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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

My New Favorite Thing Ever: STICK A STICK IN IT

Ahh, black and white weddings. So classic. So chic. Why, just look at this beribboned beauty here:


That's what the bride wanted.

This is what the bride got:



And how about this little number?

Simple white tiers, drippy dragees, a flower topper - what could go wrong?


[deadpan stare]

[uncomfortable silence]

[slow, creepy grin]



Oh, you know you love it.


Ok, last one. Behold this black and white flight of fancy:



Now behold When Flights of Fancy Collide With The Telephone Pole Of Ineptitude:

Here's what Angela, the bride, had to say:

"...the cake was falling apart when she brought it in and once she sat it down she started grabbing glow bracelets and stuffing them in the cake along with a stick she had my mom break off a tree outside...."


I'm going to stop you there, Angela, just so we can all savor this moment.


Everyone done savoring?
Ok, Angela, please continue.


"....and the cake was not even fully decorated...the back of the cake was bare....and I had asked to have burgundy hearts and white daisies added as well... it wasn't even the cake I had wanted and she said she could do them no problem!"


There's a lesson to be learned here, my friends. A lesson which I am not prepared to reveal because I'm too busy looking for the tree branch jammed in that cake up there.


Thanks to Karie C., Mikki J., and Angela for sharing their pain with us today. So that we may laugh. At their pain. But in a supportive way.

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Reader Comments (111)

I know it's just personal preference, but I hate those toppers that show the bride dragging the groom down the aisle. Sister, if you had to drag him you better have some chains to tie him up with later.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

In whose eyes are the cakes in number two the same cake? The real one doesn't even remotely resemble the sample. These are all absolutely horrifying. A stick??? Really Seth? Really? I have just one comment: ELOPE!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNewb

Based on "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer, who is not that guy who played Batman

I thought that I would never see
A cake held up by bits of tree.

Some tree bits within all this mess
"Now, feed it to your wedding guests"

Some tree bits basked in sun all day
Where insects came to poop and play

Some tree bits stuck in with great care
How many glowsticks are in there?

Perhaps the stick was cleansed by rain
"Let's wipe it with your dress' train!"

Cakes are wrecked by fools like she
Thank god that she could break a tree.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Oh, my. I am sitting here wondering how anyone would have the gall to present these "cakes" as professional products.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

As a "professional" baker, shouldn't they know that tier cakes require structural support within? I'm an Accountant - and I know that basic fact in cake building. :P

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterApril

I feel so bad for these brides. In the past, you've posted some missed marks that were at least somewhat presentable, but who could display these? I hope none of these were paid for!

The baker for the first cake at least seemed to have tried to make a decent cake but needs to learn how to level a cake and work with fondant.

Baker two must've made the cake last minute and tried icing it while it was still hot. At least the flowers on it are recognizable. They must've been premade.

Baker three should never be allowed around food again. The glow bracelets are non-toxic at least, but a stick possibly filled with bugs going in a cake? Eww!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternormajean

These comparison posts are always my favorite. I always picture the wreckorator standing in front of the cake, brows furrowed in concentration, tongue poking out of the corner of his/her mouth. Suddenly a look of inspiration lights his/her eyes, he/she turns quickly, grabs a nearby branch and jams it in the cake. "There!" he/she exclaims. "This is a job well done."

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCandice

Oh my freaking... Why do these bakers insist on doing fondant when they don't know how to do fondant? And wooden dowels--inserted before the tiered cake is decorated--are your friend. But then if they followed these simple rules your site would be no more so... Dowels? What are dowels? I don't know what you're talking about.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheesymice

while parts of a pine tree ARE edible, some are actually toxic and cause convulsions and death. which at a wedding is NOT the preferred way to off guests. to many witnesses. How drunk or stoned were the bakers when they agreed to replicate these lovely cakes? and how drunk or stoned were the brides to go to 3rd rate bakers in the first place?

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Jo

Feathers and flotsam and f-fears~oh, my...

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

I was trying to figure out why that cake was bleeding (at first I thought it must have been a funfetti cake, which c'mon, would be awesome to have as your wedding cake). But I'm really perplexed why the baker was stuffing glow sticks in--was she hoping they'd provide structural support or perhaps, more logically, that they'd distract the eye from the monstrosity that she's calling a cake?

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

My first reaction was. "Oh f****" I'm so sorry to all the newly wed couples as for the last cake. The baker needs....... Glow sticks.? What made her think they could help

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicky

Oh, my! The inspiration cakes are lovely (of course)...but the end result??? I agree with Catherine's comment, it does not bode well for your wedded future if you need to drag your groom up the aisle.

Nicely done Sharyn! I never knew I could like that poem more :)

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

There is an advantage to wrecky cakes...the first example of each one is so beautiful that it would be a shame to cut it up and eat it. The second versions, the wrecks, need a quick knife to put it out of its, and the bride's, misery

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbassgirl

If you prick us with a glow stick do we not bleed?* If you wrap black ribbon around a mess, do we not weep? If you vomit on our cake do we not cry? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?
William Shakespeare, The Baker of Venice.

*Really, that cake looks like it's oozing blood.

The first one doesn't look all that bad after you've seen the other two, am I right people? Huh?

@Sharyn: That was beautiful. I'm all choked up. Much like the person who made cake number two before he/she vomited upon it. No, those little yellow roses don't make it any better.

@Jamie Joe: Perhaps convulsions and death were what the wreckerator was going for. It's best not to leave any witnesses in these cases.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

4th photo down (the one that looks like someone threw up on it)~I love how there's that little hole that looks as if a little mouse may have moved in...mmm...yummy.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Was cake two actually professionally made? Because, dang, I know eight year olds who can make and decorate cakes better than that. I hope the bride didn't have to pay for that.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNagzilla

I have inherited my mother's complete lack of artistic ability. I have never baked a cake from scratch, and with that, have only baked cakes in a 9x13 pan. That being said, with the correct tools and supplies at my disposal, I believe I could have done a better job.

That is all.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraV

That wreck is a dog
With a tree branch shoved up its...
Does the cake now bark?

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

While that last cake looks nothing like the model - you might say it is topsy turvy.

At least that's how my stomach felt looking at it!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStacy

@Sharyn -- hahahahahaha well done

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

Er, I may be missing the point, but where is the stick? I see the glow things, ostrich feathers and crystal thingies, but no stick...

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBelBlue

These "Missed Mark" cakes are my favorite! I always imagine the baker looking at the inspiration photo and the hot wreck they just created and excitedly saying "NAILED IT!"

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Cup a Dee Cakes

I wonder how many of these wrecks are from actual reputable bakeries and how many are from a well meaning woman in the church... I ask because I can't get past a reputable baker actually showing up to a wedding with that kind of mess and trying to pass it off. Sheesh, you'd think they would just do a plain white, albeit lovely, cake instead of these disturbing piles of detritus.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Every time you post one of these posts, I think it's time to get out those Sesame Street videos "One of these things is not like the other":

Because NONE of these match the original photos! How does a bride dragging a groom match flowers?

I will say, however, that this has helped me reocover from a very stressful morning. Even though I saw two rainbows on the way to and coming back from my meeting, I also came home to discover that city street workers doing construction behind my house had parked their truck in my driveway, completely blocking me out. It took 20 minutes to find someone to move the truck and get me back into my house. Grrrrrr......

However, my laughter at Angela's cake helped me shake off the incident. "Go outside and break off a tree branch to prop up the cake." BWAHAHAAHAHA! I hope the photographer got a shot of that for the album!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

bareback wedding cake
your custom made fiasco
saved by a tree branch
happy wedding day to you
may you both stick together

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTanka

All I could hear as I read this was Big Bird singing "One of these things is not like the others...."

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSir Laffsalot

I hope those brides got their money back-those were awful D: Sharyn hehehehe :D

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

The first two are merely terrible. That last one...elevates "awful" to cult-movie status. It's the sort of thing one calls friends in to roll around on the floor laughing and heckling. It's got that careful accumulation of many completely-wrong details that makes a classic. While I have some sympathy for Angela — it must have been a horrible shock at the time — I think her guests probably got more enjoyment out of the cake as delivered than they would have from what she had asked for.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Polowin

"Drippy dragees" and "slimy, oozing cinnamon roll icing" are SO equivalent terms...

No, really. HONest. Seriously. The voices said so. So there.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma

It's just -- I'm always flabbergasted, but I can't believe people expect to get paid for this stuff.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwordphreak

My Favorite Things (with apologies to Rodger & Hammerstein)

Misshapen cakes that are tilting and falling,
Incomplete frosting and brides that are bawling.
Plastic glow bracelets stuffed into a cake,
What a wonderful day this will make!

Six-sided cakes that turn out to be rounded,
Strange looking bows – the wreck is compounded.
Drippy dragees? No, just tossed all about.
I gotta feeling the bride’s gonna shout.

Black and white slanting cake – a disaster,
How did the baker let this mess get past her?
It’ll be as good as it ever can be,
Once you impale it through with a tree!

When baker’s team
Destroys your dream,
When you’re feeling sad,
Simply remember you now on Cake Wrecks,
And then you won’t feel so bad….

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

All of these are WTF moments.....the things lawsuits are made of.

Oh - that last picture reminds me of the scene where the Fairy Godmothers are preparing for Aurora's birthday without using magic....didn't she try propping the cake up with the candles??

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle P

Totally agree with you, Catherine. Why would you want to publicize the fact that the groom did not, in fact, actually want to get married to you? And why would you want to marry him at all, if he does not want to marry you? How do you think the marriage is going to turn out?

also, Jen, today's cakes are some of the wreckiest I've ever seen!!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenP

Since two of these monstrosities featured those weird Lladro-esque figurines, I'm thinking that the blame really must somehow fall at the feet of the porcelain company. Clearly, they must be at fault. And the bride, of course, for changing the topper design. If they'd just kept with the original plan I'm sure all would have been good....

You don't even have to pay to go to baker's school (or engineering school) to find out the trick for properly supporting a multi-layer cake so that it doesn't tip over. Martha Stewart showed the world how to do it on an episode of Julia Child eons ago. The info's available on public TV for free people!

Oh, one final issue: are those rhinestones on the first cake edible? A local bakery put rhinestones on my in-laws 50th anniversary cake earlier this month, but made a point of telling us to take them off, because they weren't edible. Why would you take a chance on somebody eating one of them? Insanity prevails...

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin M.

I know this is Cake Wrecks so I know it's true, but I'm having a hard time believing that the second inspiration cake with the pretty little "drips" down the side actually "inspired" the wreck shown with it. Just wow. How are they even remotely similar? What was the wreckerator thinking? And glowsticks and tree branches? Amazing. In a horrifying sort of way. Btw, I do love these missed marks posts. I think they are some of my favorites!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura P.

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September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

I love these posts, feel bad for the couples, and am completely entertained by the CW community.

Triple win!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh

I'm trying to imagine where the baker of the third cake got up the nerve to ask THE MOTHER OF THE BRIDE (not traditionally a retiring figure) to go outside and break a branch off a tree so she could stick it in the cake to hold it together. Unfortunately, skill is not usually associated with balls of brass.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

@mel: Well done!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I believe if any of these cakes were delivered to MY wedding, the baker(along with several bystanders probably)would have been WEARING the cake instead of it being on the table.....and the stick would have been up the bakers-well, you know............

And having been the mother of the bride-it probably wouldn't have made it in the door of the reception hall...

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWildDuck

Crack. Not. Even. Once! 0-0

Slow, creepy, grin. ...Telephone Pole of Ineptitude. Bwahahahaha! Now that's genius.

The last cake...I don't understand why the baker grabbed glow bracelets. WTH! I have to wonder if any of these bakers has ever had a lesson in cake decorating. I am guessing not!

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLC

I really don't think the people that made these cakes are professional cake artists. Being a cake artist for 29 years, I know that a lot of couples that get married try to save money. Therefore they ask a friend or family member that dabbles in cake decorating a little bit to do their wedding cake. These are the end results. Brides ,you do get what you pay for.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentervivian

This is going to sound catty and mean, but honestly I place the blame for that last one solely at the feet of Angela herself...or at least whomever ordered the cake for her.

Did she not go to a cake consultation, have a meeting with the baker in question, taste some cake and ask to see a portfolio of her work? Or did she just email a copy of the photo to the "baker" and take at face value "yeah I can do that" and for a price that was way too good to be true? Did she get someone to make the cake for her on the cheap, and without signing a contract?

Granted there are many people out there right now who, riding the cake popularity wave, are stealing cake photos off the internet and claiming the work to be their own, and I would assume that anyone who would produce a wreck like each of these shown today is one of those many people. But DUE DILIGENCE, brides. Do some research, and stop looking for the bargain basement baker.
You aren't going to get a cake of your dreams for $1 or less a slice. So stop trying. You WON'T find one. You will find people who have stolen others photos and are passing them off as their own work, and you will get THIS on your wedding day.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDebby

every time one of these pops up I decide once again that paying $300 for my (beautiful, perfect, delicious) wedding cake was an absolute bargain.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda M

I have the same question as Melissa - why was a stick shoved into that last cake and where is it? The only thing I can think of is that it was inserted down the middle as a last-ditch attempt to provide some vertical support for the "cake". So I kinda sorta get that. But I'm at a complete loss as to how the glow bracelets might have helped. Anyone? And finally, I, too, question whether some of these God-awful wrecks actually come from people claiming to be professional bakers. But hey, if someone claims they can do something and then fail drastically to deliver, then a wreck is a wreck is a wreck. Oh my.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

I always wish the bride/couple chimed in on these posts - How did they choose the baker? Did they get full refunds? Did the baker have fake testimonials and photos that weren't theirs on their site, or in their shop? Or, was it a case of a friend saying, "Don't you worry about the cake! I've baked TONS of cakes - I can do that, no problem!"?

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCaren

Break a stick off a tree.... the mother of the bride should have used the stick to whip wreckorator's behind.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStineC

The third wreck might have been ok if it hadn't been made of ice cream.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiscerning Eye

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