The Muffin Disaster and How I Lived To Tell About It

I know the title is so dramatic but these muffins are full of drama.

 A few days ago I decided I was going to make some big ol blueberry muffins for some friends the next morning.   I put together a recipe, threw on my Brooklyn Nets apron and headed to the kitchen to start to put all the ingredients together.  

The batter was amazing.   When the batter reaches the point of a certain yumminess, then you know what you’re making is going to be the best ever.  I took a few tastes of the batter.  Perfect.  I was feeling pretty good about myself.
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I averaged the muffin to take 20 minutes so I pulled them out.  The muffins were gorgeous.  They were big.  The crumb worked out so good on top.   My kitchen was smelling like a bakery.  I set them aside to cool and skipped across my loft singing to myself about my perfect blueberry muffins.  I was on muffin cloud nine.
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It was time to pull the muffins out, so I got my light ready to shoot some pictures for the blog.   Still, extremely excited, I could not wait to show you guys these muffins. I already had the post written in my mind, I was ready to Instagram the heck out of these blueberry bad boys.

Then disaster happened.

The muffins would not come out.

I slide a knife down.  I slide a small fork down.  I slide a baby spatula down.  I cut them slightly incase the crumb was attaching them all together.  Nothing.  I panicked.  I shook my fist to the muffin gods “This is not happening to me!”.  I put the pan upside down and decided that I would just hit the bottom and then they would fall out. After all, I sprayed these babies with nonstick spray.  This was totally going to work.  It did not work.  

It happened.  The muffins were a failure.  
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The muffins started to come out of the pan, one berry at a time, one crumb at a time, one tear at a time.
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I sighed.  I cried.  I laughed.  I posted on Twitter.  I told my cats (they didn’t understand).   Then I told myself to breathe, it was going to be ok.  I thought of Olivia Pope and how she’s a fixer and at that moment I decided I was going to fix these muffins.  They would not destroy my spirits!
Muffin Disaster
(Xanadu finds staring at the wall more important than this muffin disaster).

Ok, what to do?  I have a bunch of muffin crumbs.    I could put it in a pie pan, layer it with whipped cream and berries.  But I didn’t have whipped cream or berries.  That wasn’t going to work.  Ok, Pamela, think, rule these muffins, show them who’s boss.  Fix this.  So I stood in that kitchen, eating spoonfuls of this muffin crumb mixture because honestly, it was still amazing.  Then it hit me.

Muffin Balls were born.
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I got all the muffin crumbs together and mashed them up with a fork so there was no big pieces.    Then I rolled them into little balls. The key to this is that your muffins need to be moist to stick together.  Thankfully these muffins were beautifully moist (*cries again*) so it worked great.   After I rolled them into little balls I put them on some wax paper.   The muffin balls tasted awesome, but they were kinda well.. a big ugly.   What makes things pretty?  Powdered sugar in frosting form.  So I made up a quick batch of vanilla glaze frosting and poured it gently over the muffin balls.    They looked magical.
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Boom Shakalaka Muffin Balls.  Boom Shakalaka. 

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And even better?  People loved these muffin balls, they wanted to know more about them.   “So you’re going to make muffins, destroy them, and then roll the into balls.  Yes, you heard me right, yes I totally meant to do this.  I know,  they’re really something special. ” Play it cool.     People have requested them again since that day so now these accidental Muffin Balls seem to be a staple in my recipe book. 

And what’s how I destroyed my muffins but lived to tell about it.

Now tell me about your baking accident that you fixed.  Did you have a cake fall apart?  Did you have brownies that were too wet inside?   Share your stories in the comments, I’m sure others will be inspired by your creative thinking!

75 Comments

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  • This is why I hate baking, I always ruin it. But, you must be a way more creative cook than I am! I once destroyed a carrot cake…the only thing I could think of to do with it was to crumble it and but it over ice cream with some caramel and nuts. I like your recreation much better! They look delicious.

  • Best disaster ever! Seriously, these look so good. I know I am a weirdo, but I hate huge muffins (I get bored halfway through) so these would be perfect. And you could totally cover them in white chocolate and call them muffin truffles πŸ™‚

  • You are so smart! Honestly, I probably would have just cried and then ate them all by myself with a spoon. Which wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world … but it certainly wouldn’t have resulted in this masterpiece!
    I have tons of baking disasters … and it generally ends up in a full trash can. I need to be more inspired like you! You’re my hero! πŸ™‚

  • I’m so glad you made muffin balls –that would have been my solution too.

    I recently made cupcakes where the batter was divine, the house smelled like a chocolate factory when they were baking, the cupcakes looked gorgeous when I pulled them out and frosted them. Then, then I removed the cupcake liner and they crumbled to pieces. The cake was too soft it fell apart if you looked at it wrong. We enjoyed those cupcakes with spoons because the flavor was spot on just not the desired texture. πŸ™‚

  • It is really true that creativity comes out in moments of crisis and despair πŸ™‚ My cooking disaster are usually related to cakes, the ones I need to assembly with a layer of cream in between two layers of sponge. Systematically one sponge breaks apart and I have to cover the whole poor thing with TONS of ganache (hoping this can act as a glue). Not as much creative as your muffin balls πŸ™‚

  • Way to fix a recipe gone wrong. I think these look absolutely amazing & I will be remembering this the next time I have a muffin malfunction.

  • Bahaha I love this story. I had a similar thing happen once to these lovely crumble bars I made … they wouldn’t come out of the pan and when they did they broke into a million pieces. At least the crumbled bites tasted good : ) But I didn’t get creative like you – muffin balls are so fun!

  • They’re like little donut holes – but muffins! And they’re blueberry, my favorite! πŸ™‚ You are such a genius. Sometimes, with failed cake recipes, I just mash them with some cream cheese and call them truffles … whatever works!

  • I love this muffin ball story, Pamela! You are my hero. I want to destroy a batch of blueberry muffins just so I can enjoy them in ball form. In fact, your story reminds me of the time our babysitter made us undercooked brownies. She rolled them into balls and put them in our school lunches. Our elementary school lunch room went wild! Everyone wanted to trade their goodies for ours. It was a hilarious day. Thanks for sharing, my friend! xo P.S. A nonstick muffin pan is definitely in your future me thinks. πŸ˜‰

  • Genius! I probably would have just called them a failure and ate the crumbs, but the balls are perfect! What a great idea and they look amazing. I had two failures this weekend and I couldn’t come up with anything creative like this.

  • Haha, I loved reading this! I agree with the cat though, you got away with this too easy woman! What are you complaining about? πŸ˜‰ I wish I could share a great story like this, but the only creative thing I’ve done with my failed bakings is make trifles. Whipped cream and berries, baby! I always have that. Or yoghurt and jam, same thing really..

  • That’s what I call making lemons into lemonade!

    I’ve had this happen to me with cookies. Actually it happens more often than not. Either they are overcooked, not quite sweet enough, too sweet, too dry, too wet, et. etc. etc. I just crumble them up and add sugar, flour, and/or oil/butter to bring them to the right sweetness and wetness. And yes, obviously I planned that. πŸ˜‰

  • Isn’t it wonderful when recipe mistakes and disasters can work out?! I once had cinnamon roll dough be too dense to roll out, but I turned it into monkey bread muffins! I love these muffin balls and love that you managed to turn a “fail” into a “success!”

  • That Was an AWESOME Trick.. What you did was clever, Trust me i’m a person who does loads of baking disaster but i never get a solutions. Well as long it taste great you can work it out to fix how they look right?

  • Hahaha! Your muffins balls look great Pamela…I am glad that you were able to savage the muffin disaster…
    Enjoy reading your post…have a great week πŸ˜€

  • Pamela – you are a genius, girl! I don’t think I’d have thought to do anything remotely so creative. I wish I had some great idea/experience to share but any time something like this happens to me, I (or my family & I) would just dig in and eat it. Now, you have inspired me to look at things/problems from a different angle.

  • Pamela, you are way better than I. Seriously, I would have just thrown it out in a fit of uncontrollable rage. Okay, well maybe I would have just eaten the crumbs and then cried myself to sleep. But the fact that you transformed these muffins into something, dare I say, even better and more creative than what you were originally planning, it pure genius!!! I can’t even… AMAZING!

  • I am obsessed with these muffin balls, Pamela! I am so glad it worked out, and thank you so much for sharing this brilliant idea!

    I made cookies and cream cupcakes with Oreos on the bottom for a family Christmas in July picnic a couple summers ago. The cupcakes looked beautiful out of the oven, but upon letting them cool and testing one, I found the Oreos to be ROCK HARD. Every single one. So my mom and sister helped me scoop out the cake part of the cupcake, and I made a cookies and cream trifle with the cake and the frosting I had whipped up. We still laugh to this day about a trifle being served outside in the 100-degree heat at a park. Fancy! πŸ™‚

  • I had a cheesecake ruined last week and it was terrible because oh well, I burnt a batch of cookies that I had baked to make up for the cheesecake disaster an hour later too :–( The cheesecake sunk so much and looked terrible, so I made cheesecake bars out of it and in the end people told me that it was the best cheesecake they’d ever eaten!! It’s such a pity that my post was already written in my mind uuugh I hate it when that happens!
    These muffins balls look terrific! The glaze do makes them lovely! <3

  • how funny – I made chocolate espresso muffins and I had a same problem. the muffins looked delicious except that they stuck to the liner. I wish I am creative like you – I threw the whole pan, just closed my eyes and tried to forget that it ever happened. Next time I know what to do..

  • So creative, these muffin balls are genius! I had a few disasters lately too but they ended up in the garbage hehe. I love that you were able to turn a muffin disaster into these cute and tasty creations – they sound so good and I love the pretty glaze πŸ™‚

  • Oh man, love this! Genius born from disaster. πŸ™‚

    I was making a giant cinnamon roll and it cooked so unevenly – the outsides were crispy while the insides were still raw. To make matters worse, it had also begun to unravel, so it was a total mess coming out of the oven. For the fix, I greased a muffin tin, ripped up the half-crispy/half-raw roll, and baked the roll pieces as pull-apart muffins. Everything cooked properly and the presentation fail was averted. Whew!

  • Love the muffin bites. You need to invest in a cake pop tin. I have a silicone one and its great. People always love food they can sneak in one bite πŸ™‚

  • My baking disasters would be too numerous to mention (but I am actually posting a pic of one lemon crater cake soon). You are a genius, Pamela!!!!!!!! A very happy accident and new creation, I say.

  • Ha! Turning them into ball was genius! I’ve had some epic fails making sourdough with my own starter before.. impatiently baking it faaaar too early and getting a dense loaf. Solution: sourdough croutons!

  • You just made the muffin version of cake balls, and I love it! These look delicious, Pamela, and I’d have a very hard time walking away from these. πŸ™‚

  • You are awesome Pamela. I would’ve completely cried if that happened to my muffins (hence why I always use paper cups now!) so I’m so impressed that you were rational enough to redeem them into something stunning like these muffin balls! And yes. Icing drizzles make everying beautiful… but so do those flecks of beautiful berry peeking out πŸ™‚ xx

  • This is a perfect example of what I call a fem hack! And, since you asked, here’s my most recent disaster: My son wanted a Spongebob cake for his 2nd birthday. I like to bake cake, but we also have a tradition of making Funfetti for birthdays. So, I grabbed a box from Target. Apparently, it was a cookie mix, not cake. I added some extra oil, egg and some yogurt and it made some really delicious cupcakes – that would not come out of their liners. So, I just frosted them in the liner and let the toddler – and everyone else – have at ’em like that.

  • “Boom Shakalaka Muffin Balls. Boom Shakalaka.” I’m sitting here cracking up! I hate it when things go wrong in the kitchen. My husband sometimes says that I should have named my blog “The Angry Baker.” Not funny. You are super creative and turned it into a happy mistake. πŸ™‚ I love the idea. πŸ™‚
    PS how could your kitties not understand your trials and tribulations?! Ah, the life of a cat. πŸ˜‰

  • Oh my gosh, you are super creative to be able to turn such incredible muffins into the awesome muffin balls they became! You are one very brave baker πŸ˜€

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  • My disasters usually involve something bubbling over in the oven and subsequently burning on it. Good times indeed. These are awesome though. Muffins are always tricky to get out of tins in my opinion. I’m always greasing liberally to ensure they come out nicely, and sometimes they still don’t. BTW, those roses are gorgeous and totally made me smile in this desolate winter!

  • How did you know I’ve been craving homemade blueberry muffins in a major way? Haha, sorry yours didn’t turn out as planned, but they sure did look beautiful straight out of the oven! Out of every disaster comes a great idea..and these muffin balls look so yummy!!

  • I literally just had the exact same experience, although mine was slightly less disastrous in that my decision to bake muffins was a selfish spur-of-the-moment one, and not in anticipation of guests arriving!

    My Muffin Crumbles are currently sitting on my bench waiting for me to decide what to do with them and after doing some online research I stumbled across your brilliant Muffin Balls idea, which I’m looking forward to trying!

    I also just HAD to mention your inspiring post in my own ‘Muffin Fail Tale’ (http://foodtouristconfessions.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/fail-muffins/)! I hope you don’t mind πŸ™‚

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