silver star? I was stuck trying to figure out the potatoes.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen

It's 2012. If the Mayans are right, in just a few months we're all going to catch a freak fondant-based virus and perish. (I'm pretty sure that was part of the prediction...) Only roaches and Really Bad Cakes will survive, because even the roaches won't eat these cakes. When the alien archaeologists sift through the ruins, just think of the conclusions they'll draw about our culture -- maniacal birds, pertrified ground transports, nocturnal animals as facial embellishment, polygamy with dwarves (no wonder Snow White is wringing her hands -- no matter what they say, to her, size DOES matter,) kewpie sacrifice, and that last crittter, which will convince the aliens were were all a bunch of lachrymose, big-eyed, soul-sucking zombies. It's probably a good thing we'll be gone -- otherwise they would have taken all the data, decided we were too dangerous to be allowed to survive, and sterilized the planet.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

These cakes would do Miss Haversham proud.

The begging baby zombie doll is going to haunt my dreams. I know I shouldn't look at it, but I keep scrolling back to it. I think I'll just move away from this site for a while...

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

I know what I'm going to do next time I have a batman symbol and a potato lying around.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMimiheart

Ok, I nearly blew chunks with the first one. Put this together with today's "Bloggress" and you may never sleep again!

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKKF

And people think my Blythe doll is creepy...Pearl makes her look like...well, okay, she ALREADY looks like Christina Ricci. I'm not sure that cuts down on her creepy factor...

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKae

How much for the just the eyeball?

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBB, Miami

Can I have the bottle of alcohol with that one cake....since the eyeball is not included.

I have to admit I was blinded by other things and it took me more than 30 seconds to find the "batman" refrence!

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPenny

What is Mr. Batman Pear doing with that stick to make Mrs. Pear cry (and, um, ooze from the eyebrow)?

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlbanyDana

If you have to explain your pun, it's not very punny (See? It rhymes with "funny." Get it? Get it?). "A Perfect Pear? Pair?" Get it? Get it?

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy P.

I spit coffee at "model THX1138". Thanks for being geeky, Jen! (Yes, the doll is creepy. More creepy is that those display cakes are supposed to encourage the shopper to buy from the baker.)

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLady C

AAAaaaAAAaaaa.... Children of the Corn! AAAaaa...

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterzoomom

I was considering lunch, but after seeing that first cake with the green growth over-taking it, I think I'll just go for a walk instead. Ugh...

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbassgirl

Gosh, and there I thought the Batman reference items were the Penguin accessories: topper and walking stick! Had to go back to realize the mustache was a bat symbol. Holy Bat-stache!

Miss Haversham really had quite a collection of cakey bakery
delights, didn't she? All of them dusty, dirty, dingy, and disgusting. Evidently the bakery people never go outside and look at their own display windows?

That reminds me... Did I sweep that dead fly out of my bookstore's window and feed it to the Venus Flytrap yet? Hmmmmm. Excuse me.

That last doll is staring at my soul..... D:

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Someone has already put Pearl's head on a cake (see weeping pear bride)! Poor, poor, Pearl. :'(

And exactly how much surface area of the cake must be covered in fuzzy green mold before it is finally retired from the display case? 'Cause cake #1 is quickly approaching the 50% mark. Ew.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKdot

Lined with asbestos? Given the apparent age of that cake, those birds are probably stuffed with oakum and pitch.
And there's a live dodo on the other side of the cake.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGary

Hey Jen, no disrespect intended to anyone, but that in not a Poor Pitiful Pearl doll. As a 40 year old man with 5 sisters, I have been scarred by the haunting visage of the Baby No Name doll since I was a child. No really, she dances in my nightmares.

Thanks for doing what you do and where do I send my therapy bills?

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobbydj

George Lucas would be proud of how you snuck THX1138 into the post just like sneaks it in his movies!

And yes, the opening notes of JC's "Creepy Doll" started playing in my head when I saw the last picture. Double geeky Kudos for today!

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterED

Just wanted to also share a little love for the model THX shout out. I less than three you, Jen.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelonie

You know, that doll was in a makeup book called Face Forward by now-deceased makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin... and, uh, Kae? Christina Ricci IS the model.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

My mum always told me never to eat anything that wasn't naturally I understand why....mould is NOT a vegetable.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

I had that doll!!!! Given to me by a twisted relative. And actually, she is not Poor, Pitiful Pearl, although there was such a doll, and you can see lots of pictures of her if you Google her name. The doll pictured above is Little Miss No Name. She made me cry, so my dad removed the tear. Didn't help much.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia

Yay, I get a gold star! :) And a carrot jocky, and a Lucasfilm reference. Happy day! And I totally agree with you about 'antiquing' - I just want stuff I can glue some gears on!

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Because I am a sick, sick human being, I couldn't get Poor Pitiful Pearl out of my head. So I started searching and all the PPP dolls I found were , though pitiful, much less horrifying than the one pictured above. I was almost gleeful, because I was sure that the scary doll was indeed a REAL BABY ZOMBIE (and what could be more exciting than that?) Then I found her: Little Miss No Name. So Jayce, you should be happy to know you have a Little Miss No Name doll. She is way more disturbing (and therefore superior to) Poor Pitiful Pearl.
I'm still going to have nightmare's tonight...

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Crying Doll- "I Can Seeeeeee Insiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide Yooooooouuuuuuuuu!"
Me- AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DEMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Runs to phone to call Exorsist]

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNausicaa

You know there IS a Duke of Gloucester?
Richard, cousin of the Queen worked as an architect,
and typically of British titles the family seat is in Northamptonshire.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdiddleymaz

Wow, I haven't gotten a gold star in like, two decades! Thanks!

I was going to point out that the pears are the only edible portion of that entire display, but on closer inspection, they aren't even real pears! Does it still count as a cake wreck when it contains more wire, fabric, beads, sequins, acrylic paint, and Styrofoam than cake?

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

Wonderful! In a "get it off me NOW" kind of way {grin}. [When I first glimpsed the Batman-accessory/potato cake, I thought that it was some kind of homage to the (as TV Tropes puts it) Ridiculously Cute Critter Boota, from the anime series Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Boota's a pig-mole, basically a potato-sized/shaped critter with big shiny black eyes (but without a bat-stache!); you can see him at the anime's wiki here.]

The faded, creepy-doll-topped cakes have a certain unsettling, eldritch charm - I may borrow the concept for a "Call of Cthulhu" FRP one of these days. "You see... THIS!!! Roll for sanity loss!"

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoryDetails

I took a picture of the batman pear couple to email you and I never emailed it! Lol. The picture is still on my phone. I am glad someone else was on the ball and sent it in. I
That lovely cake is still on a window display! Lolol

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy M

That last doll was so adorable. I don't care what anybody says. I just love anything with big eyes like a baby or kitten. <3

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBetty

At first I thought it was going to be a Mr. Potato Head reference...then I noticed they were pears. I still get the gold star, tho! Woot! I picked that up even before scrolling down to read your comments. Why is the Farrah Fawcett pear crying? Is it the tarantulas on her eyes?

Quick! Grab a rope! Snow and the dwarves are sinking in quicksand!

Little Miss No Name is much creepier than the smirking killer wind up clowns my mom bought my sister and me when we were little. I guess I got off easy. Though, I do feel a bit sorry for the poor demonic zombie girl. She needs a friend. One that she can play with and maybe snack on when she's feeling a bit peckish.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Wow. That doll is going to give me nightmares! *shudder* Oh, I get a gold star! I find it funny that the girl "pear" "pair" looks like she's crying. I would probably cry too if my new hubby had a moustache that looked like the batman logo!

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura P.

The doll is my morning fright...I saw it when I was a child and didn't sleep for months. It took years for me to get that image out of my head...years.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracie

I get a gold star, I found the batman moustache in less than 5 seconds. Also, that last doll is so creepy, and there are haunted dolls (no doubt about it).

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark

That Snow White figurine set was on top of my birthday cake and I loved it! In 1975. Do you think that the cake is from 1975?

On another note, I just made a slightly confusing discovery. The Snow White cake is next to a bottle of Czech cinnamon and anise-flavored herbal liqueur:
Although this is not more confusing than the eyeball, I guess.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLMR

I am SO glad I finished my broccoli soup BEFORE seeing that first cake. BLECH! I, like one of the other commenters, thought that was a potato with a batman mustache! Funny! But I had to search for the eye! :) I don't get dolls. And somehow Pinterest had me auto following a board called "doll part curiosities..." that'll keep you up at night......

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Holeeeeee crap that last photo is freaky. ::hides under desk::

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKogarashi

Were you in FL or TX? Because the Bloggess was somewhere this weekend with frighteningly similar stuff for sale....

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercakeburnette

I'm surprised there's not a dedicated tag for ancient display cakes on this blog yet.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve the Pocket

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