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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

Passover These Wrecks

Let's hear it for my Jewish homies: Oyyy yeaaah!

Ok, obviously it's a bit difficult to find professional Passover cakes - Wrecks or otherwise - considering the whole leaven thing. However, I thought these were pretty amusing.

Hey, Passover is a celebration of the Israelites escaping Egypt, right? So Moses parting the Red Sea kind of counts as a Passover cake, right?

Well, I thought it was hilariously creative, anyway, so I had to share. Thanks to Blair T. for showing us how Divinity School students rock the party.


These next ones are more Label Wrecks than Cake Wrecks, but I think you'll agree they're Wrecks regardless. First, Niobe found this nicely packaged "Passover Coconut Cake"...

Complete with a "rich in tradition" greeting:

But wait...what's this on the back?

"Not Kosher for Passover?!?"

Well, I guess if you are having a "a Passover rich in tradition," you'll just have to hope this cake keeps well for later.


At least they're upfront about it, though. Check out what I found over on Yodster's Flickr stream, titled "How a Russian Baker Makes a Cake Kosher for Passover." 

Step 1: Cross out flour on the ingredients list.

Step 2: Add a star of David.

Step 3: Kosher!


Happy Passover everyone!


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Reader Comments (43)

Lol :D but actually the first one is good for like a Hebrew school party before Passover, like for kids that put on a Passover play

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Awww, come on; the easiest way to make a Passover cake would be a sheet cake with sea blue icing, and a dotted line down the middle, with the words, "Part here!"

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

How clever of them to carry on the theme by making cakes so easy to pass over.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

… Oorrrrr, just lay a zipper down the middle of the cake. Easy-peazy.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

I just took a break from preparing the 21st annual Formerly Catholic, Atheist Shiksa Passover Seder to see if there were any cakes I could serve tonight. These are like the 11th plague, am I right people? I’ve gotta run, though. As soon as the matzoh balls are done, I have to start getting ready for the Formerly Catholic, Atheist Pagan Easter Celebration.

Sung to Dayenu, the only Passover song I know.
If you just cross out the flour
And you add a star of David
Mark it as a “Rich Tradition”
It’s a wreck.
Wrecks for Seder
Wrecks for Seder
Wrecks for Seder
For Seder it’s a wreck

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

I crossed out "sugar" on the list of ingredients on my browny square. Oh, and I crossed out the calorie count, too, so that means it totally doesn't count, right? :)

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGingerSnap

At least they weren't serving up Sandra Lee's Multipurpose Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa cake! I think the marshmallows are Kosher. ;)

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

Very funny @Sharyn!

My favorite part of the "koshering" of the last cake is that they crossed out the wrong ingredient. I guess baking powder is okay if there's no flour to activate? (Hey, it's just as kosher is crossing out flour on the ingredient list!)

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

@GingerSnap...I've found that the best way to make calories not count is to eat them in the dark after everyone else is asleep. And the best part is this: You're so tired and half asleep yourself by that time, that you don't even remember eating those calories, so it's actually NEGATIVE calories and you lose weight!! Win/win!

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNancie

@GingerSnap ~ That TOTALLY works! Kinda like all the calories one consumes on while on vacation. Those don't count either!

My brother and his family once hosted a Seder dinner. It was interesting and I'm certain there was no cake involved, but @Shirley Fowley, those would have been perfect choices! I don't sew with zippers so laying one on a cake would be about my speed!

I attended 2 (!!!) baby showers this weekend. I was really hoping for something wrecky to share but was sadly disappointed. I mean, seriously...what are the odds of that???

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

The funniest thing about the last cake is that it's not the flour that's the issue in a Passover cake - it's the baking soda. All marking out the flour does is make it gluten-free. :)

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLady Kal

"Pharaoh, are there plagues ahead? If there are, we'll all be dead!"

(Sorry; the version we used for The Telling had the phrase "we'll all be dead" at Exodus 12:33, so...)

Yeah, you'd better have those before, because once it starts, they'd better not be in your possession... whether you throw them away, give them away, or do that whole fake sell-to-a-non-Jew-then-buy-back-after thing.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNyperold

Last cake: corn syrup is not kosher for Passover either.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

So, former Hebrew school teacher here...

What we've got in the "Not Kosher for Passover" cake is an awkward intersection between "the religion as written" and "the religion as lots of people do it."

Why it's not officially KfP is certainly because it wasn't made in a kitchen that was specifically cleaned for Pesach, or at least, not heckshered (religiously certified) as specifically KfP. On the other hand, there's nothing in that cake that wouldn't be allowed for Pesach. Because of that, a lot of Jews who are a bit "loosey-goosey" about the details wouldn't have a problem with eating it.

Also -- baking soda isn't a problem for Pesach. What we've got there is one of those situations where you translate a word from one language to another, and they MOSTLY mean the same thing, but there are differences that you don't even realize are there.

In this case -- we translate the word "chametz" as "leavened stuff" and "seor" as "leavening" -- mostly. But that's not really 100% accurate. It's definitely CLOSE. But, well, the way I tend to define "chametz" is "something that's made out of the same stuff that you can make matzah out of, but isn't matzah." You can make matzah out of wheat, spelt, barley, rye, or oats. (Well, those are the most commonly accepted translations of the words, anyway.) So anything that's made out of wheat, spelt, barley, rye, or oats that ISN'T matzah is chametz.

And "seor" is leavening -- but it probably comes from the same proto-Indo-European root word as "sour", as in "sourdough", so it means "yeast-leavening", and doesn't really mean what we might call "chemical leavening", such as baking soda or baking powder. You are allowed to "leaven" stuff with meringue, or whipped cream, and even with baking soda and baking powder, if they've got a hecksher.

And THEN there's all the craziness about "kitnyot" -- stuff that ISN'T chametz but that SOME Jews, but not ALL Jews, consider LIKE chametz, so they ACT like it's chametz .... it gets weird.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIan Osmond

In defense of the Passover cake, it probably is actually Kosher for Passover, but in order to SELL something as Kosher for Passover, you have to go through an expensive certification process. The only ingredients that are restricted on Passover are wheat, oats, spelt, rye, and barley. Assuming that the ingredient list is accurate (which is usually a reasonably safe assumption), they probably just didn't get certified.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLawrence

The funny thing about the coconut cake is that, based on the ingredients, it probably is kosher for Passover. They probably just couldn't afford the certification process, so were forced to put that label on the box. Someone who is more reform would probably be okay serving that cake on this holiday.

@Ladi Kal --the flour is most definitely an issue in that cake. You're not allowed to eat any grain products except for matzoh during Passover. And not all people agree about the baking soda--I, for one, think that you shouldn't use it because it's a leavening product, but not everyone thinks the same way about it. You can find baking soda that's marked kosher for Passover, which means that it's been inspected and approved by a Rabbi. It's yeast that's considered 100% off limits with no exception.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRB

That first cake is more like Moses parting the Red Fish Tank!

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndreaK

Okay, cake #3: Flour is no problem, but the baking powder, and the corn syrup (corn has some natural leavening in it). BZZZZT!!! Wrong answer.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKymster

I actually learned this week that baking soda is kosher for passover, which logic said it clearly shouldn't be, since it is a leavening and all, but nope, kosher. Baking powder wouldn't be though, since it usually has cornstarch in it.

The more you know!! (Jew style)

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJRose

We once ordered a leg of lamb fir a seder meal. Picked it up from the grocer. Brought it home. It was covered in bacon.....LOL

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMoonflwr912

There are some humorous comments to be made, but in the spirit of Passover, I will not rise to the occasion.....

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermel

Actually is can be both. Well in the case of Baking Powder/Soda is up to debate whether or not it is considered the same as yeast which is what the unleavened bread that is specified for the Passover is all about. What I am trying to say is whether or not it's Kosher for the Passover can depend on what Rabbi you ask. Some are more strict then others.

Now in the case of wheat flour for the Passover it is generally seen that unless the flour was specially ground on recently sterilized, or only used for Passover, wheat mills then that flour is not Kosher for the Passover as it has come in contact with yeast previously. One of the steps in getting ready for the Passover includes cleaning every part of the kitchen(and sometimes the rest of house too) and removing all Yeast from the house. Haven't you wondered where the concept of spring cleaning came from?

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIsolder74

When I saw the first cake, the first thing I thought of was: Is that German Brown Trout? Not what I want on a cake. Ewwww!

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArilyn

Re the coconut cake -- It is actually not unusual, at least in my neck of the woods, to see many Passover products that are labeled as not kosher for Passover. I think this is to distinguish products that simply do not have the offending ingredients from those that also have received special certification as being kosher for Passover. This can be useful for reform folk like me who don't want to truly blunder through the holiday but do not get too concerned if something has not received the Rabbis' seal of approval. In fact, I'm pretty sure the Passover cake that I baked last night is not "kosher for Passover" even though it has no leavening, as it was not baked in an otherwise kosher for Passover kitchen using exclusively ingredients that had received the "kosher for Passover" seal of approval.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJ

If they crossed out "butter" it would also be vegan! If anyone has nut allergy, just cross out "walnuts."

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

Every day is a good day to learn something! After posting my previous comment, I learned that 1) Some keeping kosher do not consider chemical leavening agents chametz, and 2) Some keeping kosher do not eat wheat at all during passover. So not only was today's blog entertaining, it was also educational. The second win/win of the day!

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

Just a clarification - it is the flour. Flour has the potential to leaven (ferment) and is thus prohibited in anything but matza, which is baked too quickly to allow fermentation.. Baking soda is a mineral - it's perfectly fine to use on Passover.

So the baker crossed out the right ingredient. If he had only written in "matza meal" it would have been a go. :)

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGarry

Why are these cakes different from all other cakes?
They aren't, son; they aren't.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

@Subee--your holiday celebrations sound awesome! Can I come??

Aaaaaahhh, Jeeeeennn, thank you for these Passover laughs. We could really use some after what happened in Kansas today. =(

That last cake is SO ACCURATE. My Russian-Jewish mother wanted to make shrimp scampi for Passover once. (YEAH.) It took me hours to convince her not to do that. Haha.

Also, one of my best friends has that exact Moses action figure from the first cake. It has ANIMATED PROCLAIMING ACTION. :)

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

And you thought explaining the Resurrection to your kids was difficult.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

@AndreaK ~ You win!!!
@mel ~ You're still awesome ;-)

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

I like the first one. It looks like Moses is parting the fish tank.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

Loved the Passover card.

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Saxon

@Jodee: awwww...thanks.....

April 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermel

All I can say is yay they aren't lamb cakes lol. Those are probably coming to haunt my dreams soon enough. I did like the first cake though. I thought it was cute. The rest of these just made me scratch my head in disbelief.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Easy way to make a Passover post:
1. Find old post from 2009.
2. Add one line on the bottom.
3. Repost, pretend it's new, hope nobody notices.

I've had too much time on my hands lately and I've been going month-by-month through old posts. So unfortunately for me, I saw this one about a week ago. The bright side is that Cake Wrecks provides much needed daily comedic relief to my life.

[Editor's note- Hi Zebra. We post one rerun per week on Cake Wrecks. Generally, it's on Wednesday but this week we have Easter posts so we did it on Monday. Sometimes, we edit a post for formatting. Every rerun we post is tagged as a Wreck Replay and most of them will be at least 4 years old. The reason for reposting is simple: Jen runs two blogs and answers hundreds of emails and she needs a life away from the internet. Sorry if you felt misled. -john (the hubby of Jen)]

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterzebra311

Re: yeast: Wine is certainly available in Kosher for Passover versions as is potato vodka. Both of those involve yeast making alcohol, so there isn't a complete prohibition on yeast either. In both cases, it might be naturally occurring yeast rather than yeast that's explicitly added. Certainly the Rabbis who wrote the Talmud would have been completely unaware of yeast's existence as single-celled organisms and how that relates to booze and bread.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStevenHB

Thanks for all the comments, guys! I really feel I get the best education on this blog.
@ Ian Osmond: Great explanation. I had to laugh, though, because if one substituted different words it could be my Catholic side of the family trying to make sense of religious rules and traditions that have built up over the centuries. Good to know that human nature is the same regardless of the religion! LOL

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGingerSnap

Oh boy! A Kosher Epcot! I've stocked the bunker with plenty of matzah and prunes (to counteract the matzah).

@SuBee & @mel, hilarious!

And BTW, this comment isn't late, I'm on JST -- Jewish Standard Time ;)

April 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterZippy

@GingerSnap: I'm a Bostonian born and bred, and we're mostly Catholic around here. I just about had a CCD education just by listening to my friends complain about it. (For non-Catholics: CCD is "Cofraterity Of Catholic Doctrine", Catholic kids' afterschool religious classes.) And I've got a friend who's a Jesuit monk. Plus growing up with Buddhist, Hindu, and just-about-everything friends. So, yep, I can tell you that the religious meshugas is for EVERYBODY, in ALL religions everywhere.

April 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIan Osmond

I had to lookup more details on the yeast issue. According to
Of the hundreds of species of yeast, the Passover prohibition only applies to yeast which is a product of one of the following five grains: wheat, barley, oat, spelt, or rye. Yeast which is the product of grapes, or its sugars, is not considered chametz (leavened food).

April 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStevenHB

Were you joking with the Moses and the Red Sea cake? Passover has nothing to do with Moses and the Israelites leaving Egypt.

April 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSylvia

Actually RB, I think it's the rum that makes it unkosher, as rum is alcohol & fermented & whatnot.
As for the leavening vs baking soda thing, baking soda is kosher because it does not operate by fermentation as yeast does, it is a non-fermentation chemical reaction. Yeast, which was the only leavening available in ancient times & is a type of eukaryotic microorganism, works by a process of fermentation, where the yeasts consume sugars & starch in the flour/other ingredients and expel CO2 as waste. This CO2 waste "carbonates" the dough, creating "bubbles" of CO2 throughout the dough that cause it to "rise" and give it a light fluffy texture when baked.
Baking soda, which is sodium bicarbonate, works when the heat of baking causes the carbon atoms to split from the rest of the molecule, since it has two, they "stick together" when released, becoming CO2 and carbonating the dough similarly to yeast.
The recognition of baking soda as kosher & yeast as unkosher is simply, a "spirit of the law" (no fermentation) vs "letter of the law" (no leavening). Since baking soda is inorganic & works as a raising agent through an inorganic chemical process, (rather than yeast's organic metabolic fermentation process) many consider it to keep the "spirit of the law" and to not be a true leavener, even though it is still called a "leavener" in the vernacular. Others may decide to be "on the safe side" and deem it unkosher, "just in case" God counts it as leaven.
I'm not Jewish myself, but I think it's a personal thing to decide whether you think baking soda is, or isn't kosher; I don't think there's any harm in either viewpoint, leavening is not necessary to have good nutrition anyway.

April 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNerfbomb

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