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

Southwestern Sweets

When I was a teenager I visited Taos, New Mexico, and immediately fell in love with all the local art.
The colors! The jewelry! The weaving and pottery and paintings!

So today I thought we'd celebrate all things South West, Native American, and totally awesome:

(By Cake Heart)

This cake is singing my song, you guys. My favorite colors AND jewelry and flowers? Win!


Hold onto your socks, because I believe this next one is entirely fondant free!

(By Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes)

I could be wrong on the basket weave, but the flowers and woven tier are definitely all buttercream.
And I can't stop staring. (How? HOW??)

[Update: Confirmed by Queen of Hearts: it IS all buttercream!]


When you manage to pry yourself away, check out this sweet little western number:

(By Steel Penny Cakes)

So elegant! But the rope edging and little fence sections add just the right rustic touch.


More impressive buttercream; I think the only fondant here are the rope edges and belt buckle:

(By Michelle's Patisserie, featured here)

The piped barbed wire is - dare I say it? - adorable.


More jaw-dropping pattern work:

(By Hey There, Cupcake!)

That's got to be printed, right? On edible paper?


Although this one's all hand-pieced fondant:

(By Butterfly Sweets)

Those little turquoise beads!! Fabulous.


Here's a baker that would make an excellent faux finisher:

(By Ciccio Cakes)

That's some of the most convincing wood and embossed leather I've ever seen! If you look closely, you'll see there are even tiny stitch marks on the "leather" edges.


Looking for rich color? Then look no further:

(By Cakes by Kristi)

WOW. And look at the sides of that bottom tier: see the sections sticking out? It's 3D!


Maybe you're after a softer palette, though:

(By Avalon Cakes)

Dreamy soft pastels! Love the crochet look of those Dreamcatchers; I have to assume they're molded sugar paste?

(And can I just say how exciting it is to see cakes I can't fully explain? So many cool techniques out there these days!)


Completely crushing on this modern take:

(By Caketini)

It's simply succulent! (Eh? EH??)


And finally, a whole trio of more perfect pastels:

(By Peridot Sweets, featured here)

So much to love, but my favorites are that braided cord and the gold-and-turquoise stones. Gorgeous!


Hope you all have an equally gorgeous Sunday!


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Reader Comments (30)

Those are all works of art :O love the fondant free ones :D

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

I stared at that Thunderbird marvel long enough to see that all THREE layers have the delicate, fine little black piped "crochet"-looking accent. What a way to make a lovely living...!!
Wowed, again! Y'all must have some doozies lined up for the new week. (I'm counting on it!)

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

The second one reminds me SO MUCH of my Mom; she adores Southwest Native American patterns (my parents' whole house is decorated that way) & she has a needlepoint hobby. But she does huge tapestries and blankets that take a year or more to complete, & the woven layer looks exactly like one of hers. Except I don't think she's ever done one in dark green; she usually uses pink/red & turquoise.

My parents' fiftieth anniversary is coming up in a few years; now I think I know where to get a perfect cake for the party!

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

@SarahCVT, you might want to check the website. That 2nd cake was made by a shop in London, England. Talent knows no boundaries. (Thankfully, at least one of those shops is in my part of the state.) Makes me laugh that there's cakes from Austin and Arizona, but also Pennsylvania, London, San Diego, etc.

The attention to detail on these cakes leaves me in awe. Every Sunday.

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterteabunny

So much talent, so much to love! What a wonderful Sunday Sweets!

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRachel CrazyMum

My favorite cakes were the one with the dream catchers and the one at the bottem!

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNight Rose

I feel like I'm in Georgia O'Keeffe's house! <3

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

OMG....I Love them "Y'all"! And I'm a big fan of the Southwestern arts and the arts and crafts of the Apache,Zuni and Navajo people!

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBigg3469

my best friend lives in taos! and my hubby and i are planning to move there in a couple years!

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjen m

...2nd one!💟....the two sweet ladies of Queen of Hearts Couture cakes are just simply fabulous...everything they do is 100% buttercream.. go team buttercream!💗

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChnz

I will be a spoilsport and say that they are all stunning but I think the flowery ones take away from the theme as they are not for the most part indigenous to the areas they're representing. All the rest are the prettiest I've ever seen. :-)

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah B

I always love your Sunday posts, but as a Southwestern Arizonan and a tribal member, this one blew my socks off. Bravo! And now I know what I want my 45th birthday cake to look like! Yay!

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTay Tay

You sound Canadian, EH?? :) isn't it exciting when you see workmanship that blows your mind because you do similar work, just not that amazing? I love discovering those things!

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Aw, makes me miss living in Arizona! Okay, maybe not this time of year.

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterpikkewyntjie

I'm not a baker, and don't even eat that much cake, but I love to admire the artistry and shake my head at the wrecks. Could someone tell me what is wrong with fondant? So many times I see 'fondant free' in the description and don't understand. Is fondant bad, or is it that it is much harder to get a good effect using only buttercream? Please explain. Thanks.

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKilian Metcalf

These are so amazing! And I kind of can't wait to see the second cake's "What I wanted and what I got."

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

I love your posts - thanks

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJane

@Kilian Metcalf, I'm not a baker either, but I *think* fondant is easier to make intricate shapes with, because you can roll it out and work with it flat on the table first, and then you just stick the finished patterns onto the sides of the cake. To make intricate patterns with regular icing, you have to decorate the sides of the cake directly, without being able to lay them flat. It's like card-making vs. painting - it's a lot harder to fix a mistake in a painting. :)

July 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterStriderGirl

@StriderGirl Thanks for the explanation. I'm so used to seeing 'gluten-free,' 'dairy-free,' etc., my mind immediately goes to wondering about people who are allergic to fondant.

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKilian Metcalf

Wow! Have lots of faves in this post. I love the texture on the first cake and the colors/detail/amazing piping skills on the second one. The leather detail is pretty amazing too.

Thanks for blowing my mind with the talent that's out there every Sunday, Jen!

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterZippy

I can't pick a favorite! They are all so unbelievably gorgeous! I would have a really hard time cutting into one of those cakes.

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne from GA

Beautiful - I love these!

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSeabird

While I loved them all (especially the buttercream - YUMMMY!!!), I am totally head over heels in love with the succulent one. OMG, that is a showstopper!

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Paper

I've said this before, but I'll say it again anyway- I laugh all through the week with the wrecky cakes. But when it is time for Sunday Sweets I just say wow, wow, wow! I don't know a lot about Native American / Southwestern art, so it is such a joy to scroll up and down, enjoying each of these cakes! They really are works of art! The designs, the colors and patterns. Just breathtaking! Thank you so much!

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChicago

I can personally vouch for Michelle's Patisserie! Not only are her cakes incredible works of art, but they are mmm, mmm FABULOUS tasting, too!

Now I just need an occasion to get one...

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterlisadh

I left on Sunday for a week long roadtrip for a move from Virginia to New Mexico. Thanks for the timely southwestern beauty!!

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJana H

I just noticed the subtle flower pattern in the white frosting on the first cake - gorgeous!

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSeabird

Also, regarding the "fondant free" question, it may be just my limited experience,but fondant is not always the most tasty stuff, while buttercream--well, it's *buttercream*! Is it just what I've had, or have other people also had fondant that was largely flavorless and "rubbery"? It looks great, but some of it is like a wrapper--peel it off before you eat the cake, and don't eat it!

July 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJMixx

That's some of the most convincing wood and embossed leather I've ever seen!
me too.

(And can I just say how exciting it is to see cakes I can't fully explain? So many cool techniques out there these days!)
a lot of times i find it hard to believe that these are "just" cake & icing (or fondant). many of the cakes featured in sunday sweets are simply mind-blowing.

July 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterarchersangel

I want all of these! They are so beautiful

September 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKiwiCath

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