(one's) cake is dough

(one's) cake is dough

One's actions have failed or not led to the desired outcome—much like a cake that is still dough after baking. The phrase appears in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. I know you worked really hard on this project, but it looks like your cake is dough, and you won't be winning the contest. The news that your cake is dough is always difficult to accept. Sir, the inhabitants have risen up in rebellion. I know you had visions of conquering this area, but it appears that your cake is dough.
See also: cake, dough
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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