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

Can I Quote You On That?

Woohoo!! It's National Punctuation Day!  

 You know what to do!

I stand corrected.


Bakers, contrary to popular belief, those curved thingies are not sideways "happy hugs" for your text; they're parentheses. But I'll make this easy for you: YOU WILL NEVER NEED PARENTHESES ON YOUR CAKES. So don't use them. Ever.

No, not even for a name in all caps.


And not for anniversaries, either.


Gosh. I bet "Mom" is really feeling like part of the family right now.


 Which brings me to my next point:



Why are these numbers in quotes? Are they euphemisms or something? Are these people not really 13 and 59? And why does this keep happening, anyway?




Thanks to Monica, Debb D., Tamara M.,  Alyssa V., Amy C., Rachel C., and Aurora C. for helping me cover parentheses and quotation marks. Tomorrow: COLONS! (You'll have to check back to see which kind.)

« "Perfectly" Punctual | Main | Sunday Sweets: Swing Cakes »

Reader Comments (52)

Oh, please let it be more punctuation problems tomorrow. As much as I enjoyed SImon's singing on Saturday, I really couldn't look at some of those cakes again.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre

Oh the poor quotation marks on cake #5. The two sets on the left look like they're trying to sneak away since they're at the bottom of the letters.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

I'm betting it's not the punctuation colons....

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercakeburnette

"Caxe" "Decorator". That explains everything.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

Sung to “The Locomotion”

Everybody’s writing’s making me look askance now.
Come on, baby, use good punctuation.
I know that you can do it if you give it a chance, now.
Come on, baby, use good punctuation.

Your Grand. Mom doesn’t like it in parentheses.
Even with all CAPS they simply fail to please.
So come on, come on, do good punctuation for me.

Don’t say your hand just slipped, no.
Come on, baby.
Think back, think back.
Just leave those curves in a sack.

Why don’t you try writing Anniversary again, now?
Come on, baby, use good punctuation.
You really don’t want Mom to feel she’s under attack, now.
Come on, baby, those quotes cause commotion.

Omit them nice and easy, baby, you’ve got control.
Just write the words and ages and you’re on a roll.
Come on, come on, do good punctuation for me.

Or you’ll never, ever get a good job reference from me.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I just "love" punctuation cakes!

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

These were great and a very happy National Punctuation Day to you all!

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary Beth Frezon

Those caxes should get the ake.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Former CB

having followed this blog for some years now, i have to say i'm utterly impressed by the fifth cake. notice how the color from the black icing is NOT bleeding into the white buttercream? didn't know this was possible.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLcP

In defense of "mom". It could be this cake is for a person who is like a mom to the family, but not their real mother. Of course, there must be more than one such person, since they felt the need to put her name in parentheses.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

Punctuation errors are my pet peeve! I drive my kids crazy pointing them out in a loud, crabby voice when we drive anywhere! The worst right now is a new fabric and notions store nearby. Or, should I say, notion's? That is what they say on their sign!
I have never had a problem with any cake I per-ordered, in person, with a written order. I check the order! I did have my daughter's name spelled wrong when I let them take the cake to the back, and I only verbally told them her name.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Oh, I forgot to mention... thanks so much for telling me what day it was! I sent ecards to celebrate! Just search for "national punctuation day ecards." It is actually called National Grammar Day. I like punctuation better!

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

"Great" wrecks!
with sprinkles
in cursive;
followed, by (daisies)
poem; by Sharyn

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

(Finally!" It"s about (time) we had "National (Punctuation) "Day"!") As "1" who (appreciates) good "punctation"," not to mention (good) cake, I applaud this... "parenthetically speaking"......

@Sharyn: you are the 8th wonder of the world....

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermel

Do these people even speak english??? They must have temporal lobe damage, how else to explain it??? SHaryn major lol's as usual XD

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

@mel -- :)

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

My punctuation pet peeve? Places with signs that say something is .89, but they follow it with a cent sign. Soooo....I should just be able to plop down a penny and buy it, correct?

"Grrr" {that} makes; me' angry.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSaraV

Um, I think they mean "Help" Wanted.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

"I", want. (to "be" a) "Caxe" "Decorator". It "seems" "easy"!.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma

What "wonderful" (cakes).

Jessica recently posted, I Should Probably Close The Door While I Pee

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

There's a store near my house with a marquee sign that reads: PET SUPPLIES "PLUS".
....I'm so curious, but just can't bring myself to go inside and ask why the plus is in quotation marks.
They are, however, next door to a bakery. Maybe that explains it somehow...

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterM. Dale

Oh, dear-- the place asking for a "caxe" "decorator" has a sign in the top right corner that claims to be the world's best deli! But they did use an apostrophe correctly!

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre

I'm giving you cakes 2 - 6, but I'm thinking that the first cake is written in some kind of code. Everything about it is way to random to be a mistake - like the period between Grand and Mom, what does that mean???? H 85th, what is the 85th H? I'm hoping that someone who reads this blog will translate it for us. Who knows, maybe it's the solution for eternal life or how to win at black jack.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

H...arrowing? H...ectic? H...o-hum? ;)

Oh dear, tomorrow is colons... and we don't find out which kind until then? Given the cakes this blog has shown us before... I may wait until a midpoint between mealtimes to be safe.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNyperold

I am known as a grammar nazi around these parts! Love today's post. Sadly, the cakes themselves look good, if not for the misused punctuations. I am impressed that all of the words were spelled correctly, and legible for the most part compared to the usual CW fare. I wonder if #5 was decorated by a Spanish-speaking person, since the beginning punctuation is upside down?
@Sharyn- incredible!

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDorene

That last one was actually correct if the bakery were advertising for wreckerators, especially of the ccc variety. As such, one could question whether they really make cake vs. flotsom and frosting with a coating a sugary, bread-like substance. One could also question whether wreckreators are really decorators, making the quotation marks ironically necessary.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranon

Thanks Sharyn for writing the soundtrack to my day. :)
@mel -- That was almost as painful as the wrecks!

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJodee in WA

As a longtime writer/editor, I thought I'd seen just about everything by now. But quotation marks at the bottom of the type?!? I don't know the editing mark for that!

As for the "caxe decorator" ad: Aks, and you shall receive.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

I love how the first half of the parenthesis on grand mom's cake is bigger. Because it's grand I assume. Is there a word for half a parenthesis?

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpakajack

I have a friend flaming on Facebook right now because he just saw a sign that says, "Pumpkins Squash Kittens." I guess the sign maker doesn't read Cake Wrecks for (grammatical) "tips."

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

@Sarah: It looks like an algebra equation...?

Solve for H: H to the 85th power times the product of Grand and Mom equals crappy flowers.

So, with a little division, hang on....carry the one....the answer is: H = Grandma Helen is 85 and all we got her was this Fail Cake.

Or maybe Grandma is a little crotchety and they decided not to antagonize her with whole words like HAPPY or BIRTHDAY. "I KNOW it's my birthday! You don't have to write it on the cake! Do you think I forgot how OLD I AM?! I'm 85, not stupid! Stop wasting icing! When I was your age, we didn't even HAVE icing! Or CAKE! Or candles! We put a little lard on a piece of cardboard and were HAPPY to have THAT! We didn't even GET wishes because we couldn't spare the matches!"

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

I keep picturing Joey Tribbiani doing the "air" "quotes."

(I bet you're making air quotes now)

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMai

The world's best deli needs a "Caxe" "decorator".... what's wrong with that?

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

What is "Caxe" and how would one "decorate" it?

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

The only thing worse than "random" quotation mark's is apostrophe abuse!

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeb

That's our "Mom", making frieds wherever she goes...

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

I've taken cake orders where the customer has asked
for both parenthesis and quotation marks on the same
cake. Made no sense to me but I gave them what they
wanted. For the first one clearly they never learned
decorator shorthand. H is happy, b is birthday, cong is
congratulations and anni is anniversary

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAna

I was totally picturing Joey, too.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdoodlebug

"Excellent" post!
@ LcP - you make a good point.
@Sharyn - curse you for getting that song stuck in my head!!!

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLis

mindy1, if only one could blame some of the wrecks on the fact that the decorator doesn't speak English. My friend who introduced me to Cake Wrecks is the head decorator at her local branch of a national chain. This is, in part, because she is the only one on the staff who can consistently spell words such as "congratulations" and "anniversary." (It is also due to the fact that her cakes are consistently attractive -- she doesn't make cake wrecks.) All of the people she works with are Americans. She's Dutch.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJane

Their quote marks misused
Parentheses so abused
Prime punctuation fail

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterakathleen

Am I the only one giggling over Brandon and Debbie's hugging sperm balloons on #6?

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermary

Hmmm maybe tomorrow's cakes should be about apostrophes lol. I would love to see those..then again maybe not. These were good enough to have me near tears laughing as it is. Colons just might finish me off though.

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

i was looking at this post when i rememberd i used parenthases on my comprehincin toolkit paper. (lolz)

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteraudrey

Frieda's took the cake!

love that I was introduced to your blog!

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Bocciardi

And to make (Grand.Mom) feel even more special - brown flowers on her cake! ewww

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFlower Girl

@Andrea that rant was hysterical
@mel OMG, it took 3 tries for my poor little brain to read that
@Sharyn WOOT

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

I think people who use incorrect punctuation on cakes...

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Do you think I could be qualified to be a caxe decorator? I don't know if I have the skills. How can I find out? Does anyone have a caxe I can decorate as a trial run?

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersparkling74

Caxe Decorators fall into two distinctly different groups:

1) Computer Geekery on a level I cannot begin to fathom.
Apparently "Given any piece of caXe code you can create a string literal representing it' although it carries the dire warning that "though you should not expect literal stringifications (haha word) as this is still done symbollicaly and so the output may not represent your exact input". Hmmmm, something does not compute *groan*. Maybe I'm just a paranoid android or a bad robot?

2) Caxe is a village in Brazil. Mayhaps this is the beginning of a global head-hunting exercise for decorators for that area? Or recruiting for a new reality TV series for design/decorators to survive "Survivor"-like while executing weekly challenges to decorate the village?

Actually, a 3rd possibility has occurred to me (and no doubt to you)...... I have WAY too much time on my hands....but I've hit the trifecta of parenthesis, dot dot dots and quotation marks!
I'm definitely lerning me some gooder english.

With malice aforethought
Zombie Ted

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZombie Ted

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