Kids' Party Cake Wrecks (and How to Avoid Them)

Terri ZimmerContributor

A specialty cake can be the crowning centerpiece to an amazing kids’ birthday party. Or it can be a lasting reminder of mistakes made…

miscommunication (or no communication)…

Or fun themes gone terribly awry.

Cake Wrecks Happen

Just ask Jen Yates, the brains behind (and the hilarious books spawned from the blog). She sees about 50 cakes-gone-wrong every week. Yates says mistakes happen all the time, but some cakes are more prone to all-out wreckage.

“Simple mistakes like misspellings happen most often on big chain store cakes,” she said. “Baby shower cakes and sculpted character cakes probably suffer the most, if only because they're the most demanding. No one will notice a few wonky flowers, but make Elmo look like a homicidal maniac, and no one will ever forget.” sees a ton of hilariously bad cakes. The more popular the theme, the more wrecks that get submitted to the site. Right now, lots of terrifying Elsa’s are coming across Yates’ inbox.

Avoiding a Cake Wreck 

Working with a talented baker (or hiring a caterer who works with one) is a key part of getting a stunning cake for your kids' party. You'll want to shop around and see examples so you don't order this:

And get this instead: 

“It's all about hiring the right baker, and choosing the right design.” Yates advised.  “Believe it or not, price isn't always the best gauge when picking a baker; I've seen tons of expensive disasters, and plenty of beautiful work from grocery store bakeries. Just do your homework: check portfolios and references, interview your baker ahead of time, and perhaps most importantly, make sure what you want isn't beyond your baker's skill. Just because she makes gorgeous sugar flowers doesn't mean she can sculpt, and vice versa.”


 Unless you have a skilled baker on stand-by, fixing the problem is tricky, but possible possible.

“Never underestimate the power of lots and lots of fresh flowers,” said Yates. “That's right; if you can't fix it, HIDE IT.”

We’ll try…but sometimes, you just have to laugh at it until you, well...

All images were were lovingly sourced from with permission.