Donut Wars: New Year’s Eve 2011

3 Jan
Babyckaes Donut Maker

My new toy!

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.

The Festivus Christmas Team, I was their team captain.

The Pinkalicious Team, Grandma was their team captain.

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.

Common Ingredients for all to use

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:

Some egg cracking,

Some egg separating,

Some oil measuring,

They took turns mixing,

had frequent visits from our primary judge, Abbey,

And the Festivus Team had technical difficulties with some faulty ziploc bags.

but overall, things were going well!

The kit came with its own cooling rack and fork for taking the donuts out of the machine, both of which were very important.

Aunty Jessie helped both teams.

While *some* of us took the opportunity to get a nap in before the big ball dropping later on.

Soon the donuts were done for the Festivus Team

and for the Pinkalicious Team, who actually finished first.

and it was time....

...to judge...

...the donuts!

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!)

Christmas Wreath and Snowman face from the Festivus Team- creative!

Presentation: the 3D Festivus Donut on a spackled frosting dish

Hand-chopped candy canes top the Festivus Teams third set of donuts for judging.

Pinkalicious's VERY pink donuts with marshmallow centers for judging.

Hand-shaved chocolate, shaved by team captain Grandma, for the Pinkalicious team's presentation table.

Beautiful pink and white candy cane donuts from the Pinkalicious Team for the judges to eat.

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!

All of the Donut Wars contestants and their judge, Abbey

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One Response to “Donut Wars: New Year’s Eve 2011”

  1. Jessica January 4, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    Now when we do our green themed foods and pink themed foods we have another item to colorfy!!! Yippee;0) Good Times make such Good Memories;0)

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