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 Post Sell-Out Post

My fellow wrecky minions,

For 8 years I have steadfastly refused buy-out offers, sponsored posts, full-page ads, and every pop-up ad my network allows me to opt-out of. I have turned down "free money" in the form of after-the-click jumps, slideshows, and other unscrupulous posting practices. In short, I have done everything I possibly can to make Cake Wrecks a fun place for free laughs while still allowing John and I to do this for a living. It gets harder financially every year, as we've long since had to let go our part-time helper & guest writers, but these are standards I've never wavered on, and never will.

I thought it would be funny, then, to do something so WILDLY out of character for April Fools that you regular readers would immediately get the joke. I decided to make a CW post that looks like most other blog posts these days: a tongue-in-cheek, "sponsored post" parody.

 Unfortunately, even after 8 years of writing online, I still managed to drastically underestimate the knee-jerk, jump-to-the-worst-conclusion-and-then-gather-an-angry-mob reaction of the interwebz at large. Not to mention their inability to check the calendar, and/or remember they were on a humor site. o.0

At first I took it as a compliment that so many people were falling for it, but within a few hours it was obvious things were getting out of hand. We lost readers. There was lots - and LOTS - of yelling.

 Some even called into question the legality of what we were doing, while others bashed poor Wilton, which of course knew nothing about our post, much less gave us a single cent in compensation.

I like to think the silent majority got the joke, had a laugh, and moved on, but regardless, John and I received a sound virtual thrashing yesterday.

I'm still rather bemused by the whole thing, but to be honest, I can't help but think: this is our thanks. This is what we get, after all these years, thousands of posts, thousands upon thousands of hours of hard work and heartache and just trying to do the right thing by our readers. After showing you guys who we are, after building a sense of trust and even community here alongside the giggles, all it took was one ill-received joke to turn us into pariahs.

Worse, it wasn't even a hurtful joke. Nothing tasteless or thoughtless or targeting any individual or group - just a parody of what everyone else online seems to be doing. Something that if we DID do (which we wouldn't), would only be because we needed the extra money to keep CW running.

To be fair, a few readers yesterday - who still didn't get the joke - were supportive. They wrote to say they understood, and everyone has to make a living, right? - and I was weirdly grateful, even while thinking, "How can you believe we would do this? Don't you know us?"

So anyway, I just wanted to say thanks to the silent majority who remembered what day it was yesterday, even if you didn't think my post was funny. And thanks to those who would support John and me even if we did "sell out." But mostly, thanks to those of you who took into account every post before yesterday's, and showed a little trust.

Now, let's get back to cake.

Because hey, I think I finally have an excuse to post this one:

No foolin'.



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Reader Comments (424)

I had doubts for about five seconds, but the "Generic Decorator Preferred Fondant" kinda was a giveaway... :)

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFrankN.Stein

Well, shaking my head because I wasn't upset by the post on AF Day, nor did I catch that it was all a joke. In all seriousness, you guys do a wonderful job and I would never, ever not read your blog because of something like that. Just chalk it up to some people having no sense of humor in this day and age, and if you lose readers because of it, it's their loss, not yours. Keep up the great work!


April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJan H

You two are a part of my daily routine. Wake up, get a cup of coffee, check in with the four web comics I follow, read the Fargo Forum, and end it with CW to see what's new in the world of frosting before waking my kids up for school. There is some crazy crap going on in this world and you two are a whimsical, nerdy ray of sunshine that is sorely needed. The fact that you two seem to subscribe to my exact brand of geeky humor is an added bonus. I thought it was funny. I chuckled. It didn't even occur to me others might not get it. From all of us daily readers: thank you for what you guys do! The world needs you guys for balance: to offset all of the scary crap we must contend with on a daily basis. Please, please keep it up.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBethany Colton

For what it's worth, I didn't even register that it was different at all. I read it and thought "ha, they're using fake infomercial as their framing device today, that's cute. At least someone's not doing an over-the-top prank today." :) At least two other sites I read regularly did things that made the site difficult to read >.>

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJane Bailey

I wasn't one of the angry mob, but oh my word, I didn't even put two and two together! I read it, though "hmmmm, interesting" and then moved on... 😂

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Hey Jen and John :)

Long time reader, first time commenter etc. etc.

I'm really sorry to hear that you got lambasted for an April Fool's joke, that's awful :( I have to admit, I didn't realise it was a joke when I saw it, but I figured that you both work really hard to keep this site running and it was what you needed to do to keep it going. It makes more sense to me now that you've explained it was a gag!

I find you both an inspiration and adore reading both CW & Epbot (particularly the art posts and the descriptions of coping with anxiety - it gives me hope that I'll find the same strength and courage to work through my own issues with anxiety.)

I'm not really one for commenting on posts generally, but I wanted to make an exception this once because it makes me really sad that you've been hurt by what has been said, so I was hoping to balance it out a bit by telling you how much I appreciate the hard work that you both put into this amazing site. You're both awesome, seriously. Thank you for sharing your awesomeness with us!

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercrayon

Wow. I can't believe people reacted that way! I'm so sorry.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

Wooow. I never posted before, probably won't again, but I need to tell you - I LOVE YOU JENN! And John - he's ok too. But, really? I didn't get the joke, cuz I wan't paying attention to the date, but I still thought it was freakin' hilarious. I think I did an actual facepalm when I read this today, not to mention being embarrassed on behalf of the folks who felt the need to FREAK OUT on you. I think they might need other interests besides Case Wrecks, maybe...

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered Commenters.a.m.

Hahaha. Sorry people suck. I missed it yesterday, but were all the links rickrolls then, too? You'd think that would be a tip off. Never stop being you, Jen & John. :)

-an appreciative member of the silent majority

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I thought yesterday's post was a riot. I don't know if any of those people who got all upset realize it or not, but you've been giving free advertising to talented bakers and artists for years, and nobody objected to that. So joke or not, it was all fine with me.

(Please don't go away....)

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter~~Silk

I didn't get the joke yesterday. But I still liked the post! Keep it up! This is one of my favorite two blogs!!

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

I have never posted before, but I've been reading for years, and still laugh and laugh at the books (I have both). Yesterday I paused for a minute and thought, "they have sponsor?....." Then quickly realized it was an April Fool's joke. I'm so sad that people were mad about that. As you said, it wasn't mean or offensive. I thought it was funny. Jen and John, you just keeping doing what you do. We love you!

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterK

I think perhaps you just hit a little close to home on that joke. I've seen it over and over again where blogs I love get swept up in sponsorship, and the cooking industry is probably the worst offender (although calling this a cooking blog might be kinda a stretch!!)

My point is, please don't feel like it's that people don't trust YOU- it's just that the internet has broken that trust so many times that it's almost expected, and the more successful a blog is the more likely it becomes.

That said, I am pretty surprised more folks didn't give it a pass until April 2, even if they kinda thought it was real.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Dear fellow Jen, I was so saddened by this post. I wish I could type "I cannot believe there are people who didn't get the joke!" (Well, okay, I just typed it.) But, sadly, I totally believe it. Worse, it saddens me that people would take to bashing you or your blog. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? (Okay, to answer that would take way more space than this little comments box.) Just know that some of us got it, and love your blog, and appreciate your humor and wit -- and would never ever bash you, virtually or otherwise. Your friend in cake, J.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJ.

As a silent observer (usually lol) I felt I should add my 2cents worth. Your post yesterday was full of wit and wry humor...who knew there was a cake decorating practice board!? thought was that you were poking fun at Wilton in a tongue firmly in cheek manner. And, while I forgot it was April Fool's Day I immediately figured either someone highjacked your site for a good natured prank or you were having fun pretending. After reading today's post, I slapped myself upside the head and thought, 'duh, of course it was April Fool's Day! What a great joke!"

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMerry

I had a baaad reaction to my medication yesterday and my head looked like a large red balloon so had to go to the emergency room and they were NOT celebrating April Fools Day there so I missed the whole thing and now I'll never know if I would have gotten the joke, been outraged by your need to pay the rent, or thrilled that it would be easier for you to pay the rent. Sigh. I am sooo disappointed.
Anyway, here's to those who got the joke, kudos to those who supported your need to pay for cat food, and brava (as always,) to you. Have a restful April 2.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

I'm really sorry you took so much heat for the April Fool's joke. FWIW, I doubt that most people think of you as real people, and still fewer that have analyzed the situation enough to have a sense of how you'd feel about additional ads. And I bet a tiny proportion of readers have any idea that the ads we see on your site are not your choice (i.e. are part and parcel of the format), and therefore have not realized that you've avoided lots of possible ad revenue.

Further, there's still an idea that if you run a popular site (or have written a book, or sometimes get published in online fora, or whatever) that there must be a great deal of money being sent in regular intervals to your bank account.

So, I guess my point is that you are awesome, and that I bet a lot of the complaints were people thinking they were complaining to The Man, and hadn't really thought things through. Which still sucks, but maybe less personally than if they really understood ow these things usually work.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

Oh man! I thought it was cute. I love the products and they fit in so well with your blog that I can see how people fell for it, but I will never understand the vitriol. Shame on people for being such mean jerks. You and John are my faves forever.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterranger

As difficult as it will be, please, please try to ignore all those knee-jerks. Apparently these days the Internet is so full of them that even Steven Fry had to close his twitter account -which he used to RT many worthy causes- because people were offended by a joke he made at the BAFTAs about /a friend of his/, who knew it was a joke. The hate and general self-righteousness was so much he actually swore in his last posts, before deleting the account. People need a reality check (as well as a calendar). There are far worse things than a "gone corporate" joke from a blog.
Please, keep entertaining us, and sometimes scarring us for life.
Illegitimi non carborundum!

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJean

Count me in the silent majority!!! I read your site daily and love you guys. Keep up the great work.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJenny K

I saw the post after the links were changed, but I honestly never had a doubt as to where they would lead. I'm sorry for the ridiculous abuse you took yesterday, but I think I can speak for the majority of your faithful readers when I say we're never gonna give you up... and that's no foolin'!

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJules

Wow. I'm struck dumb by this. How can people be so .....(words that haven't been invented yet)....Your REAL fans are as disgusted and surprised as I am. We are your real peeps. Love you guys. <3 =^o.o^= Oh, and I second what Jean said....except for the last part. I only took French in school.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

People are so dumb. You guys are great. Forget about them :)

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLizW

Oh good grief! I do not comment often, but I am a huge fan of CW and I often take a break mid-morning to have a chuckle when you post. It took me a minute to realize yesterday's post was a joke, but either way, it was funny. I can't be surprised that people reacted that way but it's still disappointing. Please know that the vast majority of us love what you do!!

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Oh this makes me sad. I've been a loyal, every day reader for probably 7 of those 8 years and ain't no stopping me now! I was cracking up at the whole thing, aND the ludicrous thought that Wilton would even sponsor a blog about ruined cakes just had me rolling. I love you guys, John and Jen. You're part of my day and part of my heart, and laughing at your humor has gotten me through some pretty tough spots. Happy to stand beside you!

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKaytee

I am so sorry people got angry (maybe they're hangry for cake?) over this. I laughed and actually had to check the links. A Practice board? Seriously? I honestly thought the practice board was a creation akin to panwow. Please continue to brighten my day at someone else's expense (hopefully not too expensive!) every morning.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJaime

Sorry to hear this. Up here in Columbus, OH, both our print newspaper and online news website publish April Fool's articles. I've learned to not trust anything I read online on that day :) I am a long time reader of both blogs and love them and want to add my application and thanks for all you do!

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

First how funny that I am following someone who uses my preferred posting name! Second - I usually lurk since I read you on my lunch hour. Third - how very SAD that people didn't get the joke. I immediately got the fool's joke on Wilton. I love you guys, just like my namesake above.
Happy to keep reading, I would so miss you if you left. BTW - I gave your book to at least 4 pro decorators as gifts and they found it a HOOT!!

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKaymtee

Wow. My guess is that nearly all of the people having issues with the post have already realized what day it was yesterday. You will likely never hear a retraction of their initial complaints because people don't want to look stupid, but they'll be back. Perhaps after they read about the Gmail April fools prank gone wrong, they'll realize that it's a blog about cake-, it's not meant to be taken so seriously!

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMandi

Another person delurking just to stand up and be counted amongst those who got it and thought it was hilarious. I know it must be so hard to remember that for every idiot, troll, and idiot-troll who posts a comment, there are 1000 of us who just happily read you every day but never say thank you. I'll try to remember to do it more often. Thank you for all the hard work you do to make me smile.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterShekuse

I laughed out loud at your post yesterday :). I'm so sorry to hear you got flack for it. Hugs
Thanks for brightening every morning for me for years!!

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

Silent majority here - read your posts every day, love it all, waiting for the next tour/book :-)

Keep up the good work!! I'll even read if you have to turn on some ads... and also I thought your post was funny yesterday, don't let the haters get to you.

-another Jen

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Jen

I must be a literalist - I thought it was a well-written post showing how these cake wreckers really DO need those lessons and common sense techniques. It made the post fumnier all for it.

Sorry that folks took it as a sell-out... I'm honestly surprised they could.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMelmac

Took me a minute to figure out, but I'd just gotten off work when I read it and was still asleep. However, I loved it when I did. What I don't understand is why people who don't appreciate your sense of humor spend their time reading Cake Wrecks anyway. It would be like me going to a political site I didn't agree with and then getting mad because they didn't agree with me. (OK, scratch that as a comparison. I know people who do that.) It would be like, like, hitting yourself on the thumb and getting mad at the hammer company. (OK, scratch that one too. I know people who do that too. For a living.) Anyway, their all poo-heads. I love you Jenn and John. Keep up the fun.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterOldish Lady

Another quiet reader crawling out to say you guys rock! Honestly I wasn't sure if it was a joke or not, but if it wasn't I thought being sponsored by Wilton would be brilliant for you. Cake Wrecks and Epbot are the first sites I read every day. A little bit of happy funny, or oh shiny!, or inner contemplation to start my day. Always good. Love you guys.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChadoe

As part of the normally silent majority I must admit I didn't get it right away, I just thought it was a normal funny parody post until the end when it clicked. I don't usually read the comments so I didn't realize you were getting hammered. You guys are the only blog I make sure to read daily, don't let the naysayers get you down, your loyal readers will always have your back.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Well, I completely missed the joke. But then again, I have been taking some serious pain medication while recovering from a fall, so things were a bit murky.

Sorry about all the crap you got for a great April Fools joke. Please keep posting. It's tough to find co-conspirators, unindicted or otherwise, with the same sick sense of humor.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

I'm sorry I missed it.

One thing the comments on Web articles has taught me is that it's impossible to underestimate the intelligence and decency of some people.

Even if they didn't get the joke and didn't like the content decent human beings would have just moved on. It's not as if they are paying for this.

It's sad when this kind of thing pops up, but don't dwell on it. There are people who just love to complain, and they'll always find something to complain about. I'm sure they are yelling at someone else today.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraig T

For what it's worth: I was pretty sure that it was a gag, though not certain, and thought that it was up to you guys regardless. I'm sorry to hear that people have been jumping all over you and not giving you the benefit of the doubt... which is a thing I can very much relate to lately on a website that I help admin.

I very much enjoy Cake Wrecks. Thank you for running it.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Polowin

It... didn't even dawn on me that it was an April Fool's... not because I was angry, but because I was completely unconcerned.

What, exactly, would be so horrible about a corporate sponsor for a blog about terrible cakes?

What would they do?

Censor the terrible cakes that comment on their favorite Presidential candidates? No bern-ed cakes?

I can't even begin to understand why anybody thought this was worth getting heated up over.

Shit, you've already taken the heat for it, you may as well get a sponsor. As long as it's not a bakery, what possible difference would it make? Not that I'd want every post to read like an infomercial, but c'mon.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTom Boutell

Well, first I feel silly because I never even snapped to the possibility it was a joke. I actually thought if you were going to have a sponsor, that one made all the sense in the world. I clearly hadn't drunk enough coffee.

But for people to respond like THAT????? How completely and utterly ridiculous and offensive. You two do so much for all of us, and I am as sorry as I can be you had to go through that. Please don't let the haters get to you. You're both absolutely wonderful people and you make the internet a much, much better place. :-)

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I guess I am a member of the Silent Majority who thought it was funny and absolutely did not attach any more meaning to the post beyond that. I even did not realize that it was April Fool's because the post would have been funny even on your average Tuesday. I also realize that people need to make money and get paid for the effort it takes to provide content. It's not selling out. It's earning a living. There are people out there who will take any opportunity to get their indignant on. Even if it involves an April Fool's post on a humor site. Sorry it happened to you. But I hope it does not discourage you from posting!

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

What disgusts me is that so many people rage at the very idea that you might want to make a living off the hours and hours you spend making us laugh every single day. The nerve of some people... wanting to offset hosting costs.

And even if it had been true, so what? It would affect blog readers absolutely not at all. I appreciate this blog's ethical practices, and think they do deserve more compensation for the time and resources they spend on both blogs!

Jen and John, you rock. Keep it up. But only if it makes you happy.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterInaya

Raising my hand as another person who read yesterday's post, thought "Ha, good one!" to myself, and moved on with my day. I never look at the comments and it didn't occur to me that there might be a need for people to step up and say "It's a joke, for pity's sake!" I am sorry for all the grief that came your way and wish that I had had your back. Instead, *this* is my first ever comment. All my love and appreciation to you and John.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlexea

I never doubted you for a moment! I really thought the whole thing was hysterical! XD I'm sorry you had to take all that from people who didn't "get" what you're all about :(

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlex K

Chiming in for the silent majority: I read your post yesterday, did a double take, then remembered the date and found it really clever and funny. Cake Wrecks is awesome. I am sorry you endured so much petty meanness yesterday.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Silent Majority here: I did giggle, and clicked the Wilton banner thinking "really, these are a thing?" and then... yeah... "WELL PLAYED, Jen and John!" :) Maybe check the banner click through count for how many of us *check* our thoughts? ;)

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMaddy

You guys are a little ray of internet sunshine. Thank you for your hard work, your sense of humor, and your willingness to put this out for us every single day.

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTrisha

I thought it was hilarious! Subtle snarkiness is an art form and you are a master of it. A lot of folks are missing that chip so it goes over their heads, I guess. Well, apparently, right?

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Huckaby

I'm now sorry I stayed silent yesterday. I thought the idea of Wilton sponsorship was hilarious and got a bit distracted trying to imagine their new ads in a world where it was true. :)

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLotte

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