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

The Bakery Order Book IS A LIE

We all know asking a bakery to match a cake photo you brought in is inviting disaster, but what about the photos in their own order book? SURELY they can match those, right?

[poker face]
[lip quiver]


[wiping eyes]

Sorry. I held it together as long as I could, honest.

I want you to pay close attention to that faux wood grain and the rock pattern on this one.


Now, notice how they...

...didn't include any of that.


Aren't the silver screw heads edging this motorcycle design super cool?

Yeah, you will never ever ever ever ever ever get those on your cake.


Also, your flames will look like melty tentacles.


Now here's a SUPER easy one:

Practically everything you see is plastic, so all the baker has to do is add a star and some squiggly lines. THAT'S IT.


Drum roll, please:



Maybe you think ordering an intentionally "messy" design is the answer:

Good plan! And yet...



I do have some good news, though. With another year of Frozen cakes under their belts, bakers are finally starting to improve on that always-disastrous kit design!

Ok, so I lied.

But c'mon, those "mountains" had to be shared with the world.


Thanks to Christian P., Tanis C., Lisa C., Dawn H., & Lavon C., for discovering Olaf also likes warm spuds.


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Reader Comments (32)

What bothers me is that those people PAID for their cakes and brought them home. WHY? You must realize that you are encouraging these incompetent lazy bakery workers by accepting their "handiwork".

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterShirley

I think it's nice that fans can express their love of wrestling and their Jewish heritage on one finely crafted cake. Mazel Tov, Great Khali. Bei mir bist du shayne, you haimisher mensch, you.

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

The pink potato I can cope with. I am far more concerned with those green cocoons. What are they going to hatch??

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChiaroScuro

That first cake looks like they picked a cake out of the case and had the toy thrown on there. As for the writing, often people demand something written when the decorator isn't around. Happens a lot where I work, and then they get mad when it turns out bad, even after the person tells them they've never written on a cake.

As for the Frozen cake, one the design in our book is different than that, slightly. It took forever for us to realize those were supposed to be mountains, because they're flat in the picture and the directions gave no indication as to what it was. But that still doesn't excuse that cake! And you wonder why grocery store decorators get a bad rap!

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterClicheName

So Steven had a Happy Gradation, did he? Does that mean he got into the next level of SOMETHING, & is elated about it?

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

So we're just going to ignore the color gradations in the "happy gradation Steven" cake.

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMoira

gradation (noun) a scale or a series of successive changes, stages, or degrees

So I wonder what changes Steven went through to merit that "messy" cake?

And I wonder what "gradation" (in a different color icing) replaced?

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGoose

At least it's only the cake order book that's a lie. If the CAKE is a lie I'm grabbing my Companion Cube and busting a portal out of here!

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGingerSnap

Shirley, I have a feeling many paid a non-refundable deposit and so might as well at least get the cake then than waste money.

Still - these bakeries really need to make their bakers at LEAST pass the Wilton Cake Decorating School,

Though I bet many of them wouldn't pass the first lesson on how to make a dot (real lesson I don't know...)

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMelmac

This was a triumph.

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCraig T

The bakers can't even.....

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Oh, if I ever got a really awful cake, I'd take it just so I could achieve cake immortality in Cake Wrecks. Surely I'm not the only one?

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDiane56

It is difficult to write well on cakes. I always practice for at least 15 to 20 minutes before I do it, and I've had professional classes. It's easier to make roses.

BUT, there's just no excuse for these .... these .... oh, heck, I'm not even sure what to call them.

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMary Kay

If "the person who writes on the cakes" isn't in, you should be CLOSED. The bakery should expect every decorated cake to be ordered with a message on it, so there should never not be a capable person.

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterR3test

I, for one, am grateful that they left off the stones and the wood grain in the first cake. I have trouble imagining that those could have turned out well in any way.

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLMR

I used to work at a grocery store bakery with many an order-book cake made. The decorators at our store were actually pretty good, but the thing is-those order books come with decorator counterparts. They have instructions, down to how many drops of each food coloring color one should put in the air brush or tub of icing. And if I recall correctly, step-by-step instructions on how to decorate the cake to make it come out just like the picture.

So unless the decorator's book has been lost, or the decorator is just plain ignoring it....there is no reason for these cakes. Seriously, someone with a basic knowledge of a piping bag could do it.

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Oh, beautiful, for spacious pies,
For ample waves of green,
For pink potatoes' majesty
Lumped like a bloated spleen!
Oh Bakery,
Oh Bakery,
With derision on the side!
With blobs of frosting ev'rywhere,
You make us run and hide!

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJMixx

I just hope Stteven was still able to eke out a Happy Gvodation.

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterdoctor teresa, the nurse

Had this happen to me several years ago. I ordered a baby shower cake online and chose one of their "sample" cakes.I brimmed with excitement over the thought of presenting that super-adorable cake at the shower. When I picked it up, it was... let's just say "sorely disappointing". I always figured I had done something wrong (not done my research? not used the right coupon code?). CakeWrecks has vanquished my guilt and I will be forever grateful.

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersara j

Perhaps the wrestling cake is Kosher.

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkayk

Why does poor Steven's cake appear to be dusty? Eww.

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPeachkins

Ive had to make that Frozen cake so many times I have it memorized...

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Well now there is a lovely pink potato on this customers cake. I hope they don't notice it lol. Then again that is exactly what that pink thing looks like. Can't wait to see what they do to Christmas cakes.

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterArlene Marie

Super love the Star of David on that wrestling cake. Mrs. Bunch would approve (sorry, just finished watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's midseason finale. Still humming "Where is the Bathroom?")

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

Seems like it would be easier for bakeries to use stencils and airbrush on lettering when they can't do it legibly otherwise. I mean, the kid behind the counter at the grocery store is probably the same one who fails miserably at bagging; why would I expect him to decorate a cake well?

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSheila

To the person that said that the bakery should be closed has clearly never worked at a grocery store bakery. Lol. Currently I am the only cake decorator on staff, with no intent to hire another one, at our local Walmart. I get two days off a week and at least two other days where I am gone around 4-5pm. People still come in and order cakes, want cakes written on etc after everyone in the bakery is gone. Our bakery is attached to the deli and they are there much later. They have tried to turn customers away by explaining no one is there to write on the cake and they get in trouble. So these cakes are the results at times. I do agree with another person that the deer cake is probably a kit thrown on a premade cake for the case, not an actual order. Happens all the time for people who forgot to order a cake. However these cakes are still hideous/hilarious!

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJess

I thought Steven was being wished a happy sedation. And that perhaps the cake decorator got a whiff of the anesthesia too.

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarahT

The deer head is obviously a last-minute cake the customer picked out of the case. "Can you add a kit to this?" I highly doubt they ordered it that way. The motorcycle cake was not based off of that book page. It was based off another, and it's not the baker's fault that NOTHING looks good in whipped icing. It's whipped cream, for God's sake. I really don't see that block cake being from any "book". At least not at any grocery store.

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I'm so tired of that frozen cake. Though I actually make it to look like the picture.
They're coming out with a new design for frozen that is easier to do.
Can't wait to see how it gets wrecked, should be interesting.
Oh and the decorator instruction cards aren't as detailed as they used to be.
Half the time the one instruction you need the most is- do (required action) as shown in picture
Thanks that's a big help

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAna

These cakes look like they let a new decorator make them, which in my opinion is a huge mistake, new decorators should start with case work (cupcakes, cupcake cakes, plain decorated/kits) only, then allow them to do orders when they can prove that they know what they are doing. As for the frozen cake, I can make that thing in my sleep with one arm tied behind my back, I have made it too many times to count.

December 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

I think the answer really is that bakery companies need to just include one large plastic flotsam cover where everything is completely set in place. Maybe decorating the cover that goes over the top? Then no one has to worry about whether someone is able to recreate the design or not.

December 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterOwen Wills

I manage a bakery at a grocery store. I can tell you that they will hire any Tom, Dick, or Harry off the street and try to "train" them to decorate a cake. There is no such thing as a class...or passing a test...or a bench test for that matter before working at a grocery store bakery as a cake decorator. It's basically like trying to find a needle in a haystack. This doesn't make it right but...on the other hand...anybody that is remotely good at decorating cakes is not going to go to a grocery store and settle for $9 an hour to do what they could do in a real bakery for much more notoriety and appreciation and definitely more money. That's the problem with grocery store cakes. On another note we do get MANY people who bring in pictures of cakes they've found on the internet...from sculpted cakes to fondant cakes and actually expect a grocery store bakery to be able to replicate that cake for $30. Just not gonna happen. I don't think the average person who comes in to buy a cake realizes just how much work and talent goes into creating a good looking cake. Somewhere there's a happy medium...and you're lucky if you're gonna find it at a grocery store.

February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

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