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

Hanukkah Blues

Usually around this time of year someone will always say to me, "Hey, you can't do that here!"

So then I put my pants on and take my carton of eggnog back home, where I find people are asking why I haven't posted any Hanukkah cakes yet.

The reasons are simple, my dear wreckies: Firstly, bakers don't make many Chanukah cakes to begin with. And secondly, see reason number one.

But really, who can blame them? Do you KNOW how hard it is to spell Hannukah? I mean, correctly?




And then there are those mind-bendingly complicated Stars of David. They have six points, you guys. SIX! Pre-school did not prepare us for these kinds of manual dexterity challenges, ok? It's not like you can just draw a regular five-pointed star and then stick an extra point on it!

(Oh, wait, you can?)

 (My bad.)


Even the Dreidel, that spinning top thing that's ALSO impossible to spell, to the point that my spell check is telling me I'm an illiterate doofus for thinking it's spelled that way, and SURELY I mean "Deirdre" instead, but I googled it, spell check, AND I AM TOTALLY RIGHT, so stop pushing this Deirdre chick on me, because I am out of eggnog, and I am not in the mood!


[sitting back down]

[smoothing hair] 

Where was I?

And what is pyramid-head Mr. Bill doing here?

Or is that a house with a giant electrical outlet on it?


 Well, whichever, you can rest easy, my dear Chanooka celebrants, knowing you'll always have the classic, elegant option of a blue-and-white-snowflake cake for your festivities:

Or a frozen sanitary pad with wings. 


Thanks to Ali A., Elizabeth C., Tom F., & Jamie for helping put the "huh?" back in Hannukhuh.

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Reader Comments (94)

Well, the dreidel cake wouldn't be too bad, if it were right-side-up and had a he on it instead of a chet. That's just weird.

Also, six-pointed stars are easier than five-pointed. Just draw two triangles. It's a special kind of special to mess that up.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMimiheart

Chappy Chanukka to you all! I didn't even have the heart to look at the Mr. Bill cake right side up after I saw the face!

*off to sleep off last night's latkes and gelt*

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

Um, hey, isn't the Dreidel, just upside down?

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

The dreidel cake isn't actually half-bad, once you flip the picture right-side up...upside-down, though, it definitely looks like a pyramid-headed Mr. Bill.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Sung to “Eight Days a Week” by the Beatles

Ooh it’s Chanaukah, Jen
Yes, you know it’s true
So put down the egg nog
And post a cake or two
Five points, plus one. Five points, plus one.
Happy Hanikrum (?) Jen
Eight days a year.

That could be a dreidel
Dierdre says it’s true
Let’s ask Mr. Sluggo
He might know it, too.
Frozen Always, Frozen Always
Chanooka gives you wings, Jen
Eight days a year.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

My favorite part about the six-pointed stars cake is the fact that they clearly gave up on spelling Hanukkah about half-way through. I'm surprised they bothered putting the sixth point on the stars at all. If I were they, after the spelling fail, I would have just left the five-pointed stars on it and tried to convince people there was a pagan winter holiday called Hanikrawun.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwellknell

My seven year old asked "why are kids making cakes?" And laughed when I said these are professional bakers. She thought the dreidel looked like a sad treehouse.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

It's a fact: no one knows how to spell Hannukkah! There's even a song on the subject!

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Chappy Channukah!

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBea

My first thought on the last one was, poor frozen teddy bear. Maxi pad never crossed my mind but then I'm old.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

The dreidel cake is upside-down. If you flip it, it is perfectly normal. Don't make fun of something if you don't understand what it's supposed to be... (See also: first menstruation cakes. Sorry, yes I had to go there.)

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

No gelt for these cakes,
but they might burn for eight nights.
Ignite them and see.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

Helpful tip: I always spell Hanukkah, C-h-a-a-n-n-u-k-k-a-h. This way it's almost correct to everyone and no one will be offended. If you don't care to follow my advice you may find this helpful link helpful:

Sharyn-In our home, the Chaannukkah song of choice has always been "Our Goyim Friends" by the LeeVees, but you've pushed it into second place!

And now, I have to go decorate my Khrissmaas tree. . .

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

The first cake is only a partial misspell. Adding a 'C' before Hanukkah is okay. The CH is pronounced like the Russian KH. That is how religious Jews and spell Hanukkah. but the 'A' does not belong there.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermimi

On second thought, I think I'll drag my tree into the bunker. It looks like it's going to be a bumpy
sixth night.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Well, speaking as someone actually named Deirdre, I've never had any spell-checker try to replace my name with "Dreidel." However,I have to say I think we'd get along really well. We can even compare and contrast our social anxiety, and maybe taste-test some cakes to see if they at least taste good. And I have egg nog.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre

I'm going into the Epcot Bunker until people stop pelting Jen with upside down dierd.. drie... dreidels. Who's bringing the latkes?

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElissa

As the late and hilarious Dennis Wolfberg once said, "Happy Chaka Khan!"

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

Oy vey!!

I feel like that first cake started with an "H" and someone yelled "NO! It's supposed to be spelled with a "C"!!!" so they added a capital C to it.. Or they're just a wreckerator

and I feel like I might have to settle myself into the Epcot bunker today, spin my upside down dreidel and wait 8 days and nights to come out....

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstaxia

This is much more entertaining than checking research papers for plagiarism.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

*facepalm* Yes, I'm fairly certain she realizes the dreidel cake is upside-down. That doesn't make it any less funny in its current orientation. Also, it's her blog to do with as she please (see definition of "wreck" that has so conveniently been placed in the right column). Ease up & relax. Maybe a nice slice of sanitary pad will cheer you up.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda H.

I'm not Jewish, but even I figured out years ago that the Star of David could be drawn easily* with two triangles.

*Not for the bakers shown.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDani

Hey Craig, 4 of the 11 comments so far... (before moderation) You might get your wish!

Sharyn, I almost fell out of my chair dancing to your song, then snorted hot coffee outta my nose with "Frozen Always, Frozen Always - Chanooka gives you wings, Jen" OUCH!

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJodee in WA

Giant Lol @ Melissa. I love how kids respond to these cake shenanigans. There's always some truth from the mouth of babes. :)

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAriela HvM

@Amanda H ~ I've been trying not to throw up all morning. Your comment... that one put me over the edge. (wandering to the bunker to fix my make-up now)

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJodee in WA

"Please gather only what you need before filing into the Bunker in single file. Please be ready to turn off all electronic devices, as there is no Googling or Wikipeding in the Bunker. You are responsible for your own tub of cheese balls while in the Bunker."

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

Don't forget to bring your own beverage to the bunker! I made my own coffee liqueur and I'm not sharing!

Now I feel the need to lob a grenade...What's a dreidel?

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim in ID

I disagree, David. Flipping the dreidel right side up does not make it perfectly normal. I know no dreidel's that have a cheit instead of a hey. And it's funnier to see sad Mr. Bill than explain the finer points of the Hebrew alphabet, in my personal opinion.

Let’s just all agree to overcome our differences and focus on what’s important.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelonie

So am I alone in thinking the last one looks like a sideways teddy bear with a square over it's heart and an between it's legs? Yes? No?

Have I had too much eggnog? Do I need more eggnog? The questions raised by CakeWrecks appear to be endless...

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarrieG

**Head tilt** (blinkblink)...

Um... I think that last one's supposed to be a TeddyPortal (tm).

The snowflake is a lie.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma

Kim in ID: I'm sorry, but Rule 72 states that if you bring coffee liqueur into the bunker you must share.
With me.
Only with me.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Cake #3 is clearly a picket sign protesting the use of Pi in math, as the Pi symbol is upside down. (A cake that protests Pi...sweet, sweet irony!)

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

I had a little cake wreck
Spelled dreidel with no D.
It's really not so bad though,
It's not a CCC (PATOOIE.)
CakeWreck, CakeWreck, CakeWreck,
It's not a CCC
CakeWreck, CakeWreck, CakeWreck,
Now bunker down with me.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

So while I'm not Jewish, I'm pretty sure they don't have balloons at a Happy Hanikorum celebration... At least I assume those are balloons there with the 5+late addition point stars--the back two look sort of like balloons, the others look like the supposed strings are trying to make their way into the cake by burrowing through the supposed balloons. Maybe they recognized the wreck they were on and are trying to hide?

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTwinMom

Well, guess it's a good thing Theadare had me take down my sparring cage or there wouldn't be enough room in the bunker for everyone! I have allergen-free treats & vegan egg nog! And "safe" latkes (as my allergic son calls them) ;-)

@ Kim in ID - I still have my kick shield & punching bag - how about a little workout to release the anger *safely*, huh?! ;-) Or maybe a little sparring?! Self-defense drills, anyone?

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

@Kim in ID: A dreidel is a four-sided top traditionally used to gamble for chocolate coins. Each side has a letter: Nun, Gimel, Hey, Shin (or Pey, in Israel), which stands for "Nes gadol hayah sham/po", "A great miracle happened there/here."

The miracle that usually takes center stage is the "miracle of the oil", in which there was (according to the story) only enough undefiled oil for one day, and it would take days to make more, but they burned it anyway, and it lasted for eight, long enough to make more. (Personally, I think it's kind of a miracle that they ended up winning against these waves and waves of armies intent on stopping them from obeying the Word.

One story I've heard about the origin of the dreidel is that, when Jews were forbidden to study Torah, they'd do it anyway, but when someone came to look in, they'd pretend to be gambling, and thus not get caught.

You could say "Nes gadol chayah sham (or "po", as stated)", but I'm not so sure the grammar is correct. I'm sure the meaning is different, though...

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNyperold

Ahem, ahem. Official native speaker of Hebrew here. I endorse Mimiheart's comment: Even when the dreidel is upside down, it still has a ח (chet) on it rather than the ה you'd expect.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSkeptic

Technically speaking, there is no correct way of spelling 'Chanukah' (or 'dreidel' for that matter!). Being Hebrew words, any spelling that uses the Roman alphabet is just a phonetic interpretation anyway...

Now, if only the same could be said for a star.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE

What gets me most is the last cake:

Plastic flotsam - check
Bad airbrushing - check
Glitter - check
Re-uised BEAR pan and tried to turn it into a snowflake - check


December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDelphine

Jen, do you know ahead of time which cakes will trigger an Epcot? Or is it always a beautiful surprise? I've always wondered.

PS. That driedel is upside-down.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBB, Miami

Will there be a masseuse in the bunker? Because I swear my fourth finger is curling from holding my grading pen.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

There's a bunker? (Sorry. I'll go sit in the secondary bunker now.)

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

All these years, and I've never been in the bunker. I hope it has high ceilings (Amazonian Goddess, here). I am allergic to cats, though, so this could be interesting. Does Theadare shed?

As for the last "cake", if that is what Always had in mind when they printed "Have a Happy Period" on their products, they should have coupons for free cake with every box. Just sayin'.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh

Hey, now, at least YOUR spell check registers "Deirdre" as a word at name is Deirdre and my spellcheck must be allergic to me. I have an Irish surname, as well.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre!

I think the letter on the dreidel looks more like Pi (π) or a Japanese Torii gate than any Hebrew letter I've seen.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWill

I'm with Mimi and Skeptic, and of course Jen-- that dreidel features a letter that should not ever be on a dreidel! Which makes it a wreck, although a bizarre one in that the wreckerator knew the Hebrew alphabet! Or math (good line, Misty).

(Kim in ID-- a dreidel is a top, with four letters printed on the sides; they are the first letters in the Hebrew words for "[A] great miracle happened there" (or here, if one is in Israel). Dreidels are spun in a game, but... actually, I've never played it, so not sure the rules, beyond that it involves chocolate coins, raisins and almonds! My family was more into the eating of latkes and sufganiot-- doughnuts-- and singing of the songs than games).

Subee, love your song. Sharyn has competition, today :)

At risk of creating another Bunker moment: In English, I spell Hanukkah without the CH because I've heard more than a few unfortunate non-Hebrew speakers pronounce it like the ch in "change". Saying an "h" won't embarrass them if they can't get the guttural sound right.

And one question: wouldn't it make more sense to decorate a doughnut? or to put TimBits on top of the cakes, if one is doing a cake for Hanukkah???

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAliza

That dreidel cake looks exactly like the little logo on my box of colorforms...yes I still have my colorforms...SO?

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanni

There are many correct ways to spell "Hanukkah". "Chanaukah" is not one of them.

But that dreidel cake would be lovely if it weren't upside-down.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I'm just surprised no one has asked Jen what exactly it is she's doing, and where, that she has to put her pants back on and take her eggnog with her? and how come I wasn't invited?

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDegera

Like others, I'm amazed the bakers could mess up such an easy shape like the six-pointed star. Have they never seen one? Yes, just make it with a triangle pointing up and a triangle pointing down.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

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