Is baking a hobby or a chore?
Jan 14, 2011 (Updated Jan 16, 2011)
Review by xyzwyatt
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Makes cupcakes, muffins, brownies, tartlets, appetizers, etc.
Cons:Time and patience required.
The Bottom Line: Treats taste better from the oven.
My girls love to bake and cupcakes are their favorite so I couldn’t resist when I found the Babycakes Cupcake Maker in a darling pink color. This is by no means a child’s toy, but it does allow for more interaction and excitement with the kids in comparison to an oven baked cupcake...at least I thought so before I purchased it.
Recommend this product?
What to Make
I liked the option of using a box mix or a recipe from scratch. A box mix does make a lot of cupcakes and really defeats the purpose of having the appliance. The instruction booklet has a lot of different recipes. Some of the recipes make a smaller batch and the icing is proportionate to the quantity so there’s just enough.
Cupcakes: chocolate, vanilla, confetti party, strawberry, applesauce, gingerbread, red velvet, mini strawberry cheesecakes, brownie bites.
Frostings: Vanilla, chocolate, cream cheese, lemon, strawberry, coconut pecan, chocolate glaze
Pies: Pecan pie tartlets, chocolate cream pie tartlets, strawberry tartlets
Muffins and scones: almond poppy seed, blueberry, cheese ‘n jalapeno corn, scones
Appetizers (using a pie crust and the included crust tool): Spicy cornbread ham, mushroom bites, spinach-bacon mini quiche, beef empanadas
Using the appliance
To use, just drop the batter in the slots, close the lid, then take the product out after 5 minutes. It's very simple. Preheating is not required for the first batch, but the appliance is very hot by the next batch and makes it hard to fill in the tiny little muffin liners with a thick batter. Mini paper muffin liners can be used in this appliance but is not required for most items. The appliance is nonstick and the muffins slide right out without effort.
How do they turn out?
The treats are almost toasted. The top turns out crunchier and darker in color than I prefer. Cooking the item less time so the top isn't toasted leaves an undercooked middle.
Typically I can bake 48 mini cupcakes in my oven and I’m done in about 15 minutes. I spent literally 3.5 hours fooling around with a box mix trying to make cupcakes using the Babycakes Cupcake Maker. I assure you, the kids completely lost interest after the first 8 minutes so it was just me. I could not even leave the kitchen because I had to constantly check the cupcake maker to see which ones were done next. Additionally, it’s not an appliance that can be left on unattended so I had no choice but to stand in the kitchen waiting for them.
There is no real timer so it’s just me guessing when they’re ready. Sure, there’s a little light on the front that lights up but that doesn’t mean they are done. It also doesn’t beep so the only way to know is by constantly watching it.
The reason the box says this appliances bakes eight mini cupcakes in just 5 to 8 minutes is because some of them will be done in 5 minutes, others in 8 minutes. A toothpick needs to be inserted into each and every muffin and at least 2 of them will require more time.
I tried several different recipes that I always use for muffins and cupcakes and no one cared for the taste. The items are not as moist and flavorful as they turn out when using the oven.
Icing bag and 4 decorating tips
Homemade icing does not taste the same as store bought so people may or may not like each flavor. My family didn’t care for vanilla, but they did like the cream cheese frosting and the chocolate frosting.
The cupcake maker comes with a 10 inch icing bag and a #2 writing tip, a #26 closed star, a #61 flower petal tip and a #66 leaf tip. This seemed like it would be really fun but it became a disaster because the icing from the instruction booklet was too thick for the icing bag and I just really didn’t know what I was doing. The bag and tips are a huge effort to hand clean.
The product itself works as advertised and should last for years…just like the waffle maker that I have and never use. The appliance retails for $30-$50 depending on where it is purchased. The appliance does have great eye appeal and it “seems” like it would be fun and the treats “should” be fresh and tasty since they are made to order. Ultimately this appliance is frustrating for me to use and no one in our family seems to like the results of the final product.
The only benefit I see is people with time on their hands may enjoy making and decorating cupcakes for fun. A lot of things other than cupcakes can be made as well for those more adventurous in the kitchen.
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