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What is the biggest baking catastrophe you've ever had?

Just curious :)

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  1. Long ago before the man and I ever lived together I had a roommate that wanted to make my honey a Funfetti cake for his birthday. She's not much of a cook but it was a box cake so everything would be fine, right? She didn't want my help, just my company as she made it.

    We were drinking mai tais while she was making it and I thought it looked a little funny as should put the pans in the oven but I was having cocktails and it was a boxed mix..... what could go wrong? Then I realized she mixed up the water and oil measurements. It was almost like it was alive as it jiggled around. Really gross. Into the garbage.

    So... a walk to the store brought home more cake mix and there were more mai tais. This time she got everything mixed up fine and into the oven they went. A short time later there's smoke everywhere and a bad bad smell..... they were overflowing all over the oven! She had made a box for each layer! I hadn't even noticed.

    She pulled them out and scooped the cooked part on the sides into a bowl which she topped with Funfetti frosting and handed it to me as she said "Shut up and eat your bowl of cake." I was roaring laughing. :)

    Edited to add, I don't bake a lot so there aren't too many baking tragedies for me... plenty of cooking mishaps.

    1. I made a gateau basque. Beautiful pastry cream filling, decorated crust...it was beautiful. I was carrying it from the oven to a rack on the counter and DROPPED it. Upside down on the floor.

      1. As a tween, I mistakenly put my mom's Tupperware pastry mat in the oven because I thought that's what they meant by "cookie sheet". HUGE, huge mess. My mom was not pleased.

        1. I had volunteered to make dessert a few years back for Christmas eve. And of course I really wanted to make a showstopping dessert and decided on making the eggnog tiramisu recipe featured in Bon Appetit. So I was doing a good job until I started to beat the Heavy Whipping Cream. This is the first time I had used it and I overbeat it! It was all greasy and clumpy, far beyond stiff peaks. Of course, it happened to be one o'clock in the morning and I had not been intuitive enough to buy an extra carton. I ended up going to Walmart and standing in line for a good half hour along with a lot of last minute Christmas shoppers. Needless to say the finished product did get rave reviews, but now I always buy an extra carton just in case.

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          1. re: Redstickchef

            When I was about 15 I decided to try and make Tegelach, they are little cpballs ofvdough that are boiled in honey, traditionallyveaten at Rosh Hashana. I wasn't watching carefully and as I boiled the Balls in the honey, it began to overflow. And it overflowed until I turned around and sawvwhat was happening. It was an utter disaster. All of that honey had dripped down into the stove and rivulets of it had come out of the bottom. I cleaned it as well as I could, but for YEARS after that, if the stove got wet, or even really hot, it leaked honey. I never made them again!

          2. Me personally - prepping a chocolate raspberry tart for a dinner party - put the bowl of chocolate mousse filling in the fridge to chill and spilled the entire thing. Inside the fridge. And because I was prepping for a dinner party, I didn't have time to do a thorough clean-up job. Chocolate on everything for weeks, but at least I had a second dessert planned.

            But my favorite recent story belongs to a friend, who is an infrequent cake baker. He was making an Italian cream cake for another friend's birthday, first time with the recipe. Made tha cake layers, they seemed a little flat, but proceeded with the cream cheese icing. Iced the cake, and then noticed the unopened bag of granulated sugar on the kitchen counter. We figured he was fortunate that he doesn't bake often and had to buy a new bag of sugar specifically for this purpose; otherwise he probably would've served the sugar-free cake at our friend's birthday party.

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            1. re: cookie monster

              When my wife and I returned from our honeymoon we found a huge tub of sour cream that her sister had thoughtfully saved from our wedding reception, so she decided to make a couple of lemon cheesecakes with it. (There was really a lot!) It smelled a bit odd while cooking, but we don't have the cleanest oven, so I wasn't too concerned. Only after the first odd tasting bites did we realize that the sour cream was left over from the vegetable dip and was contaminated with garlic.