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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

Grad Tidings of Great "Oy!"

Graduation season is ramping up, and you know what that means: time to brush up on the proper spellings of "congratulations," "graduation," and that perennial head-scratcher: "yay."

 Just when you thought you'd skipped all the hard words...


I'm not sure why bakers insist on mashing up the words "congratulations" and "graduation," but eventually you've seen so many crazy combinations that even this starts to look right:



Or this:


Or... well, ok, this one's a stretch:

This made me cackle for a solid fifteen seconds. Then I had to type it out, and that made me snorfle for another twenty:

"Cogngrtaualtons Wicssaset Gardautes"

(I looked it up, and there's a Wiscasset in Maine - meaning all three words are misspelled. OPA!!)


Still, no matter how butchered your graduation cake may be, just remember: the "tossel" is ALWAYS worth the "hostle."

  And that laugh was totally worth the $27.99. 

 Assuming someone else paid.

 (What do you suppose the second line looked like before they "fixed" it?)


Cungalulations to today's wreckporters Elizabeth M., Reta W., Michelle W., Yvette A., & Lizzie and Taylor. You may now all throw your wrecks in the air and convene at the nearest Chili's for lunch.


« Reading Comprehension -101 | Main | A Comic Situation »

Reader Comments (80)

#1- Just plain sad.
#2- Did they use the "underneat that" cake as a reference?
#3- Seems to be missing quotation marks.
#4- I refuse to type it out. I might pass out from laughing.
#5- Um... at least it rhymes?

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

1. The Wreckporter who sent this had no idea how bad things could be.

2. I think "gladations" may not be a mistake. I can use it in a sentence: "Good morrow, my lady. Mayhaps I wish you kind gladations on this most spendid wreckery?"

C. Congratulations *should* be spelled "cungradulations." Though I suppose people would then misspell it as "congratulations."

D. "Cogngrtaualtons Wicssaset Gardautes." Is there any way you can look back and check this against other wrecks? I think it may be the worst (and by worst, I mean best,) inscription ever. I can't even begin to read it. It's simply fabyouluss.

# If you read this with a British accent, it is totally correct. Yes, that must be it-it was made for a British expat. See, her name is Abby. I believe that's a common name in England.

Cheerio mates.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

O-diploma (Sung to “Oklahoma!)

Oooooooo-diploma! Why do grads get cakes they can’t explain?
Half or quarter sheet
Let me repeat
The right way to spell those words again!!!

Sooooooo, diploma in my hand I see my cake and I
Stand aghast and gawk
And gasp with shock
Shake my head and ask the baker, “Why?”

You wrote out the order by hand
But the cake didn’t turn out as planned

And when I saaaaaaaay, “Yow!
Redo that cake todaaaaaay -- NOW!”
I know my cake’s a wreck, but I have my diploma
My diploma’s OK.

O. K. Get. That. Cake. Done. Today!

Oh Diploma! Yay!

Cogngrtaualtons Gardautes!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I've been sitting here trying to figure out how to pronounce "Cogngrtaualtons", but I can't stop laughing at it long enough to. Oh, my sides are hurting. ^o^

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarasu

Sharyn, have you already done "Celebrate Good Times?" If not, I nominate a parody named, "Gladuation Time," for today. :)

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScaperMama

Y'know, I actually feel bad for the wreckorator of #4. That's a serious case of dyslexia or some other language processing problem, which can be heartbraeakingly difficult to function with.

On the other hand, if your job involves spelling for public consumption, it's about time to come up with some coping strategies. Like a move to the deli, maybe.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

Okay here's what I want to know - do ANY of these "decorators" have supervisors or anything that actually check their work BEFORE a customer picks it up? I could see the first one slipping by someone but "Gradations/Gladations"? Seriously? And like Jen I too had a good chuckle just trying to sound out "Cogngrtaualtons Wicssaset Gardautes" but I'm going to give this person the benefit of the doubt by guessing that English is not their first language...and they're possibly dyslexic to boot. I too would like to know that last cake said before they "fixed" (if you can call it that since it's not doubt worse than the original!) it. Zoomom, Sharyn, mel, HaikuJoy, any guesses? :)

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrnEyes6

Oh my. O.o

Cake #4 MIGHT have made me cackle....but I was far, far too busy trying to figure out how to pronounce that! Someone, please inform the baker(s) that the English language is NOT supposed to work like that. -___-

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

Considering that Wiscasset, ME is the former home of that state's only nuclear power plant, maybe all that "loose radiation" affected this worker's brain cells.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMoxie Man

"Cogngrtaualtons..." is there any chance that that one was intentional? 0-out-of-3 is a bit surprising. Unless the decorator is not only dyslexic but in denial about it... it seems to me that there are too many letter swaps for plausibility.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Polowin

GrnEyes6 -- the last one is supposed to be "The tassel was worth the hassle", referring to the tassel on a graduation hat.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Polowin

Yah!! Teddy's cake made the wrecks!! That's my nephew's cake for pre-k.. we just figured that the wreckorator was just a Rastafarian...

"Yah, mon... pre-k.."

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstaxia

OPA!!!!!!!! I am Greek and not billingual but still I cannot pronounce WTF is on the cake #4

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScifimom

I'll bet the wreckerator for the last one thought it was a disco cake and it originally said "the Hustle".

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBubbe

Apparently, none of these wreckers have "gardulated"

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatti

@GrnEyes6 -- Some options:
it, fossil (for the older grad)
John Stossel
some wassail
a groin pull
the sock wool
being docile
your nostril
collateral esptoppel
getting jostled

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Cake No.4...if I can paraphrase a very old British comedy sketch:
'I HAVE written all the right letters...just not necessarily in the right order......'

And SueBee, even in a British accent cake No.5 is still incomprehensible!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

I'm full of gladulation that you're gradulated.

Cogngrtaualtons- head scratch. It is like a cognate for gradual relations. or a great Congo luau weighing tons.

What The Fork?!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwhat the fork.

Cogngrtaualtons/n/:1:a mash up of graduation and congradulations 2:a way of expressing "I want PIE!" on the planet Zanglfuzz

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPandaLove

Sharyn, your O-Diploma is OUTSTANDING! Kudos to you!

OMG, these cakes are horrendous.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSalannB

Assume the "gn" in "cogngrtaualtons" is like the one in "bologna," and the "aua" is like the one in "tauari"; so it's basically "conygerto'altons." Easy!

@ Patti: my mom, who graduated from high school at the top of her class, spells "cheese" C-H-E-S-S-E-E, and don't even get her started on longer words. Dyslexia and teacher's apathy are a potent combination.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

Maybe Abby had been an exchange student in London, and because she was poor she had to stay in youth hostels. And maybe Abby met a special someone over there. I only say that because Googling the word tossle shows that it's a British slang term for ... a special organ. And not the one at Westminster Abbey. So maybe, just maybe, it's a way of paying homage to her trip and how staying in less than ideal living conditions was worth the special reward she received.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelonie

I agree with Patti. None of these wreckorators have gladuated. :P

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranony mouse

What the...where are they hiring these people from?? Do they go looking for people by saying WE WANT TO GET ON CAKEWRECKS, SO ONLY THOSE WHO CANNOT SPELL WILL BE HIRED?! O_o

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

In second cake i wonder why they wrote "Good luck in college."??

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercooking for kids

I'm from Maine actually, and when I "read" #4 one of my first thoughts was, "Huh, I wonder if that's SUPPOSED to say Wiscasset?"

Yep, must be the radiation...

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTeish

Just putting it out there... It's actually spelled "YEA," not "yay."

[Editor's note- Actually, Jessica, I don't think you're right. The cake says "Yah Pre-K" so I assume that the "Yah" is an exclamation like "Hurray." In this case, I would spell it "Yay." Now if they were trying to say, "Yes" then it might be "Yeah" but there would probably be an h. Unless I'm wrong. In which case never mind. -john]

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

*looks around* HOW DID YOU KNOW ALL COLLEGE STUDENTS CONVENE AT CHILLI'S!? Who has told you our secret hiding place?! :D This was great!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

@GrnEyes6 - I have it on excellent authority that the cake in question originally said "The tossLe was worth about $2.50. Congrats. Abby!" implying that the education received was not such a valuable thing. "After all," the decorator was overheard to say, "I quit school in grade 5 and look how great I'm doing!"

As for the "Cogngrtaualtons Wicssaset Gardautes" cake, that order was obviously phoned in during the prom after-party.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterzoomom

1. Made by The Swedish Chef

2. Perhaps it took Jena a biiit longer than four years to graduate high school and they are congratulating her on her "gradations" (definition:..3. "advance by barely perceptible degrees")

3. Shouldn't that be "cungradulayshuns"?

4. "Congrats, All Y'all, Tons", in text-speak? Presumably, they got "2011" right at least.

5. The tossel was worth
Two in the bush
Congrats - Abby!
(it's a saying)

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea


June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPenny

OPA!! I think I'm seeing the next book cover. ;-)

Unless you do a wedding-themed book. Because that would be awesome, too.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh524

for #4 - was it from last year? or is the year wrong too? It IS 2012 now, right? I mean, I get my dates all messed up, but I'm not decorating cakes for public consumption....

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJolie

Number 4 is just too, too sad. Poor "Wiscasset, Maine". Please tell me that cake was NOT done by people who get paid for decorating is so sad.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNew England Flybaby

I was frankly shocked that "Congratulations" was actually spelled correctly on Cake #2. Did the wreckerator have a one-correct-word-per-cake limit?

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJules

#4 has got to be a joke. Nobody is THAT bad.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKafenervosa

John, I agree with your EC in Jessica's comment--I would spell it "yay" as in, "Yay! All of the words are spelled correctly on my cake!" and "yeah" as in, "Yeah, but you're not graduating; this was supposed to be a birthday cake."

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelindaB

I think the "decorator" of the first cake was trying to get into the spirit of Pre-K kids on the playground--"Yah-yah, Susie, I got the swings and you didn't!" We're just lucky the cake didn't say "Neener-Neener".

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT


I think it said "the tossel was worth the baby."

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

Out of sheer cussed curiosity, I went and looked up the meanings of "yay", "yeah", and "yea"... And here's what I learned:
yay [jeɪ] interj Informal an exclamation indicating approval, congratulation, or triumph [perhaps from yeah]

So then I looked up:

yeah  (y, y, y). adv. Informal. Yes. [Variant of yea.]

So then I went there:

yea  (y)
1. Yes; aye.
2. Indeed; truly: They have spoken, yea, shouted their reply.
1. An affirmative statement or vote.
2. One who votes affirmatively.
[Middle English, from Old English ga; see i- in Indo-European roots.]

So, evidently my use of "yay" all these years has been right... Yay! ;-)

#1 I was so bamboozled by these that I tried to read the second line of this one as 'Bre-K', as though it were a nickname (which still doesn't explain, 'yah'). Who graduates from pre-kindergarten, anyway? It's enough to send Bob Parr on another rant. (A kudos to anyone who gets the reference.)

#2 'Gradations' might be sarcastic, or it could be that Jenna did so well in her senior year of high school that college was a near-lateral move.

#3 It's time for a new piping bag when the font starts changing spontaneously.

#4 "Cogngrtaualtons Wicssaset Gardautes" is the motto of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, complaints division. Unfortunately, when rendered in cake, it means, 'go stick your head in a pig'. If SCC is anything like terrestrial bakeries companies, that is probably intentional.

Or maybe @PandaLove is right.

#5 This brings to mind a great* song of the disco era, the 'lyrics' of which consist solely of, "do the hustle!"

*By 'great', I mean 'greatly despised'.

Do the hostLe!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Awesome Sharyn - I love "Oklahoma", so I was able to sing that in tune (more or less)

**shaking head at today's education system re all the spelling errors on cakes. Just a thought, judging from the terrible handwriting, couldn't people be adding these messages to a plain store-bought cake, therefore it is not legitimate bakers who are the wreck orators?**

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermistiqueallie

Ah yes, Gladation. That noble coming of age rite in ancient Rome when young young gladiators would exit their training and be presented for the emperor, all saluting and proclaiming: "WE WHO ARE ABOUT TO WRECK SALUTE YOU!"

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFettFan84

"50 Ways" was playing in Michael's (aka "the place I spend all my money") this afternoon. This version practically wrote itself on the drive home:

Sung to “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”

It’s hard to spell that word correctly every day
No matter how I write it I think it’s OK
I’m tired of having to give half my cakes away
There must be 50 ways to spell that word wrong

You see, it’s not my job to check a dictionary
It seems so simple when you spell phonetically
I can’t remember “I before E after C”
There must be 50 ways to spell that word wrong
50 ways to spell that word wrong

You just slip D in back, smack
Add in an N, then
Insert one extra U, ooh
It’s simple to me
Now there’s room for an O, go
Fit it in just so
Then add some more Cs, see
“Yes, Ma’am, this one’s free.”

Sometimes it grieves me not to get paid every day
I wish there was something I could do to spell that word OK
I just can’t seem to sound it out the way you say
Without the 50 ways

I think that I’ll go home and sleep on it tonight
Maybe by morning I’ll begin to spell it right
I don’t believe it when they say I’m not too bright
Still, I have 50 ways to spell that word wrong
50 ways to spell that word wrong

You just slip D in back, smack
Add in an N, then
Insert one extra U, ooh
It’s simple to me
Now there’s room for an O, go
Fit it in just so
Then add some more Cs, see
“Yes, Ma’am, this one’s free.”

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I really need to learn not to drink stuff while I am looking at this site. I am forever having to clean my computer up and I am sure it is the reason my computer does not run right anymore. lol

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTerrie

I don't know if anyone's ever mentioned this, but I've been meaning to for a long time.

I participate on at least two major cake-decorating forums. ALMOST NO ONE on the forums can spell correctly. I think this is why I am only a hobby baker. I can spell, I know what to do if I'm not sure, and I own a dictionary.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermahgwet

There needs to be a misspelling hall of shame. #4 is almost up there with the 'Falker Satherhood' wreck. I nearly peed myself laughing at that one.

Nevermind that there's just something inherently awesome about misspelling words on a cake that celebrates learning.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

I like to think that cake number 1 was ordered by Ye Ol' Pre-K, a pre-school program ordered from a bakery located next to Ye Ol' Watering Hole in Massachusetts which might explain how Yah Pre-K ended up on the cake after Ye Ol' happy hour.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersiouxr

Enjoying the various gradations of bad gradualations, though to be honest, "cogngrtaualtons" really takes the cake. This is why I love your site.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCompletelySusan

I would be remiss if I didn't give 1,000 interwebz each for today's title and for the reboot of '50 Ways'.

It's a little-known fact* that the original version of that song listed all 50 ways, but since the playing time was 20 minutes, it was only played on the radio once. After that, roving bands armed with torches and pitchforks descended on the radio station and then went forth in search of Paul Simon.


June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

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