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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

Possibly the Most Depressing Cake I Have Ever Seen

Ah, birthdays: A time of celebration, friends, cake, and, of course...

...dying animals.

Notice how, even if the elephant were able to escape the tar pit/Swamps of Sadness, there's a lion coming over to finish him off. See, that kind of thing sends a message. A message that says,

A) this baker has clearly never seen The Neverending Story, and

B) "Don't forget the tissues, Mom & Dad, 'cuz this'll make little Suzie cry for sure."


Josh W., I may or may not be having Artax flashbacks, and I may or may not need some of those tissues. Also, John won't stop singing The Circle of Life. That's definitely not helping.


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Reader Comments (52)

Sad cake is so sad
Look underneath the price tag!
Is that a hippo?

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

Be the lion, little Suzie. Be the lion...

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Well, Jen, that's because singing "Hakuna Matata" would be heartless -- and totally inappropriate.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Really?! You HAD to go there with the Artax reference? (Tears welling) I'm ok, I'm ok - it's just... allergies, yeah, that's it - allergies.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJuls

D': Mommy whyn did you give me dying animals? WHY???

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

John sounds as snarky as my husband would be! And what about that poor... hippo?... between the lion and elephant? Is he just along for the ride, or is he mired in a green tangled mass of doom as well?? Such a sad, sad cake. :(

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNatalya B.

Happy Birthday - enjoy it while you can because one way or another, you're doomed.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

Gotta say that, ugly as this CCC is, I don't think it's a death scene. The stuff around the elephant looks blue to me, so I'm thinking it's a bunch of animals milling around at the watering hole.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa

That water is the least appetizing thing I have ever seen.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTheCreepyTribble

Don’t go to the light, and don’t click on CW links – two solid pieces of advice. However, I ignored the latter…. Consequently, here is a depressing little song to accompany the cake, sung to the tune of “Sea of Love,” a top 1959 song by Phil Phillips (and a sock hop favorite because it was slow….) Now, I know I have some Kleenex here somewhere……

Sea of Sadness

Come with me, my love
To the sea, of sadness
I want to tell you how much I just cry

Do you you remember, life was fun
Now those days are completely done
I want to tell you how much I wanna die

Drown with me
In the sea
Of sadness

Do you remember, life was fun
Now those days are completely done
I want to tell you how much I wanna die

Drown with me
In the sea
Of sadness

Do you remember, life was fun
Now those days are completely done
I want to tell you how much I wanna die

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterelm

john (thoj),

At least the Sycorax aren't involved--yet.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

I especially love the piles of poo that have sprouted leaves.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMama B.

This reminds me of the sculptures outside the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits. The original sculpture is worse, folks -- it's the mom and baby mastodon standing at the side of the pit trumpeting to the dad, who's going down in the tar. ... Ok, I'm sorry I mentioned it.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

I swear I see a crocodile hiding in the greenery?

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

Don't give in to the sadness, Artax!


October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErica

I take it a horse in the mire would be worse.

Would replacing the elephant with a Englishman and replacing the lion with a hound then adding Sherlock Holmes help this cake or hurt it?

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIsolder74

I have never seen "The Neverending Story" so I clicked on the link and THANK YOU, Jen now I CAN'T, EVER. (sniffle snort mucus)

Also the cake wrecktator needs some sort of help very soon.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

I feel terrible -- I let my kids watch the Neverending Story. I thought it was a story about a hairy flying dragon but it was really about horses being sucked into swampy sad oblivion. Alas, sad cake that knocked aside my happy illusions.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSiouxz

That's not a tar pit! That elephant is melting-- MELLLLLLTING!

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

you need some sort of 'Random Wreck' button!!! more cakey wrecky goodness please!

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermememe

Excuse me...I have something in my eye. *sniff*

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

However, if the person the cake was for was a paleontologist, they might actually think it is a cool cake. Just being the devil's advocate here.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Mandina

Noooo. NOOO.. the Lion will help the elephant by offering it's tail as a rope substitute.... that's IT.. YEAH.. cake of sadness and DENIAL.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJenijo

Yeah, it's like the La Brea Tar Pits but with only an elephant and a lion. Here's a link to that scene of the mastodon stuck in the tar while spouse and offspring watch helplessly. Scroll down a little to see it:

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Maliga

LA brea tar pits cake

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCakelovah

This has GOT to be the first time I have welled up in tears at a CW post without laughing first...the mere mention of Artax brings back the memories of watching that scene so many times over the years, and again with my kids *sniff* I need to go get some kleenex now :'(

and @ elm...whom I can only assume is yet another one of your brilliantly done pen names...your wonderful rendition didn't help <3 but I still love you anyways

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCakerMoosie

What unmitigated negativity. Why does this scene HAVE to be sad? (Because you WANT it to be? YOU did it? I learned it from YOU?) Anyway, what I see is a nice little soiree among friends. There will be swimming, greeting friends and colleagues with high-fives (Gumbo there is "high-trunking"), and eating. Leo is working on getting the charcoal started, up there away from the crowd, for safety's sake...and shy little George of the...huh-I can't recall where he's from...Anyway, he jungled his appointment schedule just to be here! Hurry! Things get dead-er, dark-early around here! If you can't come in person, at least send a greeting via Pawbook. =^-.-^=

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

This year's newest popular birthday theme? La Brea Tar Pits.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I want to hear how that order went down. "Yeah, so my kid loves paleontology. Is there anything you can do with that? Maybe a dinosaur or something?" - "I can sculpt the La Brea Tar Pits in frosting, throw an elephant in there because I'm not so good at Mammoths, too furry." - "The La Brea what now? Oh whatever, I'm sure it'll be fine. I got to go attend the screaming toddler you can probably hear..." - "OK! This will be the most creative cake ever!"

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNaughty Nautilus

Actually, that's a gorilla under the price tag... and as a professional decorator, I'm still not over the fact that the kit comes with only the upper half of the elephant. Yes, folks, that's right, the decorator did NOT force the bottom half of the elephant into the cupcake cake (as if that wasn't depressing enough), there IS NO bottom half of the elephant.

And that's a gorilla under the price tag. Trust me.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Bennett

In defense of the baker they did the cake correctly. It's a kit called Jungle Buddies. The elephant is in a watering hole, bathing I suppose, and there is a lion and a gorilla on it as well. The blue stuff the elephant is in is just piping gel colored with blue food coloring, the decorator just did it a bit too heavy. So in this instance, don't blame the decorator but the original designer of this cake.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Artax basically ruined my life. HORSES SHOULDNT GET SAD!

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercait c.

Hey, replace that elephant with a mastodon and that lion with a saber tooth tiger and you have a birthday cake that's TOTALLY appropriate! Well, for someone who works at LA's La Brea tar pits.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersupershinystar

AND its a Cup-Cake Cake!!!

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNetasha

Wow, that cake is a heavy-duty appetite suppressant! Blech.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjuice318

Yep, that just looks like the elephant is cooling off in a watering hole. I'd say the only thing this cake is guilty of is a poor photographer, who used bad lighting.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGaby

@CakerMoosie: elm (and lem) are variants of my common posting name. This got started a few weeks ago when I posted twice on the same day and used mel and lem to differentiate the posts. @SuBee said she was waiting to hear from "elm," so I added another post that day as elm. So, I don't know if that's who you thought elm was, but alas, it's me..... And...sorry for the sadness; it was such a sad video clip, it just colored my post...gray.... Tomorrow, tomorrow...the sun'll come out tomorrow....

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermel

Can't these people get anything right? I ordered a giraffe!

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

I wouldn't have believed half-elephants are a "thing," but a watering hole makes so much more sense than a tar pit, @Amy & @ Jess. Thanks for the explanation.
Also, don't know if you will publish this, but I loved yesterday! Creative, funny and I personally think very much in the modern day Columbus Day spirit! (Feel free to remove if you don't want to start the comments up)

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRose

Sadly, siding with the lion in this scenario is not going to help poor little Suzy or Sam much. Notice Mr. Lion is also stuck in tarry looking goo? For those that haven't been to the La Brea Tar Pits...the single largest source of fossils are direwolves (not the brightest eggs) who seem to have made a habit of falling in while trying to feast on trapped herbivores. They have 404 direwolf skulls on display in the museum (out of over 4000 found). Leading to our family's favorite tar pit extinction joke - "error 404, dire wolves not found." ;)

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

That lake Looks more like a tar pit to me.

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBigg3469

Watering hole... Is that what the kids are calling it these days? Well, if they say so!

Oh, and I'm with Rose - I loved yesterday's post. As a Canadian, I not only didn't know that there were any politics around your October holiday, I didn't even know you had an October holiday! It's a nice time for a holiday, isn't it? Anyway, I'm a huge fan of a little book called "The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody" that retells history from a completely truthful but deadpan-snarky point of view, and I thought your post channelled that vibe so beautifully. It was the perfect thing to read during my turkey coma last evening. :) You would probably enjoy that book too, it's worth keeping an eye open for at the used bookstores.

And as Rose said, if you don't want to start Epcot all over again, you can feel free to remove my post as well. Happy Thanksgiving!!

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStriderGirl

Wow.. now I am teary lol. I hope the elephant gets out of all that tar and beats the heck out of the lion if it is indeed trying to eat him. Then again who is going to eat all that black frosting? I see black frosted teeth are in the future for the kid and parents who got this thing.

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArlene Marie

Re yesterday's post. I thought it was great. Keep 'em coming.

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNobodee Home

Gee, thanks... I can totally see that, but now I'm remembering that scene and the music is stuck in my head! (Back in the day I had a cassette version of the soundtrack and a player with autoreverse. The music by itself is ok, but if I think about Artax...)

@Michael: love your dire wolf joke.

As for yesterday, we called it Discoverer's Day when I was a kid - to pay tribute to the Polynesian voyagers too - but it got dropped as an official state holiday when MLK day came along. I'm still not used to thinking of it as Columbus Day, but I enjoyed the post and I'm sorry if it ended up causing you headaches.

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterhyphen8

You had to go and mention Artax? A cute elephant stuck in a tar pit isn't sad enough?

I was going to do a parody of the song Tracks of my Tears entitled Artax Disappears but it was too depressing.


October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Hey, I just wanted to say that, yep, this a bewilderingly depresseing cake. AND, I laughed my arse off at the Columbus Day post (but I can see that the comments for that are disabled, saw your reason for that, and feel bad that went so badly) I'm Italian. As in, 'citizen of Italy': none of my friends understands why anyone would be outraged by cake-mocking (neologism!) Columbus.

Jen and John, your posts always make my day :) Thanks!

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMika

Oh my gosh, this is now my favorite cake ever :)

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBethany

Gives a whole new meaning to the Pit of Despair.

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLB

Even if it is a watering hole, not quicksand or tar, all nature films will tell you that is the most dangerous place in the jungle. Watering holes, where the predators lurk, waiting for prey to show up, needing water to live only to become some ones dinner.

I had never seen the Neverending Story, so I watched a clip - which then led me to a clip of the top 10 saddest animal deaths in films. I was amazed that Old Yeller wasn't on the top of that list. I literally cried for days after seeing that movie at 6. Totally traumatized. Even now, 55 years later, I can't watch the darn thing when it comes on TV. I try, then have to turn it off.
So thanks Jen and John. I am sitting here, with my tissues, wondering why poor Old Yeller had to die.
You have a wonderful day, don't worry about me, I'll be fine. Sniff.

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergalahun

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