Top 10: Cake Wrecks disasters of the year

Top 10: Cake Wrecks disasters of the year
All photos courtesy

Let's face it: there's a true art to making a good cake, and not everyone who endeavors to make one is such an artist.  All sorts of things can go wrong, whether it's the result of a simple miscommunication (as in the above photo) or the shortcomings of the person baking the cake.  Fortunately, Florida native Jen Yates has made it her mission to highlight the hilarity of these everyday monstrosities with her highly-popular blog Cake Wrecks.

The website features cakes made exclusively by professional "wreckorators" and posts a handful of new examples on a daily basis.  Yates' blog - notable for the sharp, satirizing captions she gives each image and her pervading dislike for cupcake cakes - has built a devoted following and even spawned a best-selling book.

Getting into Cake Wrecks can be a shocking and addictive experience, so to help the uninitiated get started and give regular readers a chance to bask in the glories of the past twelve months, Hot Dish offers up its ten favorite wrecks from 2009.

Top 10: Cake Wrecks disasters of the year

10. Why would you put that on cake?
Might as well start this list off on the right foot: with nudity.  Aside from the sense of humor being a little off-kilter - "Push! Connie Push!" - it's more than mildly disturbing that Connie's family decided to celebrate her pending bundle of joy by eating a three-dimensional representation of her giving birth to it. Plus, Connie seems to have a few too many joints in her legs there.

Top 10: Cake Wrecks disasters of the year

9. An unmitigated disaster
A reasonable barometer for whether or not a cake can be considered a wreck is to ask one's self, "Did this cake make someone cry?"  Upon seeing this cake, I answered this question with an emphatic, "I hope so!"  Imagine poor River, all excited for his Batman cake, only to see this mess, which is only given some semblance of sense thanks to the plastic figurines thrown on top of it.  Then again, that stream of blood might be just the thing to make an eight-year old's birthday, artistic limitations be damned.

8. Ulterior motives?
This cake troubles me on a number of levels, and not just because I'm a male.  Judging by the "We Have a Runner" bit, Ted must have had some reservations about about going under the knife, in which case why not allay his fears with a cake?  There are also the obvious questions of why Ted should be in the buff for the surgery (at least he has his socks on), why the doctor would be performing this operation with a pair of scissors, and why Ted is wearing a sombrero.  Presumably, this news was sprung on him at the annual family fiesta.

Top 10: Cake Wrecks disasters of the year

7. For the postmodern carnivore
Truth be told, the average cake is pretty blase.  After all, frosting is so overrated, and your typical accoutrements (flowers, balloons, candles) are beyond cliched.  While I can't say I really see a cake in this photo, I appreciate the conceptual integrity that went into spicing up this particular dessert.  It seems simple enough: take your daughter's plastic Barbie, lay it on a piece of sausage, and wrap it up in a spotted salami blanket.  Offhand, sanitary and appetizing seem to sum up my feelings the best.

Top 10: Cake Wrecks disasters of the year

6. Giving thanks with Freudian slips
Our beloved Thanksgiving gobblers may not spring to mind for their resemblance to the male anatomy, but in the hands of an inferior cake-maker their long necks, bulbous heads, and large, round bodies make for some rather provocative comparisons.  Thanks to their brown hue, your average turkey wrecks are basically phallus-shaped piles of poop with plumage sprouting in all directions.  Fortunately, this guy is a little subtler than most of his comrades, though no less suggestive for it.

Top 10: Cake Wrecks disasters of the year

5. Hey ma, look what I bagged!
Speaking of turkeys, this one just reeks of tackiness.  Any time your cake has a photo of you dressed in camo holding your latest turty-pointer, there's no escaping the label.  Yet context really helps in appreciating this beauty: rather than being a cake for old Billy Bob's birthday, this is his wedding cake.  How did his wife ever let this one slide?  Talk about the happiest day of your life.  With the real, live ammunition littered around its edges, this cake adds a frightening new dimension to the term "shotgun wedding."

Top 10: Cake Wrecks disasters of the year

4. The infamous cupcake cake
There must be a point on most (or at least some) cake wrecks where the wreckorator realizes his creation has become a lost cause, and has no choice but to finish it on autopilot.  On this one, I would venture to guess that that moment came somewhere between the right arm and the right leg of the M&M.  I mean, his hand is connected directly to his torso, while his hip is digging into his chin, which looks a trifle bit uncomfortable.  And this is in addition to the fact that nothing of this misshapen cake resembles the M&Ms I'm familiar with, whether it's the long legs, the chef hat, or the fact the emblem is on said hat rather than on his chest.

3. Misguided patriotism
Too soon, you might say.  Brilliant, I would rebut.  I mean, this cake has everything you could ask for in a wreck, from the fact it's a cupcake cake to the fact that there's a difference between Patriot Day and Patriot's Day, which seems to have been lost on someone along the way.  The fireworks are simply over the top in this flag-waving masterpiece.  There's really no reason that this isn't at the top of the list, come to think of it, aside from my fear of being labeled anti-American.

Top 10: Cake Wrecks disasters of the year

2. Mixed messages
There's a surprisingly healthy array of off-color baby-related cakes to be found out there, but surely the most troubling trend is the one that involves putting images of your unborn child's ultrasound onto a cake.  More than most of these cakes, however, this thought-provoking example aptly captures the fears and excitement that come with any childbirth, which are brought into sharp relief by the Jekyll-and-Hyde dichotomy of life and death central to its arrangement.  I should also point out that it's a little off-center, but then I don't want to nitpick things here.

Top 10: Cake Wrecks disasters of the year

1. The Andrew Jackson special
Some of the sentiments expressed in these cake wrecks are bizarre, but this is just plain inappropriate.  Aside from the fact that its lack of punctuation leaves questions as to whether this cake is directed at Pat or a dig from Pat himself, there's really no justification for the appearance of the unhappy-looking Native American in the top left corner.  Nice job of making fun of centuries of oppression and exploitation, guys.  The subtlest part of this deceptively offensive atrocity is the red, white, and blue color scheme.  U-S-A!

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