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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

The Top 12 Cakes To Bring To Your Family Reunion

The Top 12 Cakes to Bring To Your Family Reunion:

(Assuming your family has an excellent sense of humor.)

(Or you just don't like them.)

With this many grammar errors, you can always blame it on your younger cousins.


Make sure you insist everyone sing to him, too.


Works best if your last name is Trumpet. Or if you have a bunch of sentient squabbling horns around.

(No, I don't know the back story. Feel free to imagine your own.)


And this one works best if you there are either a bunch of teenage girls in your family, or none at all.


Just like there's no place like the back seat for carrying home an ROUS and a giant ... log?

("Anybody want a peanut?")

I *think* this was supposed to say "Lordy Lordy, look who's forty." I like the vaguely ominous portent-of-death vibe, though. And, hey, conversation starter!

Because a little honesty can go a long way... towards getting everyone to leave early so you can go back to playing LEGO: Harry Potter.


Mom always said to be positive. Or possibly "possitive."


Serve with copious amounts of alcohol. Then:

... set this one out while no one's looking, sit back, and watch the accusations fly.


This is another one I don't have a back story on, but I like to imagine it was ordered by that Debbie Downer relative who's always going on about "kids these days" and how "we'll all belong to China in a few more years - just you watch."

Also, yes, that relative might be me. WHAT.


And finally:

SO CLOSE to "family ruin," and yet ... so far. Drat. 



Hey Shelly G., Krissy M., Amy S., Lisa C., Judi D., Laura B., Lisa V., Nicole S., Susan S., MJ, Vanessa S., & Laura S., I think I speak for us all when I say, "what's that supposed to mean??"

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Reader Comments (59)

Sung to the theme from "All in the Family" (Those were the Days)

Every "body" loves that cake
Yay for drugs you didn't take
Trumpets need to have their say
Those teens today

Taking home the poo again
Pipe the final word in then
We prefer some other friends
You've made my gut hurt again

Have a beer, no need to wait
Maybe you should stop at 8?
Chinese kids are really great
Re-u-ion cake.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I'm kinda confused by that ulcer cake. I mean do they think that ulcers are something you can just buy? Like they could just go to a Costco and get some? Maybe they are going to pick up some from a friend.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolly Folly

I see the "Trumpets: Stop Arguing" as a stage cue, sort of like in a script:

Heard from off stage, trumpet fanfare, then the announcer's voice sternly warns "Stop Arguing".

Yeah, let's all go have a beer together and fuhgeddaboudit.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbassgirl

I'm thinking (more like hearing voices in my head) that #3 is more like: "Da-da-da-daaa!! Stop Arguing!!" You know, like a family that's worked Mom's last nerve and she has to turn to the brass section of the orchestra for help.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdutchgirl

I spent way too much time trying to puzzle out the picture for "No place like home." I at first thought it was an old-time radio, but why would there be those brown . . . things? If that's a car, what are a black squiggles on the "road" (if that's what it is)? What are the green things and why is one in the middle?
What are those brown things?!?!?!?

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFM

The ulcer cake... I wonder if it is a take off from a Hoops and YoYo greeting card. It looks like them. Love those fellas. Here's a link if you're not sure who I mean. : )
(they're clean )

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana C

The "Trumpets" one could be for a band or orchestra with a few problems in the brass section. If so, it's a poor way of addressing the problem.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Polowin

It's actually "Grumpets" not trumpets. Grumpets are grumpy ladies who do argue all the time - ie, the feminine form of "Grumps" or "Grumpy Bear"

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIsabella

Hehehhee Sharyn lol :D

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Am I the only one who sees "Strumpets: Stop Arguing!"

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEric Stott

The No Place Like Home cake has me mildly perplexed (okay, most of these cakes do, but that one particularly). What are those green things creeping along the road and why does the sight of them feel so foreboding? Why does the road just stop? Are these people buying the cake homeless and living in their car? Did they go somewhere and overstay their welcome and the cake is a hint to Hit the Road, Jack? Did someone sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" while presenting this cake? Is this a test by English teachers hoping to provoke a rash of creative writing with cake to follow?

And that's just one of today's cakes.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdrgns4vr

The very best bit about the "Positive" cake is the wreckerator spelled "Positive" correctly the first time, but just couldn't keep up the momentum...

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma

Yes! I saw "Strumpets: Stop Arguing!!!" as well.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSean

I'm guessing the trumpets cake was being ordered for a band party by a harried parent, who got as far as requesting the instruments on the cake before the squabbling kids had danced just a little too long on her last nerve. As the baker's phone guy asked , "So what else do you want on it?" she yelled at the kids, "STOP ARGUING!!!" and then the phone went dead as the spankings commenced.

By the time the tears are dry, no one remembered the call to the bakery at all.

Not until the bakery called to say the cake was ready, that is...

As for the rest of the cakes, wow. Having douchenozzles and dirtbags for friends, relatives, and coworkers is a gift that just keeps on giving, isn't it?

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

Ah, yes--the Baskin-Robbin reunion.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

No no! It's all wrong - it's telling the Trumpets (in the band) to stop arguing and get along as a section. But then with the punctuation, it's almost like it's a line from a script. The trumpets suddenly yell "STOP ARGUING!" Like the middle school jazz band played some taxi piece where they randomly yelled "hey taxi!" here and there.

More confused than ever...............

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPamtha

Is it just me or does the second cake say "Corngrads"?

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElanor

I'm with Eric on strumpet. Some of my relatives could definitely be construed as argumentative harlots....

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I may have some information on that “Trumpet” cake. I believe it was sent by a frustrated conductor to his horn section following a rather raucous rehearsal. As you know, the trumpet has been around for a long time. Metal trumpets were found in China around 1500 BC (though because they were all stamped “Made in China” it was believed that they were only for export) and trumpets were found in the tomb of the famous King Tutankhamun, who some say was known as “Tootin’ Tutan,” (though others claim that was because of his love for beans). The original trumpets were straight, and it wasn’t until years later that they became curved, giving rise to the derogatory comment often made by string players, generally not known for their use if slang, that “trumpet players are bent.” “Crooks” – removable tubing of various length – were later introduced to alter the trumpets length and thus its sound. Having a ‘crook’ was an indicator of prestige, and led to the expression, “There is honor among crooks,” which was later changed and appropriated by thieves.

The trumpet is played by blowing through closed lips, making a buzzing sound, which is why it is so easy to play “Flight of the Bumble Bee.” There are two basic approaches to learning how to play. A popular early instruction book is “Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet.” Later, this inspired another approach, “Complete Liberalized Method for Trumpet.” Unfortunately, trumpet terminology is highly suggestive: fingering, flutter tonguing, and double tonguing (for “duets”?), giving rise to many slapped faces when trumpeters tried to explain to young ladies how they played. Young risqué rakes, however, took delight in the language, particularly those who played the compact “pocket trumpet,” and frequently offered lessons to young strumpets.

The most common trumpet is the B flat, but it’s rather dull, while on the other hand, the F trumpet is really sharp. As time went on, tuning slides were invented to modulate the instrument’s sound and thus the joke “You can tune a trumpet, but you can’t tune a fish” was spawned.

But back to the cake. One rehearsal the conductor was having a terrible time with the trumpet section. He had handed out some special music for them, saying “This sheet music is for you.” Misunderstanding what was said, one trumpeter yelled back, “We only play good music, not sheet music.” Others quickly joined in. “No sheet, buddy, we’re not playing this sheet,” and, “You’re full of sheet.” Then the entire brass section horned in, joining the fray. This was quickly getting out of hand, and the conductor was afraid and began to treble. He felt beat. He wanted to head to the basement and baton down the hatches. He looked down at the music he had handed out, not sure what he was going to do. Suddenly, his eyes fell upon a series of notes arranged in ascending and descending order. Remembering a magic trick he had learned as a child, the conductor quickly stepped on the scale and got away.* (He was never seen again, but even though he was poor, in fact, baroque, he did manage to send this cake to the next rehearsal.)

*Sorry for the mixed pun…I tried to think of something else, but I’m just not that clavier.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

I'm totally having someone put that on my tombstone: Here I Lie

And that's it. Always keep them guessing.....

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterquisty0174

Its like CakeWrecks and NPR are on the same page today. As I was checking CW (yes, at work), and half listening to the NPR broadcast of OnPoint (also at work, but I work for and NPR station), they were oddly in sync. Its so nice when my job and my blog obsessions play well together.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZeaBunny

ROUS? Rodents of Unusual Size? Oh my, another Princess Bride fan! Keep the laughs coming.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAva

Or the Freud reunion. Or...perhaps a reunion celebrating a Baskin-Robbins Freud intermarriage? That WOULD be an interesting party, with people sitting around debating the significance of waffle cones vs. sugar cones and, of course, birthday candles.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

@Diana C: Thank you!! I KNEW those two critters looked familiar, but I couldn't for the life of me remember why.
I think you're probably right about Hoops (with the pink "cat-like" ears) &YoYo (with the longer,green,"rabbity" ears)! It was driving me 'round the twist trying to remember!
=^-.-^= ~yay

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

I saw "Grumpeta: Stop Arguing!!!" (and have some cake)

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEssJayTee

I thought the one said Grumpets Stop Arguing...thinking maybe they called them their Grumpets instead of Grandparents lol.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

Sharyn - I am in tears...the cakes were funny enough but your song...OMG!!!

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEricsmom

I wouldn't eat that "Future Generation Congratulations China" cake, as I think it's code for "Youth in Asia", so probably poisoned.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Love the ROUS shout out. :)

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWonkafonka

As a former band nerd (oh heck, once a band nerd, always a band nerd), I am willing to bet that it's some sort of inside joke within the trumpet section. The band director probably said "trumpets: stop arguing!" during band practice one day, and maybe his voice cracked or something like that. Somehow it lived on in infamy in the form of an inside joke. In my band, we had this one guy who'd say "send me an email!" every day in some context or another and in all seriousness, but he had these particular inflections and emphases on particular syllables. My husband and I still say it just like that, 10 years later, when we need an email from the other. If we wanted to put it on a cake, well, it'd just say "send me an email."

You're right. It's not funny at all. Band nerd humor is chock full of inside jokes that are seldom ACTUALLY funny. Sorry to disappoint.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBandNerd

Are they going to buy Dad a cake every time he passes his drug test? Because that's going to be a lot of cake. Might skew the drug test....

Or maybe they know they won't be buying cake often.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKnittedbooties

Princess Bride references... I'm in heaven! :)

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

OMG Mel!!!! I had to look around to make sure I was alone in the warehouse because I know my guys would think I have lost what's left of my mind(not a lot!!) while was reading your post!!!!


July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWildDuck

Brava Sharyn! I could just hear Jean Stapleton singing your version of the song.... hilarious!

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicole S

*Bows to mel.*

And these cakes make me glad we don't have enough family for a reunion. But wouldn't it be hysterical to give some of these secret Santa style? Just without ever revealing the giver. Imagine the passive-aggressive pastry (or cake).

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMyra

@mel and @Sharyn ~ My family "reuin" is in a few weeks. I'm pretty sure we're related somehow so you guys need to come. I'll even bring cake!

There's a few nuts from my tree that would take the "We don't like you that much" and "No Body loves you" cakes personally.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

How did you know I was playing Lego Harry Potter?!?! I don't have a Lego game problem--well, unless there's an intervention cake involved.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTracey

I'm with Myra - bowing in mel's direction. :-) I'm also with BandNerd in that we had the same problem in my band except it was the trumpets AND the French Horns arguing within & between the two sections. (Though I don't think us French Horns ever had to run a lap around the parking lot over it & the trumpets did.) The oboes also had problems; he bought a poster just for them with a skeleton on it that said "Tune it or DIE!" and put it front & center so they would be sure to see it. I realize now that he might have had more success if he'd given them a cake with that message instead. :-) Aahhh, band memories...mel's post reminded me of a poster in the band hall that had all these funny musical messages on it like "The hardest thing in the world is to start an orchestra, and the next stop it." But my favorite was "Hug a musician, they never get to dance!" :-)

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

First post I actually laughed out loud at in a while. Thanks for that!

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

I, too, read 'Grumpets'. But i.) I have no idea what a 'grumpet' might be, unless it's some kind of pet name / family in-joke, and ii.) 'Grumpet' kills all the music jokes. As a band geek myself, that simply won't do.

@mel, 'Flight of the Bumblebee' is especially easy for novice trumpeters to play when a solo calls for a held note.

I can well imagine "Trumpets: stop arguing!" becoming a catch phrase in any school band, but commemorating it in cake is a bit different. Of course, those of us in the clarinet section never caused any problems. Ahem.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

@WildDuck: Thank you so much -- glad you enjoyed it...and hope all's well at the job!
@Myra:'s my pleasure.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

if all of those cakes were at the same family reunion, that would be a lot of drama for one family.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterarchersangel

Wow this was fantastically horrible. I couldn't stop laughing. The Lord Lord Look Who cake just took me down, though...such a pathetic amount of potential, yet still...oh my sides...It's like they forgot what they were writing halfway through or never knew what they had started to write to begin with?

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

Brava, Sharyn!! I will now be humming that song for days. ;)

Bravo, mel!! Though, when I got to "He wanted to head to the basement and baton down the hatches" I whispered "but that's where Theardare is..." So glad he used the scale to exit the fray.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

@Jodee -- Sounds like fun...send directions!
@KarateLady -- Thanks. I was in the orchestra in junior high -- played the violin, and badly at that, but there were so few kids willing to be in the orchestra that all were welcome. I played in the second violin section, which for all practical purposes meant I played the same notes repeatedly, no matter what the piece was; in fact, if I just played my part you would never know what the song actually was (the first violins got the melody). I knew what the sharps and flats were, but playing them was a challenge for me because by the time I thought "Oh, that note is sharp," we were waaaaay past it. Consequently, I just played 'em all as regular notes and figured who would notice? My saving grace was that my bowing was correct -- that is, when the bows went up, so did mine, and when they went down, so did mine. While my playing was tonally a disaster, it was, however, aesthetically pleasing.
@Craig -- I'm glad it's easy; it's a fun piece to hear...
@Barbara Anne -- Thanks, and I' glad we averted a tragedy! :-)

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

I also saw Strumpets: Stop Arguing! Lol heck if it does say that I wonder who would order such a cake and would they be brave enough to take it home. Most of these cakes are beautifully decorated and then ruined when wreckerators decide to be evil and write on them. Evil.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

So you don't like me that much, but I still get cake? I can live with that.

I can also hear the dulcet tones of Archie and Edith with Sharyn's song.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

I think the "trumpets" cake is aimed at a bunch of overly pretentious brass players who are demanding to be addressed as "cornet players" in the hope it will get them more respect. This cake is the response from the rest of the band.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAA

@mel - You, sir, are hilarious. Thank you. That is all.

On a side note: I am utterly transfixed by the number of cake/baking books being advertised on the side panel. Mesmerized, really.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh

In the words of the Tenth Doctor, "what?! ... What?!... WHAT?!" So many questions!!!

#4 - Why is the t of teen pregnancy in lower case, while every other letter is capital?
#5 - Love the Princess Bride references :) But what is that? A car? what are the green things? And those brown things in the car? What?!
#6 - What?!
#7 - WHY? Why is there a vertical strip of corrugated icing on the left while the rest of the cake is horizontal?!
#8 - After reading the comments I know now those blobby things are actual characters. But that cake still gave me a what?! Especially with the positve then being mispelled possitive

I give up... so many questions...

Additionally: a colleague of mine, a music teacher, used to joke: How do you get two trumpet players to play in tune? Shoot one I can see the Trumpets cake #3, being very much his thing.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPenelope

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