Kitchen Fails // The Sugar Hit


Let’s talk about fails, baby. Kitchen fails. I got ’em. Maybe you got ’em? I think I got a lot of ’em. This whole ‘recipe development’ bidness ain’t always a bed of roses. Unsurprisingly, it is a lot of trial and error. You can try and educate yourself about what works and why until the cows come home (and I do – I’m a food nerd and I love it), but you won’t really know until you get up in the kitchen and test!


So, I’ve had a particularly grueling string of kitchen fails lately, and I wanted to share them with you. Just so¬† you know that I don’t just throw up any old thing on The Sugar Hit! I stand by my ‘no calorie wastage’ policy. If you’re going to indulge in a piece of pie, or a donut, or a slice of cake, then I want it to be most definitely worth your while – and totally worth the extra few rounds around the block.


Kitchen Fails // The Sugar Hit


So let me run through a few of my recent fails for you – just for laughs.


At the top of this post are those swirly-style Swedish buns! The filling was DELICIOUS – a cinnamon, sugar, butter mix pimped up with almond butter – but I attempted a very buttery dough, which fell completely flat. Like, they were flat as a cookie. No good. Back to the drawing board.


Next photo! That pan of crumbly dough was meant to be the base of some lemon bars. The base turned out amazingly – it was crunchy and long-baked, so it had a brown butter flavour with pecans and rosemary. The filling? Ugh. I sort of hacked together a recipe from a bunch of sources, but they all included so much flour, so it turned out really chewy. Is that how lemon bars are supposed to be? Not a fan.


Now, for the things that I didn’t even photograph…there was a chocolate buttermilk cake that I was trying to make super-moist, which ended up gummy and horrible (too much liquid).


A batch of peanut butter-rice crispy fudge, which just never jelled, and the rice crispies were weirdly chewy and stale. Gak, binned it.


There was an attempt at a low-carb bread? I don’t even know why I did this. It was completely horrible, and totally wrong on every level. It tasted like seaweed (though it contained none) and should never have been in my kitchen, ever.


What else? There was a pumpkin-curry soup that turned out way too strong…but I saved that by turning it into a curry sauce for roasted veggies. That was actually delicous.


Anyway – TELL ME YOUR FAILS! I’m so fascinated by kitchen fails! Come at me kitchen folks!


xx Sarah.


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  • One of my most annoying fails was a chocolate pudding that never thickened. I wanted to cry because I’d made it before and it worked beautifully. I folded in some whipped cream, threw it in the freezer, and turned it into ice cream. It was satisfactory, but not what I’d intended. I wrote about the experience on my blog. I love hearing that bloggers’ lives aren’t as perfect as the photos make it seem. Makes me feel more connected.

  • ah so reassuring to hear that even super pro bloggers have kitchen fails too! I had one happen just yesterday – my tried and true recipe for cinnamon scrolls which i didn’t let proof a second time because we were hungry and I needed to get back to the library to study – they weren”t nearly as soft and fluffy as usual… lesson learned!

  • I just finished a sweet potato gnhoqui and for my sadness , it is horrible . I tried to do a brasilian recipe ( our sweet potato is different , more dry) and here in Australia the sweet potato it is like in US, more soft, so I had to put to much plain flour and the gnhoqui became heavy and taste like a piece of rubber. For the next time, I will follow English recipe, using part of ricota cheese instead of plain flour.

  • Thank you so much for sharing that you’re a real person who also kitchen fails :)
    I recently challenged myself to sfogliatella – the custard filling was so delicious i could eat it with a spoon. but the dough was so tough, you needed to cut it with a knife.


  • Thank you for sharing this! When I tried blogging for a while I failed all the time and it was so frustrating. One thing that is a constant fail for me is pancakes. I consider myself to be pretty good in the kitchen but for some reason I can never master the pancake! It’s infuriating to me. This weekend I tried lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberries. The batter itself was delicious but the middles just never cooked, not matter how low I turned down the temperature. Anyway, its’ refreshing to see that even the pros have kitchen fails!

    • That’s so crazy! I wish we could get together and find out what the deal is with those pancakes! I hate the thought of anyone being denied pancake goodness.

  • Chocolate Coconut bundt cake that was supposed to be my Husband’s Birthday Cake…wouldn’t release from the pan….It ended up with me with fists of cake and the pan in the trash. Oven temp, cake not cooled, tears and frustration.

    Oh and the braised leg of lamb with lentils that ended up 50 shades of grey and stuck to the bottom of the pan and was slightly grainy and greasy….we ordered pizza and I’m unsure of where I went wrong and haven’t attempted lamb again except as chops.

    Really, there are so many more but these are top of mind and I wanted to share solidarity…and a theory. You aren’t really an experienced rider until you’ve fallen off the horse. Each fail makes success possible.

    • Thank you for the solidarity! Bundt cakes are a pain (I only buy mega-nonstick bundt pans after one too many disasters) and that leg of lamb sounds like a crummy recipe was at fault perhaps? And I totally agree with your thoughts on failure! I love the Thomas Edison quote “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’.

  • I spent two days last month making croissant dough from scratch for a pain au chocolat recipe from Pinterest. It was going beautifully until the final rise: it was a cold day so I put them in a warmed-up oven to rise. An hour later I had a huge mess on my hands: the butter melted and ran out of the dough and all my folding and rolling was completely wasted!

    • Hehe, I guess pain au chocolat are sorta like a pain in the ars* because puff pastries are so fiddly! Oh well, but we can still “cheat” a little and buy amazing pre-made puff pastry from the supermarket at least :b

  • I love hearing about other peoples’ kitchen fails – does that make me a bad person? It’s so reassuring that it’s not just me! I had my fair share when I was recipe testing for the cookbook and imagine you’re the same – you have to bake some bloopers to get to the real gems :-)

  • Ugh, I have had so many kitchen fails lately I’m actually AFRAID to bake. I’m easing myself back in today with what will hopefully be a fail-proof cookie recipe. I had croissants that I didn’t let rise enough before baking, a cake that fell in the center because I mismarked the amount of sugar, cakes sticking the pan despite my using every possible solution to prevent stickage, a gluten-free vegan tart that was super gritty and, well, missing butter, and a cheesecake bar where the flavor I wanted didn’t come through. SIGH! It’s been a rough month for baking. But we must keep on!

  • One of my first kitchen fails was trying to make a cake from the women’s weekly microwave cookbook…but I baked it in the oven. my family never fails to remind me about it (I was 12, c’mon!!!)

  • Just a few weeks ago I made a huge loaf of sourdough bread with some chestnut flour, and I think something was wrong with the flour, because the loaf turned out tasting weirdly smoky, but not in a good way, more like it was coated in ashes :(
    the compost got that one…

  • Oh I so appreciate this! I think the worst fail was this super delicious swiss meringue buttercream strawberry frosting I made for strawberry cupcakes. It was soooo good but then I got soooooooooooooo sick. Mercifully I was sick enough and soon enough after taste testing it to not even have a chance to share them with anyone. Wah!

  • It’s amazing to read how you – a cooking goddess in my eyes – has kitchen fails too.
    It was really interesting and refreshing to read a food blog post on dishes that didn’t turn out well hehe.
    But the best thing about cooking is also learning from experience and refining recipes over time :)

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