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

Doilies and Squiggles and Spray Paint, Oh My!

It's time again for everyone's favorite:  WEDDING WRECKS!

(Well, everyone but the bride.)

(And possibly the baker who may or may not have been assaulted by the aforementioned bride)


What the bride wanted:

 What the bride got:


Hey, Jen has a dummy cake in her office this exact shade of Wilton Spray-On Blue!


Don't ask.

(Or do; Jen's rather proud of it.)

 Moving on...


 What the bride wanted:

 What the bride got:

I like to imagine a bakery order sheet somewhere with the words, "Pink, brown, and squiggly" all checked off.


(Btw, "Pink, brown, & squiggly" is the name of my topless Vegas act.)


 What the bride wanted:

 What the bride got:

To be fair, it's probably just the lighting.  Really, really bad lighting.  Like hospital lighting.  Or maybe morgue lighting. Heck, I bet every body looks like this in a morgue.

 [Later that day:

 "John, why do we have 300 emails from morticians?!"]


 What the bride wanted:

 What the bride got:

  When only the best will do: Doilies.


Thanks to P. C., Jenni S., Brett R., Esther G., and Jen for keeping the baby cake locked in the closet and away from the knives...


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

« Friday Favs 4/29/16 | Main | Remember, Whatever Happens Out There, We Are Total Prefessionals »

Reader Comments (38)

So, what's the story behind the cake? A gift from a baker? Trash search? A purchase from a bad baker closing his store?

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAthena

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

I wonder if the birds on top of cake number 7 turned out ok; they never showed them...

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAvery

I agree with the groom on the last cake.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterShirley

Ya know, seeing this website makes me think I could have a career as a baker. It's not as if I need to have talent or anything..... :P

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermindy1

cake 1: as wrecks go, this one is not so bad. Just have everyone stand back about 20 feet and squint. PERFECT! ;)
cake 2: perhaps the wreckinator was hoping that everyone would be totally drunk by the time the cake came out? clearly made by someone who "honey baggered" it.
cake 3: good on skills
cake 4: um how much lying did you do on your resume?

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

The first one isn't horrible...until you look at the trim work.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMedith

Love the elegant use of those oh-so-realistic (NOT) butterfly picks on the last one. Such skill! Such artistry!

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered Commenters.marie

Doilies - the hallmark of ineptitude.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKimS

I have a idea as to why john's gotten all of those emails from morticians: maybe it's because every one of the "what they got" specimens is so much better-looking than THEIR (the morticians') work that they want to know what the wreckorators' secrets are. (Who wouldn't?) =^-.-^=

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

The wedding wrecks make my little black heart squeal with glee! As an aside...that last cake is missing the T and the F off of the other two tiers....

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Paper

The first one's not all that far off. Maybe you should have put this one last.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHortense

The first cake is at least competently put together, and looks edible.

The rest? Not so much...

I want one of Jen's dummy cakes. To put on my neighbor's porch instead of a horse head. Is that wrong?

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma

Along with @Athena, I'm asking too!

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

I think seeing all these wrecks has warped my perception of cakes since that first one doesn't seem half as bad as the others. lol

Also, do tell the story behind Jen's baby cake please. Pretty please with a perfectly blown sugar cherry on top? :-)

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNonny

Is it really only the bride who plans a wedding? I realise that's the traditional thing people say, but I know my partner and I are both putting our time, energy and opinions into planning our wedding, since it's going to be the best day of both our lives, and we're sharing the work of planning - and I suspect we're not the only ones.

I'd prefer if you didn't just mention the bride as the person who ordered the cake/will be disappointed if it's a wreck. (I'm hoping our cake will be lovely, but if it's wrecky we will both be equally upset). But I love your site and please keep it up! :)

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

The stuff on the last cake is not doilies, it's actually a product called Tuk 'n Ruffle. As a cake decorating instructor I lamented its existence for years, until I dug out a picture of my own wedding cake (not made by me) and realized that it was all over it!

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterB4Man

This post really begs the question of "what brides want." I mean, are they pulling cake pictures off Pinterest that are made by the fanciest (and priciest) bakers in the world, and then asking their little local bakery to create a copycat for the price of an ordinary wedding cake? I mean, those example cakes are seriously fancy and require amazing artistic decorating skilz. The bakeries should not promise what they can't deliver but maybe the expectations are a little high as well.

If you don't want your wedding cake to end up on Cake Wrecks, try asking the baker what she is capable of instead of starting with a crazy ideal cake and being disappointed in the end.

(I swear, I'm not a baker myself. Just an ordinary person who has had the Pinterest Project Fail happen a couple times myself.)

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLisa in Seatle

Often my job involves taking orders for the decorator at work. Not feeling a lot of sympathy for brides this week. I would like to see one of these with the price tags attached. What the original cake in the picture they brought in cost vs what they were willing to spend. I'm guess a few of these were off by a couple decimal points.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGeo

*adding to the mortician emails* We use lights that make things look MORE lifelike and warm. Rosy. *brandishes her pitchfork*

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDelirium

Is the doll dismembered and its head and limbs stuck in the cake, or has the cake been excavated and patched to contain its whole body? Either way, cutting the cake would be a traumatic experience.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTachybaptus

I've been following this site far too long when I can say - with a straight face- that the first wreck really doesn't look too bad. Except, as Medith pointed out, the trim leaves a bit to be desired.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLady Anne

I just don't know who can promise they can do cakes as they are requested then not be ashamed to show them to the purchaser..........and worse.........charge them money for them !

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Messantonio

Wow. Those are not even remotely close to the originals! I mean, sometimes, you can kind of tell that the baker was trying, but just didn't have the skill.
I think all these bakers must've been blind.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRed

So is cake decorating a creative work or not?

If you think it's not, then you likely also expect to pay very little. Don't be surprised when you don't get what you don't pay for.

If you recognize that cake decorating is indeed a creative work, and you seek out an expensive and skilled cake decorator who is a genuine artist, don't be offended if they decline to create something in a manner which doesn't suit their own artistic or personal or religious taste. Yes that means their decision might be totally personal, it could differ from what you think is right, but you'll just need to get over it.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterReggie

What a pack of sloppy, slovenly, ghastly wedding CAKES ! I don't know if a cake can be slovenly, but if it shows up on CakeWrecks, I bet it can be!

The fondant on the "birds/tree" cake looked like it was muscled on the cake! It must have really fought for its life!

I'm particularly horrified at the last cake which has such outre colored flowers - actually I thought they were some kind of weirded out sea anemones or slimy lotus-type things you find in abandoned backyard fish ponds! Add to that the butterflies on sticks and OY! The doilies are just - I have to say it - gravy!

"What" they ordered and "what" they got - especially wedding cakes - is my MOST fave post! I'm weird, I admit it!

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMaryO1230

I have a question for the bride ordering the bottom cake. If the cake had turned out exactly as she ordered, was she still planning to put the tacky bride/groom figures on top of it? Maybe it's karma.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdrgs4vr

Don't expect Nordstrom quality with a Walmart budget.
Really. What do they expect? Buttercream doesn't look like fondant.
Magazine-quality cakes are expensive.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterH

Oh goody (/sarcasm). Another round of posters saying "they got what they deserved." These cakes were made by professionals. If the pictures they were presented with was beyond their expertise they should have said so and worked with the couples to determine what they could do in a similar vein within budget. If I bring my car to a mechanic because of brake failure, I don't want to find out after the fact, that he doesn't know how to replace the rotors so he just changed the brake pads.

On the cake with the bad lighting, the decoration is not the problem. The branches and flowers were not masterfully done, but they are adequate. The problem is the application of the fondant. The edges are not sharp and the excess was smooshed into the cake like the paper on a badly wrapped present. If you can't put plain white icing on a cake better than that you shouldn't be serving your cakes to anyone but your immediate family.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJane

Wedding wrecks really are my favorite. I'm not sure why. Yay for wedding wrecks!

April 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

Honestly, the wreckiest thing in today's post is that cake topper in the last pic... I will just never understand the appeal of someone being "the old ball-and-chain."

April 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterK Michelle

The 7th cake happened in my town. It had no birds at all and not only was the cake the wrong flavour on the inside but it was burnt as well. The couple went nuts, that pic went viral and the bakery shut down not long after. Fun times.

April 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

What the.. that last cake looks nothing like the picture. How do you get tiers out of that picture??? Lol oh man I think all these wreckerators were assaulted by the brides. I would be shocked if they weren't lol.

April 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterArlene Marie

@ Miss Paper -- perfect!

The fondant on the bird cake just makes me cringe. Folks, covering a cake smoothly with fondant (even one with edges) isn't that difficult. Doh!

April 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMary Kay

the beautiful cake in the "want" photos probably cost in the neighborhood of $300-$1000.
I wonder what the actual cost is of some of the wrecks.
The baker must be quoting a price when the cake is ordered.
Criminy, I'd have a photo of "want" vs what was supplied, reject the cake and send someone running to a grocery store for a sheetcake or two.

April 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGrrly Girl

Now that I've looked up "brush embroidery" and watched three YouTube videos, I'd have to say that the first oops cake is really badly done. It appears that brush embroidery takes patience and a some meticulous attention to detail, but it really doesn't seem difficult. I can't wait to try it.

Now for the "want" brown cake with the pink piping--I am in awe of the decorator that produced that exquisite cake. I was hoping it was a stencil, but there would be no way to pull off the taper on each curve. My guess is that a pattern may have been lightly pushed into fondant to follow (or that's what someone who is more of a rookie would do), but the final piping still takes serious skills.

April 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMary Kay a baker myself, I have to wonder how much modification the couples actually asked for- particularly with that last one. It's not even close.

Fellow bakers, please...if it's out of your skillset, find someone to do it for you. That's just embarrassing.

May 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCorianne

Years ago, 1960's and '70's and even into the '80's, Tuk'nRuffle was used on just about every cake. If you look in the OLD Wilton yearbooks the ruffle made the cakes sparkle and could dress up even the plainest of cakes. It came in almost any color and most of my clients wanted it. Nowadays, tastes have changed and most people want a more simple and clean look. I still like Tuk'nRuffle if it is on a (well done) traditional buttercream cake. By the way, you can still buy it and little girls love it. Unfortunately, a whole box of Tuk'nRuffle couldn't save this poor, sad cake, Obviously, whomever made this didn't know how to stack a cake. I have never liked that cheesy Wilton stand LOL

May 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJacki J

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>