April Fools in the kitchen: our 9th annual salute to (un)success

Does the King Arthur Flour test kitchen conjure up visions of gleaming stainless steel counters, state-of-the-art ovens, and expert chefs in snowy white garb effortlessly creating the perfect chocolate chip cookie, apple pie, and sourdough loaf?

Well, let’s just say some of the above.

We do have one stainless steel counter; it’s usually covered with bags of flour, clipboards holding recipes, and a bunch of Cabot butter softening to room temperature.

State-of-the-art ovens? We prefer to bake in the type of ovens most of you have at home: slow to preheat, quirky about holding their temperature, and forever needing a new light bulb.

Expert chefs? Yes, actually – they even wear white sometimes. And joining our three trained chefs in the test kitchen are a crowd of seasoned, enthusiastic home bakers, with years and years and YEARS of baking experience (in aggregate).

Sometimes we do, in fact, create something approximating the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

And sometimes…

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…not so much.

If at first you don’t succeed in making your chocolate chip cookies spread –

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Try, try again. Practice makes perfect!

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It was a bigger challenge, but we’ve perfected the same technique with yeast rolls.

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The perfect apple pie, complete with golden pastry stars on top, is well within your reach. Just don’t brush the stars with egg wash, put them in a 450°F oven, and then check your Instagram feed.

Flameout!

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And burnout: Try putting cinnamon-streusel muffins into the oven, NOT setting the timer, and realizing about 3 hours later that the faintly acrid smell you detect wafting out of the kitchen isn’t, in fact, from some other fool’s burning cookies.

They’re YOUR totally incinerated muffins.

“My cup runneth over…” Yeah, usually that’s a good thing.

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But not when you’re baking chocolate pudding cake.

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Or a braided calzone.

So, why did I believe that I could fill this dough with cheddar, subject it to the heat of a 425°F oven, and NOT be confronted with a lava-flow of oozing cheese?

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But honestly, there was no reason for caramel to drain out of the bottom of this filled scone. I mean, it was enclosed in dough. It was solid caramel when it went into the oven.

Ten minutes later: puddle o’ sugar.

Sometimes, though, overflow can be a GOOD thing.

Like when you’ve been feeding your sourdough starter for days, and it’s been poking along, and you go to bed and get up the next morning and –

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SHAZAM! Now THAT’S what you call a fully activated starter.

That’s the thing with sourdough. You just have to stick to it.

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Unlike waffle irons, where sticking to it yields one very disappointing “crispy” waffle.

Speaking of sticking to it –

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DARN! Or words to that effect, probably words with a bit more “bite” to them, dripping with vitriol.

“Dripping”?

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Check out this pie crust.

Exactly what were we testing?

Well, I made the crust and added the apple filling, and then realized I’d forgotten one essential element in the crust, something that negated the test. But I didn’t want to waste the filling, so I took it out.

And then I didn’t want to waste the crust, so I blind-baked it, thinking maybe it could be filled with something afterwards.

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Or not. Notice the shrinkage down the sides of the pan. The only thing this crust is filled with is good intentions.

It was definitely for the birds – literally.

Not like these gluten-free brownies…

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…from which I, unfortunately, omitted the eggs. Even the birds wouldn’t eat these.

Oh, well; after a long day in the test kitchen, sometimes that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

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Or cookies crumble.

Happy April Fails, everyone!

Not ready to go back to work yet? See more April Fools posts.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Rosa Jankowski

    Oh my! Love this post! I look forward to this one every year! :-). Thanks so much for sharing!!! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Kathy

      I would still eat all of those chocolate chip cookies–of course, over days, not all at once!

    2. Karen York

      Thanks for posting this. Just the other day I had my own disaster. I was making a wheat bread for a friend and had invested for all the best ingredients. The dough was perfect and I put it into my dishwasher to raise as i often do (a makeshift proofing box). Well, for the first time ever, I must have brushed past the switch, activating the dishwasher. It wasn’t the fact that the bread was destroyed that got me but the fact that flour and water make paste and it took me 2 hours to clean the d—n thing. Although I have to admit that I laughed the whole time. Much more careful now!

    3. Eric Larsen

      I’m w/ Kathy. Those chocolate chip cookies are so gone. Baking w/ my mom as a kid we had a variety of different looking/consistency CCC come out of the over over the years….but they were all good. I really like the crunchy on the edges, gummy/chewy in the middle and those two pics at the top…I’m not sharing.

    4. Margy

      I can’t tell you how COMFORTING it is to read this and see these photos! I must remember to look for this next year and in the future. Thanks for the laughs and for being brave enough to publicly admit that even an expert like you isn’t perfect, either!

    5. Sue O

      I would love to work in the KAF kitchen!!! What fun!,
      That waffle iron looks to be as old as my mothers, heavy metal for sure!!
      Have you developed a good way to “clean” other than good old fashion “elbow grease”?

      Love this posting!!
      No not really. Glad you liked the post. Happy Baking!JoAnn@KAF

    6. Dolly Trebilcock

      This is so great! Thank you for sharing. My hubby and I laughed so hard. We need a good laugh every day. It’s takes special people to share (un)successes along with successes.

    7. Priscilla

      Thanks I needed this. You make me feel so much better about the smoke alarm going off when I cook!

  2. Susan Gosser

    So good to know the professionals are human like the rest of us. I frequently forget to set the timer or leave an ingredient out of the recipe. Or, my most recent blunder, not paying attention and adding the yeast to the beaten eggs and not the warm water!

    Happy April 1st!

    Reply
    1. Renee

      My mom moved into a house with 2 awesome ovens with bells and whistles, but every time she baked, the goodies never got done. I looked up the owner’s manual online and found out the temp was set to Celsius. Go figure. My sister and I had to test the adjusted settings by baking cookies, brownies, and banana bread. With 2 large ovens, they all turned out perfectly in jig time.

  3. Sandra Casey

    Wow and all kinds of fantastic.
    You give us home bakers permission to not expect perfect. It is from the not perfect
    that we can learn our best lessons.
    Yesterday made cinnamon buns, followed recipe traditional yeast in to flour. Oh was I upset…should have known better. Elementary lesson… proof the yeast in warm liquid. Well after much self talk, throw out the dough and start over or just wait and see. I continued on, dough rose nicely and finished product was delice. Will I follow that method again? NO WAY. Too much stress.
    Thanks for reading. Love everything the King Arthur way.

    Reply
  4. Mareen Cope

    Were these pictures taken in my kitchen? I have definitely made some of those items with similar results.

    Reply
    1. Bill Jay

      It is almost as if they are spying on us. I guess I need to get out the KAF catalog and order more tinfoil for a new hat 🙂

    2. Ruth Dweck

      You make me feel better when I make big time mistakes!! See you all for another cooking class this summer.

  5. Kay

    Good gravy, those poor brownies! I also mourn the burnt streusel muffins.

    Thanks for sharing your mistakes! Always makes me feel good to know I’m not the only one to make kitchen blunders.

    That pizza looks almost pretty!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Kay, that’s what I said about the pizza, too! It still looks lovely. Maybe not edible, but still very attractive in an artistic, abstract kind of way. Bryanna@KAF

    1. tina in virginia

      Forgot the eggs in pumpkin bread and kept wondering why it didn’t seem to be cooking.
      Messed up arepas and even the birds stayed clear…they were like rocks

    1. Betty in CO

      I’ve lived here for 46 yrs and I still can’t always figure out what changes I need to make so I have blunders. One day I will contact the lady who knows it all at KAF! This was a good thing to read this day. Thank you, KAF
      PS: I really liked the gingerbread from your mix!

  6. Linda Myers

    Thank you, Thank you!! What a fun read. We’ve all been there, but nice to see that even the “pros” can end up with something other than intended!

    Reply
  7. Janet C

    THANK YOU! Photos and your comments gave me a great big smile to start my day and that’s not an April Fool’s joke.

    Reply
  8. Mary Owens

    Thanks for sharing these kitchen screw ups which happen to everyone — luckily not very often! My favorite duh baking moment was making lemon squares — beautiful shortbread, but very bland, because I forgot to mix in the key ingredient — the lemon juice! There it was, sitting on the counter. I got tipped off by the lack of lemon smell when it was baking.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Mary, this had me laughing-out-loud! Last week in the test kitchen I forgot the sugar in a doughnut recipe. Couldn’t figure out why they were tasteless and rubbery. We all have DUH moments, it makes us human. Bryanna@KAF

  9. Norsknitter

    Reminds me of the time I was in college and just learning to cook when my then current flame wanted fried chicken. Well, I saw you had to bread the chicken using flour, but for reasons I can’t remember the only flour I had was buckwheat flour. I fried ’em up and they came up the sickliest green color you’ve ever seen.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sounds completely delicious! NOT. We’ve all been there, in one way or another. Thanks for sharing! Bryanna@KAF

  10. Tanya Bottini

    This made me laugh, thanks! My biggest mistake in the kitchen was when I made Persimmon Cookies. I don’t know what was wrong with the recipe but they weren’t very good. The first sign was that my brother who ate everything, didn’t want another. I stuck them in the cupboard. That night we had an invasion of ants. They got into everything, except those cookies! I decided “That’s it! If even the ants won’t eat the cookies, then they are going in the garbage!” I never made that recipe again! Happy April Fools!

    Reply
  11. Kevin Krause

    Oh! Your burned muffins look so sad! I have the worst time using my broiler.. One second the cheese isn’t melted, two seconds later the thing is black and smoking! So I totally know your pain..

    Reply
  12. Nora Matteo

    So glad to read that it’s not just me who has occasional spectacular disasters in the kitchen!

    Reply
  13. Barbara McEvoy

    Wow – for a moment I thought somebody was taking pictures in my kitchen.
    It’s good to know that even experts may have feet of dough.
    Loved the photos.

    Reply
  14. Vanessa

    I LOL’ed when I saw the sourdough starter then ran to the kitchen to put a plate under the bowl of MY sourdough starter.

    Reply
    1. Rhonda

      That’s my result, too. Keep trying to use a bigger bowl, to allow room for it to grow, and I still get overgrowth by the time I wake up… even getting up and stirring it down during the night! So, now, the bowl gets a container under it, to catch everything that goes over.

  15. Tina Abell

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that “Cajuns” her baking! They should make timers that start when you open the preheated oven door. I tend to forget to push start on my timer.

    Reply
  16. Dana Clement

    Hello:

    Is it so terribly bad of me to laugh and feel so good that professionals make the same mistakes as myself?

    Happy April Fool’s Day and thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  17. Anne

    Hee hee hee… These are great! I know you folks are excellent cooks, so seeing that even the best of the best can make a few mistakes once in a while makes me feel not so bad about my own many kitchen blunders. So we are indeed all human, huh? hee hee Love this. Thank you for sharing your beautiful humility. It’s great to be human.

    Reply
  18. Cait

    Wow, these make my fails not look like fails at all, I baked a pumpkin pie 2 Thanksgivings ago and the filling never quite set, so we ate pumpkin pudding, at least mine was still edible

    Reply
  19. Becky

    My favorite very bad idea is to check Facebook or e-mail “just for a minute” with anything in the oven or on the stove without a timer! I am still learning not to do that…after more than enough kitchen disaters!

    Reply
    1. Carolo Foote

      My 1850’s Applesauce Cake makes a LARGE 9×15 cake. Put it in a LARGE Bundt pan, baked it, cooled it, flipped it out onto a plate and watched it slooowly ooze out at the sides. I forgot to add an extra large spoon of corn starch to account for the extra sauce. ;( Took a pumpkin roll out of the freezer to take to a potluck. Salvaged part of the cake by baking in the microwave a bit longer.

  20. Nancy Griffin

    HAHAHAHAHA! Those look way too much like most of my baking efforts, P.J. You never brought anything into the Camden Herald that resembled any of these! Happy April Fool’s Day.

    Reply
  21. amy caplan

    Just got back from a wonderful 3 day class in laminated pastry at King Arthur and I can’t tell you how great it feels to know that we home bakers are not the only ones who have have those “uh oh” moments! Thanks for a good laugh this morning.

    Reply
  22. Marie

    I must have missed this feature last year, I love it! I hate when things don’t turn out, it’s funny to see professionals do the same thing I do……Now I want to go bake something! Thanks!

    Reply
  23. Judy

    These made me laugh! Anyone who loves to bake has had their share of “goofs” even if they won’t admit it. I share mine with family and we all have a hardy laugh!

    Reply
  24. Christy

    Thanks for sharing your blunders – it always makes me mad at myself for wasting valuable baking ingredients, but I admit that I’ve done it more times than I can count.
    What is the top picture? Pizza? What’s the story with that one? I don’t see it…

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We decided the pizza story was too horrible to reveal. All we can say is that it happened on a dark and stormy night…….Bryanna@KAF

  25. Rachel Chapman

    Thank you for a good laugh to start my day. I want to know about the loaf of bread in the first picture…it looks like mine!

    Reply
  26. Charles F

    Ah yes….gotta love working on new recipes and trying to figure out either what I did wrong or if the recipe has a problem. I don’t often take photos of the bad ones, but maybe I should….However – when you figure it out and get a fabulous recipe, then it’s all (sort of) worth it!

    Reply
    1. Parker Brown-Nesbit

      Totally agree, Janelle.

      I have made mistakes with baking, but fortunately, none this bad (none that I’ll admit to anyway).

      Thanks for the smile on a grey South Carolina morning.

  27. Mayre

    I love this. I’m trying hard to teach my tween son that it really is okay if things don’t come out the way you expect.

    Reply
  28. Phyllis Leritz

    Have you been peeking in my kitchen? It’s usually that last pan of cookies that gets the honors of “discoloration”!

    Reply
  29. Leann Thoresen

    I used to (note the past tense) cook professionally, gave that up years ago and can relate to every one of your pictures. Thank you for the great start to my day.

    Reply
  30. Josephine

    Reading your post made me chuckle. Early this morning I baked my usual loaf bread, not consciously aware of how I tweaked the recipe the night before could change the end-product. My first confession … I always bake my bread in a toaster oven, which works well for my small batch-baking operation. For this particular loaf, I swapped flour with some fresh sourdough, thinking that it will be a good way to use it. But I did not reduce the liquid content and thus ended up using a bit more flour, resulting in a slightly bigger dough. Or perhaps the sourdough did give extra lift, shall I say? The bread ended up rising so high (the toaster oven did not allow much room to rise) that the dough oozed out to the side and I almost could not take the bread out. My daughters stared at it and said my bread exploded. I should have told them that it is my April’s Fool bread. Luckily the bread still tasted good, which is what counts.

    Reply
    1. Robyn

      Yes…my first thought was the I Love Lucy episode too! It still makes me laugh so hard!!

  31. Sandy Shea

    I know these are hard to deal with sometimes, but you have NO IDEA how good it makes us amateurs feel to know we’re not the only ones who can make charcoal in our ovens!!!!

    Reply
  32. Betty Bailey

    LOVED YOUR APRIL FOOLS DAY POSTING. WE HAVE ALL HAD RESULTS LIKE YOURS, BUT I ALWAYS ENJOY THE ONE FROM THE PRO’S. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, SO THAT WE CAN HAVE A GOOD LAUGH NEXT YEAR.

    Reply
  33. Dottie B.

    It put a smile on my face — seeding the blunders and reading the comments —thanks!
    We all have done something similar in our kitchens.

    Reply
  34. Suzanne

    Such a relief to know I’m not alone with some of these results. I often need to bake in an AGA when visiting family in the UK… where there is no setting of temperatures. I’m sure with a few more years experience it’ll get better – but I’ve made more than my fair share of carbonized frisbees, and once even had a chocolate pecan pie catch fire – a half hour before dinner guests were due to arrive. If nothing else, these result in some great stories that can be laughed at later! Thank you seeing April in with a smile!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I once had to bake in Germany. My no-fail coffee cake came out like a brick. I still don’t know what I did wrong! Bryanna@KAF

  35. Merci Norwood

    Oh, thank heaven!!!! I am not the only screw-up in the kitchen!!!! Yes, I had visions of perfection coming out of your kitchens every day….. I could imagine all the wonderful things lined up on the counter every morning. So it is reassuring and comforting to know that even you guys have spreading cookies, inedible brownies, and burned whatever!!! Thank you so much for this really good, laugh-out-loud, reality check!!!! I loved it!!!!!

    Reply
  36. Julane

    I’m going to tattle on my mom…once she grabbed soy sauce instead of worcestershire sauce when making meatloaf. Man that was salty. me…I forget things. Was told this week my bread had no flavor and realized i forgot to add salt. And made cinnamon rolls but forgot thee eggs in the dough.

    Reply
  37. Mary Hooke

    Great for April Fool’s Day!! Trial and error but have learned not to try baking something the first time when company is coming!!!

    Reply
  38. Patsy Cowie

    It looks as if someone was sneaking a camera In my kitchen! Been there. Done that! Thanks for all the great recipes and help and tips. Baking (even with the above) is my greatest pleasure.

    Reply
  39. Karen Strauss

    Thanks for sharing.

    We had one of those errors recently when it was my turn to run the community kitchen dinner and make sure my team was getting all the cooking done in time for 75 people. So we had gotten a donation of two boxes of Green and Black 85% cocoa chocolate bars, 10 3.5 ounce bars per box, and I decided to turn them into brownies, We needed 26 ounces of chopped chocolate to melt and there was way more in the boxes and I handed them all to someone and asked them to chop the 26 ounces. And I had a sort of newbie melting the chocolate and mixing the brownies and I look over from time to time and I see this lovely very large bowl of chocolate and I’m more focused on the main dishes at that moment so I’m not evaluating ingredient in the brownies. I left them a great recipe I’ve been making for years. I glance over and the first batch has gone into an ungreased pan with no parchment. So I wander over and we prep a new pan and I notice the brownies look almost curdled and dry. So we doctor them up with more butter, anoth egg and some milk. I ask if any water got into he chocolate and try to figure out what is going on. So I change up the recipe for the next couple of batches to add more eggs and butter and they still don’t look right. And we’re out of time so we go with it.

    When they cool we taste one and the flavor is great, really chcolately. bUt are dull instead of shiny and really dry. lIke pass me a gallon of milk dry. But I decide to serve them anyway under ice cream and whipped cream people keep coming up to compliment us on how chocolately the brownies are.

    It isn’t until I driving home that the pieces come together. I realize I did not see the rest of the chocolate in the kitchen when I cleaned up and the large bowl suddenly seems like way too much. My helper chopped all the chocolate. 20 bars at 3.5 ounces each. Three times the required chocolate. No wonder they were dry and oh so chocolately.

    April Fools two weeks early.

    Kinda of funny now.

    Reply
  40. Christine

    No more apologies for imperfect food presentation! For example, when I make a pie and it doesn’t look perfect (which is most all the time) I will say that this is a ‘rustic,’ or ‘home-style’ pie and act like it is supposed to look the way it does. 🙂 This explanation works well with most any food (muffins, dinner rolls, slightly scorched rice, etc) .

    Reply
  41. Nikki

    I have always said there are no failures in the kitchen just transitions to another dish.
    I might have to change that looking at your muffins, brownies and pie.
    The cheese oozing out of the calzone and the caramel oozing from the scone are just the cooks treat as far as I am concerned.
    The cake…I know of this place that sells parchment paper. Once you try parchment you will never bake without it. Easy clean up and stuff never sticks.
    The pudding cakes in the mugs still look good and the one that really dripped, well that would be mine.
    But I gotta tell ya…I have nothing for that “pizza” in the first photo. I would LOVE an explanation as to how that came to be.
    Thanks for a great post.

    Reply
  42. alexa penzner

    Hi – it is soooo good to see that you guys make mistakes, too – even with all your experience. now, i don’t feel like such an idiot :}

    my mom once made strawberry short cake and it looked just perfect. so we all started to enjoy. Whoa! Ma! it’s so salty! she used salt instead of sugar LOL

    Reply
  43. Cooofnj

    OMG! This had me laughing out loud! Sometimes screw-ups lead to new discoveries and sometimes they are just…..screw ups!

    Years ago I had the pleasure of “teaching” about 100 sales people how to bake with a new ingredient. We chose chocolate pudding pies because we could give them prepared shells and make the pies in a microwave. We premeasured out the ingredients for everyone – all they had to do was mix and bake in a microwave. We had 99 spectacular failures (in 99 different ways) and one absolutely beautiful pie (ex-baker who switched to sales). Never could figure out how 99 people screwed up so badly. I guess stuff just happens……

    Reply
  44. KB Lewis

    I don’t make many of these sort of mistakes, but when I do, they are doozies. Btw, those spreading g chocolate chip cookies are some of my favorite. Soft and chewy when first come out of the oven, crisp and buttery after they’ve cooled. Yum!

    Reply
  45. Judy Rusin

    You made my day. I decided to ‘rush the proofing’ by placing my raw dough, encased in a plastic bag, into a pan of very hot water. And, I wondered, “Why didn’t the bread rise?”……….On another occasion I heated my oven to 100 and put the yeast mixture into the oven. Of course the temperature went beyond 100 only to kill that batch of bread. …………..Live and learn the hard way.

    Reply
    1. Erika 616

      I tried activating a bought sourdough starter in my oven with the light on. The light killed the starter.

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      Erika, you make a very good point here! Ovens are tricky and it’s always good to check the temperature with a thermometer to make sure it’s not too hot to kill your yeast (wild or otherwise). Yeast dies at 140 degrees. Barb@KAF

  46. Nevenah

    I once put twice as much shortening in my oatmeal cookies as I should have, and then wondered why they came out so flat and greasy! Fortunately, the friends at the Superbowl party loved them and even asked how I got them so wide and soft. Not the worst disaster ever. I have had a bread machine loaf come out short and dense and bad enough that I ended up feeding it to the squirrels.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I once put two cups of oil into cornbread instead of 1/2 cup (don’t ask how I made that mistake). It came out dense, crispy on the edges and greasy-moist in the center, like a savory bread pudding. It wasn’t that bad, actually! Bryanna@KAF

  47. Virginia Williams

    How about a loaf of bread that is only good for a doorstop? Those pictures are all too familiar.

    Reply
  48. Carol Olson

    Many decades ago, Mom made a great sour cream chocolate cake. Aunt asked for recipe for family party. But no cake appeared, only delish frosted brownies. When asked for recipe, she replied: it’s your Mom’s cake, but I didn’t have baking powder, so used baking soda, didn’t have chocolate squares, so used cocoa; & didn’t have sour cream, so used Pream & vinegar! Frosted them to hide cracks! Unreproducible, but a success’

    Reply
  49. Richard Holt

    Bless your hearts! I thought I was pretty much the only bungler. In fact, I’m at the point that if something doesn’t go wrong, I’m mystified! Generally, I’ll sabotage a recipe thinking I know better, but I don’t! Does this stop me? No, I keep right on trucking (baking)!

    Reply
  50. Carrie

    I have had some spectacular disasters in my kitchen. Usually when I have guests over. You would think I would learn to not try out untested recipes on my unsuspecting family and friends.

    I love how at the beginning of the article it says Recipe: None. Yep, no one wants these recipes! 😉

    Reply
  51. Anne from Pintesting

    You just made my day! I’m praying that the B-day cake that I’m making for a friend doesn’t have any disastrous results. It’s a turtle cake, so I’ll be melting sugar to make the caramel buttercream.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You’ve got this, Anne! We have total faith in your abilities. And hey, even if it doesn’t work out, you’re not alone. Bryanna@KAF

  52. Kathy

    I love the story from a friend related to her mother’s first attempt at boiling water as a newlywed. Her recipe called for 1 T. boiling water so she put 1 T. water in a pan to boil. By the time the water boiled, it was gone. When her husband arrived at the house she was in tears, because she was unable to complete the dinner recipe without the 1 T. boiling water. He comforted her and taught her the correct way to boil a small quantity of water! Hehe!

    Reply
  53. BBreazeale

    Thanks for sharing. Good to know I am not the only one that doesn’t always make a perfect baked product!

    Reply
  54. Nancy Yoder

    O happy day! You’ve brightened my day! And the ability to laugh at my own mistakes! Thank you for this! Love your sharing with we fellow home bakers!

    Reply
  55. Paul Matlin

    Besides the ussual left-in-too-long, etc. blunders, perhaps my worst was the time I made a Jewish Apple Cake and, instead of the cinnamon I thought I had used, it turned out to be chili powder. Yeah, the birds wouldn’t touch that one either.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I once made baked oatmeal with cumin, not cinnamon. So I just tossed in some veggies, cheese and an egg! Voila! Savory breakfast. Bryanna@KAF

  56. Catherine Nelson

    Ha ha! That reminds me of a day in college when I took the sourdough starter out of the refrigerator where I was keeping it in a jar with a threaded lid. I forgot to open the lid, and a couple of hours later we heard a loud BANG and ran to the kitchen to find sourdough EVERYWHERE … ceiling, walls… May we all have such “active” starters. 🙂

    Reply
  57. Elizabeth Ottomanelli

    Thanks for sharing; the photos gave me a good laugh and a twinge ( when I remembered my own).

    Reply
  58. Cindy Thompson

    Thanks for these! Some of them could have come from my kitchen. It always makes me feel better to know that others have the same problems I do.

    Reply
  59. Chelle

    I love your April Fool’s Day posts! I often plan to cook double to allow one batch to be thrown away. Last week there was a near miss. I made four pot pies with frozen puff pastry tops. Had to leave them with a friend to put into the oven while I ran out for something I’d forgotten. When I came back, there were four pot pies in the 400 degree oven, but two still had the plastic wrap on top. EEEK.

    Actually, the plastic wrap peeled off, and for some reason those crusts raised higher than the others…

    Reply
  60. Hanna

    Mistakes aren’t always looking bad. Last year I made a beautiful pumpkin pie for thanksgiving but when we took our first bites we all realized I’d forgotten the sugar. Wouldn’t recommend doing that .

    Reply
  61. Richard Casey

    Oh man these are great! I have to admit I’ve had the good fortune to “replicate” some of these culinary feasts. Good to know I’m not the only one doing it 🙂

    Reply
  62. Christine Brownlie

    Thanks for this wonderful collection of goofs, boo-boos and calamities. BEST laughs I’ve had in a long time

    Reply
  63. LaRie

    These pictures make me chuckle and remember all of the omitted ingredients I have done and my Mom too. Our tradition is always throwing the pan outside if it burns something. ..lol. Ahhh..love the memories. 🙂

    Reply
  64. GrannyLin

    I made scones and put them in my brand new oven…set the timer for what I thought was 20 minutes and went into another room and promptly forgot about the scones. The timer did go off – 2 hours later!!! The scones were baked through and through and through – even the birds and squirrels turned their noses (beaks) up at them!!! We did use a couple of them for paperweights and door stoppers for awhile !

    Reply
  65. Sue

    April Fool’s. I’ve been there so many times. Luckily most taste better than they look. Great stuff. Thanks!

    Reply
  66. Joan brasdovich

    Was making Sweet bread doubled yeast and milk but not flour and other ingrents. Would have to add a ton of flour. So. threw the whole thing in big black garbage . We could not believe how that bag with that much yeast mixture. The bag got so heavy we. could. barley lift.. We. had. a good laugh.

    Reply
  67. Jody

    Am I the only one who thinks those spread chocolate chip cookies look delicious?

    My mom once tried to thicken a beef stew, but grabbed the powdered sugar instead of the cornstarch. Amazingly, it was still good.

    Reply
  68. Judy

    thank you so much for the pics and the laughs! I thoroughly enjoy baking but have encountered these same and similar misshaps, its oddly nice to know that i’m not the only screw up in the kitchen 😀

    Reply
  69. Dee

    An artistic Great British Chef featured black for his color scheme in the semifinals … those muffins would have been a perfect visual addition! But you should have seen my huge turkey left in my husband’s hands when I had to leave on Christmas eve for a death in the family. He placed it in a very hot oven to seal and forgot to lower the temperature for 6 hours. Even our 60 pound bloodhound walked away with his nose in the air in disgust. Good food and laughter warm the heart!

    Reply
  70. Linda from Montpelier

    Teehee! This makes me feel a whole lot better about some of the disasters I’ve produced!
    Thank you for sharing! <3

    Reply
  71. Patt Ross Bodine

    But hope! 42 years ago “accidently” discovered what became one of our favorite snacks while taking my only leave from work ever (totally exhausted!) to spend summer at the beach with my then 2-yr old daughter… Those beautiful farm stand Lima beans! That yummy butter with a little S&P! That exquisite sun just starting to set! Oh did we forget to water the garden? Do I smell something burning? Yesss…slightly charred, but VERY crunchy, VERY delicious Lima beans! The birds usually love us, but they didn’t get these! Severe ADHD doesn’t help! Maybe some years you can add some UNsuccesses that prove the exception rule! I’m a new fan, ♡KAF, ♡ this event! Tx! Tx! Tx! P.S. Tried commenting earlier, but I think this new phone out-smarted me & erased it!

    Reply
  72. Kristen

    Thanks for sharing this today. I really needed a good laugh. It reminds me that I should never take my baking too seriously and laugh when it doesn’t work quite right. Like my kids say “even if it isn’t pretty, it still tastes good. We will eat it for you.”

    Reply
  73. Sue

    Yes, I’ve been in this situations also…just part of our human nature. The key is to not give up and try again or find an alternative to the failed recipe. We don’t advance if we don’t try again. I know that by life’s experiences. Bake on!

    Reply
  74. Denise

    Love this! My worse ever blunder was using twice the amount of butter clued for in prime biscotti. I opened the oven to see the tray covered with goo. Burned goo at that.

    Reply
  75. Karen I Ford

    Love this as we have all made “errors” in the kitchen. The worst was the rhubarb pie I made that was
    filled with a mixture of rhubarb and onions and green peppers. I grabbed the two bags and dumped the contents into a mixing bowl and proceeded to make the pie. The pie did smell a bit different, but my brother-in-law was so anxious to taste the pie that he tried to eat it when it was barely cool. Both he and my husband never let me forget the :rhubarb pie experiment!
    I kept chopped onions and green peppers in the same size bags so that I always had ingredients ready when needed them. As a working Mom, I tried to make things ahead that could cut the time needed to have dinner ready for my family.

    Reply
  76. Terrésia

    Thanks for letting me start my day with a good laugh!I’m glad even the professionals have results like me at times!

    Reply
  77. Nancy

    Well!! Forget to set the timer? Disaster? Never have done it. Yeah, right! Thanks for the funny post. I would still eat that cuppa chocolate pudding cake.

    Reply
  78. Jinny Mason

    Had a friend once who put her bread dough in her car on a cool winter’s day for the sun to heat. Unfortunately her husband had a heart attack. I believe it was a day later when she got back to her car and found the dough growing over a lot of the dash board.

    Reply
  79. audrey

    i have always told my family even if my baking isnt exactly perfect at least it tastes good…however in the case of your pictures i dont think they would have bought my excuse thanks for the chuckle

    Reply
  80. Victoria

    My worst baking blunder involved making chocolate chip cookies. My canisters are filled with AP flour, sugar, baking soda, cornstarch and salt. I was happily making my cookies, excitedly since they are my family’s favorite. I took the first tray ouy of the oven and they were more fluffy biscuit looking than cookie looking and were quite small. It took me a minute before it dawned on me that I put corn starch in them instead of baking soda. I promptly broke out my label maker and labeled my canisters. I had to start over on the cookies.

    Reply
  81. Nonna

    This took me back to several of mine… One time I was asked to make my “sinfully” chocolate cake, but added a little too much Amaretto and it turned out to be brownies. I frosted it and brought it to work and they were a hit and was asked for the recipe, I had to fess up, couldn’t replicate it again. Another time was making fried chicken for dinner, thought I made a thin enough batter for the dipping… instead, had fried bread covered chicken. They were still tasty, but the family has not let that one slip by and still remind me of the battered chicken sandwiches. LOL! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  82. Pamela

    I feel so validated now!! Thank you! I was beginning to think I should hang up my apron after a couple of disasters making Easter goodies for church – both ending up in the garbage can. But now I feel so much better!

    Reply
  83. Jane Grove

    Thank you for the pictures. I have had similar things happen to me when baking. It is so nice to know that these results from the test kitchen of King Arthur show that mistakes can happen to everyone – even a big company. Thanks for the laugh today.

    Reply
  84. Maria R

    Funny, everything here is usually my finished products!!! Thank you for giving me hope and helping me to try, try, try and try again and again and again and again……Thank you for sharing for there are no words that can express the fullness of heart a silly post like this can bring to someone who really needed to be in the company of the not-so-perfect after all. May God continue to bless each and every one of you with success, energy and customers who really appreciate all that you offer.

    Reply
    1. Dee

      Maria… get an oven thermometer and check what your oven is really registering when you put it on a setting. (I had an aunt that had her oven run 75F hotter than it should and nobody ever tried to reset it). Fresh ingredients, take your time in measuring. If you’re at altitude you will have to do adjustments. Make notes for next time. (one place I lived was right at 6500 feet, I used adjustments for Denver (5280) for tollhouse cookies and had to watch the time to 15 seconds, and cool my sheet totally between batches. I could then get perfect cookies if I used a portion measuring scoop to make them the same size and had to be right there to whisk them out and scrape them onto the cooling rack) Don’t give up dear! I always find that frosting covers a LOT too. 🙂

  85. Adele

    I don’t mind a flub in my kitchen, but when you bake two loaves of bread and proudly give one to your neighbor and then discover when you bite into your loaf that you left out the salt!! Oh my! I avoided my neighbor for days.

    Reply
  86. Larry Burwell in San Francisco

    I recently baked a loaf of rye bread that was as square and solid as a brick. You could hardly lift the damn thing. I kept saying to myself, “I’ll bet this wouldn’t have happened if I lived in Vermont”….

    Reply
  87. Sue

    My worst baking disaster was a couple years ago at Christmas time. My daughter and I had done a marathon day of cookie baking, and we had finally gotten to our last pan of cookies. Somehow one of us pushed the automatic oven clean button. The cookies went up in flames, the oven door locked and wouldn’t open, and the kitchen filled with smoke. We ended up calling the fire department to help us. The firemen got a good laugh when we finally got the charcoal briquettes (formerly known as chocolate cherry cookies) out of the oven.

    Reply
  88. Doris Kinney

    have had a few failures like these myself….I try not to admit to them lol. I have had a few forgot the timer incidents myself…usually my nose told me the item was done…good thing.

    Reply
  89. aruvqan

    I have done all of these at one time or another! My cooking fail was salvagable. Did you know if you take the typical white American farmed turkey and don’t slaughter it at 7-9 months it will grow to over 3 feet tall and weigh in at 44 pounds dressed? First we had to take all the racks out and set a couple bricks in to keep the home made roasting pan off the electric coils. The we roasted Giblet [we name our food animals appropriately] the specified time for the weight. The breast meat came out beautifully but the legs and thigh were rock hard. So *fail*. As we did the cleanup, I tossed him into my 5 gallon stock pot after quartering him so he would fit. We tossed in the mashed potatoes, stuffing, roast veggies [baby new potatoes, baby carrots, pearled onions and celery hearts glazed with turkey stock[ and water to cover, set it up to simmer overnight and went to bed. In the morning we hauled the carcass out and pulled off all the meat and chopped it, tossed it back into the pot and had Thanksgiving soup [for a week, tons of leftovers!] The broth ended up looking like the smoothest gravy I had ever tried to make, and the meat was tender, and the roast veg held up their shape. All I needed to do was a tad of black pepper and a shot of hot sauce and some red wine vinegar to brighten the back taste.

    Overall, it was a serendipitous mistake, and we have never been able to recreate the soup, but every November we keep trying.

    Reply
    1. Susan Lewis

      Love it! We, too, had a turkey that had grown so big by slaughtering time we had to cut it in half with a tree saw to get it in the oven on Thanksgiving morning. We put it in an extra large aluminum pan, and then the whole family (and guests) took off for a long walk. We came back to discover that the pan must have had a tiny puncture… all of the juices and fats were pooled at the bottom of the oven and the kitchen was full of smoke. Oh, what a greasy mess! Dinner was a little late that day. One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories!

  90. Renate

    How encouraging to see these photos! Just the other day I was baking a birthday cake for my daughter with the help of my grandchildren…. After I had placed the pan in the oven there was this bowl with flour still sitting on the counter… It took me a few seconds to realize I had forgotten to fold the flour into the genoise…..LOL

    Reply
  91. Cindy

    Love this post, perhaps because it brings to mind one of my earliest and most epic baking “fails.” I generally make a very good apple pie, but on one occasion, I inadvertently reversed the proportions of fat and liquid called for in my mother’s piecrust recipe. I did wonder at how easily my crusts rolled out that day, and how perfectly I was able to flute them (my mother’s recipe always had produced the sorts of flaky crusts that are hard to roll and flute), but I didn’t realize what I’d done until I sampled a crumb that fell from the pie as I was cutting it in the kitchen — ugh! Thankfully, the filling was its usual, tasty self (Amy Vanderbilt’s 50-year-old fruit-pie-filling recipe gets the credit for that), so I scooped it out and served it over vanilla ice cream to our dinner guests without mentioning my mistake; whew! While we were still at the table, though, our lovable-but-not-always-perfectly-behaved standard poodle/springer spaniel mix, Sam, took advantage of the empty kitchen by helping himself to the pie crust, which — in my rush to salvage dessert — I had left, abandoned, on the counter. To say that the scavenged crust didn’t agree with Sam is an understatement– so much so, in fact, that all subsequent cooking fails in our family have been judged against that one: the pie that was so bad that even the dog couldn’t keep it down.

    Reply
  92. marlena

    My mother in law once forgot the sugar in a cake, so she took it out, about 1/4 baked and stirred in the sugar – scrambled cake anyone?

    Reply
  93. Brenda Scheatzle

    I appreciate the fact that the kitchen equipment you use is that which most people have. However, my husband and I just renovated our kitchen and our new cooking appliances include a convection steam oven and a “Regular” convection oven. Have had some difficulties in converting recipes. Especially for breads. Husband wants to incorporate the convection steam oven into the recipes. I, being the more timid cook – AND the primary cook over the 57 years of our marriage, tend to want to stay with the traditional (not convection) baking. Any hints for being able to adapt to the steam/convection mode successfully – and keep a happy kitchen household? Thanks for the April Fools
    mistakes!

    Reply
  94. Maxine Ennis

    Glad I’m not the only one! My Christmas Kulich was a broiled and blackened disaster. This lead to a new oven because the only element that was on was the top/broiler. (I can’t figure out how to attach the picture so all could see that I “NAILED IT!”)

    Reply
  95. Caroline

    I made brownies one day. I’ve made this recipe numerous times and knew it by heart. I thought I had put all of the ingredients into the mixing bowl. Poured the batter into the pan and put it into the oven. Waited 15 minutes and realized I omitted an important ingredient – flour. At first I couldn’t figure out why the batter wasn’t setting up. Then I realized I had forgotten the flour. I probably threw it out!

    Reply
  96. Mary Dayle Corley

    Ha! This was a good laugh! And I can identify with several of these mistakes. I appreciate your genuineness :-). Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  97. Gloria in PGH

    I look forward to this post every year! It is helpful to know that we all have those “uh-oh” moments, even you guys at King Arthur Flour. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like Ellie Mae Clampett, you know, lugging a burlap sack of something that sounds like concrete blocks out to the back yard to be buried!

    Reply
  98. Elizabeth

    Definitely need to share this with my husband as he thinks I am the only one to have tragedies in the kitchen. Nice to know even the best bakers occasionally experience horrendous outcomes.

    Reply
  99. Pamela Littlewood

    Just another reminder to myself that it’s just better to laugh than cry especially in the kitchen,.

    Reply
  100. Leslie

    That’s not your napkin! It’s a blindfold (for a few of these gems).

    Been there, done that. My biscuits went eight hours, turning to charcoal.

    Reply
  101. Joy

    I’ve made bread that ended up looking exactly like the loaf in the email. Why did this happen, and how can I avoid it?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      When bread collapses like that, it usually means it’s spent too much time rising and the network of gluten has gotten exhausted. Bryanna@KAF

  102. Margaret

    One of my many blunders was when I made a gorgeous rhubarb custard pie, put it in the freezer and a week later had my neighbors over for dinner, baked the pie and when I cut into it had pink runny goo. Didn’t know you couldn’t freeze custard pie. Sometimes have to learn the hard way!

    Reply
  103. Irene

    I think I have seen some of these before in my kitchen. Especially the oozing chocolate chip cookies. Then there was the time my mother forgot to remove the bag of giblets from the turkey and roasted it, in the bird. Yes, we did have company that meal.

    Reply
  104. Toni

    I look forward to this post every year! Thanks so much for making me laugh out loud. You make me feel as though my fails are in very good company.:)

    Reply
  105. Christine

    Oh my goodness! That makes me feel so much better! LOL~~ The cookies and rolls that stick together, the sourdough starter overflowing, the waffles sticking to the iron… I’ve had them all!
    Thank you for the laugh!

    Reply
  106. Jackie Hjelm

    Oh, my goodness. I think I’ve had almost ever one of these. But, my most recent…For Easter, I was making both a cake and a recipe for a shortcake that wasn’t like a biscuit. The cake, first: I baked it and it smelled so good! But, when I took them from the oven, they were about a 1/2 inch thick! They didn’t rise. Okay, threw those out and started over. The second batch? The same. Hmmm…maybe this cake isn’t supposed to rise? Well, I’ll just go with it. For the shortcake, the same thing happened. At this point, I should have realized what my problem was. I was using Bakewell baking cream instead of baking powder!!! Ugh…Oh, well. It all tasted good. Just a little heavy!

    Reply
  107. Kristin

    Our grilled pizza still looks like that way too often…..

    My college housemates loved my cookies. One housemate wanted me to help him make cookies, so I gave him a couple of recipes to get ingredients. I had class and when I came back he was proud that he mixed them up and had them in the oven. But then he asked me what kind of soda I used. He made one batch with coke, one with sprite, and one batch with with pepsi. And he used a cup in each recipe as he thought 1 teaspoon looked wrong. They turned out kind of flat…..

    I now write out BAKING soda when I share my recipes.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I just shared this story with the rest of the bakers–we love it! So funny and sweet. Bryanna@KAF

  108. Elizabeth

    Oh my – I was laughing out loud at these since I can relate to several of them! Thanks, you made my day to know I am not alone in my screw-ups!

    Reply
  109. Robyn

    I’ve had numerous failures, most of them I’d like to forget, but I keep on going. Years ago I made a carrot cake and got rave reviews! Only later I realized I had used confectioners sugar instead of regular granulated sugar. Those folks must have had a sweet tooth for sure.

    Reply
  110. Mary Heppa

    I am reminded of the afternoon when I was about 12 and my parents were gone. Thought I’d surprise my dad with some cookies. I got all of my ingredients together. Early on the directions said to sift the flour and set aside. When my parents returned home I was in the middle of trying to figure out what went wrong. The cookies had spread across the sheet and looked like lace cookies. Mom asked me to read the directions again out loud. The light came on when I read sift and set aside. There sat the bowl of sifted flour at the back of the counter. That runs through my mind every time I bake cookies or a cake.

    Reply
  111. Marilyn Morris

    After 3 days and 2 nights without sleeping, it would have made me laugh even if I were not sleep deprived. Perfect cure for the worst migraine headache. Probably recommended by Mayo Clinic.

    Reply
  112. Kathy W

    Most of these still look edible! …at least in my house! Thanks, it’s nice to know all cooks mess up occasionally

    Reply
  113. Candace

    Love these every year! Wish I’d thought to photograph my husband’s pizza after he baked it, totally forgetting the baking stone. FYI, bare oven racks are not the best base for pizza. Yes, of course we had guests. In my defense, I was laughing too hard to think of the camera. Told him not to have that last glass of Scotch! (The pizza tasted good, even though it was a complete mess.)

    Reply
  114. Max Pauley

    I once put my sourdough starter in a nice jar with a lid that clamped down, good and tight. Left it in the refrigerator and got up the next morning to broken glass and pasty goop all over the fridge. It was a nice mess to clean up on a Sunday morning when I had planned on sourdough pancakes.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I once put a lid on my starter too tightly as well–it’s something many sourdough bakers do at least once. The container was luckily made of plastic, but that provided little solace when I woke up with a start to a loud BOOM, thinking someone was breaking into the house. But alas, it was just my vigorous starter blowing the top off the container as it bubbled quietly away. Happy sourdough baking! 🙂 Kye@KAF

  115. Anne Marten

    Kudos to you, KAF, for posting the …..um….. imperfections. We all need to remember that if we don’t succeed the first time, try again! Baking, like life, is a learning process. And a good sense of humor really helps with both!

    Reply
  116. Elli

    My baking fail this year was an absolutely beautiful pan of dinner rolls. Really, they were picture perfect…looking. After trying to bite into them at dinner my boys used them for a session of batting practice. They thought it was funny, I was less amused. Lesson learned: weigh the flour!

    Reply
  117. OgreMkV

    Not baking so much…

    I was making homemade marshmallows using the whisk attachment on my stand mixer. I lifted it up and was “pulsing” the mixer to get the marshmallow out from between the whisk parts. So, I would go from 1 to 0 every few seconds.

    Sadly, my stand mixer doesn’t have a stop between 0 and 12. So, I went a little too far and flung marshmallow creme all over the kitchen. My hair, the cabinets, the ceiling, under the fridge… I spent hours finding and cleaning it.

    Reply
  118. Toni

    What a relief to know even you professionals mess up occasionally. I’ll try to remember that the next time my angel food cake falls out of the pan!

    Reply
  119. Beth Lewis

    As a young bride I was baking bread once with a recipe that said to bake until the internal temp of the bread was 190 degrees. After the suggested time I duly took the reading with my instant read thermometer but it was no where near that even though it was golden brown. So back in the oven and back out several times as it got darker and darker. Just short of extra crispy I discovered the thermometer was accidentally set on Celsius instead of Fahrenheit. Big difference….

    Reply
  120. mickey

    Why can’t I throw some things in the oven, grab laundry, pick up the house a bit, and go back to the finished bread, cake, cookies, perfectly baked? Sigh.

    Multi tasking is not my skill. Choose, home baked goods, or an immaculate house, not both at the same time.

    Reply
    1. marijka

      You need a clip-on kitchen timer! Five minute after something’s in the oven I forget all about it, run out to the yard, up to my 3rd floor studio, whatever. If it weren’t for that timer screeching from my waistband, I’d have burned the house down by now. 🙂

  121. Pat DAmbra

    Holiday time, when making batches of cookies, I always set aside a tin of “rejects”! Delicious to eat but not even, some broken, color not as perfect as I would like them. My sons and husband loved them! And it saved the perfect ones for guests! I have been doing this for a long time-my sons are now 35 and 32! And they still look for the tin of rejects!

    Reply
  122. Mary Smith

    Oh my! This made me laugh so thanks for that. When I saw those cinnamon streusel muffins I burst out laughing asking myself if they caught on fire, haha. I have had some doozies over the years but those muffins are the bomb! Hahahaha!

    Reply
  123. mlaiuppa

    Thanks for this. I don’t feel badly at all. Not a bit. This is above and beyond any of my failures.

    Reply
  124. Beth

    My mother baked cakes from mixes. For my 10th birthday I had found a recipe for a scratch made cake that I insisted I wanted. My mother finally relented, but insisted that I had to make it myself. My Dad helped me make the high altitude adjustments, and after lunch my Mother set me up in the kitchen and left me to it. Only after I had everything mixed up and in the pans did she check on me. My only problem was that at the age of almost 10 I did not know that buttermilk was a liquid. My Mother always used buttermilk powder and I had used the whole measurement of buttermilk powder called for in the recipe. She explained my mistake, made me throw out what I had made and start over. By this time I was so rattled that on my second attempt I forgot the baking soda and ended up with a cake puck. Luckily this experience did not deter me from baking from scratch, but it was definitely a learning experience.

    Reply
  125. Suzanne Lester

    My husband would say, done to perfection, He likes everything WELL done!. It would not go to waste!

    Reply
  126. Sue Kimmet

    Oh, my, thanks for the laugh! We’ve all had these happen, but it is much funnier to see like this than while it is happening.

    Reply
  127. Wanda

    My favorite was seeing your waffle iron is the same black color as mine! I thought it was just me!!Thank you!

    Reply
  128. Chloesmum

    I LOVE your April Fool’s Post and look forward to it every year. My mother was a good cook, and she insisted that milk, cream and butter were the secret to her success. Long before “cookie brittle” made its debut in stores, she would make her toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies from the recipe on the package. They were very delicious, but came out in a thin sheet which filled the cookie sheet. Finally, after years of baking with the same results, she confessed that she always doubled the amount of butter called for in the recipe. Her motto was a bit of butter makes everything better!

    Reply
  129. Mary Mann

    I’m pretty sure the chocolate chip cookies would still get eaten at my house. It is nice to know that experts have bad days too….

    Reply
  130. ML

    I guess we all have our day….I remember a very long time ago (probably longer than 30 years ago) I was making a sour cream poundcake for something. The recipe called for 6 eggs. The first time I made it I forgot the sugar. Then I made it a second time and forgot the baking soda. So into my second dozen of eggs I finally got it right…Since that day, I have always had my ingredients lined up waiting for me. (mise en place–sp?)
    Thx for sharing your mistakes, it makes us amateur bakers not feel alone.

    Reply
  131. Ken Tibbetts

    I’ve had some blunders in my day but none so colossal as most of those depicted here. Hopefully I never will. That aside, keep up the good work furnishing some of the best ingredients which go into my baking efforts.

    Reply
  132. Darla Young

    I made banana bread after work today..about 13 minutes in , my eldest daughter called me from out of town. She needed some paperwork that was at my home…so I turned oven off.But left the bread in. When I returned home an hour and half later turned oven back on and timer for 40 mins. Wad surprised the bread came out fine.So no April fools for me today!!

    Reply
  133. mumpy

    some of the cookies pictured are what we refer to as “family quality”….not good enough to show off, but certainly edible!

    aside from loving this post for obvious reasons, the april fool blog has provided one of our family’s favorite jokes.

    a few years back, one of the “fail” pictures was captioned “breakfast fit for a king….here king, good boy!”…..now all kitchen disasters are met with the comment “a dinner/dessert/bread/whatever fit for a king” and someone will supply the punch line and we all have a good laugh…..so thanks for that, because it has made mishaps just a bit less disheartening.

    Reply
  134. MrsD

    As retired cooking teacher, I can share a slew of kitchen disasters. Biscuits made with one cup of salt taste like Play Doh, but look deceptively normal. “Six chopped apples” wasn’t quite clear enough to freshman boys, but we had a pleasant conversation while picking the seeds out of the (thankfully!) unbaked pie. The cookies may not look perfect, but they taste just fine when you have to pull them out of the ovens midway through baking to leave for a fire drill. Sharing your April Fool’s blog posts showed my students that even the pros make mistakes!

    Reply
  135. KC

    Truth be told, I’m not always perfect either…but don’t tell the kids! They never did see the angel food cake I tried to make. TWICE. 12 egg whites and I forget how much flour, maybe a cup or two….whatever it was (maybe 3? I dunno, I just can’t remember that far back!), I followed the recipe. To the T! and the batter just didn’t seem to thicken up properly. So, yeah, I did it again. With another 12 egg whites. I was out of eggs by then, so I just knew it would be right that time….HAHAHA! Still didn’t thicken up properly. Figured hubby had come in talking to me & I’d lost count of the flour cups or something. So of course, I chewed him out for distracting me.

    Then I got the bright idea to TASTE the batter….and it was SWEET! So, have you ever used confectioner’s sugar instead of flour? (I keep them in plastic bags inside old coffee canisters, at that time, unidentified.) Yeah, let me just tell you, it won’t work the same. We laugh now, but eggs were pretty expensive then, and it just was NOT funny. Eventually, I got the angel food cake made & frosted with yummy white coconut frosting. The kids were never told it took me 3 tries to get it right! They still think everything’s always perfectly baked, first time out.

    Reply
  136. Kim

    Well *sighs* I don’t feel so badly now. *laughs with you* At least you have birds to share the “oopids” with. 🙂

    Reply
  137. Ann in Nebraska

    I call screw-ups “science projects” or “experiments”. My husband is my guinea pig!!!! Sometimes I even screw up chocolate chip cookies!!! Yeah, believe it or not!!!! Am getting really good at making bread. Husband hasn’t bought a loaf of bread in quite a while – says mine is better. Thanks, people!!! Our husbands eat a lot of goofs. What mine doesn’t eat, I put out for the birds and wild critters – unless it’s too badly burned – and then it goes straight into the trash.

    Reply
  138. linda moore

    no pleasure intended for anyone elses mishaps but I have a couple of one’s on here…lol!! I sure do feel better!LOL!!

    Reply
  139. MaryJo

    Our favorite disaster in the kitchen was when my dad used powdered sugar to bread cutlets instead of flour. We had pizza that night.

    Reply
  140. julie M

    Wow-what a delightful blog. Now I don’t feel so bad. I guess we all have done a few of these! Carry on!

    Reply
  141. judith loebel

    Thinking I was hot stuff and full of hippie zeal–this WAS the 70’s after all!!!—I asked at the Health Food Store for “The seeds that go in rye bread” and never really LOOKING at the seeds that go in rye bread–because I myself do not LIKE the seeds!!!—I dumped the–seeds–into the dough and never thought about them until we tried to EAT the loaves. Inside were-“somethings” that to this day I have no idea WHAT they were but we were lucky no one broke a tooth or choked. Were they actual RYE seeds? Wheat berries? Ball bearings? No idea! Bread was good as long as you ate around those seeds!

    Much later in time my daughter asked for the ingredients in my steak marinade. I was recovering from surgery but I am positive that never in my life even comatose would I have included CINNAMON in that list!

    Reply
    1. Dee

      Caraway seeds. I leave them out when I make rye bread or grind them into nothing. I HATE hitting something hard in my bread….

  142. Karen Howell

    I put meringue on a lemon pie and forgot it. When I remembered the meringue was charcoal black. I stuck a fork in it, lifted it off the pie, made more meringue and piped it on the pie. Sat on a stool in front of the oven until the meringue was perfect. No one could tell.

    Reply
  143. marijka

    The first time I made something all by myself, about age 10, I didn’t realize that self-rising flour wasn’t just flour. I made up oatmeal cookies from the back of the Quaker canister and added everything on the list – including baking soda and salt. My dad truly tried to be gracious about it – there were raisins and walnuts! – but even the farm dogs wouldn’t touch ’em!

    Reply
  144. Joyce Kellett

    This year I was determined to make Hot Cross buns, I used your easy recipe after I mixed all the dry ingredients and the butter but my mix was still crumbs, I picked up the phone and called your bakers hotline, the baker went through the recipe with me and when it got the room temperature milk I said DUH! I had forgotten about the milk and my milk was cold in the refrigerator so I measured the milk and zapped it for 20 seconds to take the chill off it and continued making my buns. Well long story short my bums turned out like little biscuits with fruit sticking out of them, they were so heavy you could have built a retaining wall with them, needless to say they went in the garbage. Maybe I will try again next year.

    Reply
  145. Donna Hall

    Thanks for sharing. I have personally managed to make these same accidents in some form or another over the years. Now that my husband has been diagnosed gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant, and can’t have any caffeine, that means no chocolate, coffee, or tea; I feel like I’ve started my blunder adventures all over again this year!

    Reply
  146. Ruth

    Love these stories every year! Your pizza is quite beautiful, even if it isn’t edible!

    Ever use your oven as a “proofing box”? I used to, until I made this mistake. I put my shower-cap covered stainless bowl in the slightly warmed oven to proof sourdough rye. You guessed it! I forgot it was in there and turned the oven on to preheat something for dinner. Didn’t realize it until I smelled plastic and bread. Ugh! The bread baked to the bowl and the plastic hardened like cement! My dear husband worked and worked at that bowl and finally sanded it to get the hardened plastic off. Lesson learned!

    Reply
  147. Jackie Baker

    For many years I have been the “April Fools” Queen Mother. However, you gals beat me this time. I loved the gluten-free brownies.
    When I was in Catholic Boarding School through the teens years I did something totally awesome. I put about 30 little pastel colored candles in 30 tubes of toothpaste. Put the wick end into the tubes, put top back on and squeeze from bottom to make pressure behind the candle. Wait for night time when we had only one hour to get ready for bed..and watch the fun.
    Thank you King Arthur girls for sharing…Jackie

    Reply
  148. Lionheart

    Baked a batch of cookies using a new recipe. Rushed over to boyfriends house, warm cookies in hand. Made coffee, sat down…and nearly broke a tooth on the brick like bar cookies. Since they weren’t chocolate and his dog had a sweet-tooth, he got a treat… which he promptly took and buried behind a tree! Thanks for the encouragement, knowing the “pros” share our woes helps!

    Reply
  149. Dee

    Within the last week. Spouse thinks sun rises and sets on this large toaster oven we HAD. I made him a pineapple upside down cake in it. It tripped the circuit breaker twice and I had to run a cord to a different circuit to get it to finish. Which meant I had to guess at the time elapsed. So it overbaked. Top was dark, and the glaze disappeared (soaked into cake). THEN it wouldn’t flop over or land on the cooling plate pizza pan which was big enough to hold two of them… so scrambled too. I cut the burnt half inch off it, he ate it anyways and I got to toss the bleeping toaster oven. I should have taken a picture of it in pan and after I tried to flip it.

    Reply
  150. Chris Nelson

    About a year ago, my BIL had surgery for colon cancer, and his doctor recommended that he not eat WW bread, or any bread with alot of bran. My sister asked me to make some spelt bread for him, and I agreed. After searching the net for a good recipe, and researching baking with spelt, I set out to make him some spelt bread. NOT…what I got was an absolutely beautiful, hard as cement door stop.I tried several times after that to achieve even a half-way edible loaf of spelt bread, but finally threw in the towel and admitted defeat.

    Reply
  151. Joan Cochrane

    I made Mississippi Mud cake for my daughter’s birthday when she was eight. I had made it a million times, but this time was in a hurry and whipped it together ASAP! It sure looked good to her six little friends as they cut into their slices, but the looks on their faces were priceless as one by one they put their forks down quietly. My daughter was not so polite and said, “Mom, what did you do to this cake? ” I bit into my piece and spit it out. No sugar. We went out for ice cream instead.

    Reply
  152. Norma

    This reminds me of when I was first married to my husband, and just ready to give up on ever learning to bake as well as my grandmothers. He said “They made their mistakes. You just never saw them. Every baker and cook makes mistakes.” He was right. Thanks for the laughs and great recipes and products.

    Reply
  153. Julianne Homeniuk

    This was hilarious…thank you! KAF takes pictures of their fails and show the world. Me? I hide mine and sneak them out to the compost immediately!

    Reply
  154. Edie

    I am rather fond of the lava like pizza. It good to know that even professionals can have baking fails. 😉

    Reply
  155. Vittoria

    I would like to know what kind of cake is on the Christmas plate below the waffle. Even with the stuck places, it still looks delicious!
    Thanks!

    Reply
  156. Sherri Rodriguez

    Loved the post. The first time I tried to make a frozen gluten free pizza I neglected to read anything other than the heat and time. How hard could it be? I popped it into the oven (preheated) just right!! a few minutes later I went to check to see how it was doing. My first pizza since diagnosis. The pizza had just melted right between the racks of the oven and was piled mush in the bottom of my stove. We had to clean the whole oven and I still didn’t have my pizza. I checked and it didn’t say anything about putting the pizza on a cookie sheet or anything. I just sat down in the kitchen floor and cried and cried. Looking back, it was really very funny!!

    Reply
  157. Silky Pitterman

    These are great. At least I know the recipes are tested under the same conditions as exist in my kitchen. I baked a cake once, and forgot the baking soda. Pancake anyone? lol

    Reply
  158. bigrock

    Kids were visiting and wanted to make pretzels. We’ve made that recipe dozens of times while they were growing up. . . This time, many of the pretzels did not survive the gentle water bath, disintegrating into strips or blobs. So I assembled several strips dangling below one large blob, and after baking, posted a pic on Facebook with the caption “Apparently I captured and baked a baby Cthulhu” (apologies to H.P.Lovecraft).

    Reply
  159. Monica

    Oh how I love this annual blog. It always makes me feel so much better, knowing that I am in the company of all you great bakers out there, and the wonderful folks at KAF. I’ve had my share of disasters, like the time I was baking Triple Stripe Cookies and dropped the pan with the green layer as I was rotating the hot pans in the oven – Double Stripe cookies? – not quite the same! Then there was the time I mixed up my bread crumb containers and used Italian seasoned panko crumbs instead of plain ones in the bottom of an apple pie. Garlic flavored apple pie anyone? And it was such a pretty pie, too! Very sad.

    Reply
  160. Victoria

    Best article ever. I will no longer hide in shame the mistakes….I’ll Instagram them with pride also big with the successes. Thank you for this! 🙂

    Reply
  161. Karen

    I grew up with a rectangle waffle iron. That really brought back a family memory! I’d like to have one just like it now. I had a DOZEN family members for breakfast this morning….maybe next time we will have a waffle bake!

    Reply
  162. Jackie Cornwell

    Is it all right to feed the birds failed pie dough? I can’t imagine why the ban on feeding birds stale bread, but except for the yeast pie dough isn’t much different . . . is it?

    So much has changed since I was a child. Don’t throw rice at a wedding; use bird seed. Don’t feed birds bread. What about the billions of birds that ate bread all the centuries until now? What changed? I’m reluctant to throw anything out lest some animal become ill because of my incomplete and probably hazardous knowledge of what is and isn’t okay for animals to eat.

    It is, however, nice to see in a low level selfish way that not even professionals are immune to disasters. I’ve had my share and I’m not a professional.. Thanks for sharing your disasters and misfires.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jackie, I think the ban on feeding birds bread has to do with moldy bread, too much bread, or large pieces of bread. Bread (or failed pie dough) doesn’t provide any real nutrition to birds and can harm them if its moldy or in large pieces that could cause a blockage. A few crumbs now and then probably won’t hurt them. Barb@KAF

  163. Erika 616

    I didn’t take a picture, but I beat your burnt pizza. I had gotten a baking steel and decided to try it out on my grill. I made a pizza with a pre-baked pizza shell and burnt it totally to a crisp, sauce, cheese and all. And we had company from Germany!

    Reply
  164. Mary Ann A

    I just love all of these oops. Thanks for sharing. When I was 11, I wanted to surprise my mother with a birthday cake when she came home from work. It was a pan Chocolate Cherry cake out of her Mirro cookbook. I think I added buttermilk AND baking powder and it overflowed all over the oven. I was crying when she came home and she helped me clean it all up. That was 57 years ago. I took out the very old Mirro and made the cake last year, this time, reading the directions very carefully. It came out perfect. Here’s to you mom, in heaven.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Mary, what a lovely mom you had! So sweet that she just calmly helped you clean up! Here’s to her and to you for taking on that cake again! Barb@KAF

  165. Donna Marie

    I look forward to your April Fails post. Love, love love it!!!! Thanks for keeping it real. You guys are awesome!!!!

    Reply
  166. Beth Esrey

    Perhaps I’m pushing my luck, but I think you have me beat on some of these fails! I’m more the person who leaves the baking soda out and gets a bread brick out of the oven or I bake at the wrong temp having forgotten to change it for a different recipe. It’s always great to be reminded that no baker can escape the experiment gone wrong – eventually it will happen to all of us. Bake on everyone – Bake on! Love it!

    Reply
  167. Dee

    You said, “The only thing this crust is filled with is good intentions.” Hahahaha! I had a crust do that and I heaped it full of fresh strawberries with fresh whipped cream too cover up the crime…and none was the wiser. Great post!

    Reply
  168. aj

    The top of that pizza looks lovely. I’d probably take a fork and eat the good bits out of the burnt shell.

    I had my own baking fail ON april fools day this year. (Although it never even made it to the baking stage 😉 ) I had an really old jar of active dry yeast in the back of the fridge. I’m too embarrassed to say exactly how old it was, but it was still proofing fine so I hadn’t bothered to replace it. The last couple weeks it started to proof kinda slow but dough would still rise normally. It was almost gone so I just kept using it up. I baked three loaves of bread last week and it worked fine. Until I threw together a batch of no knead bread and substituted 1/4 cup of beer for some of the water to add a bit of extra flavor. A few hours later, before I went to bed, I went to check the dough and give it a couple of stretch and folds and discovered something that looked and felt exactly like a giant banana slug! Apparently that little bit of alcohol was just too much for the poor old yeast. I stuck it in the oven with the light on overnight to see if a warmer environment could salvage things. In the morning it had risen, but now I just had a warm puffy banana slug on my hands, with little sign of gluten formation. At that point the dough and the yeast went in the trash and I went out and bought a bag of SAF instant yeast 😀

    Reply
  169. Becky Weimer

    I have recently switched from an electric oven which I had for 35 years to a natural gas oven. The two batches of cookies that I have tried in the gas oven (which worked well in the electric one) turned into melted masses like your cookies above. What do I need to do to correct this or adjust my recipes to work in the gas oven? Please help!

    Cookie-less in Punxsutawney, PA!
    Becky

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Becky, it sounds like your oven temperature might not be quite the same as the temperature you’re setting it at. Even brand new ovens can be out of calibration. Check the oven temperature with an oven thermometer after preheating for a full 30 minutes. It’s easy to correct this issue by simply adjusting the setting accordingly. Barb@KAF

    2. aj

      Definitely check the temperature – I discovered my oven runs about 30 degrees hot the first time I baked a cheesecake in it. Fortunately I checked it 10 minutes before the the time I would have started checking with my previous oven just to be safe. It had a crack the size of the grand canyon and was puffed up over the edge of the crust. After an hour in the fridge it had shrunk back to normal size and the crack had mostly closed up, and miraculously the texture was fine, but another 10 or 15 minutes and it would have been a disaster.
      Also in my experience gas ovens tend to take longer for the temperature to stabilize when preheating than electric ovens. This is even true for my neighbors fancy viking gas range – she had to stop me from putting cookies in it too soon when I forgot it wasn’t a dual fuel.

  170. Chris

    As a former FCS teacher, I have had my share of bloopers from students. These made me laugh and appreciate the fact that it doesn’t matter how old we are or how much experience we have, mistakes are still made 🙂

    Reply
  171. EL

    Recently my sourdough starter suddenly went from being a subaru outback (0 — 60 in 30+ sec) to a Ferrari (0 — 60 in 10- sec). It happened in the middle of my second rise and it also went “sticky” at the same time. I kept adding flour, knowing that this was not going to turn out well. . . I figured that I was going to have the sourdough blob and get eaten by the bread rather than the other way around.

    It was okay fresh out of the oven (but waaay too dense), but I just finished cutting up the second loaf to make bread pudding. What was really strange was that the next time I made bread, it behaved normally. I still have no idea of what happened.

    Reply
  172. EL

    What’s really funny is seeing the pizza picture right next to the picture for the wood fired baking on the click pics for the blog. You might not be telling us what happened to the pizza, but you seem to have done an essay in pics there. . .

    Reply
  173. Susan

    I started my baking experience as a teenager and made some sort of cake that called for 1 C. applesauce. Of course, that meant 1 Can of applesauce, didn’t it? Fortunately, I kept cooking. Now, I expect to have good results, except when I don’t, which happens, but who cares ultimately? I just need to remember to read the recipe…repeatedly.

    Reply
  174. Beth

    I read your entertaining post! I laughed out loud several times. It does one good to find others mess up!

    Reply
  175. Jackie

    My computer was out for updates and then internet was down. Ugh! Finally getting caught up on emails and read all the April Fools laughs. Haha. I’ve been baking for close to 60 years and the best one I ever did was making the same biscuits that we made in 7th grade home ec. Needless to say my attempts at home were not what we achieved at school. My poor dad almost laughed himself to death after even my German Shepherd refused the biscuits and buried them (8 only) in the footers for our new garage. Dad dug them out and threw them in our burn barrel, only to have Bo Bo dump the barrel and rebury them. Critic? Or maybe a mafia dog.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Love this story, Jackie! Your dog clearly had some kind of fascination with those biscuits. You might have missed your chance to create the perfect chew toy/biscuit! Barb@KAF

  176. Thelma Johnson

    I once started a batch of noodles and usually double the recipe to use two cups of flour, etc. For some reason I added too much of something else, and ended up with six times the amount I had planned and noodles were drying all over the house–on the spare bed, a living room table, the dining room table, the kitchen counter, my computer desk. They were fine, just too many all at once. And once I left the sugar out of a batch of sugar cookies. A friend told me she made boiled frosting for a cake, and her husband just picked up the frosting off the cake and dropped it in the sink and it didn’t even crack.

    Reply
  177. Ian

    I’v had my fair share of similar scenarios.. but some of these are hysterical! Just shows the truly character shaping skill that is behind cooking. Thanks for the laughs.

    Reply
  178. Kristy

    I honestly can’t express how much I love this post. As a baker, I have many times felt like I have no bueisness being “in the business” when I had a recipe completely flop or forgot to set the timer. This makes me feel so much better that amazing bakers like yourself have a failure from time-to-time. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

    Reply
  179. J M Cornwell

    I cannot count the times the pineapple upside down cake has come out of the pan without some of its upside down pineapple topping. I have a habit of not waiting for the cake to cool before unmolding. What!? The smell drives me crazy and makes the clocks run faster than they are supposed to.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. 😉

    Reply
  180. Marti

    Actually clicked on the blog for an explanation of the first photo, which caught my attention. I wanted to know what the red pizza looking thing with the very grayish-blackened looking crust is. Or if that’s what it is. And what recipe that was.

    I semi-hoped it was an interesting take on pizza for Halloween. I would LOVE an answer back.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It’s a pizza recipe that got burned! It was a flop, sorry no recipe for this currently but the Halloween pizza is an intriguing idea! Kye@KAF

  181. Jose

    lol, nice post, thanks to this I came across with very interesting ideas like the braided calzone. I´m usually careful in the kitchen with times and stuff, but these things always happen sometimes, it all count as experience for the next times

    Reply

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