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

What Happens in Vagueness

Reading a wreck can be like deciphering code. Except it's a code where the sender doesn't necessarily know what she's saying, either.

Some are easy:



Others take a little more work:


(Do we need to go over this again?)


And some are downright inscrutable:

That settles it: No more caffeine for Mary.


Now, this clearly says "CoNgrat's Spr 2K9 Noo of the Theta Tall of Kappa Alpha Psi To be Kontrua."

But it's all Greek to me.

(Well, half Greek. All inexplicable, half Greek.)


So in conclusion,

My thoughts exactly.


Thanks to Missie S., Megan B., Tina H., Jessica R., and Jeremy N., for helping us clear that up.

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Reader Comments (94)

I have read this site for years, and always chuckled at the comments of "Long time reader, first time commenting..." and wondered what cake would finally lead me to break my silence. Well, here it is. That Fun in the Sun cake is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Every time I look I see something new, something that makes me smile and giggle. But I keep going back to that pegacorn next to the candy cane! Priceless.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTeri

I spotted 17 separate occasions fested (festered?) in Wreck # 3. My favorite is National Masked Pink Octopus Playing Football Day.

What? Obviously it can't be International, because who else plays football? What? Australia? Okay, then. Bi-national.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDB

I'm sure that third cake is their demo. You can order any of the images you see there, because these are the ones they do well, and get it on its very own cake all by itself! And maybe with lettering, but that's your call.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLDM

The "Cake" Cake is so... post-modern, so brilliant in its simplicity. I love it. I think it's right up there with the "i want sprinkles" cake with no sprinkles for me.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDavid from Brazil

Third cake is so very obviously a tribute to Holiday World and Surfin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana! Duh!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTracy W.

@DB: My favorite is Exploding Owl Day.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Did you find Wally?
He was right there, under the
barn owl explosion.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

these cakes give new meaning to the term; "Gobblty-gook"

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

I tried to find Waldo in the Fun in the Sun cake, but couldn't spot him.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJasini

Cake number three is my very favorite cake ever! Well, it's now on the list of my very favorite cakes ever. It looks like a Barry Reigate painting. If you hung it in MoMA, people would bow down before it.
If you ever have another cupcake contest, I am going to cram all of this beauty onto a teeny, tiny cupcake using teeny, tiny piping bags and tinier tips. I might replace the football with a hacky sack, but I swear, I'll do it. I might just do it even if there's no cupcake contest!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Barbara Anne, look carefully at Caffienated Mary's cake, because I think I found your robot monkey in it.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

With apologies to Haiku Joy, who does it much better:

King snowman in boat
Crossing Potomac River
Attacked by dolphin.


Marini in Grail
Gets together with beer stein
Attracts veiled football.

Actually this one cake looks like it deserves about seven verses of Sharyn's "My Favorite Things".

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdrgns4vr

Haiku are big enough for everyone to play. Drgns, I loved them. :-)

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

#3's my favorite. A year in review. and a picture find to boot.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteranonymous

OK, I'm really, really curious about the story behind that third cake. I think every holiday is represented (Halloween, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day...) sports, summer, graduation, new baby. Wow. I don't know whether to be impressed or afraid.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterakathleen

My favorite on cake #3 is the melancholy Santa penguin on top of the rainbow.

That cake is absolutely superb in its wreckiness.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraV

I don't know what this may be a sign of, but... I kind of want that third cake. For my next birthday, I'm going to request a cookie cake covered in as many designs as the decorator can squeeze on, in bright tooth staining frosting, because it's kind of pretty in a very funny way. Cake that can also make me laugh is awesome.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

I would LOVE to know what was ordered to create that cake. And I think someone was off their medication when they created it. That is absolutely STUNNING... like someone whacked me in the face with a board, stunning. wow

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKrysmon

Cake three! It's so fantastic I am lost for words (and if a picture paints a thousand words this is the complete works of Shakespeare).
It reminds me a little of Toontown in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. My favourite is the football getting married on its way to jail. Sweet.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaoirse

#3 cake.... I spy with my little eye... to little baby feet....

cake and entertainment all in one! Now that's a smart event planner!!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana C

Maybe that third cake was kind of like a sampler... they can point to the various bits "sure we can do baby blocks, and witches, and candy canes!"

But yeah, it's kind of awesome in a post modern kind of way.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Even with Starbucks coursing through my veins, I could not come up with such a masterpiece as with "mary's" cake O_o

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

The design of the cake is simple, someone gave the baker (I use the term loosely) a copy of a Jackson Pollack picture (any JP picture) and a copy of "The Beachboys sing Christmas Carols/Easter/Football songs" and they went from there....

And I am very sorry but "Aussie Rules " football does not count as football- it counts as contained warfare.....

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkirri

Explosive Owl Diarrhea awareness month is February.
Didn't you all know that?

Well. Now you are aware.
Spread the word.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDr Avian Feces

I want Mary's Caffeinated Mess for my next birthday! Seriously, it is so deliciously wrecky and over the top. While I know others are partial to the exploding owl, I personally prefer the anorexic Christmas tree and the deformed dolphin. Poor Flipper!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelonie

@Haiku Joy
"Haiku are big enough for everyone to play."
Thank you! My local PBS station is having a Downton Abbey haiku contest. So far, I've entered nine, thinking of you the whole time. I find myself counting syllables in everything I write. Does that happen to you?
If I win, I'll have you to thank!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

I want to take a photo of Cake #3 to a bakery and say "Make me one just like this." Then take a photo of whatever they come up with to another bakery and ask them to make another just like it. And so on, and so on, until you just have a smear of gray icing on the cake. With sprinkles.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHarold

I think I've cracked it - for no.3 they were asked to make a celebration cake,so that's what they did, celebrating EVERYTHING! It's a masterpiece in its own way.
Personally,I think the Fatty Platter is the one for me.....

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

Cake Three is.....
''The Most Interesting Cake Wreck in the World.''

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Former CB

Good luck, SuBee!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

"What Happens in Vagueness" is right up there with the top five titles of your site, Jen!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

I think #1 and #3 are different approaches to the same problem: What if you want cake when it's not a special occasion? The first is plainly cake for cake's sake. The other combines ALL special occasions without regard for chronology.

"Ham?" is probably an in-joke.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClassic Steve

Ok, cake three? ....that's a small peek inside an ADHD brain!!!!! Love it!! Had Mary drank a few shots of espresso like she should have, she would be calm enough to make a Sunday Sweet! (Ok, well that might be pushing it a little, but still ;)

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelody

I just made cake #3 my desktop background. Now I can play Where's Waldo every time i want to open something pinned to my desktop!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarrieG

I see your I spy and raise your two little feet:

I spy...
Three balloons
A martini
A ghost playing golf
A unicorn Pegasus eating a cross

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrob

This may be a really stupid question, but I need it explained anyway! What does #2 say? I'm not getting it.

I'm seeing "How?"

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

I meant


February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Harold, if you do that PLEASE send pics

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

#3 Looks like a Harlem Shake in cake form.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterK8E

Cake #4 looks like the wreckerator confusion was just another layer added on top of the confusion of the person who made the order (assuming that person didn't submit the wreck). Maybe the order placer wasn't part of the fraternity or sorority being honored and had trouble remembering which one this cake was for, and/or maybe he/she wasn't in full control of his/her mental faculties.

"Congrats Fall 2009... Strike that, start over. Congrats SPRING 2009, not Fall... of Th... Theta... of Kappa Alpha Psi."

I'm not sure what that last part would be. Maybe "to be continued," signifying they will see each other next semester or they will keep in touch?

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Enough of cake 3 for the moment. I'm trying to decode the Greek cake. I've got as far as Congratulations Spring 2009. The rest looks like Greek letters with various bits of pesky grammar thrown in. Any help?

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKay

Cake #3 really is the gift that keeps on giving. I just spotted an engagement ring and a frog (I think). My favourites though are the happy candy corn couple! I have two birthday cakes to make for this weekend and I am desperately tempted to try to recreate this......That wouldn't be scarring to a couple of eight-year old's would it?

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

If you would like to see the full size pic of the 3rd wreck, which I really, really hope was a sampler:

Thanks for posting it!!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTina

My favorite? The top band of color in the rainbow. I love looking at rainbows after a spring shower and trying to spot the brown. And if it's an attempt at violet, it should be on the inside curve.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Wait, is the ghost playing golf?

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke

Am I the only one who sees Cake #3 as the backstage treat after a taping of "This Is Your Life!" ? Every possible milestone, plus a few tripping hazards, all on a cake. And Waldo's gotta be in there somewhere...

Oh wow, the Fun in the Sun cake? A work of art! Maybe not a work of GOOD art but...I still want a cake like that for MY birthday!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Is that the Pillsbury Dough Boy (Mr. Pop-n-fresh) in a boat with a fishing line on the glorious Zen cake No. 3? (it's one with everything). Icing awesomeness!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkrunchifrog

I LOVE cake #3! Is it a coincidence that just before I opened up Cake Wrecks I was looking at an ad for DoodleArt? I was reminiscing about DoodleArting when I was kid, and how I never managed to finish one. So bravo to the decorator for finishing hers/his! At least, I think it’s finished.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindaLu

Hmm. I've got to say the "Cake" cake really has me. I feel the need to start pointing at random objects and stating what is clearly visible to all using only monosyllables.(Is it funny to anyone else that "monosyllable" takes 3 but means 1?) Foot. Screen. Chair. Cup. SPOON!

Heh heh heh. It is fun ;)

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJess T

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