It’s that time of year: We’re sharing our annual roundup of baking fails, mishaps, and all-around kitchen disasters. Because even the best, most experienced bakers can be made a fool in the kitchen sometimes.

Pale, cracked flourless chocolate cake

Copywriter Laura Scaduto’s chocolate meringue cake looks more like a chocolate meringue crater. It’s times like these when a thick, billowing topping of whipped cream comes in clutch to hide imperfections.

Looking for a failproof flourless chocolate cake? We’ve got a recipe: Flourless Chocolate Cake.

Waffles that burnt so badly they turned black

Associate Recipe Editor Kye Ameden says, “This is what happens when you leave the last round of waffles in the waffle maker for 45 minutes. I only realized after I smelled char coming from the other side of the house!”

Broken apple galette

An apple galette that wasn’t. Thanks to some misbegotten handling, it turned out more like a Picasso painting of an apple galette.

Flat baked biscuits

This biscuit bake from our Test Kitchen fell, uh, a little flat.

Looking for a recipe that works? Try these instead: Scallion and Cheddar Cathead Biscuits

Meringues so burnt that they turned black

Inventory Planner Sara Booker had an eventful Christmas Eve this year. “We ended up with literal lumps of coal on Christmas morning. Put the meringues in the oven and swore we turned it off … And then woke up at about 2 a.m. to the smell of smoke! We didn’t leave out any cookies for Santa, so we think he may have turned the oven on when he visited.”

Cake with a sunken crater in the middle

This looks more like the surface of Mars than the tasty cake it’s meant to be. Maybe time to break out that whipped cream once more?

Three tiered cake that's slid sideways and fallen apart

When the lemon blueberry cake he’d painstakingly baked and assembled slid sideways, I’m pretty sure Recipe Developer David Turner heard sad trombone music somewhere in the distance.

Flat, leaky cardamom buns dough rolled into a rectangle

What was meant to be cardamom bun dough actually turned into a science experiment: Just how sad and flat can a dough get? The answer is: VERY.

Don't worry, we fixed it. Try our perfected recipe here: Cardamom Buns.

Chocolate chip cookies so over-baked that they turned brown

Are those deep, dark chocolate cookies? Nope. They’re actually chocolate chip cookies that King Arthur contributor PJ Hamel accidentally left in the oven for 45 minutes. Just like that time you accidentally fell asleep at the beach and went home looking like a lobster.

Four cookies that have spread while baking and baked together

The cookies that bake together, stay together. Even when you really don’t want them to.

Chocolate Bundt cake that stuck to the pan and fell apart

A stuck Bundt is to a baker what Michael Myers is to Jamie Lee Curtis: a constant threat, no matter how many precautions you take.

Mini pies in which the filling has leaked and baked onto the muffin pan they're in

When it comes to sweet, juicy pastry filling, you really can have too much of a good thing. I’m shuddering just thinking about the cleanup afterward.

Vanilla cake round that stuck to pan

The bad news? Contributor PJ Hamel sacrificed a perfectly baked cake while experimenting with the best way to line your cake pans. The good news? She did all the testing, so you never have to encounter this problem yourself!  

Avoid a baking fail of your own by calling our Baker’s Hotline the next time you flirt with disaster in the kitchen.

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About Rossi Anastopoulo

Rossi Anastopoulo grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, which is how she fell in love with biscuits. She didn’t have any bakers in her household (with the exception of her grandmother’s perfect koulourakia), so she learned at a young age that the best way to satisfy her sweet tooth was to make dess...
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