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

These Vintage Birthday Cakes Are Awesomely Bad

Were the good ol' days of cake decorating REALLY better?

And more importantly, can Jen find an excuse to post some of the rad vintage birthday cakes you guys have been sending in?

Let's find out, with...



I pity the fool who doesn't recognize Hulk Hogan & Mr. T.











"I stopped listening after 'cabbage'."
(Yup, it's cake. Cabbagey, cabbagey cake.)









Who WON? Who LOST?
YOU decide!!

And keep sending in those vintage birthday cakes, because seriously, these things are amazing.


Thanks to Robert T., Elizabeth B., Jason R., Tiki C., Jason R., Kristi C., Lindsay S., Karen H., Susan M., & Brittany J. - and a hat tip to Epic Rap Battles of History for all the lolz.


Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

« Friday Favs 10/3/14 | Main | Insulting Inscriptions 101 »

Reader Comments (73)

Ahh, the good old days of piping gel and hairless monster cakes!

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Is the city in that Superman cake being attacked by fire or bacon?

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTrista

The 80's definitely won!

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersam

Okay, that last one is extra terrifying.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Battle Hymn of the Wreckpublic

Jen's eyes have seen the glory
Of the cake pics in her hoard
She is dragging out the vintage
Cakes where tons of laughs are stored
She has loosed the Hogan Hulking
And the RAW cake of Hayward
Sweet tooths are munching on

Sorry, sorry, bakers screwed ya.
Sorry, sorry, bakers screwed ya.
Sorry, sorry bakers screwed ya
Their wrecks keep marching on.

I have seen wrecks of the Justice League
On flaming cakes for Creed
I have seen them in the Cabbage Patch
With all their graying leaves
I have seen red-outlined Mickeys
And monstrosity cookies

Sorry, sorry, bakers screwed ya.
Sorry, sorry, bakers screwed ya.
Sorry, sorry bakers screwed ya
Their wrecks keep marching on.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

The spelling is all correct! The spelling is all correct! Holy cow! How I long for the days when people could spell correctly.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

Um, does that 4th cake down say, "Happy Birthday Crud"?????

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDebbi

1. Then. At least the baker put some effort into it instead of just writing three letters and calling it a day.

2. Then. I'm a sucker for Classic Superfriends. By the way, your Superman toy fell over.

3. Now. You have to admit, that is an amazingly well-done cabbage cake!

4. Then. Featuring (because the bakery couldn't afford the licensing fees) the little known characters Dopey Dog, Matt Mouse, Mimi Mouse, and Lucky Duck.

5. Then. The "Then" cake is smiling at me. The other . . . is creeping me out. Excuse me while I go hide under the table until it goes away.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoxy Random

Thanks for pointing out the beauty of spelling, Cathy!

(That cabbage cake will still haunt my dreams, though.)

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Hee! Great job as usual Sharyn! Cathy, you have a good point there about the correct spellings!

So, who won and lost? Here's my two cents' worth:

1. Hope the kid recipient of the modern cake isn't dyslexic. He might think we were at war.

2. I had the same thought as Trista. For a few seconds there I honestly wondered why there was bacon on that cake. The sideways Superman adds a lazy touch that's the coup de gras on that cake. Maybe the baker ate too much bacon and became too lethargic to pipe on a Superman.

3. Cabbage Patch kids have always icked me out. The modern cake looks completely realistic, even though it's a weird concept. Who the heck orders a cabbage cake?! The modern cake wins this one for me.

4. In the battle of the Mickey/Donald cakes, I like #2. The characters in #1 are scary. Donald is especially bad! Why, oh why, does he have Pluto's snout instead of a beak?

5. And that last cake? Nightmare inducing!! The retro cake pic wins for sure!

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

If that cake’s made to look like a cabbage
It took skill that is better than average
But it gives me the heaves
If cake’s under those leaves
It’s more than my stomach can manage

Really, where's the cake? Where?

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

I need to know the story behind the cabbage cake.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDegera

When I saw the one that said "Happy Birthday, Creed," my mind immediately went to "The Office," which I am currently rewatching on Netflix.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBliss

OK, I have to admit . . . I want to know more about that cabbage cake. How? Why? What flavor? How does it hold together? How does one eat it? Did someone ask for a Cabbage Patch Kid cake and got this instead?
It's an odd choice, perhaps, but it's one heckuva cake.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFM

Well, at least that kid got an awesome Cookie Monster plush doll!
The vintage cakes are making me feel very nostalgic. Did anyone else ever get the baked-in-a-mold cakes shaped like Care Bears or Garfield or what-have-you, with the meticulously piped dots of frosting? There's gotta be some photo disasters of that trend floating around.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChaosTheory

I love those first two vintage cakes so much. So awesome.

Poor Goofy--looks like he got a bad case of boils.

Why is the scary bull piñata eating cookies anyway? So confused on that one.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

@Trista- you're being extremely generous with the fire and bacon, because I assumed the city was being attacked by a tsunami of poop.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNagzilla

My vote goes to the "plastic-man saves the city from towering strips of bacon" cake.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersam

Sure, it’s easy to look back and on yesteryear and think those were really the “good old days.” I’ve done it myself, particularly when it comes to today’s methods of communication. I mean, WTF (What the Frosting), why is everyone LOLing around, and is ROTFLMAO a diet plan for losing posterior pounds? And music! I guess rumbling sounds are in because I heard it’s all about the bass, no treble.

Anyway, while the vintage cakes depicted today were fine for their time and delighted the wide-eyed, innocent kids of the past, as you know, “We’ve come a long way, baby.” But has it been a good journey?

Look at the first pair of cakes. Who didn’t love Hulk Hogan and Mr. T? That was a kinder, gentler time. You had a birthday, you ate cake. Now? Well, the cake below it succinctly sums up today’s birthdays. While it may appear to be a rather plain, indecorous cake, in reality it is a model of today’s birthday party participant protection program. Here is the clear warning that this cake may contain RAW ingredients, such as raw cocoa powder, raw nuts, raw vegetables, and other ingredients that will cleanse you quicker than a Roto-Rooter. Not looking for that kind of experience? Got allergies? You’ve been warned. And that, of course, is the primary function of this cake, with its ancillary aim spelled out in teeny, tiny, non-distracting letters at the bottom: Happy Birthday Hayward. Party on!

Let’s look at the next set. Sure, the colors may be slightly off and the heroes’ bodies not quite done in the appropriate proportion, but back in the day, when a kid’s imagination cheerfully filled in the blanks, this cake was a winner! The same cannot be said for the “today” cake, for Creed. The Happy Birthday creed they must have followed was one of minimal effort and maximum crap. Superman tipping off a minimalist building and falling into streams of candle diarrhea? I missed that episode. “Superman, we need your help!” “Be there in a minute. I’m about to get a flying Brazilian.” It’s your party…cry if you wanna.

Next set. Yup, I remember the Cabbage Patch doll craze. People stalked stores for days to find out when they were coming in and lined up for hours to get one. I got one by a fluke. His name was Norton and I took him with me when I did training on child development. You didn’t care how perfect it looked like on a cake because you knew what it was and you loved it. But a cabbage cake? I’m sure there’s a story behind that, but that’s a veggie-tale I can do without.

Moving on. Lindsay likes her cake. Really. If you just say “Disney” it’s all good. [Note: see all those sprinkles? My hypothesis from yesterday still holds….] And also notice the balloons don’t like you-know-what. Classic. But not so much its counterpart. Sure, the fall colors are nice, but Mickey and Minnie stuck in…piles of orange pumpkin poop? No sh*t. Thank goodness the whole thing is covered by a plastic barf deflector.

And, finally, Cookie Monster. That kid is thrilled with that cake with its funny mouth. To her it looks just like her doll. She’s four. She already has developed her “willing suspension of disbelief” (see poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge) and can enjoy the cake. But that next monstrosity? We only have to recall Kurtz’ line in Conrad’s “The Heart of Darkness” to sum it up: “The horror! The horror!”

In summary: advantage…Vintage….

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlem, elm and mel

I had to research the cabbage cake. I HAD to. It appears to have been related to a baby shower. The technique is possibly more horrifying than the result, as it involves painting melted chocolate onto actual cabbage leaves, then peeling off the leaves once the chocolate is set. Mmmm, cabbagey chocolate.

However. What's even more horrifying is THIS:

(Warning: seriously horrifying.)

Oh God.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

That last cake looked like that it was designed by someone who must of watched MTV's Wonder Showen!

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBigg3469

Great battles! I agreed with most of the previous posters, however, I am voting for the "best Cake Wreck". Here are my votes for which were most awful!

1- Then (the Now version is too minimal to be truly awful)
2- Now (What?!)
3- Now (Cabbage... wow)
4- Then (Look how hard they worked to make it truly wrecktacular)
5- Now (Scary!)

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKerri K

1. Then - I recognized them but I don't think Hulk Hogan's legs were quite that big.
2. Now - I must have grandbabies on the brain because I didn't see bacon or fire on Creed's cake. o.O
3. Now - I trust you that those cabbages are really cake because you're Jen and you know these things. My question is why?
4. Now - Is Minnie giving us the finger???
5. Then - When I was in high school I worked at a daycare and one of our little guys got really sick and was in the hospital. I gave him one of those Cookie Monster's to snuggle with. Not the cake version. That would have been a lot of fun though! Now - That thing will be featured in my nightmares tonight! Yikes!

@Sharyn ~ Perfect earworm for my day!
@SuBee ~ Are you channeling Shel Silverstein this morning?

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

Sharyn: Thanks for the great ear worm! Awesome! And SuBee, you rock.

Cake 2: Yes, the decorating certainly is raw. Hope the cake isn't!

Cake 4: Since when do candles get diarrhea? And if they did, wouldn't it be the color of the candle and not the flames?

Cake 6: Just too creepy to eat. When did cabbage turn black?

Cake 10: Horrifying. But cake 9 is wonderful!

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

No one won this battle D: Sharyn hahahaha thanks for the needed giggles :D

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

For copyrighted characters such as Superman, they probably can't draw him anymore (due to licensing fees) which is why they have to use the plastic characters.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCajun2core

First thought: Why is there bacon on the Happy Birthday Creed cake?
Second thought: These vintage cakes aren't good, but at least they put some effort into them.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTricia L

IF the cabbage cake is what I think it is - chocolate - I think it is actually done well. I would also like the back story on it.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLarriann

At least most of those vintage cakes showed some level of artistic and decorating ability. So in that respect I wouldn't even really call them wrecks. They're not /perfect/, but you can't expect every cake maker to be a true artist.

And was the cabbage cake really someone ordering a cabbage patch kid cake and getting that instead??? It's quite well done for being brown. xP

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I have a vintage cook book that shows you how to make that cabbage cake! It's even the picture on the cover!

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Nagzilla -- "tsunami of poop"? I just thought Ariel the Little Mermaid had hacked off her hair a la Tangled/Rapunzel, and giant hanks of it had fallen onto the city..... tsunami of poop -- there's something I hope to never see.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPamtha


October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Is Superman fighting several-stories-tall Jell-o people? Because the fire on the left definitely looks like a dude to me.
And is it bad that I'm seriously fascinated by that cabbage cake? What is it made of? What does it taste like? Why cabbage? IT RAISES SO MANY QUESTIONS.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjecca

Who won? The bakers who got people to pay for this stuff. Who lost? All of humanity.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Bittner

Well, I pity ROBBIE, because that first cake is creepy!! The legs of both of those dudes look like big old tree trunks. They also vaguely remind me of a vintage fashion that was in style (circa 1980's or so): nylon parachute pants. I had some; they had pockets, zippers, zippered pockets.... Oh, they were just the coolest invention since zippered bread. =^-.-^=

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

The vintage cakes are better. Bakers now are getting lazy.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmmie Hawkins

Everyone. Everyone lost here.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersarah s.

Oh, Mel! Oh, Mel, a flying Brazilian! Wiping tears from my eyes
from laughing! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Jay

I almost choked on my drink at "I stopped listening after cabbage" LOL! That cake seriously is fascination though! And that last cake is going to be featured in my nightmares for about a least!

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSara

That cabbage cake... That's not actually cake is it?? It's red cabbage??? Isn't it??

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteryas

I can't hear the name "Creed" without thinking of Creed Bratton.... which makes that cake ten times funnier. Seriously, though, what are those brownish-orange wobbly lines of frosting supposed to be?! Poo buildings?

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSam

@ Melelm,
Thank you for your smoking commentary on these gorey wrecks.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjackwire

My son couldn't decide if Superman was fighting poop or bacon. I expressed sincere concern that he can't tell the difference between the two.

Seriously, that's worrying.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

I think the dead-looking creature in the 'cabbage and pea patch' cake mentioned by Joan is meant to be Xarifa the dormouse, from a late and little known book by Beatrix Potter, _The Fairy Caravan_. When Potter was a child she actually had a dormouse with that name.

I can't read about a cabbage and pea patch without thinking of Marie Lloyd, the Victorian music hall singer, who had a number called 'She sits among the cabbages and peas.' When it was pointed out to her that this might be misinterpreted, she changed it to 'She sits among the cabbages and leeks.'

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTachybaptus

How does Sharyn do it? That song is a Masterpiece. I can't even...Did you READ it people? SING it? It is PERFECT!
"She has loosed the Hogan Hulking
And the RAW cake of Hayward"
Really?? Did you HEAR how that fits PERFECTLY with the rhythm of Glory Glory Hallelujah? How? I have no words.

And the Chorus. The chorus. Really. Sharyn For President of the World.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLois Groat

@Joan, thanks for looking into the cabbage (if you know what I mean). And finding a dead mouse.
So is it all chocolate leaves, or is there an actual cake in there? Maybe Al should post the recipe so we can all try it. I have two heads of cabbage in my fridge that have been there for some time . . . they were in our farm box and we like cabbage a little but not two heads worth. Maybe I'll try pouring chocolate on them instead.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFM

On the fourth cake...the kid's name is Creed?!
Mistake on the part of the cake decorator, or the parents?

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterOriana Giudici

Wanted to make sure you saw this cake!! #cakeoftheday

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhyllis B.

My "Winners" - in the lesser-of-two-evils sort of way:

Then, Then, Now (because weird > creepy), Neither, and Now (but only because Cookie Monster shouldn't have ears).

That said, there's something sweet about all the vintage cakes that goes beyond the frosting. The "Now" cakes, not so much - but therein lies the hilarity.

Oh, and the songs, poems, color commentary are all vintage quality here today!

I love this blog. =-)

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSeabird

My brother used to have the same candle as the Cookie Monster kid. You'd light it on their birthday and burn one square a year.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>