Book Reviews · Humor · Non-fiction

Cake Wrecks

Whether it’s for a birthday, the holidays, or just because, people love to bake (and eat) cakes. While boxed cake mixes and cans of pre-made frosting work just fine (and usually taste great), there are times when you just want something a little more special. For some of us, that means breaking out our cake decorating supplies and getting to work. But cake decorating takes time, practice, and a whole lot of patience…which is why many people prefer to let a professional handle things.

Of course, we also assume that the professional knows what they’re doing.

(It’s unfortunate, but as someone who has worked in a grocery store bakery, I can attest that even the “pros” make decorating mistakes…and sometimes they are spectacularly bad.)

An email containing a picture of a professionally-created cake fail was what inspired author Jen Yates to begin her own website back in 2008, which she called Cake Wrecks. The website is still going strong, and is updated with new content nearly every day. If you’re looking for a good laugh, it’s definitely worth checking out.

“Then I got an idea. I already had some other funny cake photos saved from my searches for inspirational designs for my cake-decorating class. So I started thinking, what if I posted these online somewhere? What would I say? The answers made me chuckle.”

Cake Wrecks, by Jen Yates (page xi)

While I was familiar with the Cake Wrecks website, having come across it several years ago, it was only recently that I had the opportunity to read both of Jen Yates’s books.

Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong and Wreck the Halls: Cake Wrecks Gets “Festive” both showcase some truly spectacular decorating failures. These cakes include everything from misspelled words, to poorly-executed design work, to questionable cake content. Along with images of these cakes, Yates also includes stories of cake orders gone wrong, photos of “Nonverbal Wreck Reactions,” and her own hilarious commentary.

I really enjoyed reading both of these books, and often found myself laughing out loud. I especially liked the “Watch Me Be A Rebel” section of Wreck the Halls, which featured some very poorly executed cakes for geeks.

If you like cake and have an appreciation for decorating disasters, I’m sure you will enjoy Cake Wrecks and Wreck the Halls just as much as I did.

Happy reading!

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