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

Love is in the Air...

Can you feel it? Weddings being planned, love blossoming, and a general spirit of fairy-tale perfection in the air? Ahhh.

So naturally, I must CRUSH that spirit with tales of wedding cakes gone wrong!! Mwuahahahahah!

[patting hair] Ahem.


What Stacey H. wanted:

Nifty modern texture. I like it.


What Stacey got:

Erm, I'm pretty sure dragging a fork through crusted-over icing doesn't count as a "technique".


Anony Bride wanted a cake with tiers similar to this:


But instead she got tiers like this:

Something about the puffy wobbliness of this cake makes it look like a diaper cake to me - you know, those shower gifts made out of actual diapers? Which probably would have been sturdier, come to think of it: the weight of the wedding topper made this cake start to collapse in on itself.


This was Stephanie S.'s inspiration:


Which resulted in...this:

I'm not sure who gets the blame for the ribbon selection, but that neon teal "scroll work" combined with the black icing border is sufficiently Wrecky on its own.


And lastly, Vanessa wanted a single layer version of her wedding cake for her one-year anniversary. Here's her wedding cake:

Oooh, preeeetty.


And here's what she got for her anniversary cake:

Oooh, pretty.

Ah, the mismatched whites, the battle-scarred frosting, the ponderous folds of flabby fondant! Who else is inspired to throw a toga party?



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Reader Comments (43)

Cake 1: Looks like a stick has been dragged through the icing, and in fact has almost gone through to the cake in a couple of places. Also looks like the same stick was used to blob the monogram on the front too.
Cakes 2 & 3: just throw some more flowers at them and they'll be fine
Cake 4: I see a mouth in the draped fondant, and I'm just trying to work out if it is Donald Duck or Jessica Rabbit.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRachel CrazyMum

Sung to "Annie's Song"

You Baker's are senseless. I'm not paying for fork rifts.
The next cake's listing, big time, and it's hurting my brain.
There's such scorn for your dessert, it's caused quite a commotion
You Baker's are senseless, and unpaid again.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

Now if there’s some mess up with my cake
It’s not really for you to say, sir
My baker tried to do her best
Based on the price I agreed to pay her

Maybe I liked the crusty fork swirls
Or enjoyed the glop-mess, right girls?
Be honest, they’re bad. Oh my god, I’ve been had
Crappy, wobbly and sad
Like a clown I pretend they’re not bad

Now there’s some sad things known to man
But aint too much sadder than the tiers of a clown
Make this bride weep and frown

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Plastic molded slides
at a no-name water park -
better than paper.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

I can almost see how wreck two happened. Some of the matriarchs in my family canNOT abide by a cake that doesn't have some kind of buttercreme piping on it. And that piping had better be ruffly as heck!

A cousin had a very modern cake, and they were all angry on her behalf. There wasn't so much as one rose on her cake! She'd been scammed! No matter how much we tried to convince them that the bride was delighted and that this was exactly what she wanted, they insisted that we call the baker RIGHT THEN and scream at them.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatie C.

Oh Vanessa, why oh why did you NOT go back to the original baker to have them recreate the top tier? When I got married, as part of the cake order, the baker made sure to include a1st year anniversary cake that matched the top tier of our wedding cake. All we had to do was email her a few weeks in advance. The tragedy which could have been avoided....However, it would also have killed off our entertainment of the actual product.....Oh, the dilemna....

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermiss_paper

Looks as if that cake topper couple are about to throw themselves off the cake in sheer despair.

I wonder if whoever made those scraped lines on that first cake licked the fingernails they used as they went along...

The last one just made my day, it's glorious in it's ineptitude!

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

Oh no! I added an apostrophe in the previous comment when one wasn't needed. It's contagious.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I could do bette, and I'm not even a baker :/

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

All About Your Cake (No Trouble) with apologies to Meghan Trainor

Because you know I’m all about your cake,
‘Bout your cake, no trouble
I’m all ‘bout your cake, ‘bout your cake, no trouble
I’m all ‘bout your cake, ‘bout your cake, no trouble
I’m all ‘bout your cake, ‘bout your cake

Yeah, it’s pretty clear, what I can do
Yes, I can bake it, bake it like I’m supposed to do
‘Cause I make the great cakes that all the bride’s chase
All the right colors in all the right places
I see the pictures that I can copy
I’ll give you a super deal
And it won’t be sloppy
If you want beauty, beauty, this is the shop
‘Cause every cake I make is perfect
From the bottom to the top
Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about design
She says drag a fork around the edge and you’ll be fine
I’m a wizard with ribbon; black frosting’s my coup de grâce
So if that’s what you’re into
Then you’ve come to just the right place

Because you know I’m all about your cake,
‘Bout your cake, no trouble
I’m all ‘bout your cake, ‘bout your cake, no trouble
I’m all ‘bout your cake, ‘bout your cake, no trouble
I’m all ‘bout your cake, ‘bout your cake

I’m bringing beauty back
Go ahead and tell them other bakers Hey
I can make a one layer copy -- got it down pat
And I’m here to tell you that
Every cake I make is perfect from the bottom to the top
Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry ‘bout design
She says drag a fork around the edge and you’ll be fine
I’m a wizard with ribbon; black frosting’s my coup de grâce
So if that’s what you’re into
Then you’ve come to just the right place

Because you know I’m all about your cake,
‘Bout your cake, no trouble
I’m all ‘bout your cake, ‘bout your cake, no trouble
I’m all ‘bout your cake, ‘bout your cake, no trouble
I’m all ‘bout your cake, ‘bout your cake

(repeat twice)

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermel

Ah, "Tiers for Fears".

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Polowin

Brilliant Mel! That song had just come up on my iPod moments before I read your comment!

(from another Mel)

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelC

Yup, I'm with Rachel Crazymum -- I saw teeth in that last one too!

So, I realize I'm probably in the minority here, but I actually like version #2 of cake #1 better. Cake #1 looks like wrinkly elephant skin to me! Or an old person's wrinkly rump. Gaaack!

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

At least Vanessa had the good cake on her wedding day rather than on her first anniversary: the reverse would have been too tragic. I just hope her marriage doesn't go the way of her cake, though.

Katie C.: Do you mind if I ask you of what origin are the matriarchs of your family? Southern States, Italian-American, Greek-American, just plain American or else?

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAthena

I saw the last cake as a woman who has got the back hem of her heavy flannel skirt caught in the waistband, revealing bizarre chenille underwear.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTachybaptus

I am not an artist -- you do NOT want me to draw. However, I am a graphic artist with enough skill to know how to copy and/or reproduce something.

If a cake is completely smooth, how does the "replica" end up with a fluffy border and piping on it? If a ribbon is black with a blue stripe down the middle, how does the copy get a white ribbon with thin purple edges? And if the layers on the original have only aqua squiggles on them, how does the replica end up with a teal border all around the top? And yet another ribbon that's nowhere near what the original looks like?

Of course, you could have a replication like the last one. Which looks like the wreckerator took the original cake, melted it down and compacted it. Not pretty.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

Of *course* the flowers and ribbon match the scroll-work. They are all *blue*, aren't they?

@Joel Polowin: Heehee!

@Rachel CrazyMum: I believe that is Daisy Duck...

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJust Andrea

Every time I see these kinds of posts I stop and think about what could be wrecked before I scroll down to see what the poor bride got. My imagination does not do justice to the baker's lack of talent!

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGingerSnap

To Rachel: No, not either of those. It's the famous "Sorting Cake" of "Bakeworts School of Inept Icings". You wear it on your head and it sends you to a House. Hopefully not the one the bakers came from...

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChenaya

Is it just me or does it seem like the simpler and cleaner the design, the more of a wreck can be made of it?

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

I need the follow up! Need to know the anger and horror and yelling and suing that goes on after!

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

I just love wedding wrecks. They make me glad I cancelled the wedding!
The wreck of the first one almost looks like it could have been made by She Who Must Not Be Named.

Thanks @Jodi! Now I can't unsee an old person's wrinkly butt. Thanks a lot! o.O

@mel ~ Looks like you were able to get some sleep last night? Hope your weather calms down!

Today is my workiversary. I'm still holding out for a cake.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

That ruffle wreck looks like every 80's-era cake I saw in the church fellowship hall. I've served a boatload of slices of those cakes.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngelaS

The cakes received are about as similar to the originals as completely dissimilar things can be, so bravo, Wreckers!

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

Those wrecks are so incredibly sad that they've been reduced to tiers.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeepBunny

These horrible tiers induce my own salty tears!

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIndigo

Sweet mother of pearl! We did draping the first or second day of cake decorating during pastry school and even our wreckiest efforts looked more like #4 v1 rather than v2. (I attribute the beauty of my draping to *many* years at a sewing machine and knowing how real fabric behaves.)

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCoco Not-Chanel

I am guessing Vanessa did not use the same baker.

I am starting to see these cakes as visual allegories of marriage. Before marriage, we have hopes of perfection, harmony, beauty, and for everything to come out smooth, even, and symmetrical.

What we actually get are wet bath towels left wadded up on the bathroom floor. I think that last cake exemplifies the realities of marriage quite well, though the second one comes pretty close in representing rolls of toilet paper that will go unreplaced and when they are, they're turned the wrong way. Every. Dang. Time.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

The 3rd one is so hard to look at... I can't imagine that bright blue on anything other than a child's cake :(

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

This is so utterly off-topic: I miss my colleagues at my old school, but I am having a blast teaching my new classes.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

(Can I "feel it" the air? If I can, it's just another pressure-headache exacerbated by looking at these wrecks)! But I need my "fix", and I will enjoy it!!
1st pairing (the "GOT")>This one REALLY gets to me! I've never seen a wedding in which the bride falls or slips off the top of the cake, leaving the terrified groom to scratch and scramble down though the icing, to be at the foot of the cake to catch her-and without a clampline, carbiner, 4-leaf clover-nothing!! That's love.... Wonder how they all made out. (?)
2nd>This is the WRONG photo to go with the cake...I'm TELLING you: THIS is a cake made for the Kindergarten drama club's presentation of The Princess and the Pea...where all the mattresses in the world won't please the little b---Oh, never mind.
3rd>Blue & white "inspiration": simple and understated, yet fun...and with a touch of dignified black. NOTHING like the "GOT"...Yet...Lookit those two l'il lovebirds! Gosh, they've clumb up on the top of the cake to kick off they shoes and tell the whole dang world, "We's married, doggonit! Ain't nobody gonna stop us now, so go away and let us have our, peace!"
4th>The stately extravaganza of the"inspiration" makes me think "Godfather" movie/Vegas...paired with the "GOT">Audrey II from Little Shop Of Horrors? At this point, does it even matter? The party's over~time to call it a day...(etc.)

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Still trying to figure out where #3 got the peach roses and the suicidal topper.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Does anyone else think the "good" cake on example #1 looks like stacked rolls of Cottonelle toilet paper?

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElephant3

@VaBeach alemaP: thank you for the good thoughts and the chat with Mother -- she took the storm to the south, so it was a restful night! Yes, I live in the Midwest, in western Illinois, next to the Mississippi River. And yes, it is harder to recover from a sleepless night now, no matter the cause, than it was when I was twenty...or even twenty years ago. Just one of the "perks" of getting older.....
@MelC: hello "another Mel" and thank you! I first heard this song recently on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and thought it was catchy. Who knew it would pop up here.
@Jodee: yup, last night's predicted storm went south of here, just leaving us with a couple of inches of rain, which fell rather gently throughout the night. And, Happy Workiversary!

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermel

@mel: "Small" world! My Mom was from Berwyn, Ill. She always told me how wonderful the mud, and dirt smelled there. I also "hear you" as to the "perks of getting older"! Being retired, I don't sleep a lot because I don't need much, and I don't want to miss anything! Don't we have fun, here, though...!? =^~.~^=

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Toga! Toga! Lol. I dunno what fondant tastes like, maybe a toga

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEm

How sad is it that my first thought upon seeing wrecks one and two was that they didn't come out nearly as bad as I expected? Clearly, I've spent too much time going over the archives of this website lately.

Wreck number three wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't seen the inspiration cake first...or if the topper didn't look as though the couple were about to complete a suicide pact. "I'll see you in Hell, dear." *kisses*

The top half of that last one looks okay. Such a shame that they managed to completely ruin the botom half. What is going on in the lower right end of that cake anyway? At least Vanessa had a lovely wedding cake. Judging by this site, that is quite the accomplishment.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTifa

I'm wondering if frothy piping and ribbon is what cake decorators are told to use when the tiers refuse to sit flat? Is there a gaping hole under all that?

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAA

I am literally getting nauseous just looking at these cake wrecks!

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Re the last cake, don't couples take the top tier off and freeze it for the first anniversary any more?

September 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNobodee Home

It never ceases to perplex me the people who are annoyed that their FROSTED (and likely lower-cost) cake looks nothing like the picture of the expensive FONDANT COVERED cake they took to their baker as 'inspiration'. I don't know if I'm more annoyed at them or at the baker/decorator who didn't tell them (over and over), "I can't reproduce this look with the kind of cake you want at the price you want."

September 12, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjudy

The last cake looks like its inspiration to me, which also looks pretty vulgar.

September 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBadger

Thank you, Judy, for saying what I always think when I see these wedding wrecks. If you want a clean, modern, exquisitely rendered fondant-and-sugar-flower cake, you're going to have to ante up for one. They are expensive and require a chef/baker with lots of skill and experience (not to mention a great portfolio). Mom's Cousin Martha who took a Wilton cake decorating class at the local community college is NOT going to be able to reproduce that cake on Pinterest! Why is this so difficult to figure out?

Their wrecks are their own fault - usually because they don't have the budget for an expensive cake and are delusional about Cousin Martha's cake making skills, or they are too cheap to pay for a professionally made cake from an experienced pastry chef. Either way, they and their wedding cakes are DOOMED.

September 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSandy T

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