This year for Christmas I received a Babycakes Donut Maker from my mother-in-law in Virginia. I don’t know how she could’ve known that I had looked at this longingly in EVERY store I went to, but it’s not something I’d splurge on myself. I thought it would be a fun gift; fun for playdates and birthday parties, things like that.
My sister-in-law, Jessica in Virginia received one from her as well, and we spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s in Virginia with them, staying at my sister-in-law’s house. Between us we have five girls ranging in age from 6 to 12, so we look for fun activities, crafts and special things to do when we’re together, but especially on New Year’s Eve when we have a long night ahead of us.
Since we both got the same gift and my sister-in-law has a large kitchen space, we decided to create a Donut Wars event for the kids on New Year’s Eve, to christen our new Babycakes Donut Makers and to make yet another unforgettable New Year’s Eve for our kids, three of whom made it to midnight this year.
To start our Donut Wars, we came up with two teams based on the cake mixes we were going to use for our donuts. You can use the recipes included in the box or cake mixes. For our first time we opted for cake mixes, although I do plan to eventually try out some of the recipes that come with the maker. My sister-in-law had a Funfetti Christmas cake mix and a Strawberry Cake mix, so we named our two teams the Festivus Christmas Team and the Pinkalicious Team. We paired the kids up into two teams of two and each team had one adult captain. (Jessica’s youngest wanted to be a judge, the two daddies were judges and Jess was a floater.) To make it even more fun, the kids dressed up in funky clothes and accessories.
The two teams were each given their cake mix and a vanilla frosting, all the mixing bowls and measuring cups they needed, a Babycakes Donut Maker, and a counter full of Common Ingredients that they could use for their decorating no matter what team they were on. We set one team up on the island and one team up at the kitchen table with the Common Ingredients between them on the end of the island.
Once we got the teams set up with their captains, judges waiting in the wings, the teams got started.
Here’s what followed:
The judges were each given an index card with the team’s name on top. Each team had picked three donuts or sets of donuts to showcase for the judges. The judges had to go to each team and critique the donuts on taste, creativity, presentation and then give and overall score (just like that show we watch, Four Weddings, on TLC!) Jess and I had prizes for both teams as well as for both captains, so no matter what it would all work out. (We love our respective Dollar Tree dollar stores for things like that!)
Overall, a grand time was had by all! We found the Babycakes Donut Maker to be easy to use, to include all of the items we needed, and we loved that we had the option to use cake mixes instead of making the donuts from scratch. With that many kids, it was much easier using the mix than working from scratch, especially for the first time.
A few things to note:
1) The donuts are tiny (so you can eat a whole bunch!)
2) The donut maker gets HOT and the directions say so several times in several different places, but even still we had a burn victim no less. Caroline accidentally leaned against one of them to get a common ingredient and burned her stomach. Hello Neosporin. She still finished out the entire competition, with an ice pack on her stomach.
3) Overall it took about an hour to go from start to finish and that’s with captains and floaters. If I were doing this for a playdate I’d make the donuts ahead and let them decorate them. This would help with time, space and less of a chance of anyone getting burned.
4) One cake mix makes about 42 donuts from our count (so we had almost 100 donuts by the end!)
5) The donut maker has a very short cord, perfect for my tiny kitchen corner that has an outlet right there, but depending on your space you might need to plug into an extension cord first.
I’m glad we have the Babycakes Donut Maker and I can’t wait to use it again (neither can the kids) and to try out some of the “from scratch” recipes. There’s also a zillion different cake mix flavors out there, so no matter what our hearts desire, we can have donuts in any flavor we want as time goes on. Alex was already planning on a baking party for her March birthday, which she’s been planning since October, so this just added to her plans. I see aprons and chef’s hats as possible craft ideas!
I definitely recommend this product if you’re considering it, and so do our Donut Wars Team Participants!