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

STAND BACK! I'm About To Make Some Cutting Remarks

I'm sure many of you heard the news yesterday about a Dad finding a paring knife in his young son's birthday cake from Wal-Mart.

 I know, right?!

Fortunately no one was hurt or anything; the family just found the small knife sandwiched between the cake and cakeboard after cutting in a few slices.

Still, this story caught my attention for a few reasons:

1) It involves cake

2) It happened in John's home town of Lewiston, Maine, AKA the place no one has ever heard of 'til now, and I bet the Lewistonians are SO happy that THIS is what's finally put them on the map.

3) Back in 2010 I featured Amy L's cake which had a pair of scissors embedded in it, and THAT never captured national attention:

Maybe it's because Amy didn't think to take a picture before pulling the scissors out of the cake. Or maybe it's because she didn't think to call in the local news crews and start giving interviews on how traumatizing the discovery was.

“People started leaving and the family was pretty upset,” the father, Nathan Bibeau, said. “We’re not ever going to get that second birthday back ever, you know?” (That is an actual quote. I am not making this up.)

Then the father bit his lip and stared despairingly off into the distance while a single tear tracked its way down his excessively traumatized cheek. (Ok, maybe I made that part up.) (OR DID I?)

Anyway, as is the American way, Mr. Bibeau graciously accepted both Wal-Mart's apology and refund and said he was just glad that no one was hurt hired a lawyer.

But that's not the funny part. The FUNNY part is how Wal-Mart has decided to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future:

They've banned the use of that particular paring knife in all of their bakeries.


Yes, really.

Gosh, next they'll be banning customers from taking pictures of their cakes in order to avoid ending up here on Cake Wrecks! Hah!

Anyway, on the very real chance that Mr. Bibeau ends up a millionaire because of this, well first, KILL ME NOW, but second, I'll soon be representing Kaitlin A. in her legal case, because, look! TRAUMATIC SCISSORS!!


These were sealed inside the box with the birthday girl's cake, and though she hasn't admitted it yet, I think the shock and trauma have ensured that Kaitlin will never work again. Someone has to pay for that, you guys. And someone has to pay my reasonable 15% representation fee.

I'm also in talks with Stephanie J., because...TRAUMATIC SPOON!!


And Xela G. will never get that work anniversary back after finding this life-threateningly stabby TRAUMATIC FORK!!

Never EVER.


And finally, I'd ask you all to respect Laura C. in her time of healing, because... TRAUMATIC BIEBER!!

 I'm negotiating the exclusive interview on this myself, TV peeps. And I like whoopie pies. Just sayin'.

Thanks to Caitlin C.,  Rachel S., & Jessica B. for today's traumas, and to Sam's Pizza in Lewiston, Maine, for being the first place to introduce me to whoopie pies. AWWW YEEEAH. (And your pizza's pretty rockin', too.)

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Reader Comments (114)

I live 30 minutes from Lewiston! How about making a stop in Maine on your next book tour? :-D

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

Show of hands - how many of us remember our 2th birthday? Anyone? Bueller?? What an Idiot.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPattyAD

That traumatic Beiber could be dealt with at the consumer level if only Wally World would again allow paring knives to be used in their kirchens, and hence embedded in their cakes. Such a shortsighted decision on their part is sure to increase the numbers of Beiber-associated injuries in the future.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEZ

Good thing King Cakes don't reach as far as Maine. Imagine how despondent Nathan would've been if he found a baby in his cake or my gosh actually bit it. He would've wanted to have the National Guard attack Louisiana.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark t

And yet what was my first thought? "Oooh, free knife!"

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam

As I sit here at work in Lewiston ME, I am embarrassed that this is what makes the news. But then again, it is Lewiston and I am sadly not surprised at this man's comments.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSue

The spoon and the fork are not what is traumatic about those CCCs (patooie! patooie!).

I am in love with the phrase "Traumatic Bieber" and am sitting here trying to figure out how it could be used in conversation: would one have a Traumatic Bieber sighting? Perhaps one would play the Traumatic Bieber card to try getting out of work (Mom, I've had a Traumatic Bieber and need a lie down. I can't possibly finish my chores!)? Or would it be classified as an incident? (My favorite TV show contained an unexpected Traumatic Bieber incident!)

@The Former CB and shirley elizabeth: *snerk*

@Sharyn: brilliant. : )

@Joan: I pictured the bakers using a large meat cleaver instead of the banned paring knife.

@TLC: Cookie Monster is sad because they have taken away all his cookies and forced him to eat veggies.

Maybe the kid was 'traumatized' because they immediately STOPPED THE PARTY and called Wal-Mart. You can't get back that second birthday? Dude, the kid wouldn't even have remembered it anyway. Well, he might now, since you STOPPED THE PARTY! The kid wasn't running with the cake and they weren't having a hands-tied-behind-the-back-cake-eating-contest. Seriously, could they be more dramatic? And Wal-Mart's response is equally over the top. Sheesh.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

The scissors cake is a wreck even without the scissors.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterharry

Once we found a whole plastic bag smushed up and in the centre of a birthday cake. Never thought to photograph it!

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCake Lover in Toronto

If paring knives are banned from Wal-Mart Bakery Departments, what sort of utensils will the cake makers/decorators use to slice bananas, kiwis, strawbs, etc. for cakes that aren't birthday cakes, or bar cakes, or fruit tarts?

That paring knife might have been there when the decorator put the cake on the cardboard and just obliviously kept right on going, probably by the same kind of worker who accidentally leaves an opened jar of spaghetti sauce in his pantry, or a tub of margarine in his spice cabinet, and not the refrigerator. No cake intended for a prison convict, and no grudge against Elmo or his puppeteer, in spite of what you've all heard on the news...

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim M. Schoonmaker

Ok, fine. It ruined your cake. But seriously, a law suit? If it had been the child's smash cake, I could see it. But come on! Now, the Beiber've got a clear case there.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Heynow! I work a half an hour from Lewiston! I have totally heard of that. BUT, oddly enough, I didn't hear about the knife in the cake until I saw it here on your site. Interesting; I work in a place that matches the public with attorneys as needed, maybe we'll get a call! ;)

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDarsa

Now, people are going to start finding traumatic peels in their apple pies! ('cause no more paring knifes in the bakery...)

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette

"Traumatic scissors" made me laugh out loud. This post is almost worthy of STFUparents. "We'll never get this second birthday back." Really? It's not like anyone was stabbed in the gums w/ the thing. Some people..

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTeal

First, stuff happens, shesh. I'm sad that this guy feels that he has the right to sue. I mean really?! Unless you are tearing apart cake with your hands, how is this dangerous? Weird, yes, but not deadly. You were offered a refund and a public appology. A normal person would be happy with this, but no - you have to go out and sue for your "horrible pain and suffering". Gah... This is as bad as the ---- lady that sued Walmart for their Hot Coffee (cause you know, a normal person has no idea that coffee is supposed to be hot).

Walmart - your CEOs are lacking brain cells if you think banning knifes is going to prevent something like this from happening again.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox now. I'm gonna get my tramatic spoon and eat me some watermellon cake.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeri

As I read this one. My 3 year-old son comes up to me and asks "whats that?" at the picture of the yellow bird? I think is what it was....
Then for no apparent reason starts sing-songing "gold diggers, gold diggers..." He I am sure has no clue how well that fit....

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

this reminds me of when my dads friend went to cece's and found a thumbtack in her pizza. she was ok but still...

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMooseluver

And here I am all, oooh, free knife...bonus!!

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindaLu

Am I the only one who regards a knife or scissors in the cake as a kind of bonus prize? "Whoo hoo, I get a free pair of scissors!" I once made a Halloween cake that was a severed monster head with a chef knife stuck in it. It was "volunteered" for an office raffle, and the winner was quite happy to get the knife too.

The plastic tableware would be the sticker equivilent of a Cracker Jack prize. The Bieberthing is the equivilent of stale plain popcorn in the Cracker Jack box.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWaneta

Yeah, ban the knife. Cause apparently that particular type of paring knife is fond of jumping into cake batter while no one's looking.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLew-C

OMG! I'm from Portland and live in Bangor! When are you guys coming to Maine??

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvelyn Clark

For everyone who wants to know how decorators will now cut up stuff. We have more than one knife in the bakery. It's only a paring knife which is the smallest knife. I have at least 5 in the grocery store bakery I work at. Not that big of a deal to be 100% honest. It really just is being busy, messy, and unorganized. In defense of messy workers I work that way and I have for 3 years, and I have never had a problem with a cake. Plus it is really hard to stay perfectly clean and organized when you have 20+ cakes a weekend.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCrissy

Someone really needs to get a life if the party was "ruined" by finding a knife that was inadvertently left under a cake. Sheesh. Life is hard and then there's cake, right?

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterabudoggie

You don't have to post this, but I would point out that "What a maroon!" is classic Bugs Bunny:

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCath

Oh dear. Really? Really?! *shakes head and wanders off to eat an entire bag of Lays potato chips*

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwildmaven

@Keri ~ I think it was McDonalds that got sued over the hot coffee not Walmart.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee in WA

Dear Cake Wrecks:

It has come to our attention via a rather circuitous route, to wit, a comment by one “Jodee in WA,” that perhaps the firm of Tinker, Toys and Tops may be of a modicum of assistance to you as you deal with the rather unfortunate and heinous events as described in today’s post. While to the layman the matter of a knife hidden within or adjacent to a cake may, indeed, be shocking, be assured that our firm has dealt with such matters before. And, while it appears that these incidents occur only in small towns, we all know that these small towns are merely the gateway to expansion into medium size towns and hamlets.

We here at TT&T are deeply concerned about and deeply committed to eradicating the cause of Implement Embedding, or I.E., as we call it in the profession. We have long been aware of this practice, and, while until recently, it has been primarily confined to medical surgical units, it is clear that it has now spread to the culinary arts. We must do whatever it takes to nip this little fondant flower in its butter cream bud! What started out as simple the Practice of Leaving Objects on/in Property (P.L.O.P) has evolved into Foreign Implements In Sheetcakes (F.I. I. S.). And, quite frankly, I do not like the sound of P.L.O.P - F.I.I.S.

We must deal with what is quickly becoming a national tragedy of epicurean proportions. Let me assure you we have experience in this matter. We successfully represented a farmer who found a needle in a haystack, and were very pleased with our outcome representing a traveler who found a fork in the road. Also, I might add, we have recently represented a small contingent of nudists in their right to bare arms. And, while we are currently trying to find a non-litigious solution to a case involving a woman who refuses to follow city rules as it relates to out-dated septic tanks and the city sanitation codes, we may have to sue’er.

So, Cake Wrecks, as you can see, we are well equipped to assist you in this matter, should you wish. Please know that our entire staff will proudly stand beside you, briefs in hand, at the ready.


Mr. Potato, Head Counsel
Tinker, Toys and Tops

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

Try Grant's Bakery for whoopie pies next time you are in Lewiston. They're the best!

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen C

I once bit into a muffin and felt a very hard thing in there. It was a screw.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I lived in Lisbon Falls, ME, just down the road from Lewiston/Auburn (or as it's known locally, 'L/A') for a few years about a decade ago. All I really remember is I always had to add 10 extra minutes to my drive-time to make up for getting lost driving in that town! Oh, and that at least Auburn had a mall, but not Lewiston... :)

So, does John still talk 'Maine-ah', dropping r' s off of words? Those ads for 'the Hopper' make me laugh with how accurately they portray the New England accent and attitude.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternatalie

Amusingly relevant webcomic:

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClinton

I saw the walmart story this morning and literally said the exact same thing (minus cake pictures, of course). I mean, literally..Yes, because that's the proper solution to keeping foreign objects out of our cakes- remove them from the bakery rather than teach people to keep track of their work tools. Good thing they don't do the same thing to surgeons- you left a surgical sponge in the patient, Dr. Oops? Well, then, no more surgical sponges for you!!!

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie B

The last one is redundant.

I read the hysterical (not in the funny sense) headlines on a certain site associated with email, and thought immediately, "I wonder how many people have already sent this to Jen." "You'll never guess what was found in this birthday cake!" "Just four slices in!" "We ran out of real news!" Ok, I made up that last one.

Given the things that are found in, on and under cakes on this site, it's a wonder that "bakery trauma" isn't a recognized specialty in lawyer-land. Even more ridiculous is that the proximate source of the 'trauma' was guests leaving after the knife was discovered. Did they take their gifts with them in their mad rush to get away from the knife?! All the guest of honor knew was that suddenly, adults were upset, and everyone was leaving his party.

So Tram Law decides that the best response is to ban paring knives, eh? Do other knives have a special cakeproof coating? Do they come equipped with GPS? Do they sound an alarm if they're buried by cake? ("Help me!") How about a ban on "plopping cakes down without first checking to see that the cake board is free of foreign objects."

I guess we can look forward to "unpeeled fruit trauma" lawsuits now. Of course, some resourceful employee could avoid that quagmire by using a sander to remove the peel. It might take a while, but the odds of losing a sander in a cake are pretty low. Right? I mean, it would have to be unplugged in order for the cake to be moved.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

I've lived in Maine all my life, though fortunately not the "armpit of Maine", as Lewiston is known to be, (apologies, John). This is what happens to people who endure 7 months of winter and/or "mud season". We get , like, 40 nice days a year. This troglodyte just spent too many of his nice days in Walmart. If the sad dad wins, I hope he at least takes a vacation.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I grew up 20 minutes from The Dirty Lew (Lewiston). I don't think I'd buy a cake there anyway (see out nickname for the town).

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScix

I found a knife wrapped under my Subway sandwich a few years ago. Nothing happened other than I ended up with the perfect small bread knife. I love that Wally World thinks that banning one type of knife will stop it from ever happening again. *facepalm*

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

Mimiheart "It's second only to having a mother." that was freakin' awesome!

Sharyn yup, you sucked all the creativity out of the interwebs again today. :D

mel!!!!!!! "And, quite frankly, I do not like the sound of P.L.O.P - F.I.I.S." made me think of Alka Seltzer (which I was never able to gag down no matter how badly I needed it.) Therefore, your comment made me gag! :D

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

I was already giggling over the post, but I just had to turn on Bohemian Rhapsody while reading Sharyn's song. :) Now I can't stop laughing.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

At last!!! mel for the WIN!!! :-)

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

Everyone that's commenting previously has almost said everything I want to, and more eloquently so, but I do have one comment. After reading Sharyn's latest masterpiece, I find myself singing...

Trauma Bieber, Trauma Bieber, Trauma Bieber, let me go!
Green eyeball monster has some fingers set aside for me...for me...for MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

...and then I totally headbang and a rockin' air guitar solo.

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCelidah

@mel ~ YESYESYESYESYES!!! p.s. Hope you're feeling better!

@Craig ~ Trauma Law appears to be doing just find at TT&T. Just ask Mr. Potato, Head Counsel :-)

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee in WA

I say kill that last cake with a flamethrower. Clown and Bieber= IT nightmares forever and ever for me now lol. Well thanks wreckerators for that lovely image.

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

*runs off to start a band called "Traumatic Spoon"*

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlice Shortcake

I've been to Lewiston. It's that place with the stinking paper factory, isn't it?

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorma

The huffington post headline actually says the two year old found the sensationalism?

Why would you cancel the party, just throw out the cake wreck from Walmart and break out the ice cream! Silly people get over it and call the store manager!

The bieber cake looks body is nearly the shape of Wales, thank goodness it isnt the Size of Wales!!

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdiddleymaz

I have lived in Maine my entire life. I would like to point out that Lewiston isn't all that bad. All one has to do is take a nice, long look at Patrick Dempsey to see that. He is from Lewiston and also comes back for his annual Dempsey Challenge, a charity fundraiser.

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorma

My Mom did that once. She was making a meat pie in a lasagna size pan and had used a small paring knife to trim the pie crust on the bottom. Somehow she managed to set the knife down in the pan and cover it with the pie crust.

Of course she went crazy trying to find her knife. It showed up when the pie was cut and served. Since it was between the crust and the pan it didn't hurt anything (even the knife was fine, steel blade wooden handle) but it became family ledgend.

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

Had to come back today to check.... and was delighted to find the post by mel!!

I <3 mel !!!!

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

@Norma ~ Pretty sure you're thinking of Lewiston, Idaho. They really do have a stinky pulp mill. I was born there and still have a lot of family there. Family reunions are a great time... as long as we're downwind from the mill. o.O

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodee in WA

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