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

Wait. What?

This is what Dorothy W. ordered for her son's first birthday:


Which has to be the easiest kit cake in the history of kit cakes. You literally just pipe a border & plop down a piece of paper. I mean, literally.


Instead, Dorothy got....this:

And I am so confused right now.


Mr. Howard? Your thoughts?



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Reader Comments (44)

Obviously they had some Disney plastic flotsam they needed to get rid of.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJasini

Sung to “Who’s the Leader of the Club?”

What’s the matter with the cake you made for Dorothy?
Sandy beach, wonky waves, awful border, see?
Wait a minute, baker, this is not as it should be
Sandy beach, wonky waves, awful border, see?
Call your boss! (Call your boss!) Call your boss! (Call your boss!)
It’s obvious you made this cake while high, high, HIGH, HIGH
Not even the picture that you promised Dorothy
Sandy beach, wonky waves, awful border, see?

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

After trying to figure out where the cat came from and why the characters were in the wrong place I finally noticed it was the wrong graphic (play time versus birthday)... this doesn't seem even remotely the right cake. Wonder if some summer party ended up with a kids birthday cake and they decided to write this one the birthday cake instead.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBB

Even I couldn't has messed up a cake so simple. Well, I may have piped the borders pretty crappy, but I could at least have put the right paper on top. And what's with Mickey surfing and Minnie on the beach? Strange...

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonkaloosa

It's nice to see they even got the zen-garden rake out for the beach...oh, and the ocean, too. Wow, now that's going the extra mile, isn't it?

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

Thanks for the cake
That you've given me
The order replays in my mind
And now that I've seen
What you've created for me
There's something
I can't figure out

Once twice
Three times I'm blinkin'
What's with yellow and blue?
Yes I'm once twice
Three times a blinkin'
Mickey surfin', et tu?
I loathe you

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzieQ

So we're supposed to spot the 10 differences, right?

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

Ummm... That isn't even the same paper flotsam!

Aw, the poor decorator had unfulfilled creative aspirations - "I can do more than plop a piece of paper on a cake!"

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCaren

There is even sprinkles on almost half the cake!!

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEla

It kills me that they even got the paper graphic wrong! Good grief, it doesn't GET any easier!!!! LOL

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNic

Hmmm. Might be a recycling situation.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErica

Couldn't get the frosting smooth, so they got out the zen garden rake (thank you Alison)? Then they realized that made it look really crappy with the paper (you can see the lines through the paper), so they decided to airbrush some color onto it to hide it. And it still didn't look good. So they added sprinkles, and poorly drawn waves. And it still didn't look good. So they stuck the Mickey and Minnie toys on it with the thought that, hey, at least they're getting toys (toys that are probably a choking hazard for the birthday boy, but still toys).

Oh, and they couldn't find the tip for the border. Generally, at some point in the project fail (before this, certainly), I scrap it and start over. Though admittedly, I've made a few cakes for birthdays where my last thought before I finished was, "at least I know the cake tastes good." I'm not a professional cake decorator, though.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMuria

Oh. I get it. It was a summer baby birthday! :D As our good friend/private chef would say in the heat of kitchen duties "This is not the time to come up with your own ideas! Just follow directions!" hahaha

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

Hehe. Even I could make that first cake, and I know NOTHING about baking.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

OK, so it's not what was ordered-- but at least this is a rare case of the wreckorator doing *more* than was required.

So I give them a B+ for effort, a B for customer service (because they clearly thought they were going 'above and beyond' even though they didn't deliver what was promised), and a D- for execution (because I've seen even worse).

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAliza

It could have been worse. It could have been obscene. At least the Disney characters are recognizable. Having said that, I echo @BB who wondered where the cat came in.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeesMom

This reminds me of the person we hired to decorate for our second wedding reception. We gave her the exact colors, the table cloths and some of the flowers to work from. She calls a couple hours before the reception to say that she "thought that purple would be a great addition to all the colors" and she just added purple everywhere. My colors were based on bright Gerbera Daisies (fuschia, orange, yellow, pink and green), and had absolutely no purple, anywhere.... We spent an hour removing all the purple flowers. So much for listening to directions...

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia Poll

In the wreckerator's defense, all the characters are in the same positions, and Mickey IS holding a teddy bear... (blinkblink)... Okay, I lied. I got nuthin'...

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma


July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCB

someone else probably got a wrong cake too

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdiddleymaz

Clearly, I am not fully awake yet. I totally thought the Play Time picture paper was the WHOLE cake. I was fairly impressed until I realized that the weird blue and gold table cloth underneath was actually part of the cake.

@Fluffy Cow: *snerk*

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

(With apologies to Dorothy W. for the literary license)

Do You Hear What I Hear….? (no, not a song Barbara Anne….)

Customer: I’d like to order this cake (pointing to picture). I might add, I had to surf the net to find something…
Baker (scribbling notes): add surf….
Customer: …I’m running a little late today. It’s partially Sandy’s fault….
Baker (writing furiously): add partial sand….
Customer: She called just as I was leaving. I’ve been so busy getting ready for this birthday party, I almost forgot to add some playtime…
Baker (still writing): add something with playtime on it….
Customer: That’s it. Now I’ve got to go to the pet store and get a little stuffed minnie mouse for the cat…he loves those little mice….
Baker (grabbing new pencil): wants Minnie Mouse…loves mice… better add Mickey….
Customer: Well, I’ll be back for this tomorrow. I can’t wait to see it!
Baker: OK. Thank you.
Customer: (leaving) Good-bye. You know, it’s been so dry here, I want sprinkles….
Baker (makes note to add sprinkles): Good bye.

@Fluffy Cow: lol…well done! (I only found eight.)

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermel

Reminds me of the time I ordered the standard Winnie the Pooh shaped cake for my son. Didn't even think to open the box before I left with it. Got home, Pooh had his hunny pot, his red shirt, great, only thing was, he was chocolate brown instead of yellow! We were all so traumatised I didn't take ANY pictures from that party. Twenty three years ago and it STIlLL haunts us!

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrcat

The "Mr. Howard" video clip!!!! I can't stop laughing......! For some reason that tickled my funny bone. :0) I'll probably go back to it throughout the day for a chuckle! (did I just use the word "chuckle"?)

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErika :0)

Last year I went with a friend to a grocery store bakery to pick up the baby shower cake she had ordered for a mutual friend of ours. When they brought out the rather ugly cake, with gray(!) frosting and some generic baby shower flotsam, my friend took one horrified look and said "That's not the right cake, it must be for someone else. Where's the cake I ordered?" The girl at the counter insisted that it was the cake they had made for her order. Finally, they brought the decorator out and she brought the page from the order book that she had been working from (laminated pages in a binder, so they had just taken the page out of the book and handed it to the decorator). Turns out she was working from the picture on the other side of the page, and what's worse, the cake didn't look too much like that picture either! My friend insisted that they decorate another cake while we waited. I always wondered if they trashed the other cake or set it out for display, but I was never curious enough to go back to see. I certainly didn't have any other reason to visit there; it's not like I was going to go back and buy anything!

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRPainter

I think it's cute. It's one of the better wrecks you've posted. Not obscene, no spelling errors, age appropriate-not exactly what was ordered but at least the colors go together nicely. And you can tell what it's supposed to be...even if it's not what was ordered. and it's way too much.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Who is Mr. Howard? His eyeball rolling is creeping me out! As for the cake? Well, at least there are no poo swirls....

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea H.

What the customer received looks almost, but not quite, entirely unlike what was ordered.

In the wreckorator's defense, the mustard cakes weren't selling, so they had to do something.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

At least SOMEBODY got sprinkles...

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

Oh yes, all 1 year olds love to surf. Eye roll.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDisney fan

I have to agree with Sarah. It's cute, actually quite nice. Not exactly (okay, not at all) what was ordered but really, will a one-year-old care?

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhedge

Honestly there is nothing wrong with the secound cake if that is what they would have wanted, it is just colorful and busy. lol However, I would have been perterb at a mess up such as that because it is so simple. lol

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTerrie

It's possible that this bakery is able to print modified graphics for their cakes on edible paper. That's the only thing I can think of for the graphic being somewhat different (they are the right characters after all).

I don't really understand why the Mickey Surfer toy is on there though. I've made that cake so many times that it's pretty much committed to memory. It's not even that it's half assed, it's just made incorrectly,

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterInky

@hedge The one year old won't even know what's happening. First birthday parties are for the adults. And sometimes, they sort of care *too* much.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterInky


1. birthday wishes vs play time fun
2. no cat vs cat
3. no large star vs. large star
4. plain white icing vs. surf/sand/sprinkles
5. no plastic flotsam vs. multiple flotsams (flotsami?)
6. what the customer ordered vs what the customer was presente

sorry, I just get 6!!

thanks for thinking of me, mel, but I already had a brain cramp from catching up on several days of posts at once (bad idea!)

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

Wow..they wrecked a cake that looked so easy to make lol. Not the right paper not even close to the border...hmm they were creative I have to give them points for that lol. It is still cute in a way. Hope she still bought it.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Are there too many people saying that this cake "isn't too bad"? Do I hear a clip being loaded?

*runs and hides*

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEla

It looks to me like they thought it was a dual birthday, for one boy named Elijah and a girl named Malik.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThingstwo

OK. I looked and looked at the flotsam in the lower left. I read that it was supposed to be Disney. All I could make out was a plastic body laying out with a small face with big boobs. How is that Disney? Why hasn't anyone else said something. Surely, I can't be the only one.....

OH, that's where Minnie is. Perspective is EVERYTHING.

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoanie

Read to the tune of the nursery rhyme "This is the house that Jack built"

This is mickey all simple and quaint

This is mickey with less restraint
that doesn't resemble mickey simple and quaint

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterC.W.

I have to say ... that's the weirdest interpretation of "beach babes" I've ever seen.

July 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLoopTheLup

I am a few days behind, but I think I can give some explanation on this one. I used to work in a grocery store bakery. And I can even spell. ;) Admittedly I had a few wrecks, as tends to happen when you are rushing through orders, but I hope that most of my work is pretty good. I am by no means defending this or all the other hillariously horrible wrecks I've seen here, believe me.
Anyway, as for Mickey Mouse... I worked at the bakery until fairly recently, and we had a cake kit that was for a Mickey mouse surfing cake. It had that same basic layout with a beach for Minnie to sunbathe on and Mickey is surfing in the ocean. Minus the zen sand combing, and with any luck done much better, lol. The other kit was meant more as a baby shower/first birthday cake. So it seems like the decorator (using the term loosely, of course) somehow confused/combined the two cakes into one. So you end up with surfing Mickey on the beach with cuddling Mickey paper junk in the middle. Should not be so hard to keep those two straight, lol. As for the mysterious cat and slightly changed graphic, it could be a couple things. The kits sometimes get changed slightly over time but bakeries have thier set inventory ordering lists. The picture the poor customer saw in the example picture was probably the one sent originally with that kit, which originally matched it. But the bakeries have to pay extra to order the new picture when the kit changes, and so will sometimes just leave the old one in the book...leading to situations like this. The other explanation was mentioned somewhere in the comments I think. They might have had thier own cake printer and did not notice or care that the graphic was not an exact match for the one in the book. Ideally, they would let the customer know this when ordering, but you know...

It looks like the birthday boy was possibly Ukrainian (based on his last name and the background's similarity to the Ukrainian flag).

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJing

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