This article was originally published on TastyArea
Special occasions like birthdays, weddings, and retirement deserve a lovely cake with an even sweeter message in icing, right? Well, unfortunately, it doesn't always turn out that way. Some messages become hilariously lost in translation while being ordered, some are passive-aggressive ways of people expressing ideas they could never vocalize, while some are just plain baffling. Here's a collection of some of our favorite messages... but which one is the icing on the cake?
At Least It Looks Delicious
There's a famous Paul Simon song from 1975 called "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover," but a message in icing on a cake wasn't one of them! That didn't stop this person from going to the trouble of having a cake made and explaining their unusual message down the phone to the cake-maker. Can you imagine being asked to write this on a cake? Hopefully, it was just a prank.
But if it wasn't a joke, do you think it had the intended effect? We can only hope this mean-spirited person received a cake from their next lover reading "It's not you, it's me!"
They Wrote Exactly What They Told Them On The Phone
This is the first of several lost in translation cake messages. We presume that most of these cake orders are taken by phone, and that's where the mix-ups come from. Yet, if you think that cake-makers would be well-versed in interpreting people's instructions, think again! This baker received an order for two identical cakes––most likely for twins' birthdays––with the instruction to write "Happy Birthday on both." No room for error there, right?
Do you think that maybe this is the bakers' way of getting their own back on difficult customers? Because saying "I wrote exactly what you told me on the phone" is a foolproof way of absolving themselves of any responsibility.
Put A Cap On Her Head
When Laura graduated, her family provided the cake maker with a photo of their daughter and asked for them to ice a graduation scroll and cap on her head. Of course, they meant a traditional black graduation ceremony cap. Now, if the final product featured Laura wearing the wrong kind of cap, like a baseball cap, that would be one thing, but when the cake arrived with a crude outline of a CAT, well, that's a whole other level of weird!
We can only guess that the cake maker thought Laura had graduated from Hogwarts and the black cat was her familiar!
When the Mother in Law Tries to Tell You Something
Mothers-in-law have been the butt of jokes for centuries, so it's probably high time they doled out some vengeance. This particular mom-in-law served up her revenge cold in the form of a refrigerated chocolate cake. Cutting the cake perfectly as planned, her son-in-law's portion simply read one word: "DIE." Fortunately, it was a good old-fashioned mix-up, and the family had a good laugh about it... until the second dessert arrived.
Mom-in-law ensured she got her message across in squirty cream on top of an arsenic-laced pumpkin pie. This time, the statement read: "DIE, YOU POISONOUS SNAKE, DIE!. Or maybe that second part didn't really happen.
Nothing, Nada, Zip, Zilch, Zero
Here's another of those lost in translation down a phone line mix-ups. And this one is perhaps the most self-explanatory of them all. We're guessing the conversation went a little something like this: Baker: "And what would you like the cake to say?" Customer: "Nothing." But instead of leaving it blank, the baker went ahead and spent what seems to be a total of nine seconds icing the word 'nothing.'
And the funniest part is, that the word 'nothing' isn't even straight! 10/10. Money well spent!
Intervention By Cake
If you receive a cake like this, you know you're the ultimate party animal. It seems poor Kara has spent years garnering a reputation for being found unconscious face down in the dirt before she even hit her 21st birthday. But if you got this cake for your big day, would you laugh it off, get offended, or would you re-evaluate your life, give up boozing, and join a 12-Step Program?
The original idea might have been to laugh at Kara's drunken antics, but this cake may have saved her life!
The Tables Turn On The Tiger King
Before the Netflix documentary Tiger King came along, not many people had heard of the enigma that is Joe Exotic. Yet after the show aired, he'd earned his fifteen minutes of fame. The nefarious zookeeper became so famous that some poor deluded people wanted his face on their cake. Just like this cake is encased in a plastic prison, Joe Exotic is now behind bars for his part in a murder-for-hire plot against Carole Baskin and for violating the Endangered Species Act.
It seems Carole Baskin finally got her way, chopped off her enemy's head, and hid it in what could be a Baskin-Robbins refrigerator.
What's In The Box?
What's the opposite of "I love you" and the last thing you want to read on a cake? That's right! "Nobody loves you." But that's precisely what happened to the recipient of this cake, who must have been a serial killer. Just three short weeks later, the priest (and only guest) at the murderer's funeral was surprised when––like the final, climactic scene in Seven––a delivery truck careered into view, haphazardly knocking over headstones.
The delivery came from a local bakery, and when the priest opened the small, white, square box, he found a cake inside. The message said, "Hahaha! Welcome to Hell!" To this day, no one knows who sent either cake. Or maybe that didn't actually happen. But it could have!
One Small Cake For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind
This must be one hilarious dad to live with. As the accompanying text explains, two triplets failed their driving test while one passed with flying colors. This dysfunctional family obviously has one golden child and two black sheep! Legend says that astronaut Michael Collins' dad baked a similar cake with two smiling faces and one frowning face when his son, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin returned to earth after the Apollo 11 moon mission in 1969.
You see, while Armstrong and Aldrin went down in history as the first men on the moon, poor Michael Collins was stuck in the command module Columbia orbiting the moon. Thanks, Dad!
Coming Out Cake
Coming out is a life-changing event, but never before has this grand, auspicious occasion been announced on a cake, until now! Okay, the icing around the perimiter of the cake––presumably meant to represent the LGBTQ+ rainbow––is a tad dull and could be more colorful. But apart from that, those three short words iced on this cake are the perfect way to shock your parents with the news that you're gay!
We just hope the recipient of this cake didn't suffer a cardiac arrest after this sugary surprise!
Once More With Feeling!
Forget chicken soup for the soul or food made with love. The ingredients for this cake were sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla, icing, a dash of frustration, a pinch of martyrdom, and a heaped tablespoon of that extra special ingredient... anger. Then it was heated in an oven for thirty years––the same number of years as their loveless, sexless, mundane marriage. How can we be sure? Because only a thirty-year relationship can make someone this snarky!
Whoever made this cake went through a lot of trouble to make and decorate it - so what's written on top doesn't matter all that much, right?
Riddle Me This, Batman
As well as the brilliantly cynical icing, "Noah, you managed to exceed our low expectations," the best thing about this bizarre cake is the whole Batman-Hannah Montana combo. Is it a clue to Batman's secret identity? Was Hannah Montana secretly The Batman all these years? Think about it for a minute, both the teenage pop star and the street vigilante lived double lives with alter egos to protect their real identities!
Plus, have you ever seen Miley Cyrus and The Dark Knight in the same room at the same time? Mystery solved!
Don't Put This Cake Anywhere Near Your Mouth!
When Alex and James graduated magna cum laude, they deserved a cake, right? But as graduates with honors, they'd be the first to notice the three spelling mistakes. Instead of writing the famous Latin phrase meaning with great distinction, the cake maker had iced the words Maga Kum Latte! And depending on their politics, proclivities, and peccadilloes, a Maga Kum Latte is the last thing you want to be putting in your mouth!
Now, the Latin for a slip of the tongue is lapsus linguae, but what is a slip of the hand? Lapsus manus, perhaps?
Showered With Gifts For Your Bathday
While many cake wrecks can be attributed to misinterpreted phone calls, this one has to be down to the baker's stupidity! Surely, common sense should have kicked in at some point, and the cake maker should have realized they were making a mistake. But alas, no! Hindered by their inability to tie their shoelaces, they plowed on through to get the job done and delivered just in time for someone's bathday.
Unless that is, they're from Kentucky because inhabitants of the Bluegrass State are required by law to take a bath once a year!
Go Big Or Go Home
This behemoth––presumably made for Super Bowl LIV in 2020––was meant to bring delight to some young NFL fan's face. However, literally everything about it is wrong! The most obvious mistake is the inexplicable inclusion of the word 'helmets.' But dig a little deeper and you realize that the Kansas City Chiefs play in red, not blue. Next, since the San Francisco 49ers were designated the home team, they should have been on the left.
Finally, the team names are under the wrong helmets. The only way this cake could have been worse is if it had read the San Francisco 69ers!
Good Luck In Your New Job, Loser!
Sometimes, it's hard to say what you really mean in life. Especially when you inhabit the male-dominated work-hard, play-hard environment of an office basically anywhere in the world. However, these work colleagues couldn't even show their true feelings as their buddy walked out the door after years of friendship. Their simple icing cake message starts well with "We will miss you..." but then they go and spoil it all.
By calling their friend something passive-aggressive like "Quitter." It really is like something out of The Office sitcom. The cake recipient smiled nervously but had the last laugh as he moved to a job in a comfier office on double the money!
Excuse the Pun
Now, if those office workers who called their colleague a quitter couldn't express their emotions, this cake just wants to tell you how it's feeling with the cake-based version of Rickrolling. If you've not heard of Rickrolling, it is an Internet bait-and-switch prank whereby gullible people are asked to follow an innocent-looking hyperlink which, when clicked, leads to a video of English singer Rick Astley performing his beloved 1987 hit song "Never Gonna Give You Up."
But the real icing on the cake (pun intended) is the play on words using 'dessert' instead of 'desert.' Plus five cool points to whoever thought that up!
You May Kiss The Green-Fingered Bride!
This is our first example of a typo iced upon a cake. You don't need to be a genius to work out that the wording is meant to say 'Congratulations on your wedding,' but the cake-maker spelled it 'weeding.' Of all the cakes to get wrong! Your wedding day is supposed to be the most important day of your life, and one little thing like this could ruin everything! We're surprised they didn't sue the bakery!
In fact, this has given us a brilliant business idea—proofreading for cakes! As well as being a license to print millions, we'll save a lot of embarrassment at weddings and save a lot of cake makers from making a huge mistake!
The Icing On The Cat
Once again, the words on the cake say it all. It's easy to imagine how someone could have been sick in their friend's apartment, but how on earth do you projectile vomit all over a cat? Then factor in that the cake is shaped like a heart. Do you think that this person had romantic feelings towards their friend? If so, it's safe to say they literally messed up their one shot at love!
That said, love is an inexplicable thing. They might have fallen in love and fondly reminisced: "Do you remember the first time we met and you projectile vomited over my cat?"
Sometimes words have more than one meaning. And this cake is one such example. Do the words iced in red mean the cake is ugly, or does it have a deeper meaning? Is the cake bearer admitting to their ugliness, or are they saying that the recipient of the cake fell from the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down? We just have no way of knowing.
But being the lovely people that we are, we're going to go ahead and assume it's the cake that's ugly. It's not exactly going to win The Great British Bake Off, is it?
First Day On The Job?
Imagine you were a baker, and someone said they wanted a cake with "30 with stars and sprinkles around it." Look, you've not even had one day on the job as a baker, and you understood the instruction, right? So how come they keep getting things so completely and utterly wrong? Unless it's all of these cake makers' first day on the job, there's no excuse for such schoolboy errors.
Maybe bakery school is where failed school sports teachers go when they don't make the grade.
Never A Truer Word Spoken
Never has a truer word been spoken (or iced in this case) than the sentiment written on this cake. We've all made poor choices when drunk, right? But we'd love to know how things get so bad that your friends stage an intervention with a cake. We guess it could be down to bad choices about the type of person they keep going home with at the end of the night.
And if that's the case, this cake intervention has got to come from girls because boys just wouldn't care!
Tonight, We're Gonna Party Like It's 1999
This beast of a chocolate cake was surely baked for a fan of Prince's music and Minnesota Vikings fan. How can we be sure? Well, who else likes purple as much as a Vikings-supporting, Prince fan from Minneapolis? But what could have been a cake with the lovely, heartfelt message "Thanks for a great year" became yet another case of lost in translation... well, either that or the cake maker was just not paying attention.
At least the patisserie got one thing right––those purple sprinkles are presumably meant to be purple rain!
Don't Say It With Flowers
Usually, partners apologize for their mistakes with a lovely bunch of flowers. But this person's misdemeanor was so bad, that they felt it warranted a whole cake with a message explaining their faux pas. Their crime? Not filling up the water filter! Never has such a heinous household kitchen crime been perpetrated. But this isn't their first apology by cake. Their many previous crimes that were forgiven by cake include...
Cakes reading: "Sorry for forgetting to take the trash out," and the old classic "Sorry for leaving the toilet seat up." Everyone knows the trick is to reset the counter, and just say you've replaced the water filter!
This apology on a cake could be taken at face value. The cake giver really could have accidentally broken their friend's X-Box and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim video game. But it's just as likely they smashed the console in a fit of frustrated rage when their avatar became over-encumbered and could not run! And while we're on the subject of Skyrim, here's a quick action role-playing joke for y'all...
Why did the Greybeard only steal from bards? Because they have the best lute! Geddit? Lute, as in the medieval musical instrument.
For Those About To Rock, We Salute You
This is perhaps the strangest way to wish someone a happy birthday. The words speak for themselves, but it's the picture of the baby that's the best part of the whole crazy affair. Having just been expelled from their mother's uterus, the baby sports a punk mohican hairstyle, sunglasses, and has even formed their tiny, minutes-old hands into the globally recognized rock salute! Whoever this cake is for, you can bet one thing...
They are a true rock n' roll listening, mosh-pit inhabiting, headbanging, pogo-ing, stage-diving, punk-a$$, metalhead birthday boy or girl!
Momento Mori Cake
The last thing you want on a cake is a Momento Mori––the Latin phrase meaning 'remember that you have to die,' but that's how this cake maker rolls. They're probably the kind of person who, when you wish them Happy Friday in the office, responds with the line: "Yup, one week closer to death!" Or when they buy their partner a birthday cake, inscribes it with: "One Year Closer To The Grave."
But what was the special occasion? The yellow colors suggest Easter while the roses suggest it could have been a funeral cake. Whichever it was, we hope it went down well!
Revenge Is A Dessert Best Served Cold
When it comes to misinterpreted instructions, this one definitely takes the cake. There is no way in a million years that the icing-scribe could have written this message accidentally, right? Surely, they had to have known exactly what they were doing, and they were getting their own back on a rude, demanding customer. As already mentioned, messing up the birthday message in this way is the best form of revenge...
The bakery only has to utter those over-used words: "We iced the words you asked for on the phone," and the whole sticky mess goes away.
The Ultimate Compliment
At first glance, the message on this cake, "I love you as much as Kanye West loves Kanye West," comes across as a little aloof. But once you start to meditate on it and peel back the layer cake, it gets deeper and deeper. Eventually, after a day spent cross-legged in the lotus position, chanting the phrase as a mantra, you realize there is no better compliment in the world.
But the message gets even more profound once you realize that Kanye West cooked this cake for himself!
You've Got The Wrong End Of The USB Stick
Just like in the classic Steve McQueen movie, Cool Hand Luke, "what we've got here is failure to communicate." When this person told the patisserie “And here’s the image to ice onto the cake,” the baker obviously got the wrong end of the stick... the USB stick! Perhaps they were old and a technophobe and had never seen a USB before. That said, you've got to admire their artistic credentials.
You must agree that the image on the cake is a near-perfect facsimile of what they were provided with. 10/10 for sugarcraft. 0/10 for communication!
Rather Me Than You!
Now, this cake could be for a Danish employee, or it could mean they are leaving our shores for the colorful houses, beer, licorice, hygge, and little mermaids of Denmark. If it's the latter, the last laugh is on those employees left behind. Denmark is consistently ranked as the happiest country in the world, so it should be the excited exiting employee shouting "Hooray, I'm leaving," as they walk out the door!
Citizens of the Scandinavian country work 33 hours a week, the minimum wage is $20, they get five weeks of paid holiday every year, and have the world's most delicious pastries!
In the United Kingdom, they hide surprise sixpence coins in Christmas Puddings, but "Find the toenail" has got to be the most off-putting message on a cake we've seen yet. We hope it's a brilliant joke, as opposed to a toenail accidentally flying across the room and landing in the cake mix as the baker was clipping their oversized talons! Either that or it's a new, skin-crawling Fear Factor stunt.
Setting our minds to the task at hand, we actually came up with something worse. Imagine if the icing on the cake read: "Find one of ten toenails!"
The Biggest Burn In Cake History
This cake didn't require a single candle to provide the biggest burn in history. The message could have been for anyone––a friend, a colleague––but it is so mean-spirited that we suspect it's for an ex-lover or a family member. In fact, considering the level of finality, it's somewhat surprising that they actually went to the trouble of baking a cake instead of just completely cutting the recipient out of their lives.
"You're dead to us" would have done the trick, but they obviously wanted the satisfaction of that extra kick in the teeth by adding: "We hope you fail."
Happy Birthday, Not Really
Kara from earlier on this list isn't the only birthday boy or girl who needs an intervention by cake! By our reckoning, there are 22 candles here, so the recipient has also racked up a reputation as a heavy drinker by quite a young age. Depending on what US state or country they are in, they might only have been allowed to drink alcohol since their 21st birthday, just 365 days before... unless it's a leap year!
Your friends needing to intervene over your drinking by that young age is quite some going! But seriously, if you know someone with addiction issues, getting them some help could save their life.
The Perfect Cake For Geeks
This nerdy cake was presented to an office during I.T. Professional’s Day. If you haven't heard of this special day before, it lands on the third Tuesday of every September. It recognizes informational technology experts like computer coders and Chief Technical Officers because these poor guys and girls don't get paid enough already! Okay, back to the cake. Can anyone tell us what language the frosted lettering is written in?
That's right; it's HTML or Hypertext Markup Language. Did you know that's where Hotmail got its name from? The title contains the letters HTML in order, you see.
When They Run Out Of Ideas
Sometimes it's challenging to know what cake decoration to choose, particularly if you're choosing something for your own cake. But never fear! Simply text your friend with the worst sense of humor since yourself! They can always be relied on to back up your most unimaginative idea ever. These two stoners were so lacking in inventiveness that the only idea they could come up with was a screenshot of their current conversation!
If these two dullard's text exchanges teach us one thing, it's don't smoke that early in the morning, kids!
America's Favorite National Pastime
This cake is perhaps the most genius of the bunch.... or should the collective noun for cakes be a batch? For maybe the first time in history, it addresses an age-old question all Americans can relate to: "Am I hungry or bored?" Yet, other nations have beat America to the punch. Germans say Kummerspeck––"grief bacon"––for emotional eating, while the Finnish have the word Kalsarikännit––"underwear drinking"––for when you drink alone at home, in your underwear!
The Georgian people (the country, not the US state) have a tremendous food-based word we all need to adopt. Their word Shemomechama means: “I accidentally ate the whole thing.” How brilliant is that!?
Cakes Made By Pre-Schoolers
Our final 'lost in translation' example is this beauty that kills two birds with one stone. Not only is this one yet another example of crossed lines down a telephone line, but it's also quite literally lost in translation because it concerns language. Of course, not every baker can be expected to know that Happy Birthday in Spanish is Feliz Cumpleaños, but a three-year-old should be able to decipher such basic instructions!
And speaking of three-year-olds, it looks as if the penmanship was carried out by a toddler. What's with all the splodges on certain letters? We hope this bakery is being investigated for using child labor!
At first glance, the glad tidings on this cake couldn't be more clear. Nobody. Loves. You. But take a closer look, and you'll find a deeper meaning. Adding the concept of “pity” in toothpicks changes the whole meaning. Those four letters don't make the message any less of a punch in the face (or a kick in the genitals, since it's soccer-based), but it does lend it a more absurd, existential twist.
This cake could only be for one person––philosopher and author Albert Camus––who stated we should all embrace the absurd condition of human existence and played goalkeeper at his Algerian University in the 1920s. True story!
Y U No Propose?
So, what have we learned today? It seems people who have problems vocalizing their feelings seem to have no problem writing their wants, needs, and feelings on a cake. And the angry face and message on this cake is a classic example that gives us another business idea! Here's the pitch: Have you something to say but can't find the right words? We'll ice your inner-most thoughts on a cake, and deliver it to the recipient's door!
The moral of the story? If you can't find the right words in conversation, bake a cake, get out the buttercream icing, a piping bag, go wild and say all those things you could never say out loud. You're welcome!