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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

Wrecking By the Book

When ordering a cake at your local bakery, you may be given a big picture book to choose from. This could cause you some concern: will your cake look as nice as the one in the photo?

Well, never fear, cake consumer! I'm here to help. Now, will your cake look exactly like the one in the book? YES. Absolutely.

Er, with a few caveats, of course.


Caveat #1: Perspective is all relative.


And to think: you were worried!


Caveat #2: Designs are open to interpretation.


I could be wrong, but I think this translates roughly to, "I hate my job, and you by association."


Caveat #3: The toy is all that matters.


Just look at that icing sky. Perfection!


Caveat #4: No, seriously. THE TOY IS ALL THAT MATTERS.


[sound of head hitting desk repeatedly]


Caveat # 5: On Wild Card Wednesdays, anything goes.


Really? Seriously? This can't be real...[flipping through proof file] Here it is. Hmm. Ahuh. Ahuh. Yeah. Really? No way. Seriously? They told her the Tinkerbell figurine didn't come with the cake?!? Haven't they seen caveats 3 and 4? I mean, C'MON!


Paige, I am so sorry for you.


Thanks to Wreckporters Aimee S., A.E., Cecily C., Kelli R., and, of course, Paige T.


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Reader Comments (19)

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might just find
You get some plastic and frosting slapped on a cake

Except for Paige. Paige gets nuthin'

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

I feel bad for Jay.... unless he asked for a poo stained birthday cake. then, i'm disturbed.

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMiles Edgeworth

My mother is a great believer in how much a person's handwriting can divulge about a person. Obviously wrecks 1,2 and the last one clearly say "Happy Bzxqw#*%!, whoever you are, kid, cuz I don't give a flying ***k about you or this job!"

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

"Eh" is for effort, after all. =^-.-^=
(Maybe "the book" these people were going by was YOUR book?That would make all kinds of sense.)

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

There's really no excuse for the sheet cakes, but I was a decorator at a store that was near a low-income part of town, and that spongebob cake would have been a lot more expensive than a sheet, since it was stacked and had a large kit on top. I got a lot of requests for cakes like that to be made smaller so that they'd be cheaper. Now, that cake is still ugly and terrible, and it's not even the same kit as the picture, but that could be why it's not stacked.

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

Zoom in on the last cake. They didn't even frost it all the way. In fact, I'm pretty sure they just frosted the top. I mean, I love me a good chocolate cake, but even I have the decency to get the frosting to the edges!

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

It looks like that last cake is sold still in the cheap cardboard and foil "pan" in which it was baked! Gzeesh!

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

Was this one of those days when one cake was switched because the baker objected? "Paige" doesn't even have a cake, unless "Sarah" is meant to be "Paige" and it's more than unusually badly spelled. (or Wesley, Jay, Christian or Hudson are meant to be Paige?)

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbob

Poor Hudson: Even the plastic flotsam on the cake doesn't look as good as the flotsam in the sample photo.

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWill

For the sponge bob cake, I kept asking "where are the tiers"... Than I realized they're in my eyes (tears!)

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

I ordered that Tinkerbell cake for my daughter's birthday. What I got was a green cake with a few rosebuds in the corner and the toy topper. When I complained to the bakery the clerk just said, "Oh, the decorator doesn't do those big flowers."

You don't say...

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShelley

I spent a summer in college working at Baskin Robbins, when Lion King cakes were all the rage, and I have to say, those designs can loo deceptively simple. There was one cake that consisted of African motifs (suns, zigzaggy-lines etc), and it looked quite easy to do--uh, no. It was harder to draw those stupid designs than it was to pipe the border on the thing. Luckily, the person who bought the cake didn't care because...they really just wanted it for the deco-pac toys.

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

So a book of cakes at the average bakery should say "Serving Suggestion," much like those pictures on the outside of frozen dinners and desserts do. Good to know.

Michele is right about that last cake. I, too, can see some exposed edges. Too bad. Though it bears zero resemblance to the "Serving Suggestion" cake (apart from them both being rectangular with flowers), the flower chain isn't horrible in its own right. It's the half-cocked frosting and writing jobs which really push it over into Wreck territory. DX

December 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterms_xeno

Wow. I am shocked that the customer that ordered the tinkerbell cake didn't just walk out the door and not look back. Sheesh if my cake looked like that I wouldn't bother buying it lol. Let alone attempting to eat it. Scary.

December 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArlene Marie

Nope, toys don't come with the cakes. They cost extra. And a lot of people don't want to pay the extra to get them put on the cake. Either with or without the toy that cake is just sad though.

That first one is hilarious. That's a Baskin Robbins design and there's a stencil to use so you should have NO problem making it look just like the picture. Apparently someone lost their stencil or thought they were a better artist than they actually are LOL! Yes, I used to work at BR.

December 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKas

Actually, that Thomas one really wasn't so bad. I mean, it didn't look exactly like the original but, it was far better than most of the other - ahem - facsimiles, plus I don't think you'd ever get the exact replicas of the photos unless the same people did them. (Remember, I said, I don't think you would; I am not a cake decorator so, I don't know how difficult - or simple - it is to copy a photo of a detailed cake.) At any rate, I would have been all right with the Thomas the Tank Engine cake; the others - eh, not so much. And, as the one comment earlier said, I would NOT have paid for that Tinker Bell cake - only for the cost of the supplies used.

December 31, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlissafaith

I unashamedly admit to ordering the Spongebob cake, as pictured, from my local Albertsons grocery store, and it was exactly as pictured in the book. So..."Hurray" for my local bakers!

January 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

I work at a Safeway gas station, dealing with what have got to be some of the stupidest people in the world on a daily basis, so "I hate my job, and you by association," is just utterly, beautifully perfect.
I will be sure to let my coworkers in on it. I'm sure they'd appreciate it as much as I do.
Oh, and you can be sure I go over to the main store on occasion, trolling for wrecks to send you.

January 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

I used to be a cake decorator at a grocery store. I considered myself a good decorator (for a grocery store - not "Sunday Sweets" level, but good). We did a lot of the cake kits and tried to stay as close as possible to the original design. That being said, one time a customer ordered a dinosaur cake for an adult man. (The one with plastic dinosaurs and palm trees, the cake is airbrushed to look like grass and dirt, and you use a cupcake to make a volcano in the corner of the cake.) The book picture showed a red border. Borders - especially on something like that, that isn't in "character colors" like Tinkerbell or Superman or whatever, didn't really mean that much (I thought). The customer didn't specify a border color - like sometimes they'll say, "I want the Tinkerbell cake, but can I have a yellow border instead of pink." Anyway, for something that didn't matter with colors, like the dinosaur cake or the construction cake, I would use whatever color I had a lot of that looked good with the design - so for the dinosaurs I would use red or green or blue. For this grown man's cake, I did a blue border. The lady came to pick up the cake and threw a fit because the border was the "wrong" color. I apologized, asked if she had any more shopping to do, and said I could redo the border in a couple minutes while she shopped. I "fixed" the border (neatly, so you couldn't tell). She picked up the cake without saying anything. A few minutes later, the store manager came back to the bakery and said a customer had said that I yelled at her! WTH! (He knew I didn't, because I am a really quiet person by nature and always try to be courteous to customers.) So I kindly fixed the mistake and still get beached at. Which leads me to believe she was just looking for an excuse to get a free cake. I doubt most places that made that kit would even do the cupcake volcano!

January 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJen

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