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


To quote absolutely no one, piping mistakes happen. A slip of the wrist, a miscommunication, a minor earthquake - for whatever reason, sometimes things go wrong with your order, and that's when many bakers get to practice their most undervalued skill set: sighing a lot and calling their managers.

Still, the good news is that professional bakers are, in fact, professionals, meaning these ninja-like icing sleuths can leap into action, repairing even the most heinous of cake crimes with a single, uh...

Never mind.


Granted, some of them can be a little more subtle than others:

(I did say "a little.")

Then again, erasing names on birthday cakes is the most common correction bakers have to make, so it goes without saying that they are really, really bad at it.


There are plenty of techniques besides the scrape & smear up there, though. Other options include:

- Airbrushed Blobs


- Icing Blobs


- Icing Blobs Of Unusual Size


- The Sprinkle Dump (Oy!)


And for a real clean sweep:

- Stick A Smaller Cake Board On Top Of It And Just Start Over

There's nothing quite like watching a master at work.


Scoff if you like, but these bakers do deserve our occasional sympathy. I mean, sometimes your piping bag runs out of icing, and then what? THEN WHAT??


Oh. I guess that.


And, sure, wiping off a bunch of red icing may have accidentally made Mr. Cookie here look like a blood-soaked serial killer, but let's focus on the important part:



So at the end of the day you can rest easy, bakers, knowing all your efforts have not been in vain.

And that's no mistake.

(Well, ok, it is, but you know what I mean.)


Thanks to Kori R., James D., Stephanie J., Saara, Renee R., Kathie, Sydnia Y., Laura W., Charisse J., & Dustin A. for the reminder that turnabout is foreplay fare play.

« A Sharin' Birthday | Main | Don't Do Drugs, Kids. Seriously. »

Reader Comments (43)

IBUSes? I don't think those exist.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda H.

How do these people get hired????

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Love the "Princess Bride" reference.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwoodnwheel

The Sprinkle Dump aka the Great Ant Swarm of 2013

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBecky W

Just lately, these cakewrecks have been making me see red! Who are these "professional" bakers? Why can't they spell? What makes them think, "Well, that looks just fine" when they "fix" a cake? And then sell it? I suppose if they were mistakes that were sold at a bargain price it would be a bit different, but at least some of these are supposed to be cakes that were ordered special and paid full price for?
Who are these "people"?
(See what I did there?)

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBetty Martin

Yes, the graduation party was held outside...
Yes, the guy mowing the lawn "cut it a little too close" (both spatially and with the timing)...
but at least the class dog had fun kicking up his heels...

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns


#2 Iced with whipped satin. Satin is notoriously hard to clean, so I've heard.

#3 More concerning than the airbrushing on the board is flip-flops on the surface of something intended to be eaten. Ok, they're flotsam flip-flops, but still...

#4 Not sure why the original customer bailed, but the technicians in the Used Cake department were able to effect a nearly unnoticeable repair.

#5 The fountain icing pen just never caught on, for some reason.

#6 The first school rejected it because they only got one congratulation. They should have considered how fortunate they were to get otherwise-correct spelling.

#7 Alternate theory: The customer did it, in the kitchen with the glow-in-the-dark icing. "There's no way I'm letting Mark see what they wrote on this, but I can't return it because of that panic stop on the way home. [Snap] I know! I'll just write the corrected message on this smaller cake board I just happen to have -- it doesn't matter if the icing is radioactive, because the metal in the cake board will shield the cake. The people in the room, not so much, but hey, YOLO."

#8 If you run out of ketchup, just switch to mustard. If it works for hot dogs, it's bound to work for cookies.

#10 Pointy-Haired Manager: "Nice work, Only, 'fair' is f-a-i-r, not f-a-r-e. You have plenty of time to fix it -- the customer won't be here for another five minutes."

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Bonus on the sprinkle dump: People might not notice that you misspelled both "Congratulations" and "Class of."

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLDM

Geez the sprinkle dumper should have focused more on adding an "s" to "congratulation."

On the cake with the flipflops, I was so distracted by trying to figure out what the hell that WAS, I forgot to notice the blob. I STILL don't know what that cake is supposed to be!

The last one is the bestest masterpiece -- they scraped off piping only to replace it with a spelling mistake. Wonder if they spelled "Fare" correctly the first time and replaced it with the error?!

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

I like how the last one was actually the "least" noticeable correction... though It would be nicer if they corrected it to "Farewell," but their intentions are good.... i think.... I hope...

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Wow. Just wow.

The second cake hardly looks professional, even if they had gotten the name right. Are those little red thingies around the edge to hold the cake down in the box until it is time to serve it?

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbassgirl

Congratulations, Joe, Billy won't be having an 8th birthday after all. Apparently there's more than one serial killer in this post.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

Cake 1: Sperm balloons + crossed out Happy Birthday = Eighth year of a successful vasectomy..
Cake 2: The label says this cake was "Iced with Whipped Satin," and there are the marks to prove it...introducing "Scourge Cake."
Cakes 3, 4, 5: The Blob Cakes...made for fans of the movie of the same name...
Cake 6: The Sprinkle Dump: what you get after you eat this cake....
Cake 7: Done so Mark can reflect on his birthday....
Cake 8: Although many thought Jim was brave, in the end he was really yellow....
Cake 9: awww..Jen....they shouldn't have...really....
Cake 10: A farmer's to do list: go to the fair, fix the well, call the vet....

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSir Laffsalot

Oh, goody; more globs of indelible Pantone Reflex blue icing! It's the stuff that stains your mouth and tongue indigo for at least a week. (And you thought chewing Beetle nuts caused a bad colour for your mouth)

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

I hope the doctor's cake was decorated in a store, and not by the doctor's nurses, or anyone who might actually have to write a prescription or order a lab test...(or anything in a similar vein...)
(vane?vain?duh?) =^>.<^=

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

@ Craig: Ahhh, "Iced With Whipped Satin" of my favorite "oldie-but-goodie" songs from the Moldy Blues...thanks for reminding me of that! =^~.~^=

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

I completely approve of #1. From many years of dealing with lab notebooks and other official records, I can tell you: You never erase an error; you cross it out with a single line and then write the correction in adjacent to it.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Polowin

Whipped satin totally sounds kinky. And foreplay IS fair play.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

@ Joel, you forgot to add put in the date & initals of the person making the correction. that's the proper way to correct an entry in a ledger, lab book, cake wreck...

@ sendingtheclowns, you read my mind (although I couldn't quite come up with the "revised" name of the band"

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

"Fire Swamp Bakery: No IBOUS here. Nope. Nosiree, Bhob. (The "H" is silent). Now, how can I help you?"

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma

"Scoff if you like", you say? Maybe I don't really want to--but my "scoff" is on autopilot once I get here!
"...turnabout is foreplay/fare play." (I couldn't find my "cross-out-a-word" feature.)(I'm giggling without it.)
Jen--What I'd LIKE to see them do is put down the piping bag and grab a garbage bag or ten...

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

"Whipped Satin" sounds like the title of a cheesy softcore S&M novel.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate

@Craig (again)~I got a little dizzy scrolling uupp and doowwnn over and over again (matching your comments with their respective cakes) but it was worth it.
Ditto@Sir Laffsalot...

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

I think Mark's cake may have been turned completely upside down and someone wrote "Happy Birthday" on the bottom.

Here, Mark, this is what we think of your birthday. Bottoms Up!

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

@ Betty Martin: First, breeeaathe...and try to calm down. I've been where you are. Others have, too. We know (all too well) those feelings of confusion, anxiety, anger...nausea. Is there someone you'd like us to call? Do you know of anyone out there who may be making cakes such as -or worse than-these? If so, please do your part and send in any photos of suspicious and/or subversive cakes.Your country-and several million giggling readers-will thank you. =^-.-^=

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

@Sir Laffsalot: Sorry, I gave the credit for your post to Craig because he also made mention of the same song that I imagined, but that neither of you actually did, but you came closer (Glad THAT'S cleared up!)
(Gawd, being me is a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it...)

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

@mindy1: ("How do these people get hired????")
Oh, it's reeaallly complicated, tricky, and quite hard to do, but I tell you (are you ready?): They walk in the door.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns


Cake #1 - Excuse me, but what exactly is wrong here? There is no mistake, much less a corrected one, on this cake.

Where did you see an error? Is it something like "Where's Waldo"? Because I'm very bad at this.

Cake #2 - You gotta love that nice handwriting and especially that smooth icing... subtle.

(I wish you a "nappy" birthday too, whoever is getting the cake. You may want to take a long, long nap.)

Cake #3 - Aww. come. ON! What's NOT to like about this one? It's yet another lovely way of wishing someone a happy birthday... even if you're not sure whose birthday it is. And look at those airbrushings. Strategically placed, obviously NOT just to cover a supposed mistake.

I say, U just jelly. Talking about jelly...

Cakes #4 and #5 - Whoa, whoa, WHOA!!! Now WHAT is wrong here? Those two beautiful, impeccable pieces of art sure need some appreciation, instead of more gratuitous snarks. See cake #4, even the "Happy (lemme say it again: HAAAAPPY) Birthday" is underlined. With a really BIG underline. Just so you snarkers out there stop spewing bile over it.

And cake #5 is not in any way botched: it's just a big blue river between roses. See?

Cake #6 - No further comments on this majestic piece of work. And you folks keep saying you want sprinkles, because still didn't got any... WELL THEN, CONGRATULATION (and only ONE congratulation)! Enjoy your sprinkles!!! Classoy dismissed!

Cake #7 - Okay, to your credit, you nay-sayers, this brand new technique is not broadly recognized, BUT... it takes a master to actually care about their masterpiece, thus protecting it how they can. And guess what? The master baker even wrote on top of the board. Of course! To show, even though the cake is protected (not botched), he/she/it still cares about the speshul special occasion that is a birthday.

Cake #8 - Oh, that one deserves a mention. I don't think the bakers would dare to actually develop a new way of piping that uses two colors in that way. Kudos to the pioneering decorator! Especially for trying to do that with catchup and yellow mustard on a toppingless pizza. (NOOOT a cookie cake. Are you serious?)

Cake #9 - Yes, happy birthday, Jenn! I bet you are dreaming of the day Mr. Cookie becomes alive and gives you a hug, just like that, right? You never know... it might just come true someday... well, may your dreams come true.

Cake #10 - Why, it is a magic smear cloud saying "fair well"... you know, the well where you toss a coin and make a wish, made by the fair folk. Would you disagree with the fair folk?

Well, uh... fair well, Dr. Cosplay Coply ...yes, do comply.


TL; DR - Well, then READ! You lazy bum. Or not.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGutz Grilla

It's too bad that someone leaned into the corner of Dr.Coplay/Coplaj (?)-whatever's cake with his/her elbow/chin.The frosting is a lovely shade of pink. However, I think that the red would probably look better with the pink if it were actually not red.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

@ Kate, "whipped satin" actually pretty well describes a critical scene in a semi-popular fantasy novel. Since this is a family blog, I'll just leave it there, except to say the authoress anticipated the 50 Shades fuss by a decade or so.

Somewhere, someone could make a fortune if they devise a good-looking cover frosting that hides mistakes, sort of White-out for bakeries (without the chemical smell, of course.)

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTXRed

@Craig: Okay; humor me, please? YOLO. That stands for "Yell Ow Loudly Offkey", right? (My first guess was going to be "You Only Live Once", but that sounds too movie-ish, and I'd need popcorn.)

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Who are we to say that these cakes weren't meant to look this way. Perhaps they are exactly what their respective orderers ordered? Did you ever think of that?
For example, the flip flop cake: The inscription reads, "Happy [blank] Birthday [blank]. Now, you fill in the blanks. Maybe there were young children at the party. Maybe Grandma was in attendance. No one wants them exposed to those [blanks].

Ditto "Congratulation [blank] clasDog 2013." BTW, what's a clasDog.

Mark's birthday cake is one of those new fangled reusable confections. Take off the top, toss it in the dishwasher and it's ready for the next party.

SaraCVT gave a perfectly credible explanation of Billy/Joe's cake. In fact I'm sure everything has an explanation. So let's just stop picking on these poor, hardworking cakewriters. They're doing somewhat near the best they can. Am I right, people?

Damn right I'm not.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Right ON! You TELL 'em! Hear! Hear! Yeah!! What YOU said! (Did I miss any trite, corny, and/or lame, "Gung-ho"-style exclamations?)

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Making fondant babies as. we. speak.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

Ok. So here's the truth. I've been decorating for 7 years. I started at one of the most well known super store chains. I started with no experience at all. I recently went back bc, quite honestly, unlike the smaller specialty bakeries, there is no off season. The decorators there are not professionals. Some have never even used an icing bag, ever. It's sad, but true. In my opinion, full price or not, you get what you pay for.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKrystal

Ok, so I actually worked at a cookie store in college and was the head decorator, as I was the only one who could draw. (True story my penmanship is still better in frosting than in ink) In (slight) defense of the display cookie cake, most of those are actually plastic, they are decorated, displayed, then scraped, and redecorated, you get it. It looks like it was stained red from a previous decoration. That said, I don't know why they didn't cover the red stain with frosting. The first cake actually looks like it was ordered that way on purpose. I had a few of those that were joke cakes. The rest, there really is no defense.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

What would have made the second cake PERFECT is if the sticker would have had a typo and said "Iced with whipped SATAN" instead.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

"IBUSes? I don't think those exist."

Can I just say, how happy it made me that this was the first comment?

That is all.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Icing Blobs of Unusual Size: like the R.O.U.S., but scarier.

August 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZara

Yow at that poor cake attacked by sprinkles. I love sprinkles and would probably love to try and eat that cake but I would fear the huge sugar rush I would get. Plus hubby would probably hide from a super hyper me. I cannot stop laughing at these cakes but that last one was decent. I liked the pretty flowers lol.

August 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

@Haiku Joy: I have seen this so many times, and wondered, and then forgotten that I'd wondered. Please...What ARE fondant babies...exactly? I can picture something little and cute and candyish, but I wish to be fondant-baby-enlightened.

August 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns


August 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Saxon

That second one- Nappy Birthday? Is this the birthday of someone who likes to sleep? Is this the birthday of a nappy? ENLIGHTEN ME ON WHY THE H LOOKS LIKE N!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter-Unknown-

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