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

Stairway to Heaven

I have to be honest: I've never really understood the whole wedding-cake-plastic-staircase thing. I mean, who first decided the wedding figurines might need to take a stroll down to one of the side cakes?

Not to mention this looks more like a video game level than a wedding cake.

"Ok, what you have to do is, hop over the leaf-shrooms, collect the heart rings, and then duke it out with the Moopa-Moosers down at the bottom. Oh, and watch out for the barrels."


Then, after providing this thoughtful pathway, the decorators go and make it completely inaccessible!

How are they supposed to get down there?


Or battle their way through all that foliage?


Granted, I can't think of a better place to put your plastic deer collection.


Of course, it goes without saying that all this extra height means you have to put a clear plastic light-up fountain under the cake. (Don't bother questioning it. You just have to.)

Mmm. Drippy.


You know what, though? These cakes still don't have enough going on. What do you say in addition to the stairs, tiers, figurines, and light-up fountain, we cover everything in Louis Vuitton?

Ah, rampant materialism climbs to new heights. I like it.


But it's STILL not enough. Can we get a few dozen miniature bridal party dolls, a Barbie cake, a few bolts of tulle, and the Amazon rain forest in here now, guys?

No, no, don't take away the stairs, fountain, or multiple topper figurines; we need those.


All set? Alrighty, let's take a look.



Hey, Rafael S., Genevieve F., April L., Anony M., Marla B., & Elle J., you must admit: this thing is so gosh-darn tacky it's almost kind of awesome.



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Reader Comments (77)

The first one looks creepy. Like a skeleton with a scary face. At least on my smartphone...

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

These stairway cakes have definitely climbed to new depths.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

It would be nice to be able to clearlly see the groom's expression in the last photo. And to see the bride. That would give us an idea of whether or not they actually ordered that installation piece.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLauraB

That red one is like a tribute cake to the movie Carrie.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Pretend you are a dinosaur and you have to eat your way through this cabbage as fast as possible.

But what if I'm a velociraptor? They hate cabbage!

O.K., pretend you're a velociraptor and eat your way through these deer...

Hooray for planking cakes!

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermsanthrope

I remember seeing this the first time it came round, & I STILL don't understand the deer (or their friends the turkeys, at the bottom). The rest can be explained away by bad taste, but the deer...WTF went through their minds? "Y'know, what this cake REALLY needs is tiny an-i-mals. Of course, it'll show my love, honey-buns...of hunting."

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

BLOOD! It's the Alice's Restaurant Wedding Day Masacreeeeee!

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBW

Ohhhhh, I can't not look at it...

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

and then just to REALLY make it better, the drippy cake looks like it's hemorrhaging....Niiiiice.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Nimous

Do people still do this? 'Cause, it was popular when I was much younger. You know, back when dinosaur's roamed.
I am glad that Carrie married and had a cake that matched her -- unique -- personality. Though, in the book and movie she dies. But that's not real life, is it?

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen S

Some people just aint got enough class to appreciate such swanky creations.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

I never knew these existed. Where have I been (oh yeah, to classy weddings). For the second cake, they simply burrow their way down to the middle tier, where they can easily access the stairs. See, simple.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I'm sorry. This just came out. Delete it if you want. I'm sorry...

There’s a bride that I know, doesn’t know where to go
And she’s leading a stairway procession
Plastic groom, plastic gown, going up, going down
She just hopes she won’t fall in the fountain
OH, Oh, and she’s leading a stairway procession

There’s an overgrown lawn and some Louis Vuitton
A display of true so-phistication
Climbing over a buck, is that blood? What the heck?
Level four! That deserves an ovation.
Oh, it makes me wonder
No, really. It makes me wonder. What the hell is wrong with people…

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Your just jealous your wedding cake didnt look like that last one.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterQue Sara Lee

The last one looks like it's been attacked by giant spiders. All that webbing....

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkayk

I dunno, that last cake kind of *is* so tacky it's awesome. Like a 3-ring circus wedding cake! I just need some carnival music playing in the background...

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

Ugh I would rather have a plain chocolate sheet cake than pay good money for those tributes to excess... D:

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Oh, the pain!! My stomach hurts!! These are SO wonderful! I especially adore the last one. It could be a prototype for a new Dizney Hurld attraction, named "The Escalator To-And-From HELL!" ("Pay ONCE; ride for all ETERNITY!"). [Disclaimer:Not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged stomach contents or children.This fun place contains artificial nuts, artificial smiles, and real nuts (human).]

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Cake #5 reminds me of the elevator doors from The Shining. Which would be prefect if the couple's names are Jack and Wendy.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

Wow, that last one is simply inspirational. So.much.detail.
(deer in the headlights look)

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAggiedog

Former caterer here who has set up her share of receptions. Those over-the-top cake set ups were why I refused to handle the cakes. The bakers had to set up their own creations and I was happy to cut and serve the cakes only with the bride's permission. That said, I recall one special occasion where the cake table collapsed under the weight of one of these multi-sidecake monstrosities and the baker ran out of the building leaving us to clean it up and explain to the bride. We patched and recreated some semblance of a wedding cake but not without a lot of eye-rolling on our part. Side cakes and colored water, changing light, fountains. Why.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterlynn

The last one looks like an assault course for Barbies. You could put it in a Toy Story film. I can imagine Buzz and Woody scrambling up the stairways to the highest cake, then climbing onto the top of it and making a mighty leap to the wooden partition in the background...

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterStephen

Hello, 1985 called, it wants its plastic stairways back!

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Oh. I get it; cake #3, the couple plans to have a family of Cabbage Patch Kids.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

The last channeled corn mazes with a Barbie theme. So sad that Ken missed it.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterdmommafox

Cake meets American Ninja... Cakestacle course anyone?

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

One of the many trends from the 80's and early 90's that should NEVER be brought back.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKendall

How awesome would it be to have an 80's themed tacky wedding for an anniversary party? Pretty awesome, I think. Plenty of staircases and fountains, acetate dresses, and of course a Bud Light groom's cake.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAngelaS

The last one needs a fog machine.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJim Kane

The plastic staircase wedding cake thing predates video games with various levels by at least a decade, and probably more, which leads me to believe that these sorts of cakes served as inspiration for video game designers. As ghastly as these cakes are (and they were every bit as tacky back in the 70's) we have them to thank for all of the video games we play now!

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah


That one cake is in a Walmart.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLisa S.

I had a bride and groom surprise me with a set of stairs at the set up. They told me to make extra 6 inch cakes I figured they wanted the 1st anniversary cakes for each parent. But no she hands me some steps. I ended up using wine glasses to raise the extra cakes so that the stairs didn't dangle in mid air.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

I've been decorating cakes since 1985 and these were the norm back then. I've never done stairs, but I have used a fountain many, many times. I still have it stashed away! The cake I remember so vividly from back then was had the fountain under it, plastic bells hanging from fishing line from the plastic plate the cake sat on above the fountain, plastic cupids stuck onto the sides of the cake and a plastic "chain link" fence that went around the fountain. Oh and you HAD to match the color of the water to the flowers. Thank Goodness I never had to make one with yellow roses! What a nightmare to set up! I'm so glad that the plastic column/plate phase is over! Curse you Wilton!

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCake Whisperer

I've done those stairway cakes years ago, but now all of those plates, columns and stairs are up in the attic turning yellow. (And my cakes were pretty. Nothing like these.)

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAllegra

Okay, Cake the Fifth just looks like it's dripping blood. And I see that several others are sitting on that bench with me.

And the last one ... well, it's like the landscape of the game Sugar Rush from Wreck-It Ralph!

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterrolypolyducky

Love it, @SuBee!!
@Sandy --- I'm right there with you

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen S

SuBee's song lyrics, which I had to try to sing out loud, are apparently so moving that I have tears running down my face. Or maybe it's due to laughter. Hard to tell anymore.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterZzz

The drippy cake (#5) looks like the cake they should have served at the Red Wedding on Game of Thrones!! These are wonderful!

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJulie C

Kayk - webbing! That's brilliant. Replace all the staircases on one of these babies with spiderwebs, change the color palette from white to stone grey, drop in some fake (or ARE THEY??) spiders - I'm looking at Morticia Adams' wedding cake, and I want one. Actually, Morticia is a class act - she wouldn't go for that many satellite cakes.

p.s. Thanks for the pun-ishment, Shirley Fowley!

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBexley

So I've clearly been coming here too long, but in that fifth cake? The, uh, breads just to the right of that drippy thing look entirely too happy to see it.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterZeldabird

The red, drippy (you realize it's Walmart?) cake belongs in that infamous Game of Thrones wedding...

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHunBun

Unfortunatly, people still want these...just took an order for one a few weeks ago... O_o

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkrystle

And thus we see the essential difference between wealth and class?

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

@Stephen: screaming with laughter! That's an image!

I think the people assigned to cut the last cake were all given machetes. Because they couldn't get through all the crap to cut the cake without them.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

I jokingly told my husband that I wanted a stairway case with little dolls on it and a plastic fountain for my 40th birthday. When he tried to order it, the cake decorator refused to do it. Lol

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTeri

Unfortunately, if that's what the customer wants, that's what they get. I hate them but I do them.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

I have done some stairway cakes back in the day, but they looked nothing like these. I think for the time period the ones I did were very much in style. Lost all those stairways and fountains in a house fire 5 years ago and never replaced, They were a pain in the butt. Always enjoy the posts here.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRenee O

...and she's BUY-I-ING a heartburn....

(SuBee started it!)

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Gee, I can remember when those fountains in the cake and all those stairs and so forth, were the rage and had such an ooh ahh factor! Today cake decorating has gone a long way and those things are so tacky now!

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDee Ann

My husband referred to the last cake as, "the cake of nightmares."

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoy T

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