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

Picture Perfect

The Good: You hired a fabulous wedding photographer.

The Bad: Not so much with the baker.

The Ugly:

This has to be the most beautiful photo of a Wreck I've ever seen. The fact that the photographer submitted it - along with tales of watching the baker catch the toppling cake with her bare, unwashed hands before serving it - only adds to the beauty. 

And really, what's a photographer tasked with making a wedding Wreck look good supposed to do? Well, after careful study, I've come up with a few options.


Option 1: Try an action shot in the background.

"Ok, bride, groom? You two stand behind the cake here. Now...reach for that wineglass!"

"Hmm, not quite enough action. Bride's dad? How about a running tackle?"


Option 2: Flowers

"We're gonna need another bunch for the middle tier, stat."


Option 3: Blend it with a busy background.

"Cake? What cake?"


Option 4: More flowers.


No, seriously. MORE FLOWERS.


You: But, Jen, those cakes look great!

Me: Exactly.


Option 5: When all else fails... PhotoShop

Take that Wreck from this... this!

The irony, of course, is they'll pay more for the retouched photo than they did for the cake.

Oh, and to whoever starts a cake photo retouching service after reading this post: I want my cut.


Thanks to Wreckporters D Tyler Photography., Tiffany A., Jen A., Wendy T., Andrew Jordan Photography, Jennifer J., Jacq, Random, & Rebecca Z.


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Reader Comments (43)

Are those SNAKES? Who on Earth would want snakes on their wedding cake?!?!

Perhaps, so, at the reception, they could say this: "I have had it with these motherf*****g snakes on this motherf*****g cake!"

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

Well, obviously today's song should be "Blurred Lines", but I LOATHE that song, so I'm not going there.

Oooh, wait!!!

Sung to: "Don't Worry, Be Happy"

Here's some wedding cakes they broke
I think that they gave the brides a stroke
So hurry, get snappy
Quick, add some action on the double
And lots of flowers to hide the trouble
Go blurry. She's happy.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn


Every time I see my cake
It reminds me that some bakers are a big “no”
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I’d do just fine at any old store

I thought It’d look good (in photos any way)
But I was wrong and I still will have to pay-ay-ay-ay-ay

I can’t get used to slimy stripes
And those polka dots-they have a life of their own
I bought the bouquet to have and hold
Not to hide my cake in a camouflagey way

Now you're expecting me to cut and eat this
But that's not something that I'm looking forward to-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo

I can’t get used to Duncan Hines
I payed extra for those tiers, I’m telling you
If the baker’s gonna catch and hold
My cake, “Wash your hands,” are words I’m going to pray

Every time I see my cake
It reminds me that some bakers are a big “no”
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I’d do just fine at any old store

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Two-headed snakes, no less. I'd be worried about Arnold Schwarzenegger crashing the reception and killing a bunch of people.

But I'm thinking the top one may or may not have a "incredibly cheap and run-down circus" theme going, which would make it totally not a wreck, because it's SUPPOSED to look like that. Yeah. That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGristle McNerd

I could do better than that, and I never even took a cake course :P

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

[The following was found in a thought to be lost pile of early drafts in Shakespeare’s summer home in Stratford-upon-Mary-Kay]

SCENE I. Venice. A street. The Merchant of Venice

Let me say 'amen' betimes, lest the devil cross my
prayer, for here he comes in the likeness of a baker.

How now, Shylock! what news among the bakers?

You know, none so well, none so well as you.

Prithee, baker, what troubles you?

Are you having difficulty in getting your cake to rise?

My cake rises fine. (aside: Thanks to that little blue powder from the apothecary. Bicarbonate of soda has saved my life.)

Then what troubles follow you?

It’s Ye Olde Cake Wreckies!

Ye Olde Cake Wreckies? What is Ye Olde Cake Wreckies, pray tell?

It is some kind of secret gathering that mocks my work! Missives are sent sub rosa from a place called Florida by some kind of massive Web to people who take untold delight in laughing at my efforts! You know that last week was the Celebration of Pisa, and many came to me and asked for special cakes that did reflect that peculiar slant for which the Tower is known. I begged them to seek a straighter cake, but no, upon threat of boldly harm they did insist and so did I relent. Tilted Towers flew from my shoppe, and now those infernal Wreckies are having their sport with my masterpieces.

Fie upon them! How do they accomplish such a dastardly deed?

They come into my shop and make sketches of my work
Whilst my back is to the front.

And cans’t thou not catch them with a quick spin to the fore?

O, that I have tried that, but alas, when so confronted, they laugh and run out of my shoppe, saying they are just drawing selfies.
They have disgraced me, and hindered me half a million times;
laughed at my brown frosting, mocked my CCC’s, scorned my use of plastic toys, ridiculed my Barbies; and what's the reason? I am a baker.
Hath not a baker eyes? hath not a baker hands, organs,
dimensions, senses, affections, passions? warmed and cooled
by the same winter and summer, as a customer is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?

[draft ends here]

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermel

@SuBee: Bravo! A five Starr post!

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermel

I really wish the photographer had given us a different angle of the wedding topper, 'cause all I'm seeing is Prince Charming going in for a kiss with an orange-haired, big-eared archbishop, who may or may not be an orangutan.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

All of these posts just made me realize that I never got a picture of my wedding cake. That's not a bad thing-- it was a wreck. So was the marriage though, so it was fitting I guess.

Maybe this site is desensitizing me, because I don't think that first cake is so bad. Am I missing something? Well, okay, upon second viewing it's not GOOD, but it's not TOO bad compared to some.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

God bless those wonderful photographers who tried their *very hardest* to make those awful cakes look like something that might want to be remembered when they full-well KNEW that the photos should be burned. (Like the image of the cake has been burned in their psyche for EVER...)

Also? I DID retouch one of my cake photos once. It was just one little icing flaw on the side of the middle tier...not the whole dang cake.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAli that meant to be the veil around the topper-bride's neck? Or some other cultural thing?

Either way the whole snake-infested cake is awful, MAYBE if it were for another occasion it would pass but a wedding? Seriously who's idea was it?

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

In the first picture even the cake knows it looks bad. See the beads of sweat on the top tier? At first I thought it was a grainy effect added to the photo by the photographer. But no, the cake topper looks clear and in focus so it's just the cake sittin' there sweating away.
The second cake all I can hear is Nathan Fillion's voice saying, "Oooo shiny!"

@ Mel...Bravo! *stands clapping* Bravo!q

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

@SuBee and @Mel - thanks for clarifying WHICH Photograph that was a cover for. I was trying to fit those lyrics in with Def Leppard's, and it just didn't work. For those others that missed out on Beatlemania, here's the reference: Ringo Starr's Photograph

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPamtha

I don't understand how Cinderella fits into the theme of the cake. Also, baker couldn't even center the topper.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentershirley elizabeth

Hey, option #3 actually works pretty well!

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErica

Jen, Sharyn, SuBee, and mel - I bow to you and your creative souls. I am so very honored that you gift us with your cleverness (every day, no less)!

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh

@mel -
If a Wreckie wrong a baker, what should his sufferance be by Wreckie example?
Why, a post. The snarkiness you teach me, I will execute, and it shall show humor and I will better the destruction.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

@Mel *bows gracefully and low* That was AWESOME!

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

This is the result of too many food reality shows convincing all of mankind that they too can become rich and famous with their undiscovered artistic abilities. Just slop anything on the head table at a big wedding and perhaps guests will have started on the champagne really early and start with the fabulous compliments. Could happen!😁

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGroovyjoan

@ mel -- bravo. Now finish the play. I wanna see Shylock sue for his poundcake (but not so much the battering he later received in court)

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermsyendor

Not to be a kill joy but all the flowers on the orange and blue cake are toxic to human. Lilies and hydrangea are never to be used on food to be consumed.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I had frogs on my cake with Lilly pads the lady who did it was only just starting out she did a fab job shame about some of these shocking cakes I would not of had them on show if that's what my baker did.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNuttytartburgin

OK, my bone to pick is with Option 3: First, do spathe flowers even come in red out in the real world (not according to my research- white and green only)? I know that artistic license often comes into play with icing flowers, but that color looks unnatural and nearly unholy to me. Second, once we've decided on the spathe flower not found in nature, was it really necessary to melt them? that certainly succeeded in making them totally creepy. The finished product looks like it could substitute well for the artwork on a KISS album cover.
Comparatively, I think Options 2 and 4 are far more acceptable.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterColin M.

More cowbell!

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFranP

I think the most successful photographic technique is the "distant panorama".

Another is "creative cropping". On cake #1, the photographer has used this to make it impossible to tell if the cake is listing to one side by cropping out the table. (Some of the other angled shots haven't done that successfully.)

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Oh, Cake Wrecks, how I love you!!!! Last week I missed some posts due to vacation (note to self: Look for Pisa cakes post), and this week has been especially bad for me, so I needed the laughs today.

First off, is that a cake board peeking out of one tier of cake #5? If so, nice touch. Jen, you've shown worse wedding cake wrecks, but it always saddens me to see these fails on a bride's most important day.

Second, today's comments are so above and beyond brilliant! Sharyn and SuBee, your song parodies are amazing, as usual, and now I have "Photograph" in my head. That is a good thing, given that "Happy" has been the recent earworm of choice for my brain and I'm about to go mad from hearing it so much! And Mel, your "draft" is over the top! I bow to your imagination and impeccable story-telling skills. All of you clever people are the reasons I love to visit CW every day.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie had to be snakes.....

@SuBee & @ Mel ... BRAVA!!! *standing ovation* you both get sprinkles!!!!!

Is it just me, or is that last cake trying to morph into a Tribble? Anyone? No? *sigh*

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLise

Mel, that was outstanding!

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDegera

I had to look very very hard at the topper on the first cake---I thought it looked like a barber cutting someone's hair!!!! After a few head-tilts I figured out what it was- then moved on to the cake...not even a few head tilts helped that image.....lesson of the day-NO AMOUNT OF POLKA DOTS OR FLOWERS WILL MAKE AN UGLY CAKE A BETTER CAKE!!!-----all bakers should have to write this on the board 100 times(but would they spell it right?)

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWildDuck

I know I have a dirty mind, but with the Option 1 cake, I know that's the bride's bare arm, but that little pink blotch right next to the topper looked a bit like something else for about 1/2 a second. I thought it was a bizarre wardrobe malfunction and her frontboob had moved into sideboob position.

Option 4 pt. 2 looks like it's for a wedding/funeral combo. Grandma died right before your big day? No problem! We'll just bring the wedding to her!

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

Funny... I'm starting to plan one of those "we eloped, but I guess we owe y'all a party, so how about an anniversary party" shindigs. I didn't think I needed a fancy cake until I read Melanie's comment. Now, I not only need a cake, I need a cake with snakes! All so I can set people up for the fantastic line she quoted. Plus "Why did it have to be snakes?!"

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterajay

Good gravy. That first one, my first thought was, "Mustaches? MUStaches???? Why would anyone want mustaches on their wedding cake?" But snakes work, too.

Someone needs to show that baker a Wilton catalog - they sell tips a LOT finer than the one they used. Of course, squoodging the icing through a #2 tip is a lot harder than a #6 (which is what that looks like...). Maybe the baker has arthritis?

And the last cake? I don't care HOW much you blur it, that's still one UGly cake... I did better on my first decorating lesson - and that was mostly just to show us how to stack the layers and get them to stay put. Yeesh.

Seen through the mists of time, my wedding cake must've been a masterpiece - 'cause I don't remember anything about it whatsoever. Of course, it'll be 46 years come June; maybe that's the reason for the fuzzy memory?

I couldn't figure out why everyone was talking about snakes. I didn't see them when I was looking at that BACON cake!

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTauna

Cakes, like ladies, do not sweat, they only glisten. But boy howdy, cake no 2 is really glistening; so much so that the left side icing on the bottom tier is heading south.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSiouxz

The Action Shot just makes it look as though the groom has just wed Bride-a The Hutt.

Reason #34,853 that I'm glad the Tiger and I hired a baker who made three not particularly decorated cakes (one chocolate with chocolate covered strawberries on top, one white with fresh strawberries and glaze on top, one spice with crushed nuts on top) arranged together. They looked great, we spent about 120 bucks, and every last bit of cake but the slice we saved for the morning after was eaten.

And above and beyond the call of duty kudos for advising us that any photos should feature us feeding each other the fresh strawberries, not the chocolate covered ones, to avoid incredibly stainerrific berry juice splatter on wedding clothing.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

We did the flower thing with my sister's wedding cake. The baker brought in 3 tiers iced in white. Nothing else. He told them sorry, he had been hungover and just couldn't get it together enough to decorate it. Fun times :)

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

@Sandy: Thank you! Just having some fun here…
@Pamtha: You’re welocme….missed Beatlemania, did you? Now those were some good years!
@lisadh: You are too kind…I come here because the play’s the thing…word play, that is….
@SuBee: You found it! The next part of the missing scene! Excellent job!
@Maria: Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it….

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermel

If they're not snakes on that first cake, they're definitely worms. Eeewwwww. . . .

The "more flowers" cake photo had me doubled over in laughter.

From that position, I bowed to SuBee and mel for their marvelous creative contributions.

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

Well at least the topper on that first cake was pretty lol. Oh man I can just see angry brides chasing these bakers. How I don't envy the poor brides.

April 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

wow, 2 song parodies & a long lost bard draft - this post is one for the ages!

Sharyn, Mel & Sue Bee, you rock (or roll or rhyme as the case may be)

April 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

#1: It's a miracle (!): Someone managed to save the camera-and get the film developed...AFTER the ship sank!
@ Gristle McNerd: Haven't you heard?? The "Incredibly Cheap And Run-Down Circus" theme is the hottest thing "trending" in nightmares. I like the idea! In fact, I wore a handmade, one-of-a-kind clown outfit at a relative's wedding. It seemed to fit (ambiguously).
#6: Look, I like cake as much as the next person, but it seems a tad tacky to set out an array of fancy desserts in a funeral parlor... =^~.-^=
P.S.: Your lead-in sent me running to listen to the theme of "The Good,The Bad, and The Ugly" (Ennio Morricone) I just love that music.

April 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

@msyendor: Thank you…and poundcake and battering…sounds like you could finish it! :-)
@Anne-Marie: First of all, I’m sorry you’ve had a bad week, and I’m glad coming to CW has given you some laughs – that’s why we all come here. And, thank you for your kind comment; Jen and john(thoj) are very gracious about letting me run amok…..
@Lise: Sprinkles! I love sprinkles! Thanks!
@Degera: Thank you…I do have fun here….
@TLC: Thank you so much…and bowing from a doubled over position…I’m impressed!
@Donna: Thanks – just luck that I found that draft…

April 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermel

That last cake is just sad, sad, sad. Cute for a kids' birthday, not for a wedding!

April 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStoich91

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