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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

Bride/Baker Communication 101

Most brides think that bringing in a photo of their dream wedding cake will help clarify for their bakers what it is that they want and expect on their big day.

[shaking head] Those sweet, silly girls.

In reality, these photos are more like "guidelines." A springboard, if you will, from which the baker may or may not spring - and then into heretofore unheard-of realms of artistic "expression."

Perhaps some examples will help.


Bride Laurie S. asked for this cake, only in ivory and with blue flowers instead of white:

(Photo & cake by Martha Stewart)


Instead, she got this:

"It's boxy, and it's blue and white. What more do you want?"


Kirstie also wanted a cascading floral design, like this:


Which her baker recreated pretty well, except for one key detail:

S/he used real flowers instead of sugar ones.

Once the petals shriveled, Kirstie's cake design became less "cascading flowers" and more "attacking butterflies." Which isn't horrible, I suppose, but it is kind of hard to resist the urge to flap your arms and shoo them off.

(Note: The silver thing is their topper, which the baker laid flat instead of standing up. Or maybe the butterflies just knocked it over. :D)


Sharon L. wanted this gorgeous topsy-turvy design:

(Made by Lisa's Creative Cakes - and I totally want one.)

...only in 3 tiers and using her colors of fuchsia, orange, and lime.

Her baker's interpretation?

Remember that springboard I mentioned? Well, some are a LOT springier than others.


And finally, this bride wanted her seashell-themed cake to rise to new heights:


Instead, she got one that was apparently dropped from great heights:

Think it was served with a pancake dinner?




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Reader Comments (16)

OH, NO! They're holding the knife wrong in that second last one; It should be more Anthony Perkins/Psycho style.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShirley

That topsy-turvy cake isn't quite turvy enough. It simply looks as if the baker didn't bother to level cake. Although, come to think of it. . .

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLady Anne

The bottom tier of that poor bride's topsy-turvy cake (my phone wants to call it a "tipsy turvy cake," and it may be right) looks like it's gonna collapse if you look at it too hard.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJecca

What is wrong with these bakers?! IF they can't do the job, just say so and give the bride the option to tone it down or find another baker. Why ruin the one special day of someone's life?

We went though similar with our baker but not this bad. We supplied pictures and figurines and she yessed us to death and instead of decorating our cake, she printed the pics we gave her and put them on all sides of the cake with all figurines on top. sigh. Luckily we were able to pipe cream in ways to make it look acceptable. But goodness those above are disasters!!

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKarenMarie

#8 Suddenly, the cake turned slowly and stared at Janet during the entire wedding dinner.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAl the K

Kirstie's cake is one of the best wrecks ive seen! -- that is to say that its hardly wrecked at all!

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterZoe

That first one... I happen to like Brutalist architecture. It never occurred to me, though, that there could be a Brutalist cake.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

Oh, my! The third from last? Can someone PLEASE tell the couple to put the knife down, and take the cake off of the poor ballerina who's been crushed under the weight of that three tiered tutu totem?

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered Commentersendingtheclowns

I've been around here long enough to think to myself, "Those could be soooo much worse!" Until the last one. The only way to make that one worse is to add empty beer cans and a couple of taxidermied squirrels. (If you haven't seen either of the beauties I'm referencing, stand by. There is NO WAY these two aren't going to show up this year in the parade of the worst-of-the-worst.)

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAngelaS

Forgive the naïveté, do these bakes not have photos of their own actual work? I mean, I'm all for bringing in a picture but I want some examples of skill before I write the check!

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Whenever I look at all these wedding wrecks, I can't help but thinking of the poor bride showing her wedding's pictures and having to explain the story behind the cake, and then the baker who thought she/he was capable of handling the request, which brings another thought to my mind: Before entering the cake decoration bussines, did these people assesed if they had the skills? Because some of these have serious flaws: lack of basic sense of proportion, how to get to a certain color, etc. If I had to judge the entire baking community based on Cakewrecks, I'd say they either overrate their skills or can't say no to a customer.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMaría

I think that you're getting a little loose with the term "wreck". That second one doesn't even look bad, the tiers all look nicely stacked and frosted, it's not falling over. I think the fact that they didn't make the sugar flowers as requested was stupid but it doesn't look horrible. And the topper situation could be easily fixed. I know as a professional baker if I saw my cake on here for something so silly I'd be pissed.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Remember cake buyers, the things you want on a guidelines, you shouldn't expect adherence.

August 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNathan R.

I want to know if $2K+ checks got cashed, and then the wrecks got made...


It's $500 + design concessions + baker with minimal skills trying to pull off a miracle.

Tip: if you want something like those show piece Pinterest cakes, and the baker low balls the price. Just leave. Instead of a beautiful cake done with skill and care, you'll get a falling apart messy nightmare for your $500.

August 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFordPrefect313

Well I certainly would take a nice long vacation after giving the brides these cakes. They are sure to never find you far, far away lol.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArlene Marie

I think some people are underestimating exactly how wrecked that second one is. They didn't just wreck it aesthetically but wrecked its edibility as well and since wedding cakes are ultimately supposed to be eaten, that's a pretty big deal. Using real, dying flower petals will significantly effect the taste and texture of the cake. It could also prove to be an allergen that no one considered because no one expected real flower petals on the cake.
I would honestly consider that to be one of the worst wrecks I've seen here because it isn't just ugly or not what was asked for, it might be inedible to some/many/all of the guests or the happy couple. I'd rather have to deal with a visually unappealing cake than one that tastes terrible or might make my friends sick.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTifa

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