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Pinterest Fail: Cotton Candy Cake

pinterest fail 1


Pinterest and I have a long-term love/hate relationship. We’ve been friend since its early Beta stages and scrolling through some of my pins you’ll see just how long I’ve been around there. It’s almost embarrassing.

When kiddo comes for the weekend one of my favorite things to do with her is try out some new baking recipes. When I saw a pin for something easy that I had ingredients on hand for I thought I would give it a try.

I had one sugar free cake mix and a ton of sugar-free jello on hand so I let her pick the flavor. She picked cherry. It just needed to be red for the Cotton Candy look.

I made the cake up according to the directions and then put the package of cherry jello in.

The recipe was based on this pin from Pinterest.

Well, it smelled good. But the cake did not rise. I was not impressed.

cherry fail 2



I’m generally really good about trying to make my fails into wins. The texture with this was just to weird for me. I thought I could put some whipped cream on top and make a roll out of it. I just could not get around the weird texture.

cherry fail 3


Looks like someone else had a different idea.

I guess the failure is all in how you  look at it.

Later that night kiddo and her dad broke this up into little pieces and ate it with some whipped cream.

More power to them. 🙂

What are some of your Pinterest fails? Where they total fails or were you able to save them somehow?

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  1. haha. Don’t you HATE it when that happens? It leaves me sitting there scratching my head like… what did I do wrong? I recently tried that Sharpie Mug diy (which if you haven’t seen it, is exactly what it sounds like. Write on a white mug with a Sharpie and bake it. Wa-la, right? Nope) and it did not work. I spent a ton of time on it and when I attempted to wash it, it was coming off. Bummer. But you’re right… it’s all about how you look at it. I re-drew over the parts that washed away and am using it to hold pens & pencils.

    1. OH! I have done the Sharpie mug. Matter of fact, we did them last year for Christmas. Even went out and bought an entire pack of pretty Sharpie colored markers. Didn’t last. Sure looked cute for a while. I still wonder where I went wrong with that one.

  2. Oh pinterest, I have a love hate relationship with you! Ha!

    So many wonderful ideas, but with so much information there is bound to be a few fails. I saw some darling stenciled coffee tables and tried to do one on mine. I used the wrong paint and it practically wiped right off with a wet wipe…after all of that work taping it and painting it!

    The fails keep us humble though! Doesn’t let all craftiness go to our heads that’s for sure! 🙂

    I loved this post! Thanks for keeping it real!

    1. With so many people trying the same thing, and so many ways to do the same thing, there is always bound to be a miscommunication somewhere along the way. We live and learn. That is part of the fun, I think. The whole “Can I do that too?”

  3. HA! This is great! I am a very good cook, but my husband always likes to rub it in my face when I have a fail. Well, Babe Ruth didn’t stop swinging…
    So I saw this cool picture of cake pops in some magazine that were decorated and then set up to look like a flag.
    Before I read the entire recipe, I went out and bought a cake pop machine. What a mess! Super putzy, messy and time consuming. Did I mention it was very hot and I chose to spend a couple hours over a 2 minute grill, pouring, turning and popping them out. But wait, I didn’t even need to buy the iron, these were chilled cake pops. But, I had spent the money, so I used the iron, hot day, sweat and all.
    Then, the best part, I had pastel colors of food coloring, not traditional red, blue, etc. I had teal and pink. So, I rolled the stupid pink and teal cake pops into place, quickly gave up on the flag layout and decided I would never make cake pops again.
    The kids loved them. The parents wanted me to make them again as they looked so cool and were so easy to pop in your mouth. Um yeah, no way!!!!
    So maybe this particular episode was more my fail than the recipes. 🙂

    1. My husband and kiddo are very good about trying to make the best of my failures. I know my limits so I tend to stay clear of things that I know are going to most likely cause me a failure.
      Cake pops sure are cute aren’t they? But from what I have heard from so many people – cake pop machines are not worth what you would think! Sorry you had to go through all of that. Sure do make it look easy don’t they?

    1. Yes, it sure was fun. It wasn’t a total loss, at least for them. That’s a story I haven’t heard. Will have to be sure to look into that one!

  4. Oh the pinterest fails… they should make a website just for that! lol Mine usually consist of the meals that look oh so amazing and everyone says they are the best they’ve ever had… and then I make it, and it is not even edible.

    But yet that never seems to keep me from trying another recipe…

    1. I have stumbled across a few over the last few months. They seem to be popping up all over the place. One of my fellow bloggers I’ve *known* for some time, she’s got a great one : http://pintriedit.com/

      While I have a lot of pins, I don’t try out a whole lot of stuff there. Could be why my failure rate is so low! lol I have had some successes with some crafts and such.

    1. You should consider making a blog just for Pinterest failures. You could get a few friends to help you out with it. I know they are pretty popular. People love them. I know I enjoy reading them. I have a good laugh, that’s for sure. Pinterest makes everything look so easy, right?

  5. Call me picky but I am so careful about what I pin on Pinterest… so when I have a fail it’s not really that it didn’t turn out but that it doesn’t taste like I expect. I come a family full of awesome cooks and rich foods. Everything we fix is rich so that’s what I expect. I’m always thrown for a loop when it comes out bland… and always VERY disappointed! I usually just add some spices to make it edible in our kitchen and never repeat the recipe again. What I need to start doing is just beginning with the foundation recipe the second time and add what I think will make it fantastic. I’m glad others have fails like I do… I was starting to think it was just picky me!

    1. I’ve been on Pinterest for so long. I started as a Beta tester and some of my pins are just so silly. Now that is has grown and people use it for social media instead of an internet cork board I try to utilize it a little better. I do pin a lot because I am a very visual person and love to look at the photos. But I don’t try a lot of things on there.

  6. I’m so sorry, yet I could not help but FDLOL when I saw the photo of your cake! The wonders and joys of Pinterest. I tried a t-shirt-to-wrap from a pin (It actually came out very well – I’ll go back and find the pin for you). I have yet to try any recipes though many of my co-workers have (with mixed success). At least you got to spend some fun time with the kiddo – and she and her Father had some enjoyment over the Pinterest creation! <3

    1. I have come to realize that they will eat pretty much anything! lol. At first I thought she was just eating it to be nice. When I took a taste I can see where she would like it because it did have a decent cherry flavor. But the texture was just a bit too off for me. We’ve done some crafts inspired by things I have seen on Pinterest with mixed results. Gotta love Pinterest, right?

  7. I use Pinterest a lot. However, I have never tried one recipe or DIY or craft that I’ve pinned! LOL. Talk about procrastinator…but at least they’re all there, in one place, ready for me to try out. I really do need to try SOMETHING, for crying out loud. And, I’m pretty sure I’ll take pictures along the way…because if it’s a success, well that’s worth posting about, too. But, I kinda think I might not do quite so well out of the gate, so I’m prepared for a few Pinterest fails. 🙂

    1. You are like me. I use it a lot – meaning I pin many things. I use it more for the “cork board” purpose. I have tried a handful of crafts or used a few of the ideas as inspiration for a few things I have done over the years. I have some posts on my other sites that are in the process of getting a makeover. But one of the things that did turn out really well was making a childs play kitchen out of giant boxes and turning “trash” into play food and restaurant materials. It held up really well until our basement flooded. We then used old cupboards and an entertainment center, another Pinterest inspiration. Kiddo loves it. That’s her very own cooking area. Once those posts are back up, I’ll be linking them here on YUM as this site continues to grow.

  8. Oh man, that is the worst! It’s so frustrating when you spend money on something, or use your own resources, only to have it fail. Your cake doesn’t look too terrible, btw 🙂 But I understand the whole texture thing. I tried cauliflower tots (http://pinterest.com/pin/151011393725889539/) and a garlic pasta recipe that was pretty viral on Pinterest for a while (http://pinterest.com/pin/151011393725364703/), and both were not good at all. I don’t know if it was my fault, or just poor recipes. Either way, I wasn’t willing to waste more ingredients for a second try! Hope your next Pinterest project is a success!

    1. I don’t think I could try the tots. I have tried the cauliflower mashed potatoes. I have had some of the recipes turn out good, and there were times I made it and it turned out horrible. I am the only one who will eat them because my husband can still taste the cauliflower, which he hates. I did find a recipe for roasted cauliflower in a magazine and they wanted to use it in place of popcorn. It actually looked really good. I wanted to try it for one of our movie nights. For myself. And maybe not for family movie night.

      Thankfully I do some shopping at a clearance food outlet because we are on a very tight budget. My husband is on his last year of clinical’s and I just finished grad school. I was able to get the cake mix for $1 and the jello was about 20 cents. So, I am not too sad for it. They went and picked up the cool whip and I am pretty sure that wasa about 99 cents. I still have that in my freezer.

      I have some pins I plan to try soon, so I am hoping they will work out much better!

    1. The original recipe was for angel food cake. I used regular white cake. But, mine was a sugar free, water only cake – just like the angel food cake. So, it still should have risen just like the angel food cake. It had nothing weighing it down. I consulted my aunt, my master baker of the family, and she said the ingredients were similar and it should have worked out the same. When I told her it did not work out, she told me it could have just been that the boxed cake mix was old and that it sometimes happen. It could also be my oven. I live in a very old farm house. The oven is original to the house. And I often have to adjust the temps when I cook. I don’t have central air, I have window units, so when the air temperature change, sometimes my baking turns out funky. So I have to take those things into consideration as well. It’s why I don’t really do a lot of baking.

  9. I don’t actually have a pinterest but my girlfriend does. I don’t remember any fails she had, she probably had some but didn’t want to tell me about them. One of the things that she did try that I thought was really good was this pinterest recipe.


    It was such a quick thing to whip up and so delicious. Have you ever tried this one? You should definitely give it a try and let me know what you think!

    1. Aww that’s a shame that she doesn’t share her fails. Even the best cooks have failures. I love being able to laugh about some of the recipes I have been inspired by that just didn’t turn out so well. Or, when I add too much seasoning. My husband, bless his heart, loves fish. But, he likes it all battered and deep fried. He tries so hard to like it not battered. He’ll suffer through it. So, I try to seasonin it, or batter it healthy or even faux fry it. We have had some disasters. As we just laugh it off.

      The banana pudding pound cake looks pretty yummy. Reminds me of the banana dish with vanilla wafers my family made at gatherings when I was a child. I have pinned that to try sometime. Thanks for sharing. I think the kiddo will love it for sure. Husband isn’t much of a banana person, but he will try anything once.

  10. I make a lot of Pinterest recipes and so far I have only had one semi-fail. It was for a chocolate crockpot dessert. It turned out ok but was just blah. We all decided I would never make it again and I never even blogged it! Oh well.

  11. I’ve honestly had pretty good luck with Pinterest. Maybe I’m just not attempting some of the harder looking things…maybe I should and see what happens 😉

    1. If you do, please stop back by and let me know how it goes! I do get inspired a lot by Pinterested and I have done a few things here and there that inspired me, but I can’t say that I have done a lot of exact things I have seen on Pinterest. Even this recipe wasn’t exact. But, it was fun and that’s all that matters. Some of the stuff on there really makes me wonder how and why. And maybe someday I will get around to trying more of the things I wanted to. I just didn’t have time to because I was too focused on finishing school.

      1. It is pretty crazy/cool the things people come up with! I definitely will let you know! I am pretty busy myself but sometimes it’s fun to try things out!

  12. Sorry your cake did not work. I guess I have been lucky with pinterest recipes so far. We have tried a few with success however they never really look exactly like they are supposed to. How do they do that anyway?

    1. Maybe they were just lucky? Or they tried it a few times before they actually put it on Pinterest? That’s what I think. It’s the whole practice makes perfect.

  13. I hate when that happens. You spend all this time doing the work and then it doesn’t work out. Sometimes I will try again to see if I missed something the first time. Pinterest is like that some things are easy and others are so hard.

    1. It’s the luck of the draw I guess. But it makes for a good story and they liked it anyway. So no real loss I guess. 🙂

  14. I’m not sure how helpful this is, but this recipe may be something that can easily be transformed into an actual cake recipe? They use cotton candy-flavored mix… Or, somehow, you could mix some actual cotton candy into the batter when you go to bake it. I’ve seen cotton candy desserts using real cotton candy before, I just can’t/don’t remember how it was done.

    1. Oh look how fun and cute those are! They always have a sale on Funfetti cake mix. I bet I can make something work with this for another baking day. Thanks for sharing that with me!

  15. I haven’t actually *tried* a lot of Pinterest projects…. I tend to pin things and then get really busy and not do them… but it is a good reminder that not everything out there really works so i shouldn’t plan on using a recipe from the internet for an important event without trying it out first!

    1. I agree 100%! I have a hard time following recipes to begin with. I use them mostly for inspiration. I tend to do test runs and then if it goes well I’ll make the recipe a few more times. If not, I’ll scratch it and then unpin it if I remember.

  16. I am afraid that I am not on Pinterest. However, it is good to be able to share any kind of failure with others, sometime have a giggle about it, and get loving support.

    Do you find that sugar free food tastes good? I came across a box of sugar free pudding the other day and the children hated it. It tasted like chemicals. I think I would have said no as soon as a sugar free cake mix was suggested;-)


  17. I think your post is cute, the story! I am now tempted to try and make one cotton candy cake or anything I could find in pinterest. I am not active in pinterest lately but just seeing your post makes me wanna, pinterest more. 🙂

    1. Because I am such a visual person Pinterest is so relaxing to me. I am on there just for the photos. But if I find something that looks good, I use it for inspiration. I can be addicting!

    1. It didn’t even taste like cotton candy. I think she called it that because of the color. Who knows. It was fun for kiddo anyway. lol

  18. You know I get intimidated by Pinterest most of the time so am glad to read someone else isn’t perfect either. Thanks for sharing. You made me feel better. LOL

    1. Oh, don’t let it intimidate you! All experience levels exist there! The one thing to remember is, we all fail, just not everyone wants to admit it. Next time you are on there, check for ‘pinterest fails’ or ‘pinterest failure’ and see what pops up. Also check Google! Many websites exist!

  19. Well, I wouldn’t say it was a “fail” as long as someone enjoyed it 😉
    Keep trying new recipes. There are so many great ones out there!
    I love trying new recipes & my family is so supportive of it, which I appreciate!

    1. No problem! Just keep trying. I bet after you do it as many times as they probably have, you’ll have it down 100% like they do! 😉

  20. How bizarre it didn’t rise, I wonder if it had something to do with the lack of sugar.

    I have done so many things from Pinterest, especially in the cooking area some are home runs and others are deleted never to see the light of day again. For me the best part is just getting to try all these nifty ideas!

    1. It may. Usually its the baking powder or baking soda hidden in the ingredients under other names that is the rising ingredient. Never know.

      I’ll never stop trying!!

  21. Pinterest and I have a hate/hate relationship. 🙂 So sorry that your experiment didn’t work out, but it sounds like you and the kiddo had fun with it anyway. 🙂

  22. I’ve pinned a lot of recipes but haven’t made many of them. Friend tried a BBQ pork recipe when we had a girls night. They obviously used a stock image for the recipe posting. With the ingredients used there was just no way it could look like the red rimmed bbq pork you get at Chinese food restaurants. It tasted good but she counted it as a fail.

  23. I don’t know how many baking nightmares I’ve created over the years. LOL! Way too many to count. Usually I mess up with cookies . . . They turn out too puffy or crumbly. I haven’t really been on Pinterest very long though, so I don’t have any stories about that. Sorry you couldn’t eat your treat!

    1. I am not much of a baker because I don’t seem to do very well. I live in an old house with an old oven. I tend to always burn the bottoms because I can’t figure out how to adjust the temps right. If I take it out too soon to keep from burning, its not done. So I put it back in and will watch, but then 8 times out of 10, they end up a little too brown. Maybe I am too hard on myself. Kiddo doesn’t seem to mind. But I get bothered by it. I get crumbly cookies all the time!

  24. I have to admit that from the pin, I can’t really visualize what it’s supposed to look like, but it sounds interesting. Too bad it didn’t work out. :] I’ve had lots of projects that didn’t work out quite like I expected–I always feel gloomy about it, but it’s entertaining to see what other people do.

  25. I haven’t had very many fails, but when I do, my husband keeps talking about it over and over! Once I found a pasta recipe that called for cinnamon. It was terrible. He still tells people about it!!!!

    1. Pasta and cinnamon? Hmm I don’t see how that could be bad honestly. I put cinnamon in a lot of things. Couldn’t be to off from rice pudding… Now I am curious and going to have to look around for that!

  26. If I actually took the time to try the many Pinterest recipes I have collected I am sure that I would have many fails. Lol. At least your family ate it even if it didn’t turn out quite the way you had hoped. 🙂 As my friend would say — it all ends up in the same place.

    1. You win some you lose some, right? If I cooked everything I pinned, I would need an endless amount of niche sites thats for sure!

  27. I am a Pastry Chef and I think you have a fail here because you used sugar free. Even though your Aunt says the ingredients are similar enough, sugar does more than just add flavor. Gelatinization
    During baking, sugar tenderizes by absorbing
    liquid and delaying gelatinization.
    In cakes, the heat of baking causes the starch
    in flour to absorb liquid and swell. This process is
    called gelatinization. As more liquid is absorbed
    by the starch, the batter goes from a fluid to a
    solid state, “setting” the cake. Sugar acts to slow
    gelatinization by competing with the starch for
    liquid. By absorbing part of the liquid, sugar
    maintains the viscosity of the batter. As a result,
    the temperature at which the cake “sets” (turning
    from liquid to solid state) is delayed until the
    optimum amount of gases are produced by the
    leavening agents. Carbon dioxide, air and steam
    produced from leavening agents, heated water
    and air become entrapped and expand in the air
    cells. The result is a fine, uniformly-grained cake
    with a soft, smooth crumb texture.
    As described above, sugar is effective in
    delaying starch gelatinization in cakes and
    provides good texture and volume. Little data is
    available concerning sugar’s function in delaying
    gelatinization in breads; therefore its influence on
    gelatinization in yeast-leavened breads is less
    clear. In theory, as breads with higher sugar
    content bake, gelatinization is delayed by the
    same mechanism described above in cakes. A
    bread with more tender crumb texture results. http://www.sugar.org/images/docs/sugar-functional-roles.pdf

    1. Could be, but there are sugar free ones on Pinterest that worked just fine. I bake with Splenda and have no problems with items not rising. It is rare I bake with sugar anymore unless I am making something special just for YUM.

      I think it was because of the brand that I used and that it had Sweet n Low in it since that was the brand I used.

      I say this because I made another one – a yellow cake, same brand, no jello powder added to it.

      We made it last night , 100% as directed and it did not rise much either.

      Either way, I do a lot of baking without sugar, using other ingredients as natural sweetening agents and don’t have a problem with things rising as they should but these Sweet N Low branded box mixes I found on clearance were just weird in texture all the way around.

  28. Last month my daughter requested the 6 layer rainbow cake that we’ve all seen on Pinterest for her birthday. My first attempt was a total failure and I throw it in the garbage and start all over! But thankfully my second attempt was a success, and she was so thrilled to show off her rainbow cake to her friends.
    Pinterest is a very inspiring place, but it can be a slippery slope if you get too caught up in the fancy recipes and DIY’s!

    1. Oh see, the first time for a 6 layer cake would have crushed my ego enough for me! I am too scared to attempt stuff like that. I leave the birthday cakes like that to my mom. Shes much better at that stuff than me so I let her do kiddos cake every year.

  29. One thing I always tell Pinterest newbies is to check the comments on recipes to see what people say. They can be so hit or miss! I am not a chef to begin with so I need all of the help I can get! Love that your kiddo still ate it. 🙂 XO, ellie

    1. I don’t know if I should have let her eat it or not, thats the funny part. She is so picky about some things, so it makes me wonder. But she happily gobbled it up!

  30. I haven’t failed at anything I have tried from Pinterest, but I do see gorgeous art that I know I don’t have the skills to replicate. Pinterest is wonderful and terrible all at the same time. We see all of these fantastic things that others are doing and want to do them, too. This is great fun, but we need to be careful that we aren’t comparing ourselves to the small, pretty glimpse we get of others, when we know all of our shortcomings. I’m glad that your family still chowed down on the cake!

    1. I’m pretty good about staying away from things that I know I am not going to be good at just because I know where my limits are in the kitchen. I think I have garbage cans for family – seems they will eat just about anything 😉

  31. Last year my son and I wanted to make a spooky halloween tree from a paper lunch bag. We found the idea on Pinterest and it looked super cool and easy. I ended up making it because it was too putsy and even after many solid tries it looked more like a weeping willow than a spooky tree, 🙁

  32. Oh dear…I’m shuddering at what the texture might be like LOL I’m pretty sure that I haven’t had a pinterest fail yet…yet. However, years ago, I tried making baseball cupcakes for my sons birthday. They called for black licorice shoelaces. I couldn’t find any so used regular twizzlers. That was bad enough. The icing ran, the cupcakes were hard and didn’t rise. The whole thing was a disaster from the beginning. Nobody ate them. At least we had ice cream LOL

    1. I honestly think it was the cake mix – made for diabetics. I should have known better but it on clearance. Couldn’t beat trying it out. Oh, your poor cupcakes!!! I can’t believe not one person didn’t at least try them out! Thank goodnes for ice cream – it saved the day!

      1. My mother can attest to my baking skills, or lack thereof LOL. There was also my 16th birthday cake. 4 layers looked like 1 LOL. And the cookies I thought could do without the baking soda. My husband and his work buddies literally used them as hockey pucks, they were so hard. I’ve NEVER lived it down! At least I can cook LOL

  33. Ah,pinterest. I think I have more fails then wins. I really believe those picture are doctored. I will admit though, my kids want to try the cake.

    1. I wonder that sometimes, but I really believe those that share what they win at have done it 100 times before they share it!

  34. I usually get on Pinterest for party ideas. My biggest “fail” had to do with putting food coloring into a two-layer cake. I didn’t connect that the cake mix was yellow, so when I added blue food coloring, I ended up with more green than the blue I wanted. Lol. No one seemed to mind since it still tasted good.

    1. I’ve been guilty of doing that before. I bought 4 cake mixed and grabbed 4 boxes off the shelf thinking they were all white. Someone snuck a yellow in there. I wasn’t paying attention when mixing it and ended up with one cake a little off in color. *shrugs* Oh well. It all tastes the same and is going down the same place!

  35. I sort of feel like 90% of things on Pinterest are impossible to make. I always get excited about it, then realize there is no way I can do it or it has 82,000 ingredients/steps and I give up before I even start. At least YOU tried 🙂

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