20 Birthday Cakes That Totally Fell Flat

Trends may come and go, but nothing can replace a birthday cake. I don’t care if it’s a birthday cookie, a brookie (that's a brownie cookie) or one gigantic muffin supposed to feed an entire birthday party. Ice cream cakes aside, the old b-day cake is just the most delicious vehicle for icing and however many candles are necessary. That said, not all cakes are made equal. Some may be technically impressive and lack any feeling or love. Some are pretty tough to look at but really lean hard into the love. And then some have neither — it's all the ingredients cake is supposed to contain but something feels all wrong; the cake-consumer knows it in their gut and their heart.

These cakes are sad little mutants in the world of birthday cakes. Some of them might have had a lot of love put in, but looking at the end result there’s definitely no trace. Besides, everyone knows love is humble. So if these cakes contained love, they’d have been scrapped and replaced by something store-bought that at least makes sense. But no, the love in these cakes (if there’s any at all) is not all bothered by how it’ll affect those around it.

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20  A Disney Cake, So They Say

No part of me is willing to go out on a limb and claim this is a “Frozen”-inspired cake, but apparently it is. Really that’s only apparent in the color scheme and the icy theme that’s peeking out from a lot of confusing obstacles on this cake. Of course, white and blue are also the colors of Hanukkah so it’s just as convincing that this is a cold Hanukkah-inspired cake as it having anything to do with any Disney franchise. As for what those “ice shards” are… it’d be a reach to assume they’re edible. Let the person who baked this bite into them first and then proceed accordingly.

19 A Cat, If We're Being Very Generous

I really don’t want to be mean to kitty. Especially not a circa-2008 kitty cat cake (hello there, iPod mini — I’ve dreamt of you). But there’s no way anyone would ever adopt this sad kitty cat, not even the cat lady who owns half the town's felines. I was going to blame the cat’s ramshackle appearance on the very hard whiskers, but then I just noticed its saltine ears. Great, so this is a huge game over. Was this cake baked by an actual cat? Is that offensive to all cats? How soggy are those saltines? Such great questions I never want answers to. 

18 Another Beloved Character


My dearest Spongebob — how you’ve seen better days. I don’t just mean that your hands are protruding from where anyone else would have ears. Why, I don’t even entirely mean the sinus infection you seem to be burdened by that’s completely melted the upper half of your face. So what is it that makes it so difficult to see a childhood hero in this state? It’s a weird detail, but it might just be the plastic straw legs. Those are really difficult to look at. I’m so concerned about what’s become of Patrick if this is the treatment his best buddy got. Man, we need to take better care of our oceans.

17 Apparently Too Much For Even The Professionals

What separates this cake from its predecessors and completely establishes a whole new category of sadness is that this one was store-bought. It’s rough to consider, but that Spongebob cake was clearly labored over. It’s pretty likely his face is so melty because it’s one-third mom sweat and look- is that hygienic? No. Does that make us want to eat it? Of course not. But there’s something beautiful about the kind of love that leads to creating something monstrous for your loved one. This has none of that heart and soul. It’s just twenty five bucks down the tube.

16 Someone Can't Handle Directions

Well this is just lazy. There are so many stories that border on sounding like urban legends about some disinterested teenager copying down cake instructions way too literally. Well, we’re here to prove that these things do in fact happen. Maybe it’d be preventable by upping minimum wage or maybe these kinds of mistakes are just what has to happen. But someone definitely got kicked to the curb after whoever bought this sad cake responded with a very mean Yelp review. Is that a worthy sort of justice? Not sure, but it’s the best we can do when faced with such bad cakes.

15 They Really Strayed From The Original

It’s completely self-destructive to include that Sonic sticker so clearly visible next to such a sad caricature of the same character. At least hide what it’s supposed to look like, cross those fingers and dearly hope they won’t notice how truly dissimilar to the two are. But including that sticker in such a place of prominence is really just looking someone in the eye and acknowledging what a bad job you’ve done. Comparing these two images should really be grounds for a full refund. And if you bring those weird paws into the equation, they should get a second free cake.

14 It's The Kitty Cat End Of The World

I don’t know if the fiend behind the other kitty cat cake was also the person/cat baker (still attached to that possibility) who constructed this scene. Are these cats all worshipping a high and mighty cat leader? What did the red and white cat have to do to achieve this level of leadership? Is this a “Lord of the Flies” style cake using cats? I just can’t imagine this is a recreation of any established book or movie series. This has to be some kind of original universe the baker fell back on. It’s always a bold choice to use inedible toppings on a cake, but wow that’s a ton of plastic toys.

13 Here We Go Again

It’s really nice when an image can make you feel you’re living in the moment it was taken. If there’s something, anything, to be said for this cake, it’s that. I definitely know how the phone conversation with the cake instructions went down. I can practically hear the frustration in whoever’s step-parent was calling it in. In fact, I can hear the frustration and half-invested anger the sight of this cake was met with. Well, it was never going to be a very good birthday party judging by the tone of the original instructions. So what had to happen happened — hopefully the birthday girl/boy got another, better birthday in the future.

12 Completely Off The Rails

Oh, boy. Those carrots are so embarrassed to even be on the same cake as this mess. “Brithday”? Well, at least the cake was a mess well before it got to the name. All of this cake’s icing seems like such a deliberate misinterpretation of the caller’s instructions. This cake must have been iced by someone either on their last day or two minutes away from the most dramatic, yell-y quitting. As soon as they wrote out “sea” in pretty great cursive, it was all powdered sugar in the air and squirting icing at mean co-workers. This cake was just one casualty.

11 A Creature From Another World

These multi-media birthday cakes are going absolutely bananas. Fine, maybe those teeth are the gummy teeth and not a pair of plastic dentures but I really can’t get behind this combining cake and gummies. Same goes for cake and ice cream — there’s a place and a time for dummies and it’s not this. Then we get to the fact that the cake seems to be snarling. Or how about that the icing is the same color as if it once had skin and no longer does? As for the cookie spikes… I just don’t have the kind of time necessary to get into that.

10 This Cake Is Simply Everything

I don’t want to choose a favorite with so many keepers up ahead but wow. I love the humility and apologetic message in this cake. The well-intentioned baker clearly reached the eleventh hour, realized their cake was incredibly cratered and they either had no more icing to cover it or just couldn’t do it (or reached in and ate a fistful of cake? How does any baked good end up looking like this?). Then they tried to redeem themselves with the icing. This cake looks the most like a battlefield and it’s wonderful. Also, gel-y icing aside it doesn’t even look all that gross.

9 Here We Are

Possibly the loveliest of completely inattentive efforts. This cake was so close to some kind of minimalistic elegance, probably for a vague office party where the person hosting it didn’t want to make any kind of big statement. If you’re going out of your way for your cake to not declare anything, this is most likely a party completely attended by colleagues who don’t know each other well but will gladly file into a conference room for cake. And on one hand, they succeeded by not saying anything. On the other, seeing a nihilistic cake is truly an experience. But those icing swirls are pretty great, nonetheless.

8 We Have No Proof But This Is Supposed To Be Olaf

Don’t take my word for it. There’s no way I’ll risk my reputation or the validity of my word on claiming that this odd blob is a recreation of Disney’s beloved character. That said, the site the image is originally from does make that claim. Do they explain the presence of black licorice on a child’s cake? Of course not. No one can explain that. Then there’s the fact that if this isn’t Olaf, who could it possibly be? Or what? I wouldn’t totally assume it’s a snowman but I just don’t know what else it could possibly be. Everybody’s got someone to love in this world, so hopefully someone at least enjoyed this cake.

7 Sprinkles Can't Save Everything

It’s plausible that this first line of text once wrote “Happy” but no one could ever say. Maybe no one remembers or maybe no one ever knew — it’s possible the person spelling it out didn’t even know what they were doing. The great thing about this cake is it totally still looks yummy. Sure, the icing is way too intense of a great but that’s a matter of taste. And those little sprinkles were brought in as a final resort to save the cake. But it’s too late for that. Well, I believe the baker that they love their “boo”, just not that they should be the one in charge of birthday cakes.

6 It's Not Made Of Worms But Might As Well Be

The thing is, this is by no means a pretty or nice looking cake but I can almost believe it was the perfect cake. Who besides a seven year old would want an icky looking cake? Sure, this cake looks like it’s made of worms and mud but I’d almost believe that’s on purpose. Why is there a tiny backwards c next to the 7? Who knows but that’s a non-issue compared to some of the roadblocks these other cakes gave us. Someone’s mother made this cake and was aware it was more or less a waste of an hour and I bet she’s amazing at doing other stuff, like surgery or fixing engines.

5 So Weird What Got communicated

Look, I don’t know. I really have no idea what the periods/dots are supposed to follow but I know that I love the slash got communicated. It's almost surprising that the slash between dots and periods didn't also get spelled at. While we’re being ridiculously literal and probably at risk of losing this job, why not go all the way out? I imagine the baker was so confused as to what the eighteen dots would follow once they ran out of space. And then their boss came and yelled at them and that was the end of that pastry chef dream.

4 An Amazing Replica Of Our Tech-Heavy World

I don’t just love that this cake looks like the interface of some '60s-era computer that would take up an entire room and definitely couldn’t text. It’s not just that any screen that looks this simplistic definitely couldn’t text. What makes me so happy is that both of these text messages just aren’t how people text. And if they are, it’s a little rude. You’re going to throw me a “ty”? You couldn’t sound less appreciative. Then again, barely spelling out “happy birthday” is a pretty lame note to start someone’s birthday on as well. Yes, this cake looks all wrong but the conversation is also not at all worthy of being on any cake.

3 Such Specific Instructions, To No Avail


It’s understandable if the employee who made this thought the cake was a bit cluttered by so much text but what’s confusing is that a human probably made this. A machine or a robot, sure -- the cursive would be more uniform and perfect and the deeply literal misunderstanding would make some kind of sense. But that’s not even what happened! A human being presumably held an icing funnel above this cake, double-checking instructions and creating a cake no one would want. Actually, they did that twice -- check out the two layers of text in different colors. That's more than enough time to notice the mistake.

2 Oh Boy, Here We Go

I’m so sorry, Hak. Or is it Hank? Does it even matter at this point? Something about this cake looks oddly delicious and it’s probably how shiny the icing is. Which is way too shiny- that stuff looks like patent leather or gasoline. And yet so tempting -- this says more about me than it does about the cake-maker. Every skill takes some humility and self knowledge, but definitely don’t let the person with the most unintelligible handwriting handle the text of the cake. Sure, they can help with sprinkles but why leave them in charge of this part? The cake is so nice otherwise and such a mess with this.

1 Not A Great Graduation Gift

Wow, what a great reminder that it’s time to get the heck out of Dodge and move on to bigger and better things than this kind of cake. It could be the personal experience of attending a poorly funded, deeply incompetent high school (hello, not including my senior quote when I specifically paid for it) but everything about this cake feels familiar. I can close my eyes and smell that weird scent coming from the girl I sat next to in Math. So get your slice of cake, the yearbook signature of the least annoying people and get far away from this school -- everything about this reminds you that the world is waiting for you.

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