Cake Wake…as in “Dead On Arrival”

by admin on July 24, 2009

I married in June of 2005.  A dear friend had completed a culinary arts degree and insisted on making my wedding cake as her gift.  She had photos of cakes she had made in the past and they all looked beautiful.  I was touched to have her offer such a gift as I knew the time involved.  We poured over books and the internet until we found the perfect cake.  We shopped for the supplies together and as well as other wedding favors.  The plan was she would bake the cake layers the morning before the wedding, cool, ice and refrigerate them overnight at her house then take the layers and supplies to the hall and put on a final layer of icing and decorations the morning of the wedding.

Well, late the night before she was supposed to bake the cakes she comes to my house and tells me about her mother and grandmother coming into town and how they are going to be going to dinner, shopping, etc. while they are in town.  I’m a little confused about how she is going to bake cake whilst out running around with her mom and g’ma.  She acts very hurt and assures me that she would NEVER do that to me and the cake layers will be baked early in the morning and cooling on racks before they leave on their day out.  I felt ashamed that I had questioned as she seemed so hurt.

Fast forward to the wedding.  She did not come to my wedding.  I noticed her absence but there was so much going on that I quickly became distracted and forgot about it.  After the wedding we went to the reception hall where my younger sister was waiting for me.  She looked like she had been crying and she had a disturbing “deer in the headlights” look to her.  Before I could ask what was wrong she was saying, “Please don’t get upset.  I don’t want anything to upset you today … we’ll (she and my older sister) take care of everything so I don’t want you to freak out when I tell you this.”  That’s my sisters code for :  This is definitely going to make you freak out!  She turns around and leads me into the kitchen where all the food from the refrigerator is on the counters and the racks and vegetable bins are on the floor.  When she opens the refrigerator door and steps back I nearly screamed.  There in the gutted refrigerator is what is supposed to be my wedding cake.  The layers were lopsided, the frosting was full of crumbs and there were large craters in the cake.  None of the decorations were on the cake.  My sister then filled me in on what had transpired during the 15 minutes before I had arrived.  My friend and her mother had rushed into the hall with HOT layers of cake and attempted to ice them which just tore the cake apart.   (I am NOT a culinary arts major and even I know you don’t ice hot cake).  When that didn’t work her mother gutted the fridge and stuffed the cake in there to cool while they ran to the grocery store to get some canned icing.  On the way out the door my friend screams at my sister that under no circumstances is she to let me see the cake.  Like I’m not going to notice 20 minutes before the reception is to start that I have no wedding cake.  I felt like throwing up.  My older sister is frantically making phone calls to every bakery (even the grocery store ones) in town trying to find a spare cake we could “wing it” with.  No luck. 

My friend gets back with a whole sack full of Duncan Hines canned frosting and I thought she was going to wet herself when she saw me standing in front of the refrigerator.  She turned beet red and starts telling me all cakes look like this before the final icing goes on.  I told her she had promised me she would bake the cake the day before and how hurt I was that she had blown off something so important after swearing she would never do that.  She insisted she HAD baked the cake the day before and started to cry.  I was so mad I just turned around and left her standing there.  My sisters took over and did what they could with the cake.  It was hideous. 

When the DJ announced that my hubby and I were leaving for our honeymoon everybody gathered around to do the whole throwing bird seed thing, give us final good wishes and kiss us good bye.  My friend approached me and acted like nothing had happened.  Then she had the nerve to tell me that the ingredients for the cake had run more than she had expected so I owed her $50 but that the time she put into the cake would be her “gift to me”.  Once again I turned on my heel without a word and left her standing there.

For weeks after I got back from my honeymoon this “friend” hounded me for the $50 even after I told her in no uncertain terms there was no way on earth I was going to pay her a dime and our friendship was over.  She gave up on me and started hounding my MOTHER.  I told my mother that if she gave her a dime I would disown her.  I heard from a colleague that this woman had been telling everyone she was going to take me to small claims court.  My sister’s SIL had taken several photos of the horrible cake so I carried them around with me to show people who this “friend” had badmouthed me to and the talk of suing me in small claims quickly stopped.    07-18-08

Sounds like a candidate for CakeWrecks.com.    

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

kt July 24, 2009 at 10:32 am

even if the cake was in pristine condition – she would sure over 50 bucks?!

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HonorH July 26, 2009 at 1:37 am

In that case, honestly? I’d forget about having a wedding cake, send someone down to Costco, and grab a few of their big sheet cakes for the reception. I’m assuming here, of course, that there was a Costco (or Sam’s Club, for that matter) in the vicinity. If not, I’d think most of the supermarkets or grocery stores would have at least some smaller cakes, and you could gather some of them for the cake table. May not be a wedding cake, but it’s better than a Cake Wreck!

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Ladycrim July 27, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I know Cake Wrecks only takes submissions of Wrecks made by professional decorators … but this sounds like it could be an exception!

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Chocobo July 31, 2009 at 11:26 am

I don’t know, perhaps I’m different but I think I’d honestly just laugh in that situation at the ridiculousness of it all. What else can you do? The cake was hideous and her behavior inexcusable, but I don’t honestly think I would get angry or cry.

I agree that going to a grocery store and buying up some of their sheet cakes would have been a good option — you wouldn’t even have to show them. Just serve the cake from a back room.

The insistence of paying her back $50, though, THAT I would give her a what-for.

I love Cake Wrecks!

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Robert September 28, 2009 at 1:36 am

Ok, she said the cake was a gift… who charges someone for a gift?! Much less one that was utterly destroyed!

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Ling October 21, 2009 at 9:16 am

It’s just a cake!
I’m not saying the “friend” was behaving well or anything, but it’s still just a cake. You will be just as married without it. I’d be more angry for all the grocery and stuff they threw out of the refrigerator. Who is going to replace them?
At our wedding the pastry cook accidentally dropped our cake as it was being moved from the van to the table inside. It was the first time that had happen to him, and he was devastated. He called in his sons and rushed back to make another one. When the reception started we had a lovely tiered cake standing there on the table.

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Kitty November 3, 2009 at 1:12 pm

I can’t believe someone who called themselves a friend would to this to you! It’s not the ruined cake or spoiled groceries that would upset me, more the fact that they’d shown such disregard for a promise they’d made and then not even had the decency to admit they’d done something horrible.

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alexis April 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm

aaah! i <3 cake wrecks!

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livvy April 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I’m with Ling. When I was planning my own wedding, as the date neared, and some things didn’t go as planned/envisioned in my head, I started getting pretty worked up until I had this epiphany: “No one else has seen your wedding in their heads. They don’t have any expectations other than to be able to speak with you to share your joy.”
That said, I think your friend was just very naive – I think most wedding cakes are baked even more than 24 hours in advance, to allow not only for cooling, but for structural reasons, and to give more than ample time to frost and decorate. Could be that she’d baked the day before, and those were even worse, and this was attempt #2, etc. I totally understand your hurt and frustration though.

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Dalis May 12, 2010 at 1:02 am

is just a cake??? I can’t understand how some people are commenting as to how she shouldn’t have been crying or upset… that it was just a cake… that the wedding was going tohappen with or without the cake… hello??? a wedding without a cake is like the beach without sand….

The bride had ALL HER RIGHTS to be sad/upset/mad/dissappointed/etc…. her weding pictures will always be a reminder of her cake “GIFT”…. Her children will ask her: “Mommy where is the picture of you and daddy eating your wedding cake?”

I feel so bad about what happened to her…. and I am glad she reacted the way she did toward her “friend” (so called)

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Liutgard July 24, 2010 at 5:16 am

The friend had a Culinary Arts degree, and she showed the bride a portfolio- it’s clear to me that she was trying to present herself as a professional, even if she did not yet have a business of her own. But no professional would blow off a job like that to go running around with her mom and grandma. The bride was well within her rights to be upset, and no, she owed the former friend *NOTHING*.

I’m a historian, but I have a sideline doing costumes and wedding dresses. I’ve made wedding dresses for several friends, and if anything, I sweat more over them than I do an ordinary customer! I can’t imagine treating a friend so badly!

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gramma dishes July 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

I’m so mean that I think that (after calling all the local grocery stores and bake shops in a last minute attempt to locate a substitute cake, as the sisters had done) I would have plopped the hideous cake out on the table and announced: ” . . . and we’d like to thank our good friend, Dumpy Cake, for her generous gift of our wedding cake. Enjoy!”

Consider it free advertising in return for the “favor”! LOL!!!!

Glad there were pictures!!!

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Sharon August 7, 2010 at 4:23 pm

OOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I would SO love to see one of those pictures! Cake Wrecks is a wild site… just unbelievable!

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PO'd reader November 5, 2010 at 12:19 am

Cake wrecks indeed I love that site :). Even with cooling, baking and maybe the previous cakes didn’t turn out the way she wanted I’m sure the wedding wasn’t that early in the morning. If I promised someone something I would stay up as late as I needed to, asked a friend who maybe had spare refridgerator space to loan me or do whatever. I wouldn’t want to be known as someone who couldn’t produce something I promised much less demand payment for a gift and threaten court over it.

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