The Cool Baker Cake Pop Maker from Spin Master lets children (hopefully with parental participation) make and decorate very trendy cake pops. The catch is, no baking is required, as the gelatin-based mix sets in the fridge in 15 minutes before it’s ready to decorate with icing and sprinkles. No ovens, no microwaves, not even a plastic box with a light bulb like the Easy Bake Oven, suggesting this should be even easier than traditional baking.
Easier? Maybe. Less messy? Not at all.
My wife and five year-old daughter made a batch of cake pops as a mother-daughter bonding activity, and it went as you might expect. My daughter got sprinkles, icing, and cake mix everywhere, and my wife was left trying to get sprinkes, icing, and cake mix out of all the pieces that make up the Cake Pop Maker. (They also did this while I was out of the house, so unfortunately there’s no video or photos to share.)
Making the cake pops is an interesting, but somewhat over-complicated process. The cake pops are formed inside a plastic shell (created by sticking two pieces of plastic together), but rather than easily pouring or piping the cake mix into each part of the cake pops mould, you instead have to use the strange cranking dispenser on top to push out the batter. If it worked, it wouldn’t be a problem, but it seems like a case of form over function as it ended up being needlessly difficult.
But the cake pops were still made, chilled, decorated, and consumed in a relatively short period of time, which I suppose is what this set is supposed to do. Nobody bothered saving me a cake pop (it can only make four at a time), so I can’t comment on the taste first hand, but my daughter and her friend certainly seemed to enjoy them.
The biggest issue I have with the Cake Pop Maker comes down to value. For $25, you have the hardware and ingredients to create and decorate 8 cake pops. For $5 at the grocery store and a mini muffin tin, I can make a couple of dozen cake pops. If I want to make another batch, I can spend another $5 at the grocery store, while the Cake Pop Maker refills (makes four) are going to run around $7 or more. Or, I could make it from scratch, and have even fewer concerns about just what is going into these unbaked baked goods.
Bypassing the traditional baking process also means you are taking away an opportunity to share valuable life skills with your children. Instead of learning to bake, they are learning a shortcut to create sugar-laden treats.
On that note, don’t even attempt to read the nutritional information on the back of the box. Just don’t.
The GamerPops Recommendation
The Cool Baker Cake Pop Maker is very likely to be fun and messy for children, but much less thrilling for parents. The concept is a winner, but the execution and cost leave this toy somewhat, ahem, half-baked.
A review set was provided to GamerPops.
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