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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

Wedding Missed Marks, Vol #637

Bethany wanted her wedding cake to be a flight of fancy:


...but instead, we think her baker just winged it:


Melissa, on the other hand, envisioned something with a little more... trunk space:



But ended up with something barking mad:

"Now, make like a tree... and TRY TO LOOK LIKE A TREE."


Muna wisely went with something simple, sleek, and classic:

She figured it'd be much harder to mess this up.

And she was right!


Yes, you might say her baker really rose to the occasion:

...of totally wrecking it up.


Thanks to Bethany M., Melissa G., & Muna J. for taking her lumps and living to tell the tale.


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Reader Comments (32)

The first cake's monogram of BMR, should be DNR. As in Do Not Resuscitate. Actually that applies to all the wrecks :)

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCookiemamaoki

I am one of those people who have trypophobia (irrational fear of patterns of small holes) so that first tree trunk cake makes me want to crawl under my desk and whimper. The second is not so bad because it doesn't look like anything, really, but certainly not a series of small holes. Just talking about it is inciting a panic attack. I have to go now.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAngelaS

Some fine looking fallopian tubes and ovaries on that first wreck... but something tells me that's not what was intended.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

I just fail to understand.... So many wedding wrecks would be at least passable if the cake would just STAND UP STRAIGHT! If you are a baker who does wedding cakes, which usually have multiple tiers, how do you not know how to make them stand up straight? Does this need to be a thing brides ask their bakers? "Hi, I'm interested in getting a wedding cake. Can I talk so some of your previous customers to make sure their cakes didn't slump over?" And I can't begin to guess about the redwood's cousin, the purplewood.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterStephanieJ "Lace on cookies"

The lady decorating the cookie via piped icing is a jaw-dropping, amazing artist, and I wanted to pass this link along to folks here.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterT

At least the first wreck got the colors right?

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterErica

Does it say something really bad about me that "Missed Marks" are my favorite posts? Mwahahahaha....

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDee, just Dee

The last one wasn't too bad, but I think if these are bakers getting paid a lot of money; that cake has issues...

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAvery

cake #1: ...but instead, it was FANCY FREE. Ahahahahahahaaaaaaaah! Ya missed one, Jen.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermeech

The second inspiration cake looks vaguely like tree trunks. But the wreck it inspired looks more like gunshot wounds.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTriciaL

These bakers have NO shame........

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

I want to echo the comments about the weirdly colored tree-trunk cake and the fact that these bakers don't know how to level and internally support cakes. Oh, yeah, and do that level business with a LEVEL (if cake already frosted, put a cake disk the size of the next tier on top and check the leveling--it CAN be fixed with frosting) helps a lot. Bakers, cakes are weigh a good bit, but are fragile, so if you place a layer (weight) on another (fragile) layer, it can sink in unpredictable ways. Level and support rant over.

Funny thing about the green cake is that I think that the "fallopian tubes" are made of meringue, but instead of using a warm oven to dry them out, they had the temperature too high and browned them :-( . But you hardly notice that with the crooked top layer and very sad birds.

Finally, the silk flowers on the last cake--really?? It's kinda funny, but as I look at the model cake, it looks like live roses were used, which of course is not a problem if they were grown organically without pesticides as washed roses are edible (I wouldn't eat near the base, though, it's bitter).

Dang, I thought I was done, but the bulgy fondant in the last cake is inexcusable. The fondant is not stuck to the sides of the cake. This won't happen if you chill buttercream-frosted cake thoroughly overnight (or you can cover the cake with ganache and chill). You also need to roll out the fondant thinly enough that it doesn't make the cake collapse under the weight. Finally, you have to press the fondant firmly to all the surfaces of the cake--one of those fondant smoothers is super handy, and if you use two of them, you can get sharp edges (that is, only if the buttercream-frosted cake had sharp edges--my guess is that this cake didn't have sharp edges to start with). Then it is better to leave the cake with fondant on it in a cool room versus the refrigerator, because the fridge can provide too much humidity and make the fondant shiny and soggy. On a hot, humid day, you may have to suck it up and really crank up the A/C to hold the cake until transport in a well air-conditioned vehicle. But I've only made two fondant-covered cakes, and both were more than presentable, and the 3-tiered wedding cake was level and internally supported. So there.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMary Kay

Huh. ...I was just noticing that-(believe it or not)-some of the stuff in the background behind the cakes is every bit as fascinating as the cakes themse!ves (!!!) 0ne can take that any way one wants... =^-.-^=

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

The 2nd one looks like a valiant attempt and maybe would be passable, but the colors! Why on earth would the wood be purple???

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTwinMom

Okay, I admit the first one is crooked but then the whole picture looks crooked. The table doesn't look straight.

I will admit that the second one, the colors are off but besides that to me it doesn't look that bad.

I don't think the third one is bad at all. Are these people expecting their cakes to look like they came from high-end large city bakeries when they order them from their local grocery store or small town bakery?

Granted, I am a guy and my standards are not that high.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercajun2core

The last cake used awful fake flowers. Come ON! Every baker knows how to do a frosting flower. It's Cake Decorating 101.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

I was seriously expecting the first cake wreck to have Peeps.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

I need to know how much the so called professionals were paid for those missed marks! How hard is it to understand that tiered cakes need dowel supports? And that's the least of their troubles. Clearly, the people who hired these bakers didn't do their research, so they're not getting any sympathy from me.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

The lavender...lilac...whatever bark cake reminds me of that "blue vs. beige" dress photo. Probably tastes like it, too. Photo, dress, either one.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHairfish

The first cake isn't the right color it wasn't supposed to be green. And it was very crooked. Not at all what was ordered.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMom

I don't even like the good version of cake #2, Trypophobia alert!!

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

And bakers get paid for these wrecks?

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKyle

The first and third cakes are god-awful!! The first one looks like it's made of Play-Doh and it's falling over. The third is terribly lumpy and has awful fake flowers- what ARE those? Velvet? Velveteen? If I was at a reception and saw either of those, I would cringe and feel bad for the bride.

The second one, to me at least, is passable. True- it missed the mark... by far... It's "cute" whereas the original was elegant. But it at least seems cohesive, consistent from top to bottom, and works well with the topper. If I was a guest and saw this cake, I would think it was unusual, but I would have no idea that it wasn't exactly what was ordered unless the bride had a picture of the original sitting next to it to compare it to.

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterK Michelle

I was amazed at the first (non-wreck) wedding cake. Awesome! The wreck was just..... sad. So sad. As were the other wrecks. I'm constantly amazed at the chutzpah of the wreckoraters.... are you REALLY OK with presenting this wreck to a bride/mom/husband/ etc... ?????????? Amazing LMAO!

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMaryO1230

Oh man lol. At least the last one wasn't super horrible. I am still staring at the tree trunk cake in wonder.. and possible shock as well lol.

March 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterArlene Marie

Wreck cake number one
A little bit slanty, missed
Dr. Seuss birthday

March 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNobodee Home

I suspect the owners of the stores won't pay for a qualified person so just grab the nearest worker and tell them to get on with it.If that's not it,is it a plot to undermine our sensibilities by secret alien overlords?

March 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterhotclaws

That first one, it's green, with piped icing for the cage the same white flowers, and it's got two birds...?

March 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVicki with two eyes

My boyfriend proposed last weekend, and we're planning our tiny, barely more than a trip to the courthouse, wedding. Seeing these cakes make me so glad I'm NOT doing the giant wedding cake! I'm too scared to even imagine what I might get! :-p

Plan is to go to dinner after, get back to our area of the city, and hit up the 24 hr diner that has amazing cakes to get a face sized slice of cake. That I know is gorgeous and will taste fantastic! :-p

March 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAshley C.

Dee- The missed marks are my favorite, too. I guess that makes us both bad ha ha!

Wendy- I think Peeps would have actually been an improvement. Not much of one, but....

March 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterakathleen

My 3 year old was sitting on my lap looking at these with me. When we got the first wreck (birdcage one), she exclaimed, "That cakes gonna fall!" lol If my 3 year old knows it's bad...

March 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

I'm sorry but I laughed out loud about some of your cake wrecks. I had my own cake wreck years ago when my mother in law announced: There is a hair in my cake at my son's first birthday party. It was a store bought cake...It's been 26 years later and I still remember. Guess I'm not one to hold a grudge..Joking. ..She is a much less funny kind of wreck.

December 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte W.

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