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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


Have you heard of the Croquembouche [CROCK-you-EAM-butchy]? It's a French thing.

Well, if not, here's what it's supposed to look like:

So kinda like old, cobweb-wrapped monkey bread. But in a yummy way.


Well, a certain anonymous person - who shall remain unnamed to protect her anonymity - found this gem at a wedding which she may or may not have anonymously attended:

I believe her exact words were, "it looks like some kind of primitive jungle cake being attacked by a swarm of lactating spider-wasps."

Mmmm, lactating spider-wasps...

Well, uh, Jane D. [wink wink], thanks for putting a new spin on these things.


Note: I think it's important to ask yourself a couple of questions before commenting here on Cake Wrecks:
Question: Did Jen and john really intend to give us the pronunciation of a word?
Answer: No.
Question: Are Jen and john complete and total idiots?
Answer: No.
Question: Do they...
Answer: No.
Question: Would they...
Answer: No.
Question: What about...
Answer: No.
That is all.



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Reader Comments (97)

Merci Beaucoup -- that's pronounced "murky buckets."

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I'll stick with Michael Pollan's "Don't eat anything you can't pronounce" rule. :)

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJuls

So the whole deal with croquembouche is you pull one of the cream puffs off and have that instead of a slice of cake.
How are you supposed to get to the cream puffs through the veil of tears?

Also, dI'd Miss Havisham finally get married? was the wedding at Grey Gardens?

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterXena

That may be my favorite wreck ever. I actually would like it as a centerpiece for my kitchen table. Kind of a modern art/primitive jungle nightmare theme.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Now just to work that pronunciation into my conversation today.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

We make a cute baby shower version with duckies....we call it a quackeumbusche

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Looks like it got attacked by web worms. YUCK

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermiss_paper

"lactating spider-wasps"
Hahahahahahaha!!!! Perfect description!
Also -- HRK -- what an unappetizing cake

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

Ah yes, the great croaky bush pronunciation debacle of 2013, I remember it well....good times....

I'm not sure something isn't about to hatch out of that pulsating egg sac - I've seen Arachnophobia, I know what happens next, with the biting and the screaming and the dying. It needs John Goodman with his big boots and his squirty gun to save the day!

[Editor's note- It was actually 2009! 5 years ago but it seems like yesterday. Man, I feel old... john (the hubby of Jen)]

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

I would just say that cake's a croq....

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermel

I think I found that thing in the bottom picture in the basement once. I called the exterminator.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

i would not go anywhere NEAR that thing. looks like something you would find in the corner of a dank, dark basement. ewww.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Meh, I've never found the croquembouche a very attractive pastry anyway. At least you don't have to worry about horrible misspellings or head-smacking grammar errors. Just spider invasions.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

For a second I thought the close-up picture showed a many legged grey Tarantula about to enter the "cake" from the left. FWEW! It was only a silver bow on a gift. Arachniphobic chills subsiding now.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

If croquembouche means "throw up in your mouth" then they all look the way they're supposed to look!

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

And S'il vus plait is pronounced Seafood plate (my French teacher used to joke about this).

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMisti

The real thing isn't really all that attractive either....

Sharyn: There's a town in Southern Illinois. The sign outside of town says Beaucoup. They pronounce it "buck-ooo". They know it's wrong and just don't care. :)

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMinda

Well, they sure got the "croak" part right with this wreck!

Also, I don't know which made me laugh harder -- the wreck or the commentary after regarding Jen and John!
Let me add: Jen, you're pronouncing your naaame all wrooong! It's "Jehn" not the highfalootin' French "Zhen."
Tryyyyy to get that right, okay? :P Oh, and I'm Suuuuuurrree that's supposed to be pronounced "cheeken morte shrub" as well. Do try to get it right next time. Or, I'll simply HAVE to patronize a better class of website.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

It's like it was made especially for me. They look like, well, creepy tribbles.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTheCreepyTribble

If that was in a video game, I'm pretty sure it would birth a boss monster. One of the really gross ones with acid spittle that causes DOT and ALWAYS goes after the healer first.

And I'm pretty sure it would be a lactating spider-wasp, because that's my new favorite thing

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Of course you know that isn't the real pronunciation. Everyone knows it's "crow-KWEE-muh-BAUW-chee." Duh.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

My husband swears that there's a town in Alaska that the people voted to name Ptarmigan but no one could spell it, so they called it "Chicken" instead. He would never lie.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpagopago

I think Shelob is looking for her eggs.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Jo

2009??!!! I've been following Cake Wrecks for over 5 years? Surely it's time you invited me round for tea...but no crockery ambush for me, I'll just have a biscuit.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

Reminds me of a joke:

2 blondes driving through Florida arguing over how to pronounce "Kissimmee". One states pronounced "Kiss-Ah-me" the other "Kiss-IH-me". They pull into a fast food place and ask the guy at the window to very slowly and clearly pronounce where they are. Guy responds with "Buuuurrr--guuuurrrr Kiiiiii-nnngggg".

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

@Pagopago -- I'll be darned. Your husband is RIGHT (cause I read it on the internet, and the internet doesn't lie) Chicken - Ptarmigan Alaska

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPamtha

Jus' anotha example of how high falutin' intellectual you cake wreckies are. Goin' all French an' stuff. (For those of you who don't parle francais, I dropped the last letters ON porpoise)

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterms anthrope

@Minda: Here in Colorado, they specialize in mangling pronunciations. The next town over is Louisville (pronounced Lewisville;) Lyons is "lions" (and tigers and bears, oh my!) and -- my personal favorite -- Buena Vista is "byoona vista." We also have Table Mesa, which translates as "table table." I guess that's where you eat Pizza Pizza.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I live in Louisville Kentucky and we pronounce it "Lou-a-vul". We can tell which people are transplants, the prounce it Louie - ville.
There is also a town in Kentucky named "Versailles" and they pronounce it "Ver-sales". Its such a beautiful name and so so butchered.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

Sharyn, had I realized you lived in Colorado I'd have waved while there this summer in Leadville (pronounced" gasping for breath from the altitude".)

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdrgns4vr

Somehow croquembouche has reminded me of Siyahamba kukhenyeni kwenkhos, so here goes:

to the tune of "Si-ya-ham-ba kuk-hen-ye-ni kwen-khos"

Crouqe-em-bouch-e', see the spiders lactate,
see the spiders lactate on the cake.

Crouqe-em-bouch-e', see the spiders lactate,
see the spiders lactate on the cake.

We are watching, we are watching them crawl
we are watching them crawl over all.

We are watching, we are watching them weave,
we are watching them weave and we grieve.

Crouqe-em-bouch-e', must you be such a fail?
Must you cause the sweet bride such a wail?

Crouqe-em-bouch-e', must you be such a fail?
Quickly cover this mess with a veil!

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBirdergirl

I dunno, I gotta say, I don't know that it's that much worse than the picture of what it's supposed to be like. More enthusiastically bad, yes, but still...

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

@JamieJo, you made me laugh out loud on a teleconference. And it is not a funny teleconference.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFM

Sharyn, there is a road nearby named Plateau Road. In true Southern style, we call it "PLA-taw" Road.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKay

Looks like prison of balls, with a gilded cage :P

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Pardon eh mooahhh....You need to change the name of that Lactating Wasp mess to "neerleepeedemmois" becuase I nearly peed myself laughing at everyone's comments. Omg, not a good thing while you're at work, lol. Thanks all, you never disappoint! Luv CW and all it's followers. LOL

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCookiemama

Ah, local Shibboleths and regional pronunciations...
We had them in St. Louis when I was at Wash U, we have them here in Central Texas now that I'm not, and yeah.
Consider them alongside the British national hobby of taking words from other languages and deliberately mispronouncing them, and the Irish national hobby of complaining that, no matter HOW you pronounce one of their made-up words, you're doing it wrong.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

Since we're taking about American pronunciation of French words...As a South Dakotan, I feel it's my duty to teach the masses that the capital of my fair state is Pierre, pronounced "Peer". Also, what's with the leaves poking out of the bottom of that nightmare?

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHM

Anyone else have the urge to attack that monstrosity with a can of Aqua-Net and a lighter?

(Sharyn, don't forget my favorite Colorado mispronunciation: Pee-eh-blow (Pueblo)
I have family there and in "byoo-nee" as they call it. ;)
We must be neighbors, cuz Louisville is 5 minutes from me.)

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKierstyn

I know how the name of the dessert is supposed to be promounced but I like your version better. I will attempt to work that into a conversation at my next opportunity. Plus my new epithet for something nasty looking will be that it looks like a primitive jungle cake being attacked by lactating spider wasps.

That just captures the whole grandeur of the thing right there.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

I would like to come to one of Tom's parties. :D~

uh ... you don't EAT the duckies, do you !?!!?

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterrolypolyducky

Sharyn - We moved to Colorado a few years ago, and mispronounced pretty much everything for the first year. In addition to Lyons, Louisville and Buena Vista (which I refuse to call Byoona Vista, so I just refer to it as BV), there is also the Cache la Poudre River. The name looks so pretty, but is pronounced Cash la Pooder. As for today's CW - I don't want to eat either one, thanks. When I first saw the bottom image, I thought that the web had caught a bunch of grasshoppers for the newly hatched spiders to devour. What are those green things in there, anyway? Think I may have a nightmare or two tonight, thanks.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNanci

@Sharyn ~ Here in the Pacific Northwest we have towns like Puyallup, Chehalis, Mukilteo and Sequim. (Bonus points if you know how to pronounce the first one and the last one!)

As for that hot mess up there, I like cream puffs but I'm not a big fan of lactating spider-wasps.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

Omg! Xena made my day!! Lmao! A Miss Havisham reference? Tied jn with Grey Gardens. What could be better?? Veil of tears is right!

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Sadly, even the "good" photo has clearly been photo-shopped to look more neatly done. Never had one myself, but, since I love a good cream puff, I wouldn't be averse to cracking through the candy spider webs to sample a few.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSue

I do not want to know what is pupating in that sugary cocoon, but I'm sure when it finally emerges it will menace the world's major cities.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterViktorya

So I just found this.


The name of this classic French dessert means "crunch in the mouth"; Make the caramel and assemble the dessert as close to serving time as possible

Yeah. Crunch. In. The. Mouth.

As if it isn't terrifying enough just to look at?

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

My small town has a street named Beaulah Street, but everyone pronounces it "Beulah". Drives me nuts. It should be pronounced BOlah, right? BEAU is pronounced BO!

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

Looks like it was made with, you know, longing. Made by a person really longed to see a croquembouche.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Whenever I see that word, I imagine it being spoken by the Budweiser frogs....

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissaAK

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