Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cake Writing 101: The Art of Spacing

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Alright, class, settle down. It's time to go over last week's pop quiz on inscription spacing, and I'm going to tell you all right now: I am not impressed. Laura? Are you here? Ah, there you are. Laura, would you be so kind as to tell the class just WHAT you were thinking when you made this cake?"


"What's that? You were trying to center the name? Well, emphasis on 'trying', huh? And I suppose it never occurred to that pretty little brain of yours to curve 'congratulations' - you know, like we covered in class just last week? Oh, do stop blubbering and take it like a decorator - geesh. They give me a bunch of pansies these days. Hey, where are you going? You get back in your seat, young lady!

"Alright, fine, since Laura would obviously rather blubber in the little girl's room, let's move on to Katie's cake."

"Katie, my blog is 3 column: why is your cake? Were you planning on pasting in some ads and a blog roll on the sides? No, you do NOT get extra credit for it being "almost" centered. What do I look like, a charity? Oh, and Katie? Do you happen to remember any of the three HUNDRED times I've lectured on the improper use of quotation marks? By that blank doe-eyed look you're giving me, I'd say no. Imbeciles. I am surrounded by imbeciles.

"Chris! Just where do you think you're trying to sneak off to, hm? Well, before you rush off, why don't we all take a look at your creation."


"Chris, congratulations. You managed to take a perfectly reasonable 3-line greeting and cram it into a beautifully centered 2-line inscription, and for no discernible reason. Bravo. Really.

"Now, what half-wit among you is responsible for this?"

"Sarah, I don't care how pretty it is, this is a class on spacing! Did you just get tired halfway through writing the name Brittany? Because that's what it looks like! And don't think I don't see those quotation marks, little missy, because I DO. Just for that, you get to wash all of today's piping tips - by hand.

"And lastly, Doug, against all odds yours was actually the best of the lot - although that's hardly saying much."


"Still, since you produced the least horrific example, you may leave early today. The rest of you, prepare to practice until carpal tunnel leaves your little hands as twisted as my wife's idea of 'fun'. Now mach schnell!"



Thanks to MR for the 1st photo. The rest I found all by myself. :)
Katie said...

I totally read the second one as "Happy Last Birthday".

Becky said...

I keep reading the third one as 'Sod bless you', haha. Not quite the same sentiment, there.

Anonymous said...

cool cake...
u don't need 2 know my name

The Hatter said...

Why do people make cake if they're going to do this? Why? It makes a little kitten cry everytime one of these is made.

And what the heck is with "quotation marks"? Is a sixteen birthday just a "theory" or a figment of your "imagination"?

Speaking of imagination, it takes a heck of a lot of it to think that what they wrote was acceptably centered.

-sigh- the future of cake decoration is bleak indeed.

the soliloquist said...

Okay,let me stop laughing first.
*wipes away tear*
Yes.Better.
This is one of the funniest blogs I've come across in a long time.Not merely sacastic/witty funny but also laugh-out-loud-till-you-can't-stop funny. And inevitably,I read through all your blogposts.The hilarious (and sometimes unbelievably ridiculous) cakes aside, I loved the way you write.Thank you and do keep posting. :)

Before this turns into an epic: I'll stop now, I think.

mMm said...

Does that second cake say 'Happy Last Birthday'?

Lindsay said...

I love you. Really, I do. You bring joy to my day.

Anonymous said...

I just ♥ this page, so funny! /Gunilla

CRUSTYBEEF said...

the last one seemed very kid friendly!! :)

Happy cake wrecking!

:),
Crusty~

Tracy said...

I am on the floor laughing (making it quite hard to type this comment!). Oh, my gosh... the pictures are funny, but the commentary is just hilarious!!! Thanks for the morning laugh!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy lost Birthday...??! LOL!

Zazzu said...

Love this blog!

Didn't it occur to these folks that they could just accept their limitations and buy those stick-on letters from the supermarket?

Really, when you screw up this badly, just scrape off the frosting letters and use fake ones.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

i really like the last cake LOL... it is the best of the lot today :)
Laura ~peach~

Morgan said...

Clearly, this was Brittany's "sixteenth" birthday.

Also, HAPPY BIRTHDYA made me laugh quite hard.

The Engelhardt 4 said...

The last one isn't TOO bad...as always it could be better too...

nixtress said...

In defense of Britt's cake maker, I decided this year that I will be 25 from now on, and my birthday greeting have been coming with quotes on the age. Maybe she's really turning 50 but wanted to be a teen again?

Lee Cahill, SAbookworm said...

I LOVE this site! I looked at every post, and each one was an absolute scream! This especially as I recently had a "cake wreck" experience myself - when ordering a cake for my 83-year-old aunt's birthday. I'll send a pic for your collecion - and I'll be back regularly to see the latest wrecks.

erin k said...

Perhaps "Congratulations & God" is a common greeting somewhere. Maybe?

No, I think not.

julieg319 said...

Shouldn't there be a law against these "decorators" being able to vote and reproduce. The more of these cakes that are found, the shallower the human gene pool appears to be.

Mary said...

i swear i had a teacher that spoke in that tone to the students.
funny stuff!

Jaywalker said...

Is it wrong that I really really want to join your Spacing 101 class? It is, isn't it.

Nants said...

May I humbly suggest that #2 and #4 tip the balance towards a new category "Gross Misuse of Spray"?

*Michelle said...

I like Nixtress' take on the "16" really being her 50th birthday. And I am with everyone else, I read the second one as saying Happy Last Birthday. Is it actually supposed to be 1st birthday?

marybindc said...

Not only do I see Happy Lost Birthday, but I can't even come up with what it's supposed to be!

Shay said...

I am laughing too hard to think of anything witty to say!

Anonymous said...

I read the second as "Happy Last Birthday", too. That's kind of morbid.
I really wanted to say, your dialog today had me choking on my coffee, I was laughing so hard.

Twistie said...

At least I'm not the only one who thought that one cake said 'happy last birthday.'

One does wonder what was going to be done with all that blank space on the three-column one. Perhaps Viagra didn't get back to them in time about purchasing the ad space.

LadyCiani said...

I also read that second cake as "Happy Last Birthday". Also, what is it wishing happy birthday to? A ship? a charity group? I can't figure out what the abbreviation stands for, but obviously it's in Chicago. Guess it's probably not a navy battle ship if it's in Lake Michigan.

Dea said...

OMG, love the commentary! What I don't get is the decorators finished, looked at the product, and said, yup, that'll do! Boxed it up, and away it went.

It's almost like when you see a person who obviously doesn't own a mirror walking around - you think to yourself, do THEY think that looks GOOD???

Ashley said...

I'm Pretty sure that this was the day the baker allowed the local preschool class to tour the bakery and help decorate the cakes. Picking up one of these cakes would be hilarious...a "what were you thinking" moment!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog.

But... please, please realize: some of these Wreck inscriptions are indeed requests.

I ask my customers to fill out an order form, and some of the inscriptions include:

Happy Birthday!!! Amanada!!!!

"Best Wishes!" Richie

50th Birthday Dad!!!

ConGRADulations

You did IT! Baby! [no, this was not a baby shower]

I used to call them, and ask, are you sure?

The response: "Whatever." Or, "It just doesn't matter."

(That cake you featured was a decorator's cry for help.)

So now, I stand there, piping bag fitted with my trusty #3 tip in hand, agonizing...is there, is there...a deeper meaning?

Then I give them what they want.

Persephone said...

This is hilarious!

Ruby Fuerza AKA Lucille Brawl said...

I def. had that 3rd cake at my First Communion....oh god!

Erin said...

If you ONLY GLANCE at the last one, it's totally fine.

Sarah said...

bwahahahahaha!! I love your blog. I really do.

joyce said...

On that first cake, what is the yellow icing spelling, Abley? Did they mean Ashley or Abby ?? Poor Abley. Your website is THE funniest.

NewsCat said...

This post made my day. Actualy laughter is so are to come by.

Jen said...

@ jaywalker:
Only if you consider sadomasochism "wrong". ;)

heartafire said...

Soliloquist, I'm with you!! I am seriously laughing/crying. And Hatter, though I know you'[re right that a kitten cries every time a cake like this is made, I still can't stop laughing.

I am so thankful for the day I discovered Cake Wrecks. I am always trolling the internet for laughs, but this is the TRULY funniest site I have seen in a long time. Not just funny/clever, but laughing out loud-even-though-I-am-alone-in-the-house to the point that tears are flowing...

Thanks so much, Cake Lady! (although, I have yet to see the cake I sent you via private email, which was DAMN funny)

And also, thanks to all the commenters....you just keep the fun going.

AlisonH said...

Anybody notice the congratulatisns to Craig and Steve?

jen shikami said...

When Laura gets back from weeping in the bathroom, be sure to scold her for using pastel yellow icing on a white cake, please.

MaryO said...

OMG! I see Happy LOST Birthday. Among other things. Too hysterical! I must stop laughing... I must, I must I must!
:-)

emilywilliams said...

I wish someone would offer me Congratulations and God. Or even Congratulations and Jesus. I'm really not that picky. Just jealous...

jennie said...

Okay, I know the class is about spacing, but I think that several of these students also need remedial help in knowing when not to use the airbrush.

Because, really, there are very few times that airbrushing makes icing look better. The airbrushing on these cakes merely makes it look like the colours are bleeding.

Sigh. I guess remedial airbrush avoidance isn't on the curriculum until next semester?

Aaron said...

I really wish #2 said "Happy Last Birthday." That would've just made my day. But it already looks so much like it, I'm sure it confused the people when they picked it up. They were probably wondering if the cake decorator knew something they didn't.

Michelle said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG! :)

Brooke said...

Let's not be so hard on Laura. After all, she just got this job at the sub-par grocery store Bakery yesterday, and her hair net keeps getting in the way.

Seriously, this is why I always prefer to pipe with chocolate. If you screw up, you just pop the cake in the fridge til it hardens, then scrape it up and start over. Plus, it's chocolate. It tastes better than shortening and food coloring. Some decorators don't understand that this thing they're making is supposed to be eaten.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but a retraction is in order. The use of quotations around the 16 was accurate and appropriate. The missing bit of information is that "Britt" is a Chinese gymnast...

Lisa said...

Great cakes!! TOO funny. I love the improper use of quotation marks.

Leo (Healthy Tips For A Healthy Lifestyle) said...

Hahahaha!! Funny cakes!!!
I do think the last one is OKAY though. :-)

Joy said...

That's just sad, why bother!

Anonymous said...

You forget to mention all the gratuitous inappropriate quotes!

Kacey said...

Just sent you another cake wreck!
Love the site.

Tamlynn said...

"Were you planning on pasting in some ads and a blog roll on the sides?" is the funniest line in this post. Although I admit I had to read it twice before I got it.

And roflmbo to anonymous at 4:03 pm for the Chinese gymnast crack.

Anonymous said...

My "sweet" 16 was a bit on the crappy side, so I fully intend to have a sweet "16" party once I move out on my own and get the money together.

Kitty Shepherd said...

This truely is one of the funniest blogs I have ever read. I went through 6 sheets of really absobant kitchen towel reading it right to the end. I have linked you on my blog I hope everyone reads it. You should see the cakes we have here in Spain I will travel with my camera in future, you just wouldn't beleive how over the top they go! (keep posting)

Elvira said...

Dear Jen: You have inspired me to put quotation marks on my next "29th" Birthday cake. I'm not like Britt. No way could I pass for "16" anymore.
I
Love
your
blog

emilywilliams said...

anoyomous @ 4:03: you officially just got me fired for disrupting the peace of the workplace. kudos.

Silvia said...

haha, your writting just makes the post perfect! you are so funny.

Katie said...

So what's up with the flesh-colored icing on the last one? A bit nasty, dontcha think?

Riley said...

Does Katie's cake really say "Happy LAST Birthday?"

Katie Killary said...

lol Cake Type Critiquing

Lady Di said...

Hahlarious

Canaduck said...

...wow.

Why? How?

Stephanie said...

Oh the airbrushing! I hate to see the two-tone border done with an airbrush because it bleeds onto the surface of the cake. It's so easy to frost two-tone borders! You just throw one color on one side of the frosting bag and then put another color in the other half. The border is usually much more interesting when done this way too.

Great post. I love your blog. It's nice to find a blog about these kind of silly mistakes that doesn't aim to hurt or offend. It's so easy to be mean on the internet. Wreck on! I'll have to go through my photos and see if I can find any photos of the wrecks I made and sold. I made some good ones when I was learning.

talking_soda_pop said...

I definitely read "Happy Last Birthday" too, which makes for a rather ominous cake.

Britt said...

My name is Brittany, but I totally prefer that new people I meet call me 'Britt'. The biggest problem is that 'Brittany' has three syllables, but everyone shortens it to two. That's where I get annoyed.

'Hi, my name is Brittany!'

'BRITNEE?'

'... no'

... And I totally crashed the party with this comment, sry2say.

bionelly said...

Britt- I don't think the problem with that cake is so much that the name was shortened to Britt, but that the way it's spaced, it looks like there was supposed to be more there that was left out. I would guess that the decorator started out writing Brittany, but realized halfway through that it was actually supposed to be Britt, so they stopped and left a big blank spot where they were planning to put the "any".

Anonymous said...

Allow me to break down the fourth wall here.....

Sometimes the people who get asked to write on the cakes aren't cake decorators. If you want your cake to look professionally written on, don't go into a grocery store bakery after 4pm and ask for it. That's why this type of thing happens...it can be more difficult to do than it looks.

Sarah said...

Honestly, some of these comments are kind of harsh. I worked at a bakery for almost a year and after only a few weeks they had me write on cakes! No professional training or anything! Sometimes, yes the cakes do come out like that, but don't think it's on purpose. Every time I messed up on cake writing I panicked and would feel so guilty as I held out the cake for the customer to see it, and see that apparent look of disappointment and regret on their face. I have to admit though, some of these are terrible and I certainly hope that the these people asked for their money back in some cases! They deserve it! Lol.

stephenÆ’agger said...

This blog is ridiculously funny!!!!!!
The Sweet "16" Britt one is undoubtedly my favorite, and LOL to whoever made the Viagra ad space joke on the 3-column cake.

ss said...

Here is the source for the "Last Birthday" (which apparently actually IS supposed to be "1st"):

http://www.sethskim.com/2007/10/a_joyfilled_weekend.html

So the recipient is "HMCC of Chicago" (funny-looking "f" in "of", but ok). HMCC apparently stands for "Harvest Mission Community Church".

ultraviolet_77 said...

*spit take*

This made me laugh extra-hard, as my favourite chef in culinary school used to sneak up behind us and shout 'schnell'! (funny if you've read Anthony Bourdains' books).

I *love* this blog, and rely on it for constant reminders what exalted heights and plummeting lows the art of cake decorating can achieve. Thanks so much for creating it!!

Skylar said...

I think it said "1st" birthday..

I read it as last and lost too though!

Anonymous said...

So, no one else saw Hoppy Lost Birthday, huh? Just me? OK.

Mollie said...

I LOVE this! I saw a girl at a local grocery store bakery lick her icing bag tip while decorating the other day, it's not hard to see how cakes like this happen.

And I also read it "happy last birthday" and wondered what kind of celebration it could be...

Cupcakes Lady said...

Happy Last Birthday - lol...maybe they were sending a message. Beware! ha xx