CupcakesTaketheCake

Friday, December 05, 2008

Guest blogger: Cake Wrecks

We love the hugely popular cakes-gone-wrong blog Cake Wrecks, which we've posted about before. Blogger Jen from Cake Wrecks shared this guest blog post with us:

Halloooo cupcake-lovers!

When Rachel first asked me about guest blogging here, we both thought it best that I go straight to the ugly underbelly of the world of cupcakes, and expose all the horrors found therein. After all, part of celebrating the goodness of cupcakes is weeding out the unspeakable perversions: the malformed, the misguided, and the just plain ugly. I’m talking, of course, about cupcake cakes (CCCs for short). For you uninitiated in these culinary catastrophes, allow me to explain the basic concept of the CCC:

Step 1: Glue cupcakes (in their wrappers) to a cake board using icing.
Step 2: Slop on a layer of icing approximately 1.5-2 inches in thickness, smoothing over the gaps between cupcakes like drywall mud over, er… drywall. (See reference photo below)

(This is the proper icing to cupcake ratio for a CCC.)

Step 3: “Decorate”

When done, you end up with something like this:


Yummy.

My readers tell me this says “Ojai, It’s worth the drive”, but let’s ignore the random quotation marking for the moment and instead focus on all that baked poo soufflé goodness, shall we? I mean, it takes an uncommon skill to achieve that kind of texture. In fact, this CCC visually sums up my feelings on CCCs in general, but of course I know you’re going to want more examples. (Picky, picky!) So, here goes.

Generally speaking, CCCs fall into one of three categories, depending on the baker’s personality.

First, there’s the Steamrolled CCC, characterized by its lumpy edges and general “run over by a cement truck” appearance:

This type of CCC is less malevolent and more misguided. Its limping sadness speaks of squashed frustration and defeat. The decorator didn’t intend for it to be this ugly: he or she just couldn’t help it.

Here’s another example, and my readers’ favorite Steamrolled CCC so far:

Betcha can’t guess who that’s supposed to be! (Click here for the answer.)

Next is the Lazy and/or Stingy Decorator’s CCC. Some bakeries recognize that no one wants the mess of the more traditional- i.e. spackled together - CCC. Others realize that using five pounds of frosting per CCC is more expensive than only using two pounds of frosting. So to compromise (and save money), they place individually iced cupcakes together and then decorate them as a whole, like so:


And so:

The result is what large chain bakeries call a “win-win”: the CCC’s intended design is now completely unrecognizable, AND they’re saving money on frosting. (They do, however, make sure there’s still enough icing around the bottom edges of the wrappers to ensure no one will escape with clean hands. Rules are rules.)

Next is the affectionately titled “WTF” category. This is for all those passive-aggressive bakers out there. It says, “I value this job only as far as my next paycheck, and confounding customers with my inept and nonsensical creations is the best perk I get this side of free day-old doughnuts.”

Some examples:

Fifi, the bobble-headed poodle torso. With mustache.

Ping-pong paddles, baby rattles, or balloons in battle? With CCCs, does it really matter?


Hmm. I’m guessing soccer ball. Final answer.

When asked to explain these creations, decorators will often respond with a carefully practiced “Huh?”, apathetic shrug, or “I dunno; that was [insert other employee’s name]’s job.” As soon as the customer leaves, said baker will then cackle maniacally and place another ‘x’ on his or her “Irate Customer” score card. (The employee with the highest score at the end of the week gets to work the customer service counter.)

Well, I’ve made my point the best way I know how: with sweeping generalizations. (And for those of you who don't know me: I do realize that most decorators are wonderful, hard-working individuals. It's just a select few who wreck it up for the rest of us.) So remember: CCCs are wrong, cupcakes - and cakes! - should be treated with proper respect, and mean customer service people had to earn their way there. I hope that you will join with me and your fellow baked-goods-lovers over at Cake Wrecks in just saying “no” to CCCs, so that in time these wrecktastic creations will be relegated to the “what were we thinking?” past, right along with mullets, low-carb diets, and pretty much the entire decade of the 70s. (Except ABBA; I'm a sucker for those singing Swedes.)

Many thanks to Allison, Rachel and Nichelle for allowing me to share with y'all today. Wreck on!

Thanks to CW readers Sarah, Mei L., Kim D., Shara, Mandi B., Beril K., Beth, Julia H., and Rachel J. for the photos.

58 comments:

shara said...

funny to see a cake with my name on it since its so uncommon!!

-shara

The Kitchen Gadget Goddess said...

Isn't Jen the friggen best? YAY, JEN!

Holly said...

Great post, Jen! The Curious George CCC looks more like a steamrolled Chewbacca.

Lisa-Lou-Who said...

Jen is truly the "friggen" best. I was laughing so hard at the poodle torso there were tears.

Ellen said...

I thought the Curious George cake looked like Chewbacca.

Lynette said...

I'm still trying to figure out the pink princess thing... what is that shape supposed to be? I think the soccer ball is a panda, but I'm not sure.

Glad to see you spreading the CCC warning across the 'net, Jen. Your wisdom should not be limited to just us wreck-readers.

Jen Shizuka said...

"with sweeping generalizations" *cackle* You're awesome as always, Jen.

I love the design classifications and you did a good job of explaining the overicing problem... I really think the icing is my main issue with CCCs (aside from HORRID) designs.

I'm still amazed that anyone claims these are neater or easier to eat than regular cake; peeling that wrapper off sounds completely not worthwhile to me. Particularly as we know it's been iced on the bottom, the top, and probably the side! You'd be better off with a handful of corner piece from a regular cake!

Peach said...

I love ABBA!!!

Meagan & Brian said...

The happy birthday "balloons" look like whoopie cushions to me. Also, the princess cake is a magical scarf or a pink magical carpet. See the shaggy threads at the end?

LesleMora said...

I thought the Curious George cake was Beast from Beauty and the Beast.

Charly said...

Hahaha...I had thought the one cake was supposed to be Beast from 'Beauty and the Beast'. Apparently it's Curious George...or Chewbacca. Ouch!

Heidi said...

Whoa. I thought the Curious George CCC was supposed to be the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz.

wavecloud said...

Yay Jen! Great post, very funny, as always!

Katy said...

ROFL! Once again, Jen takes the cake! ;)

Beth said...

I'm just so stinkin excited my CCC pic made it up... That poodle DOES have a mustache!

Great post again, Jen!

Anonymous said...

The Curious George CCC looks like Harry from Harry & the Hendersons.

Fluffy Cow said...

Hey, it's nice in here! And pink!

*singing* We'll follow the Cake Wrecks, wherever the wrecks will go....

Julianna said...

I also thought it was a lion of some sort. I also thought panda before soccer ball. Those were some great wrecks - many questionable CCC's. Poor recipients.

Erika Martin - Stampin' Mama said...

Great post......but I think it was te 80s that should have been banned. Not the 70s! :)

Anonymous said...

Shara-- Judging by most of the cakes featured on CW, there's a good chance that was supposed to be "Sarah". :)

Jen said...

Great post Jen! FTR, I thought the CG was supposed to be young Simba.

Cakespy said...

Funny :-)

Heather said...

I'm embarrased to say I thought Curious George was a really disrespectful rendition of Obama. Oops.

beatgrl said...

I thought cowardly lion, too.

Girler said...

I was POSITIVE the Curious George was Beast from Beauty and the Beast... I even bet my daughter thats who it was. She said it was Big Foot so I saved myself $10 and she still had to do the dishes.

Laura said...

I think the soccer ball is actually a paw print

Mombi said...

I think the pink dog is Poochie! Anyone remember Poochie?

Just me? Okay...

Anonymous said...

Um, if that princess thing is a scarf or carpet, why is it wearing a lovely tiara?

kevin forgot said...

omg in uppercase blue three times

Michelle said...

SOCCER BALL?? I was thinking FETAL PANDA!

Maria said...

Heather-

I too thought "disrespectful obama" when I first saw the CG CCC. I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling the need to hang my head in shame lol :)

Mandy said...

POOCHIE - Poochie for GIRLS!

Sorry, still have my Poochie toys in my parents' attic.

Word Verification: sessigh - These CCC's make me sessigh with utter confusion.

Not just a Mommy! said...

Snort! Those are so bad, you could make a show called "When Cupcakes Go Bad"! We actually had a really good CCC in the shape of a martini glass for our Secret Agent party, and the frosting was amazing! Usually, I hate store frosting, it's all grainy, tastes bad, and it's 2 feet down to the cupcake, I just blogged about it (shameless promotion) on my blog.

BellaLovesPink said...

Man, that poodle CCC gave me the biggest belly laugh...exactly what I needed. Jen - you totally ROCK!

Miranda said...

Wow. Those are just amazingly bad!

Alanna said...

I've become an avid CW reader over the last few months, checking in almost daily.

I remembered seeing the CG CCC... and this time around I STILL thought it was the Cowardly Lion...

That's what I call "unrecognizable"

Jen as always: Hilarious ("sweeping generalizations" hehehe)

Fluffy Cow, I too noticed the niceness and pinkness in here

D.B. Echo said...

The last one had me thinking "Panda dropped from a great height." And the "Curious George" on always makes me think of D'argo from Farscape.

artsci said...

It's obviously Teen Wolf :)

Amy said...

CCC should be the past along with mullets and low-carb diets...hahaha! This one brought tears to my eyes from laughing so hard!

Sam said...

That's not a poodle. That's a self-portrait of J Edgar Hoover, obviously!!! ;-)

Lori Anderson Designs said...

Audible gasp of horror when I rolled down to see the Ojai cake -- hubby wanted to know what was wrong, all I could do was point at the screen.

Anonymous said...

Evidently not uncommon enough Shara!

Love - another Shara!

Val Cox said...

excellent Jen, thanks for the daily lesson!

The Rascal Queen said...

I thought the Curious George cake was supposed to be Alf! Totally wreck-a-liscious!

stewbert said...

Another one who thought Curious George was Chewbacca here ... hilarious post, thanks Jen.

Anne/kq said...

Do those ping pong paddles/baby rattles/balloons look... phallic to anyone else? *whistles*

Anonymous said...

Gay balloons in courtship? I think the balloon on the right feels inadequate.

shannon said...

"big foot"...."chewie"..."alf"..."beast"..."the cowardly lion".."teen wolf".... BWAHWAHWAHWAHWAHWAHWAHWAHWAHWAHWAHW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michelle Diane said...

Erika, I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that. The 80s RULED! As does the proliferation of cakewrecks across the internets. Go Jen!

Shara said...

Shara here - THE Shara (Not Sarah) actual real life receiver of the "Curious George" cake. This cake has taken on it's own life, I swear. It won't die! If it had been the cute attractive Curious George cake my son ordered, then we would have just eaten it and forgotten it. Not this cake, No way, no how! Thanks for them mention - again!

Anonymous said...

Anyone else think the red and yellow "balloons" look like whoopie cushions. Thats the 1st thing I thought.

S2 said...

BRILLIANT as always!

Tora said...

For what it's worth, I immediately thought of Whoopee Cushions when I saw the ping-pong paddle creation.

I blame the kids who keep hiding them in the back of the book department at work. :)

Anonymous said...

For my money, it's all about embracing your medium. If I want cupcakes, I want CUPCAKES. If I want a cake, I want a CAKE. The CCC tries to have the best of both worlds, and ends up with the eowrst of both!

Anonymous said...

Smashed curious George is my favorite! He is also known as steamrolled Sasquatch at my house.

Anonymous said...

I'm another onw that thinks the pink and white dog is poochie.

Lynette said...
I'm still trying to figure out the pink princess thing... what is that shape supposed to be?

I *think* it's meant to be a tiara shape but they neither stacked the cupcakes to give it height nor arranged the cupcakes into a shape (other than a weird curve). Maybe it intentionally doesn't have a shape. Maybe all these weird cake artists actually intend to make these cakes look awful to act as a conversation piece at a party.
It's a cake conspiracy.

Carleyflower said...

Oh goodness, I've been there. I love the Ojai cake....

Graceland Cupcakes said...

Lol I think everybody has had the odd disaster now and again!
Practice makes perfect!

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