Give us your best: um, make that your worst.

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Baking blunders – we’ve all made them, right?

Our April Fool’s posts, where we reveal a year’s worth of King Arthur Flour test kitchen disasters, are fair proof of that.

Sourdough gone wild

This year, we’d like to open up our April 1 post to all of you out there. Anyone who’s ever set a cake on fire in the oven; underestimated the potential volume of yeast dough rising in the fridge; or (best – worst?) of all, tossed a pizza crust into the air and forgotten the overhead ceiling fan was on – we’d love to share your pain. And we invite you to share it with the world.

File under: crowd-sourced disasters.

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From crushed cookies…

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…to crumbled cakes…

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…to bungled blueberry pies…

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…to bread that explodes, splits, falls in upon itself, and does everything but rise and shine…

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…Give us your very worst!

Simply post your “worst baking” photos to Instagram (via your mobile device), with the hashtag #bakingblunder. Or post to our King Arthur Flour Facebook page – again with the #bakingblunder hashtag.

March 21 is the deadline for posting, so keep your camera or cell phone handy in the kitchen – you never know when disaster will strike!

After considering available technology, and the work flow of our various teams here at King Arthur, we made the decision to limit submissions to Instagram or Facebook. We’re sorry if you disagree with that decision, and encourage you to become familiar with either or both of these social media channels – they’re a lot of fun!

 

 

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

    1. Judy H.

      Since my “baking disaster” happened too many yrs. ago to mention, I do not have a photo to share. I was a taking a home econ class in high school and in an attempt to improve my piecrust making skills made a crust at home. I’ve always had issues with rolling too thick or too thin. This particular time it was too thick. I placed the finished crust on a window ledge to cool and for some reason, it fell off the ledge. When the crust hit the ground from the two-story window, the pie plate broke in a gazillion pieces, but the pie crust didn’t have one broken piece. For years, I was teased by my family about my concrete-like crust and said I should share my recipe with a local concrete company.

  1. Bonnie Andrus

    I had just taken a mouthful of my yummy morning coffee as I read the one about tossing the pizza dough, forgetting that the ceiling fan was on. Needless to say, the coffee was tossed, also!

    Reply
  2. damselfly

    Wish I had taken a picture of my recent “goof”. I was in a hurry and needed to get the Alaskan Sourdough Bread mix into the bread maker. Made sure that I had the ingredients I needed to add. For some crazy reason I thought that the yeast was already in the mix and didn’t see the yeast packet in the box. The result was a block of rock-solid baked flour! Tried making it into crackers, but no go!

    Reply
    1. wvpywacket

      omg i did this yesterday. even the birds and ground hog turned up thier collective noses at that disaster. i tossed it to the hill. the ground was frozen. it bounced. did not break. (i live in the mts of w.v.) should have kept it. with a nice piece of material wrapped around it,…it sure would have made for a nice door stop. lol

    2. Chris Summers

      Hey Damselfly… I did the exact same thing when I made my first box of Alaskan Sourdough Bread. The funny thing was, there must be enough yeast in my kitchen air that the dough rose a little bit… I just kept waiting and waiting and waiting, but then had to bake it in time for dinner. My husband said it reminded him of that weight they use on the ice in curling.

  3. Pam Capone

    3 years ago I moved to a high altitude state (I’m at 7200 feet) and I just can’t figure out the adjustments. My yeast breads have been the worst, followed by cakes and quick breads. I have a few books with recipes but who wants to fix the same thing all the time and I really think what it’s like outside at the time I’m baking has a lot to do with it too.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Have you seen the high altitude tips on our website? Print out the recipe you’re using, then use the tips to make the adjustments – of course that will take more time out of your amazing view/location…..happy baking – or hiking. Irene@KAF

    2. LynneWebb

      Oh, yes! Same thing happened to my mother when we moved to the mountains of N.C. Her cakes were like foam rubber until she read those tiny words on the back of the cake mix, “In high altitudes above……”

    3. KarenS

      Check with your local library for a copy of “High Altitude Baking,” Pat Kendall, Editor, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension — or order a copy through the school. Also, my efforts have been successful by weighing ingredients. Good luck with your future baking — high altitude is really a challenge.

    4. Sharon Karpinski

      I recommend Pie in the Sky by Susan G. Purdy. I live at 5,000 feet and until I read her book, despite owning both high altitude cookbooks and reading numerous baking tips, I had regular failures.

  4. Christine

    I’m stretching the topic a little, because my blunder was in cooking – not baking .. .. ..

    Forty+ years later, I have 2 friends who still get a hearty laugh over my “London Leather”(London Broil)

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      It’s always good to laugh – especially when your first reaction is %#$$%$%#$%#RR!!! :) PJH

  5. giovannisr

    Invited some friends for a great homemade fettucine alfredo dinner which included a great salad and a few bottles of wonderful home made red wine. Prior to boiling the pasta, detailed the process of making the pasta and showed all my special pasta drying stand. ALL were impressed!

    When it came time to boil the pasta I made sure all were seated as the pasta would only take a few minutes to cook. My plan was to finish the dish at the table before everyone as the grand finale!
    After placing the dried pasta in boiling water I turned away to have another sip of wine.

    I returned to stir the pasta and to my horror found a pot of boiling “mush”!!! Another sip of wine and mentally checked the recipe–I then checked the KA semolina flour which was still on the counter—OH MY GOD!!!–I used cornmeal instead of semolina!!! I now had a large pot of watered down polenta!! ALL had a good laugh, well, not everyone.

    My great dinner ended up being BBQ steak, salad and KA garlic bread and lots more wine—you can’t make this stuff up!!!

    Reply
  6. Nancy

    My first pumpkin pie, made long before computers and Facebook looked beautiful sitting on the Thanksgiving dessert table. Great aunt Peggy looked at me rather strangely after having her first bite. Not thinking anything of it, because she always made sour faces, shouted “you forgot the sugar.” Have made other blunders, but never forget to put sugar in the pumpkin pie. And, smile remembering all those family gathering of long ago.

    Reply
    1. Melinda

      DD#2 wanted a purple birthday party… I got vanilla from Baskin Robins and had them dye it the deepest strongest purple they could get it – it looked like grape sherbet. I made a kitty cat cake and dyed the frosting PURPLE. I made purple t-shirts (17! of them…) for each child. I made grape Koolaide in which I somehow forgot the sugar… BIL looked at me and told me it was strangely tart! :O We were at a park, I couldn’t turn and grab the sugar from the cupboard.

      It was still a great party, but I didn’t live that down for years and years.

    2. Valerie

      I had the same “sugar amnesia” with the first pumpkin pie I ever made from a fresh pumpkin (instead of canned pumpkin) as a newlywed. I carefully placed the filled pie in the over and began to clean and put away the items on the kitchen counter when (GASP)) there was the carefully premeasured sugar staring at me. It took a quick scramble to come u[p with another dessert. Desperation led me to roll out more pie crust and use a leaf-shaped cookie cutter to bake some decorative edible leaves, and I served the “now-pumpkin QUICHE” with a brave face as a vegetable side dish with the turkey.
      SHHHH don’t rat me out — it worked!

    3. Pat

      Years ago my mother did the same with the thanksgiving pumpkin pie, no sugar. I’ll never forget my Uncle sprinkling sugar on his slice and telling my mother how good it was. I on the other hand I forgot the eggs in my pumpkin pie one year. It baked and baked and baked and never firmed up, the crust was burning and still the pie was liquid. Then I saw the eggs on the counter Ouch! Had to start all over.

  7. J kessler

    I once forgot to put the oatmeal in my oatmeal cookies. I figured out what I did wrong when the first batch came out of the oven and was able to save the rest of them.

    Reply
  8. Irene

    This isn’t one of my goofs, although there have been a few. My aunt was visiting and decided to bake a cherry pie. It was the most beautiful pie I had ever seen, HOWEVER, she had mistaken the salt jar for the sugar container and made the pie with 1 c. salt. We laughed about that for years.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      OUCH! To think of all that effort (and those wonderful ingredients) to make an inedible pie! I’m glad you “laughed” her out of what must have been a painful moment… :) PJH

  9. Christina Fore

    I had finally realized that I could make 4 (4!) pumpkin nut breads at a time with a large can of pumpkin–and was happily doing so when the refrigerator repair-man showed up. He was swooning with the aroma from my kitchen, sadly telling me his wife didn’t bake, when I decided he needed to have one of the breads as my gift. Unfortunately he couldn’t wait for the baking to be done, so he left without one–thank goodness! As soon as I took them out of the oven (4! breads!) I knew something was wrong–they all sunk immediately. As soon as I tasted one, I realized that I had forgotton the sugar–so all 4 went out for the squirrels. Don’t know if they enjoyed them either.

    Reply
  10. Dorothy Labuda

    I found a recipe for a cheese cake using cream cheese and mascarpone cheese and just had to try it. I prepared the batter as directed and put it in the oven. After the baking time was up it looked a little too jiggly in the center so I left it in for a few minutes more. It still looked jiggly but I thought it would set up as it cooled. After it cooled, I released the spring form pan and watched as the ‘cheese cake’ slowly oozed on the counter top, heading for the edge and the floor! Fortunately the waste basket was close at hand and I was able to avoid mopping the floor. The only thing I can think of as to why it happened is that I used cream cheese that had been frozen and the freezing altered it’s ability to set up. Needless to say, I haven’t tried that recipe again, but I still have it in case I give it another go – maybe . . . . .

    Reply
    1. Irene

      Were there eggs in the recipe? Maybe there should have been. Sometimes there are errors in the recipes when printing. Not your fault.

  11. christyn

    My first attempt at an all butter pie crust defied the pie weights, and slid into a puddle along the side of the pie plate, with a few peaks near the plate rim here and there to mock me. My husband loved it! Said it was like shortbread.
    I’ll have to gird my loins and give it another try. . . some day.

    Reply
  12. Melissa

    Last year I attempted the kaf mardi gras king cake recipe. I had a cream cheese blow-out in my oven. No pictures though.

    Reply
  13. Kathy H.

    No pics, no evidence! Which is funny, because just this week… Well. Shall we say, trying to make sourdough in the bread machine turned out to be an, ahem, (lid) uplifting experience!

    Reply
  14. cologero martelotta

    I WAS TOLD, 60 PLUS YEARS AGO,WHEN I WAS LEARNING TO BAKE (AND COOK GENERALLY) THAT I SHOULDN’T WORRY ABOUT MISTAKES SINCE THE COOK GOT TO EAT THE MISTAKES ! I HAVE KEPT THAT IN MIND ALL THESE YEARS AND HAVE ENJOYED MANY AN UNAPPETIZING LOOKING, BUT VERY TASTY TREATS .

    Reply
  15. Desigirl77

    my worst was the Brick O’Raisins raisin bread! rolled it out beautifully and rolled it up with cinnamon sugar and raisin.. only to turn into a brick in the oven! LOL posted it on FB too.

    Reply
  16. J Hicks

    I don’t have a photo to share, but shortly after I was married (40 yrs ago!) I made a deep-dish apple pie as a birthday surprise for my husband. While it was cooling on the counter, I opened the cabinet above where I stored my spices, and knocked an open container of cayenne pepper off the shelf.
    It did a half gainer above the counter, showering enough pepper onto the pie so it looked like the crust was coated with cinnamon. We tried to dust it off, but that was one spicy surprise.

    Reply
  17. Kenna R

    I guess my biggest blunder (and I wish I had taken a picture) was when I forgot to put the bread in the Bread Pudding!! It didn’t take long to figure out why my pudding was so runny!!

    Reply
  18. Susan

    Back in elementary school I was helping my mom make a chocolate cake. The recipe called for 1 cup of a liquid. So I measured & mixed it in. The batter was really runny, not thick like before. In fact, there was enough batter for a 3 layer cake & it wasn’t very chocolaty. Hmmmmmnnnn……..
    Turns out I used a 2c. measuring cup. It was edible with extra icing & raspberry jam filling.
    Since then, I have always had my very own 1cup measuring cup. =>¡<=

    Reply
  19. Fran Morris

    Wish I had picture of my blunder. When making bread with bread machine, put all ingredients when I saw baking pan was still on counter. What a mess, ruined bread maker. The hurrier we go the behinder we get!

    Reply
    1. DD

      My sympathies! I did that once, too. Didn’t ruin the bread machine, but it was never as pretty after that.

      Now I make sure to take the bread pan to a different counter to assemble the ingredients. And I also close the bread machine lid….I’m so afraid I’ll do it again!

  20. Stephanie

    Well…for any one that has attempted Gluten Free baking, this one should be easy. Don’t know how many FAILS I’ve had after I had to go GF due to celiac. Thank goodness for awesome ‘boxed’ options from King Arthur! I’m better but I still suffer from disasters. I’ll have to see if I ever took photos of my failures.

    Reply
    1. Louise

      Having been a nearly born baker, who took Swedish Rye Bread to the Iowa State Fair years ago, gluten free baking is my new nightmare. I’ve made a few nice muffins and such, but on Saturday night made a Gluten Free Almond Bundt cake for guests. Guess what? It was the worst fail yet. I used KA Gluten free all purpose flour mix instead of a “Gluten Free All-purpose Baking Mix.” Ugh. Read carefully from now on!!

      It was nearly saved by heating caramel sauce and drizzling that over.

  21. Kat H.

    This is actually a story I heard about a great-grandmother I never met. Store bought crumb crusts were a new thing (or at least they were to her) and she made a pie with one. Serving time comes and the person cutting the pie can’t get the knife through it… because she forgot to remove – or didn’t realize there was – a hard plastic lining over the crust.

    Reply
    1. christyn

      MR. MCQUIRE: Ben, I just want to say on word to you,
      just one word.

      BEN: Yes, sir.

      MR. MCQUIRE: Are you listening?

      BEN: Yes I am.

      MR. MCQUIRE: Plastics.

      It’s not often you can combine a baking reference and The Graduate! Thank you, great-grandmother!

  22. Lynne Webb

    My husband used to say, “You’re the best cook. I don’t ever recall anything that wasn’t delicious…….except that one time….” and I’d reply, “Don’t start!!” Then we’d laugh together because I made a dessert that required self rising flour and I used plain.

    Reply
  23. Tamara

    I love this idea! Baking is fun and a lot of trial and error. Everything doesn’t always come out perfectly! I also love instagram so I’ll have to find a picture to share!

    Reply
  24. Ce Petrus

    No photo, and a picture would not have revealed what was wrong anyway. I had made beef enchiladas using a favorite recipe of mine. My husband and I can handle some pretty hot food, but when we started to eat these enchiladas, our ears began smoking like Daffy Duck. There was no way we could feed them to our kids. I replayed the recipe in my mind to figure out where I had erred. My husband naturally thought I had put in too many hot peppers or chile powder. “No,” I told him, “I used just one tablespoon of chile powder, as this recipe calls for.” I paused as I continued replaying the making of this batch. I had been on the phone when I was mixing things together. I recalled getting the spice from the refrigerator. Alas, there was the mistake. I don’t store chile powder in the ‘fridge. I defy anyone to eat a small dinner with an entire tablespoon of cayenne pepper in it.

    Reply
    1. Doris ruth

      I had a similar experience when making cold noodles with peanut sauce. Instead of 1 teaspoon of cayenne I used 1 Tablespoon!

  25. Alma

    When I was young girl my grandmother used to make prune pie for my father. After she passed on I decided to make one for my dad for Thanksgiving. I was really excited because I found a real easy recipe. After dinner I brought out the pie and we sat down to eat it. It was very tasty with the exception of the prune “pits”.
    I did not use “pitted” prunes. My dad has passed on but my husband and I have prune pie at least once a year in honor of him! (Pitted prunes of course).

    Reply
  26. farmgirl

    Once I tried to make an Angel Food cake…….and didn’t realize until I was half way through it that we didn’t have any cream of tarter. No prob, I thought….I’ll just use vinegar like my mom does for quick breads that call for it. Well, everything looked fine- the batter was nice and fluffy, and it puffed up beautifully in the oven. But when I took it out and inverted the pan, it sunk to a fraction of it’s height and tasted like styrafoam. It was so tough and chewy we couldn’t eat it and ended up giving it to the pigs!! I was so disappointed, and haven’t tried making it again since then, as I never seem to have cream of tarter. :(

    Reply
    1. Susan

      Get some cream of tarter and try the Angel Food cake again. You won’t be sorry. I never liked Angel Food cake until I baked one from scratch. The difference between the box mixes and the real deal is amazing. Now I bake-and-take Angel Food cakes to events in my community. It is the first dessert to disappear. Give it another try.

  27. Mary

    I wish I could send you a picture, but you’ll understand why I can’t after you read my sitcom scene. I help to care for 8 developmentally and/or mentally challenged young adults. I include them in many tasks. One afternoon we were making KAF cheese crackers. Well, okay, they didn’t really look like crackers, but my darlings did their best. I put them in the oven, and soon thereafter, one of the young men went into a minor seizure. I had to leave the kitchen. The crackers were over-baked and yet my darlings would not let me toss them out. They remembered making potato chip cookies, so they took turns crushing the crakers in a bowl. The next day we made over-baked cracker KAF cookies for our snack. I had to hide my giggles, as I always do, during their cretique re: the cookies. All ended well ;; no complaint of stomach aches! Above all, no leftovers.

    Reply
  28. vee

    These are funny – Mine is more a cooking blunder, I was making spagetti sauce, and grabed what I thought was frozen tomato paste out of the freezer, Everything smelled good but the sauce was wrong. Turned out I used frozen pureed strawberries! Lesson Learned :LABEL EVERYTHING!!!!

    Reply
  29. Barbara Hanaburgh

    My husband can’t eat seeds, so, I tried making a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, using seedless strawberry jam. Well, it tasted good, but it looked like an awful mess. I wouldn’t do that again … if, by any chance you know how to pull off a seedless Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, I would love to hear it.

    Barbara Hanaburgh
    Wallkill, NY

    Reply
    1. Erma

      Did you use the “diet” strawberry jam with artificial sweeteners? I had a failure once using it in cookies that turned out runny, try using the jam with sugar instead. Hope this works.

    2. Nell

      Um… CAREFULLY peel the strawberries and rinse them? The seeds are only on the outside, right? I know – tedious. But ‘what we do for love,’ eh?

  30. Ann Miller

    Many years ago, um 45 or so, I was making Thanksgiving dinner to impress friends. Got distracted while making the filling for a pumpkin pie. Put in 1/4 tsp of sugar and 3/4 cup of salt. The dog wouldn’t even eat it!

    Reply
  31. Carol

    Way too many years ago when I was in college, I made oatmeal raisin cookies to eat when we got back from our ski trip for the day. Well…. we had a great time skiing and got home 8 hours later to find I had forgotten to take the cookies out of the oven and turn it off!! It was a wonder I didn’t burn down our cute little apartment. They were charcoal cookies – looked exactly like oatmeal raisin cookies, but were entirely burnt black inside and out. I kept my black cookies around for some time as a joke! I do really wish I had a picture of THAT baking blunder to share!

    Reply
  32. Christy

    Traveling with baked goods is dangerous! Thanksgiving at my brother’s. 3 dozen beautiful mini lemon meringue tarts in the back of the car. Slow over speed bumps and curves. Arrive safe. Opened the hatchback and watched in horror as the cookie sheet holding them slid out and nosedived on the street. Nothing to salvage. – leaned a good tip. Put a towel down in back to keep it in place.

    Reply
  33. sherry kuhta

    Not a baking story, but funny none the less. Had made a dozen homemade buns and placed them on the pan and near the woodburner in my house. Waited until rising time was due and went to get them and they are gone. Completely gone. I screamed at my husband and asked what he did with the buns and, of course he didn’t know what I was talking about. It seems one of my two labs got to the buns and ate nine dough balls. The only way I knew which one it was, was when she started throwing up. She was fine after that. It was funny tho.

    Reply
  34. Hot Sauce Rick

    This blunder happened in 1980, so no photos to share. I was experimenting with bread baking and was making some Rye bread. Thinking a little bit of something is good so a lot of something would be better, I made a loaf of Rye without using any white flour. Needless to say the resulting bread brick was uneatable, but the weight and density made me think it would be a good alternative house building material if it was fired again with a coat of glaze.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Haha yes, 100% rye breads are -very- dense. They are actually quite delicious, but they also do make great building material and door stops. Jon@KAF

  35. Bev

    Somehow, over the years, I have collected a few pics of amazingly beautiful pies, some perfect pizzas, and a remarkable 100% whole wheat artisan bread with a perfect crust (that I never managed to make again). I’ve never thought of taking pics of the fails- so what an inspiration to try really new and different things in coming weeks, to sometimes fail magnificently, then take out the camera! Sounds like fun- thanks!

    Reply
  36. Diane

    Several years ago when my daughter was just turning 6, I always bought a birthday cake for my children at our local bakery. That year, (she was born in early March) we had a tremendous snow storm, and I was unable to get her one. I happened to have a new cake mix in the cupboard, and thought I would bake that. It was a confetti angel food cake,(I won’t say whose product it was). I baked it according to the directions, and turned it out when it had cooled. It looked nice in the pan, but something odd had happened. The cake rose from the bottom, and was only about 3 inches tall when I turned it out. I called the company, who had a mill and offices in my city. Actually it was a suburb to Mpls. When I told them what happened, they asked that I keep the box and cake, and someone would come and get it. Late that day a nice young man came and got every thing. I asked this nice young man (he was dressed in a suit) I assumed he was an executive of some kind, if he would tell me later what happened. They never informed me, but sent me several dollars in coupons.

    Several years later I was working with another woman who told me the same story. We had a good laugh., But I always wondered what could possibly have gone wrong.

    Glad to share my story, and I hope it gives you a good laugh also!

    Reply
  37. Pat King

    Not really a baking goof, but what happened afterwards was. Trying to impress a new boyfriend, I told him I would fix dinner at his house for him & a golfing friend after their outing. Dinner was fine, but when I took the blueberry pie I had made out of the oven, the pie plate slipped on the pizza pan & caught my thumb between the plate & the hot pad. I let out a yell & flipped it & it landed on the off white carpet & splattered on the wall. So much for impressing! Bottom line, the friend cleaned carpets for a living & had equipment in his truck. The boyfriend became my husband a few years later.

    Reply
  38. Bread Ted

    For about the last 15 years, I’ve been bringing my breadmaker to work on Fridays. It’s always a treat at Noon on Friday to have a loaf of fresh, hot bread, real butter, and homemade jam. Needless to say, it’s quite the hit. Record is 5 minutes from loaf out to crumbs.

    But one Friday morning, I had everything in the breadmaker and was walking in to work, up a flight of stairs in the center, open staircase. Plan was to have sourdough, so the starter and everything else was already in the pan. Near the top, caught the toe of a shoe on a step, and everything in my arms went flying so I could catch myself (unsuccessfully). The breadmaker tumbled over the edge of the stair railing, and fell a full flight of stairs onto the floor below spewing the contents all the way; on the stairs, on the floor, and on the hapless person (me) on the staircase. Oh, did I mention that the floor was also carpeted? Sourdough starter is not easy to get out of industrial carpet – personal experience. For years, you could still see a slightly different color on the dark carpet. Sorry, no, I don’t have a picture. But you can imagine it was quite a sight.

    But I’m still doing “Bread Friday” even after that. Have expanded to include about two dozen recipes including rye-beer, agave whole wheat, cranberry, honey wheat oatmeal, “Mistake bread” (story there, too), gingerbread, cheddar cheese, gluten-free white chocolate, and many more. And yes, still do sourdough (that was today’s “flavor of the week”), though I now take the elevator on Friday.

    Reply
  39. Ellen

    My cousin was a young bride & we began making things together. She put a cake in the oven and in no time it was burned to a crisp. We set the dial for 350, but didn’t realize there were two knobs to set & broiled the cake. She’s been gone for more than 10 years, but I often chuckle over this when I’m sliding a pan into the oven.

    Reply
  40. Connie

    It was a crisp Autumn morning, and the antique stove in the old farm house was beckoning me to get started on making my first real loaf of homemade bread. I had been going over all the instructions for days, and knew this was going to produce a big surprise for my husband. Surprise indeed. When I opened the warming oven where the dough had been busy rising, I was met with a batch of dough that had expanded to reach all four sides of the oven. I felt like I was in an episode of I Love Lucy!

    Reply
  41. Cheryl

    The one I just posted was the cake for the Christmas Day dinner. My job was to provide the desert and it was too late to make something else so I threw the cake bits on a pretty plate and called it quits. The sad thing is I used greased parchment paper and the candied fruits and nuts STILL stuck. Any suggestions from the KA experts would be great because I am still having terrifying flash backs. ;0) No just kidding, the cake bits were yummy.

    Reply
  42. Sammy

    Just last week I made my husband’s favorite broccoli casserole. It’s incredibly easy to make: Melted Velveeta with chopped steamed broccoli, alternately layered with crushed and buttered Ritz crackers. I kept thinking while layering it into the casserole dish that something just didn’t “feel” right, but I carried on. When I was ready to slide it into the oven, I noticed the casserole dish was only half-full, though the recipe usually fills it to the top. I finally realized I had completely forgotten the broccoli! It was just layers of cheese and crackers glued together. There was no way to take it apart, so I tried baking it that way and serving it with steamed broccoli, but it was unsalvageable. I’m making it again tonight, since I owe my husband a casserole. I just know with the first bite he’s going to tease me, “Whoa! This tastes weird. Wait, did you put broccoli in this??”

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Yikes, well it sounded like the makings of a good cheese dip, too bad it didn’t work out quite that well. Jon@KAF

  43. Marie

    Made a banana cake for my boss’s birthday. When we went to cut it the top 1/4 was okay; however the bottom 3/4′s was like cement! I used fresh bananas not knowing they needed to be very ripe. We threw the cake out our window into a small courtyard for the squirrels they couldn’t even bite into it”

    Reply
  44. Marsha Wilson

    Although I could post plenty about my own cooking failures, I’m going to snitch on my sister this time. During one family get-together, my sister commented that she always prebaked her pie crusts because otherwise they were very gooey and messy. My family pondered over this but couldn’t figure out what the problem was. We suggested she show us what was going wrong. The next day my sister rolled out a pie crust, put it in the pie plate and pricked it all over with a fork. “Oh,” I said, “you’ve decided to do a prebaked crust after all?” Dead silence.

    Turned out she ALWAYS pricked the bottom of the crust, then dumped in the filling, and couldn’t figure out why the filling leaked through the crust.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Ahhhh yes, I have seen this before. It is amazing how much filling leaks through from such small holes. Jon@KAF

  45. YDavis

    Haha, I can’t stop laughing reading all the “mistakes” others have made! Thank god I’m not the only one!
    I once made a batch of muffins from a recipe that I had used many times before. But when hubby and my step son started eating them, they both spit the muffins out at once! I took a bite myself and realized I have forgotten to add sugar to the recipe!
    And once I made a cheesecake(which I have made many before then) but forgot to add the eggs! I went to put the cheesecake in the oven, turned around to clean up the counter and found the eggs sitting on the counter!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Oh no! Well at least you can somewhat fix it by mixing in the eggs…though it would have been messy if your cake had a crust. Jon@KAF

  46. Sharon Karpinski

    My mother made a cooking error once (well, actually, she was merely overenthusiastic) that became family legend. She had a copy of the 1899 White House Cookbook. For some unfathomable reason, she decided to make “Sago Pudding” which is basically a fruit flavored pearl tapioca. Mother followed the instructions exactly, forgetting that the WH Cookbook recipes made quantities suitable for a state dinner. Mother ended up with a couple of gallons of tapioca. Plain, uncreamed tapioca. We had variants on Sago Pudding for dessert, and once for breakfast, for a week. On the eighth day, Mother had a meeting that she had to attend so she left my father and I to fend for ourselves for the evening. Once she was safely gone, we took the remaining dishpanful of pudding, carried it to the back yard, and ceremoniously buried it. Mother was so grateful….

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Wow, I’ve never heard of a Sago Pudding before…though I don’t think anyone needs gallons of -any- pudding. Jon@KAF

  47. Linda

    How do I post a picture on Facebook with #? Haven’t done that before.

    Had 3 loaves of french bread to go into a 500 degree oven. Had put them on a baking sheet with a lip on it, was trying to slide them off onto a very hot stone in oven. Well, the lip was a mistake, trying to shake them off they landed on the opened oven door…. managed to get them in and cook them, they tasted great but were very very strange looking.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hello, Linda! You should be able to go right to our page and instead of posting a status to our wall, you can select a picture with a message! Jon@KAF

  48. Amy

    When I was just beginning to follow in my mother’s footsteps to bake, I decided to make biscuits to go with our supper. I was so proud of my efforts in turning out baking powder biscuits, My brother took one bite, first of anyone, and then spit it out. He daringly tried to bounce the biscuit off the flour and it did bounce. I had used baking soda instead of baking powder! That happened probably 50 years ago and while my baking has improved greatly, I’ve never lived that down!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Yep, I have done this before! It really is amazing how large of a difference one makes over the other. Jon@KAF

  49. Lucy Davidson

    I tried to make persimmon bread for some visitors with my banana bread recipe. It seemed to me the texture of the mashed persimmons was similar to bananas, so why not? It smelled great baking and perfumed the whole house with a nice vanilla-like aroma. But, they never rose, and on removing them from the pans, they looked like 2 bricks…felt like 2 bricks and were as heavy as 2 bricks. If there had been enough of them, I could have used them to build a nice retaining wall in the garden. But the ruined persimmon bread aside, it’s always worth it to experiment. I’ve made some useful discoveries that way…just don’t do it when you’re expecting company!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Exactly! Experiments are great, but never try a new recipe when you are expecting company. That is just asking for trouble! Jon@KAF

  50. Jenette

    I once baked a lovely vanilla cake for my significant others birthday, unfortunately I’d mixed up the vanilla flavoring with the bottle of Hickory wood smoke seasoning. Needless to say it was a cake to remember, and now all these years later she still won;t let me live it down! lol

    Reply
  51. eileen fiske

    use your imagination for this one: a friend sent a recipe that only had 2 ingredients—-angelfood cake mix and a can of crushed pineapple——how hard should this be?????? Well,I followed the directions,mixed,and put into the oven for about 1/2hour…..I began smelling burnt sweet cake, and this got stronger and stronger where the kitchen started getting smokey!!! I opened the oven and found a huge lava-like flow on all sides of the pan having dripped and burned all over the stove……and it kept coming and coming……….burning and getting smokier and smokier……afraid to even reach in and get it out with all the dripping of molton cakeover racks and potholders and floor————–the directions said 13×9 pan oops………………………I had used an 8×8…….three hours to clean up the mess and to soak the crusted pan……………….easy recipe huh!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Ouch, sounds like you had a volcano in your oven. Not something I hope to ever have to clean! Jon@KAF

  52. natzsm

    These are experiences that I do not have the picture to show:

    I was making a banana bread, something that I have been baking for the past couple of decades.

    This time, the bread turned out rubbery and dense. I couldn’t really tell why this happened so I had to review all the ingredients I used. To my surprise and disappointment, I used cream of tartar instead of baking soda. Lesson learned, check and double check ingredients before baking!

    Another experience was when I was first learning baker’s percentage and using a scale to measure out the ingredients by weight. I miscalculated the amount of salt for my bread by two decimal points. The dough never rose. The salt KILLED the yeast!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thank you for sharing! At least if you combined cream of tartar with baking soda you would have had a baking powder. Silver lining…right? Jon@KAF

  53. Kathie Funk

    O.K. I was making and baking 4 loaves of blueberry lemon bread. I had all the ingredients out put them all together put into the pans and baked them. They tasted ok but were a little dry. ( Well a lot dry.) I didn’t take them to the bake sale. Later when I opened the microwave to heat up water for tea, there sat the melted butter that I melted for the Blueberry Bread.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Oh no! I have a similar story though. I was going to heat up my dinner one night and I open my microwave to find 6 wrinkled, cold potatoes in the microwave. My roommate had left them in their from the night before. I think he still ate them! Jon@KAF

  54. Keith

    I made a double batch of Lavash when i was 12, just started baking (about 1974, no pictures survive). The recipe said let the dough rise for 4 hours. I had doubled everything else, so i went away for 8 hours. When we came home, the dough had flowed over the edge of the bread-bowl and sat there in the corner, looking like the Blob. A pirate-blob. The towel i’d put over the bowl, a jaunty red, looked like a bandanna on a sailor’s head, it touched nothing but dough even to the corners. My dad asked what the heck that was. I said it was time to punch it down. He slugged it in the center like he was going for the title. It collapsed around his hand, shrinking down and sucking him in. He screamed and flailed around, smashing dough off on the cupboards, the blender, the stove, the air conditioner…. Thank heavens he liked the lavash.

    Reply
  55. Ann

    A few years ago I made habanero hot sauce for the men that my husband works with because that love it on everything. It was the first time making it and it was perfect except I made the mistake of cooking it in a teflon pan and used a wooden spoon to stir it. The next day the same pan and spoon were used to make a chocolate cream pie. My daughter, who loves my chocolate cream pie, was very confused by the different taste and thought I added some kind of alcohol. I tasted it and knew immediately that the taste was of habanero peppers…. and it became a Mexican chocolate cream pie that no one would eat!!!!

    Reply
  56. Sylvia Castleman

    Thirty-five years, when my boys were in grade school, I was asked to bring cupcakes for a class party. I accepted and proceeded to make the cupcakes – I made up a cake batter, got my cupcake paper holders filled with the batter, and lovingly place them on a cookie sheet! They came out of the oven as little Frisbees!! I had never made cupcakes before, and thought you only made muffins in a muffin pan… When I called the room mother to report this happening, there was a long silence on the other end of the phone, and muffled laughter. I was never asked to bring cupcakes again!

    Reply
  57. Tracy Semonik

    The first year after my Grandmother died, my cousin and I attempted to make the traditional Thanksgiving pie- wild black raspberry, berries which we pick in the backyard every July and freeze for the very occasion. We both had baking experience, but neither of us ever came close to recreating her light, flaky pie crust. We fussed over it and threw away 2 batches before settling for the best that we could do. It was so delicate, it was a challenge, but we patched a picture-perfect top and bottom, with a beautiful, traditional fluted edge. Unfortunately, we worried so much about the crust, we dumped the berries in but forgot to pour the other ingredients: the sugar, butter, lemon juice, etc, over the filling before we covered it with another crust. The pie looked ALMOST right, the flaky crust was NEARLY perfect, but the middle was a thick, sour, seedy au natural berry nightmare.

    Reply
  58. Karen Schmidt-Dill

    There are lots of oops in my baking history but most of them you could still eat even if they weren’t so pretty. However, about 10 years ago, I was hosting church circle at my house. For a treat afterwards, I made dried apricot muffins. Now mind you, I was in 4-H as a kid and made millions of muffins. And my mom was a home economist and helped judge at county fairs. (I KNOW how to make muffins.) Well, I tried a different approach, I was attempting to be heart healthy and I used applesauce instead of shortening or oil. They looked great as I took them out of the oven. Hard as rocks. They were just coming out of the oven as people were arriving, so no time to make a new batch. (I think we had ice cream instead.)

    Reply
  59. Elaine

    My Hazelnut cookie recipe is one of the simplest cookie recipe I have. I had been making them weekly for a while, then skipped a couple of weeks and “thought” I knew the recipe by heart….
    1 cup confectioners sugar, 1/2 lb butter, a touch of salt, and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and nuts. Roll into a big ball to rest in refrig for a while then roil into little balls and back…was I surprised when the cookies came out…completely flattened like peanut brittle. Oh yeah, it was supposed to be 1 cup of flour!..their both white, right?
    My husband loved it and wants that mistake again!

    Reply
  60. David Kapral

    My big blunder – no pics to post though. Through my growing up years, my grandmother made what we called Easter Bread. She never drove a car, but she did walk these loaves to her grown family spread out over town. As she grew older she developed painful arthritis and stopped making the bread. I missed it! Missing it turned into really wanting it enough to give it a try. I asked my father if her know what was in it – his answer – “I don’t know excpet there are lots of eggs,,,oh yeah and sugar too”!.
    With that i found a basic white bread recipe (this was in the 70′s)before we had Internet) . I used the white bread recipe, added a “lot of eggs” and a lot of sugar. I thought i was following the recipe which said to let it raise, punch ot down, let it raise, punch it down and bake at 400 deg……a couple things were wrong here, not the least of which was punching it down before putting it in the oven! It came out like a rock! Secondly cooking a sweet bread at 400 resulted in a burned rock!!
    Version 1 was not so good – in fact it could be considered an absolute failure.
    Practice and reading got me to loaves that looked good and tasted like hers. A loaf was finally sent to her and I am told she cried as she saw it. Someone was carrying it forward. So, for the rest of her life i made and sent her at least two loaves a year – Easter and Christmas.
    I finally found a recipe that provides a bread as close to hers as one could ask for (with a few more eggs though). that recipe appears in Craig Clirborne’s “New York Times International Cookbook”. It is in the Greece section and it is “Tsoureki” (Easter Bread). Our version does not use Masticha, Almonds or Hard cooked eggs. We do add about a cup [total] of yellow and black raisins, folding them in as we knead the dough.
    Times have changed and we now have an oven with proof settings. Grandma’s oven had a pilot light which kept it warm enough for proofing. A great bread with a lot of memories!

    Reply
  61. kaf-sub-pbrooks

    Made many of the same mistakes mentioned above – 1 c water in cookies, instead of 1 T (thanks to a helping friend at age 8!); left out ingredients; burned, overcooked, etc., but very first cooking disaster and probably most traumatic was at age 4 when mother allowed me to stir the pudding and serve it to my Daddy. Seems the bowl was nearly as big as I and I had my little arms wrapped all the way around it, but, it still slipped from my grasp, hit the floor, broke into a dozen pieces (the old fashioned crockery style bowl) and threw fresh chocolate pudding all over the kitchen and dining room, right at Daddy’s feet! And of course, it was Mom’s biggest and best bowl – one of a set! :-(

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Oh Dear! And lo, these many years later at least you can look back and laugh, at least a little! ~ MJ

    2. David Kapral

      It’s amazing how we keep these stories of baking attempts and disasters in mind throughout our lives! My very 1st one was when i was old enough (8) to say ” I want to help bake that cake, Mom.”
      she watched over it somewhat. It was my very 1st time breaking eggs. I did this over the bowl and as one may imagine, there were quite a few pieces of eggshell in the finished cake. Well, I was trying, but the amount of heat i took when folks were crunching through the cake was at the very least memorable – for all my years.
      So, when teaching daughter how to cook – scrambled eggs – it was a little different: We had her break eggs until she felt comfortble with that “here is the spot to hit and here is how hard you hit it”; learned through muscle memory. A more pleasant lesson she has taken with her as she bakes and cooks. Fun Stuff!

  62. David

    Again, too many years ago to have a photo, but…
    I was in high school and saw a recipe for Irish Soda Bread in an edition of Frommer’s Ireland on $5 a Day (and doesn’t that date me?). I followed the recipe meticulously, but for some reason the resultant bread was hard as a rock; even the birds wouldn’t eat it. It was only years later that I realized the recipe, from an Irish source, had given liquid measurements in Imperial terms, and I had only put in about 80% of the liquid needed.

    Reply
    1. Irene

      When I was learning to make cornbread, one disaster pops to mind. I think I was about 9. My mother was in a hurry to get things done for dinner and I was to make a batch of cornbread. I measured all ingredients carefully but when I got to breaking the eggs, I was a bit timid. I tapped the egg lightly on the edge of the bowl and a small crack appeared. I held the egg and pressed both thumbs into the crack. The egg exploded! I had egg dripping from my face, down my arms, off the cabinet door and every where but in the bowl. I can still see my mother standing there pointing to the door saying ” Don’t touch another egg!”. I do now know how to properly crack an egg but that time will always stand out in my memory!

  63. deb

    While making chicken soup I needed another carton of chicken stock. I grabbed another from deep in the pantry, opened it up and poured it in. As soon as it started getting steamy I knew something was wrong and took the empty carton from the garbage can. Yup – it was Chai Tea concentrate!

    Reply
  64. Bridget

    Well, this was before internet and no pictures would not reveal my blunder. You would never know until you had the first bite. It is very important to pay attention to tbsp and tsp, because they are vastly different. Needless to say using a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of baking soda does nothing for the flavor of chocolate chip bars, let alone make them edible.

    Reply
  65. Heather

    Today, I put rolls dough in my oven to hurry the rising a long. I then promptly forgot and turned the oven on to bake something else. Thankfully I remember soon enough to get a few rolls out of my dough. Moral of the story, don’t try to make dinner for several days at dinner time today while your 7 year old is making dessert with the 1 year old and three year old “helping”.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      I think it’s wonderful your kids are in the kitchen with you, but I can definitely see it getting confusing! ~ MJ

  66. Darillyn

    Back in 1978, we were visiting my sister-in-law and her family. We went to the home of a friend of hers, who served us a chocolate zucchini cake. We asked for the recipe, which my sil copied.

    The next day, we were having everyone over for two family birthdays that were a few days apart, and decided to bake the chocolate zucchini cake. As I was adding ingredients, I saw that it called for a half cup of butter and one and a half cups of oil. I thought that sounded like an awful lot, so I asked her what she thought. She said that some recipes called for a lot of oil, so I used it.

    When I put the first piece of cake onto a white paper plate, I could tell we’d blown it, as an oil slick formed around it! It was so much oil that most of us couldn’t eat more than a few bites. Later, my sil looked at the recipe and remembered that the pen she’d used had trouble starting so she had made what looked like a “one” to try to get the ink flowing. The recipe really called for a half cup of oil! I made another one the next day, and it was excellent!

    Reply
  67. DJ

    I have had scones turn out like hockey pucks that even the birds wouldn’t eat! That must be pretty bad. Now I use prepared ones by our Central Market or the ready to bake just add water!

    Reply
  68. Susan

    It was my dad’s 30th birthday. Mom had not had time to bake him a cake. I was nine and had baked brownies so felt confident enough to find a recipe and bake Dad’s birthday cake. The cake did turn out fine. It was the frosting that caused problems. The recipe was written in fountain pen and droplets of water had long ago blurred part of the words. Most words I could figure out. The one that caused the trouble was “powdered *******”.” I knew it wasn’t body or cosmetic powder and the only ingredient in the kitchen that looked like powder–and that a cook would use in that quantity–was flour. I started mixing in flour. Before long, the frosting was stretching through the beaters. At that moment, I knew whatever the powdered ******* was, it wasn’t flour. Frosting wasn’t supposed to stretch. I tried to feed it to the farm cats. They’d have none of it. I finally ended up burying it under the cedar trees so Mom wouldn’t know I wasted ingredients. In the end, she found out and taught me about powdered sugar.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Oh gosh! I can see where you would be confused. Did you know that there are some frostings and fillings that use flour too? Jon@KAF

  69. drjp3141

    My first pie (41 years ago) looked so beautiful it could have been on the cover of a KA cookbook. However, when I went to cut it, I needed a chainsaw. That is how tough the crust was. I called my mother and told her of my problem. She asked me to walk her through the steps I used. She was fine until I told her I kneaded the dough. Then I heard a a loud gasp. I guess I payed more attention to her making bread dough than making pie dough.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Ah yes, I sometimes have this issue with my biscuits! A little too much mixing and they are hockey pucks. Jon@KAF

  70. waikikirie

    One Thanksgiving I was hosting the family. I decided to make everything from scratch….including the apple pie. I LOVED Mrs Smith’s Deep dish apple pie. Loved it….(can’t seem to find it anymore). Anyhoo, got a recipe from my BFFF. She told me, “Don’t worry, it’s foul proof”. Famous last words. Well, I couldn’t handle that crust to save my soul. I gave up, threw the crust across the kitchen, and headed out to the grocery store on Thanksgiving Eve, praying that my grocery store had my beloved Mrs Smith’s pie. I e-mail my pal and wrote, “Foul proof my a**”. Well, over a decade and a half later, that is the name of her apple pie. When we talk about it, in all seriousness we will say, “oh and I’m making “Fool proof my a**”

    Reply
  71. Darillyn

    Reading some of the others reminded me of a story I need to tell about my mother’s baking blunder! That was back in 1962, when many things came in brown bottles.

    I was 7 and wanted to bake a cake for my dad but, of course, I needed a great deal of help. I was running the mixer and Mom was grabbing the ingredients. One was vanilla. She grabbed a brown bottle and poured some in. After the cake was baked, we did the same thing, with frosting.

    The cake looked great and I was very proud to show it to my dad! It tasted a bit strange, though. It was a flavor no one could quite place, although it seemed vaguely familiar.

    Cough syrup! It wasn’t brightly colored and was in a brown bottle that was very much like the vanilla bottle, right next to it in the cupboard!

    Reply
  72. Pat Havens

    Now I am a good cook but 45 years ago I barely knew how to do anything but a steak , baked potato and salad. I married my dear husband and the first week we were married I decided to make a lemon meringue pie. I had seen my mother make them a hundred times , well first off my crust shrank, then the lemon filling cracked as it cooled and the meringue I made looked great but 2 hours after I took it out of the oven it too had shrunk and sweat. this pie was so sad and I was sitting at the table with the pie in front of me just bawling my eyes out ; my young husband hugged me and he ate the whole thing telling me the whole time it tasted just fine. I will never know if it did or not I never could bring myself to even try it, even after he cut and began to eat it . I cried every time I looked at that darn pie til it was completely gone. Saddest excuse for a pie I ever saw!

    Reply
    1. Donna Siebold

      I can relate to so many of these errors, but this one really touched a chord with me. When I was in high school (oh, let’s say more than 30 years ago) I was just starting to bake. My favorite flavor is lemon, so lemon meringue pie it was. I used to make them weekly – and they were all the same – absolutely gorgeous. Light flaky crust, towering meringue (which rarely wept) and a flavorful filling. Sounds great doesn’t it? And it always was (until I finally gave up) except that when you cut the pie, you would find that the filling was not set. My brother would really razz me, he called it lemon meringue soup. I snapped back at him one day and he replied, I said it was soupy, I didn’t say it wasn’t good! Today, I can make one with a good set filling, but now I am having issues with crust shrinkage and meringue weeping!

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      If it is not one thing it is another, right Donna? Try extending the meringue beyond the filling and attach it to the crust to prevent shrinkage. Be sure you are using an acid like cream of tartar and using whites that have been separated a day or two in advance can also help with the weepage. How about meringue powder as an option? Good luck! Elisabeth@KAF

  73. Pete G

    When I was married, my ex used to make deviled eggs that I loved, I couldn’t stay away from the frig. A couple of years after we divorced, I got really hungry for deviled eggs and having been the main cook for many, many years, I decided to make some. I did some research on making hard boiled eggs and made some. After they were cool and in the frig overnight, I started to peel them. Teny tiny little pieces at a time. Back to the internet to do some more research. I read an article that said if you zap them in the microwave for about 20 seconds, it will loosen the membrane and make peeling much easier. I started with 18 seconds on the first egg. This is better, but maybe if I zap it a little longer, the eggs will peel even easier. 20 seconds, yeah, this is better. Maybe I’ll try a little longer so the next egg the microwave was set for 24 seconds. The microwave was at my back and I was peeling an egg on the counter when all of a sudden I heard a KaaaaaaaaBoom! I turned around and opened the microwave door. The egg had EXPLODED and completely covered every square inch on the microwave interior. OH!!! What a mess.

    Reply
  74. Barb Seaton

    I learned to cook and bake very young from both my parents. I remember being about 10 or 11 and produced the most delicious-looking, perfectly raised and delicately browned biscuits for supper to go with stew. My mother, with a pinched look on her face asked if I had used baking POWDER or Baking SODA? Oooopsy! How my parent managed to swallow them is beyond me.

    Reply
  75. lillabit

    So many funny stories above that I had to tell some of my own.

    There was the pumpkin fudge this Christmas, which I have made before, so wasn’t paying as close attention to the recipe as I should. I put in an entire can of pumpkin puree instead of 1/2 cup. The extra liquid made that candy syrup bubble and plop so wildly when it started boiling that I had large and small dots of sticky pumpkin stuff all over my kitchen. And I didn’t realize my mistake right away, so I let it boil for a while. What a mess!
    Then there was the time I forgot to clean a large greasy spill from a cheesecake in the oven before using it again to make pizza. The kids and I didn’t think the smoked pizza was too bad, but my husband went to McDonald’s . . .
    And the toffee that I was making for the first time and poured onto a flat cookie sheet instead of one with an edge, and it continued to pour itself off the cookie sheet, onto the table, onto a chair cushion, and onto the floor–like a lovely fountain of hot candy!
    Finally (though there are plenty more stories where these came from): My kids never ate bread ends/heels. So I would save them in the freezer, and when I had enough and my oven was warm from baking, I would turn the crusts into crumbs, spread them on a cookie sheet and stick them into the warm (turned off) oven to dry, usually one tray on a top shelf and one in the middle. One time I forgot that they were in there, and the next day I was making pizzas. I turned the oven to preheat, which turned on the broiling element as well as the baking element. I noticed the smoke, and opened to oven to find the bread crumbs in flames! I closed the door, and turned the oven off. My then teenaged son grabbed the little kitchen fire extinguisher and sprayed it all over the inside of the oven. There were bread crumbs and chemicals all over the kitchen. Needless to say, the pizza was very delayed that evening.

    Reply
  76. KarenP83

    Dear Me … I’ve been baking for so long it would be hard to identify the definitive blunder. There was the time I forgot to turn the oven on and couldn’t figure out why the brownies weren’t baking (took me an hour and a half to figure it out). Or the time I forgot the sugar in a pumpkin pie (my dear husband choked it down anyway). Killing yeast ih too hot water. Using baking powder instead of baking soda. Bread that is dark crusted on the outside and raw on the inside. Lopsided cakes. Cookies that could be used for roof tiles. I could go on. And on. And on. But, in spite of myself, I’ve learned to laugh at my mistakes (my kitchen is a very jolly place), try to learn from each experience and move on. Take Saturday evening for instance. I was making pizza dough in my stand mixer. Too impatient to let the mixer to do the work, I thought I’d “help” integrate the flour a bit faster by pushing the flour toward the dough hook. My spatula got caught on the hook and things got a bit twisted around (translation: my middle finger is twice its normal size).

    Reply
  77. Kathy in Cali

    Banana Nut Bread is a tradition for Christmas in our family. Soooo, I was mixing the batter ready to add the vanilla and, guess what, the red food coloring is in the same type of bottle as the vanilla. It was a beautiful pink bread that every one now asks for every year. And, that’s just a minor flub, won’t go into details on the many, many more goof-ups in my 55 years of cooking and baking.

    Reply
  78. Gail

    Oh such funny memories! I’ve loved to bake from an early age – I received an Easy Bake oven one year (the old yellow one from the 60′s) and used my mom’s mixes instead of the horrible ones included with the oven.

    Fast forward a couple of years and I’ve graduated to the “big” oven. It was summer, I was 12 and mom was working so I thought I would make a cake for all the neighborhood kids. We didn’t have any mixes on hand so I opened mom Better Homes & Garden cookbook and proceeded to whip up a yellow cake. EXCEPT there wasn’t enough flour. NO PROBLEM! I just used pancake mix for the rest. It’s the same, right? Wrong! LOL That poor cake fell immediately into this dense cratered disc. Well, I had promised cake, so I soldiered on.

    For the icing, I had a little confectioners sugar so I made that. Except I added far too much milk and ended up with a runny glaze. Then added some color which ended up being this sickly bluish-green. I poured the icing over the crater and yes, we did eat it! Let’s just say I learned many lessons that day! There is a photo of it somewhere, but I don’t know where.

    Reply
  79. vicsens

    When I was first married (40 years ago), I wanted to fix my husband a fried chicken dinner with all the trimmings (even though I had never fried chicken before). The chicken I put on the platter before him was a beautiful golden brown…hot & crisp. Unfortunately, when he took the first bite, the chicken was raw! In my inexperience I equated golden brown (cooked at a very high heat) with being done! We laugh about it now, but then I cried – I was mortified! He sweetly explained that I just cooked it too fast and enjoyed the rest of the meal without complaint.

    Every year in December, I host a “cookie day” for all the kiddos in my family. One year we had just taken some sugar cookies from the oven when my nephew came in with his children. My sister was telling him how good the sugar cookies were (from a previous batch), and how they were not too sweet like some sugar cookies. He took a bite of one and got a funny look on his face – yep…I had forgotten the sugar in that batch! We’ve laughed about those yummy not-too-sweet sugar cookies many times!

    Reply
  80. Tiara

    I wanted to pass this message on to Susan Reid, too. It’s in regards to the Italian Buttercream frosting blog. I tried to make it last night and the first batch absolutely broke beyond repair. I know what I did wrong – over cooked the syrup so all the liquid was gone and tried to add it into the meringue as it was crystallizing in the pot and the meringue just absolutely became soup. No way in saving that at all. Good thing I didn’t put the vegan butter in yet. Remade it again last night after carefully watching the syrup. Thought it was broken again after whipping it too much but after a night in the frig, it came out beautiful this morning. That’s one of my many disasters in the kitchen :) and I’m sure there will be many more as I continue to try new things!

    Reply
  81. Elizabeth Waste

    I don’t have a picture of this, but a few years ago I decided to make some cookies for my boyfriend and his roommates. They would buy stuff in bulk and then leave it in bags in the cupboard. I measured out a cup and a half of what I thought was sugar and continued on my merry cookie baking way. Because I love cookie dough, I always taste it before I shape the cookies…. oops that white stuff wasn’t sugar, it was salt! Gross! Needless to say that batch of cookies never got baked.

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  82. brooke

    Let’s just say you should never leave a pumpkin pie to cool near the edge of the dining room table when you have a very curious toddler in the house! Every Thanksgiving as we bake pies we retell the story of my son, sitting on the dining room floor with pumpkin pie all around him, happily scooping up big bites! I so wish i had a picture!

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  83. Sarah F

    You know what’s worse than doing something really dumb in the kitchen? Not learning from someone else’s same dumb mistake. For years we teased my mom about the time she put a Tupperware dish in the (cold) oven to get it out the way in her small kitchen. She forgot about it and turned the oven on. Melty, stinky mess! So what do I do? Yup. Kitchen was crowded, shoved the Tupperware in the oven in an effort to make some space…and hours later starting preheating. I may have even joked when I put the Tupperware in, “Better not forget this! Don’t want to be like Mom!” Oops. Even worse? It was my mom’s Tupperware I melted too. Poor Mom.

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    1. Virginia Kennedy

      Well, I have never photographed a baking mistake, but there is one unintended baking experience that I wish I had. Several years ago I left a cookie sheet and a rolled up Tupperware pastry sheet in my not often used bottom oven. When I was next ready to use the oven , I removed the cookie sheet but not the pastry sheet, which had rolled unseen to the back. While the oven was preheating, I noticed an odd smell. When I looked, I discovered the melted pastry sheet! After the oven cooled, I removed the rack and peeled away the Tupperware pastry sheet which was hanging down like stalactites (also reminiscent of Salvadore Dali’s painting of melting watches !), complete with the red printed words and circles for different sizes of pie crust! Although I was sorry to have ruined my pastry sheet, the whole thing was hilarious – and often remembered with a smile. Lesson learned: never store anything in the oven! And always look thoroughly, just in case.

  84. Carole Dosé

    My father, who enjoyed baking, was on diplomatic duty in the Netherlands. He sent me a recipe for Balloon Pop Overs, even sending along two wooden slats for rolling the dough Just Right. I followed the recipe to the nth…then mailed the result to him: A pancake, unwrapped, stamped and addressed directly to him on the surface, with the message “Some balloon.” It arrived unmarred.
    He didn’t bother to send me any more recipes.

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  85. Debra Chewning

    Too many years ago, in the 1960′s, I tried making bread one weekend. Used HOT water and killed the yeast. Yep, I made a brick!

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