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

Sunday Sweets: Art Deco

If you've ever been to South Beach in Miami and cooed over the candy-colored buildings, then odds are you're an Art Deco fan. See? Just like that, you're a reader of uniquely refined taste! So hold that pinky high while you're swigging that Diet Coke, and let's take a look at some of the world's Sweetest Art Deco wedding cakes.

By Sugar Art By Tami

Not only is this cake design amazing, I'm also really digging that topper. Who knew Calla lilies and a little wire could look so glamorous?


You're going to be tempted to think this next one is some kind of fancy jewelry box, but trust me: it's cake.

By Lyn Rees of Lyn's Cake Creations

Each of those panels and end pieces was made using an icing technique known as run-in, or flood work. When it dries it becomes hard and smooth like porcelain - but about a hundred times more fragile. Frankly, I don't know how Lyn managed those delicate lines in the top box:

Photo by Cake4ever



Of course avocado green isn't for everyone, so to make Art Deco truly timeless, just take away the color:

By Sucre Coeur

Would you look at the texture on those bottom tiers?! After staring at it in full-size for a while, I think it's made up of hundreds of tiny paper fans - presumably edible paper -layered over the icing. And with those jewelry designs on the top tiers, it kind of brings to mind a feathery flapper dress, don't you think?


And speaking of feathery flapper dresses...

By Cake Central member McLin

This design was completely hand-painted, with hand-piped "pearls" and 3D sculpted gumpaste "feathers." I especially like the colors; it's like an old fashioned black and white photograph with parts of it colorized.


Of course, a little Deco can also look surprisingly modern:

Made by Jo-Ann Edwards, found here

This couple used a piece of Art Deco jewelry - the Butler & Wilson brooch "The Dancing Couple"- for their cake topper, and the cake ties it in beautifully with those stylized fans and clean, bold lines.


This one reminds me of all those grand old movie palaces from the 1930s:

Photo by Jose Villa Photography, baker unknown

Can't you just imagine an illuminated marquee above the bottom tier? And, come to think of it, wouldn't that be a fun way to tie in the couple's names?


I honestly can't decide if this next one is more Art Deco or 60s mod...but then again, Deco *did* come back in style during the 60s, so maybe it's both?

By Jan Kish

Whichever it is, it's pretty darn cool. The sheen on those flowers really makes them look like metal!


Here's another beauty straight out of old Hollywood:

By Martha Stewart Weddings

I hope the bride wore her hair in pin curls. And her dress was some slinky satin number with a big fluffy fur stole. (But not a real fur stole; that's cruel.) And I hope the DJ played "Puttin' on the Ritz" like, a million times.


You really can't get much more Art Deco than this:

By The Bakery Cottage

Talk about a piece of art! Are they flames or leaves?


This next one's so big it's kind of hard to see all the detail:

By Sugar Realm

So here's a closeup:

Look at all those shimmering metallics! And did you see that the silver sections are actuallly filled with silver dragees? That must have taken FOREVER to do.


This next one is one of my favorite Art Deco cakes EVER:

Submitted by Hayley P. via the DISboards and made by Disney Weddings.

That center column is like a stylized paper waterfall - and it lights up! I just love the colors, and the sun emblem at the top, and those little jut-outs on the bottom tier - so much great detal!


And finally, here's what I like to think of as "Venice meets the Chrysler building":

By Rosebud Cakes

Look at this perfection! LOOK AT IT!!


Ok, now you can go enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Toodles!


Have a Sweet to nominate? Then send it to Sunday Sweets [at] Cake Wrecks [dot] com!

« The Greatest Unintentional Movie Homage OF ALL TIME | Main | Cake Wrecks Gets the Munchies »

Reader Comments (47)

Oh such glamorous cakes, i'd hate to cut into them :D

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

The gold and silver first thought was that they had made it out of marcasite, which was very popular in art deco jewelry. Icing, that looks like marcasite. AMAZING!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeyond I Do

I'm not much for art deco, but these cakes are AMAZING! I usually decorate a cake for my kids' birthdays - I've done flooding, frozen buttercream transfers, etc., but nothing like this. I can't even begin to imagine just how cramped your hand would get from all that piping!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth A.

I just adore Art Deco and todays sweets are just amazing.
Fantastic,adorabale and worthy of a Buzby Berkley dance number.

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdiddleymaz

The Art Deco period is my favorite and these cakes are amazing. I think I love all of them except the gold ones - and the flames/leaves one looks like something that would make Busby Berkely proud. Just pure wonderfulness all around.

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMissy

After years of lurking, I had to come out of my hidey-hole to comment on this post, because O.M.G. GORGEOUS! I adore the art deco style, and these are just fantastic!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

It's my birthday today and I'm imagining that second cake is my birthday cake. Because I'm that special. Also delusional.

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPersephone

Cake Wrecks gets a +1 WIN for the Barenaked Ladies reference in your post :)

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterApathygrrl

"And I hope the DJ played "Puttin' on the Ritz" like, a million times."
Now I officially adore you.
That's all.

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Maybe instead of a fur stole, the bride wore a green dress (but not a real green dress—that's cruel!).

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaitlyn

That run in flood work, being it's brittle and all, know what that makes me wonder?

When you cut a piece, does this kind of icing just make one long cut that jumps ahead of the knife, or does it shatter like porcelain into a thousand pieces all over the place?

Anyone who actually cut it know?

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJo

I can't even choose my favorite. I'm in amazement at how crisp some of the lines work- I know how hard that is!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

Amazing! One of my favorite Sunday Sweets yet! (I look forward to this and PostSecret every Sunday!!)

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Maybe marcel waves rather than pin curls ;-).

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNorine

WoW. Gots to love that art deco. Is that second cake based on the opening credits (at least the old opening credits) for Mystery! on PBS?

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDina

i absolutely hate art deco but i appreciate that these cakes are very well made (especially the gold and silver one wow!) and i now have the barenaked ladies stuck in my head which will make my work day go by so much faster!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermonchichimommy

So much gorgeousness! My only complaint is if any of these cakes were mine I'd weep when they brought out the knife and started cutting! I'd want to shellac them and keep them for ever and ever and ever and ever and...

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAprilK

If you look carefully at sucre coeur's cake, it is a dress! The top layer is the necklace; second is the bodice; bottom is swishy goodness!
All are simply ah-mazing!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBumblesnbees

OMG. These are amazing. The patience it must take.
Thank you for this web site. I like the 'wrecks' but I really love the great cakes, like these, that you post.

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Wheaton, IL

I love that you posted Art Deco! Please please please have an Art Nouveau Sunday Sweets someday!!!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertrescha

I'd really like to see more NON-fondant cake praising. While there is talent involved for sure, it isn't a feat to create something in fondant.

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle


April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

Made me want to play Bioshock. The designs of the buildings and walls were my favorite part!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

I didn't realize I was a big art deco fan, but now I'm ready to run out and proclaim my love to the world. These cakes are breathtaking!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEve

Great post, Jen! My favorite is the "jewelry box" cake. I can't even imagine how they did all that fine detail, whether it is hand painted or run-in or any other method. That is talent no matter how it was done!
I also like the white "flapper" dress. That is exactly what it looks like with those "paper fans" as ruffles. Love it, love it, love it!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarnieB

I do NOT like Martha Stewart but i do like the style and elegance of the Martha Stewart cake. If she could only learn from her cakes ;) lol

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersheila anderson

I want them all.

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVivienne

Oh, wow, these are amazing. What a great theme for Sunday Sweets! I would never be able to eat any of them!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

Incredible Art Deco gorgeousness...? Cool enough all on its own. But...add in a Bare Naked Ladies reference? Extra-happy dance for that one!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhappy Canadian girl

The bride definitely wouldn't be wearing a real green dress, nor a fur coat, that'd be cruel, but she'd definitely want some art (especially a Picasso or a Garfunkel), and sit up in the tree house in her wedding dress eating pre-wrapped sausages. <3 BNL!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermistiqueallie

I've always loved art deco! Seriously those 20s/30sarchitects were ahead of their time because the style is soooo modern! I live near Hollywood and by golly some of the older buildings there are so retro and gorgeous with their art deco selves!! You see a good amount of old buildings that are art deco in LA and guys, if you like the way the empire state building looks, that's art deco too! Damnt Jen, you brought out the architecture nerd in me!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLight of Mary

It is so hard to pick just one favourite cake. They are all STUNNING.
Bare Naked Ladies rule (almost as much as Bare Naked Fillion).
I know a Doctor who would love all of the edible ball bearings.

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjeliecam

These cakes are just lovely...but I am biased as one of them belongs to my mother. :)
As for the comment on fondant not being a work of art and buttercream harder to work in...these cakes are no "Cakes for dummies" kits they bought at the store. They took just as much time, if not more, to create then a buttercream based cake, and I am sure the buttercream hidden under the fondant and artwork is just as delicious as the cake that lacks the fondant base to bring the cake into modern times.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

It's hard to comment on Sunday Sweets because beyond the standard "Wow!" I usually don't have much to say. I do love the waterfall effect on the final cake, and the gumpaste feathers on McLin's cake which perfectly incapsulate the nature of feathers. I know it's not cake, but the dancing couple brooch makes me happy because . . . the guy has as much emphasis as the gal!

Happy Shakespeare's birth-and-death day! Shakespeare lovers can celebrate his life, and Shakespeare haters, his death. Something for everyone!

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

Anyone else here old enough to remember Taco's version of "Puttin' on the Ritz"?

These cakes are just ... beyond words. <Does "I am not worthy" bow.>

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJules

The theme for the 2013 National Capital Area Cake show is Art Deco for wedding cakes. Thanks for these inspirations!

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

Wow these were gorgeous, as usual. The flapper girl cake by McLin reminds me of Phryne Fisher - any Aussies out there will probably know who I'm talking about :D

I love Art Deco, but as I was drooling over the gorgeousness, I thought to myself: "Art Nouveau would be a wonderful Sunday Sweets theme," so I second trescha's comment.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWolverine Girl

The last one looks like it was inspired by Roger deBris' dress in The Producers. In a very good way, of course.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristi

Christi, you are absolutely right about the last one looking like that dress!

From the first cake on, I was seriously flashing back to our vacation in New York and visit to the Empire State building last summer.

I was also hearing the PBS Mystery! theme and expecting Hercule Poirot or Lord Peter Wimsey to show up. :-)

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

OH! I love me some Art Deco! Wondering how I can make that black and white cake and use part of it to make a stencil for my living room wall... did that make sense?

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Oh. My. Gosh. These are fabulous, and amazing, and... I'm rendered speechless. I'm a huge Art Deco fan, and these are making me SQUEE! The movie palace throwback is begging for a marquee, and Jen, your idea to incorporate the wedding couple's names is brilliant - as usual! The second cake in green is gorgeous - the lines and angles, the shapes, all of it is magnificent.

My favorite NYC building is the Chrysler Building - I know, everyone is supposed to like the Empire State Building best, but the design and lines and aluminum shininess of the Chrysler Building is beautiful to me. Makes me want to go back...

If my husband and I ever have a great big crazy anniversary party, a cake styled like one of these would be awesome to have. Now if I could only convince my hubby one of these works of art is worth the money...

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie

I've done floodwork, as was used in the "jewelry box" cake near the top. It is incredibly difficult, and what I was doing was not even close to as detailed as this cake! My hand shakes just thinking of trying to do something so fine! Huge props to the baker, she does amazing work!

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara

barenaked ladies!!!! oh, yeah, and the sunday sweets, too. :)

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkate

Thanks so much for featuring our cake in your Art Deco Sunday Sweets - very exciting. Just a wee note the fans on the bottom two tiers of the cake were all made from gumpaste rolled really fine and then cut and folded - a little like icing origami!

April 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSucre Coeur

Here's what I thought of when I saw my favorite cakes:
1. Lilly Topper Cake: I love the white, black, and purple color combo! I wnat a cake like that!
4. Eats and Ink Cake: The frosting at the bottom looks like a sugar wave riding to the cake's side.
6. Modern Cake: It's so elegant! The black designs on white go perfectly with the bright pink flowers.
8. Gold Flowers Cake: They're wonderful! But they kind of remind me of a picture in my science book showing nail cells... ew.
10. Flames or leaves Cake: I'm pretty sure they're leaves. Isn't that also modern style?
13. Waterfall Cake: It looks like a glass window...
14. "Venice meets the Chrysler Building Cake: Oooh, pretty! ... So what's the Chrysler Building?
(-.-) ...

April 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatWag

"Don't worry Roger. That building has never looked more you." I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who thought that.

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelticat

Jen, I had no idea you were interested in Art Deco. These are AMAZING cakes. If you ever find yourself in Michigan on a book tour, you have to check out the Guardian building in Detroit. It's an incredible Art Deco/Aztec themed building. I found a youtube video (it's trying to lease office space in the building, so not totally relevant, but gives you an idea.)

April 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

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