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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

Friday Favs 8/7/15

A few of my favorite new submissions this week:

When you're trying to order a "Balls of Fury" cake (anyone remember that movie?), only to end up with:

Now that's a WHOLE different ball game.


And speaking of balls...

Er, balloons, I mean. Balloons.

(But I bet you saw something else all limp and saggy at first, didn't you?)


I swear, I'm not doing this on purpose.

Well, ok, maybe a little.


(That's my creepy, unblinking grin face.)


And finally, here's the lovely design Kimberly ordered for her wedding cake:


Aaaand here's the photo finish she ended up with:

Shoot, talk about an unfortunate development! Not to focus on the negatives, Kimberly, but I shutter to think of such a wreck ever leaving a dark room and gaining this kind of exposure. Here's hoping it was gone in a flash.


Thanks to Lisa O., Jennifer, Amanda M., Lindsey S., & Kimberly L. for finding one for the Scrap Book.


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Reader Comments (48)

LOVE the puns!!
And what the heck is #2 supposed to be?? I've tried the head tilt thing and I still can't make it out.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

On the third cake, did the wreckorator lay the spatula down on top of the cake, and then not smooth it back out? It looks like the perfect outline of the entire spatula, including the handle. Why would you lay the spatula down on the cake????

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKA

Why, why, why is one picture on that wedding cake teal while the rest are indigo?

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkelticat

Give that last one a break. They got the general idea. Not nearly as bad as I was expecting. I thought, "Anybody who orders something as classy and elaborate as that," for a few minutes, wondering what I could expect to see when I scrolled down, and was almost disappointed.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBea

Presumably the bride provided the pictures herself? Because the biggest problem with that cake is the snapshots used...

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterElissa

"Balls of furry members only"??? Does that mean the people themselves have to be furry, or just their appendages? What do I do if my husband doesn't fit into either of those categories? Do I have to miss out on cake?

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRachel CrazyMum

Wow, Jen, you're really on a roll! =^-.-^=

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Limp and saggy...with VEINS :-P

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

At first glace, I thought the second one was going for a stomach diagram of some sort. (Like the picture here:

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMInda

Maureen, it's just what the caption says: balloons. The white lines are strangely curving strings. I think the balloons are insufficiently inflated. And insufficiently colorful.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterClassic Steve

*head tilt* All arguments of buttercream vs. fondant aside, the biggest issue I see with the wedding wreck is the photos supplied. The "classy" photo cake obviously used professional photography instead of snapshots.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGingerSnap

On the second one I see a brain - not a normal brain, but a brain.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

#2 I see an impressionistic pepa pig, am I alone??

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMr_Gray

The wedding cake is another fondant inspiration done in buttercream. Not done all that well, mind you, but almost understandable.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

The third one isn't that bad. You have a lot of different factors. Looks like fondant versus buttercream. Frosting flowers versus real flowers. Different sized cakes. The biggest factor is the edible printer. Quality on those vary so much. Plus, snapshots versus professional pictures. Any time someone gives me a picture of a cake and asks me to recreate it, the first thing I tell them is that it won't be exact. I try my best, and thankfully nothing has appeared on here yet!

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Unfortunately, the last cake was doomed due to the photos chosen. Looking at the inspiration cake, they are all kind of cool/romantic pictures and the ones on the real cake are less than that. Lesson here is if you want a cool, edgy, romantic cake with photos, invest in a photographer who will see your dream and take the shots to make it happen.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Paper

To heck with the snapshots. All I could think of for that last cake was the camp song; "Great RED bobs of red greasy gopher guts…"

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

One word to describe abomination #2....

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMedith

I paused before scrolling down, thinking: "please don't tell me they used ACTUAL pictures on the cake".

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndie

So-o-o...#2 cake is balloons? Unh-unh. No. Way. It's a mirror image of that great, floppy, dangling appendage that i call home- FLORIDA! You see it now, right? And a map of North America will never be the same. Enjoy the weekend- stay cool.
p.s. To do that to a Minion is just plain wrong. And sad. Sad and wrong. Oy!

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered Commenters.marie

For a copycat cake, I think Kimberly did very well.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlison in Indiana

Photography puns
Take the focus off of the
Saggy droopy balls

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

Neither photograph cake is appetizing, but I think a baker given photos of the couple dressed in helmets and as hot dogs is doomed from the start.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMary

If you actually had that unblinking cake in your home, wouldn't you feel worse if it did blink at you?

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterdrgns4vr

REALLY? Y'all are having issues with the PHOTOS on the wedding cake and not the blobs of uneven beading or crappy frosting? Seriously?

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCrazy Dog lady

Giving new meaning to "photo bomb."

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjackwire

That Minion-ish one reminds me of a couple cartoon characters, including the little chick from the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons - but not nearly as cute.
My take on the wedding wrecklet: Clearly one can do things with fondant that one shouldn't do with buttercream; printer settings... running out of edible ink (I actually have NO idea how the whole process works, it just reminds me of my inkjet when I need to replace the cartridges)? Generally, it's just too busy for my, er, taste.

Jen's puns & Fluffy Cow's haiku - lol

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjuice

To be fair, for the last can't go to Sam's Club and have them print off edible images from their HP Printer (cuz that's what we do - and most other retail cake decorating locations) and expect it to look professional. It's definitely NOT high end printing.

I'm partial to the creepy Minion cake though.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

Number #2 isn't even a cake, it's cupcakes arranged very oodly.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLDPX

Given the fact that the photos on the wedding cake leave a lot to be desired, I don't think it would have been too much to ask for the bakery to put some sort of dividers between the tiers. Posts perhaps, or the narrow plastic "bands" that were used on the original cake. Maybe it would look better if it weren't quite so squished.

No? Well, it was just a thought.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLady Anne

OMG that first one is from the last bakery I worked at!! That's hilarious!

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

Thank you @FluffyCow
I've done the head tilt, eye squinting, and looking away and back again. Still can't see balloons in #2
Then I figured it out. It isn't a cake. That's a CCC (ptooie!) No wonder it looks like a blob. With icing.
And..... lines.
(I can't help hearing that voice in my head: "Yooouuuu don't vant a CARPET!! Yooouuuu vant an ARRRRRREEEEAAA RUUUGGGGGGG!!!!!!" That still cracks my husband and I up)

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen S

I disagree about the last cake being a wreck. It's worst crime is not being on a cake drum. The photo choice can't be blamed on the baker nor the choice of icing flowers over fresh. People who don't want to pay for a 5 tiered cake with sugar or fresh flowers and professional photos can expect to be disappointed. That cake displayed on a nice plateau would look 10 times better as well.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterleta

Methinks the second cake was supposed to be a teapot. Other than that i've got nothing... :/

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

I actually like Kimberly's inspiration cake a lot. My first glance had me thinking that it was black and white shots from old romantic movies. Imagine having a cake with shots of Fred and Ginger dancing up a storm, and Bogart and Hepburn, etc. It could be incredibly fun and romantic. the fondant clearly gives it a nice crisp edge, which would go with the starched collar images of those old movie tuxes. and the black plates under each layer create a good sharp visual delineation. There is a lot of important detail going on in that cake, some of which actually makes the decorating easier than what came about in Kimberly's version. Cool idea, overall.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterColin M.

@Mr_Gray...that is exactly what I saw at first glance. Never would have taken that mess to be balloons.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMummy pig

I like the photos on the last cake. They look like sweet family photos. It's not as artistic as the example cake, but it's more personal. Most of my family members would probably appreciate the goofy family memories more than the artsy black-and-white shots.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGoggieGirl

That last one... how is it possible that only one person before I saw it mentioned the hot dog photo? I can't unsee it now.

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Yuck to that second cake or dare I say CCC? Lol either way gross. And that creepy minion head will give people nightmares.. eeek.

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterArlene Marie

Jen, I'm sure you realise that no one under 30 is going to get all the jokes you developed for this post.

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAwesomeAud

It would have been better to take new photos specifically for the purpose. Not necessarily paying for a professional photographer, just a friend taking photos where you've put in a bit of effort, dressed up a bit, done your hair and make-up etc, would look better than pulling random hotdog photos out of your photo album. And taking them in black and white rather than converting colour photos to greyscale would look better too.

That said, the cake is still badly done. The perspective is off, the photos are misaligned, the piping and flowers aren't up to the standard of a wedding cake. It isn't just the photo choice.

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia

Number 2 looks like a diseased liver! Ew.

Also, what do these poor couples do when their cake is so bad? Can they get a refund?

August 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

@Mr_Gray I saw an impressionistic Piglet; very similar coloring to Peppa! :)

August 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

The wedding cake is a Pinterest inspired fail, which has compromise written all over it. Had there been separators, I wouldn't even call this a wreckage. Why?

Fondant to buttercream. Not usually going to end well.

Lack of separators. You get charged for each.

Lack of real flowers. Mo' money

Pictures. You needed them rescaled, and clearer. Mo' money.

The oddly colored photo. "We don't want the cake to be ALL black and white, can you "highlight" this picture.

Less than stellar icing job. Big box store with new hire? Friend who does cakes as a side job just starting out? Local bakery which sells beer, liquor, wine, pizza and does wedding cakes (we have one)?

So Bridezilla took a picture of a $$$+, high end wedding cake to the local bakery or big box store. Compromises it all to hades, then gets crampy when it looks like fug.

At least the cake was still standing with the icing not sliding off.

My friend turned away an order of compromise a few days ago. Not enough Xanax to make a $$$$$ cake down to $400 working budget. And the bride would not budge. Adios!

August 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTawaki

LDPX, I'm not sure whether that was intentional or a fortunate typo, but "oodly" is the perfect word for the arrangement of that CCC. (*ptui!*)

August 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJMixx


It also seems that examples of "furry balls" are placed around the cake. How nice. Thank goodness for this blog! Too funny!

August 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMaryO1230

But, what do they do with balls of non-furry members?

September 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSeabird

Luckily for me, CW never closes comments. On the wedding wreck, I must say I really feel for the baker. I live & work at a working class neighborhood, so I get to see a lot of stuff downgraded in order to cut costs, sometimes it goes fine, but generally it doesn't. I LOVE goofyness and people who don't take themselves too seriously, normally I would have preferred Kimberly's instead of the excessively Pinterest perfect original. If this cake were just more carefully executed, it would have been both good looking and funny. Some of the pictures look weird, like they were cropped or generally manipulated without much thought put in it. Perhaps these people should have hired a professional photographer, but keeping that funny angle. And finally, bakers should refuse to replace fondant in those designs where the aesthetics might be in danger.

October 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMaría

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