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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

The Letter Of The Flaw

This redditor discovered there's more than one way to interpret "sprinkles on the side."


(One of the few times when the wrecked version actually required more effort.)


Dae's local bakery offers number-shaped donuts for birthdays, so she ordered "20 number 6 donuts with pink icing and sprinkles."



Cory S. asked for a cake that was half white, half chocolate, but made the mistake of not specifying WHICH half: 



I feel ya, Jean-Luc.

And finally, Lindsay A. was very clear when she ordered these two cookies cakes: "Happy Birthday Jessica" on one, and on the other, "Happy Birthday Alan."

(I'll spare you the headache: they both read "Happy Birthday Jessica and the other Alan.")




Thanks to Libby, Dae S., Cory S., & Lindsay A., who I'm sure can't stop staring at the wonky Picard arm, either. Right? Please tell me I'm not the only one.


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Reader Comments (32)

Bahahahahahahaha :D we have to start teaching reading comprehension in school.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Face, the final frontier. These are the purchases of average bakery customers. Their continuing mission; to explore strange interpretations of their orders, to seek out merely acceptable celebratory pastries and Alan’s own damn birthday cookie, to boldly hope for baked goods that aren’t wrecks...

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Jen my dear, you are not the only one! That wonky arm is clearly there. Might I add "OUCH" to that because it looks like poor Picard has a fracture of the radial or ulna bone in the left forearm. Much like the fractured gray matter some of these bakers suffer from.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCookiemama

I think the sprinkles on the sides of the cup cakes are cute and they are NOT masquerading as a real cake either.
Yeah, looks like a badly healed break there, Picard.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAlison in Indiana

I must be missing something... what is wrong with the half white/half chocolate cake???

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGina

Who's the original Alan and why doesn't he get a cake?

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

If what she wanted was two layers of white cake and two layers of chocolate cake, that's a different order. Any bakery I've worked at would have made that cake as pictured, one layer of each.
Yes, there is plenty of reading incomprehension going on, but this one is understandable.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

How else would you make a cake half chocolate and half vanilla? If you do it the other way you'd have a split down the middle of the cake. If you picked it up wrong the icing would split. If someone asked me for half/half that's exactly how I would make it. Or make 2 smaller cakes.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I've got to say - I've had lots of orders for half chocolate and half vanilla cakes just like in the picture. And sprinkles on the side is pretty reasonable. However please dear decorators - double check your orders!!

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBecki

In defense of the 'half chocolate, half vanilla" cake, sometimes if you put the flavors side by side, you run the risk of the icing cracking at the seam. I've worked in many bakeries where "half and half" meant exactly the way the post shows the cake. To each his/her own, I suppose!

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

The "sprinkles on the side" cupcakes are really cute, if not exactly what was requested. Maybe I'm dense, but I don't see anything wrong with the half and half cake, either. Enlighten me, please!

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGwendy

Any half-chocolate/half-white cake I've seen/consumed has been side by side. I would personally assume that the purpose of having half and half (much like a pizza ordered the same way!) is so that people could choose which flavor they wanted without having two cakes!

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterrushingtoread


Most people who say half white half chocolate mean left/right not top/bottom.


I've noticed that bakeries have their own jargon that is not a 100% match to the common usage meanings of English words. For example, what is "one layer"? To a customer, it's a slab of cake, however thick, divided from the other layers by filling of some sort. To a bakery, one layer is the cake that comes out of one cake pan, which is something they charge more for than slicing a single layer in half and putting filling between the halves. A customer might order a 2 or 3 inch cake with layers -- the bakery will charge them two or three times what they are expecting for a 6-9 inch tall cake, which is NOT what the customer ordered!

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBergman

Picard's arm IS wonky. Very.

@SuBee - good one!

It's the "cookie cakes" that had me realing. The first one looks like, "Happy boatihay". Ah, just another day in CakeWreck land! Love it!

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMaryO1230

Would a bakery really assume a half white, half chocolate cake should be as pictured? Might it occur to them to ask 'Why does the customer want that kind of cake? Could it be because some of the people who are going to eat it like chocolate cake, and some don't?' Of course, no one should expect wreckorators to think - but what possible other reason could there be?

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMorag

Here and on facebook there seems to be a bit of disagreement over the half and half cake. Every single event I've been to that's had half and half cake the halves were side by side so folks get the flavor of their choice. I think that should be the default thinking over one layer one flavor and another layer a different flavor. However I guess both baker and customer should make sure that's clear. While I personally wouldn't mind the cake as pictured I know enough people who don't like chocolate cake and those who only want chocolate that side by side makes the most sense...well I guess that or two cakes but then you get into other decorating issues as evidenced by this site.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterlen

There SHOULD be a class for wreckorators in cake comprehension. But I can't imagine there being an actual cakespiracy to make GOOD, QUALITY cakes everywhere. ..*insane giggles*
Where would we go? What would we do? Oh, the wreckmanity.....But, listen here! Jean Luc's arm is's just the way the fabric drapes....on that...arm.... ( mmmmmm......) Oh! Where WAS I? *blush*

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

The double facepalm is Photoshopped from two different episodes [Picard from "Déjà Q" and Riker from "A Matter of Perspective"], that's why it looks wonky.

And I'm another who has been at many a function where the half-and-half cake was side-by-side, never once have they been on top of each other.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPanya

The bakery I worked at for years would have done sprinkles on the side like this, as it's similar to how we put coconut or nuts on duos our cupcakes. Half and half would be the same way too, and since almost all of the cakes were round, they were definitely layers instead of side by side. Honestly, side by side would have never occurred to me. I had a conversation with my MIL about "filling." When ordering a baby shower cake she said, "no filling" and I was confused because she wanted 2 layers. She meant no fruit, but still wanted icing in the middle. I said the icing in the middle was the filling. Consumers and professionals have different interpretations, so it's important to talk it through and be very specific. Pictures really help.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMeat pie

I used to love watching Star Trek the Next Generation. Well to be technical my Mom did. She's a huge fan

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNathan R.

"Jessica and The Other Alan" would make a cool title for a kid's book. Or a punk rock band.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNeeta

I feel the "half and half" cake was the the fault of the person who ordered. Maybe next time get one white cake and one chocolate cake.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterErica

I've often made sheet cakes that are white on one end, chocolate on the other, and marble cake in the middle. That way, people can have their druthers, although the chocolate part always goes first.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLady Anne

There's another issue with the half-and-half cake. I have special-needs twins, and I have often asked for "side-by-side" for their events, as rarely did both girls want the same flavor. Also, there are a lot of allergies in this community, so anyone bringing edibles customarily gets alternatives so some poor kid doesn't miss out. Did it ever occur to the baker that some partakers of the cake might be allergic to chocolate? That's a fairly common allergy; the thoughtful hostess provides an alternative. Can you imagine attending a birthday party and not being ABLE to eat the cake?

I've asked for side-by-side cakes many a time, and it was always left/right that was delivered. It never occurred to me to do it any other way. What would be the point?

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

I think the deciding factor in the half chocolate/half vanilla cake is the type of cake ordered. A sheet cake is almost always a single layer and that is what I usually saw half and half, I can go into any store in my area that sells cakes (grocery, Walmart, etc) and either find or easily order a sheet cake with vanilla on one side and chocolate on the other, but I've also seen plenty of layer cakes like above, one layer of each. So maybe they didn't specify the style of cake? It would be frustrating to want a side by side sheet cake and get layers instead, but I'm leaning towards this being the fault of whomever ordered, for not being clearer and saying sheet. Now if they did and the baker decided to layer a sheet cake, yep wrecky!

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJust Thoughts

Since many of these are from grocery bakeries, the person who wanted sprinkles on the side should have just ordered plain, Pepto-iced cupcakes and then gone down the baking aisle and picked up a jar of sprinkles. Probably cheaper, too. That said, I really kind of like the way the wreckor did them. Quite festive. The other of today's wrecks, not so much.

April 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNobodee Home

I would have thought if you were trying to be allergy-friendly, you would keep the white cake as far away from the chocolate as possible, like in a different box, maybe a different table...not shoved up next to it and pretending to be one cake! As soon as the first chocolate slice is lifted out, crumbs go on the white cake and your chocolate-allergic friend smiles stiffly and says, "no, thanks, I'll just have the cheese platter". Nice gesture, totally thoughtless execution.

April 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAA

All the half chocolate/half vanilla (sheet) cakes I have seen in the last few years have been side by side to accommodate those who want to leave the chocolate for someone else. There was no problem with a "crack" in the middle - competent decorators, I assume. The last time I saw that, to my dismay, the chocolate was the one left over.

April 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAlison in Indiana

In the bakery I work at, our company standard is that half and half cakes are one layer chocolate, one layer vanilla. Many of my customers order the half and half because they want both, and the chocolate-vanilla ratio in marble cake isn't enough for them. However, when taking orders, I always ask if they want it side x side, just to be sure. Working in this particular field, I try to be as specific as possible, but the customers should also be able to communicate what they want. We're human, not mind readers.

April 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDecorator

If I ever have a firstborn child, I am naming him Wonky Picard Arm. Oh, wait! I do have a firstborn child. He's 35. I'd better call and tell him.

April 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRay

Wow for a number six donut it sure looks like a zero lol. Sorry I couldn't help myself. I honestly wonder how you can wreck a donut. That is scary.

April 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArlene Marie

So there is an episode of STNG where for a good 5-6 min of the show, I couldn't stop staring at Picard's arm.

Picard and Riker are in the conference room and it looked like Picard's arm was a separate entity from the rest of his body the entire scene; as if someone behind him put their arm through the sleeve of Picard's shirt. All movements appeared natural and in synch with the rest of the body but the arm just didn't LOOK like it belonged to him. It was disturbingly fascinating.

I really wish I could remember which episode.

April 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHerekittykitty

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