Thursday, July 28, 2011

Babycakes Makes Baking Easy

I'm a lousy cook. There's no denying it. But I'm a slightly better baker. Given time, lots of counter space, and a lot of mess, I can turn out semi-decent muffins or quick breads. My daughters beg to have lots of baked goods in the house, and knowing I can make muffins has them convinced I can whip up any baked good in a flash.


No, I'm usually a disappointment to my kids, coming up with excuse after excuse as to why I won't bake anything for them. It generally is a big mess, uses a lot of bowls and muffin tins, heats up my kitchen, and the results are rarely spectacular.

In our case, though, running to the grocery for a quick cupcake pickup can't happen either. My older daughter is sensitive to many ingredients, so I have to carefully screen the ingredients. And most store cupcakes come with brightly colored frosting that she can't have.

I was recently offered the chance to review a little machine that promised to be the answer to my prayers. The Babycakes cupcake maker heats up in five minutes, requires very little cleaning, and can bake treats in eight minutes or less.

This is the Foreman Grill of the baking world. Actually, it looks a lot like our (much used) Foreman grill, only in a pretty shade of pink.

With this device, you can use the recipes they suggest or use a boxed mix. (Go with a moist cake mix if using a prepackaged mix.) Me being lazy, I used a box mix for my first try, but have my eye on some of the delicious recipes in the included booklet.

The girls had fun mixing up the batter while I got the cupcake maker ready.

Then we added two tablespoons of batter to each cup, plugged it in, and let it do its magic!

The instruction booklet suggested it would take 5-7 minutes for the cupcakes to cook, even when starting with a cool appliance. They weren't kidding: after 5 minutes, I checked them and the cupcakes were fully cooked!

Getting them out of the cupcake maker was the most difficult part. It says to use a plastic utensil to pop the cupcakes out, but I didn't have anything that was plastic that was both thin enough and wouldn't melt from the heat. So I performed a big no-no and (gently!) used a butter knife to get the cupcakes out. Despite the nonstick surface, I still had trouble getting some of them out, leaving a few cupcakes looking mangled.

Proof that no gadget can make me perfect.

Overall, half a box of cake mix produced 20 cupcakes, all in under 20 minutes! (It normally takes me at least 20 minutes to find my muffin pan.) After they were cooled, we added frosting and let the kids have their first bites.


I like the ease of use of the Babycakes cupcake maker and I can see myself using it often in the future, especially around the holidays. It makes cupcakes lightning-quick, and clean up is easy - just wipe it off after it cools. My only complaint is that it can be tough to get the cupcakes out of the wells without damaging them; I might need to hunt for the right plastic utensil to help me out.

But most of all, I like it because I'm now a hero to my kids, able to make them cupcakes anytime they want with little chance of (fatal) error!

Full disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Babycakes and received a product sample and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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