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

Wedding Whoopsies

Brides, have you ever had a lofty cake dream...


...fall flat?


Or have you ever wished for pretty-as-a-picture polka dots...


...only to get gravity-defying cow patties?


How about something that should have been simply sublime...


...that turned terrifying?


Perhaps your "something blue"...


...has you seeing red?


Have you ever wanted creamy lace and bows...


...only to get "AAAAUUUGGHH!!"

Well, have you?


Oh, good!

Then send me a picture, won't you?

This stuff cracks. me. up.


Thanks to brides Ashley B., Emily K., Lara A., Christie S., & Kathleen M. for sharing their private pain with us. So that we may laugh. And then feel kinda bad about it. But not enough to stop laughing.


Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

And from my other blog, Epbot:

« You'll Never Guess What These Were Supposed To Be... | Main | International Failure Day Gets CAKE »

Reader Comments (41)

Oh look! The bride on the first wreck is trying to save her groom from falling from their earthquake rattled cake. That's pretty heroic, if you ask me.
But no one asked me.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

I like on the 8th photo how you can actually see the moment when the decorator said "Aw F___ it!" while piping the delicate white scroll work.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterShirley

Sorry to all the brides that received those wrecks. We share your pain. Through our chortles and giggles and facepalms. 'Cause this stuff cracks me UP! LOL

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

Lol lol

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

In my opinion, in almost every one of these cakes the main problem was the difference between using fondant and buttercream icing. Buttercream almost never looks as smooth and finished as fondant.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDrockbox

Bwah! That lace and bows one looks like it's been stabbed and shot, exposing its bloody red center!

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

Bride's lofty cake dream
Turns into her worst nightmare
Thanks to bakery

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChicago

It's the shine. I've seen loads of cakes on here with all-buttercream frosting that have worked beautifully, but these ones always look like they're sweating nervously, fully aware of the scorching derision to which they're about to be exposed. Quite rightly, I might add. They basically look... warm...

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

Am I seeing things or does anyone else feel that the last cake slid just a touch...?

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I agree with Drockbox: fondant models replicated in buttercream… what could possibly go wrong? Pretty much everything.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAthena

The second cake! The pink one with light brown spots! Go to your local library and find the picture book "How Fletcher was Hatched," and then you will see the inspiration for that cake, I'm sure... hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHAL

I love these wrecks. But as someone who enjoys making her own cakes for family events. I see the biggest fails in all these.

They are taking Fondant cake's and either the cake decorator is not skilled or the person does not want to pay.

I recall 13 years ago planning my wedding. There was a price difference between the butter-cream cake and the fondant cake. But I brought a picture and WANTED the fondant replica. Thankfully mines was simple to recreate

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSweetde

Shirley is correct, and the "Aw, F___ it" moment came when the decorator picked up the piping bag.
Those inspiration cakes are amazing. Their wrecky counterparts are amazingly strange.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMoira

On the "something blue" wreck they ran out of ivory colored icing and just went with white on the bottom tier. And for fondant to buttercream transition the polka dot one is not too bad.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersue

To be fair the Flesh-toned pink with brown polka-dots was never going to work.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJose Parrot

I had two wedding cake picked up at work, the 1st it was 95 degrees and the groom picked up the cake and went and played tennis for an hour with the cake in the car. Was shocked that it melted all the buttercream frosting off the cake. The second was picked up and put in the back of a pickup truck and not secured in and the guy went mud bugging on the way home the box was tossed all over the truck and they wanted their money back because the cake was damaged. Been doing cakes for over 30 years and now that I am retired I don't do them anymore.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

I've been reading your blog too long; my first thought on that green & white wreck was "well, that one's not *so* bad". :) Keep it up, love you Jen!

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHunter

You know, I think #8 really shows the problem. It's not fondant vs buttercream, it's the ability to make nice swirls. I love those Paint Nite parties, but am I good at making graceful swirls and twirls? Nope. Mine are heavy, uneven & clumpy, and my graceful tree branches look like cacti. If I tried to do the swirls and piping on the model cake, I'd end up with that lumpy clumpy erratic #8. This is why I am neither a professional baker nor a professional painter. Buttercream or not, those swirls were hideous.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPamtha

I usually suggest that if they want buttercream instead of fondant that they at least let me do the deco in fondant. Then they can peel it off if they'd like, but it will still look clean.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterlms

HAL, I remember that book. I still have it. I loved that book. Yes, this is a perfect representation.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJessica H

The pink one would have been fine if the baker had just made the polka dots out of fondant. I've used fondant decorations on buttercream and it works beautifully.

Long time reader, first time poster. Love this site!!

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterlsws

Why do I keep thinking I should see the Wicked Witch of the West's feet coming from under the first tier on the last "cake"?

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Paper

I'm in the wedding industry, and every time I see the wedding wrecks, I think, "you get what you pay for." If you don't do your research and aren't willing to pay for a premium baker when you want a premium cake, it's no one's fault but your own.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Things happen when you ask for a fondant cake in buttercream. There are plenty of good buttercream cakes, yet you ask the baker to reproduce a cake from materials it isn't originally made from. Especially if they never made it that way before, you could have a disaster.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterProfessor Who

Whoa, slow your roll, "These are buttercream cakes trying to do fondant designs" people. I don't understand.

How does fondant give you tall tiers with strings of pearls instead of squashed tiers with beads bigger than a 50s It girl? How does fondant give you about 20 small dots per tier instead of 6 large ones? How does fondant give you a delicate swag of white & pale pink flowers rather than a thick wreath of pink ones? How does fondant give you no piping on the middle tier instead of some that look nothing like the inspiration cake? And, lastly, how does fondant give you CAKE rather than, at best guess, raspberry jam covered with icing?

I think these issues have more to do with who was putting on the fondant or buttercream rather than the medium itself.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

I totally agree with Drockbox. So many of these are wrong because they tried to use frosting instead of fondant.

Which can't help but make me wonder how many brides said "this is what I want. But I don't like fondant, it tastes weird. Use buttercream, I liked that one during the sampling." and the baker then tries their best. Granted, as the baker it's your job to tell the bride that if you use frosting it will NOT look the same, but I still wonder how many of these come from a conversation along those lines.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBeth C.

Please, Please, PLEASE do another Cake Wrecks book dedicated to wedding wrecks! I would completely pre order it and I know several others that would too. We all love the wedding wreckage posts!

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline Chiaia

I am amazed at the cake topper with the bride shoving the groom off the top of the (towering) cake. Even if the cake isn't a wreck, a marriage that starts with such a sentiment is sure to end one.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlison in Indiana

Thank you SaraCVT! None of these cakes are a fondant VS buttercream problem (well, maybe that flower cascade, but you can see by the way the cake was shaped that baker wasn't super talented). Crappy piping and poor shaping is still crappy whether on buttercream or fondant and these cakes are examples of people that shouldn't be charging for cakes, not a bride asking for the impossible.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKTK

@SaraCVT, I totally agree with you. There is a matter of taste. If a buyer is wanting a cake in buttercream based on a fondant design, a skilled decorator/baker should tell you how it would differ and be able to make an aesthetically pleasing cake "inspired" by the fondant design.

@Caroline Chiaia--Took the words right out of my mouth. Yes, Jen, do....oh, please--oh, please--oh, puleeze!

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMary Kay

as a baker
#1 is not for begginers, that shape is not easy... besides the shape even the pearls were bad
#2 easily to do in buttercream and not fondant with a crust bc not that and dots made in fondant, would be closest to original
#3 those flowers are actually BC, dont know what they try to do there...
#4 y the others... is bad BC really bad BC... I have seen cakes that are perfectly smooth and are BC (see Edna de La Cruz for example) and the piping... come on! I cant pipe so I never take that kind of orders
in this case, wasnt a BC/fondant issue was purely "I cant do a decent BC but I will do it anyway"

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSosiree

I don't think cakes #1, 2 and 4 are that bad.

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermimsie

Wreck No. 1 has a sort of Seuss-esque charm about it, if you like jawbreakers on your cake.

October 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNobodee Home

I think the wrecks on #2 and #3 actually look like they were made with whipped icing. And in #3 it looks like whipped icing that sat out or was worked with too much, causing that horrid texture for the white leaves.

October 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJen

It looks like that last cake may be a whipped cream frosting, or maybe it's the gooey fruit filling that made it too fragile to support tiers. Still ugly, but looks like it might be tasty. Like, for those of us who can't decide between a jelly doughnut and a creamy one. This cake has both!

October 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterIScreamYouScream

Alison in Indiana: that bride isn't pushing the groom off the cake. He's trying to get away at the last minute and she's grabbing him. You see, we all know that all women want is to get married, and men don't want to but somehow get nagge/tricked into it. This is the 50s, after all.

October 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMorag

But, I found it strange that the comments posted by actual cake decorators contained the most errors in grammar and punctuation. Hmmmmm.

October 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That 3-tier with blue ribbon looks like somebody brought a photo of a fondant covered cake to Walmart, asked for it in whipped icing and then got mad because it didn't look the same.

October 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Wow. I am sure those poor brides probably wanted to run and hide seeing what they ended up with. Hilarious though and I thank my lucky stars my cake was not a wreck on my wedding day lol.

October 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterArlene Marie

That first one with the stripes is kinda cute,actually, in a wacky and whimsical sort of way.

October 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHowlindawgs

What happened to the 3rd one?

November 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCc

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>