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

Mardi Gras Hide N' Seek

It's that time of year again, when the Naked Mohawk-Baby Carrot Jockeys abandon their icing carrots and instead go for a spin on giant, bead-covered donuts. Check it out: this one's even on a pool-float boogie board:


Somebody get this kid a tiny drink with an even tinier umbrella, STAT.


Originally these guys - who, did I mention? Are supposed to represent the baby Jesus - were hidden away *inside* the donut, so that one lucky party-goer would end up with a chipped tooth and the dubious honor of having to bring next year's donut, thereby ensuring the continuous cycle of petty revenge.


Somewhere beneath that sticky surface lurks a tiny choking hazard. WHO WILL FIND IT FIRST?


This also led to some truly spectacular warning labels:

And yet they still ate at least half of it. THE MONSTERS.


Now, however, thanks to a bunch of downer lawyer types and other spoil sports who can't digest plastic, bakers are forced to "hide" the babies in plain sight:

"SHHHH. Just be cool, man. BE COOL."


Is that...double-stick tape?


I won't tell him we can still see him if you won't.


Of course, since the whole tradition centered around the surprise of finding the plastic baby, I'm not sure what the point is of even including one now. Unless it's just to pose it in a bunch of funny ways, of course:


"GET ME OUT OF HERE!" [slowly slides down glass]


Mondays. Am I right?


Happily, though, at least one bakery has proposed a new subsitute for the plastic baby, based on the following logic: The baby is meant to represent the baby Jesus, right? And we celebrate Jesus' resurrection on Easter, right? And what ELSE do we eat at Easter?

That's right, ladies and gentlemen: Preeeeeesenting! The Peeps King Cake!!




Thanks to Pon T., Maya R., Kelley H., Valarie, Carrie T., Lauren, Kristy & Matthew P., Brandon H., & Heather M. for the sneak Peeps.

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Reader Comments (85)

Because pulling paper confetti off of your sticky cake is much better than pulling a single plastic baby off of your sticky cake.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterM

We have each other.
We don't need a dumb trinket:
Peeps consolation.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Mal

Sung to "Oh Where, Oh Where has my Little Dog Gone?"

Oh where, oh where has that plastic babe gone?
Oh where, oh where can it be?
With its plastic beads
And its frosting glut
Oh where, oh where can it be?

I think it's face down on that big donut
Is it deep-fried? I can't see.
Just get a mouthful of plastic babe
And you'll want marshmallow Peeps.

(I'll be in the bunker. We're having pie.)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

My new company, KingKakeKuties, offers a wide variety of "Safety Jesuses."
We offer Gummy Jesuses, Sour Patch Jesuses, Red Hot Jesuses, Bubblicious Jesuses and more.
Bulk Jesuseses are available. All Kuties are guaranteed to maintain their chewy goodness and remain soft enough to protect wildly expensive dental work. For a limited time, you will recieve three strings of Soft-N-Safe Beads with every order (not recommended for parade throwing.)

Don't subject your revelling guests to the disappointment guaranteed by a giant neon doughnut that "does not contain trinket."
Order today!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

If you thought a King cake was a sugar rush before...

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

I love that you're still willing to post about King Cakes. I can't wait to check back later today and see what Epcot warning level we've reached :)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia P.

Should I bring treats for Theadare?

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbmbagain803

Yay for the baby C3P0 in Wreck #5!

I'm heading for the bunker, too. I'll bring cheesecake, to further provoke debate about what is and isn't cake. I once saw a pie competition on TV where an entry was disqualified for having "insufficient crust" and therefore not being a true pie.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDB

Sadly, the peeps option at least looks somewhat appetizing. :)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermillbrit

Masterful as always, Haiku. Are you a Big Damned Hero, by any chance?

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma

Every year I goggle at these multicoloured monstrosities. This year I decided to Google instead. I wanted to see if there was, in fact, such a thing as an appetising-looking King Cake. Turns out no. No there isn't. Even the ones that are well-constructed (and there are not many, folks) are covered in coloured sugar to a depth that would probably offer decent traction to those trying to get out of their driveways in the aftermath of Nemo.

I'm a Scot. When a Scot says there's too much sugar on a thing, you can take it as read that there really IS too much sugar.


February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

That metallic purple alien baby scared the cr*p out of me. Make it go away.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy in Nashville

You're supposed to stick him in the King Cake yourself (by lifting it up a bit and stuffing him in through the bottom). Which leads to it's own string of bad jokes, of course. :-)

(also - another King Cake post? You are a brave woman!)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I had to stop scrolling since I was loling too much.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthe Former CB

Just because I'm feeling masochistic, I'll be in the bumper with a cupcake cake (*patooie!*)

I used to live down in New Orleans and I gave up searching for a "pretty" king cake. All that matters in the long run is the taste. Personally I'm a fan of the pecan praline-filled king cakes. Yaaaaay sugar!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda H.

I kinda like the purple baby-looks like a cool punk alien thing(cringes) the rest of them look like challah with frosting D:

Sharyn and Haiku joy ehehehe

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

YEAH! Deep fried AND with sprinkles!
I agree with Joan -- ug. These look very unappetizing. And I've had my share of Kings Deep Fried Crunchy Plastic Baby cakes in my time. They taste unappetizing, too!
Is there room in the bunker? I'll bring my own chair.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

A friend had a King Cake sent to me as he was aghast that I'd never had one. The baby was shoved in the unfrosted underside, head first, so when I found it, I was plastic heiney mooned.
It'll be a great story for years!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

This post was a great way to start the week!

@ SueBee, "Red Hot Jesuses", if there's ever a statment that could get you a 1-way ticket to the Red Hot land below, I would imagine that was it. :-) And the images that come to mind of "Bublicious Jesuses" will have me joining you, I'm sure. Going back to work after I clean the tea I snorted off of my keyboard.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna`

Now, just exactly what is a King cake and what does it represent?
Haha, like I didn't follow the past 2 years' Epcot debacles...please don't try to educate me against my will for a third year running!!

By the way, where's my damn trinket? I'm over here in the far corner of the Epcot bunker, so bring it to me now, none of those nasty yellow squashy bunnies, I need a molar-chipping baby! Although I am interested in one of SueBee's Safety Jesuses (Jesi?)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

@SuBee: Not to start an Epcot, but I think the plural of that is Jesusesi... I'll take a gross -- I'm assuming the only quantity you can buy is "gross," right?

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

It's like they just gave up trying. You know, we always poke fun at these people as bakers, but let's be honest...could you see these people assembling anything more life-altering than a cake?

WRECKERATORS in the Car industry:
"Ah, yeah, Jim, where do you think we should install the seat belts?"
"Oh, just throw them anywhere; people aren't picky about that kind of trivial stuff."

WRECKERATORS in the Dental industry:
"Where did the nurses' report say to put this filling? Gee...don't remember...and the reference chart IS SO FAR AWAY...and my lunch is soon, so...I guess I can just put this little filling in any 'ol tooth..."

WRECKERATORS in the Judicial system:
"You want justice? By the books, served up by someone who has faith in humanity? You want what you pay for? What do you think this is...Ace of Cakes?" (Whoops, sorry slipped there. :D)).

Best King Cake Post EVAR. Plus! No bunker activity yet. Sharyn, I will do you the honor of eating the pie. Whole. By myself. *engages in shameful amounts of pie eating* I'm so was so dang delicious... ;D

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

often for Easter I will make a carrot bundt cake with cream cheese drizzle, Then I take shredded coconut and shake it in a bag with some green food coloring, viola Easter grass for the middle of the bundt. Add some jelly bean eggs and a plastic chicken and everyone is happy. Now I wonder if i should use a peep chick instead.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

You are a brave, brave woman. :D

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermin

I had my first taste ever of a King Cake last week. Suffice it to say, it will be my last. Didn't look pretty, didn't taste good, and darn it I didn't get the baby! If there even was one. Now I'm curious! :D

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura P.

I LOVE how the Pees cake says on the label; "DOES NOT CONTAIN TRINKET."

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWreckophile #1

I believe the premise is, once you buy the cake, you can push the little bugger in yourself.
Did you know King cakes are also supposed to have a coin hidden inside (plastic, of course) and the person who get it is "King for the night"? Thus the name "King" cake.
I just wonder why THAT tradition faded out.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Your king cake posts the last two years(and of course, this one is now included) are the reason the band and a/v crew are getting king cake cupcakes tomorrow night-TRINKET INCLUDED. Can't wait to see faces when someone at church bites into plastic baby Jesus....lord, i love Mardi Gras!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate

When I make a King Cake, I avoid the stupid plastic choking hazard and use a whole Brazil nut instead. It's probably more accurate from a culinary history angle and certainly tastes better.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMorgana

If its time for Mardi Gras cakes again, im going to go hide in the bunker

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessi

The only King Cake that isn't a colored sugar monstrosity is the Zulu king cake from Ambrosia Bakery in Baton Rouge. Cream cheese and chocolate chip filling with chocolate glaze and sprinkled with toasted coconut. Yum and boy do I miss them!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

I find it interesting that the Pope decided to step down on this day- one day away from Fat Tuesday...coincidence? I think NOT! ;)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicole S.

Maybe you have to grow up with king cakes to like them, but I love them no matter how ugly and unappetizing they look (especially the "donut" ones)! They do basically look like a Mardi Gras parade threw up on them though...

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly R

Didn't Jesus tell his followers to consume his body? What better way to honor him than to choke to death on a tiny plastic replica and meet him THAT MUCH SOONER!

@SuBee - Hmmm... a gross of Jesusesi. Do they come in an assortment? I just can't decide between the Sour Patch Jesusesusi and the Bubblicious Jesusesusesi. Do they carry them at my local Krispy Kings-of-Nazareth?

I have lived in the south all my life. I have yet to understand the obsession with King Cakes or Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Really, they're not very good.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermeeshybee

Even though Kate already said it, the person who brings the cake in is supposed to hide the baby. Someone should know where that little bugger is!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Deep fried King Cake? Where are you guys living? King Cake is a giant cinnamon roll topped with confectioners' sugar frosting and colored sugar. Many are now filled with cream cheese, apple, strawberry, etc. And you haven't seen excited until you've seen a 6 yr old child find the baby! Happy Mardi Gras from New Orleans!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate

#1 and #2: Doesn't it look like the cakes are sucking the icing and flotsam into themselves? Like King Cake black holes? Hmm, perhaps I am not 100% well yet. (I thought I was at least 90%; no need for Quarantine Island).


# Last: So, first they have to warn you about the "trinket" in the cake, now they have to warn you that there is NOT a "trinket" in the cake? Hee. I would be sorely tempted (if I were ever to work in a bakery) to add random warnings on cakes: "Cake Does Not Contain Human Teeth", "Cake Does Not Contain Fire Extinguisher", "Cake Does Not Contain Envelope Full Of Money".

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

...and we were so close!

Kate, check out previous years' King Cake posts.

And for those of y'all in the bunker: after how many king cakes does the sugar-fueled hyperactivity level of everyone inside the bunker make the whole place explode?

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarin

Wait, wait, wait. I thought one was supposed to put "baby" in cake, not just for Mardi Gras! Have I been doing it wrong this entire time???

Re: Cake #4--And here when I thought I'd seen everything, now comes the festively-camouflaged carrot jockey!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCelidah

Oh, snap. Did I seriously put "Pees cake" in that post before? The intarnete neads spel-chek.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWreckophile #1

There was great discussion on the Publix Facebook page about their posting of a King's cake photo (with baby on top). "The baby is suppose to be in the cake." "It is a choking hazard." "You poke the baby in the cake before you serve it." No discussion about the extensive use of food coloring that looks like a Mardi Gras drunk got hold of the bottles. Never could bring myself to buy one because of the food coloring.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTricia L

@Celidah – you can put baby in the cake, but you can never put baby in the corner!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDB

Jen, you've posted some pretty revolting cakes, but today's selection takes the cake (so to speak) for sheer stomach-turning color mushes. Thanks for strengthening my resolution to curb my snacking and lose weight!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine Raymond

#4 isn't an actual king cake. But that's what makes it a wreck :-)

@Joan, Google "Sucre new Orleans". Beautiful sparkly king cakes, but not sugary and sinful like Randazzo's, Haydel's, Antoine's or Rouses'.

I love Jen's annual post, and considering that this year's Lundi and Mardi Gras might be rained out in NOLA, I am happy to have sugar to console both me and my dentist!.

Also Google the Elvis king cake from Cochon. It has bacon. :-)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersmart aleck

OMG, I'm cracking up!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterButterscotch

When I walked by the multicolored monstrosities in my grocery store yesterday (its name rhymes with Publix), I just had to grin remembering the infamous King Cake Epcot incident. Glad to see the tradition continues. Thanks to you all for the continued giggle-snorts.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLizzie!

SuBee, I want stock in your company!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

That doesn't even look appetizing.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarnieb

"does not contain trinket"


February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbeth

Jen must be doing better these days -- this is a level of bravery not often seen outside of the movies. (Backing out of theater parking spaces without dinging up other vehicles or people can be downright scary.)

I am frankly amazed that we are not in a full-blown EPCOT situation here, but I'll do what I can to 'help'. [evil grin]

#3 Not quite sure we have the concept of ransom notes down, here -- usually the key piece of information that is withheld is the whereabouts of the baby. So I gather from TV crime dramas, anyway. Which I don't make a habit of watching; just that I happen to have seen one now and then, and there's always a baby being hidden from someone for some nefarious reason. The writers of crime dramas must spend a lot of time in a certain part of the country where baby-hiding is big. Not that I would know where that is, or that this comment has anything to do with the fine traditions of fine people who are just fine. There -- that should cover the fines.

#6 Isn't every cake from this bakery a King cake?

#7 So much for the suspense -- if someone simply hands this to you, you know what you're doing next year.

#8 "OM NOM NOM NOM..." Did they actually incorporate an omlette in this? (Why is spell check flagging 'omlette'? What sort of Visigoths programmed this browser, anyway?! )

#9 What would life be without the SL's take on fine holiday traditions. Besides less funny, that is.
Take one ring cake (could be anything: Bundt, angel food, etc so long as it is easy to obtain without actual effort).
Pave with any sort of white frosting you may have on hand and sprinkle with aquarium sand (your choice of colors).
Garnish in the middle with fake grass, two Peeps and a few foil-wrapped something-or-others.
Be sure to offend anyone who might still be trying to attach religious significance to this 'creation' by informing them: "Does Not Contain Trinket." Though I suppose "Does Not Contain Baby" might be construed as intended to reassure allergy sufferers.

Why is this priced by the pound? Could it be a... pound cake?

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

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