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

Faulty Towers

Marisa F. writes,

"My sister-in-law had a beach destination wedding in Mexico, and decided that she loved this sand castle cake:"

"Upon speaking with the baker, she explained that she understood that the baker may not be able to recreate the cake exactly, but would be happy with something similar. The baker insisted that she could make a cake as equally beautiful. They agreed that the cake would be 3 tiers, with the sand castle on the top. 


"On the wedding day, she instead got 3 separate tiers, each topped with its own version of a flesh colored sand castle:

That door and window are what really sell it.


"Luckily, the Bride and guests have a great sense of humor, so the Penis Cake was the hit of the reception."

To be fair, they could also be mushrooms. Really happy, attentive mushrooms. 

[insert "fun guy" joke here]

"My sister-in-law was disappointed, of course, but even she had to laugh."

Wow, talk about a good-natured bride! I'm totally sending this to the next newly-wed who e-mails me complaining that her cake's shade of cerulean was a little off. PERSPECTIVE.

Oh, and here's the real kicker: 

"After the reception, they discovered that the 'castles' were merely frosting covered Styrofoam, so this cake topper now has a place of honor in the loving couple's home."

 Bwahahaa! Now that's my kind of wedding memento!


Thanks to Marisa for letting me use an epic John Cleese pun for the title, even if I couldn't think of any more Fawlty Towers jokes to work into the post. You must excuse me; I'm from Barcelona. (Ok, so that's ONE.)

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Reader Comments (49)

That is certainly quite a wreck. The smeary flesh-colored icing and the shape are one thing, but the tiers were even Styrofoam? Styrofoam penistowers? I'm sure they made great wedding mementos, though. :P

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChartreuse

Well, obviously today's song has to be from the musical "Came-a-lot!" Go ahead and fill in the rest yourselves...

Jen, I LOVE Fawlty Towers, but I'm having a hard time thinking of quotes, too. At least you didn't mention the war.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I am afraid to post today.
I know there are people who will catch my errors in grammar.
They will notice my punctuation mistakes.
They will see my missspellings.
I will give them the nerbs.

I will just say, " I'm sorry, but the cake is, in fact, off. It was never really on, quite honestly."

I'll add one other thing: Perhaps brides should bring photos of their desired cake to their receptions. It the actual cake ends up being a wreck, they can display the photo as a way of saying, "I did not choose this cake. I have GOOD taste. This is not my fault."

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

A frosted window
nestled amongst the towers?
Nay, nay. Inner tube.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

That poor bride! Thanks for dredging up memories of the original Disney "Little Mermaid" video cover from my childhood, BTW.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHM

Yay Fawlty Towers! Boo styrofoam penis cake! Although . . . I think the two combined would not surprise me and could be quite entertaining.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Ann

Did you bring any of your dogs with no noses to the reception? It would've totally made everyone forget about the cake!

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

If the first picture is actually a cake, I'm flabbergasted. I actually had a model sandcastle that looked *exactly* like that. Same color, graininess, everything. It's still in my old room at my parents' house, I think. Definitely not a cake.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElisabeth

This ranks right 'up' there with the flesh-colored fireman's hose. I will admit; the baker tried her hardest, but sadly was a bit soft on the details.

@SaraCVT - Doctor Who reference FTW!!

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzieQ

Why did the baker have to make things worse by using poop-colored sea-shells around the castle?

But I have to say: I love the original cake. I hadn't thought that a sand castle cake could be this elegant.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMiA

Styrofoam?! They couldn't even make their penis towers out of rice krispies??? It's nice to hear they didn't let it ruin their good time, though. I like the idea of displaying the photo of what you ordered, though, just for comparison's sake.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMegan M.

You do Realize that the first cake is Intended to Make light of the Original Little Mermaid VHS cover where Male Genitalia is visible! :)

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterselina

This is what terrifies me about picking a baker for my wedding cake. I don't want to see a wreck when I walk into the reception lol. I do have to say I'm glad I didn't pick a sand castle for the cake design lol.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPho

Hey Sharyn, Hey, Hey, Hey. How's this? Huh? HUh?

The Bride asked for a lovely castle cake here
But sadly that is just not what she got.
The decorator simply was too busy.
He came a lot.

Some tasteful sand and shells are all she asked for.
But he could not comply he was too hot.
There were other things that he had in mind.
He came a lot.

Came a lot! Came a lot!
I know it sound a bit bizarre.
But he came a lot, came a lot.
That’s just how some bakers are.
The bride rose up above this sad confection.
Her wedding was not ruined, no not a spot.
In short that’s just the way
To save one’s special day.
I hope her night was better and the couple
Came a lot.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

This makes me treasure my very simple wedding cake that much more. My MIL thought it was very plain, I thought it was beautiful. But then again, when I want to find material or scrapbook paper that I know she will like, I just have to find something that I find absolutely abhorrent. At least it wasn't Styrofoam.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnnaB

styrofoam? STYROFOAM???

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrankN.Stein

@ Chartreuse: Styrofoam Penistowers would make a GREAT band name. Jen, great job fleshing out the details of this story.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlaxmom

Even the "clean" interpretation just looks... eeeww. The towers also look like mushrooms. Pale, slimy mushrooms that grew on something rotting in a cave. The kind you just know one bite will controt your intestines into knotted ribbons of fire. And the cake itself is covered with that sort of fungus that almost glows in the dark. Not to mention other little parasitical things growing on it, next to the olive-shaped turds, or are they some kind of dung beetle-bloodsucking tick cross.
Happy wedding day indeed.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPanda Rosa

Styrofoam and resin castle pieces are readily available as toppers for wedding cakes. Heck, even Wilton sells plastic castle pieces and that kit comes with INSTRUCTIONS.

The source cake probably used one of these:

That being said, it is so sad/funny that even WITH the help of a styrofoam base the wreckarator couldn't make a decent castle.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristy J

@SuBee: Brava! Encore! Standing ovation! Oh,and did I mention AWESOME!!!

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Absolute disaster!

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterimi design

Manuel, there is too much icing on those tiers.
No not "si". *sigh* There is too much icing on those tiers.
Ummmm ... que?

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJules

I really want to know how much they paid for that child-like rendition

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlison


Original is cake. It's all over the wedding websites. I do know that the outside is done with sanding sugar. Whether it was modeled after "your" sandcastle, I do not know.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterK

I'm with Alison - child-like, indeed. Boy, did that baker snow the bride or what? (or would it be 'sand' the bride?) "...something similar...equally beautiful" <SNORT>. I hope the bride was able to get some money back, especially if she was able to find the castle cake toppers mentioned in the above comments. I'd show them to the baker and ask "Why not? Aren't these similar and yet equally beautiful?!" The alternative is the baker low-balled the bid & refused to spend a dime more than necessary. Brides beware - the lowest bid is *not* what you should accept - it's the middle one! Or, heck, be like me - if you're celiac, skip the cake or get a cheap one - if you're not eating it, why pay for one? Then splurge on a nice small gluten-free one just for you and your mate! :-)

PS to SuBee - Well Done!!

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

@SuzieQ: Doctor Who? No, it was another Monty Python reference:

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob

This makes me sigh. It is much like talking to a gardener or a handy man in the central valley California town I reside (not live) in. More pathos. The gardener is coming soon - well, maybe - and I cannot watch. Time to do some grocery shopping.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorine

Methinks the baker was thinking of they honeymoon instead ;)

Haikujoy :D

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

The first picture is a centerpiece, not a cake. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if the customer asked for the cake to look like the artwork; that seems entirely achievable by a competent baker.

I wonder if this is another case of paying $100 for what should really cost $1000, though? Lots of wrecks are due to not hiring real professionals.

The centerpiece is available in several colors here:

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

How fitting that the neighborhood garbage truck is stuck in the lane across from me, making horrible rumblings and gurglings, as I stare at styrofoam towers.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergobblergobbler

I knew there was a reason why we picked a plain old cheesecake for our wedding cake.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Oops! Forgot to give a thumbs up to Haiku Joy!! Hang in there with those student papers! ;-) I won't torture you with The Daughter's latest response to a practice STAAR test writing prompt. <cringe> She works so much harder on Star Wars fan fic and her occasional Cake Wrecks post that I'm tempted to write the Tx Dept of Education and suggest their use as test writing prompts... <sigh>

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm heading to the bunker before more posters start blaming the bride again. She *may* (or may not...think it's the latter) have taken the low bidder, but the wreckerator did promise something "equally beautiful" and then failed to fully follow instructions, which proves that said wreckerator wasn't paying much attention to details in the first place...or just didn't care. Styrofoam, really?! I coulda done that & I wouldn't have charged my friends a thing. At least then the wreck wouldn't have cost them a penny! (Heck, I probably would told them to buy a castle cake topper; styrofoam can shed particles & how could you ice it separately & then stick on the cake? I think not, which means everyone received a little extra fiber in their cake that night! :-)

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

Considering the wreck in question, is it really prudent to use "insert" and "fun guy" in the same sentence? :-)

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLes DuLunch

Even on the "inspiration" cake, the towers look like penises.... which makes the little flag-on-a-toothpick sticking out of the largest tower particularly squirm-inducing.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenP

Sybil: "But you get what you pay for, Basil. O'Reilly is nothing but a half-priced cock-up artist."

BF: "Terry, this kitchen is filthy."
T: "I know. 'Filthy Towers', eh."

This is really sort of a cake substitute: styrofoam and essence of frosting. Not really the apex, I'm afraid.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Is there a possibility that the baker and the bride had a language barrier since she was getting married in a another country? Yes, I am trying to see come up with SOME reason any baker would give this cake x3 to any bride. Poor girl. Thankfully she had a wonderful sense of humor and didn't go all bridezilla on this poor sandcastle. I would hate to think she paid a great deal of money for this.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenn Everett

OOoo, can I come to the bunker, too? I may not have been commenting long, but I've been a faithful reader since at least 2010, Scout's honor!

Also, the first thing I thought of when I saw this post was, "Hey, bebeh, wanna see the sand castle I built?"

And thus a marital inside joke was born.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCelidah

I've said it before--if you have to cheat, a RedBull can and sugar cone make a great, non-phallic tower for your princess cake. But seeing as this is a wedding cake, perhaps the baker realized the effect she was looking for.

@SuBee: Pure awesome, especially the final wish for the wedding night!

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjackwire

Foreign weddings do seem to lead to especially strange cakes. I suspect the resort bakers either don't care, knowing they'll never see these clients again, or they simply can't understand that foreign brides actually want these overcomplicated cake constructions for their weddings. They may not even be communicating with the clients, with the resort's wedding planners making commitments the catering staff can't keep. Local wedding cakes are probably just ordinary cakes. A sandcastle? Why would anyone want something that looks like that monstrosity? And how would anyone make a giant cake castle from sand? Is this not close? Just don't eat those bits.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarkinSF

@Bob: you flatter me, but I haven't thought of that clip in years. I was actually referring to this:

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

Roup or spring fever or housemaid's knee or something kept me from lecturing tonight. So I'm typing up a lecture, and from my fingertips unbidden sprang this example sentence of our frenemy, the serial comma with Oxford comma:

My favorite comedic authors are P.G. Wodehouse, Stephen Leacock, Jen Yates, and Jasper Fforde.

One day they'll make a BBC serial of Cake Wrecks - I just know it in my bones.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

aaaannnnndddd Chartreuse's "Styrofoam penistowers" is the BEST BAND NAME EVER.

@SuBee whatever you're swilling (caffeine, cough syrup, liquor) please keep at it, lady! that was freakin' awesome

Fawlty Towers was why I got laughed at when discussing pasta sauce as a child. Bazil, indeed.

The ninth Doctor makes a joke about the planet Barcelona have dogs with no noses. :D

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

1. That baker will promise literally anything to anybody to make a buck.

2. That baker is visually impaired.

3. Both.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJo

Oh am I dying here. Man what the.. that doesn't look better than the original picture. What on earth was the wreckerator smoking when she said she could make it even more beautiful?? Lol that cake is more for a bridal shower than a reception.

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Styrofoam penistowers, FTW!

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathan

I don't care if the bride said 'I've only got $10 to spend on my wedding cake' - the point is THE BAKER SAID SHE COULD DO IT when she clearly could not.

Yes, I am going to make that point every time someone posts the whole 'they wanted it cheap' comment. It just makes me so mad that these charlatans are ripping people off that I don't care how much they're ripping them off by.

Am going to sit in a corner now and practice some deep breathing exercises.

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

Original photo is NOT a cake.

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Yes. This is my wedding cake. It still KILLS me that the ONE thing from my wedding I could control went SO terribly wrong! A beautiful wedding on the beach in Mexico. A small guest list and a small budget. But, the one thing I spent A LOT of $$ on and it turned out to be the worst product I purchased.
But, MAJOR kudos to my betrothed. While I was getting dressed, the event coordinator brought this debacle to the attention to my groom. He made everyone keep the secret. After the ceremony, we entered the reception and straight into our first dance. I couldn't understand why my husband kept twirling me around! It was odd to say the least. Then, when we had been seated, he broke the news to me. EVERY eye was on me waiting for the fallout. What could I do? I laughed it off, of course. I DO have to say, though, that the cake was quite delicious. It just didn't LOOK appetizing. Well, to most, anyway.
For our 10th anniversary my husband & I will be renewing our vows and I get to redo my cake.!!!

Taking the suggestions given me of many other commenters on this page, I am totally going to start a band called Styrofoam Penistowers. It will be the best band. Our first album's cover will be the photograph of the wreck above. Our songs will be deeply meaningful, laced with complex metaphors which are always related to such phallic structures as this unfortunate bride received for her wedding. Our most popular song, however, will likely be the rendition we will surely do of SuBee's excellent piece above. Everyone on this page will get free front-row seats at our first concert. We shall take the world by storm. B|

March 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChartreuse

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