Nov
21
2011
Cupcake Maker, Thy Name is Oven

The future of the corner bakery is at risk. The cupcake craze, in particular, has peaked. Baking at home will never be the same.

You may be curious how I know these things. Well, Sunday I saw this George Foreman cupcake grill at Wegmans and then I knew.

This is a game changer, people. Cupcake-making technology is now available to the home baker!

As you may know, I really enjoy a good cupcake. But who can be bothered to make cupcakes at home? I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of time.

But now, we have a machine that easily molds batter into cupcake shape. Come on, we’ve all been there…you prepare your cupcake batter and painstakingly hand-mold it into a cupcake shape only to have the batter ooze all over your counter when you let go to form the next one. There had to be a better way!

I also never understood how the professionals got that baked consistency. No matter how long I let my cupcake batter sit, the cupcakes never had the freshly baked quality I love so much in a cupcake. Obviously the professionals knew something I didn’t.

Enter the innovative manufacturing company, Select Brands Inc.

They produce small appliances that allow us to “bring the corner bakery into our own kitchen.” Good news for us, bad news for the corner bakery.

I know what you’re thinking. “OK, so the cupcake maker solves my cupcake making needs. But what if I need to make 4 tiny pies?”

Oh yeah, baby.

Surely they can’t have figured out the pie pop?

Think again! Also, pie pop? Huh?  

While Select Brands is working hard to solve all of the most difficult challenges faced by home bakers (one self-contained, kitchen-cluttering baked-good maker at a time), they are being left behind in one area. Are you interested in making eight, and only eight, pre-cut brownies, in a machine that does nothing else? Well, Select Brands can’t help you.

But Bella Cucina offers this problem-solving innovation…because pouring brownie batter in a 9×13 pan and then having to cut them into squares ourselves is beyond most of us.

I love the one Amazon review of this product so, so much. Kelli provides a thorough review of this little uni-tasking machine and concludes, “After trying this device, I could just as easily have turned on the oven & baked a full batch in a pan faster. Frosted them when cool & cut them.”

Whoa! What is this oven thing of which she writes?

Kelli also laments the difficulty of cleaning her brownie maker. Pshaw! As a happy customer rhapsodized in a review of the revolutionary whoopie pie maker, “Are you kidding? For the price this is fabulous.” At these prices ($29.99, but currently on sale at Amazon for $19.99!), why clean them? They’re practically disposable, just buy a new one for each batch!

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This post was inspired by this week’s Studio 30 Plus prompt:

“And then I knew…”

I made two batter, everything but the kitchen sink brownies (I threw Twix bars in them!) over the weekend for National Family Pajama Night. Recipe, photos, and review coming soon. If only I’d had the brownie maker (then I could have wasted over half of the batter! A picture of me, Dave, and (poor tortured) Chuck in our PJs will be this week’s Photo Friday.

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20 Responses to “Cupcake Maker, Thy Name is Oven”

  1. Let Me Start By Saying
    Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    My MIL called to tell me she bought a cake pops machine to make cupcakes with my 4yo the next time we visit.
    It physically hurt me to ask why the hell she’d spent $30 on a tiny machine that makes only a handful of cake pops which I expect would drag out the whole process with my loudly impatient daughter, when she can make 24 cupcakes rather quickly with what she already has.
    But you know what?
    Not my problem. I’ll just run to Starbucks once that fiasco begins.

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 6:44 am #

      Ha! You know, that was the one use that sort of made sense to me–baking with kids. Sort of like a less useful Easy Bake Oven. Sifting through the reviews, I kept hoping to see people saying they bought it to use with their kid, but I kept seeing totally earnest adult reviews (“I’ve been searching for an easier way to make cake pops,” “Brownies are pre-cut!”), which made me nervous about the future of civilization.

      • Let Me Start By Saying
        Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

        I was very busy laying in my MIL’s bed in my PJs dozing & surfing the www, but I made a point to listen to her and my kids using the Cake Pops machine for the first time. All for you.
        Firstly, the main instruction say s “do not let kids use or touch machine”. Okay then.
        There’s no mix, and you can’t use cake mix. You have to follow their recipes. So my MIL, who doesn’t bake, was thrown for a loop. But she rallied.
        The top half of the cake pops undercooked and the bottom overcooked. The instructions say this will happen.
        I yelled for my 4yo to bring me one. It was tasty enough.
        but in the end? Waste of money IMO.

        • logyexpress
          Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 12:55 am #

          Thanks for the update, Kim! I’m glad you got out of the baking unscathed. Some of the reviews I read said they didn’t bake right. At least the instructions are up front about the machine not working!?! I went Christmas shopping on Monday and saw a bunch of these machines at Macy’s and couldn’t help laughing when I saw them. I was by myself, and it’s always such a good idea to bust out laughing alone in public.

  2. Abby
    Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    I’ve seen the cupcake makers and while I thought they were cute, I also thought they seemed a heck of a lot more difficult to clean than just making cupcakes the normal way. That’s why I never make waffles–I don’t want to clean the waffle maker. However, this post was quite informative. I still won’t buy one, but at least I have a credible source if I’m ever asked 😉

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 9:28 am #

      I had not seen these bizarre uni-taskers before and they baffled me. I called Dave over and said, “I already have a cupcake maker and it’s called an oven.” Then Dave called my attention to the whoopie pie maker and my skull split in half.

      I am obsessed with Liege waffles a la waffle stands in Belgium, so we have a waffle maker and yes, my second thought on seeing the cupcake machine (after WTF) was “that looks like a bitch to clean.” I bought a new waffle maker with removable inserts last Christmas and we donated the old one (probably still with remnants of previous waffles).

      I’m nothing if not thorough, I had to restrain myself from linking to every stupid machine I found (quesadilla maker?!?).

  3. 谷 Aimee (@Ellavemia)
    Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Oh my goodness what a waste. The sad thing is, people will be buying these appliances for the holidays when they can’t figure out what else to get someone. Then they will sit until they end up at a thrift shop, garage sale or in the trash.

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 10:21 am #

      Totally agree, just silly clutter. I’m half a hoarder, I have trouble getting rid of stuff, but luckily have less trouble with the acquisition component. So I’m really careful about what I allow to enter my house, since once there, it’s unlikely to leave. Thanks for the retweet!

  4. shrinkingwmn
    Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    ah man, what will they come up with next? I am a baker, I loooove to bake from scratch (and then give it away cause I can’t eat any of it, sigh 😉 ) and I always get so baffled by the many things invented to supposedly make baking easier…uh, it’s not hard!
    what I find even worse then all those silly space filling gadgets are the various ready-made mixes people buy…that tube where you add milk (or is it water) shake it and bam! you have muffin batter??? that’s not baking people! that’s some freaky science experiment!
    *coughs* sorry about that…started to vent a tad there, my bad. :)

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 9:45 am #

      I like to bake too, and as someone who is a little on the…uh, lazy side, if I don’t think it’s that hard, I have trouble thinking anyone would find it hard. And I still shudder to think about finding storage space for that thing.

  5. jesterqueen1
    Friday, November 25, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Oh. My. God. While I agree with Abby about not wanting to clean? I so want those things. Kitchen toys are my downfall.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

      OK, I have to admit the machines are cute. But be strong!

  6. zoesays
    Monday, November 28, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    Okay, I had to double check to see if you lived in NYC because Waffle Truck in NYC makes AMAZING Liege waffles. They are seriously to die. Since you’re in DC, you probably do have a waffle truck of some kind, but if you are ever in NYC, hunt down Waffle Truck. They’re on Twitter, of course, and they are super friendly and awesome.

    When I saw this post, I was with you: I had no idea machines of this kind existed! My boyfriend and I were watching with revulsion an online video of the crowds beating each other up for $2 waffle irons at Wal-Mart for Black Friday. These machines remind me of those. If I ever got one, it’d sit on my shelf and rot. I think the EZ Bake Oven is cuter and easier, not to mention it’s for kids.

    I wouldn’t want to clean or deal with any of these contraptions. Having an oven is enough! As always, a pleasurable read. :)

    “But what if I need to make 4 tiny pies?” Hahahaha love it!

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 1:23 am #

      Hey Zoe, thanks for the heads up on Waffle Truck. I love Liege waffles from my time studying abroad in Belgium, so I’m kind of a waffle snob!

      A friend who’d tried them before helped me track them down when we were in NYC in June. They were very friendly and noticed when I ordered my waffle without toppings. So I told him how I’d lived in Brussels for a semester. It was good, but not as good as the ones in Brussels. The friend I was with said they are better when you can get one freshly made–the day we were there they were re-heating them.

      I want to go back and try their speculoos paste. And I guess beg them to make me a fresh one!

      There’s a relatively new Belgian cafe here in DC that makes Liege waffles, but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet.

      Do you miss NYC?

      • zoesays
        Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

        They were only reheating them?? That sucks, sorry to hear that. Anytime I visited the truck they were made fresh on the spot. (I liked strawberries and Nutella on mine.)

        I miss NYC for certain experiences – especially food/restaurants and some of my good friends are still back there. But there are aspects I really don’t miss like the noise and the time, money and effort it took just to be able to LEAVE and take a trip. I will always, always, always have a special place in my heart for the Northeast; when I visit NYC from now on I will enjoy every second of it because it will be temporary. It’s an exciting place for sure and I never thought I’d have lived there for five years!

        • logyexpress
          Friday, December 2, 2011 at 10:09 am #

          I definitely want to try the waffle truck again and ask if they can make a fresh one…I’m willing to wait for fresh waffles!

          I know what you mean about enjoying places that are “temporary,” when I visit my hometown I find it so charming and start fantasizing about moving back even though I know after a few weeks there I would probably go insane.

  7. Ninja Mom
    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Total waste of time (Googling), wouldn’t even consider such a crazy (seraching Amazon) thing as a Pie POP! (salivating a bit).

    Okay, really, really, you’re killing me with sassafras. I love it. This post is very giggly.

    And, I would never waste money on these silly appliances. BUT I would eat pie pops.

    My shame knows no bounds.

    Gla dI found you on Finding the Funny!

    • logyexpress
      Friday, April 6, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      I’m not opposed to pie pops that someone else makes and gives to me. But a special machine, just no.

  8. kelleysbreakroom
    Friday, March 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    I’m of the opinion that I can never make cupcakes at home, no matter what fancy contraptions I have at my disposal, as good as the ones at Crave. I could be wrong! This, however, is something I highly doubt. They are cute, though! (Thanks for linking up with #findingthefunny!)

    • logyexpress
      Friday, April 6, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      The ladies from Georgetown Cupcake have a cookbook, but the thing that is so seductive about cupcake shops is the variety you can get. If I make cupcakes at home, I’m sure they will be good (said the amateur baker egotistically) but I’ll have a dozen of them and they will all be the same flavor. If I go to the shop I can buy just a few (or 6), each of a different flavor if I want. It’s a conundrum.

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