‘Counting On’ Episode Recap: Love and Loss

The Duggar clan is at it again, and they’ve once again enlisted their very own Martha Stewart to plan out a wedding. This week, Jana is pitted against her siblings in a cake baking competition that can’t possibly end well for anyone. The cake must be sugar-free, gluten-free, have an aviation theme and it also must taste good.

Viewers also hear first-hand about Lauren and Josiah’s pregnancy loss and the TLC cameras catch up with Jeremy and Jinger briefly to check in on Felicity. Frankly, there wasn’t a whole lot going on in Duggarland this week for Counting On, so the cake baking competition needed to fill out the majority of the episode.

Cake baking goes competitive

John and Abbie haven’t decided whether or not they’ll feature a groom’s cake at their wedding. To make their final decision they’ve chosen to host a cake baking competition. The Duggar ladies have split into teams, and each will prepare a cake and decorate it. In the end, John and Abbie will judge the cakes in several different categories.

Lauren has taken on the task with Josie and Jordyn as helpers. Since she is gluten-free herself she thinks she’s up to the challenge. Kendra and Johanna pair up to get the job done, and Jessa is tasked with figuring it all out with a couple more of the younger Duggar kids. Jana, who is the family’s best cook, is given the handicap of working with the boys. Jackson and Tyler are paired up to create the decorations while Jana goes at the cake solo.

Jessa could not care less about the entire competition. She doesn’t have a mixer; she doesn’t have decorations, so she figures YOLO and mashes up some bananas. She tells the cameras that she’s gone with a banana cake because it was the first recipe that popped up on Google. We like that girl’s style.

Jana and Kendra both opt for pumpkin cakes, while Lauren gives a traditional sugar-free vanilla cake a whirl. Lauren, the gluten-free goddess, can’t manage to get her eggs out of the carton, while Kendra’s cake literally crumbles upon extraction from the pan. Things went pretty well, apparently.

The Duggar girls cannot bake

What did everyone learn from the cake baking competition? Well, the Duggar girls are not going to be starring in a baking show anytime soon. John and Abbie manage to force down all of the cakes, some more easilythan others. Jessa’s “rotten on the inside” cake had John seriously reconsidering his life based on the look on his face, while Kendra and her teammate had a bit of difficulty in keeping their cake from crumbling before everyone’s eyes.

In the end, Abbie and John seem less than thrilled with any of the final products, and likely won’t be having a groom’s cake at their wedding. It’s probably for the best. Figuring out one sugar-free, gluten-free cake seems like a big enough challenge for any baker, let alone two. 

Jana’s cake eventually took home best in show, probably because she broke the rules and used fondant to make it look presentable. John, however, could have done without the 10-minute aftertaste. Jessa’s cake was pretty but tasted genuinely awful. Kendra won for the best tasting option, and Lauren took home most creative.

Josiah and Lauren’s big loss

While everyone was hanging out at the cake tasting contest, Josiah and Lauren were at home dealing with their miscarriage. In a poignant interview segment, Lauren rehashes what happened. Josiah provided his own insights, but Lauren’s take on the experience was heart-wrenching.

She did tell the interviewer that she was happy they announced the pregnancy so early, as the entire family rallied around them. They are still looking forward to starting a family, but she did note that the loss of their first child will always sting.

Jeremy and Jinger, plus one

Back in Laredo, Jeremy and Jinger are still getting the hang of parenting. They take adorable Felicity for a check-in with the midwife who walked them through their pregnancy. Gorgeous as ever, Jinger seems to be settling into motherhood just fine, even though she hasn’t slept. Parenthood looks good on Jeremy, too, who expertly places Felicity’s footprints on the office wall.

The TLC cameras didn’t capture much from the pair this time around. In fact, Jeremy and Jinger were surprisingly quiet during the entire hour. The only thing we learned from the couple is that Jeremy didn’t know groom’s cakes existed. Frankly, he looked a little bummed out that no one told him he could have had a soccer-themed cake at his wedding.