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

The Hanukkah Blues

Hanukkah started on Thanksgiving this year, and yet somehow bakers didn't leap at the opportunity for a yarmulke-topped turkey cake. You have to admire that kind of restraint.

Then again, we all know bakers really only have one go-to Hanukkah design:

Blue and white snowflakes.


It's the kind of design that says, "Hey, I can dig your Jewish Christmas thing, but I prefer to express it in a generic, non-committal way that even those crazy Winter Solstice people might buy."

"Plus I get to make more of my special Halloween spider webs."


And just like real snowflakes, every Generic "Hanukkah"(winkwinknudgenudge) design is completely unique.

Like fingerprints. Or hairballs.


Are you feeling the warm glow of the season yet?


How 'bout now?


Hang on, I have an idea: how do you feel about adding a little extra fiber in your diet?

No, really, there's cake in there. PROOOOMISE.

(Supposedly that's edible paper, not a rain slicker. But I'm not buying it.)


Ok, ok, what would you say if I told you I actually found a cake with both "Happy Hanukkah" and a Star of David on it - and nothing's wonky or misspelled?

You: "It's on plastic, isn't it?"

Me: "Yes. Yes, it is."

And on everyone's favorite traditional Jewish dessert, too!


Oooh, wait, it appears one brave soul actually did attempt to pipe a Star of David!

6,000 years of cultural heritage just went, "BOINK."

But at least it has the right number of sides.

[Foreshadowing? What's that?]






Thanks to Ami E., Sarah B., Nicole M., Sandy H., Saundra, Rebecca S., Lena C., True B., & Amy K., who are all special snowflakes in my heart. My icy, icy heart.

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Reader Comments (59)

Sung to "Let it Snow"

Oh, the decorating is frightful
For a holiday so delightful
They do this each year, you know
Wonky snow, wonky snow, wonky snow

Now, the paper has my jaw dropping
Like the flotsam on that whipped topping
The stars missed the point, you know
Something 'bout them's not kosher, though.

Happy Hanukkah! (and if you get a wreck, you know where to send it..)

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Oy caramba~?

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

As a devout atheist who celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas because she wants everyone to be happy and they're both fun, and who's hoping her daughter marries an African American so she can celebrate Kwanzaa because that sounds like fun, too and she can make Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa cake...
Damn, I forgot where I was going with this.

Happy Winter Holiday, everyone.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Just what I want, a snpwflake cake with the sleet pellets on the side. You know, for that cozy, blizzardy feeling.

Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends and family!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

These cakes are the perfect blend of The Festival of Lights and Thanksgiving: Hanukkah turkeys….

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

Somehow I'm guessing the Tres Leches cake (with all the plastic flotsam) isn't kosher... but that's just a SWAG...

There's nothing remotely appealing about any of these...

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermn_me

Stop, stop, enough, enough…no menorah!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSkewed View

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are,
Up upon the cake in blue,
Incorrectly you were drew.
Hundreds of years to get it right,
Yet every year it is a fright.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNom D'Plume

It's possible, of course, that the pentagram and octogram cakes are for Yule and the Lords of Chaos*, respectively. Yeah, not buying it either. I guess when you go to the goyim for your Hanukkah cakes, you get what you deserve and vice versa.

*Prezzies for the Prezzy God!!!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

Tres-Leches, priceless

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

A five-pointed star is a design that can be drawn without stopping until you're done.

A Magen ("Shield", by the way) David is a pair of overlapping equilateral triangles, one of which has been inverted. Getting those angles at close enough to 60 degrees... Anybody got a confectioner's protractor?

Ooh! There's an idea! What if they could shine a protractor down on the cake from above? Then it wouldn't squash the icing as they make their angles!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNyperold

You know, one of the only times a cup cake cake (patooie!) actually lends itself to the appropriate shape of a design and they still can't get it right. Oy vey!
Happy Hanukkah! :)

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMovieMom

Snowflake ameobas
stretch their psuedopods towards
the Hanukkah gelt.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy


second cake: if it is a CCC, hence a pull-apart, why the plastic cake cutter taped to the top?


December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereme

1. The eternal winter struggle: man against nature, as depicted by two snowflakes surrounded by de-icing pellets.

2. Incorporating Halloween, Christmas and The Festival of Lights, young Jewish children who have been naughty receive coal encased in a spider webbed, monster-shaped Hanukkah cake.

3. Unable to make a Star of David, the bakers fall back on that old stand-by, the CCC ring of dongs.

4. The less obvious G-rated version of number three, often called a “snowflake.”

5. Coming soon to a theater near you: the delightful new holiday classic for kids of all ages, “The Hanukkah Starfish.”

6. Cake…or gelt….?

7. For the uninspired.

8. Make a Star of David? I dunno…just overlap two blue Christmas trees…

9. Really an asterisk, and it says in the fine print, “Please use your imagination. I don’t have a clue as to how to do this.”

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRedacted

I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVictor Wooten

Gah! As a science nerd, I can't handle 8-pointed snowflakes! Follow the bend of the water molecule (120 degrees) and keep everything in multiples of 3... It makes me glad I'm not Jewish, too, or my head might explode looking at those Stars of David! Usually the wrecks make me laugh, but the mathematical/sciencey ones make my blood boil for some inexplicable reason! Oh. Wait. I used to teach science and math. And I hate failure...

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMalia

Not sure if those are chanukah wrecks or winter wrecks-hehehe. Sharyn :D

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Clearly the Star of David cookie was drawn by a cubist. It's not a wreck, it's ART.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoemama

Hey - I am one of those "crazy" Winter Solstice people :) Even got cards with Happy Solstice on them this year - mainly to rile my over-zealous Christian family :)

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmber Rainey

Missing the point, indeed.
Thanks for the giggles, Jen - I needed that! :)

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

On Seeing These Misshapen Stars of David:

Blue Hanukkah

I’ll have a blue Hanukkah without you,
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you.
Decorations like drek make a Hanukkah wreck,
Bakers can’t make you and just say “What the heck.”

And when my blue teardrops start falling,
That’s when those memories of you start calling,
I’m not doin’ all right with this Hanukkah fright
And I’ll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Hanukkah.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPassing By

Hehehe haiku joy and sharyn

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

#6--Did they wrap the cake and tie ribbons on it and THEN pipe the icing on the wrapping paper???? Why??? I don't understand.

Yes, a protractor would help the Magen David to be exact but I'm fairly certain that, even without the protractor, a reasonable human being should be able to get closer than that. Hmmm, perhaps "reasonable" is the key word there. Sigh.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

I particularly like the blue frosting turd up the seam of the "edible paper." (Look at the left side of the photo.)

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I dare someone to make the paper-wrapped cake with fondant and sugar ribbons. I think that would be hilarious. Also, it's not that hard to make a Star of David. It's a right side up equilateral triangle with an upside down equilateral triangle over it. Easy. I bet a kindergartener could do it. It's also not that hard to acknowledge other people's religious and cultural traditions. You might just learn something.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

I used to wear a pentagram necklace and each and everytime a non-pagan noticed I swear their response was a mildly surprised "Oh, you're Jewish?" *facepalm*

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

Hey @Malia - amidst all the Hanukkah wreckage, I learned something today! Prior to your comment, I didn't know that snowflake points form in groups of three (I should probably not admit that, but so it goes). Thanks for the frozen crystallized water lesson.

As for these wrecks, we hit the jackpot today: numerous CCCs (ptooie!), plastic flotsam, curly ribbons, "edible" paper, and misshapen snowflakes and Stars of David. These wreckerators must be so proud! ;)

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie

Oy Vey How hard is it to pipe two triangles?!?!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

Re: the eight-pointed star CCC (patoie!) - Yikes! Is that atually on DISPLAY in a bakery case?? It looks as though it was decorated by a small person experimenting with finger paint. Since that is rather unlikely (child labour laws being what they are) one must conclude it was 'decorated' by an adult.

BRAINFLASH! It's an 8-armed Gefilte fish with schmear! Duh. Silly me! ;)

Happy Chanukah to all you Red Sea pedestrians out there!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkrunchifrog

What? No Thanksgivukkah cakes? So disappointed! The last one is for Jewish Wiccans, obviously, but they won't be able to celebrate Solstukkah until next year.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

Yikes! I guess we should be glad that one cake is a tres leches cake and not some sort of candied-bacon sprinkles cake!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Cup a Dee Cakes

Oy vey it's just two triangles, why such challenge?

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrista

I actually sent Cake Wrecks a Thanksgivukkah cake link. Apparently not enough others were found to make a whole post of them. Well, better luck next year - oh wait, next 70 thousand year.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

The kindergarteners I work with could do a better Star of David than that! They'd probably also ask why someone tried to pass off a giant blue spider, scraped off the road after it was run over, as a cupcake cake

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterE. Anne

It would take some work, but the tres leches cake could be kosher-dairy. Butter, eggs, milk, spices, sugar, flour, vegetable shortening if needed, vanilla. You're safe as long as you make certain that the evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk are kosher. Or you make your own.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTXRed

Monica, my sister wore a star of David to her Catholic high school & her religion teacher was convinced my sister was a wiccan!

How do these decorators and bakers get hired? They haven't a clue how to do their jobs!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSherri

I am reminded of the very ecumenical Christmas caroling parties we had growing up. We routinely had a dessert (brought by a Jewish friend) that she and we all affectionately called the Christmas Caroling Kugel. I may have ask my friend if she can tweak the recipe to make a tres leches version. WITH cherries on top, of course. Start a new tradition, y'know.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZoe

I'm pretty sure some of those are Atraxi ships, not snow flakes.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterclueless noob

Yay! This looks really delicious. And I do love the color.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

SueBee: I'm totes making that hideous cake this year. Of course I say that every year, but I already have corn nuts on hand so it *just might happen this year!*

Also: Am I seeing a pull-apart cupcake "cake" being sold with a cake lifter? Dude, what?


December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSpacegeek Nat

Oh my gosh lol. That wrapped cake is just..what exactly is it?? I am almost afraid to know what the heck the wrapping paper/ edible paper is hiding. I won't be shocked if it had a clown in it for all the wrecks they keep doing lol.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

There's nothing wrong with that Star of David. It's just drawn in perspective. Tilt your head to your right shoulder, squint a little and you'll see it's a perfect star 8-)
Re. cake #2: with that amount of frosting, you obviously need that tool to make sure each cupcake pulls away with the appropriate amount of frosting and does not "steal" from neighboring cupcakes. (somehow I keep typing cupkakas, I don't know why...)
Re. wrapped cake: only a few weeks ago we have seen a fondant (or buttercream) "package" wreck and either in the caption or in the comments there was the foreboding mention of wreckers sooner or later actually wrapping the cake in paper... well, it didn't take long to show up.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEnione

Seriously, how bad of a wreckerator do you have to be to screw up a Star of David??

1. Make a triangle.

2. Turn the cake 180 degrees.

3. Make another triangle that overlaps the first to make a 6-pointed star.


December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ

For the wreckerators' sake, at least this time there was considerable "wiggle room" in spelling the name of the holiday...

I'm surprised no one has posted a link to this YouTube video yet:

[video title is: How Do You Spell Channukkahh]

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWhirledOne

as a proud Publix associate, I have to say that the tres leches cake isn't the worst thing. BUT.. please keep in mind that in South Florida, where that cake probably came from, that is an appropriate and common mash up of heritages... trust me, I've lived there.. lol. Actually, upon pondering it, I can tell you of one specific family that I went to school with who was both Cuban and Jewish. I don't know how it happened, but it did! lol

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstaxia

Is the ribbon edible too? Can't wait for the Festivus cakes!

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLorie

It's really only a "dos leches" cake -- it says it has whipped topping on it, not whipped cream. So double fail.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkayk

Answering for all time the question, "How hard could it possibly be to take two triangles, flip one upside down, and stack them on top of each other?"


December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma

Wait, will someone please tell me what the issue is with tres leches cake? What's not kosher there?

And now I feel overly nitpicky for being annoyed that the dreydl cookies from Whole Foods two years ago had the incorrect Hebrew letters.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

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