Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Cherry (Blossoms) On Top

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

One of the hottest new trends in weddings today is the cherry blossom wedding cake:

This elegant design not only looks beautiful, but is a cinch to make, too! In fact, here are a few tips to ensure your own cherry blossom cake looks as gorgeous as this.

First, always make sure your icing is niiiice and smooth.

It helps if you lick your fingers first, so they slide smoothly over the icing.

Next, mold or pipe your branches to gracefully scale the tiers of your cake in a natural, realistic fashion.

I know it's hard to believe but, yes, that's really just icing.

Remember, the flowers are the most important part!

[Crickets chirping]

It's usually best to leave off a wedding topper for this style, but if you do choose to have one, make sure it's simple, understated, and elegant.

Note the baker's restraint. Not a single balloon animal!

And finally, when all else fails, remember:

You can always jam a stick in it and charge $200.

(Yes, this was someone's actual wedding cake.)

(And they
paid for it.)

(With
money.)

Leanne W., Danielle L., Moxie, Holly J., and Robert V. did you know you can make a forty dollar cake look like a 500 dollar cake with just some cookies and sprinkles? Just imagine what you could charge if you jammed a stick in it!

- Related Wreckage: Wedding Day Advice
Kirstie Rulka said...

No!!!!!! I actually groaned out loud twice! poor brides.

Wildroses said...

Number one made me sad. The flowers were actually nice, if only the icing behind them had been better...

I liked number two in spite of the crazy lines. XD

The last one... tell me they didn't pay 200 dollars for it. Please?

Jenniffer said...

Oh snap! Those are some HORRIBLE cakes!!

One comment I have about wedding toppers - I ask every bride if they will have a topper and most say "Oh No" and then I deliver the cake to the venue and sometimes, just sometimes, there sits this god-awful topper that doesn't match the cake design at all with the instructions "Please put this on the cake".

Just sayin'... toppers are not always the baker's fault ;o)

WV: wershall - Those cakes just kept getting wershall and wershall

Tigerwolf said...

First, always make sure your icing is niiiice and smooth.

Hey Jen, I’m pretty sure “nice” is spelled with just one “i”.

^..^

:D

BB said...

Long time reader, first time commenter. Just forwarded this blog to a friend who LOVES it!

The first one is the WORST. I mean you need a magnifying glass to see most of those flowers.. what's the point.. it looks like the flowers are dying.

-BB
http://bb-myjourney.blogspot.com/

Sharla said...

The second and third wreck look like Dr. Seuss tree cakes!

thesacredandtheprofane said...

I'm sure someone will have already pointed this out, but the flowers on the loverly green cake? Not cherry blossoms. I'm not a botanist, but I'm pretty sure orchids don't count.

Christa said...

I had a little nut tree nothing would it bare...

Julie said...

Why is there a snake draped across disaster #3?

Never mind, I think I just answered my own question...

WV: loger.... The loger I look at these, the more questions I have.

Natballs said...

hahahahha "you can always jam in a stick and charge $200"

cakesforLeah said...

I'm not sure what is worse on the green cake (3rd one down)-the fact that the brown branches are running (gross) or the big copyright over the picture (please don't try to pass this work of art off as your own).

Nitrocat said...

Poo, butterflies and a groom with faerie wings...what's not to love?

Jimh. said...

I love it: "with money!" You guys are simply awesome!

katrotta said...

When in doubt and you can't smooth out your buttercream you must either use a comb on iy or cover it with fondant..

Anonymous said...

yes, what's with the fairy bride and groom?

knitorpurl said...

The wedding wrecks always fascinate me- someone knew this was someone's wedding and brought these monstrosities.

Were they proud of this cake? Did they know it was a wreck when they delivered it? It just boggles the mind.

ccinnkeeper said...

One of the funniest posts you've done, this provided a much-needed laugh this morning. Thanks Jen!

mitushi said...

SOMEONE paid for that last cake. My 7 yrd old son can frost better. The icing is spotchy, the branches a joke.

Jasry said...

When you look close at the cake-topper one, the cake is beautifully embossed, and it's actually a pretty cake. *shakes head* Some people just don't know when to stop....

Linda said...

LOL "Jam a stick in it"...LOL
and what is so hard about smoothing that icing??? I feel bad for the brides that actually paid real money for these!

Trevor said...

I appreciate this post, Jen. No, seriously for once. :) I have a cherry blossom wedding cake due next year, and these tips are very helpful for me. I'll be coming back to this page when the time coems for me to decorate.

Gary said...

Most of these would look better if you just jammed a stick in them.

... Going outside to look for a good stick now ...

Michelle said...

I heart you John and Jen!!

PetalsYoga said...

Vines, branches, it's all the same right?

Great blog post as always. You make my day, every day!

DeAnn said...

The 4th one is sad--it would have been decent without the flotsam on the top.

Anonymous said...

I am tearing up a little. (Tiering up?) Either way.

Anonymous said...

The 5th wreck looks like a deformed Truffula cake.
Dr. Seuss would not be pleased.

Mocking

Anonymous said...

Oh my god. If someone sold me an unedible lump of iced flour with a stick in it I'd have to beat them to death. I'm definitely making my own wedding cake!

Andy said...

Most of these "different from the picture" wrecks seem to stem from cake decorators trying to do things in butter cream and royal icing that are clearly intended for fondant. I can't tell for sure, because my monitor is bad, but it looks like it's pretty much all fondant, even the branches are cut-out fondant shapes.

ioyces said...

noooooooooooooo............the last one.......was soooo tragic.....!!!!!

Wonder Kat! said...

I think that if those cakes showed up at my wedding, I would immeditately smash the cake and serve it like that. It all taste the same in the end.

b said...

I am unashamed to say that I like the green one with the unrealistic branches. I like the twisty, Seussianesque vibe without it being busy.

WV: phooexp - the sound made whenever a CW reader sees a CCC.

Terry Lee said...

the topper's bride and groom have wings?!?! what the what?!

the last cake reminds me of a church lady i used to know, who wore hats that look just like that cake ... with ribbons and flowers sticking out of it. we called her the hat lady.

good times.

JHill said...

I always feel so bad with these wedding cake wrecks. Makes me glad we just had a tiny cake and a dessert buffet at my wedding!

Lorraine said...

Oh my. Dreadful!

Flartus said...

Oh, bad bridal cakes are my favorites! Maybe 'cause I never have to worry about being saddled with one, but how can you POSSIBLY bring yourself to pay hundreds of dollars for this kind of crapola?

I'd rather run to WalMart for a sheet cake and sprinkle flower petals on it myself, if it came to that.

duffylou said...

wreck #3 looks like lava flow downing trees in it's path.

love your comments. always make me snort!

Ms Avery said...

The first cake is so beautiful, it just makes the others more painful...

LeftWingLock said...

I have no words for that last one. Those are fake branches, right? The baker didn't just see some guy out in his yard doing some pruning on the way over, right?

And our cake topper with the crystal hearts and the foofy white tulle was part of the head table centerpiece...miles away from the cake.

Goosey said...

About that "cookies and sprinkles" link -- I watched that video very carefully, and not ONCE did they mention sprinkles. The stuff they scattered over the cake were "beautiful embellishments." The lady said so herself. ;-D

Lady Anne said...

Yeesh! Maybe that third cake - the green one - is actually written in Amharic? (Ethiopian) Weird, that's all - just plain weird.

Just Me,Pilgrim said...

Wow.... I live right in front of a bunch of trees so I guess I can start making wedding cakes now.. I can just start jamming sticks into a betty crocker cake mix cake and ...voila!

Carla said...

I just want to point out that some people actually like the rough iced look that is on the first cake. I had a bride specifically request the rough iced look. So even though most people prefer a smooth finish, some do not.

sleeplessnights04 said...

Oh my god rofl ha ha ha ha, that is all I can say, thanks for the laugh!

Ash said...

NIIIIIIIIIICE. Or not. That was a sarcastic remark (and reply. The third cake looks like there's cascading waterfalls of mold on it. Gross.

sleeplessnights04 said...

I'm still laughing at your comments now ha ha ha, the last one was the kicker wasn't it?

Tabitha Corsica said...

The green cake wouldn't have been half bad if they'd've left the brown stuff (which appears to be leaking) off. I could even maybe live with the orchids....

Tabitha

Anonymous said...

Wreck #1 -- nice flowers, nice branch, ohmigawd, why would you let a four-year-old ice a wedding cake?!

Wreck #2-- as if the frosting tinted to match Tums Wintergreen weren't enough, someone obviously doesn't understand the difference between Florentine Scroll and Cherry Branch.

Wreck #3 -- oh yes. Poison Ivy on a Wedding cake...now THAT bodes well!

Wreck #4 -- I'm more repulsed that someone would have authorized any payment for that disaster than the disaster itself. I would have preferred to announce to my wedding guests that the cake had been dropped en route than serve that mess.

and Tigerwolf? I'm pretty sure Jen knows how to spell a 4-letter word (I'm certain of it, acutally...!) ....but that using multiple I's indicates a prolongation of the pronunciation of the word.

WV: dinge -- Some of these cakes might be okay, if the cherry blossoms weren't such dinge.

Jeremy said...

Holy sh*t this was funny, Jen.

SuSuseriffic said...

Oh....WOW! Thease are really making me think I could make some money as a cake decorator.

blythee said...

I remember the "topper" cake being posted at CakeCentral- the baker was horrified by the topper, which the brides MIL made special.

Stephanie said...

"You can always jam a stick in it and charge $200."
That did me in. Too funny! :D

Jimmy said...

Wow-- that cake with the enormous feathery topper really could've used some balloon animals, too. Pity. Also, maybe some circus people standing around to admire it.

Just the Right Size said...

That third cake looks like a river of poo lava is flowing down...to where?

Alisa said...

Oooh oooh! I liked the one with no flowers and the weird melted tree poop all over it. Nothing beats tree poop on a cake. NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

if ever a Bridezilla could be justified in causing a scene, it would be if she were the recipient of one of these beauties!

Anonymous said...

Someone finally figured out a use for Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.

Katie said...

The words "poo river" came to mind when I saw the one without flowers.

Krista said...

I had a cherry blossom cake for my wedding, but it was actually pretty. The best part? The cake was a Funfetti cake, so yay for sprinkles!

I thought you couldn't mess up blossoms, but sometimes I'm wrong...

Anonymous said...

...but a silver nutmeg and a golden pear.

Many thanks to Christa for putting a nursery song in my head.

Anywhoo, now that I've got that out of my system...regarding the cake with the..um..."interesting" topper...I believe a family member made the topper and insisted it go on the cake?
But now I want to know...did the baker submit this one?

Mandy said...

The he!! I would pay for any of those!

On the one hand, my heart is aching for those poor brides, but they chose to pay for them! Heck, if I went to pick up my wedding cake and it looked like any of those, I would rather go buy a plain white sheet cake from the local bakery.

WV: mooldis

Some of those cake wrecks look rather mooldis. Yuk. ><

Stacie said...

Just got married in September. The sight of these (and most of your wrecked wedding cakes) gives me residual panic attacks.

Thanksomuch.

Carry on.

Angela said...

This may be a really stupid question, but maybe I'm not the only one wondering...

What does WV stand for? I see it in comments on here all the time and I get that it has something to do with made-up vocabulary, but that's all I've been able to figure out.

Little Lovables said...

oh the horrors, the one with the massive topper, since when are cherry blossoms purple and pink? at least it sorta matched

Debby said...

That first picture was my wedding cake inspiration!! Luckily, although my cake didn't look exactly like it, it was not a wreck. Very simple and lovely. And free, since it was included with the venue.

I'm so glad I didn't get one of these wrecks. And glad I didn't see this post before my wedding -- I'd lose sleep.

How do these bakeries get it so wrong?

Melissa (& Billy) said...

Well...the one with the fairy bride and groom would actually be rather pretty, if they just toned down the topper a bit. Alas. (I like the embossed fondant)

The rest are definitely in the best wrecky tradition! Whew!

The Black Dog said...

Now I know what design I'd love to get if I ever get married, but I'll be showing this entry to the bakers to make sure they weren't one of them that was featured on this entry.

Nick said...

What a beautiful cake . . . and so many different ways to ruin it!

Anonymous said...

Ahahahaaaaaa...

@Tigerwolf and Anony 11:56-- I don't know which of you I loved more today!

Jennie said...

"It helps if you lick your fingers first, so they slide smoothly over the icing."


*Shudder* Perish the thought.

ardie said...

"Were they proud of this cake? Did they know it was a wreck when they delivered it? It just boggles the mind."

Exactly what I wondered! And WHO would pay for such a thing? I'd cry and pitch a huge bridezilla fit if these showed up at my wedding!!

Disregarding the drips, I actually like the 2nd cake, the green one. It has a nice art-deco feel to it, even if it wasn't intended. Also (correct me if i'm wrong), it appears to be fondant free, and yet is perfectly smooth.

Siouxzr said...

Behind the last cake you can see one more branch that didn't get added to the wreckage -- so somebody looked at that cake and said "there, that is just the right amount of stick!"

wv= word verification
When I first starting reading the posts I thought everyone was mocking West Virginia

Anonymous said...

I'll just jam a stick in my eyes, thank you...

eilbeback

Joe said...

wv: "Supri": how much of the word "Suprise!" the baker managed to get out when delivering the cake, before the bride went ballistic.

Bek said...

I can never decide if I love the hilarity of the wedding cake posts, or if I'm just heartbroken for whoever they belong to.

Either way, it just makes me glad we had pies for our wedding dessert and not cake. Can't go wrong with pies.

Little Luxuries said...

Why do so many wreckerators have a hard time icing a cake smoothly? I'm FAR from being a professional cake decorator and even I can manage a uniform surface!

Anonymous said...

Re: The incongruous topper. I think what likely happens in these situations is that the couple says "no toppers" and then some well-meaning relative gives you one at your shower or hands it to you at your rehearsal dinner as a gift. Sometimes it's easier to just shut up and put the thing on the cake, rather than argue about it or worry about offending your new in-law.

Of course, if it happened to me, such a topper would have a horrible "accident" on the way to the venue and it couldn't possibly be replaced on time. "Imagine how tragic it was that my dog chewed it up, the cat peed on it, and then the neighbor's truck ran it over three times, but I guess we'll have to make do without it."

andygirl said...

I love the Jungle Cake! They should stick Tarzan on top and call it a day.

Anonymous said...

Did that topper Bride and Groom actually have WINGS????? OMG!!!!

joanne said...

That first cake is just gorgeous. I love the cherry blossom cakes!

but...#2 has the wrong flower (oversized!) and the minty green cake looks like it's being attacked by licorice whips. yum.

#3 is suffering from an apparently lava mud flow that has killed off the flowers and left the greenery.

#4 has some poorly executed poo-vines and flowers. and if that's not bad enough, the fairies on top decided to bring daisies and lilacs and tulle! O-VER-KILL.

what's with all the green ribbons?

stick a stick in it? great solution. poor stabbed cake. and the daisies are lurking the background to hop on...

(this was paid for? really?)

E.M. Green said...

Dear Last Cake in this Entry,

I am so pissed off with you. You are a terrible, terrible cake. How could you even excuse yourself for existing ESPECIALLY on a day like a wedding. You should have never been made!

I hate you so much I could spit! What's you're problem! Stop looking at me! Don't you have any manners! Stand up straight! Tuck yourself in the chrissakes. And, by the love of all that is holy, take out those piercings! This is a f'in spiritual ceremony of f'in love and f'in commitment! I hate you I hate you I hate you!

Sincerely,
Concerned Wreck-watcher.

W.V.: "neads" It neads to be said.

Anonymous said...

I'm with B--I sort of like the Seuss cake, too, although I can't figure out what the thing is in front of it. It's better than the cake below it which is being taken over by a Triffid. Yi . . .

Bonnie said...

@Tigerwolf and Anony 11:56-- HAHAHA!!! I think that's funnier than today's entry...which is pretty dang funny...."jam a stick in it and charge $200"--FABULOUS!

Bonnie B ;)

Brenda said...

I'm disturbed that I got the $500 sprinkles and cookie cake reference without clicking the link. LOL

FiberQat said...

The green one doesn't have branches. It's an ant farm.

WriteCards said...

That last cake is just wrong!

WV: objecus . . . I objecus to the way these cakes turned out for wedding days!

Fanboy Wife said...

Cake decorations just don't grow on trees - oh wait! They do!

Anonymous said...

It has been a very long time since I have baked cakes of any kind, but if challenged, I could make one that would be 100% better than the last one - you know, the one with the fake branch stuck in it. (rolls eyes)

I can't imagine paying anyone for these disasters. A bride, her mother, and mother-in-law would have to have a marvelous sense of humor to keep any one of these cakes. How sad!

Lucy said...

I would add my voice to those decrying the last cake in the post as the Wreckiest of all! On a slight tangent, does anyone know how this trend started? Was anyone else reminded by what I choose to call the "real" cake of the _beautiful_ film "Random Harvest," where cherry blossoms are symbolically important to the romance?

WV: erseemac. Bride: Er, see, Mac, here's the thing... [knocks baker out cold]

Aviatrix said...

I was thinking you could make a $500 cake look like a $40 cake with the right cookies and sprinkles, too. Or maybe just a couple of branches.

Brendan said...

How do we know that the baker put that horrific topper on the cake (note that the groom is wearing fairy wings in it. That detail gave me the chuckles)?

That could have just as easily been something the couple picked out and insisted on.

WV: disupste - kind if like if you mix "disgusted" with "upset"

Jenna said...

First off: Jen, that last comment from "Brendan" about the cake topper with WV "disupste" - that was me and not "Brendan" (my fiance). I hadn't noticed he was still signed in.

Secondly: this is why we're getting a tiramisu instead of a wedding cake. Considering their reputation for tasting like styrofoam and the prices charged for them, we'd rather eat a really good cake-like dessert than risk the horror that could come with an actual cake.

Thirdly:

HAHAHAHAHA!

WV: "florist"

As in, it takes a bad baker to create most of these disasters, but that last one...that takes a supremely talentless FLORIST!

Lucia Winter said...

OH MY GOSH! LOL!

Anonymous said...

I laughed so hard at the "[crickets chirping]" that my guinea pigs ran and hid in their houses.

wrecked wedding cakes are my fave...i'm going to try to get my friend to submit her wedding cake, it was horrible...leaning tower with polka dots...

Anonymous said...

Isn't there some kind of policy where you can return the cake for your money back? I'd rather have no cake at all then those.

Jerry said...

I'm just waiting for the topper on #4 to fall off the back of the cake so I can yell "timber!"

As for #5 yeah, I'd take a stick and jam it somewhere if that cake was presented to me for my wedding. No jury in the land would convict you. Provided you showed them this picture.

david@zinniafilms.com said...

wow. that cake topper is a thing of beauty!

Jefferson said...

Thankfully, our cherry blossom cake turned out FAB!

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2515/3832750574_b2f42038cd_b.jpg

(Yes, that's 2 Mickey's on top!)

FYI, from this bakery:
http://www.lapatisserie.net/

Jiminycricket said...

I like how there's an alternate stick waiting patiently behind the cake, in case the first stick doesn't work out. That's the kind of attention to detail your $200 gets you.

Marcy W. said...

Anyone else notice how the "branches" on the green cake have started to bleed? Bleeding branches. Awesome.


WV: iniso - Iniso sad that these cakes are, well, so sad.

LaurenH said...

That green one reminds me of the 'black oil' that seeped into people's eyes in X-Files for some reason.

And...200 dollars? REALLY!?? Even if you pulled that number out of your butt and they actually paid less. I would be just as incredulous saying "10 dollars?! REALLY?!?"

Amy said...

Cake fail.
Amy B-H

John and Sarah Sperry said...

If someone presented me with the last cake on my wedding day I'd bawl my eyes out, seriously. I wish some of these bakers would quit ruining peoples special occasions and go get a different job! I can't make nice cakes, so I just force my kids to eat them on their birthdays, I don't go out and try and make a business out of it!!

ps Saw your book in my university's bookstore for the first time. It's freaking awesome!!

blueiguana said...

LOL - Tears. I am in tears.

blueiguana said...

@ Tigerwolf:
It's called using artistic license for emphasis.

Jorie R said...

It occurs to me that two of these wrecks were probably related to the FLORIST...I wonder if the flower-less cake was supposed to be finished with live flowers by the florist and wasn't. And was it the baker that put that horrible stick on the last one, or was it the florist?

My wedding cake had real flowers on it and they were added by the florist at the reception site.

Now we could have a spin-off blog, Flower wrecks? I can see it now!

Anonymous said...

lol@Tigerwolf-- I guess you get what you ask for in here! Epcot, already! :D

*snicker*

PattyCakes said...

As a professional, I love this. It makes me gag lol!!

Love your site.

pattycakesnj.blogspot.com

kat said...

crickets chirping...now that's too funny.

Anonymous said...

For Marcy W @ 10:29 who said:

Anyone else notice how the "branches" on the green cake have started to bleed?

Honey, it ain't a bleedin', it's a weepin' - cherry tree that is!

For Tigerwolf @ 9:37, PLEASE let everyone know that you were only kidding in your comment and not truly trying to correct Jen. Surely you can't be that naive? Right?


And for Angela @ 12:59, as Siouxzr @ 2:08 pointed out,
WV stands for "word verification". It is the "word"/character- sequence you are required to type in in order for your comment to be accepted as originating from a real person and not some automated process. I hope that clears it up for you.

-WM, the great disco newt

WV: bicari. I could use a bicari cocktail after looking at these wrecks!

kireishojo said...

I will say that i actually kinda liked the second to last one in this set. Yes it's overly ornate and with a rather elaborate topper but at least they kept a consistent colour schema.

Judi said...

About the cake with the crazy topper, there were a couple of long threads discussing it on Cake Central. The mother of the groom had made it, and so the couple couldn't be talked out of using it. The baker displayed it on the cake table, not on the cake itself, but then the mother of the groom found it and jammed it on top of the cake.

Anonymous said...

The worst part is that the second wreck actually looks pretty good... except for the branches. If they would've stopped at the green icing and just stuck a plastic couple at the top everything would've been nice and dandy.

Kara said...

The crazy topper cake had been discussed at length among decorators on Cake Central, like Judi said. The decorator didn't want to use it, everyong else told her that it was the bride's choice so she pretty much had to, then when she posted a picture of it we all reversed our decision and said "Uh, no...Destroy it if at all possible." Unfortunately, if the bride wants to stick something Godawful on top of her cake it's up to her. We decorators usually just take a picture of the cake before the topper is put on, then try to block the incident out of our memories.

cakes_are_fun said...

Just posted this to my Face Book as a tutorial for my Wilton Method students as a "What NOT to do!"

For the bakers out there who say the topper is not their fault, I have a contract that specifies no topper will be added.

I set up the cake, snap my pictures and go on my merry way.

If they add it later C'est la vie!

Amber Schmidt said...

w t h....... as a wedding photographer I see some BAD cakes and these make me shudder!

erik.larsen said...

That one second from the bottom looks like the one that Abraham would have commissioned - it looks like a ram in a thicket

Anonymous said...

Argh! Don't people know that cherry blossoms signify the ephemeral nature of life?

(That's 'temporary' for the semi-literate.)

Why would you want this to signify your wedding, unless your name is Britney?

Heidi said...

I was having a bad day until I found your book at B&N. The comments and photos had me laughing until tears were running down my face... alone... in the middle of the book store. Absolutely needed it and loved it! I'm getting everyone I know your book for Christmas! Or at the very least, everyone I like.

Heidi L. Thompson
thompsonspaintedhillfarm@blogspot.com

Medusa Oblongata said...

*GASP*

Jane said...

At first I thought the second one wasn't that bad. Until I clicked on it and realized the "stems" were um, leaking. Ewww.

catering said...

The wedding cake is the center of attention in a wedding reception.It will serves as a very significant keepsake for your very important day.Those cakes are really fabulous!Love the designs!

I Am Staggered said...

These cakes look like they've been baked in an overgrown forest by lazy stoats. Lazy stoats running a profitable business.