Baking Blunders

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

VERY true in the world of baking.  I’ve definitely had some baking tragedies in my day.  Some fixable…some, well not so much.

Now I’m going to share some with you!  No worries, I’ll save the best for last 😉

1.  The time with the gluten-free, vegan, rainbow cupcake challenge.

I rarely back down from a challenge. So when a client calls and says “can you do…” I always say yes and then figure it out later.  So far, so good.  But an order for rainbow cupcakes almost got the best of me.

Rainbow cupcakes, fine.  I could figure out how to do that.  But they also needed to be gluten-free AND vegan.  My first recipe test never baked in the middle.  The second test I used too much baking soda (YUCK!).  And the third was very, very gritty.

I finally got it right, but it took a lot of wasted cupcakes……Somewhere over the....

2. The time meringue was made with Splenda.

Umm, this one is pretty self explanatory.  Didn’t work.  Period.  It was meringue soup.

3.  The time I used avocado instead of butter.

So, I heard online (so of course, it was true) that you can use avocado instead of butter at a 1:1 ratio in recipes.  I tried it.  This happened:

Pretty huh??  I haven’t tried it again, but apparently it works IF you only replace HALF of the butter with avocado.  You’ve been warned.

4.  The time the wedding cake melted.

There always seems to be some form of stress with wedding cakes….usually when it’s time to deliver them.  This time, it was the groom’s cake for one of my best friend’s weddings. Remember my UFC cake?

UFC Groom's Cake

UFC Groom’s Cake

Turned out great, right?  But it wasn’t without it’s stresses.  I got the bright idea to make the cage out of chocolate….in Texas….for a summer wedding.  I was holding it in the passenger’s seat of a car for delivery and the sun shining through the windshield melted one side of the cage.  Instant panic!!!

Luckily, my mom came to the rescue and made a mesh out of fondant while I got ready for the wedding.  She saved the day! And no one ever knew the drama.

5.  The time the oven caught fire.

I promised I would save the best for last.  Yes, this happened.  At the time, it wasn’t funny.  Now it happens to be the favorite “Lauren’s baking” story to tell.

What had happened was…. I was making vegan cupcakes.  But I didn’t have egg substitute.  Well, I read online (notice how that gets me into trouble???) that you could use baking powder and water instead of an egg.  So I did.

But this recipe had 4 eggs in it.  That meant a LOT of baking powder.  Guess what happened?

Yep, the cupcakes had a little extra…umm…volume. They overflowed onto the bottom of the oven, bypassing the baking sheet I’d placed underneath to catch drips.  Just as soon as I told my mom “I’m afraid it will catch fire or something”, sure enough, flames.  And I’m not talking about a tiny flame.  It grew.

Thankfully, the fire will put itself out if you leave the oven closed (good call, mom).  But this was not before my dad got a phone call with me saying “Umm hi dad.  If there is a fire in the oven, will it put itself out?”

His reaction was, of course, “WHAT??”

No worries.  The house didn’t burn down.  But the cupcakes…may they rest in peace….sad day.


What’s your biggest baking blunder?

One thought on “Baking Blunders

  1. Aw, you’re wonderful for sharing these ‘blunders’! And yes, I think all of us have some interesting moments in the kitchen as part of the experimentation process. I do think that vegan recipes have a higher risk of ‘failure’ first time though, due to the absence of traditional baking ingredients such as eggs, dairy butter and dairy milk. I’m slowly getting the hang of it as I cook for my vegan friends these days, but I still love my ratios and the science of traditional baking. By the way – the chocolate cage is impressive!!! So sorry that it melted but glad your mother came to the rescue! x

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