In our weekly Q&A installment, we asked The Greatist Team and readers about their worst cooking disasters. Here’s what they had to say:

I was attempting to make banana muffins but I left out a key ingredient. When I excitedly took them out of the oven they were misshapen lumps because I forgot the baking soda. You know it's bad when your dog won't even eat one. — Shannon Orcutt

When I was about 13, my little sister (12 at the time) and I decided to make a cake, from scratch, for our parents! Adorable, right? We thought so, too. We worked together with excellent teamwork— she added the sugar, I added the cocoa powder, her the eggs, me the baking powder, and so on until we thought we had it all together. Unfortunately, due to a lapse in communication, we realized after baking that we had forgotten the flour. Oops! This "cake" was the flattest cake I've ever seen. My dad, not one to be wasteful, suggested that we use this chocolatey ooey-gooey mess as an ice cream topping... and it was delicious. — Kelli Kerkman

In college, I was trying to boil water to make pasta and turned on the wrong burner— with a stray cooking mitt on it (mistake number one). I went to my room to get something (mistake number two) while I thought the water was boiling. The saving grace was my roommate's parents, who had come up for a visit. My roommate went to answer the door (right by the kitchen) and she discovered a ginormous flame. (Why no smoke detectors went off, I'll never know.) She and her parents put out the flame when I came back to the kitchen absolutely horrified. I ate popcorn that night, and my former roomies will never let me live it down. — Marcy Franklin

Back when I was about 10, my childhood pal and I decided to bake cookies for our new neighbors. Since we were the genius bakers most 10-year-olds are, the dough came out quite crumbly, so we decided to add a ton of milk to thin it out. The cookies failed to rise (let's be real, we probably forgot the baking soda, too), but we gave them to our new neighbors anyway. Mr. and Mrs. Burke, I'm sorry :/ — Laura Schwecherl

Oh man. This past summer I was scrounging for food at my parents' house and came across a stale-ish bag of tortilla chips. To revive them, I decided to toss them in the toaster oven. I'm not sure whether I set the timer or the temperature wrong, but they rapidly burnt to a crisp and then went up in flames. I immediately freaked out (first and only kitchen fire I've ever caused), and thinking that the fire-plus-electronics combo was a bad idea, I yanked the toaster oven open. It didn't occur to me that I'd be letting in way more oxygen, and the flames exploded out of the oven. Fortunately, I kept my head enough to grab an oven mitt and toss the whole tray in the sink. Don't worry, the mitt was only slightly singed.  — Kelly Fitzpatrick

Senior year of college, my friends and I set off the fire alarm when we burnt toast making dinner one night. Mildly annoyed, we decided the most sensible thing was to start eating. Within minutes, the whole building had evacuated and a fireman was pounding on the door demanding to know what had caused the commotion. Everyone watched as we were dragged out of the building like four miscreant kids. The toast was okay, but it was a little dry. — Shana Lebowitz

I have (very surprisingly) never caused any fires, and (even more surprisingly) have never managed to chop off any fingers. But, I will admit that my first adventure in gluten-free baking went less than perfectly. See, the key thing to know about gluten is that it is what holds baked goods together. So, when you take OUT the gluten, things tend to become dry and crumbly. The first loaf of gluten-free bread I baked became just that— one big pan full o'crumbles. It also tasted like glue. I'll stick to buying my bread from now on.... — Kate Morin

Most of my cooking disasters usually end with me burnt and bandaged. Generally, the food makes it out okay. One of my earliest "cooking" disasters was when I was maybe eight years old. For breakfast, my sister and I used to make toast topped with cinnamon sugar. We were out of cinnamon sugar one evening, so I decided to make some for the morning. Unfortunately, it was my sister who discovered that instead of sugar, I had used salt. I'm not sure she's forgiven me for the nice little morning wake up treat of toast, butter, salt, and cinnamon. — Claudine Morgan

From our readers:

When I was 10 or 11 I was in 4-H cooking. I made "drop biscuits" for the family. Instead of baking powder I used baking soda. The biscuits were soooo salty, and hard like rocks, but somehow my dad managed to choke one down telling me they were "delicious." He had coon dogs that ate our table scraps and reality struck when even the coon dogs left them behind in their dog dishes... and they ate EVERYTHING! Not a terrible disaster, but I remember it like it was yesterday. Haven't made drop biscuits since then. — Vicki Mandli

The first time I tried cooking was the day I moved in to my on-campus share house when I started uni. I honestly did not know what happened, but the stove caught on fire. Literally, on fire. The fire alarm went off. I screamed, turn off the the gas but the fire was still going. So I threw a wet cloth on top and then the fire went completely out. Because the alarm was going on, my housemates came out of the room. By this time the fire was out but I was in shock, so they had to put a blanket over me and just let me lie down a bit. — Lidiana Rosli

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