Epic Fails 2014

Epic Fails of 2014

January 3, 2015Danita

Epic Fails 2014

Yesterday I was thrilled to post the pride and joy of O Taste and See….Top 10 of 2014!  All the wonderfully yummy, beautifully pictured successes of last year.  The things that went “right”.  

Today, it is with great humility I give you what went “wrong”…some TERRIBLY wrong.  These are the things you DIDN”T see on the blog.  The “bad and the ugly” of the Good, the Bad the Ugly!  

One note before we begin….These fails were prepared by “someone” in our home but names have been withheld to protect the innocent.  I will readily admit, the worst of the worst was mine!  

Listed in order from bad to worse….

#5 Potato Pancakes

fails 2014 #5

Every time we have left over mashed potatoes I always think, “Potato Pancakes!”  I’ve yet to be able to pull these off.  They may not look terrible but they were a mess…and NOT tasty!  It looks like I need to troll Pinterest for a good recipe.

#4 Red Velvet Cake

  red velvet trifle

This was supposed to be a homemade Red Velvet Cake.  I have am amazing recipe from a dear lady my husband worked with many years ago.  I have successfully made this cake, although it seems it’s been a while.  We’re about 50/50 on the outcome lately.  

This particular cake was supposed to be for dessert at church around Valentine’s Day but it stuck to the pan.  After a short time of disappointment, frustration and panic…we were able to turn this into a “save”.  Red Velvet Trifle!

#3 Homemade German Chocolate Cake 

2014 fail #3

Again, great recipe…stuck to the pan.  And look at those huge air hole!  Too much beating, not enough non-stick spray.  I believe this also made it into a trifle.  I’m pretty sure this one also came within a couple of days of my daughter remarking, “You don’t really have any fails to blog this year.”  

When she saw this, her reaction was not quite the same as mine.  She excitedly exclaimed, “Hey!  Epic Fail!”  as if it were some prize to be sought after.  

#2  Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

21014 fail #2

This is a recipe passed down and successfully made by generations, including this one.  However, on this particular day, when we were preparing this in anticipation of a long-awaited visit from by brother-in-law and his children, things went from bad to worse, quickly.

We started early in the day, as it takes a while to bake and we had other things to do.  All went well as it was prepared and put into the oven.  Shortly, we began to smell something burning, but it was dismissed as pizza cheese that had dropped into the bottom of the oven the night before.  

Lunch approached, and the cake still baked.  I walked over to use the microwave and noticed SMOKE billowing from the top of the oven door!  I opened it immediately and “shocking” is an understatement for what I saw. In my panic, I didn’t have the presence of mind to grab the camera and get a picture.  

Cake overflowed from one side of the pan, poured down the side onto both oven racks and the bottom of the oven where it was charring to an unrecognizable crisp!  

I grabbed out the cake.  With some help from my daughter and MIL, we cleaned the incredibly hot oven and racks, placed the cake back in, with a pan to catch any further drips, and continued to bake.  

It began to brown too quickly, so I covered it with foil.  Fine, except in one large spot it wouldn’t get done.  This cake easily baked for 1 1/2 hours….it usually take about 1, but finally it was done.  It didn’t look bad, besides it would be turned upside down….as long as it didn’t stick we were fine.

Well, it did!  Horribly!  This was supposed to be my father-in-laws birthday cake!  There was NO WAY any candles were going in this…

21014 fail #2

Thankfully, we had time and ingredients to make another.  It still tasted great and we ended up eating all of both cakes. 

As bad as that was, #1 was worse!

#1 Black Forest Cake

Anyone seeing a pattern here?

2014 fail #1

This came at the end of a long and busy day.  I can’t remember why we had so much going on but we did.  I didn’t get started as early as I needed to and it was a race against the clock for daylight to take pictures.  It was shortly after time change and I misjudged when it would be getting dark.  

I was trying to recreate a picture on a recipe card of a lovely Black Forest Cake with whipped cream on the sides. After my previous issues with cakes, I made sure it didn’t stick.  The layers were sliced with precision and stacked with cherries and whip cream between. 

2014 fail #1

Here’s what it looked like BEFORE the whipped cream went on the sides!  Lovely!  I almost left it….which would have been a REALLY good idea!   

Almost as soon as I put the whipped cream on the sides I regretted it.  It wasn’t even, so I added more.  Too slanted on the top so I attempted piping.  Things got worse and worse…it was a mess.  It had gotten too dark for pictures, although I attempted.  I put it in the refrigerator and figured I’d just wait until tomorrow.  

It had only been in a few minutes when I opened the fridge for something else and found cake, cherries and whipped cream oozing all down the sides of the cake plate and ALL over everything else!  

Ok, so things had gone badly and the cake was a mess.  What made this my most Epic Fail of 2014?  This was for a sponsored post!  That means someone was paying me to make beautiful, delicious food with their product!  I will admit, the cake was quite good, but beautiful it WAS NOT!  There was no time to re-do.  At this point I had two options….laugh or cry.  Thankfully, my in-laws and daughters were with me so I just chose to laugh…although I wasn’t very happy.  

My daughter had made some cookies using the sponsored product and I used those for the post.  This brand will remain nameless, as I enjoyed working with them and I’d like to again.  

There you have it….

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of 2014!  The things that seem impossible to overcome at the time, but now we can look back and laugh about.  

 Any Epic Fails for you this year?





  • Philomena

    May 13, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    I just stumbled on your blog. I love this post! It’s nice to know everyone fails sometimes.
    When I have leftover mashed potatoes, I add one egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic salt & parsley to them. No amounts, just enough until they “feel right”, just like my Grandmom taught me 🙂 – but that translates into, not wet, not dry, they don’t stick to your hands when you roll them into logs (We never made potato pancakes, we made logs). Once they are the right consistency, you roll them in breadcrumbs seasoned with parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic salt & parsley then fry them in hot oil.

    1. Danita

      May 14, 2015 at 7:12 AM

      That sounds delicious! Thanks Philomena! I’m going to give those a try next time we have left over mashed potatoes….and I don’t anticipate them showing up on the next “Epic Fails”!

  • Debora

    January 22, 2015 at 3:44 PM

    Love this blog! When you do a cake, especially one from scratch and not a box, try putting wax paper circles in the bottom of the pans. Works every time for me and they come out perfect.

    PS – I have served many a trifle after a broken cake before using the wax paper. Good save!

  • Mary Bostow

    January 3, 2015 at 7:47 PM

    Ugh! Every time you said your cake stuck to the pan i cringed. I hate using bundt pans just for that reason.!! You are one brave blogger for showing us your fails. Bravo to you!

  • valerie

    January 3, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    Love this post! My fails are those I’ve worked hard on and then deemed “not blogworthy”. Ugh!

  • Leslie

    January 3, 2015 at 4:54 PM

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one these kinds of recipe fails happen to. Haha I bet they all tasted pretty good though. If only I could’ve gotten my hands on that Black Forest cake, Nom nom! I hope your having a great weekend.

    1. Danita

      January 3, 2015 at 9:33 PM

      Thanks Leslie. The black forest cake was still really good, just nothing to look at. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Melanie

    January 3, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    I see a cake theme here! 🙂

    1. Danita

      January 3, 2015 at 4:16 PM

      Yes Melanie, I think my New Year’s resolution should be….get new cake pans. All mine seem to stick. Thanks for stopping by.

  • savoryexperiments

    January 3, 2015 at 11:00 AM

    I’m so glad to see I am not the only one with massive fails! LOL. Trial and error, right?

  • Alison’s Wonderland Recipes

    January 3, 2015 at 9:07 AM

    Kudos for sharing these! Sometimes I think people can find all the perfect food on blogs to be a little intimidating, so it’s good to post reminders that we make mistakes too! 🙂

    I think my most epic fail this year was a batch of peanut butter, honey, and banana sandwiches I was going to make for my Winnie the Pooh menu. They were easy to make and tasted good, but NOTHING I did made them photogenic. They had no color beyond being various shades of brown, and they looked super greasy. That’s how Cottleston Pie came to be the entree for my Winnie the Pooh menu (which makes me laugh, because it’s one of my most popular posts now).

    As for potato pancakes, I’ve make these before with success: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/potato-apple-pancakes

    1. Danita

      January 3, 2015 at 10:25 AM

      Thanks Alison! I’m headed over to check out the potato pancake recipe now.

  • shockinglydelicious

    January 3, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    Thank you for having the courage to show us your epic fails! We can ALL relate!

  • Kathleen

    January 3, 2015 at 7:50 AM

    My mother sometimes made pancakes out of leftover mashed potatoes. She added onions, garlic, eggs and, for texture, a box of potato pancake mix. Potato pancakes, or latkes, are generally made from shredded, not mashed potatoes, so the added texture from the mix helps. She would fry them in oil, not butter like flour pancakes.

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