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

Brides Tell All!

Ah, wedding wrecks. Like a good movie, they can make you laugh, they can make you cry, and sometimes, they can make you run screaming for small claims court. (Never again, Sea Biscuit. Never. AGAIN.)


Bride-to-be Beverly ordered this wedding cake from her bakery's catalog:

She writes,
"I asked if it was possible to do a dark blue layer as well, and I was assured it was possible and it would look fine."

See, there's your first red flag, Bev. Dark blue and moss green will never look fine together, and anyone who tells you otherwise IS LYING. Or possibly color blind.

"My mom went to pick up the cake and threw a fit. Granted, she didn’t know what it was supposed to look like but she assures me it was much worse, so she made them redo it."

Ah, so they fixed it? Hey, good for them!

Wait, you said "redo," not "fix," didn't you? Ah. Still, how bad could it be?

Why do I even ask anymore.
I mean, really.


Next up, Jamie writes:

"I gave our bakery this picture with instructions that I wanted our cake to look just like the top tier - smooth sides, our monogram, and instead of the piping on the bottom, a simple purple ribbon."

That may be the easiest request I've ever heard. Seriously. There's no way a pro baker could mess that up.

Literally, no way.




And finally, Carolyn writes:

"Basically, I just wanted the top 3 layers like the cake below in white, with red ribbons and a matching red sash. The flowers were going to be white, with a red and yellow one randomly placed."

Right. Three white layers, red ribbon, and some red and yellow flowers.


(You know, like the River Nile? 'Cuz it's all flowing down the cake? Yes? No?)

(Hey, if you don't think that's funny then YOU'RE IN DENIAL.)

(Eh? EH??)


Thanks to Beverly, Jamie, & Carolyn's cake for crying us a river.


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Reader Comments (91)

Here comes the snide...

(Sorry, that's all I have time for. Busy morning... I await my fellow commenter's briliance.)

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Is that the ribbon under the icing on the last one?
Really hoping it's the cake showing through, but
Have a feeling it's not.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAna

You know, it took a fair bit of mental energy to actually scroll down to look at the wrecked version of the green one. I was looking at the pretty cake, thinking 'I just... I can't... I just can't EVEN...'

It was worse than I imagined.

And before the whole 'but they wanted a $5m cake for $5.50' thing kicks in, I offer my usual repsonse: if you can't do it for $5.50, SAY SO AT THE TIME.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

Won’t Get Fooled Again (or will we?)
By The Who

We’ll be ordering a cake, for the vows that we will take
And we have a splendid picture of it. See?
And the fine old baker man says he’ll make it. Yes he can!
It will be as lovely as a cake can be

I’ll pay much less than the cake in the photo
It will be so great – part of my wedding day show
Can’t go wrong ‘cause I showed him the picture
Pick up my great cake and say, “That’s just NOT the same! No Way!
Then I’ll give him his check and pay.
A bride got fooled again.

But seriously:
1. The 1nd one was in the bakery's catalog?
2. The 2d "inspiration" cake was pretty basic to begin with. They really couldn't handle that?
3. The 3th bride is in need of a good lawyer. Mel, could you take care of that?

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Why? Why? Why am I continually amazed that a "baker" can have a gorgeous cake in their catalog and turn out the amateurish version shown? It's as if they copied and pasted pretty cakes from off the web and each page has an itty bitty disclaimer at the bottom which reads, "subject to the intrepretation of the baker." Why??? If it is beyond your skill set, SAY SO, if what the couple wants is expensive, SAY SO. If you just don't feel like doing what they say they want, SAY SO! Sheesh.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermiss_paper

I just LOVE IT when you do these! I scroll down really slowly, imagining how bad the copy cake is going to be and they are always so much worse.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

The second requested cake should have been so easy. It's practically foolproof, so why? Why did the baker feel the need to make it more complicated?

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenternormajean

wow... I'm most shocked about the 2nd one. What the HELL??

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFunny

First off, I refuse to believe that these are done by professional bakeries...I mean, I'm not a professional baker (not even a hobbyist) and I could do better than that. C'mon people! Seriously?
Second off, if I were the bride or anyone associated with the bride none of those cakes would have been accepted, or received, or paid for, or anything other than being smashed on the bakers head. They seriously deserve to wear them. They should also be forced to add these pictures to their catalogs.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Well, technically, the Nile River flows UP not down, not that it helps any.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBW

Cake #2 - what part of "smooth sides" is so hard to understand?

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLady Anne

I recognize that first cake. It's Publix's. How do I know? Two reasons. 1. It's Publix's signature shade of green. And 2. I looked at that same catalogue when I ordered MY wedding cake from Publix.

That being said, my cake came out nice, so don't let it scare you off ordering Publix cakes completely. But as soon as I saw the green cake, I said, "OMG! Publix cake!!!!"

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAshley P

I honestly think I would forego cake at my wedding before displaying any of these monstrosities. They're all horrid, but that last one looks positively inedible (frosted ribbon anyone?).

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

The first cake really looks like a tribute to the now-defunct Hartford Whalers hockey team.

But I must say I could not help notice Beverly's fabulous wedding dress in the background. Where did she find it?

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAthena

How do these "bakers" bill themselves as professionals? These look like they were done by grade school children. Competent amateurs do better than this every day. I don't understand the epidemic of unqualified people pretending that they are trained pros. I hope that enough court cases will make news and dissuade people from continuing to rip off their customers in this way. If the customer is not willing to pay enough, I would just tell them "I'm sorry, but what you're requesting isn't possible at that price point." And refer them to a grocery store bakery to take their chances.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergothchiq

a bride’s haunting, plaintive song….( With apologies to Melissa Manchester and those who loved the movie “Ice Castle")

(Not) Looking Through the Eyes of Love

Please, O let this vision end
For I cannot contend
Nothing that I wanna see
This one can’t be mine now
Say it can’t be true
Not what I showed you
Not looking through the eyes of love
You did not do it right
You have ruined my life
My mother will be whining now,
Reaching out to strangle….
Numb, I can’t feel much
Since I hired you
Not looking through the eyes of love


And now, I don’t believe
That even in this mess we’ll find some light
Knowing you can never make it right
Please, just let this feeling end
Don’t let it come again
And I don’t want to remember
How I ever found you
You lied to me so much
Since I found you
Not looking through the eyes of love

And now, I don’t believe
That even in this mess we’ll find some light
Knowing you can never make it right
You did not do it right
You have ruined my life
My mother will be whining now,
Reaching out to strangle…
Numb, I can’t feel much
Since I hired you
Not looking through the eyes of love

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermel

Wedding missed mark cakes are my favorite, I think. There's just something extra tragic about such disasters happening on what should be one of the nicest days. And seriously, what were these bakers thinking? Their ineptness never ceases to astound me.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura P.

I just spent 10 minutes trying to find even one similarity in the first one. I'm still looking. It's like the opposite of one of those "Can you spot the differences?" things in the old Grit magazines my parents used to get.
The 2st one looks like it's being strangled by the simple purple ribbon. o,O
The 3nd one needs more flowers. Obviously!

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

Ran out of frosting
so wrote your monogram in
mini marshmallows.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

@SuBee: I consulted with Mr. Potato, Head Counsel, and he pointed out that there would be a conflict of interest if he got involved, since he has an interest in and connection with the Bad Enough Baking School, where these bakers may have been trained, so to speak….they’re checking the School’s rolls…and donuts…and croissants…. (And, in preparation for any impending legal action, the students at the School are piping torts on tortes.)

Also, we are dipping into the same well, musically speaking…the Bad Enough Baking School has commissioned the Who to write the School Song….

@lisadh: this comment is a little late, but I wanted to thank you for your kind words on Tuesday about our virtual family here at CW. I feel the same way – even though I have never met any of the commenters (I did meet Jen and john(thoJ) on their book tour) there is a real feeling of connectedness among us. Like any large extended family, some we get to know better than others, and some appear with more or less frequency (and some just peek in) but no matter, all are family, and we share and care like family. Credit for this goes to Jen and john(thoj) who have created an atmosphere that allows us not only to enjoy (and that is by far too inadequate a word for this) their work, but also to post our own comments and play along, and in doing so, they have also created a place where people feel comfortable sharing personal things, knowing that the CW community is not only funny, but also embracing and supportive. [Now that is a long sentence!] I look at the Facebook CW page once in a while, and while there are many people and comments there, I do not see the sense of family that exists here. That may be where people go to visit; this is where some of us live, this is our home. My fantasy is that someday we’ll have a big picnic and everyone will get together and laugh and laugh…and eat cake. Thank you again, and I’m glad you’re here.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermel


May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTess

SuBee, I'm a lawyer and I'll take that third bride's case! I think we've got a viable reliance claim here! And a lack of fondant tort claim. (Hee!) Honestly, I wish I could just sue all three bakeries for incompetence and false advertising.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

Love, love, love all of these posts where there is actual evidence of the desired outcome -- and then (cue the sinister laughter -- mmmwahaha) reality.

Nobody wants a wreck at the time, but years from now, the wreck will be a favorite wedding story!

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDee, just Dee

OMG!!! Just found your blog about a month ago, and have been catching up, because, well, I'm addicted. I'm getting married this year and I find these posts terrifyingly hilarious! I am seriously scared to order a wedding cake!!!

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Suebee, haiku joy and mel -hehehehehe :D. The people who made those cakes should be ashamed of themselves D:

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

I ordered the same green cake from Publix and mine looked exactly like the picture! I'm crying foul on that cake even coming from Publix...

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

If I were the second bride's best friend, I would totally have told her to go off and get married and by the time she got to the cake part of the reception I would have baked and decorated the actual cake she asked for. Seriously??? How do you mess up something that simple?

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

While I agree these cakes are truly horrendous reproductions - one wonders if the people who ordered them went to the cheapest possible places to get them done?

You can't expect $500+ brilliance to come from a $50 fee. Just not going to happen.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAKSHULLY

@athena. I concur I want to see Beverly's dress!

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGrubrednuf

How are those bakeries in business? at the end when they picked up the cakes did they have to pay?
and my las question, those 3 cakes don't look edible, are they?. Did they eat those things!!!!!!!!! o.O

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTatty

Having seen the third cake, I have to say that the first wreck looks better in comparison. The second wreck looks like someone threw a chenille bedspread over the cake. That or they stuck white craft pompoms on for the letters. I'm still thinking about all the random scrollwork on what should have been plain white frosting.

Tilting your head to the side in confusion doesn't make any of them look better.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

That monogram cake broke my brain. I was staring at the wreck picture in disbelief and my brain just kept saying "DOES NOT COMPUTE!" I... I just don't understand... I think I'm going to go lie down for a little bit.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDLWhite

This post makes me sadder than a hedgehog in a body cast trying to scratch his nose.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergene brinson

The white one looks like it was done by a 12 yr old.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Oh wow... I would run out and buy a sheetcake from Sam's Club (even if it were congratulating, say, Ron on his retirement) before displaying ANY of these disasters at my wedding!

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterautumn

What Sandy said! I mean really...if a baker gave me that, I would refuse it and go pick up a ready made from the grocery store. How do they even call themselves "bakers'? Awful....just awful....

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSweet Li'l Bonbon

See now, I can see the confusion with the last one. You asked for 3 layers, you got a 3 layer cake. It's tiers, my dear! And it seems the baker thought it looked great with just a crumb coat.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercaptain obvious

I'm not the best cake decorater, but even I could do better than these. How did the "bakers" look at these and decide "that's just what they wanted!".

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

Jungle Cruise Ride reference, FTW! Thanks, Jen!

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSara A.

I'm actually working on a wedding cake today for a friends wedding tomorrow. I pray to the cake gods that it does not come out looking like any of these!!

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJess

My 10 year old cake artist does better work than these um mm professionals.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRee

It's the customer's fault / you get what you pay for. With that out of the way...

I don't think anyone expects perfection on a budget, but is the same overall shape / number of layers too much to ask? A color from the same region of the spectrum as the color specified? An inscription that doesn't require a Klingon to translate? If the person on the other side of the counter says, "Sure, I can do that," doesn't that person accept some degree of culpability for what follows? Hmm? Can someone tell me why Firefox spell checker doesn't flag 'Hmm' but does flag 'Hmmm'?

BTW, our wedding cake was an off-the-shelf (we ran out of time, ok?) raspberry-filled, round deal (technical term), with off-white (don't worry, it was supposed to be) cream cheese frosting, and the 'top tier' was a separate, mini version of same. The base suffered some frosting damage en route (stupid grabby brakes!), but it was fixable with a knife, and no one noticed (or at least they majored in tact). We discovered on-scene that stacking them wasn't going to work well for the main cake, so the 'top' became sort of a satellite (and went home with us, intact).

I missed the balloons -- if we're doing 99 Red Balloons again anytime soon, I call DIBS on the bass!

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

How is it that a professional can look at a cake in which the details are done with a fine tip for the piping and think, "hmmm...I only have a huge tip...but it'll be okay."

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterwildmaven

As delightfully wrecky as these wedding cakes are to giggle at, I'm with Sandy. Nearly impossible to believe they were done by professional bakers (unless you count the bakery dept at the grocery store "professional"). I get staying on a budget for your wedding, but if you have any expectations at all for your wedding cake, don't ask Aunt Essie or the girl in accounting to make it for you.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle S

@mel - you just made me cry and on a day I'm wearing makeup, dang it!

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh

Sung to "Demons"

When the cakes are lame and achieve infame
The customers start to scream then faint
When their dreams have failed
And there faces go pale
And I think this cake is a little stale

I wanna hide the wreck
This looks like Dalek Sec
But with the wreck inside
There's nowhere I can hide
No matter what they bake
It's always a fake
This cake is so wrecky
This cake is so wrecky


May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTheCreepyTribble

I love looking at these wrecks. I am an amateur, but I have done wedding cakes way better than these horrifying pictures. I feel bad for the brides that got stuck with these cakes.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTracey

There is NO WAY any of these cakes would have been on my wedding cake table display! I would quickly turn into "Chiquita B'Nay-Nay Renee Jenkins" and go OFF!

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

WOW !! and i thought i was being a risk taker by having my then boss, a name partner at the law firm i worked at, make my cake. she did wedding/anniversary cakes on the side as a way to 'unwind'. to this day people still RAVE about that cake (3 layers of chocolate ! - german choc top, double dutch cocoa cake layers 2 & 3 - baileys irish cream mousse (2) and fresh cut strawberries w/ fresh whipped cream (3)).

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertraceyr49

Okay, on that third cake, if I were the baker I would have added even MORE flowers, thinking they would distract from the hideousness that is red ribbon smeared with frosting.

For some reason, on this cake I envision a frazzled baker who badly over-extended, and as a result has been awake for 72 hours straight and has ingested about 19 Red Bulls. Poor wreckerator.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngelaS

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