Competition winner: the greatest baking disaster story ever told

It has laughs, it has drama, it has a love story. It has a total misunderstanding of the term “whisk by hand”…

Attempt number one...
Attempt number one...
...and attempt number two.
...and attempt number two.
Attempt number one...
Attempt number one...
...and attempt number two.
...and attempt number two.

In honour of our current TV obsession, Bake Off, we’ve been running a competition to find your best baking disaster stories and win a selection of beautiful baking goodies from our on-Village gift shop, The Store Room. We shared some of our own stories with you, and you really came up trumps with your own tales of too-much-bicarb, salt-instead-of-sugar and cake collapses.

Many of your entries had us laughing, cringing, feeling a touch nauseous… Keep your eyes peeled as we’ll be posting a selection of our favourites later in the week.

But Melanie from Lincoln was a unanimous winner, with the tale of her well-intentioned but adorably out-of-his-depth other half. Who, as of last Friday, is now her husband – congratulations Mr and Mrs Tiernan! Your wedding present from Center Parcs is on its way to you.

Now, for Melanie’s story…

“A few years ago I was due to go into hospital for a minor procedure. To cheer me up, I asked my other half to bake me some cakes (I LOVE cake) for when I got home.

He had never baked a thing in his life, so he bought one of those cake mix kits where you just need to add an egg and some water. While I was in hospital, he got to work…

Being a man, he saw no need to read the instructions properly, had a quick glance and was fairly sure he had the gist of things. He emptied every ingredient into a bowl, cracked in an egg and added some water, as directed. He read the words “whisk by hand or electric” and began to whisk the mixture together…with his finger.

He later admitted to thinking, ‘Pfff, why would anyone bother getting an electric whisk out when you can just use your hand?’

At this point, his parents saw what he was doing (we were staying with them at the time, and their kitchen was well equipped with whisks and mixers). His father laughed so hard he literally had an asthma attack.

Eventually, the cakes went into the oven. When they came out, to no one’s immense surprise, they didn’t look like the picture on the box.

Thinking they would maybe look better once covered in the frosting and sprinkles, he asked his mum where these would be, and if he had to buy them separately. That’s when they realised he had dumped those in the mix too.

At this point, there was nothing for it but to go back to the supermarket, buy another box and read the instructions a little more carefully this time. The second attempt, as you can see, was much better.

Over the years, his baking has improved considerably. So much so that I agreed to marry him on Friday 28th August.

He still isn’t making the wedding cake, though.”

Melanie’s story won her a bundle of baking goodies from Center Parcs’ The Store Room worth £100. Fancy being an Under the Treetops competition winner yourself? We’ll be giving away more of the lovely goods available to buy on our Villages, so keep an eye on Under the Treetops for the next competition.

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Maddy Potts

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Maddy Potts

As Marketing Executive at Center Parcs, I’m lucky enough to hear all the amazing stories that come from our guests, our Villages and the wider travel industry. I’ll blog about the best ones, bring you some fantastic competitions and update you on all the exciting new activities and goings on at Center Parcs.