Baking

The Great British Baking Show: 10 biggest baker meltdowns

The great British pastry fair returned on September 16, and again the first two weeks produced a lot of hilarious and wholesome content (which made so many people’s comfort). But no competition goes off without a hitch, and there have been some pretty memorable competitor meltdowns when things haven’t gone well.


Rumor has it that some of the show’s hosts managed to prevent some of the biggest meltdowns from airing (via The Guardian), with some even cursing when things don’t go to plan, rendering some footage unusable. However, there were still some who managed to get on the air.

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10/10 Laura’s ice cream cake debacle

Laura Adlington decided to bake a cake full of chocolate for this classic ’80s challenge, and she got off to a great start. She had praline ice cream and merengue kisses, and it suited her well. But luckily people tend to forget things when they’re under pressure, and that’s exactly what happened to Laura.

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It all went downhill when she forgot to turn on the cooling function of her ice cream maker, and for nearly forty minutes it was just “happy churning” as she put it. The cake ended up being so melted it looked awful (although the judges said it tasted good). This is why the best participants in this kind of competition are always the best organized.

9/10 Ruby’s Stunning Cake

Cooking with vegan ingredients can be a bit of a nightmare, and Ruby has experienced it firsthand. Her cake turned out really wonky at first, but the real disaster happened near the end when she tried to stack her two layers on top of each other. This resulted in one of the series’ worst pastries.

Ruby was stressing outside the tent, as Sandi and Noel tried to make her feel better. Unfortunately, the layers of the cake spilled on the workstation and all anyone could do was watch from afar. The presentation was a mess, and while the judges really liked the flavors, it almost seemed like salt in the wound knowing that Ruby could have had one of the best cakes if he had held on.

8/10 Ian’s Molten Cake

Although it wasn’t his fault, Ian was disqualified because of it. He had his cake in the freezer when another contestant, Diana, took it out of the freezer and set it aside. Many were furious and convinced it was sabotage. Ian was also so upset with the molten disaster that he threw a mild temper tantrum, and he threw it straight in the trash, much to the dismay of the other contestants.

Because of this, he had nothing to present to the judges and he left the show in this episode. While he was understandably upset and discouraged, he might have gotten something out of his cake if he hadn’t acted so immaturely. It was one of the scariest scenes in the otherwise wholesome series.

7/10 Cathryn’s Flying Dough

Cathryn had a justified meltdown on GBBO when she was practicing her strudel dough preparation. She tossed it while another contestant cheered her on. But in a careless moment, she dropped her dough and sent it flying across the carpet.

She laughed it off, but it was obvious to the audience that she was devastated. She was so confused that she didn’t even pick up her dough – another contestant did it for her. Considering his batter looked amazing before it hit the ground, his reaction was justified. It was a rather sweet moment when the contestant who encouraged her to throw it apologized to her, and Cathryn replied “Don’t be silly, you didn’t throw it down.”

6/10 Danny’s Carpet Pudding

One of the worst moments was when Danny dropped his freshly baked puddings on the floor (and his sneakers). She was trying to close the oven door while holding the tray with the puddings, and she tilted them just enough so they tipped over.

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She barely had enough batter left, and even though she had four puddings that weren’t affected, she was visibly upset and shaking. This is understandably difficult for bakers who are under a lot of pressure due to time constraints and the competitive nature of the show.

5/10 Amanda’s Meltdown

It was so heartbreaking to see this because her terrine pie looked beautifully decorated. When she took it out of the oven and tried to remove the pan, the pie fell apart and the top separated from the bottom.

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Poor Amanda didn’t know what to do and enlisted the help of another contestant, but seeing her fall apart was absolutely saddening because of the amount of work she put into her showstopper. It constantly seemed like she was close to succeeding, but never quite there.

4/10 Switch down

It was Kate who literally dropped the klanger when she came out of the oven. The contestant stood still for a second, before exclaiming “I literally dropped a rattle”, going on to say it was the worst thing that could have happened.

Often judges will demand a certain amount of baked goods, especially during technical challenges, and if a clanger falls, it could have consequences for the baker.

3/10 custard gate

Howard must be one of the luckiest candidates. While Sue’s elbow imprint on her muffin was memorable, the most famous one has been dubbed the “custardgate.” It was the bakery heist that shocked the nation and the Great British Baking Show audience.

Debra, of course, accidentally took Howard’s cream and was visibly shaken by her mistake. Howard tried to take it calmly, but his voice sounded uncharacteristically high as he assured the room “one custard is worth another” and he appeared to be on the verge of tears. Of course, after trying hard to perfect her custard, it wasn’t right for Debra to use it. However, the judges evaluated the cream separately, and it all worked out in the end.

2/10 The Fly Incident

One of the biggest baking disasters happened when one of the contestants shooed away a fly, which resulted in an entire tray of someone’s cupcakes being knocked over (just as they were putting them down for judgment). Interestingly enough, the meltdown didn’t happen because of the contestant whose cupcakes were knocked over.

In a moment that truly shows how wholesome this show is, Sura is on the verge of tears knowing that she caused someone’s hard work to be destroyed. Instead of having a real meltdown, they both accept that accidents happen, even though they probably didn’t sleep well that night.

1/10 Sugar Dome of Doom

Crystelle was one of the best bakers in her series, and she proved it by reaching the final. However, when the challenge required them to make a sugar dome, she had some technical difficulties. She broke the dome four times and was panicking properly because she was running out of time.

In the end, Lizzie helped her make the dome and she got very emotional as she thanked her. It was one of those disasters that ended pretty well because the judges liked the taste of her cake, and even if the dome wasn’t perfect, at least she managed to present one.

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