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

Lost In Translation

 Somewhere in Japan...

Baker #1: "So the couple getting married this weekend wants 'United Forever in Love' written on their wedding cake, but they want it in English. UG. Where's our English dictionary?"

Baker #2: "Oh, please. Just copy a few lines off this old box of Twinkies! No one will ever know."




Before you ask: Yes, this really is the cake from a Japanese wedding. Judy A.'s daughter is an exchange student there, and took the photo. No word on what the couple really wanted their cake to say, but hey, it could have been worse! They could have gotten matching tattoos that said "crazy diarrhea." :D

Thanks for the cultural exchange, Judy!

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Reader Comments (63)

There wasn't quite enough room to write, "Insufficient Quantities of the Putrid Articles."

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

At least the Japanese can spell the words correctly

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary Lee

Japanese attempts at English range from really obscene to really funny . Like the t-shirt I got there that, I kid you not, says, verbatim, "They live with specific purposes, being supported by these the bestkind of personalities are completed." The looks I get when I wear it are priceless. :) This cake is actually impressive that it's an actual, understandable, correctly spelled English phrase!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

I guess today's song should be "Say What You Need to Say."

Having spent a year in Japan as an exchange student, my first thought when I saw this was, "Yeah, that seems about right." I was there well before we all carried cell phones, or I'd have a phone full of pictures of funky English translations. I still have a purse that says "SPLENDID! To CITY Liff!" English is a slippery language -- the very first question my host father asked me was whether I was a virgin. I spent about 15 seconds wondering if I was about to learn about human trafficking, then asked to see the word in the dictionary. He was asking whether I was single or married (maiden or matron.)

Now I feel a little sad, because it's not a very good cake and -- at least when I was there -- every block seemed to have a pastry shop with absolutely spectacular cakes and pastries, sold by the slice for a pittance. (The chocolate almond puff pastry one with coffee almond cream and dark chocolate drizzle still has a place of honor on my thighs, years later...)

Now I'm going to have to find my "Japan Box" and see what other examples I can find. Maybe I'll post the good ones...

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I bet they didn't want anything written, but specified that they wanted "lots of fresh fruit." That's my best guess, anyway!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJGMB

Jen, thank you for continuing to bring the daily smile. We need it bad.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMel

It's the Japanese equivalent of our "with lots of sprinkles" or " with John in purple". The instructions probably said "with sufficient quantities of fresh strawberries."

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPamB

And it's in a PUREX pan?!? What kind of wedding was this--a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure?

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

Maybe we should give it a few times back and forth trhough google translate, and then maybe it would make sense?

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

"Sufficient Quantities" = Lots
Lots of....?????

I'm throwing against the wall here.. see what sticks.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCybrczch

In all fairness, there does seem to be a sufficient amount of fresh lychee on that cake.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbiblioholic29

Lots of what??? Lovings ;)

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

I'm guessing it was "lots of fruit" or something similar . . .

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

from the sage of the East...the wise and perfect answer to the age-old question of what makes a perfect marriage....

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

Ooh, a multi-cultural wreck!
I am hoping that is a giant sugar cookie on top of that thing, because that would be so nice. Who wouldn't want a cookie the size of a surfboard!?!?

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

Yeah, in Japan they use English for their T-shirts the same way we use Japanese - I have one that says 'We wishes that all be happy". Sadly I've gained so much weight since college that it doesn't fit me any more. :(

Thanks for the link! Luckily, the 'Abusive husband' one looks like it's just face paint - it's covered in glitter and running a little - but the 'crazy diarrea' one made me wince.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLorien

No, this is not about strawberries! It is a poem of love; love in sufficient quantities to overcome life's troubles, love freshly expressed each day, love- the genuine article. *sniff* It's such a beautiful sentiment.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Andrea

Still having flashbacks from the post yesterday ...

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFran_kly

When I worked for an American office/factory of a well known Japanese corporation we received instructions like these faxed from Japan on a daily basis . I thought there should be a central repository of these hilarious and cryptic sayings, but I was the only one (new) who still thought they were funny. It's surprising how you can learn to translate that to replace old resistor ABC with new resistor ABC.1 use strawberries so magnified.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorine

I think I'm most confused by the fact that there appears to be a cookie sitting on top of the cake. Right? Still doesn't make any sense tho.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

I hope we all get more than sufficient quantities of love today!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh

We need some bilinguals to see if they can puzzle out what it was supposed to say. I'm going with "lots of fruit".

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristy

I hope no one was unkind enough to tell them what it really said.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn McIntyre

I'll take a guess and say they wanted a lot of fresh strawberries.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I'm thinking they didn't want anything written on the cake, they wanted a lot of fresh strawberries. And is the writing on a flat cookies pressed on top of the cake?

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Ann

Google tells me this is a Fawlty Towers reference.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

This is awesome! It's like reading instructions that were translated from English, into Chinese, and back into English again!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

My guess is something along the lines of "Best wishes" or "good luck." "may lots of nice things happen to you!" Some Japanese idiom with that sort of meaning, that just didn't translate.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

I agree with Wendy...I'm thinking they said to the bakery "make sure there's 'lots of fresh fruit' on the cake"

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

biblioholic29, those are strawberries :)

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdriana

Thank you for sharing with us Sharyn, I love hearing about people's foreign adventures . I'll bet that was an unforgettable year. Pastry... yummm!

What is the wording written on? It looks like an oblong sugar cookie stuck on top of the icing. Or is my vision just off today?

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

I think the cake was wishing them:

"Lots of new things(experiences)" their marriage.

Lots= Sufficient Quantities
New= Fresh
Things= Articles

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertmtco

My first thought was "Many Blessings"

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShel

"With lots of fresh things" i.e. fresh fruit around it?

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdbiz

Is that a cookie on the cake? How do you even cut that?

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwildmaven

"Sufficient quantities of the fresh articles"--that's what SHE said! I'm sure there's some way to make this dirty.

I also think that the instructions refer to the strawberries. Maybe they weren't sure which fruit was in season and didn't really care what kind was put on the cake.

This should be cross-posted to

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

I wonder if it was supposed to say "All the Best".

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

I'm guessing there were two sets on instructions. The one about sufficient fresh whatever and another one for also writing something in English. The baker combined them via Google translate.

Am I the only one who can't figure out what that thing is that they wrote on? It looks like half of a giant Milano cookie.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersopdox

Love it!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJudy A

Based on Wendy's comment, maybe they were trying for "May you be fruitful and multiply!"

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Well.... fresh articles could be "new chapter(s)" which makes sense for a wedding.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKH

Regardless of what the hell that is supposed to mean, I would gladly eat sufficient quantities of this cake.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTerra

Yep, I'm going with "lots of fruit" as the lost translation. I wonder if it tasted like the specatularly decorated but suprisingly un-sweet cake my friends and I got from a bakery in Dalian, China. Everyone in the shop (the bakers and others in the back) came out to meet us - I guess they don't see too many western visitors and were thrilled to find four of us in their shop - and while the cake was gorgeous and then ensconced in a nice box festooned with ribbons and bows, the cake was...unusual. Texture was cake-like but not sweet and the icing made us wonder what it had been made out of.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkrunchifrog

That's right up there with "Happy Falker Satherhood"

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Yeah, lots of fresh fruit. I bet that's it. At least they can SPELL over there.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJo

Do you think it might be as simple as "All The Best' ?

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentershelli

This site always has sufficient quantities of fresh articles:

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnonynon

I suspect this is an overly literal translation of something, but how very odd that, as Amanda points out, it is also a direct quote from a Fawlty Towers episode.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDancesWithSpatulas

I'm thinking it's deliberate - Faulty Towers fans and an inside joke.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

This is what I get for not getting on this site at 0600 (or whatever time new posts arrive here on the Left Coast). It is a Fawlty Towers reference: "The Hotel Inspectors." "Mr. Hutchinson" delivers the line in question, only 'article' is not plural in the original: "...sufficient quantities of the fresh article," referring to fresh peas.

Yes, I do have the book of the scripts, but I used it to verify my memory. All of which is conclusive proof that I need to get out more. Oy.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

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