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

Half-Off Wreckage!

Sometimes the stories you guys send in with your wrecks are so perfect they don't need anything more from me. So, Steph S., take it away!


It was my son's "half birthday" and he wanted a cake. Because I'm a modern mother, obviously I said yes, but "just half a cake." So, I went to the bakery and explained the sitch.

"Think you could make me a half a cake?"

"Well, nooo, 'cause then we'd like, have to throw away the other half."

"Well, it'll be special order so you can just make one cake layer, right? And then cut it in half and stack it. Like a layer cake!"

"I don't know what you mean."

{{ repeats previous statements with hand motions }}

"Ok, like, I have no idea what you're wanting here."

"Look, just bake one round cake, cut it in half and stick the two sides together for a layer cake. Makes half a cake."

"I think that'll be really messy."

"Sure. Ok, just... Whatever. Do what you've gotta do."


And here is the result:

Thanks to Steph for literally making me screech with laughter. Oh, and for next time: there ARE bakeries who sell half cakes all the time. In fact, some will even write "Happy Birthday" on it first before chopping the thing in half:

See? Now that's service!




[THURSDAY UPDATE: Due to some severe server issues beyond our control, most of you who visited yesterday couldn't actually SEE this post, so we've decided to leave it up an extra day. Rest assured we'll have plenty of fresh new wreckage up tomorrow, though!]

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Reader Comments (142)

What the heck is with the "half birthday"? Is that really necessary?

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersyz

That's perfect!! I'm still laughing.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLDM

No, you can't always get what you want
No, you can't always get what you want
No, you can't always get what you want
But if you try sometime, you just might find
You get what WE need

Jen, can you please institute a rating system on posts, so we have some idea what to expect? Today's would have been "AD", for "Adult diaper strongly advised."

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

LOL! That is priceless. :)

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermillbrit

oh no, no, no.

it makes my brain sad!

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

Ok. I think I can safely stop coming to Cake Wrecks now, having seen the epitome of stupid bakers. Surely there CAN"T be anything wreckier than this. Right? RIGHT????

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNewb

I'm laughing like a lunatic reading this. OMG!! So so so funny and worth every penny. HA HA HA HA AH

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

We do 1/2 birthday cakes for our year is a long wait for little minds. We even sing Hap Birt You!

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTom

A Half-Birthday is a birthday celebration at the half year mark between a person's real birhdays.

We celebrate them for my son every year. His real birthday is lost to Christmas celebrations. So we have a family birthday party at that time, but his friends were never able to come to a birthday party for him because they were out of town or had family obligations for the holidays. I didn't want him to go through life without the memories of rambunctious birthday parties that show he has friends, so he gets to invie friends to a party for his half-birthday. The rule is that anyone who got him a birthday gift for his real birhday does not have to get him anything for his half-birhday even if they attend.

He does get a full cake at his half-birhday though.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTrista

So... I'm guessing the half birthday is a new cool excuse for cake? Good idea.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

So she can decorate that competently, but still can't figure out how to stack TWO PIECES of round cake on top of each other??? They obviously are separate skills, and she bypassed completely something a preschooler can do. I can sympathize with someone doing the work of two for half the pay of one, but...

How does anyone DO something like this???

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBea

We do this all the time, My daughter has a Christmas birthday and my Dad always felt she got robbed of the whole Birthday experience, so we celebrate a half birthday in June. We make it fun, give her half a card. half a cake, half of a 2 piece bathing suit, etc. It's become a fun little tradition.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkathy

1/2 birthdays are becoming quite the trend, I've done several 1/2 birthday cakes myself. The mother should have left the bakery after the first description failed.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrosting chick

That's a beautifully executed slice of passive aggression!

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

Oh Emm Gee this is AMAZING. Just Amazing.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBecky W

OMG! This is sooo rediculously FUNNY! It is so hard to believe there are people this stupid in the world. I firmly agree that stupid people should be forced to wear a sign. I laughed so hard this brought me to tears. Thank you again for a great morning break!

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandy C in SoFla

I'm thinking there needs to be an intelligence test, coupled with a common sense and decorating skills test, to become a cake decorator/baker!

Hmm, but then that would put alot of people out of work, and we wouldn't get such ghastly wrecks...Carry on, folks!


Good God, what is this world coming to?!?!? My mind is officially boggled!!!

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteranony mouse

Steph should be pleased. The person who made her son't cake is a genius.
The cake she received is so much more complex than what she asked for. How many people could get that top cake to balance so perfectly on the bottom one? And it isn't "really messy" at all. The fact that Steph managed to get it home in one piece is a testment to the decorator's engineering prowess.
Either that, or the decorator is an idiot.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

A half birthday is a thing. It even has its own website:

Half birthdays are celebrated by people whose birthday falls on or near a major holiday, and as such are a brilliant way to avoid the dreaded dual-purpose gift.

The wreckorator -- unintentionally, I'm sure -- created a brilliant visual pun. I note the presence of two layers in the cake as such, resulting in a double wreck.

The second one is just bogus.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

My birthday is New Year's Eve and my parents always had a little celebration for me in July. Like others have stated, a birthday at the end of December gets lost in the holiday shuffle. I think half birthdays are a great idea. I am sad that I never got a cake, not even a half of a wrecked cake. (I did get bicycles and stuff.)

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvie_M

BWAHAHAHA you can't beat reality for absurdity XD Sharyn lol :D it actually looks tasty, i'd eat it O_o

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Ooohhh, the HUMANITY...!!!
There is AB!soLUTE!ly NO EXCUSE!! NONE! No excuse for ANY of us to even THINK of being surprised by ANY of this. I'M not.
As for half-birthdays in general, as a "thing"? Eh~my opinion is that I don't really halve one. =^~.-^=

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

My birthday is 11 days before Christmas. One year, I invited my entire class to my December birthday party. One girl showed. How I would have adored the half birthday idea. If I ever have a December baby, I will absolutely do this. Minus the wreck, of course.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMyra

*standing up after falling off chair laughing* That was hilarious!
We just happen to be celebrating my son's 16 1/2th birthday today! (Do you know that it is now 6 months less a day until Christmas?) I would like to say that we started celebrating half birthdays because my son was born the day after Christmas blah, blah, blah... But the truth is I demanded half birthdays for myself when the hubby and I were first married, long before any children came along. I wanted more presents!
Regarding this particular cake and this particular baker, I believe I have shared this before but it bears sharing again; you've got to be tough to be stupid.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterzoomom

This post pretty much describes my life, sadly. Thank you, Steph S. and Cake Wrecks, for making me feel a little less alone.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ.

My third grade teacher held half-birthday celebrations for all of us that had summer birthdays, so that we could have a classroom "party" too. We had half (giant) cookies and half full cups of milk. Just one of the reasons she was the best :)

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKdot


Oh, I love this. So very, very close, and yet...

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

@Syz, I think with the pessimism and negativity in the world we need more reasons to celebrate. We love half birthdays at our house. We've even invited others to our half birthday parties occasionally--no presents, but a fun excuse to have fun food and play silly games.

I have only made one decent looking cake in my life and it was my husband's half birthday cake (back when we were dating--I think I put a little more effort into to it to try and impress him). Even if I had stacked it like they did in the picture here, it still would have looked better than this. But Steph, I can't feel too bad for you because you all must have had a million laughs over that. That's a win in my book.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

That is a wonderfully funny cake, and I'll bet her son loved it.
Schools sometimes do half-birthday celebrations for students whose birthdays fall in the summer months, so they don't feel left out of classroom parties. I'm in favor of celebrating for any and all reasons possible.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStoryteller Mary

@Newb: ("having seen the epitome of stupid bakers. Surely there CAN"T be anything wreckier than this. Right?")

Heh heh must be new on the block. Stick around, kid.Stick around.
@ syz; ("Is that really necessary?")

Well, of COURSE it's not NECESSARY, silly!! BREATHING is "necessary". Cake is just fun to have while one IS breathing!! ('Cause, like, you can't really enjoy all that much it if you're, like, you know...dead.)

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Oh. My. Goodness!!!! ROFL!!! The cake was so unexpected, even after reading the description above it, that I laughed my head off! Such a simple idea, such an epic fail.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVicki V

This reminds me of the time my family went to Harvey's for my brother's birthday. I don't like beef (I know, I know...) so my mother asked the cashier if they could take my patty and put it on her burger. After about ten minutes of explanation, they finally gave my mother a burger with two patties and a patty in a dish.


I guess that works...

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

I think it's great! I love how the piping just goes on around the cut part of the half. It wasn't left unfinished. So, they really did try to do what was ordered, they just didn't understand! Now, why they didn't understand is a mystery.
But, my son liked to take two burger patties and put them on one bun. He tried to tell a fast food place he wanted two cheeseburgers, but just put them on the same bun (so it saved them a bun and condiments), but the girl just couldn't get it.
Maybe asking for something out of the norm throws some people.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

That's a TON of icing for half a cake... wow. And they are perfectly balanced. I believe the baker completely overthought the request. Or never thought at all...

And my hubby and I celebrate our half-anniversary every year. never thought about half-birthdays.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKrysmon

The only half birthdays I ever heard of was when I was in grammar school and the teacher one year decided to have "half birthday parties" for all the kids who had summer birthdays so they could have cupcakes in class, too. A June baby, I welcomed the idea. I was FINALLY going to have a school party! However, since my birthdate was the 19th, it fell during the Christmas holidays. I never did have my class party.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

Bwwwhahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! Thanks muchly for the big belly laugh.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

My local grocery store will cut a rectangular cake in half diagonally, so you end up with this very weird triangle. I asked them why, and they said it was so they could use the same boxes for the half cakes that they use for the full ones...

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhalf cake half-wit

Excuse me while I cry my brain out what is that even good gravy


June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

The best part about this wreck is the bottom border on the top layer... Just look how perfectly executed that is! Imagine the angle that her icing bag would have had to sit to allow that much icing to adhere to the rest of the icing without falling off! Clearly, what this baker lacks in geometric fluency (and, of course, IQ), she makes up for in bizarre decorating ability. It's really a pity that said skill isn't applicable to almost any situation in daily life! :-)

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrocketmannate

@Craig: That's what I said, too! It's not even HALF a cake! It is a whole cake, decorated, THEN cut in half, and stacked (awkwardly). HAHAHAHA! *tilts head* Actually, it is quite pretty and would be rather fantastic at a Mad Tea Party...

So, with these half cakes I see in the stores, what keeps them from getting all dry along the cut side? Anyone ever buy one?

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Andrea

Decorating cakes takes some visual-spatial skills. Maybe bakeries should test their applicants in that area. Of course, then we'd have fewer funny wrecks to laugh at, so maybe they're doing us a favor after all.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDawn B

I think it was in the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland (??) where they sing "A Very Merry Unbirthday to You!" That was the first I'd heard of a half-birthday. But I think the decorator did a bang-up job with this cake...seriously! The icing at the bottom edge of the top cake layer is still hanging on!

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdru

We don't do half birthdays, but I see why they're popular for kids with birthdays close to major holidays. Our daughter does get a half birthday at school. She has a summer birthday and she gets to take treats in for her class in January.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Half-birthdays are not really new. I am over 50, but I often had a "half birthday" when I was in grade school because my birthday is in the summer, so I would never have gotten to bring treats to school if it hadn't been for "half birthdays." Except sometimes I just borrowed my sister's birthday, which isn't really 6 months from mine, but who cares, it's the cake that counts, right?

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKRandall

With twins whose actual birthday of February 13 falls near the potential gift-giving holiday of Valentine's, the half-birthday was a great way to celebrate their special day without all the folderol or the dreaded dual gift. Plus, when they were older, they argued that since there are two of them, they should get two parties (but presents only at one). Seemed reasonable; and much easier to do one in February and one in August instead of two at once. Now they're 24 and it's more of an excuse for extra desserts but who cares?

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMindy

I celebrated my half-birthdays with my friends during university, because to celebrate it in my parents' summerhouse in the middle of summer was just so much more fun than in start of January when people are still half-conscious from Christmas and New Year, or already start studying for exams (examination session lasted all January). I really should restart this thing - I live rather far from everyone and traveling is so much more easily done in July when many people have vacations anyway, or at least are used to driving somewhere for weekend. Of course, it really is just an excuse to have a party. ;)

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkit

I celebrated my half-birthdays with my friends during university, because to celebrate it in my parents' summerhouse in the middle of summer was just so much more fun than in start of January when people are still half-concious from Christmas and New Year, or already start studying for exams (examination session lasted all January). I really should restart this thing - I live rather far from everyone and travelling is so much more easily done in July when many people have vacations anyway, or at least are used to driving somewhere for weekend. Of course, it really is just an excuse to have a party. ;)

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkit

As an engineer, I'm scratching my head...

I *think* the baker actually made the cake as a single layer and decorated it, then cut it in half and put the right half on top of the left and then touched up whatever needed to be.

If that's the case, I'm dumbstruck that the baker would think anyone would want such a thing. On the other hand...the sheer simplicity of the solution the baker employed is pretty stunning.

(And here I was thinking that since I've read every CakeWreck post ever published, I had just about seen it all...)

Thanks Jon, Jen and Gang for '...straining credulity at that..'

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

I am trying so very hard to believe that this is a joke, but I find that I cannot.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

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