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

Not So Much "Rules" As "Guidelines"

Believe it or not, when you ask the internet to send you pictures, you sometimes get stuff you can't use. ("Wha WHAAA?!" Yes, really.)

So to better help you wrecky minions both take and send CW-appropriate snaps, I've compiled a few common mistakes to avoid.

Please note that every picture I'm about to show you is a real, honest-to-goodness, user-submitted photo from just the past month or so. Welcome to my world.


To Have Your Photo Featured On Cake Wrecks, Please Do Not Send:

Anything too blurry:

Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT have to take the picture while doing sprints and/or jumping jacks.


Anything too small:

That's the actual size of the attachment, y'all.

("What is this? A BLOG FOR ANTS?!!")


Anything obviously homemade:

I know this can be a judgement call sometimes, but I'm talking painfully obvious.
You know, like that Palmolive bottle.


Cakes on ceilings:

Stop hurting our brains, and just walk around the table, dude.


Cakes with absolutely nothing wrong with them:

I've been assured that the purple flowers are all wrong somehow.


Obstructed views taken from halfway across the room:

I've deleted lots of these with the bride and groom completely blocking 3/4 of the cake - which I'm regretting now, since some were just hilariously bad.

Anyhoo, if you're gonna go all paparazzi on a cake, peeps, at least get a decent zoom lens.


Quick tangent: Sometimes I'm forced to leave the house and make small talk with strangers. When this happens, I have one go-to line to describe my day job: "I have seen more fondant genitalia than any one person should ever be subjected to." And it is true.

So, my final "guideline" is this: No shockingly, intentionally obscene cakes.

Unless it's super funny. Then I'll just have John work his censor dot magic on it:



And our sincerest thanks to the many thousands of you who have sent us pictures over the last 7 years.
You guys are awesome.


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

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Reader Comments (42)

You're going to need a bigger dot.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Oh, that purple princess castle wedding cake does look pretty wrecktacular, though. I would love to see a better picture of it.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMinda

Happy 7th anniversary! And as the saying goes "Pobody's Nerfect" (Nobody's Perfect) when it comes to cake decorating or picture taking!

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBigg3469

"I have seen more fondant genitalia than any one person should ever be subjected to."

I'd love to see the person's face that you are talking to, or hear what their response is. Or do they suddenly realize that they have to go refill their drink...

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbassgirl

Those purple flowers look like hyacinths. Nothing wrong with that. They don't bloom at the same time as roses, at least not where I live, but it's a cake not a horticulture lesson. It's pretty.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I bet the sender-inner of the tiny pic is like me -- when faced with the choice of picture sizes, I have NO idea what each choice will look like to the recipient. I'm kind of a ludite though.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

That last one, when blurred, kinda reminds me of Boo from Super Mario

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEagle

To be fair, MAYBE the Palmolive bottle was merely there to compare the know....the bride walks in with said bottle and says, "I want THIS color on my cake."

Just trying to be helpful.....

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermiss_paper

Bless you john (thoJ) and your censor dots. O.O

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

The "Thank You Everyone!" cake is not so perfect. It lost its comma. It should read: "Thank You, Everyone!"

Yes, I am one of those people and proud of it!

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDee, just Dee

Ack! Not enough censor dots in the world for that last one!
But was that for a gynecologist's birthday??

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterErica

I've been featured on Sunday Sweets six times, now. Or it might be seven. Hey, who's counting? But the honest-to-goodness highlight of my Cake Wrecks career is having had four Wrecks used on these pages. FOUR! Penis butterfly FTW!

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLesley

I thought the purple flowers looked like bluebonnets which if that's the case the color is wrong. Lol On the cake that looks homemade, I'm thinking someone must have paid for that cake and God bless their heart if they did. I'm just glad I've never seen one of my cakes on here....I would die.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered Commentertracy

i have to side a bit with the sender of the castle pic. That thing is an honest-to-goodness wreck! The only wrecky thing missing is that it is still upright. Yeeesh, the tackiness even boggles the mind.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Ha! We have a "no genitalia" rule too. ;) WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THESE THINGS ALL DAY, PEOPLE.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

You obviously can see that is a total wrong shade of purple! :-P Maybe they ordered daffodils and got hyacinths? I don't know! ;-) i think a lot of people would be really happy with that cake,
if you compare it to what they got... :-P

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTala

I just want to know what the last cake was supposed to say!

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBeckDuer

I feel like we should all take a moment to openly thank you for shielding us from the things we have no idea exist.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMama Moralmoe

A possibility with the Palmolive picture is that it was taken in the kitchen of a church or reception facility. Considering the finished cake, maybe the person who made it doesn't include setting it up as part of the services offered and they only drop off in the kitchen.

[Editor's note- I thought it might be interesting to hijack your comment and give you some background on how we determine a homemade cake.

1. What kind of plate is it on? If it's on a metal pie plate, cutting board, tin foil, tupperware, or a dinner plate, it's probably homemade.

2. What kind of accessories does it use? It's not always the case but if we can see Wilton stands, it might be homemade.

3. Does the baker understand basic cake building? Tier structure, support, icing and fondant application, etc.

4. What kind of environment is it in? If it's in somebody's kitchen in front of a bunch of piping bags and a blurry Betty Crocker box in the background, it's probably homemade.

5. What did the submitter tell us? Sure maybe it looks homemade but if the Maid of Honor tells us otherwise, we'll usually take her word for it.

And that's about it. We don't want to pick on homebakers so we try to be careful. Just a little behind the scenes. Wreck On! -john (the screener of cakes)]

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKristi

Is it wrong that I really want to see that last cake uncensored?

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLori

As a decorator with the store who does the 'obviously wrong purple flowers' cake (also, I'm pretty sure it's the bakery-who-must-not-be-named on CW because our tags should be on here WAY more often than they are) I can say this is exactly how it looks in the book, the decorator did a better job than most I've seen (they actually did the two-toned hyacinth! Yay!), and I'm not even a little surprised the customer was so incensed by its...umm...flaw(?)...that she sent it to CW for vindication. She probably also complained to management and got it for free. Welcome to my world.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChloeB

It is possible that the "homemade" cake was photographed in the kitchen of the hall they are using because they were trying to fix it; I've been to a couple weddings in local community centers where the kitchen is basically an office/home kitchen. Homemade or not, that is a very sad wedding cake.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBetty Bee

I concur, Kristi. The photo of the "homemade" cake was definitely taken in a church/rec hall kitchen (see the coffee carafe in the background). But, I'm sure they receive pics of obviously homemade cakes all the time.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKJGuest

I am so glad we had a sane, normal wedding cake that was lovely and delicious. I am tempted to submit it, just to prove they exist!

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Actually, some "homemade" cakes are made by professionals. If a state has a cottage baking law, then it is legal to bake and sell out of your home.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

I have to admit that, while the photo of the castle cake isn't featuring the cake as well as it should, it is a gem of a vignette.

The bride and groom seem to be proud of the cake.
The waiters/groomsmen have vests that match the cake. Was this intentional????
Are the waiters/groomsmen discussing the cake monstrosity or the sudden realization that the mauve lame vests were so they would match the cake?

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnneke

I like hyacinths as much as the next person, but (to me) dried-blood maroon just doesn't look good next to purple/lavender.Sadly, some things just cry out for a black and white photo.
@BeckDuer: The photo credit reads "naked lady", so...wild imagination. ;-)
@Minda: I'm also curious; How does one go about getting a "better picture" of a bad cake?
Well, for the 3rd photo, maybe they could have touched it up with the orange soap on the counter in the background.
4th down:Hey-Sarah already HAD her party, a few days ago! She hasn't eaten that cake YET?
The big to-do wedding cake (#6) isn't obstructed enough, in my opinion. I can still see the cake. (What are those things jammed into it? Microphones?)
The last one.... So it was "super funny", huh? What are we supposed to say? "Thanks for not sharing?" =^~.-^=

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

I suppose I'll just have to be the maligned minority here, but I like the purple-trimmed castle cake. Would like to see it better, and wouldn't have minded having that myself, if I had a wedding reception, which I didn't have for either of my two weddings. :( (Instead I ordered a cake for us two at home from the local grocery store, which simply said Mr & Mrs ____. It looked great, even if it was a bit lonely.)
I also see nothing wrong with the rose & hyacinth cake, and the grammar is absolutely correct unless the "thank you" is meant to be signed FROM everyone. But if it is as it looks, and the "thank you" is directed TO everyone, then it is correct as it stands.
By the way, thanks for the censoring, I can tell I really did NOT want to see that! People can be so weird.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEdenSummer

Honestly, I prefer the buttercream genitalia myself.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Well the homemade cake could have actually been in the persons house. We had our little get together after the ceremony at our house. Cake was put on the dining room table and thats where we cut it. Same with my dad when he got remarried. I did the cake (it was before i did cake for a job anout 14 years ago) and brought it to their house.

Still looks home made though lol. Maybe they paid a friend? Only way id be ok with it, is if kids made it. Or maybe family in a pinch. Lol

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterfrogcooke

I appreciate the blur on the last one, truly, but it has shifted my focus down, and ... what are those things under it? They look like packets of sewing needles.

ruh roh

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPenguin

The sad thing about that homemade cake? While not terrific, it's still a heck of a lot better than some of the wedding cakes featured on here.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterakathleen

Castle cake looks nice. I would like to see what the rest of it looks like.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

I read "obviously homicidal."

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMia

If the "homemade" cake truly was homemade, I can imagine the couple being thrilled with it, if it was baked and decorated with love by a family member or close friend. It may not be fondant-smooth, but I'll bet it tasted better than a lot of the commercial cakes I've had.

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNobodee Home

See how 'Happy Birthday' on the last cake is done all in CAPITAL LETTERS? Maybe the person who put in the order for Clint's cake wrote the name in caps too, and the rest was all just a simple misunderstanding.

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMillie P

Wow what on earth was the last one? I am probably better off not knowing actually lol. I loved the pretty flower cake. Nothing wrong with it but I suspect a picky customer there. Looked great eat it anyways lol. That tiny pic did look like the cake had ants crawling near it.. yuck.

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterArlene Marie

But that "homemade" cake has airbrush, and most regular ppl dont own an airbrush.

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAngel

Nothing wrong with it?? How can you possibly say that, Jen? Does the 'direct address' comma mean so little to you?

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSean

While I hope that Palmolive cake is homemade, I wouldn't guarantee it just being able to see the dish soap. I worked in a bakery that the table was close enough to the sink and the supply rack that it was hard not to get stuff like that in the shots we would take for putting into our cake book. We had to get very creative with our camera angles.

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKas

In defense of the photographer of the Castle cake, it does appear to have protruding silver tubes which could be fireworks or some other kind of pyrotechnics. Can't blame a guy for not wanting to loose an eye. If they aren't fireworks.....?

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie Magpie

I also think that cake was made in a church kitchen, take a GOOD look at the Palmolive dish soap bottle...that is a really big size bottle, not the size you would see in a home kitchen (unless you are the Dugger family!)

April 13, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterlibby

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