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

CAKETASTROPHE!! (By Special Request)

I was perusing the Cake Wrecks Facebook page the other day (where every follower gets a free invisible puppy!!) when I came across a rather unusual request:

Ahh, so you want to pop open the hood and take a gander inside the wrecks, is that it, Jennifer?

Well, I'm glad you asked.







Hey, Jennifer, you ever wonder how cupcake cakes (ptooie!) keep their icing from falling through all those big gaps?



We just saw last week how a gender reveal cake failed to actually reveal anything - other than plain yellow cake - but here's the opposite problem:

The cake was blue inside with pink icing.



Now I'm going to show you my absolute favorite cake cake wreck of all time, Jennifer, and which I've been hanging onto for just this moment.

First, though, let me explain what (we think) happened:

A bakery was unable to sell a Halloween cake in time, but they didn't want to throw it away or reduce the price. So instead, they simply flipped the entire cake over, icing side down, and re-decorated the other side to make it into a generic birthday design.

CW reader Shannon had no idea of the skullduggery at work until she cut the cake, and found this:

That's a whoooole lotta icing, right there.

(And think how fresh!!)


And finally, I know I posted the video of this over on FB a week or two back, but here's a quick .gif reminder of the importance of proper wedding cake support:


(Watch the original video here to see them both continue to laugh hysterically, which is just adorable. Cutest couple ever!)


Welp, I hope that satisfies some of your blood lust for caketastrophe, Jennifer!

And hey, for the rest of you, the request line... IS OPEN.


Thanks to Cherie O., Leann S., Jaunna, Fribby, Sarah, & Shannon G. for reminding me of those times bakeries accidentally left scissors, a paring knife, and other various cutlery in their cakes - because that was a HOOT. (And also because "TRAUMATIC BIEBER" *still* makes me snort-laugh.)


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Reader Comments (53)

I'm OK with the first one. Sometimes I just want cakes to be a socially acceptable way for me to eat frosting. So I look at that and feel like the proportions are pretty spot on. ; )

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

After everything Jen and John have tried to teach her, my daughter still wants to work as a cake decorator at a local supermarket this summer. Her feeling is that no matter what kind of mistakes she might make, her work will still be better than what appears on Cake Wrecks AND no one will get killed* (her other summer job choice was emergency neurosurgeon but you know, qualifications.) Hopefully she'll see these, as they'll not only boost her confidence, but they'll give her handy hints for camouflaging minor errors. Thank you Cake Wrecks, for helping me raise my child.Thank you.

*She should also click on the link to "those times bakeries accidentally left scissors, a paring knife, and other various cutlery in their cakes" - not only because that was a HOOT, because it might save her from killing someone.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

Yeek! That one cake (cake#3) looks like it went through a earthquake!

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBigg3469

Is the label on the side of cake 3 the ingredients list? If so, I don't think I want to eat it ;0)

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPenpen

My grandmother had a wreck like this once. She made a cake for my dad, 2 layer cherry, when we heard a
bad word erupt from her mouth. Came into the kitchen to see the cake upside down on the floor. She scooped it up (floor was washed that morning) and slapped some serious amount of frosting down the Grand Canyon crack. Which is of course where my dad cut his piece! He was not happy about the amount of frosting, he only wanted the cake. So 4 daughters fought over this frosting slice of cake. Thanks for reminding me of this.

And that last cake .....EEEEWWWWWW!

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Just viewing all the frosting is making my spleen ache. And I think I just vomited in my mouth. And not even a little. BLERG.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNagzilla

I'd take that first one in a heartbeat, especially if it's a cream cheese "layer". I'd also venture a guess that I'm not alone in thinking that the upside-down one is an engineering marvel. Who HASN'T thought that the bottom of a cake should also have an icing layer? Hello?? (I'm talking to you, new trend!) The cat CCC is a little suspect, however. The "before" picture IMPLIES that a whole dozen cupcakes had been used, while the "after" tells a different (albeit yummy) story. AND, and @Subee: maybe those folks who left weapons inside were just trying to be helpful....there's a prison break-attempt somewhere every ?x? seconds, y'know... =^~.~^=

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Now those are the wrecks for me, more icing than cake - mmmmmm!!!

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

"BEHOLD! My newest design, the Cake-INATOR! It will ruin children's birthday parties, baby showers and disappear everyone's left shoe, causing random Traumatic Biebers, bringing the Tri-State Area TO ITS KNEES!"

It would explain a lot...

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

I swear those first two cakes turned my almond-y shaped eyes into dinner plates. What the absolute heck, guy?! And that last one... there's... there's just so much wrong with it. They didn't even bother to put it on a board. O_O

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCandace

Needed the giggle :D

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

I think flip-and-frost may be my new favorite!

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSeabird

@sending the clowns: Ever seen one of those construction tools that looks like a gun with a can attached and shoots out spray-foam insulation? The stuff they use to stick CCCs together bears a very close resemblance. Buttercream it ain't.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Islander

I'm wondering who baked that wedding cake. The top two layers were a little lopsided. I'd be a little disappointed about not getting a piece of cake!

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Ann

Yeah, I'd be okay with most of these. I now want to go buy some icing.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

All I can saw about that last one is: at least they were able to flip it successfully.

Inquiring minds must know: How much later was the birthday party? How old was the cake when it was finally cut and served?

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

Is anyone else afraid to buy a grocery cake now?

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKat

The lettering on the first cake is so straight and consistent that it seems to have been done by a machine. Are there cake lettering machines? Icing-jet printers?

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTachybaptus

When I worked for another local grocery store bakery, we got our cakes in Full Sheets and had to cut them for halfs and quarters. We got a whole case in that was like four inches on the sides and in the center is was good to be a half of a inch. I would use to quaters and flip them to even it out. I was told I could no longer waste cake by putting two together to even it out. The next order I didn't and boy did I get called to the office and written up. Seems the cake was for a VP of the company. Even though I was told not to "waste" cake I got written up for it. I put almost 5 years with them, 7 years later I went back to cakes and for 23 years till my stroke I did cakes. So its not always the decorators fault when you 2 to 3 inches of Iceing in spots, we have to do what the boss says, even when we know its wrong, or get fired.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

Cake #3 could be saved by adding a miniature plastic guy or gal surfing along the sloping side

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

congratulations it's a transgender!
I didn't know they could determine that in the womb! XD

I love you Cake Wrecks.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSerena922003

A Halloween cake PLUS a birthday cake! Lucky the consumer wasn't charged double price for the flexibility!

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRadiofiesta

As a decorator, and not much of a baker, I have often used an excess of icing to fill in the gaps and slants left by unevenly cooked cake layers...I guess I figure that they just have to ask the guests if they want a greater ratio of cake or icing...instead of inside or edge piece. ;)

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMardi

While creative, the use of icing as filler can't make for profit. The least expensive ingredients in a cake are what? Water and flour at a guess. Most expensive? Sugar and whatever hardened-fat-that-is-not- butter they use for the icing.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersandrad

I'm thinking my 9yo would be totally thrilled if he discovered his birthday cake had a full layer of icing on the bottom, too! As far as he's concerned, the cake is optional.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmy H

I love icing. It's my favorite part, but these might be a bit much even for me.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

They flipped over a cake??!! I'm so glad this site always has photo evidence, because HOLY CATS. I would not have believed that.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterErica

I just don't get cupcake cakes (ptooie). I know that the idea is that there's no cutting needed and that everyone, in theory, will get the same size piece, but they are soooooo messy that it pretty much defeats the purpose.

That couple is adorable! I would have cried if that had been me! I hope a good bakery in their area will see that video and make them a super nice first anniversary cake!

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

All hail the guy that invented.... the reversible cake!! That's too much man, too much. I can just see the scene in that bakery. "We have an order for a birthday cake." "But it's the end of the daaaaaaaaaay! I don't want to bake another one! Oooo, I know! I will jut flop this one over. Just like new!"

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNaughty Nautilus

So, like several posters above, I'm all for "wrecks" #1 and 2! I love frosting much more than I love cake. And I'm coming to eat with Sendingtheclowns--a cream cheese layer like that would be SO awesome! And no, I'd never thought of putting frosting on the bottom of a cake, but now I think that's the best idea EVER!!! (Except not scary orange Halloween frosting on a pretty pastel-colored cake.)

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

Haha, people always tell us that cupcake cakes are easier to serve and I'm have no idea how messy they are in reality. We glue the bottoms of the cupcakes to the board and sometimes it's impossible to not get icing between the cupcakes, making a mess to serve I'm sure.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJess

The white cake with blue borders was made by a machine. Walmart has "pre iced" cakes that come in ready for decorating... =/ so we thaw those cakes throw some deco on them then put in freezer as back ups and then thaw and put in the cake case... ha tastes fresh right?

I hope Shannon got a full refund for the stale Halloween cake. How terrible for the birthday child to find that icky mess on their special day!

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjune7

Glad to know that other families besides mine watch too much Phineas and Ferb, SaraCVT! (Totally ready your post in Doofenshmitz's voice).

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoanD

OMG!!! This is awesome!! Today is my birthday, and my submission is your favorite cake cake wreck!!! What an awesome birthday present!!!! I still remember that cake from a friend's daughter's party!!

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

When you think about it, flipping over a cake to re-use it for a new purpose is actually kind of genius ;)

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRose

Maybe the gender reveal was boy/girl twins? Or even triplets, 2 boys one girl, since there's so much more blue there....? (Trying really hard here)

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteredj

@Candace - the board already had cake and frosting residue on it from when they flipped it, and anyway, once they flipped it, how would they get the board back under it? You KNOW they wouldn't toss a container and re-use the cake. THEY BUILT IT OVER AN INDIAN BURIAL GROUND! AAAAAAUGH!

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDana

These "wreaks" are like the Titanic...before, and after! :-)

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPam S.

The only time I've flipped a cake so the icing was on the bottom
was a request for a party that had an opposite/upside down theme.
The bottom and sides were iced and the top had nothing on it

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAna

The first cake may not be a wreck. I once asked my great aunt for cheese cake when she insisted on getting a cake for my birthday. She did not know what a cheese cake was, but went to one of the best bakeries in town and asked them. They said they could do Bavarian creme and it was similar. She said ok and that's what appeared on the table. Decorated like a regular cake, but cut into it and it looked just like that. Two thin layers of cake and luscious cream the consistency of pudding but so rich and it was hands down the absolute best cake I have ever, ever had.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterErin

For the upside-down cake, couldn't they have scraped off some of that icky-colored icing? Unreal.

May 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNobodee Home

I worked at the deli/bakery of my local supermarket a few years back while I was trying to pay for grad school. I'd been shopping there for ages, and I have a habit, thanks to this website, of looking at the cakes every time I go through that area of the store. So before I started, I already knew we had this cake designed to look like a "monster," kind of a Sesame Street sort of monster, with fluffy icing "fur" and mini-Oreos for eyes and a row of mini-Oreos for a mouth.

The whole thing looked like a dome, a big half sphere. Naively I assumed that they got domed cakes and iced on top of them. So imagine my first week working with the cake decorators when they taught me to make them by taking a normal, every day, nine inch round cake and piling a dome of SIX INCHES OF ICING on top. Then once you have a nice SIX INCH dome, you add the icing peaks and decorations.

It was probably two or three traditional icing jars worth of cookies and cream icing, which was by far our worst flavor. I can't even look at those cakes without feeling like I need insulin.

May 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

The 1st cake, and the 2nd cake, and the CCC... All that sweet, sweet, sweet icing... YUM!!!

Now I'm all hungry...

May 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBea

@ Alice And you were supposed to suddenly read minds and somehow know that THIS particular cake was for some stuffed shirt bigshot??? They keep coming up with ways to make us hate them more. It's like that's what they're getting paid for, it's not like they actually, you know, work or anything.

May 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAisha

I took the Wilton cake decorating classes offered by Michael's Crafts, and the instructor actually advised us that if a cake bakes unevenly to fill in the gaps and uneven plane with icing so no one will know (in his defense, he did say if a cake is uneven by more than an inch you should level it). When another girl asked if people wouldn't be upset to cut into the cake and just get mostly a big glob of icing, he replied, "Of course not! Everyone loves icing!" =(

May 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKitty

@rJenny Islander: Yes! I have seen those! I actually have a similar thing here at home, but it's in a cylindrical can with a pointed nozzle. It's some form of "gap-filler"/insulation-type junk. I forgot what it was doing here; I never used it, and frankly don't even remember how it got here. Maybe I'll make a cake. ;-}

May 1, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

@rJenny Islander: Yes! I have seen those! I actually have a similar thing here at home, but it's in a cylindrical can with a pointed nozzle. It's some form of "gap-filler"/insulation-type junk. I forgot what it was doing here; I never used it, and frankly don't even remember how it got here. Maybe I'll make a cake. ;-}

May 1, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

(Uh oh, my invisible puppy just made a puddle on the floor......) I agree with Anne, the ratio of cake to icing on that first cake seems just about right......not knowing what kind of flavor the cake is, well, it's all icing on the don't you just hate it when people scrape excess icing on their plate and not even offer it to the one person who loves icing? Me too!

May 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSara

@rJenny Islander: Yes! I have seen those! I actually have a similar thing here at home, but it's in a cylindrical can with a pointed nozzle. It's some form of "gap-filler"/insulation-type junk. I forgot what it was doing here; I never used it, and frankly don't even remember how it got here. Maybe I'll make a cake. ;-}

May 1, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

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