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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


Have you heard of the Croquembouche [CROCK-you-EAM-butchy]? It's a French thing.

Well, if not, here's what it's supposed to look like:

So kinda like old, cobweb-wrapped monkey bread. But in a yummy way.


Well, a certain anonymous person - who shall remain unnamed to protect her anonymity - found this gem at a wedding which she may or may not have anonymously attended:

I believe her exact words were, "it looks like some kind of primitive jungle cake being attacked by a swarm of lactating spider-wasps."

Mmmm, lactating spider-wasps...

Well, uh, Jane D. [wink wink], thanks for putting a new spin on these things.


Note: I think it's important to ask yourself a couple of questions before commenting here on Cake Wrecks:
Question: Did Jen and john really intend to give us the pronunciation of a word?
Answer: No.
Question: Are Jen and john complete and total idiots?
Answer: No.
Question: Do they...
Answer: No.
Question: Would they...
Answer: No.
Question: What about...
Answer: No.
That is all.



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Reader Comments (47)

WHAT is the green stuff on the bottom? Celery? Did the decorator form the filaments over an open umbrella? Inquiring minds want to know.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLady Anne

For a second I almost wondered about the pronunciation. Then I thought... Wait... it's Cake Wrecks.... Set the English teacher aside! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHAL

Look at that mess! When the pastry chef promised her a lovely Croquembouch. We all know that promise was a Crock-o-shi...!! .

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCookiemama

Crock - OM - boosh! Top one's not 100% right either, traditionally - should look more like a tall, elegant golden cone, a delectable caramelly-cream-witch's hat with drizzling caramel clinging seductively to the cascade of profiteroles. Nowt spiderwebby should trouble your croque - and certainly no - just no - to green bits. It looks like a mouldy upside-down pineapple. Bleurgh!

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterurgo42


June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLynne

I think it's actually pronounced "croakay um booshay." I saw the footnote, but I really felt it was important to educate you on proper French pronunciation.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAM

I skipped right over the pronunciation - so thanks ever so much for correcting my French, however, I will now have unrelenting nightmares about lactating spider wasps,. Again, thanks ever so much anonymous Jane D.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKaytee

I checked the Pronunciation Manual for the "correct" pronunciation, but sadly, nobody has asked them to pronounce that word yet. I think their version would be very similar to yours.

As an example, here is their version of "Frappuccino":


June 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbelphebe

That looks like it belongs on Miss Havisham's table.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

It's croak-om-boosh.

Not every "e" in French is an "ay" sound. Only if it has an acute accent on it.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAbi

By the way,I have a degree in French and I used to live there. I'm not just relaying on a Youtube video to tell me how to pronounce it, because they are often wrong. Like this abomination

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAbi

AM above me is incorrect in her pronunciation (I know...not a French blog but I am that anal). The correct pronunciation is CROAK OM BOOSH (from the French phrase croque en bouche, meaning "[something that] crunches in the mouth.").

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commentersheilah

I'm sorry but all I can see is Shelob.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJai

Only the finest spiders were used in the making of each of those desserts.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Proper pronunciation is actually "Pile of Donut Holes" I think.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHairfish

I hate to be a buzzkill, but that isn't the result of lactating spider-wasps. That is plain old, garden variety tent caterpillars. I live in Missouri. We see lots of those every summer. Why they're infesting a pile of little donut holes, I can't guess, but...

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBADKarma

The "good" one looks like hairy balls, so I don't see how you could expect too much from the copy...just sayin

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

Ven de moon iz full ...

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAl the K's pronounced "cruck-ahm-boosh", accent on the first syllable..

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

Alien meets Cakewrecks. That is all.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMaryO1230

What the what?!
That's all I've got to say about that.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLisa P.

Proper French pronunciation is CROAK-em-boosh.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPertigal

I laughed at your "pronunciation" guide -- until I saw the wreck. That IS a CROCK-you-EAM-butchy! Or a "they butchered a crock"! A wonderful entry today, and that AWFUL lactating spider-wasp infestation is, I devoutly hope, one of a kind!

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

If I was served that example of what it is supposed to look like (as it isn't) I would be equally upset! A Croquembouche is taller, thinner and much more elegant. Both look like they have been attacked by lactating spider wasps - and that is the most accurate description ever!

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCaryl

Jen and John: Are you sure?

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVaBeach alemaP

That's a crock of something, alright...

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSeabird

Ok I hate to admit it, but if these were halloween type cakes, these would actual look wonderfully macabre. Provided they were still edible...

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKckiss

In the words of everyone's favorite pirate "Dear God, what is that thing?"
And why does it have sticks protruding from the sides?
And why is it covered with cobwebs and dotted with sickly foliage?
And why is it sitting on a stack of palm leaves?
And did the bride at Jane D's wedding pay for that abomination?
And more importantly, was anyone brave enough to eat it?

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commentertabby

Urgo42 is right. Michel Roux made one in a documentary about Patisserie. It didn't had the cob web, but cone shape, and lots of caramel.

What's up with the celery/palm leaves bottom???

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTere

I don't know..... I think the "wreck" here looks better than the "what it should look like" photo. Just me then? Ok.

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJenerc

Lol I never have laughed so hard at this crook em busch cause that is thievery if they got paid for it lol.

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArlene Marie

I'm guessing it's been a while since the last 'good' Epcot, and things have been too quiet. Or else people's Epcotting skills have really declined, which would be truly sad a mark of societal progress.

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

You knew people who were going to correct your pronunciation weren't going to read that far. You just did it for the amusement of the rest of us. It worked.

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

I'm pretty sure the m is silent. It sounds like croquet-bouquet...or maybe it's crotch-bucket. I'm not sure...

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Miss Haversham's wedding obviously.

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterhotclaws

I'm pretty sure CROCK-you-EAM-butchy is "crunchy lactacting spider wasp" in French.
Whatever it means I wouldn't touch that mess of a wreck for anything.

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGA Cake Eater

Somewhere in the jungles of South America our intrepid explorers, searching for the lost temple of the Croakes, came across this! (Dramatic music and picture of palm leaf sitting Pile, covered with sticks and spiderwebs) An ancient Croake sacrifice!
Theories abound as to why the ancients left this sacrifice before completing the ritual of bouche filling. We may never know...
(Fade out)

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJake & Me

Semi-Homemade Sandra Lee made a cheap version of one of those things using donut holes. And believe it or not, it actually looked BETTER than those things up there. I don't think spun sugar is supposed to look like hair. Here's a Wikimedia Commons picture of a "proper" croquembouche cake:

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEAG46

Hilarious how many people corrected your obviously comedic French, even with the footnote. OY.

Keep up the dry sense of satire guys ;)

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

This one has always reminded me of something infected with The Thing. I think we need a flamethrower, STAT!

June 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterIsolder74

Oh, man, when those things hatch ...

June 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBegrant

Your pronunciation guide for "croquembouche" is very funny, but I think in this case, it's more important that all of us know how to pronounce "bleurgh" and "blech"! Do you have a phone number for a Nightmare Hotline, because we will probably need it aoon!

June 25, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermetoo

Croquembouche were something quite new to me until The Great British Bake Off tv show when they were asked to make one for the technical challenge. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (the judges) discussed what they were. I can assure you that they did not look like either the "correct" or wrecky versions. They were definitely more cone shaped and tall. They are choux buns filled with creme patisserie/cream etc and "glued together" with the caramel, rather than a monkey bread type recipe.

A quick google image search showed that not all contain spun sugar, and the spun sugar shouldn't look like the real or the wreck. However some of the best known British tv chefs have recipes with pictures for croquembouches that look more like a sad small pile of profiteroles!

The wreck is beyond words. Just disturbing with the random greenery poking out and weird cobwebby coating. Crock em butchery would be a good phrase (I'm not sure if it is just UK slang in which something is crocked if it is broken).

June 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterThe baking chemist

Wait, there is "green stuff" in between the choux puffs and the spun sugar! Ick!

Though ugly as hell, these are quite labor intensive and need to be made right before the event- you can't hold them in the fridge, as the humidity melts the caramel. And you can't hold them at room temputure for long, or the pastry cream will spoil. Not attractive, not particularly tasty, and very expensive.

June 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLadyKatey

Not only did I copy this cake (a friend got married on halloween and thought lactating spider-wasp cake sounded AWESOME), I managed to make it EVEN WORSE. (Thankfully, it was a labor of love and I was not paid, so it will hopefully never show up on CW). I dyed the caramel green, but not having done a croquembouche before, I was dipping and stacking, instead of dipping, cooling, then assembling. I ended up with basically a solid mass of green candy with smushed cream puffs inside. It was hideous. so bad.

June 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTracey C

The first thought that crossed my mind was "tent caterpillar"! Eughhhh

June 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSpazzy

so... why does Jen get capitalization, but john does now???? is he now "little john"?

[Editor's note- Hi Sarah. Since the beginning of the blog, I've always spelled my name with a lowercase: john (the hubby of Jen). It's my small way of showing that this is Jen's blog and I'm just here to support her. Hope that helps. john]

June 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

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