A Baking Mistake That Turned Out Great

The image is a bit blurry, but hopefully you get the idea.

On Saturday, I decided on the spur of the moment to bake a pumpkin pie. All the ingredients were already on-hand, so all I had to do was pick a recipe. Since the recipe on the can of pumpkin called for condensed milk and I only had evaporated, I opted for the classic Libby’s recipe that Mom always used.

I mixed everything together, baked the pie, and everything went great. There was one thing, though: The pie filling looked a little darker than I thought it should. I had a taste and thought it was all right, so I popped it in the oven and didn’t think anything more of it.

A few hours later, Mom came home and asked where the teaspoons were that I’d used to make the pie. “In the sink,” I said, “to be washed.”

“There aren’t any teaspoons in the sink,” she said. “Did you use tablespoons for the dry ingredients?”


Now, I’m a Baker, but I’m not the best baker. I know that three teaspoons make a tablespoon. What I didn’t realize was how small a teaspoon is, and that a spoon labeled with a capital T is, in fact, a tablespoon. I reached in the drawer, found the spoons that read 1/4 T and 1/2 T, and assumed they were teaspoons.

I was wrong. I’d tripled the amount of cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves that the recipe called for. That explained the darker filling!

I hoped it would taste all right. Mom cut it up after supper and gave me the first piece (so everyone else wouldn’t have to try it if it tasted horrible, I guess!) and I tentatively took a bite.

It was actually really good!

Of course, they probably thought I was biased because I’d made the pie. Nevertheless, Mom served pie to everyone else and I watched nervously as they tried it.

Everyone liked it!

It wound up tasting a lot more cinnamon-y and spicier overall due to the mis-measurements, but it still tasted good. I for one liked the additional spiciness, and I think Daniel did, too.

In one Saturday afternoon I inadvertently created my first recipe. I felt pretty accomplished! I’d baked something and been innovative! It got me wondering how many other great recipes have been made out of kitchen mistakes and mishaps.

Regardless, for anyone interested in a bit spicier take on a classic dessert, I present Baker’s Botched Pumpkin Pie. (Maybe I need a better name for it. Suggestions are welcome.) Enjoy!


  • 3/4 cup pure cane sugar (I used organic)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt (maybe use a little less)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
  • 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked 9″ pie crust


  1. Mix sugar, cloves, ginger, salt, and cinnamon (in that order) in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Stir in evaporated milk.
  2. Pour pie filling into pie crust. Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake at 425 degrees (F) for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees (F) for 40 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of the pie to test if it’s done; if it doesn’t come out clean, let it bake another 5-10 minutes.
  4. Let the pie cool and then serve or refrigerate. (Pie refrigerated and served the next day is even better than the day of!)

And there you have it! It just goes to show that sometimes good things come out of errors. Maybe I should make baking mistakes more often….

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2 Responses

  1. The history of baking is full with mistakes that turned out great 🙂
    This reminds me that my daughter wants us to try to bake a tarte tatin one day.

  2. I had not heard of a tarte Tatin until you mentioned it, but it looks really good! I will have to add that to the “to bake” list. Thanks for your comment!

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