Twelve Amazing '70s Cakes, Including This Clown Made of Sugar, Flour, and Hell Itself

Categories: Studies in Crap

​Each Friday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from Golden State basements, thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.

A binder of old Mail Box News magazines

Date: 1974
Publisher: Maid of Scandinavia, Co.

Your fifth birthday should be a happy time, but there bobs the clown, a mad-eyed buoy of frosting and wickedness whipped up by a relative and fouling up your party like half-cooked chicken fouls a tummy. Such is the dark side of back-in-the-day.

Whenever you yearn for that purer time when Americans scared their own desserts up from scratch rather than settling for whatever Dora the Explorer sheetcakes they find mouldering in the Safeway bakery department, just remember: Sometimes the homemade and handcrafted turns out monstrous.

For 55 years now, Mailbox News has celebrated the cake-decorating achievements of its subscribers -- and like an uncommonly kind version of one of those FAILblogs based on reader submissions -- likewise applauded scarifying horrors.

So today, we're looking at eleven more (give or take) of the proto-Cake Wrecks of 1974. Start the music, because we're cakewalking into the past!

2. In the '70s, anything could be a cake, including grandma's bloomers.


My favorite part is the note: "If lost, return to grandma." We used to pin one just like it on grandpa!

3. Nobody had invented identity theft 37 years ago, so it made perfect sense to set down in frosting your Social Security number and then send it to national magazines.


4. Here's something you don't see on desserts much these days: a celebration of domestic violence.


5. Another rare subject for cake artists: what happens when drain hair gets out of control.


6. The 1970s were so DIY that nobody had ever thought of marketing "DIY" yet. As we had greater leisure time, and perhaps a greater appreciation for craft, Americans simply made things themselves. Even when it came to licensed characters, cakemakers did without preshaped pans or mass-produced templates:


But when does DIY baking become outsider art like Straitjacket Ernie and Eraserhead Ronald?

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Kevin X. Hooey
Kevin X. Hooey

Kinda creepy but also kinda cool...I found the guy whose social security number was on Cake # 3 in the Social Security Death Index.  He died in 1995 (he was born in 1908) and was from New York state.  Amazing!


I love No. 11.  The rear view looks like the lion muppet is taking a big 'ole growler right into the cake.

Gift Ideas For Boyfriend
Gift Ideas For Boyfriend

Pretty cool!  People had talent back then even without having the aid of the Food Network!

Susan Mcgarvey
Susan Mcgarvey

The corpse cakes are my favorites. I miss the olden days.

Mick Roberto
Mick Roberto

As a pastry chef I thought this was friggin' phenomenal and I have every intention of surprising my poor little nephew with a rendition of that horrendously creepy clown cake for his birthday this summer >:) Or maybe a horde of zombie Kewpie dolls on slabs, we shall see *evil grin*!

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