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

Sunday Sweets: Grandma's Kitchen Counter

These may not be your grandmother's cakes... but I bet she'd love them.

(By Papillon Cakes, website currently disabled)

Rickrack and strawberries? Yes, please!


If we learned anything from Grandma's house, it's that you can never have too many floral patterns.

(By Nevie-Pie Cakes)

Especially when they're hand-painted.


No one does "dainty" like our grandmothers did. Mine recently gave me a bunch of her old jewelry, and there are necklace pendants in there smaller than my pinky nail. I'm talking TINY.

Kind of like the little accent flowers on this bottom tier:

(By Cakes by Suzanne)

Can't you just see this on a Formica countertop with little aqua star bursts on it?



And doesn't this look like one of those fancy candy dishes from Grandma's formal living room?

(By Sif Jensen)

The green even has a slightly translucent feel to it, like leafy green depression glass. SO PRETTY.


Did your grandparents go through a cherub phase? Mine had art, statues, some particularly memorable soap dishes... but sadly, no gorgeous cakes like this:

(By Svetlana Bayankina)

How appropriate the baker chose cherubs; that hand-piping is HEAVENLY.


Not all color schemes are timeless, of course - but I gotta say, I never thought a baker could make avocado green and peach look this sweet:

(By Two Cakes but I can't find a site for them)

And more awe-inspiring piping - it's just so delicate!


Now throw in a little lace and some more hand-painted roses...

(By Bubolinkata)

YES. Grandma, I take back everything I said about your avocado green fridge. (But I stand fast on my opinion of mustard yellow carpets.)


Did/does your grandmother wear pastel skirt suits? You know, those woven ones that were kind of scratchy? And that always had a giant matching brooch on the lapel?


(By Erica O'Brien Cake Design)

Admit it, this would make the most gorgeous skirt suit EVAH.


But at the end of the day, I think it's the combination of soft colors and delicate gilded designs that reminds me most of our grandmothers:

(By Sweet Art)

Something here just seems to capture that vintage sense of style and sweetness.


And of course it doesn't get more timeless than a couple of Grandma's favorites: creamy lace, ribbon, and roses:

(By Sweet & Simple Cakes)

Mmm. Perfection.


Happy Sunday, everyone!

Be sure to check out our Sunday Sweets Directory if you want to see which bakers in your area have been featured here on Sweets!


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

« The Bad, The Bad, and The Badder | Main | Friday Favs 7/25/14 »

Reader Comments (46)

Oh wow some of those look like porcelain :O

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Cake #3 appears to be based on several porcelain patterns. My maternal grandmother had teacups and saucers in the same pattern as the top and bottom tiers, and I think a few decorative plates that really looked like the middle tier.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTXRed

The cakes are pretty, sure. But I grew up with a Mexican grandmother who loved Asian culture. So I never saw this type of stuff in her place.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJen

the correct name of the mustard yellow is harvest gold. the avocado green was also very popular.We have just finished cleaning out my parents house with 70 years of collecting and decorating fads. what a trip through decorating and crafting history! P.S. My mother would have LOVED every cake! They look just like something she would have chosen.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzyB

Wow - those are some mad skills showcased here! Well done bakers!

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

Beautiful! I'm not a mother or a grandmother, but I love the vintage looks and these are so soft and sweet! One of my favorite Sunday Sweets posts ever, thank you!

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa M

All the cakes are lovely, but the first is my favorite. My mother's kitchen about 1950 had shiny white cabinets and walls, deep red linoleum with dark swirls on the floor and wallpaper in the eating area that had bunches of strawberries on it. It wasn't easy to find cute kitchen accessories in those years right after the war but we were always watching for something with strawberries on it. Oh, yes, the curtains were white organdy with wide ruffles. Everything looked so crisp and pretty! She would have LOVED that strawberry cake!

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDorothy

For me, what spring to mind when thinking of my Nana are quilts - she was always quilting and crocheting. She made custom quilts for all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren so we have many memories of her love with us every day.

So for me this cake is more reminiscent of her than the ones you've shown:

Side note: After she passed away, my mother started a quilting group in Nana's honor at her church where they hand-make "prayer quilts" which are prayed over and blessed before being passed on to each recipient. They've done more than 200 quilts in the last 7 years and so many people have come back and thanked them for the quilts, saying they helped immensely.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLady Kal

Beautiful cakes, very retro vibe to them...but talking about grandmas made me wonder what the average age of your readers is. Because my grandparents were born in the 1800s and my parents were around for the depression and WWII, and I'm a grandma myself...12 times over, even though I'm a few years short of 60. So my grandchildren would have a grandma with 70s influences, my grandparents had 30s and 40s homes and furnishings when they were alive, and my children's grandparents were mostly early American inspired...which none of these cakes are, but I'm sure they are like someone's grandparent's homes, so I was just wondering what age of reader you lean towards...and that's a terribly, terribly run on sentence and I'm very sorry about that but I'm going to leave it because it says what I want to say.
Thanks! Also, thank you for the laughs everyday, I visit both your sites daily.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNancie

These are truly amazing cakes!
My grandma's living room had hot pink shag carpet with green and pink velvet furniture. Very watermeloney! I always loved it when I was little but looking back now, "What was she thinking?!" Ha ha. But all decorating mistakes are forgiven when you make sugar cookies and cinnamon rolls that dang good, right? Oh how I miss that woman!

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

These are AMAZING! The mint green with the white and gold just took my breath away! The cupids, as well. What is that color? Not quite violet, not orchid, not even plain old purple; just exquisite

My grandmas' had very little frou-frou. Porcelain cups were about as frilly as it got. But these are perfect for bringing back that old timey feeling, all the same. Kudos, bakers! Beautiful jobs. (Sadly, it does make the wrecks all the more painful.).

Beautiful, beautiful cakes, as always!

I have a suggestion for a Sunday Sweets:

On the site we always see examples of horrible spelling and lettering/writing, how about a SS post with examples of awesome lettering/writing?

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErica

Wowza. The skill to produce any one of these cakes just amazes me! And the flowery pastel ones all remind me of my grandmother's bathroom. She lived in a house where she had raised 5 boys so it was the only room in the house that was girly & she took advantage of that space! For some reason I always remember a gigantic powder puff in there. We lost her when she was only 58 to ovarian cancer (I was 13 at the time), so thank you for a lovely reminder of a very wonderful lady!

As for the 70's Avacado Green & Harvest Gold, welcome to my childhood kitchen! :). Appliances green, countertops gold, & the carpet (yes, carpet in a kitchen!) was a lovely orange & brown pattern! That is, until I spilled an entire bowl of unset red jello all over it. I thought my mother would kill me, & although I got sent to my room, she didn't seem too upset about it. Then suddenly my parents were planning a kitchen remodel. I think my little accident was just the opportunity she'd been waiting for! Oh, & let us not forget the mirrored wall at the end of the hallway that had gold veining! Classy! ;)

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMovieMom

A lot of these cakes remind me heavily of my maternal great-grandmother, who left us in March. The one that looks like a candy dish in particular looks like it came straight out of her antique shop.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

Ummm...the cakes are definitely lovely and skillfully done, but it seems to me that we're talking about a very stereotypical grandma here. One of my grandmas was into local wrestling and crosswords; being a divorcee, she worked hard on a factory line before we lost her, about twelve years ago. Trust me, she was not at ALL a baker. I mostly remember from my visits with her chain-smoking and fast food (she'd take me out to McDonald's or some such, because she didn't have the time or energy to cook for me).

The other died when my mother was fifteen, so I never knew her. But she was mom to eleven kids, and raised the little ones with the help of the old ones. My step-grandma had had polio as a child and was disabled. Neither of them cooked more than they had to, and my step-grandma didn't even appear to LIKE me particularly.

So this wasn't a trip down memory lane for me, sorry. But they're really pretty.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

I like Erica's suggestion about a Sunday Sweets with awesome lettering or writing :)

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBethany

Well, actually, the ARE my grandmother's cakes! She was a very talented baker and cake decorator, and she made the best cakes for our birthdays. One of the last cakes she made for me was a three-tiered "wedding cake" at my request. She hand-painted her Christmas cookies, too. Which ties to the fact that she was a talented ceramicist -- she had her own kiln in the basement in the 1960s. And finally, she was a an extremely talented seamstress, too. Nit only did she make dresses for us, but she made swimsuits and lingerie for her daughters and granddaughters, too.

This amazing woman died when I was 8. I always wished I could have known her better.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

These are beautiful. Thank you for the memories you evoked of my grandmother and great-grandmother. I feel like a little girl sitting on their itchy couches again.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre

My grandmother had the formal living room with the couch covered in plastic (my mom has a plastic-covered couch, too). But most of her suits were in the mulberry range. As she got older, the colors got louder. I can't help but wonder if the glaucoma and the cataracts were responsible. She also had the lamps with the porcelain boy and girl (one for each lamp).

Beautiful cakes!

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMuria

Beautiful cakes but with today being Auntie's Day, I wish you'd highlighted all the wonderful Aunties! Guess some of these cakes could still apply....

Maybe next year. :-)

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

My grandmother passed away earlier this year and this post was absolutely perfect at describing what her style was. It brought back a lot of lovely memories of my childhood in the 90's that still had the candy dishes and the couches (Grandma's house didn't need to buy new things, she liked it just the way it was)
Additionally, there are always so many amazing Sunday sweets but this week, the intricate designs just took my breath away. Bravo!

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

Its not mustard yellow. Its harvest gold. :)

But as usual, the Sunday post is full of truly enviable skill. And patience. LOTS of patience.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie C.

DAMN I miss my Gram. I was just looking at one of her photo albums from the late 30s this weekend, and though the pictures were B&W I'm pretty sure I spotted some of those patterns... or close enough.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterL

If you didn't actually grow up with an avocado green fridge then you have no idea! When it finally died (about a month ago, I'm 34, think about that for a moment) my mom and I did the happy dance. ;)
But it does make for a nice fondant icing color on those cakes.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha

I could not in good conscience eat any of those. They are simply too beautiful. The gree glass-looking one and the purple cherubs? I could spend all day looking at them!

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Wow; thanks for the visual treat... beautiful, neat and well executed cakes. sigh; I love them all.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

*sniff* Now I'm missing my Gramma... It's saying something when even the green and peach cake totally floor me. Your Sunday Sweets are the very definition of "eye candy"!

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDenita TwoDragons

I'm sad that some of you are clubbing Jen over the head about the Grandma angle she chose. They are sweet vintage cakes. And I am 49 and yes they remind me of things in my grandma's house. If your grandma was a ninja motorcycle riding hipster, well rock on with that. No need to be so critical about this post.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChar

@Nancie: I just wanted to say that I found your comments fascinating and thought-provoking! I was a child of the 50's, and went through the whole Beatles thing, and the 60's hippie/bell-bottom pants thing (but I skipped Woodstock-not my scene; and never did any drugs)! I love Cake Wrecks because horrible cakes are always funny (unless they're your own), and FUNNY never goes out of style! I greatly admire beautiful cakes, but at the same time, I've never met a Betty Cracker *wink* mix that I didn't like...
(I'm a "Gammie", myself~ to two!) =^~.~^=

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Cake 3 is one I made and yes, TXRed, it is based on vintage china - Royal Stafford True Love pattern. I had a two-tier cake stand (it was my grandmother's) and when we were clearing out a house belonging to my husband's great uncle after he died a couple of years ago we came across the tea set in the same design so I now have a matching set.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne Mawhinney

Comment section never disappoints me.. "This doesn't apply EXACTLY to my life and experiences - thus, I am offended".

For the record, my grandmother would love these. But then again, she's a smart lady who appreciates things of quality and beauty, even if she wouldn't decorate her home to the same standard.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

She could kill with just
one flick of her crochet hook -
my ninja granny.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

Both of my grandmothers would have loved these. My mother's mother was Hyacinth Bucket all over the place. My dad's parents didn't have the spare cash but they certainly had lots of extra love to go around. Both of them would have loved these cakes, especially the Wedgewood piece. Just lovely. Thank you!

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLady Anne

All the green ones, they're so pretty!

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAddy

I want to try making that first cake...only smaller since I am never having a dinner party that big. Maybe I'll just aim for the top tier. It's beautiful.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTifa

This is my favorite Sunday Sweets collection Ever! Unbelievable, some are even gravity defying, piping!
Thanks for sharing these.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJake and Me

Beautiful cakes, as always on SS. The hand painting is exquisite. I third the suggestion of beautiful writing on beautiful cakes.

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngelaS

I loved todays post! Gorgeous cakes and wonderful handiwork by all!

However, I must make a correction -- the cake that is tagged as being made by "Sweet Expressions by Donna" is actually made by a lady named Lyuba who lives in Sofia, Bulgaria. I love her work and follow her on Flickr where she goes by the user name "Bubolinkata". Check out her page -- it's worth the visit!

[Editor's note- Hi, Val! Thanks for the heads up. I fixed the credit and link. -john (thoJ)]

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVal's Custom Cakes

As a huge fan of old school cake decorating (a la Lambeth school), I am so, so delighted to see some of these cakes. The practice and skill that goes into creating them are out of control and deserve much attention and mad props. Well done, you incredible decorators. And thank you, Jen, for supporting them and showing the world how amazing cake decorating can be!

July 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteriammonicasue

My grandma had a china cabinet full of antique teacups. On special occasions we kids could choose a teacup for tea (actually, water laden with 17 spoons of sugar with a teabag waved somewhere in the vicinity.) Thanks for bringing back memories!

And looks like some people missed the first line of Jen's post: "These may not be your grandmother's cakes... but I bet she'd love them." Even though my grandmother's decorating style was more Hoarders than Strawberry Shortcake, she would have loved every one of these beautiful cakes.

July 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterherding.cats

Well the cakes this Sunday are truly amazing! great detailing and they all look very,very good.
Re ages I am a 54 yr old Granny to 4 and I have quite a lot of china with flowers and pyrex with autumn Gold pattern which I use all the time.
My grandparents were born in the 1890s and my parents in the 1920s, my children think of me and my Mum in law when they see this kind of thing, sadly they don't remember any other Grands they were all gone before they were born.
The most memorable thing for when visiting them in the early 1960s was the outdoor privy!

July 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdiddleymaz

I am suddenly very hungry for strawberries....

July 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermiss_paper

Thankyou for including my cake, it's always an honour to be among such amazing designs!

July 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha

I just have to say that the second cake is my favorite cake I've ever seen on Sunday Sweets and I've been reading your blog for a LONG time. I want to marry it (the cake, not your blog. Although I am very fond of your blog too.) That Nevie-Pie bakery does gorgeous work!

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHildie

I'm a little late in posting a comment, but the pastel suit pattern reminded me of Jackie Kennedy's clothing from the 60s so much I had to my two-cents in. Love all of these. They do remind me of both of my grandmothers, who are sadly no longer with us.

August 12, 2014 | Unregistered Commenternancy merrill

I know this is a year old and I don't know quite how I got to this page but everything on this page mirrors almost exactly some random thing from my grandma's house. Nice little surprise that really makes me wonder, since we just lost her two months ago rather suddenly. Thank you.

May 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSillyPuppet

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>