Thursday, September 23, 2010

Picture This

Thursday, September 23, 2010

So Shawna A. asked her bakery to make a cake just like this one from Pink Cake Box:


To make it easier, she even brought in a print-out of this picture. And, since she wanted her cake to say "Welcome Little Monkey" instead of "Happy Birthday," she was sure to cross that bit out. That way, there could be no confusion whatsoever, right?



Riiiight.





All in favor of banning the edible photo printer for all eternity, say "Oy VEY."

I think the "veys" have it, Shawna.
Carol said...

Good grief....it's the baby shower cake I ordered all over again. I hope we've all learned now....never take in a picture of what you want. Oy vay is right!

misscupcake said...

After all the posts of the crazy cakes I am still surprised each time. Always surprised at the level of incompetence out there. I went to school to be a pastry chef, I never did wedding cakes or birthday cakes but I'm certain I would never make these kind of mistakes. Right I'm unemployed, looks like there might be hope for me yet!

Jim Todd said...

Eep...

All together now: Oy VAY!!!!

Custom Cakes by Penny said...

Oy Vay - What is wrong with these wreckorators!!!!????

Anonymous said...

Did she actually pay for it??

Anonymous said...

Are. You. Serious.

tiny purple elephant said...

No way!!!!!

Miranda said...

Wow, those are some lazy son-of-a-guns right there!

The Boob Nazi said...

This has to be one of my favorites.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit confused -- it must have been a different picture that she actually submitted, right? (The branch looks like it might be flipped, and the whole picture seems to be rotated about 30 degrees from its center.)

At any rate, we can all agree that the world would be a better place if the edible photo printer went the way of the dodo.

ania said...

Not to be judgmental but....

What a lazy thing to do.

I have to say, since a planner would usually pick up the cake right before the event, I'm guessing that some people who send in these wrecks have to let the irritation die down before the humor becomes evident. Or else someone not closely involved in the planning sends the picture!

The guest of honor is probably laughing long before the cake-orderer.

Also, the original cake was so cute.

SueBee said...

I love starting the day with a good cake-laugh but
this actually made me tear up. I could just imagine the disappointment and anger when the cake was picked up.

I'm going to go look at some old posts to cheer myself up.

Danger Boy said...

We can never underestimate laziness in human beings. They'd always rather monkey around than do a good job.

PVB said...

It's a cake photo on a cake...like and edible infinity shot infinity shotinfinity shotinfinity shot....ack! Do you get double the calories :O

Pink Velvet Bird

craftinqueen said...

RIP Common Sense: We miss you....

Bek said...

I guess we all know Shawna will be going to Pink Cake Box next time, eh?

There is just no cure for L-A-Z-Y and S-T-U-P-I-D. I mean, really, cake people. Really?

WV: ilist - Cakes like these just make me the ilist person around.

john (the hubby of Jen) said...

Anon @ 10:04,

Yup. Good catch. Turns out that Pink Cake Box has a picture of another one that we put up at first. I changed it to the correct one. That's what we get for having 12,000 photos in the library.

john

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's really bad.

I love this blog and so does my aspiring cake decorating daughter so when I saw the Cakewrecks calendar last night I *had* to buy it for her. Question though: Has anyone opened it and looked? Or John maybe you can help...does it contain any of the PG13 posts?

~ Mom and Fan in MI

EG said...

Oy vey. I have no words.

TJ said...

Extra points for the big black hair on it!

Charlene said...

I knew it would be bad but that's even worse than I imagined...
Oy Vay indeed!

john (the hubby of Jen) said...

Anon @ 10:30,

Not really. There's some very vague stuff that I can't imagine any child would "get." Of course, it seems like most nine year olds know bad words that I've never even imagined so who knows? But overall, nothing that bad. In my opinion.*

john

*The opinions of john (the hubby of Jen) may not be shared by any or all individuals who may or may not read this blog. Please see section 43A, addendum 3, paragraph 9 "John's stupid opinions" in the Cake Wrecks manifesto for further details.

Donna said...

Gosh! I could even do that and I have no discernable artistic ability with cakes or otherwise! (Sadly, can't even draw a stick figure with a ruler...) I missed my vocation!

Trevor said...

As soon as I read the write up, I was like "I'll bet I know where THIS is going," and I was correct! Scary, isn't it?

Gary said...

So, don't bring in a picture of what you want?
Do bring in a picture of what you want?
Don't write down the words you want on the cake?
Always write down the words you want on the cake?

I'm so confused!

Anne-Marie said...

Add my "Oh Vay!" to the balloting.

I had a similar experience with a cake I ordered for my husband's retirement. I gave the baker photos of some things that represent my husband's past and future endeavors and, you guessed it, she made edible images of these photos rather than piping them on the sides of the cake. Not bad enough to be a Cake Wreck, but I was quite disappointed. "Ace of Cakes" and Sunday Sweets have raised my expectations to insurmountable levels...

potsyinaz said...

Gah!! What kind of morons are working at these bakeries?! Who would want a photo of a cake.on.their.cake?! Insanity!
I'm going to stick to making my own cakes; they might not be "professional" looking but I'm starting to be more and more ok with that. lol

Amanda said...

How very... meta. Yeah, we'll go with that. It's art! *cough*

wv: lionsp: what a lion with a speech impediment speaks with

Connie Moreno said...

Oh...my...GAWD. What morons!

Caty said...

The number of idiots in this world astounds me, and apparently quite a few of those idiots go into baking. The rest go into politics.

Alisha Rene' said...

OH MY GAWD! head plant on desk

kayk said...

@TJ: That's not a hair, it's the image of the line drawn from the crossed-out words to the instructions "Write 'Welcome Little Monkey' here instead." I hope.

Juno said...

Oy Vey! I will never understand the mind of a wreckerator.

Miri said...

if you can't use words or pictures to explain what you want on a cake how are you ever suppose to order one?!? Do we all have to become professional cake decorators?!?

Anonymous said...

OY VAY!!!!! lol I used to think edible paper was a GOOD idea.

Bree said...

Wow. I've seen bad, but this takes incompetence to a whole new level.

Anonymous said...

OY Stale! would have been my reaction if the baker presented me with this stupidity. How does one prevent this type of disappointment but by ordering a cake a week in advance.

Michael said...

Laughing so loud at this!

Anonymous said...

Again I am reminded of why I decorate my own cakes for events and cringe anytime someone wants to order one instead of asking me.

Oy vey - appropriate response.

Sad. So sad.

So... Jen or John - any advice on how to handle stopping in to pick up a beautiful cake and being presented with a wreck, other than tears and snapping a quick photo to send to y'all?

I mean, other than screaming at the wreckerator and refusing to pay for a monstronsity. Or taking someone's head as a replacement.

Just wondering.

~~Di

maroonclown said...

Um. . .nice penmanship? Sorry. That's all I've got.

Anonymous said...

*face palm* Oy vey is right!

Before scrolling down, I thought
1. Edible paper, or
2. Really disappointing-ugly-nothing-like-the-original type cake with a patch of scribble on it (to match the crossing out of Happy Birthday).

I'd really like to know if people get their money back or a suitable replacement with a lot of these cakes.

wv: nedot (nee-doh; t is silent like depot): Edible paper is no longer nedot to put on a cake.

Knit Wit said...

I must say that I am another "amateur" cake decorator who has begun to take considerable pride in the cakes she makes due totally to what I've seen here!

Honestly, the monkey wouldn't have been that hard to make, people!

Oy, Vey!!! Indeed!

ccgirl said...

that is an all new low!

Courtney said...

I used to work for an advertising magazine company, and EVERY SINGLE MONTH, we would go to the same bakery department at Sam's Club (that's right, I'm calling you out by name). We were such regular customers that the greeter would recognize and view the cake each time.

All we wanted was to get the cover ad printed as a photo onto the cake. No words, just please take this picture I'm handing to you, use the edible printer to scan exactly as is, and pipe blue icing around the edges.

I would say that at least 75% of the time, it was done wrong. Picture cropped, turned the wrong way, not iced around the edges, wrong color icing- it was like they were thinking up ways to ruin it.

No matter if it was the same baker as last month, no matter how carefully I filled out the form, no matter the simplicty, still wrong. Sometimes you can't win for trying.

Kimberly said...

I agree this is sad, but I can't help but wonder what made the orderer think this bakery could pull of the original cake ? I mean for a lot of bakeries a sheet cake with an edible printout is the upper limit of their talent. I'd doubt any place willing to make a cake like the one Shawna ended up with is doing semi-sculptural fondant or sugar clay on their other cakes.

Steve the Pocket said...

I'm honestly starting to wonder if some of these came about because the customer used an online form that had an image upload option and incorrectly guessed its purpose. No human could be that dense. They just couldn't! And this is speaking as someone who's been reading Not Always Right all weekend.

Tricia L said...

Why do I suspect that Shawna's reaction was similar to the Jane Austen quote of two days' ago:

"Are you frickin' kidding me?!?

This reinforces my theory that, when asked what time you want to pick up the cake, you should always say 5 hours before you really need it. That allows time for the frosting to be scraped off and redone.

It also makes me glad these people work in bakeries. They could work at the cable TV call center. Or perhaps nuclear power plants.

Leslie said...

That rather surprises me...we get all of cakes for work from Sam's Club's bakery, and they have never been a wreck, or even close. They pretty much give us exactly what we ask for. I guess it depends on the talents at the specific bakery!

Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top said...

Hand slap to the head! Are people really this idiotic? I guess the cake speaks for itself, they are. I just don't understand it.

~Nikki~ said...

OMG how dumb can the bakery be? Why would you want a PICTURE of someone else's awesome cake on your cake???!!! LOL



check out my blog: nikkiscakery.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Are the buyers confronting these so called bakers and asking for explanations for these ridiculous cakes? I would love to know.

teri said...

at this point we might as well make our own cakes considering the bakeries don't have any brains.

clan of the cave hair said...

people just have to stop ordering "custom" cakes from places where there is a chaffing dish of crusty mac-n-cheese on the other side of the register! Grocery stores and club stores are just not ever going to return a replica of a pricey cake to you for $17.99

WV:"ectation"--my ectation for this cake was out of proportion to your decorator's abilities. Now you should "ectate" that I will not be paying for this.

pamcakes said...

Hmmm, well... Maybe she should have written down that she wanted a "replica" of the original cake, so the wreckorator wouldn't have heard 'wreplica'?

WV = tolylle: These wreckorators prove that you can have tolylle of an education.

Anonymous said...

I think it is pretty evident from lots and lots of pictures here, that the previous comment about making sure you are taking it to the right kind of bakery is pretty accurate. Plus being wiser about your word choices. Such as asking the bakery first "Do you do fondant sculptures" instead of "Can you put this on there" as you hand a pic of what you want.

Fondant Dreams by Robin said...

When will people learn that taking a picture of a cake they see from a professional baker to a grocery store bakery that they will not get a cake that looks like the one they want. Grocery stores hire people with no experience or expertise to pull off a cake like Pink Cake Box and others of us that know what we are doing. You get what you pay for people!

Marion said...

This truly is evidence of profound laziness.

However, I agree with Kimberly. People should assume they can take a photo of a cake from a high-end custom cake shop to any corner bakery and expect them to replicate it. Not only is the expectation unrealistic, but the customer probably didn't want to pay the $125 the Pink Cake Box likely charged for this sheet cake.

Dan said...

I have to say this site makes me laugh really hard and at the same time feel deep, deep shame. I work in a grocery store bakery, faux "buttercream" frosting, airbrushing, and edible images... the works. We're lucky, though. The main decorator and myself know the limits of those things, and let the customers know. Oh, and also have a scrap of self respect and maybe some common sense. When I see laziness and just plain idiocy like this first I usually get a great laugh, and then I want to find the decorator and just shake them. I'm really grateful we have the decorator we have, wow. It's not rocket science, fellow bakery clerks, work with me here.

Caroline B said...

"I don't believe it!"
.....no, I really don't.......

Anonymous said...

It's just like the time I took a picture of Cindy Crawford to the salon and said, "Do that." Instead, my hair looked nothing like "that" and I cried for 3 weeks. Hint: Leave the salon when you catch your stylist calling the toll free number on the back of the box.

ladyrazorsharp said...

....*headdesk*

Californiutahan said...

*facepalm*

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, what's the copyright law on cake design? 'Cause I'm thinking that it would be in violation of the original cake-a-rator's copyright to have someone else copy it. Not to mention crazy to think that a relatively unskilled decorator is going to be able to duplicate a high end design (at a very low cost).

Gabby said...

Horrible!

Morgan said...

How do they charge for things like that?!?

Anonymous said...

Son of a biscotti! Hello brain cell...

Tova said...

hehehe I saw that one coming xD

tsdkl said...

Well...at least they wrote "Welcome Little Monkey" nicely...?

alysasawyer said...

I am also curious to know if she had to pay for it! I would have been pretty upset! But still hilarious from a person not involved perspective lol!!!

Wait! Calendar??? I am so getting one!!!

Gossamer said...

I'd day you should write "Do not print on edible paper" on the photo, but I know it wouldn't help...

Daisy said...

After discovering CakeWrecks 2 months ago and enjoying every tasty morsel of it since, I can safely say TWO UNWRITTEN COMMANDMENTS may have arisen out of examples such as this latest feat of wreckery:

1. Thou shalt not order thy cake, nor request decorations for said cake, over the phone. Because not even ordering your cake in person and carefully writing down what you want on it is ANY guarantee that you'll be happy with the result.

2. Thou shalt not take a picture of an exquisite fondant-enrobed specialty cake, adorned with take-your-breath-away-figures-artfully-sculpted-from-modeling-chocolate by an upscale bakery, to the clerk at your corner grocery store and hope that the local talent would even approach the skill level required to execute a "minimally reasonable" facsimile of said specialty cake. And I emphasize the air quotes on "minimally reasonable."

People, I have y'all have learned your lesson, because my neck is now sore from all that head-shaking...

Dana Smith said...

This is pretty sad, but I have to say that anyone that orders a cake from a grocery store bakery expecting it to look ANYthing like a cake from Pink Cake Box is probably mentally challenged. Or just really *really* cheap and expecting to get a cake worth $200 for $14.99.

Andy Mathis said...

Someone should open up a decorate your own cake bakery. It would save people a lot of grief.

Just a room, a cake, some frosting bags ready to pipe. It would look better than this.

Sweet Something's by Dawnetta said...

Just goes to show that technology in the wrong hands can be a very bad thing.
However, I have used a photo print in making a "Headline News" type cake that was very tastefull (and tasty) for a 90th birthday using the page layout and fonts of the man's hometown newspaper. It was a huge success and is still one of my favorite cakes I have made.

Aviatrix said...

I've laughed at the "printing a picture instead of decorating the cake" wrecks before, but this one is just sad.

I hear and accept the points made by those who say "don't ask a grocery store to do a high end baker's job," but, except in matters of spelling, grammar and common sense, cake customers know even less about cake decorating than grocery stores. To ignorant li'l me, that monkey cake looks easier to make than the race cars, Disney princesses and pretty roses that my grocery store displays already. While it may be unreasonable to expect a grocery store to produce a designer cake, is it unreasonable to expect them to decline demands they can't meet or to realize that an edible photo of another cake is not "a cake like this one"?

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Dan, and I'm glad that someone like him took my last Grocery Store Cake order (years ago). I much prefer honest customer service to a promise that can't be fulfilled.

WV: cologe- a photo cake for a proctologist's retirement party (with chocolate piping around the edges).

Cyndi said...

@ Anon 4:03pm

Oh, honey, we've all been there. I cannot get my husband to understand why I can't just go to Great Clips like he does, but they are NOT touching my dye job!

WV = metratic, as in, "The cake was soooo bad that the customer developed a metratic!"

Anonymous said...

You know, I think even an unexperienced grocery store cake decorator who decorates cheapie cakes should at least have the competence to say "We can't do something that elaborate here," or "We don't do fondant. However, we can..." or, at the very, very least, "So you want this picture you handed to me printed onto the cake, right?

Instead of, you know... guessing and letting the customer sort it out later.

Anonymous said...

OY VEY OY VEY OY VEY

JAN BRADEL said...

Well, their heart was in the right place...(I think).

Ai said...

I REALLY need to get a job at one of these "local bakeries".

Really. What sort of education is required for this position? What level of talent do I need (my guess is "low"), no professionalism whatsoever...

Sounds like my kind of place! I think the only issue is I'm probably way over qualified.

Jennifer said...

Ok, I just have to say to everyone that's spouting the "don't ask a grocery store chain bakery to do a designer cake for $14.99", that the bakeries need to be up-front and honest about the skills of their cake decorators, instead of saying, "Sure, we can do that" and then producing wrecks like this.

Yes, it's not that smart to take a picture of a high-priced, very skilled cake to the local 'food-mart', and expect the staff to be up to the challenge. That is NOT the issue here. The issue is that the customer asked the bakery to do a cake like the one in the picture, with an alteration, and they AGREED to do it. They didn't say that the design was too complex or fancy for the staff decorators to reproduce. If, in fact, the bakery staff had said that, and then the customer insisted, then it would be, at least, partially the customer's fault. But, apparently, that DIDN'T happen. Instead, the bakery agreed to the design, and then produced this monstrosity.

And I can't imagine why people would want to kick the customer when he/she is 'down', per se. Instead of lamenting the fact that the cake turned out as a wreck, people are saying that it's the customer's fault because he/she expected a $100+ result for $14.99. Way to be unsympathetic! I dearly hope that none of YOU experience that kind of disappointment, only to have people tell you it's YOUR fault for choosing a particular bakery!! You should expect higher quality from a professional bakery. Otherwise, why pay good money for a cake? Just bake your own cakes, if you can't expect a reasonable amount of quality from a bakery that is charging for their cakes!

Barbara said...

Egads! The only time I have ever seen an appropriate use of edible photo printing is when Bakerella made those adorable vintage Valentine cookie pops *squee*

http://www.bakerella.com/valentines-day/

Miriam said...

The saddest part is that whoever wrote "Welcome Little Monkey" has really good cake-penmanship... are there really people THIS retarded??

Gary said...

Gossamer said...
'I'd day you should write "Do not print on edible paper" on the photo, but I know it wouldn't help...'

Surely you know what you'd get then. The picture printed on edible paper on the cake, and "Do not print on edible paper" piped next to it in blue icing. And no sprinkles.

Arlene said...

Guess they decided to be lazy.. sheesh. Can't even understand a photo what the heck is this world coming to? Lol I really wish they never invented edible paper. At least not for a cake at any rate.

Craig said...

There is a nearby supermarket bakery that produces very tasty results -- with real buttercream, I might add -- but no reasonable person would expect 'fancy' cakes from them, just as I wouldn't expect to sit down to a candlelit steak dinner under the 'golden arches'.

If I were feeling optimistic about the creative resources of an establishment that sells both cake and cat litter, I would hand the decorator a sheet of paper and a box of crayons, saying, "Before you commit anything to frosting, draw your interpretation of my instructions."

A decorator who can't at least sketch what they intend to do is by definition not going to be able to execute it, while a decorator who simply refused would also be refusing my business.

A phone order would obviously require a different approach, but as a reasonably sane person who reads CW daily, I wouldn't be ordering a cake over the phone anyway -- that is known as a 'wreck request'.

Lyndsay said...

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?! sakes alive

Kalendi said...

I like the idea of having the baker sketch the drawing first. And the baker should have said we can't do this and maybe made a suggestion as to what they could do! I bet they could have come up with something acceptable. I would appreciate the honesty. But don't blame the customer; she waasn't expecting this.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? That's just sad.

Jenni said...

I went to the C.I.A, and we'd never do any of this crap. This is why you don't hire incompetent people.

C at Talk to the Clouds said...

I fully agree with Jennifer--bakeries should be up front about their limitations. (For one thing, it keeps them from showing up on Cake Wrecks!) I'm currently working for myself, and I won't take on a project that I can't accomplish. It's just good business practice to make sure I can do what I say I can do. Bakeries not up to requested cakes can just say "This is a specialty cake, and we don't specialize in this particular kind of cake. How about this [cute and doable alternative] which could be ready in [fast amount of time]?"

penny said...

Wow! I definitely envy the owner of the i love shoes cake! Its a fashion wannabee shoes..I would love to wear it..But mostly, I would love to eat it!!
I like this blog..Its giving me all the other ways of making artful cake..though not all of them were adorable..some of them just dont get into my taste..they are just way too lowly to be appreciated..hahaha but i like the fashion shoes cake though..

as always, this blog makes me hungry..definitly wanted to be eaten while playing my favorite mah jong games..

depannage informatique said...

This has nothing to do with timing. It's just plain weird to purchase a cake commemorating someone's career as a pop singer who just happens to have recently died

Magda said...

I've only used edible photo printers for one type of cake, and those were historic book cakes like this one, using online facsimilies of the original books: http://www.geocities.com/magdacakes/Arbeau.html

For that purpose, they were great. I'm not a big fan of photos on cakes in general though. And certainly not in this case!

Anonymous said...

eh- that's what you get for stealing other people's photos from the internet! call it divine retribution.