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

Sunday Sweets: Fun and Fondant Free

Believe it or not, you CAN have a gorgeous cake without fondant! And I have proof!

(By The White Flower Cake Shoppe)

Glass-smooth icing, perfect piping, and buttery soft flowers that make you want to dive in face-first?



A bunch of today's Sweets will have you doing double-takes:

(By Cup A Dee Cakes)

At first glance, you'd swear this was fondant! Other than the white chocolate centers on the ruffles, though, that's all buttercream.


It doesn't have to be fondant-smooth to be a stellar Sweet, though; some bakers actually use the buttercream texture to their advantage:

(By Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes)

Aha! Edible paints! Brilliant.


Or how about something like this?

(By Fat Cakes Design)

Love that ombre fade! And imagine how boring it would be without the extra icing texture.


I bet you've seen this technique over on Pinterest:

(By Catherine, a friend of CW reader Melissa M.)

SO FUN. And even better, it's actually something we mere mortals can do!
(In a nut shell: Pipe a large dot, smear with a spoon, repeat!)


But supposing you DO want the smooth look of fondant.
It can be done!

(Baker unknown. Anyone recognize it?)

That gumpaste ribbon really helps sell the look.


Oooh, now this next one made me do a triple-take:

(By Shannon Bond Cake Design)


How is that all buttercream?? And how the heck did they pipe that ruffly tier? I'd be dragging my wrist through it by the second line!


And another mind-bogglingly intricate piping job:

(Photo by Jay Tsai Photography, baker unknown.)

Just looking at all that lace is giving my hand sympathy pains. WOW. Can you imagine?


Now, personally, I'm a big fan of excessive frilliness from time to time:

(By Linda Wolff)

Ahhhhh. Love it.


But there's also a lot to be said for bold, modern patterns:

(By Tea Party Cakes)

Not to mention poppies are my favorite flower - so brush-embroidered poppies? Suh-WEET!


This baby shower cake has it all: flowers, dots, perfect pattern piping, and even stripes!

(Also by The White Flower Cake Shoppe)

Plus I love those colors. So springy.


And finally, a stunning combination of buttercream flowers, brush embroidery, and what I think is a cornelli lace variation:

(By Emma Page Cakes)

The background pattern reminds me of the subtle crackle/glazing you see on fine china. SO PRETTY!


Hope you guys enjoyed today's fondant-free fancies! Happy Sunday!


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Reader Comments (38)

OMG it is amazing the skills some bakers have :D

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

Really, seriously? No Terry Pratchett/Discworld Sunday Sweets since he died?

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHAL

I love butter cream decorated cakes! I've been following Cup A Dee's cakes for a couple years. She is amazing!

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLorie

Oh, I never doubted it, and these are all lovely! The #3 poppies cake has (to me) a Van Gogh vibe that I love, and the plastery-looking one right below it is elegant in its simplicity. #9: I "see" a child's party dress! The last one would have been stunning even with nothing else on it but the white "crochet" work....I'll take one in a soft, pistachio green.One layer is fine. =^~.~^=

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

In a world that seems like its owned by the fondant covered cakes (which can be stunning) there is nothing like the true art of buttercream that will rise above all!

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Sweet, delicious works of art!! Amazing! I would really have a hard time cutting into one of those cakes!

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne from GA

One word....WOWSERS!!!

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBigg3469

I love it when you post the fondant free sweets. I am amazed at the artistry of these cakes. Plus, buttercream tastes so much better than fondant. These are beautiful.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEvie_M

I thought that first cake looked like my friend's birthday cake. Lo and behold, it is from the same local bakery! I am a buttercream purist and I love the fondant-free posts.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLarissa


March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLinnie

'the ruffly tier' just pipe in circles with a star tip. Pinterest again.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Fondant free are my favorites. Thanks!

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersue

They're lovely, but I seem to remember the same icing application on the ombre fade being criticized on other cakes in the weekday wrecks posts. I guess context is everything. The color is nice but 'I meant to do that' doesn't make it look less ragged. This could easily be a wreck if compared to a smooth version and we'd be giggling.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I always look forward to Sunday Sweets because it more than makes up for the other days of the week's showing of ineptness in cake decorating. Sunday Sweets' editions leave me in awe every time.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

My insulin levels shot up with the very first cake... OMG, so incredibly beautiful, and So Much Sugar! :)

I have to go brush my teeth now. :)

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRae

Just, WOW!!!! I'm not a fan of fondant. These are beautiful!

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEllon St. Croix

Laurynne huh?

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterwendy

The pink frilly one reminds me of Kaylee's dress from Firefly.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterShari


March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKwoman

I am really not a fondant fan so I LOVE these creative beauties.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia from GA

"This could easily be a wreck if compared to a smooth version and we'd be giggling."

Yes...yes, we probably would.


March 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

Wow. Beautiful.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Wonderful to see such beautiful work. I studied cake decorating 52 years ago, and had the great fortune to have Edith Gates (Lambeth Method) as a teacher. That exquisite piping job (baker unknown) reflects this style..... I also love seeing Royal Icing flowers coming back.....

Marty Meade

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMarty Meade

Do you get royal icing in America? I ask because I always immediately think these non-fondant cakes will be royal icing (I have never seen a whole cake covered in buttercream in the UK) and the royal icing is my absolute favourite...I don't recall ever seeing one here. *wonders about our two nations, so similar and so different...

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

You should check out Maha Muhammed's cakes in the UK, her business is Arty Cakes and she does GORGEOUS buttercream flowers, very realistic.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

One of my favorite Sunday Sweets ever, not so much because they are all fondant-free as because they're all exceptionally tasteful. No ridiculous topsy turvy mile high stacks or bizarre color combinations, just elegant cakes of exceptional artistry. I especially love the first poppy cake, and any cake with intricate lace. Must take forever, but if is a gorgeous effect.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMark in SF

Yes! I did enjoy the fondant-free cakes! Lovely!

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterErica

Frosting purist here...thank you for posting these gorgeous buttercream cakes!! I love cakes that are actually EDIBLE works of art instead of works of art that are very pretty but taste like pla-doh.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterErica

I want the poppies cake for my house. Is there any way to number the pics of cakes so that when we are reading the comments we could refer to cake #9 without having to count them? I am constantly scrolling up and down while reading the comments to see what others are talking about. It's probably hard to do on your end since you spoil us already with your awesome comments!

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterpegd

I'd never tasted a cake with fondant until my friend's pirate-themed wedding last year. The cake was lovely to look at; a very detailed pirate treasure chest. But sweet mother of Bowie, that fondant's flavour was disGUSting; I couldn't even pick it off and eat the rest, because its evil had so permeated it all. I am almost certain that I've never EVER left a piece of cake uneaten in my LIFE, but I did that day. YEESH.

Cheers, thanks a lot,


March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterStorm

Love the fondant free! These are an artist of a different texture!

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermiss_paper

Such beautiful work! Sunday Sweets are always a pleasure.

However, I can't see the the cornelli lace pattern without a vision of honeycomb tripe--of which I am NOT a fan--immediately coming to mind. (Go ahead, Google it and tell me I'm wrong.)

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAngelaS

I think the ruffly tier one is done like i am baker's rose cake. Gorgeous, but also attainable by mortals!

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

That one by Shannon Bond is Amazing!!!!!!!!!! What talent!

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKatrena Shirley

Now, THAT's a baby shower cake! Note, bakers: no red jelly, no private parts, and no public hair! Look, we can actually eat this without barfing!
And I'm with Erica: give me buttercream or give me . . . MORE buttercream!

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterFM

I love the first cake! :) Ideal gift for a special friend! :D :D :D xoxo

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMhaey17_

Love, love, love, love!!! I'm one of those people who adores buttercream for taste, but also for the skill and artistry it takes to create these beauties! Thank you!!!!!

April 1, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteriammonicasue

Buttercream > Fondant


Fondant tastes terrible and buttercream cakes are so much classier. I can easily tell that all of these cakes are buttercream. I bet they were easier and quicker to do than a fondant cake would have been too (save for the crazy white piped one).

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

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