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

Great Expectations

It's been a while since we compared the pictures in the order book to what you actually get from a bakery, so let's mosey on through those rose gardens of hope into the harsh, sweat-stained armpits of reality, shall we?


What you order:

What you get:

What, no toy? I'd say you got burned, Gabe, but it looks more like you got ketchup-smeared.



What you order:

What you get:

I've seen worse.


What you order:

What you get:

This is worse.


Ever wonder what happens when the cake you want requires airbrushing, and the bakery doesn't have an airbrush?

What you order:

What you get:

And they said you'd never use those finger-painting skills in "the real world." Ha! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to check on my paper cup Lima bean garden...


What you order:

What you get:

Let's just hope it's not contagious.


Thanks to Adina W., Koutny L., Desiree B., Jill W., & Shelly R. for helping inspire my new band name: El Festering Pustulés. It really POPS, don't you think?

(Fun fact: Shelly R. paid $80 for that Dora cake. Eighty. Dollars.)

« Hey Dad, Guess What! | Main | Sunday Sweets: Avengers, Assemble! »

Reader Comments (61)

I hope it's not contagious, 'cause one of Dora's eyes is upside-down.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdoodlebug

Sung to “I Can See Clearly Now” (as you can clearly see…)

I can see clearly now, your brain is gone
That’s not the cake that you were supposed to bake
Gone is the truck that should have come to mind
Instead I got a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Ketchupy cake.

It’s easy to see it now, your brain is gone
Any innate talents have disappeared
Is that the Tron cake I’ve been waiting for?
This can’t be right (right), right (right)
It’s a mistake.

Look all around, Tiana’s been nuked, guys
Collapsing swamp cake, burning out my eyes

I can see clearly now, your brain is gone
"Hello Kitty" is saying "goodbye" today
Boots has passed monkey pox to humankind
That’s 80 bucks? (bucks?), bucks? (bucks?)
Not gonna pay.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Now if I had made that Dora cake, I'd be really pleased with it but then I don't claim to be a professional baker...however, if I was paying an almighty $80 for it, now that's a whole different case of rampaging hives....

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

The first one is clearly red sea anemones. The truck transforms into invetebrates, right?

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Boy, Dora really pissed off that hive of tracker jackers, didn't she?

$80? Really? Dude, you could have bought two sheet cakes for that.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelonie

The saddest part about these kinds of cakes is that the originals look, relatively speaking, REALLY GOSH-DARNED EASY. Like, "this is a rectangular sheet cake that requires only basic cake-decorating skills and relies heavily on plastic flotsam, and is something that should be well within the capabilities of any professional baker". The kind of thing you'd order thinking it was the "safe bet".
Instead... well, the water for the Princess and the Frog cake turned out just like the picture! Too bad it ended up on the Hello Kitty cake.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrizzy

Sharyn, bwahahaha XD why and HOW could anyone pay for those-I could do better, and i'm not a baker D:

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Holy Herpes Sienna! Happy Birthday to you!

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMB

I find the wrecked Tiana cake way more interesting than the original.
Whatyouordered Tiana is just standing around in that pastel colored sissy-swamp. You just know it smells like lilacs and has its own nauseating soundtrack. The swamp creatures are intelligent, loving, kind and boring. She'll go on to lead a terribly average princess life. Yes, she'll be happy.
But not really.
Now, Whatyouget Tiana is an adventurous broad in an inappropriate dress. Face it "her" swamp smells of death. The only sounds are cries of suffering and lost hope. The swamp creatures want her dead. Hell, even the water lilies are out to get her (not to mention the sprinkles.) Whatyouget Tiana will need to muster every ounce of strength and resilience in order to simply survive. If she does indeed survive, she'll go on to live a life of strong, self-sufficient, non-princessy woman. She may even get rid of the dress.

I think the same might be said of Hello Kitty, but I've already said too much.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

What IS it about Dora cakes? They seem to be guaranteed to be wrecks. Is it the odd shape of her head? Her skin tone? I think there needs to be a Dora moratorium--a Doratorium? I just don't think I can survive seeing another one.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Who knew that Dippin' Dots had extended its brand to frosting? Or that this new product line would be so effective for dermatologically themed cakes?

I'm also following Dora's map to the plethora of other cakes that can be made from the Pan-Dora® - don't open that box!™ I foresee lollipops, teeth, and the Rolling Stones tongue-sticking-out logo. (Come on, don't tell me you don't see it!)

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDB

Pobrecita Dora! She has to be one of the most maligned cartoon characters, at least where wrecks are concerned. Wreckers just seem to find new ways to wreck our little latina friend every day. Wreckers, you can stop now, you've reached the pain. Old (and young) women are screaming, "My God what is that THING!"

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

@SuBee: I hope I live the kind of life where "an adventurous broad in an innappropriate dress" would be a fitting epitath. What a great phrase.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I actually don't think the "What-You-Got" Hello Kitty cake is a wreck--it's just different from the original. But it is a nice enough cake in its own right, and if you had never seen the first, you wouldn't call it a wreck. But Dora--shudder! Did Swiper get tired of all the scoldings and resort to biochemical warfare?

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

Finger painting? Come on, now; you and I both know the wreckerator created that masterpiece with his tongue.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

There is absolutely no question in my mind that dora is made of packing peanuts.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFsurica

OH SILENT NIGHT. *revisits breakfast*

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

W1 Any fleeting resemblance to the sample is coincidental -- the customer ordered a lava cake. Thank goodness the bakery was out of lava that day.

W2 Is the deformation of the cake an indication of the force with which the flotsam was applied?

W3 Let's face it -- the samples are made by elves skilled professionals who have nothing else to do and as much time as they need to get it perfect. All of which still doesn't explain this.

W4 In addition to airbrushing (let's be honest -- an unskilled attempt at that would have been far worse), the sample includes other advanced techniques, such as using more than one tip on the piping bag. There also seems to be a size discrepancy. "This cake serves 20, but I have 30 kids. I personally don't have 30 kids, but there will be 30 kids at the party. If you think making the portions smaller will work, I suggest we trade jobs for this gig."

W5 The wreckorator is studying pontilism in art class and had to give it a try. A possible explanation for the amount paid (or why anything was paid): "We can try to clean it up, but this is the closest we've ever come to the sample. So the question is, 'do you feel lucky'."

I strongly second the Doratorium.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

If anyone ever asks me for a Dora cake, I may just run screaming into the night. Though, I know for a fact I could do better than that monstrosity.

I think Rae Ann was probably very pleased with her "hello kitty" cake, though it wasn't quite the original. Interesting, but still not bad, certainly not on the level :bad: can get here on CW...

I, also, love the "adventurous broad in an innappropriate dress" line -- perfection in prose.

Speaking of prose - Sharyn, you've done it again. Your songs stick in my head more than messily covered icing wrecks ever could!

Thank you CW for adding horror to my day - now I don't have to watch the flicks with my son. I can honestly tell him "I've seen enough"!

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDi

Gabe's cake is even BETTER than the Whatyouorder cake! It has the Flying Spaghetti Monster (hallowed be thy Sauce) reaching out his noodly appendages to wish Gabe a happy birthday!

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeeshybee

The Tron cake was obviously well planned. Not only is it bulging out in certain spots, but you can tell real thought went into the placement of the name "Stephen".

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBergan

If I were Shelly, I would have taken my own spatula and smoothed that out. I may smear it up a bit, but at least my 5-year-old won't be having nightmares for the rest of the week.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Attention, please, Theardare is seeking the whereabouts of one 'SarahCVT'.

If I don't know, he can't hold it against me. Right? Besides, I've already been through the 'Manilow treatment'. Maybe I'm immune, now. Yeah, that's it.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

@Craig: Don't worry. The wreckerator for the Tron cake has aided SaraCVT in her escape by baking Theardare INTO the Whatyouget Tron Cake, as you can see by the bulging sides. It won't take long for him to escape, though.

Everyone please remain calm, put on your kevlar vest and head to the bunker in an orderly fashion.

This is not a drill.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

My question is this - WHAT IS TRYING TO ESCAPE FROM THE TRON CAKE?!?!? *hides*

Thank goodness for @Sharyn's songs or I would be overtaken by the sadness that these cakes cause!

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrnEyes6

Nevermind the hives all over Dora's face, someone get the bug spray for whatever insects are swarming all over her shorts!

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

I love this post because the comments are as funny as the wrecks.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergrammy

How HOW can someone screw up Star Tipping????? That Dora cake makes the Clowns of my nightmares cringe with fear.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindaK

The sad thing is? Dora's hives could have been avoided if the tip hadn't been so big. Instead, bet her the benadryl!

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvy_Wolfe

No wonder Dora looks so rough . . . she must be going into a diabetic coma!! Aren't those jelly beans around the cake and some sort of other sugary candies on the cake?!?!?!?

Looks like something I attempted to make (quite pitifully I might add) when my son was little and as a single mom I had little $$ to order a professional cake. However, if I could have gotten $80 for my cakes, I would have continued to wreck on!!

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDarlene

What did they use to put on Dora? Jelly beans?

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBea

@DB: I didn't see your examples, but I do think the wreckerator could use the form for bachelorette parties - if you turn it upside down.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCybrczch

SuBee, I want to hear about the Hello Kitty cake! Your take on the Swamp O' Doom had me giggling hyterically.

Sharyn, I can't hear that song without thinking about the movie Grosse Pointe Blank, which seems fitting, since I think taking a gun to these wrecks might improve them dramatically.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDegera

I love how the really adorable lily pad flowers have changed to nightmare-claws reaching up from the inky depths to drag the princess to her doom.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkarla t

@Craig: Let me offer a belated thank you for your lovely welcome to the Songwriter's Guild of Cake Wrecks Land (posted Friday). I will try not to abuse my position nor bring shame to the other members of the guild, especially not our guildmistress, The Supreme Queen Songstress of Lyr-Wrecks.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

@Andrea, my computer is most glad that I wasn't drinking anything when I read your comment about Theardare.

El Festering Pustules is on my bucket list. Not that bucket list, the list of things that might cause me to need a bucket.

@Degera, now you know why Theardare packs heat. One of the reasons, anyway. He obviously wasn't carrying when he encountered the wrecker of the wannabe Tron cake. See if he makes that mistake twice.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Craig, you have obviously invented a Mind Reading machine to go with your Un-See machine. I was reading through all the Dora hypotheses and thought, hey, no one's said anything about how it resembles a Monet or Seurat masterpiece! Perhaps the Wreckerator had once dreamed of success as an artist, painting & selling works of Artistic Greatness. Alas, the Juilliard School took one look at at said Artist's portfolio & threatened to have the Wreckerator black-listed, crushing our would-be artist. All was lost, and our poor Wreckerator despaired of ever expressing his/her artistic impulses ever again...until s/he realized that s/he could fulfill those deferred dreams and still make a living as... an independent cake decorator! (can't be the local grocery store - would be eight dollars, not eighty!)

So that was my idea (until Craig stole it while I was dealing with a sudden migraine & my 8-yr old earlier today) ...and that's why Theardare is in the Tron cake...waiting to pounce on Craig! After Theardare woke up from his saucer of sleeping pill milk several posts back, I re-built him, re-trained him & genetically re-engineered him. ( that out of order? Oops.) Anyway, I am the master & he is my loyal Ninja kitty. Go get 'im, Theardare!!

(melts silently back into the shadows...)

@Craig: (whispered melodically from the shadows) It's not too late to say you're sorry... I can still recall Theardare...;-)

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

NGAAAH! x 5. I actually pushed back from the computer when I scrolled to Dora with Hives.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergobbler

Dora has no nose! ...and her arms..why have they shrunk? Truly this is a dread disease or a cloning experiment gone VERY wrong. But seriously - even the rectangular cakes? Why do so many of them have lumps on the sides? My dogs could have done better & they don't have thumbs.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJus

Poor Dora looks like she has smallpox - maybe she should have gotten immunized before going exploring.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhoebe

Did you know it's REALLY hard to brainwash a cat? Fear not, everyone, I'm faking the whole "loyal ninja kitty" thing. (I would never trade in my machine gun for a katana...) I have my reasons -- and KarateLady is training up VERY nicely indeed. (Bwahahahahaha.) Oh, and that wasn't me in the cake -- but don't you wonder what I was doing during the time you thought I was in there?

I'll never tell.

I never drank the spiked milk, either. The cat KarateLady went all Steve Austin on? Never happened -- but she thinks it did. You got Craig out because I wanted Craig out. He amuses me, and keeps the bunker stocked with my favorite crunchy treats. (He's one of my favorite subcreatures..)

My plans for world domination continue apace. Now excuse me. I need to alter KarateLady's memories. Again.


June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheardare

Is it just me or is Hello Kitty stuck on a deserted island with a dangerous reef and circling sharks? And what does that say about the poor birthday girl? Are they going to send her to sleep with the fishes after the party??

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMoe

That's $80 that I would NOT be paying for that cake! It's scary and disturbing and I wouldn't want to eat it or see the face of the poor little girl who got that instead of the one she was expecting

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSabriam Loll

The Dora cake was made from a Wilton character shaped pan which says on the label that is for home use only not to be used commercially (ie. for money) .So that tells me that this was done by one of those home bakers that see a few TV shows take a couple classes and think they can call themselves professionals. No commercial bakery would do that cake. I've been decorating for 20 years and have seen lots of cake designs come and go, and yes I've done all of these , except the Dora one of course. (Although, I think my customers were a lot more satisfied). I do have to say most of the designs they come up with are not that great and trying to make them look "exactly like the picture" can be downright annoying for a lot of reasons. Not to mention I get one shot and photoshopping isn't one of them. Sometimes the simplest looking cake designs are the hardest because any booboo is glaringly noticeable. And lets face it we all have to start somewhere, hopefully there will be improvement down the road. That said it sucks to order a cake and find out it was done by the rookie in the shop.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNorthstar

Well that Hello Kitty cake isn't too bad. I kind of think it's cute. But I will run in terror from Dora. I have never seen the show but I am learning much from this site. Mainly that when she is in cake form I should just run like heck out of the bakery. Lol.

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

@KarateLady -- (whispering) The call is coming from inside the blog...

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

What must new visitors to this site think when they venture into the comments. You 'guys' crack me up. I'll echo others and say that can be a real help at times.

@KarateLady, am I apologizing for 'stealing' the pontilist reference? Well, ok, but I'd rather charge it to GMTA.

Yo, Theardare -- tell 'em, lolcat!

Someone ought to check the bunker basement. Just sayin', because that's what they usually do in spooky movies. Or the attic or the fr-fr-fruit cellar.

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Someone in high places has been reading your bolg ;)

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentera

Are those jelly beans around the base of Dora?

This happens every week, I read Sunday sweets and once again feel all is right in the cake world and then BAM I get side swiped when I read Monday......sigh....

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah K

You made a six-year-old's day! (Of Dora, she said, "What are all those CIRCLES? Why don't they SMOOTH THEM OUT?") Thanks, Jen (and John)!

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErin in Burbank

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>