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


Summer is the reward students get for successfully completing another year of educational excellence. Or for partying all year and flunking out. (Nobody said life was fair, kids.)

So while graduation season may be over, I think it's time our bakers had a little summer schoolin'.


Bakers? Welcome to "How-To-Spell-'Congratulations'-101."

I can see it's going to be a long day.


Alright, let's practice: C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S. See? Now you try.

I dare you to read that aloud.



Try again.

G, you shouldn't have.

No, really.


And don't think I'm not on to your latest scheme, bakers. You know, the one where you just pipe a heap of scribbles halfway through the word and hope no one notices?


The best part is how you can still clearly see those last two are misspelled. Next time just chuck some High School Musical flotsam on there.


At this point, even I have forgotten how to spell it. I would "COHGRADULITTE" you, bakers, but I don't think I can handle that level of irony.


Let's try a new approach: just shorten it to "Congrats!" That's easy enough, right?



What is wrong with you people?*


For a wild, hopeful second there I thought this had something to do with San Diego Comic-Con this week:

"Watch out for those Con Rats!"

...but then I realized I it was a different kind of "con." Rats.

Well, you've all failed the course, bakers. So, hey, get out there and continue collecting a paycheck for brutalizing the English language! Woo! Yeah!

Oh, and kids? Stay in school. Or don't.
Honestly, your bakery manager probably won't give a con rat's @ss.


Thanks to Nancy H., Jessica E., Julia L., Michelle W., Meghan H., Amanda N., Julie D., Elizabeth B., Anony M., & Bailey for the pep talk!


*Update from john- Apparently, Ding! Grats is a World of Warcraft thing so this cake is not as wrecky as it first appears.  Bwoops.

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Reader Comments (69)

Please, PLEASE, tell my "Hylton" is misspelled, too.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Being a nerd, I can't not explain that "Ding! Grats!" comes from World of Warcraft. You may already know that, but again, I really wanted to not explain it but my brain wouldn't shut up until I did.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErin

"Ding" is how people announce they leveled up in a MMO game, while "Grats" "Gratz" or even "Gz" is how other people usually congratulate them. ;)

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaddy

After getting over the fact that someone named their child “Hylton,” (Hilton just wasn’t bad enough,) I looked at the cakes again and I’m not sure these were mistakes. Apparently, there are many variations on the word congratulations, each having its own specific use. For example:

Congraduaions –The most common variant used when one receives a diploma
Congradjewlations—Perfect for a circumcision or Bar Mitzvah.
Conflagulation – Often used to praise firefighters after putting out a blazing inferno.
Conanulations —Presented when one is given their own late night talk show.
Cognaculations—Appropriate for the high class drunk in your life.

I’m sure there are many more. I’m also sure I can no longer spell congradillasion correctly.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

These are indeed horrible. However, I'm going to give the "ding" one the benefit of the doubt and say it might have been for a gamer. When you reach a new level in World of Warcraft, you often type "ding" in the chat field, to which your fellow players reply "Grats!" Graduating from high school or college is definitely a form of leveling, wouldn't you say?

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbibberly

(This might be an Epcot incoming, in which case I apologize...)

The "Ding! Grats!" is probably an MMO gamer slang reference. It's customary to say "Ding!" when you level up, and the shorthand reply is usually "Grats." So, graduating is "leveling up"...yeah.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNebet

I know I'm not the only one wondering what's up with the zombie on the fourth cake. Or maybe it's Selkie under bad fluorescent lighting? (There's a webcomic about Selkie, easily searchable on teh interwebs).

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPyvsi

The "Ding! Grats!" cake isn't a fail... it's total win - it's a quote from World of Warcraft. When you level up it goes "Ding!" and appropriate response is "Grats!"
Loved the steampunk cakes yesterday - I never knew about your other blog so I spent a few hours reading more steampunk goodness!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTxteva

Ahh! Brings back fond memories of reading my sister's letter from the Dean of her Studies at the University where she got her MASTERS (!) degree. Yes, the Dean wanted to "congradulate" her on earning her degree.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Jo

The "Ding! Grats!" one is a reference to World of Warcraft, specifically old Zul'Gurub. "Ding" was an onomatopoeia for gaining a level, similar to the new "level" attained by graduating.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPlaysTooMuch

Ding is gamer speak for "look at me, I reached the next level" to which the response is usually a bunch of "Grats" from everyone else.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLyss

DING! fries are done...

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

Yeah I thought the "ding" one was cute. Gave me a little nerdlol.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEruanna

"Ding" is also the sound the bunker elevator sounds when I head there from the surface. :)

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScaperMama

Sung to "Teach Your Children Well"

You, who will bake a load
Have this big word, that you can't spell right
And so, learn it yourself
Before we think that you are not bright

Teach your bakers well
That word to spell for cakes we will buy
We feed them to our teens
The ones whose diplomas still aren't dry

Let's just give that word a try, C - O - N -G - R - A - T -
U - L - A - T - I - O - N then S
See, now we've shown you

So please, leave out all the Ds
The extra Gs, the random squiggles
There won't be a letter H
Or angry rats -- just rules to live by

Teach your bakers well
That word to spell for cakes we will buy
We feed them to our teens
The ones whose diplomas still aren't dry

You just really have to try, for the cakes that we will buy
Or we'll look at them and sigh -- igh -- igh
And then we'll hate you.

@SuBee: Brilliant

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I think this is one of those words I look up EVERY time I write it (almost). Probably because when I first was learning to read and write I remember seeing a bunch of graduation gift crap at a store that said, "ConGRADulations!" on everything. I remember my dad having a whole fit about it and it traumatized me a little. Good thing I don't decorate cakes for a living and my job has spell check.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterM. Dale

Sharyn and Suebee bwahahaha XD I look at cakes like them and my neurons shrivel up and die from the stupidity D:

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

I went to a wedding this weekend, and when I was writing 'congratulations' in the card, I wrote very slowly and carefully, and checked it about three times after I wrote it. Thanks for all your hard work in bringing awareness to crimes of spelling; it's made me very paranoid about my own spelling. And I'm an English major, and a copyeditor. :)

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelleH

I knew a guy who graduated from high school, only to spend the next five years playing MMOs in his parents' basement. Ding! Also, putting icing on a brownie is like putting ketchup on a hotdog. So the cake is still a wreck in that sense.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDing! Bats

First off, I just want to say the even if it was spelled right "Happy Congradula" seems horribly redundant to me.

I was going to offer up that perhaps the baker or recipient of the Ding! Grats! cake was a Black Butler fan, but apparently their nerd allegiance lies elsewhere. I'mma still head to the bunker anyway...

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelonie

DING! Epcot.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMimiheart

I'm pretty sure cake #6 says "Congratutaters"... mmm, taters.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwaffre


Just... sigh.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

I can't but help think that the "Congrads Stephian" was a cake for Stephani, making it a double fail.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

I actually didn't notice COHGRATULATIONS, probably because I took Russian (In Russian, the letter that sounds like an N looks like an H). I did have issues with Stephian. Is that supposed to be Stephan? Steven? Stephen? Stephani? Or is it actually supposed to be spelled Stephian?

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMuria

LOVE thing Ding Grats! I would crack up if someone got me a b-day or grad cake with that on it. Of course, I'm a wow player :).

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTes

@ Ding Bats - no, really, icing on brownies is _good eats_! As long as it's the kind that sets nicely, not stays sticky.... Or better yet, just sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot brownies, allow to melt, and spread like icing. Yum.

And for the poor soul who hates mustard (ahem - me), ketchup is good on hot dogs. Although it can be a trial to be different. Still remember the look I got from the hot dog vendor at Fenway years back when I asked for a Fenway Frank with ketchup on it! They didn't even have any in the whole park, because who puts the red stuff on hot dogs? *sigh*

Shall I pack up the frosted brownies and hot dogs (with and without ketchup) and head down to the bunker? Who's got the iced tea?

It makes me laugh that some words seem to give people so much trouble, so I do my best to make the problem worse. I'm not sure if this makes me a terrible mom or an awesome one, but when my kids succeed in something I always tell them "Congrajubilations!"

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterzoomom

Theardare was deeply conflicted by John (thoJ)'s update, but then he decided that if J&J call a not-a-wreck on themselves, it isn't a problem; the whole purpose of Room 101, et al is to defend them, not wrecks. Besides, he derives satisfaction from watching the whole EPCOT thing. Humans and their foibles, don't ya know.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Is it just me, or does that fourth cake look like a REALLY happy Jesus?

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCandi

I now think someone needs to put together a "Con Rats" group hall costume. Maybe a steampunk/post-apocalyptic/dystopian future kind of thing... With Mickey Mouse ears...

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBadKarma

And, of course, nothing says "You done good and we love you for it" (spelled anyway you like as long as it starts with CO) like black roses.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdrgns4vr

While "Ding" does come from MMO's, it was not invented by WoW players, just FYI. As much as I'm an Everquest hater, it originated from EQ, not WoW.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle


1) I think Nancy may be a new vampire because I swear there's a "Dracula" hiding in that Congratulations.

2) I think the baker was hoping the name "Hylton" would be sufficiently distracting from the "Comgratations" they wrote just above it. Almost succeeded, baker. Almost.

3) Julia's cake: SO close. I am wondering if the baker didn't proof read or if they went back over "Congratgulations" and said, "Yup. That looks right!". Maybe they had a cold that day...

4) I don't care what you write on that next one, it has edible paper on it, so pretty much automatically a wreck. Also: they went with that light yellow icing hoping we would not be able to actually make out the writing. Like when you use yellow type on the computer, but you can't read it until you highlight it. These bakers are getting sneaky.

5) & 6) Heh. It's funny how things usually start out fine, "C-O-N-G", but when they get past that, it's anyone's game.

7) Apparently, the above does not apply to this cake: "COH"? I was having trouble with whatever was written in that circle until I realized that first letter is a capital E. Oh, it's the person's name. Got it.

8) Ok. The baker and/or the parents finally got me on this one: I was too distracted by the name "Stephian" to even think about "Congrads". Now that I've had a moment, though, I'm thinking it is a mash up of "Convict Graduates". So, great job, convicts, on getting your GEDs while in prison.

9) I am just nerdy (okay, my son is the one who told me, so I'm not the nerdy one) enough to know what "Ding!" means, but not enough to know what "Grats!" is. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Don't worry, Theardare, I'm still calling it a wreck because it has the plastic flotsam on it. Me no likey the plastic stuff.

10) I don't know what it is with me and organized crime, but often the wrecks make me think of the mob (based on it's depiction on TV and movies, not because I am a Wise Guy or anything [just in case the FBI monitors this site]). This "Con Rats Tony" is a message to the inmate who ratted out Tony, just like the horse head in the bed on the Godfather (wow, that's like Dr. Seus does a book on the mob - "Would you put a horse head in the bed? Would you fill him full of lead? Would you hide the body here or there? Would you hide it anywhere?"). Except, the inmate gets a nice yummy cookie before he dies instead of horse blood all over.

Wow. My apologies. I had coffee this morning.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Godfather Dr. Seuss ftw! :)

Has there ever been a Seussian Cake Wrecks post?

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelleH

Ah, Sharyn, you are the Weird Al of wreckies!
And Jen'n'Jon, thank you for not making me throw up on my birthday by posting cakes of body parts or dead fetuses. I really appreciate that. I'd say "congratulations" or some form thereof, but meh, it seems wrong, somehow. ;-)

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJasry

Candi - That's EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT when I first saw it!!!! Great minds really DO derail off the same tracks!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBadKarma

Ding! You are now free to move around the country.

Did anyone else think of the Southwest Airlines commercials? No? D:

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen

@ Merry: kudos on the ketchup on hotdogs(though I also like mustard).
@ Dingbat: Did ou know that if you want mustard in Australia, you are likely to have to mix it yourself from the powdered form. Thus most people prefer ketchup(or sauce, as it is called). My Mom found that out when she asked two boys why they were avoiding the mustard.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelticat

I will never be able to wrap my mind around these things. Are people really this dumb to make these kind of mistakes? Do we really live in a world where people are this stupid? Oh it makes me sad. But then I laugh.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElleJay

Candi and BadKarma,
I saw the Incredible Hulk's daughter in Cake #4.
I think it was the baptismal-type gown that threw you off-track.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjellen

I have to giggle a bit at all the gamers who stepped up to explain "Ding! Grats!" Who knew there were so many of us Wreckies who gamed? :D

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

I know it's politically incorrect but the "Ding" cake made me think of the Burger King Christmas parody "Ding Fries are Done". If you aren't familiar do a YouTube search. You can hate me later when it's stuck in your head, Forever.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen in Tenn

Bwoops! That would be Dr. Seuss, not Dr. Seus. My bad.

@Candi and BadKarma: I thought that was Ma-Ti of Captain Planet's Planeteers.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

@Merry: You are right on both counts. Must have the right frosting on brownies. And ketchup must go on hot dogs.Cheese is also a must!

It appears to me that in order to cover up their possible spelling errors, these wreckerators start out strong, then tend to squish all the letters together at the end so maybe we won't notice the mess. We do.

I agree with Joan. Just. . . . .sigh.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

I don't really play Wow anymore, but I did smile at the "Ding!" cake. Although I'd probably reserve that more for a birthday level up than graduation.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUmmy

@kelticat: My apologies for a non-cake related post but I fear your advice on mustard in Australia is not quite correct.... mustard is freely available in Australia at every supermarket (and I'm not talking about mustard powder...which is more generally used as a form of spice). My local supermarkets stock about 8 different varieties of mustard. It's just that here we tend to have ketchup (which we call tomato sauce) or BBQ sauce on our hotdogs - it's a cultural thing, not due to lack of available mustard! :-)

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAussie Ana

Jen, did you intentionally throw in that "alright" in the intro???? "Cause "alright" is all wrong - it's spelled "all right". I'll bet you were trying to catch us!!!!!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPat

You would think by now that every bakery manager would have a great big sheet of paper listing how to spell this -- very clearly -- posted on every wall. Of course, maybe the bakery managers don't know how to spell it...

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Once again, my beloved Wreckies test out very high on the Nerd Scale. My heart swells with pride! Congradutlaltsiguslations, everyone!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFM

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