Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Going to the Dogs, Continued

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

As promised, today's parade of cakey canines features the icing-drowned cupcake pups, which in my opinion ride dangerously close to the whole cupcake-cake-concept, and are therefore worthy of all the condemnation we can heap on them. But, I digress.

First up, a creation that looks more like a doggy end-product than a dog:

That's the side view. If you're thinking it will be more recognizable from the front...

Think again. Oh, and don't you love all the effort put into decorating the cake board? Somebody's shootin' for the stars.

This one's not bad, other than the fact that it's neon pink, worried-looking, and apparently vomiting sprinkles. Huh. Come to think of it, that last bit might explain the first two issues (although then neon green would be more appropriate).

Here's my favorite: the pooch's face has slid completely off his head and onto the board! I'm guessing the decorator added those paw prints after a few customers asked why the store was selling misshapen icing ploops on a board. (Yes, "ploops". I find it to be an apt description.)

Now there's a face only a mother could love. (And only a decorator could recognize, for that matter. Seriously, would you know this thing was supposed to be a dog?)

Thanks to Wreck-Wranglers Megan S., P.R., and Kristin!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Media Bullseye Interview

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hey Everyone!

Hard as this is to believe, I was asked recently to do another interview - this time a short n' sweet Five Questions segment over on Media Bullseye. Click here to check it out.

If you do read the interview, though, don't let my number of submissions stop you from sending in your own Wreck photos. Believe me, I can never have too many Wrecks, so keep 'em comin'! And thanks to all of you for helping to make Cake Wrecks such a success: you guys continue to amaze me with your general awesomeness.

Y'all wreck on now, y'hear?

- Jen

Going to the Dogs

For some reason canine cakes seem to be all the rage these days, particularly in grocery-store bakeries. Now, I don't want to get down on these decorators too much, considering that a) they are usually over-worked and under-trained, and b) they outnumber me significantly. That said, you'd think that whoever was in charge of this kind of thing would have known that these doggy designs were a little, shall we say, beyond this group's collective skill set?

For example, here's the picture you order from:

And here's what you get:

Niiice. See, you can tell it's the exact same cake you ordered, 'cuz it has that red loopy bow sticking out of its head. I particularly like the oozing eye. Plus, that red "collar" looks a lot more like a gushing cranial wound - ditto for the "tongue".

I guess this one's a little better:

But it still looks more like a dirty mop-head with a face drawn on than a dog. Where are the legs? The ears? The neck? Also, if you're going to have a cake like this, why oh why would you stick candles in the poor pooch's back? He looks like he's been the target of sky-diving archers.

Also in vogue are the tiny cupcake pups, ala Miss Love-You-1.000-Time. These are already wrecktastic in concept, given that there are only 2 cupcakes underneath the deluge of frosting, but the execution just makes 'em that much better. Check back tomorrow for those; this post is officially "to be continued"!

Many thanks to Fawn R. & Monique R. for submitting the "dogs".

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Sweets to Make Henson Proud

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I have a huge statue of Kermit the Frog occupying the corner of my desk. It has light-up fireflies behind Kermit and plays the Rainbow Connection. I love it.

I mention this by way of introduction to today's featured NON-Wreck, made by Heather Haynes of Clarksville, Indiana:

Yes, it's all the characters from the Muppet Show, modeled in fondant, on cake.


The Electric Mayhem is looking mighty groovy.

And I love Camilla the chicken. Say, have I mentioned that my hubby John does a fantastic Swedish Chef impersonation? Seriously. If you ever meet him, ask him to say "Bork bork bork" for you. It's downright uncanny.

Of course a Muppet Show cake would never be complete without their in-house peanut gallery, Statler and Waldorf. Still, I'm guessing even those two curmudgeons wouldn't find a thing to complain about on this sweet creation.

I don't have any info on baker Heather; I only know this cake won the blue ribbon at the 2007 Kentucky State Fair. If anyone has more info or a website for her, be sure to let me know.

Also, there's a nice slide show of these and more photos here. Thanks to all of you readers who sent in the link!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Adding Insult to Injury

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Poor Roxy. Not only did she have a sprained wrist on her birthday, but the cookie cake her friend Sarah purchased to cheer her up looked like...well, this:

Apparently this cookie place has a strict one-do-over-per-cookie policy, so "happy" was scraped off and redone, but "birtday" was left as is. That yellow powdery pile in a vaguely star-like shape is a nice addition, though.

Roxy, I'm not sure if you're giving this Wreck the thumbs up or if your injury prevents you from giving it the finger, but either way I hope a little cakey fame will help heal the hurts. Plus, I suppose it could've been worse: you might have received a Wreck while in the hospital.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Great Cupcake Cake Debate Continues

Friday, September 26, 2008


Apparently last week's post in which I 'fessed up to my cupcake cake aversion hit a nerve. Or, a hundred nerves. Yep, my inbox has been inundated with e-mails both defending the hapless creation and joining me on the side of decency and real cakes.

(And just to be clear: I have no problems with cupcakes. C'mon: mini cakes you don't have to share? What's not to like? No, it's only when you cram a bunch of them together and slop on a gallon of icing to make a smooth surface that my eyelid begins to twitch uncontrollably. Ok? So, to sum up: cupcakes good, cupcake cakes baaaad.)

The best part about all this public outcry, however, are the photos you guys have sent in supposed "defense" of cupcake cakes. Many of them are so bad I can only hope you guys are being sarcastic, 'cuz if not, daaaang.

An example:

If this looks familiar, it should: it's what the Ojai cupcake cake was supposed to look like. However, looking at it you can see that Ojai actually wasn't that far off the mark; I guess "shiny poo souffle" must be on the spec sheet.

Then there's this one:

Which I don't think is professionally done, but I am assured is still a "good" CCC.

These baffling creations, however, are professionally made:

But I don't get it. I guess the mounds made into animals are the cupcakes? Considering how messy that would be to serve, though, why not go with a real cake? Plus, that only serves 9 I'll-just-have-a-tiny-piece people, or 3 kids - which is hardly worth the effort.

And here a decorator traded in the neon french fries for a bad airbrush job:

Now granted, these are not the worst cupcake cakes I've seen - not by a long shot - but keep in mind that all of the above were sent in as examples of "good" cupcake cakes, people. As in, seeing these should make me change my mind and start liking CCCs. This goes to show two things:

1) Readers L.G., Callie C., Michelle M., and Valerie M. are sweet people who undoubtedly see the best in everyone, and

2) anything e-mailed to Cake Wrecks is fair game. Just sayin'.

The CCC indecency is spreading, too: check out this article in a recent issue of Family Fun sent in by Jess T. & Kelli:

"An easier way to decorate cupcakes"?!? That thing looks more like a radioactive zombie cloud than a pumpkin!

Of course now I know I have to throw some "good" cupcakes cake examples in here, if for no other reason than to prevent another tidal wave of angry pro-CCC e-mails. Let's see here...

Well, due to the confusion over whether or not I was vilifying all cupcakes, about a billion of you sent in these iPhone cupcakes:

Which are cute, but don't count; they're separate cakes and therefore Jen-approved.

Ok, we still need a "good" cupcake cake. (Yes, the "good" will always be in quotation marks.)
Hm. Ah, here ya go:

There's the ticket: draw the design inside the edges, thereby avoiding the scalloped look. Bravo, Carrie S.; you found a "good" one!

And Katie S.'s is still scalloped, but nicely done:

So there are two exceptions that prove the rule. I still maintain, however, that anything a cupcake cake can do:

A real cake can do better:


The floor is now open. Discuss.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Any Occasion Will Do

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm the type who thinks cakes are good for any occasion. Apparently, so are the people who ordered these:

After all, how often do you get to congratulate someone on "completeing" their jail sentence?

Wow, that often? Ok, never mind.

(Say, are those orange things supposed to be flowers or carrots? Either way, I'd be sorely tempted to stick some plastic babies on them.)

Alright, for those of you who are being congratulated: make sure you always thank the ones with the fat checkbooks.

Yay appropriate quotation marks! And thank goodness the decorator didn't choose to take a more literal approach to a cake celebrating potty-training.

Pete and Pete's lady, this one's for you:

Frozen peas only go so far,
So Ladies, here's a tip:
Be sure to buy your man a cake
When he gets the ol' snip-snip!

Yeah, I know: I missed my calling as a traveling troubadour.

Thanks to Wreckporters Monique R., Kyla S., and Stephanie P.!

Also, in the interests of full disclosure: the Bail cake was a gag. The others are legit, as far as I know.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Youngest Wreckporter

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Now let's kick it over to our newest Wrecks correspondent Violet, who is currently on location at her sister Ruby's third birthday party. Violet?"

"Jen, I'm sitting here in witness to the worst Wreck I've seen in my admittedly young life. Take a look at the disaster area left behind by what could only be called a Disney Princess Explosion.

"As you can see, there is airbrushing, hearts, garland, blobbular "rosebuds", and green leaves growing UP the "waterfall" - not to mention the fact that you have to clear off all the toys before you can even cut the thing! And don't get me started on those three '3' candles - I may only be 10 months old, but even I know that math doesn't add up."

"Wow, Violet, isn't that kind of harsh? I mean, the colors are pretty."

"Pretty? Pretty?!? Obviously you aren't seeing the matching Princess plates, napkins, cups, giftwrap... Do you see this hat I'm wearing, Jen?"

"I think it's Tinkerbell."

"No, it's a representation of the blatant over-commercialization that is running rampant in our society, that's what it is. Would you like to hear my dissertation on the breaking down of social conventions by the media barons?"

"Oh, look at the time! Sorry Violet, but we need to wrap this up."

"No problem; time for my nap anyway. Hey, Mom! Guess who needs a fresh diaper? Eh? Hey, what is that? Oh heck no, I am NOT wearing a Princess themed diaper! No, absolutely not! You're making a mockery of my beliefs, woman! Get that away from me!"

"That was Violet, my youngest Wreckporter, folks!"

Cassie F. (aka Mom), don't worry; she'll love that hat by the time she turns 3.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Why We Need More Male Cake Decorators

Monday, September 22, 2008

Apparently this is supposed to look like a baseball field. For those of you who don't see a problem with it, do like I did and go ask your husband. (Or if you're at work, that annoying guy a few cubicles over who starts every conversation with "Dude, did you see the game last night?".)

Of course, if baseball fields were laid out this way, I bet the sport would be a lot more interesting. You know, in a Funniest-Home-Videos kind of way.

Further evidence of female involvement: that lace doily under the cake. I'm pretty sure no guy would feel the urge to "pretty up" the cake board - or for that matter, add an airbrushed red stripe on the side. What's that for, anyway?

MaryAnn C., I would say this is a home run, but on this cake you just can't do that. (The home run, that is.)

NOTE: Yeah, yeah, I know not all women are clueless about sports, just like I know there are probably guys out there who wouldn't know a baseball field isn't laid out in a giant 'X'. I simply choose not to acknowledge those people.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Sweets: Cake Journal

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Today's Sweets are brought to you by Louise over at Cake Journal, a blog out of Denmark. I've been a fan of her work for some time now, quite simply because she makes gorgeous cakes. Her designs are simple, graphic, and flawless. These two are my favorites:

The sprinkles! The cherry! I love everything about this cake, from the colors to the cartoony angles. (If you check out her site, this is the cake used for her logo, too.)

This cake won the audience vote for Best Novelty Cake at this year's Scandinavian Cake Show. It is absolute perfection; you should go to her site to see the close-ups.

Louise, thanks for all the inspiration!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dead Men May Tell No Tales, But Wrecked Cakes Sure Do.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Avast, ye lily livered lubbers! Did ye not know it's Talk Like a Pirate Day?

Now raise yer mugs to winsome wench Kia M., whose bilge-water Wreck here is evidence of some focsal swab drinking up and yo-ho'ing a bit too much while on duty. Mayhaps this is why the rum is always gone, eh, maties?

That sea-sick writing and algae-ridden muck creeping up the sides should earn some scurvy swabbie a one-way ticket to Davy Jones' locker - and seriously, what self-respecting pirate keeps giant yellow inflatable flotation devices onboard? It's totally messing with the color scheme, and don't get me started on that neon "rave" ladder...er...wait, I mean...Arrrr! Yellow bad!

Shiver me soul, I'm running out of pirate lingo, me 'arties. I best be gettin' back to the Pirate ride over at Disney for a refresher course.

Mixed Signals

Some cakes are hard to read, and for once I'm not talking about the handwriting:

A screaming baby paired with "congratulations"? Ah, that's subtle sarcasm at its snarky finest.

Here's a tip gleaned from years of family reunions: the second Mrs. Klass asks "What's that supposed to mean?", it's time to leave. Trust me.

Of course some cakes are more subtle, like this one:

"We'll wish you luck, but we don't have to be happy about it."

Or just baffling, like this one:

I'm not sure if this guy is supposed to look afraid of being eaten, disapproving, or in pain from his "shades" melting onto his face. Say, there's a bit of unintentional ironic realism for you: sunglasses melted onto the face of the sun. Heh.

If Mr. Future's-So-Bright's feelings are ambivalent, though, these cookies are clearly ticked off:

Poor angry cookies. At least their pain is my sugary gain - and I get the added bonus of talking smack to my food. "What, you lookin' at me, punks? Huh? How's about I drown you in some milk before biting your heads off, then? Yeah, not so puffed up now, are you, tough guys?"

And finally [smirk],

All that black - and black roses, no less! - makes this look more like a final retirement cake, if you catch my drift. It gets double Wreck points for the "Retiremet" misspelling, too.

Brittany M., Elizabeth G., Jessica C., Linda N., Monique R., and Jill C., many "thanks".

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wrecks Takes a Field Trip

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Today, class, we're going to see an example of how other sugary foods can become Wrecks.

Here we have what looks at first glance to be a perfectly normal hamburger:

But check out the description sent to me by the "architectural foodsmiths" over at Bompas & Parr:

"The burger, known as the Monnow Valley Burger, is comprised of a hamburger patty with two slices of melted cheese, tomatoes, secret sauce and onions sandwiched inside a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed donut and garnished with a slice of gherkin. The Monnow Valley Burger contains up to 1000 calories and 45 grams of fat."


This is nuts! I mean, c'mon, "architectural foodsmiths"? They stick a Whopper in a Krispy Kreme, and they get to call themselves "architectural foodsmiths"? Really?

I guess in their defense, they also created this snazzy little number:

That's pork and tomatoes under that sugary-sprinkled donut shell, my friends. Awww yeeeah.

Now that I've whet your appetites, I'm sure you're demanding to know just where you can procure one of these culinary delights. Well, if you live across the pond you're in luck: they debut this Saturday, September 20th, at the Abergavenny Food Festival in Britain.

And here's the kicker: Bompas & Parr are billing the Monnow Valley Drive-Thru where the burgers are served as "the ultimate American eating and entertainment experience". So going by their press release, the "ultimate American experience" equals hotdog-eating-contests, theater performances in which the actors are dressed as "a flock of burgers", screenings of the movie Pulp Fiction, and of course thousand-calorie-donut-burgers.

Wow. So much to be offended by, so little time.

Actually, I'm kind of torn: this could in fact be brilliant satire, considering our American love-affair with gut-busting fast food and general idiocy. I mean, the show "Flavor of Love" alone should by all rights get us kicked back into the Stone Age, so if donut-burgers and hotdog-eating-contests are the Brits' way of poking fun, huzzah and well played. If, on the other hand, they honestly think Pulp Fiction and prancing flocks of burgers epitomizes US culture, then let me be the first to remind Bompas & Parr that we Americans may be fat, and have questionable taste in entertainment, but we can occasionally tell when we're being insulted. And furthermore, we don't like it very much. (Being insulted, I mean; not the other stuff.)

So there.

Many thanks to Bompas & Parr for the photos and info. Guys, I don't know if I should shake your hands or slap your faces. Maybe you should send me some of those donut burgers so I can make an informed decision.

And as for the rest of you: field trip over! We continue with our regularly scheduled Cake Wrecks tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's in a Name?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And that's how embarrassing nicknames are born, boys and girls! (There's one for the scrapbook, eh, Beth S.?)

Well, Gabe Z., you have to admit that "Jason" is a really rare and hard-to-spell name - especially here in the U.S.

I suppose if the baby had been named Joey, or if this was a shower for a baby kangaroo, the inscription would have been fine. Unfortunately, neither of those was the case.

On an unrelated note: I totally want to reach into the picture and rip off those silly plastic balloons. And on an even more unrelated note: is that a chicken foot in the upper right-hand corner? What the heck, Leah T.?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cupcake Cakes: Always Wrecktastic. Always.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I've recently been accused of hatin' on the cupcake cakes. Alright, you got me: I guess I can't hide the truth any longer, and it's time for me to come clean. [sigh] Ok, here goes:

Hi, my name is Jen, and I hate cupcake cakes.

Why? 'Cuz they're ugly.

Don't believe me? Keep reading.

For Shara's birthday her son asked the baker to make a "happy monkey cake" ala Curious George. Now, as a reminder for those of us who haven't watched Saturday morning cartoons in a while, here's what Curious George looks like:

And here's what Shara got for her birthday cake:

So apparently what the decorator heard was "Curious George after he's been flattened by a cement truck". That, or maybe he/she was going for an homage to Teen Wolf:

After he was flattened by a cement truck.

Yes, I understand that in concept these things are great: no clean-up, equal portions, blah blah blah, but in execution I've yet to see a nice one that wouldn't give you blue poo.

Wait - I have to take that back. If you happen to want a skinned Spiderman face, then you're going to love Alyson B.'s birthday cake:

All it's missing are little pegs holding down the edges of his mask. (Yeah, let's call it a mask; that's less disturbing than "face skin".)

Or how about this appetizing little number?

According to Mei L., this is supposed to say "Ojai! It's worth the drive!". Now, I would love to ask what the heck "Ojai" is, but I'm way too distracted by the poo souffle on the bottom. Honestly, this thing is in serious competition with the moldy camo cake in my "dry-heave-inducing" category.

What's that? You're still not convinced that cupcake-cakes are always wreckalicious? Oh, I get it: you're saying these designs have been too complicated, right? That a simpler design would look better?

Something, for example, like this?

Ah, you're right. This IS better. I mean, "round" is a concept obviously beyond the decorator's grasp, but at least she stuck with plain white frosting. Nik P. was the manager on duty at the bakery where this was ordered (and subsequently rejected). He writes, "As the manager on duty, I immediately took the appropriate action: I took a picture to post on the internet."

I like your thinking, Nik.

Have I convinced you yet? No? Ok, my last argument, at least for today's post:

Monique R. sent in this "creative" gem taken by Jen S. You can see that Pokey's head was obviously tacked on as an afterthought: it's not even on the cake board. Plus, the angle of his face makes it look like someone twisted his unnaturally long neck 180 degrees; last I checked, turtles don't walk around facing the sky. From the giant American flag he's resting on, I would assume this was taken around the 4th of July or Memorial Day, both holidays known for their inclusion of... turtles. Erm. Yeah.

Come to the Cupcake-Cake-Hating-Side. We have real cakes.