Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Betty Crocker Cake Decorating Kit

The good folks at Betty Crocker have truly outdone themselves with advertising for this product. As a result, it was a request of my older son for Christmas. After speaking with Santa, it was decided that perhaps this should go to the mother in the home and my son can get another toy instead. From the website….

The Betty Crocker Cake Decorating Kit will enable you to create beautifully decorated cakes, cookies and other treats and it’s easy as 1-2-3! With the easy to follow instructions and your imagination, you’ll be creating fabulous treats that will impress and delight your family and friends. This extraordinary 100 piece cake decorating set will provide the basis for limitless decorating from the most basic to the most advanced.

Includes3-Profile Icing KnifePetal TipRibbon Basket TipRound TipStar TipLeaf TipFlower TipGrass Hair TipUniversal CouplerApplicatorBag Retainer RingLetter StencilsLetter Holder"C" StencilHeart StencilFleur´de lis StencilVine/Swag StencilWooden Flower Nail15 Icing BagsInstruction Book

FREE Storage Box - highlighted for a reason... See below.

Decorate Cakes and Cookies with:• Dots/Balls • Writing/Lines • Confetti • Shells • Braided Rope • Loop Border • Roses • Petals • Zig-Zag Garland • Blossoms• Basket Weave • Leaves, Flowers

What It Costs
I purchased mine at the local Target Super Center for $14.95 which matches the website. However asseenontv charges $6.95 shipping and handling (can you say shipping cost ripoff???)

Ease of use 2 Stars
The premise is simple enough, an all inclusive cake decorating kit. It even has those cool bags to stick the icing into!!! However reality is quite different from advertised performance.

Actual performance 1 Star
First impressions with the kit was the clear plastic storage box. I opened the fastener in the front and lifted the lid which promptly broke on the right back hinge. In Baseball terms that’s what we would call STRIKE ONE.

The kit is everything advertised and even comes with a cheep instruction booklet. I say cheep since it feels and looks like it cost 1 cent to make. (STRIKE TWO).

So we set off on making a cake, and to keep brand loyalty, I picked up a Betty Crocker cake mix. I love this cake mix, always comes out perfect and is a crowd pleaser. However being Christmas I did not have time to make an icing so I deviated and picked up a pre-made Pillsbury icing. Here is where things went downhill….

We start with the three profile knife to add the icing to the cake. It works as expected, nothing great but still does the job. Now we move onto the grass hair tip. We fill the bag with the icing and attached the tip. We then squeeze the bag, and squeeze and squeeze. The icing was so thick that it did not want to come out of the squeezer bag thingy. It took great strength to get it out (STRIKE THREE). If you have problems with arthritis or have limited gripping capabilities, then this is not a product for you.

However, I do think this product should be listed under exercise equipment since the calories burned trying to get the icing out of the bag, easily surpassed the amount of calories that we gained from eating the cake.

The end result did not even closely resemble the pictures shown on the box or tv commercial. However my son loved every minute of it since he gave it to his mother for Christmas.

Final thoughts on practicality
I like the idea and perhaps with a thinner icing my results would be better. However I am left with the impression that this is a cheaply made product. Is it worth $14.95??? No, perhaps $7.00 if you don’t have to pay shipping costs. I also have concerns with people that have limited mobility with their hands. This product requires that you can squeeze, and also screw on the icing shape caps.

Final Score
1 1/2 out of 5 stars

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