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Most little girls love to bake cakes and my two daughters are no exception. They are often asking to help me make some fairy cakes although I do suspect that their ulterior motive is licking out the bowl! Some things never change as I was exactly the same when I was a child! Because of this, when my six year old received the Galt Cupcake baking Set for her birthday I thought that it was the ideal present for her. In theory, it is, but sadly, in reality, it falls short for a number of reasons which I will explain.
The first disappointment is that the set does not actually contain any ingredients in order to make the cupcakes. I thought that at the very least it should have contained one of those packet mixes where you just add water but it does not. This means that you could have a very disappointed child who wants to make some cupcakes straight away but can't as you have not got all of the ingredients. As soon as my daughter opened this present, she wanted to make cakes but had to wait for me to go to Sainsburys! I was not a popular mummy!
The set does contain quite a few bits of equipment though. Firstly there is a six hole cupcake holder. Now I think that this is pretty useless because it says that all the recipes are for twelve cakes so you will have to cook in two batches. Now, no sensible parent is going to go along with that and waste gas or electricity when they already have a twelve hole cupcake holder in the cupboard! I don't know why they could not provide a twelve hole one as that is what is needed for the recipes! There is also a wooden spoon but this is very small and after trying to use it to mix the ingredients, my daughter gave up and used one of the ones that we have already got that have longer handles. There is also a metal whisk but again it is very small and therefore not much use!
I would have to say that in my opinion the most useless piece of equipment supplied is a set of pink plastic measuring spoons. These vary in size from one tablespoon (18 ml) down to a quarter of a teaspoon (1.5 ml). The instructions tell you to use these to measure out the ingredients but when you look at any of the four recipe cards provided, the ingredients are listed in ounces or grams. It totally renders the measuring spoons pointless, and why would you use them when most homes have a perfectly reasonable set of scales! In my opinion, they only seemed to have been added because they are pink and so are supposed to appeal to girls!
There are also provided a number of different coloured cupcakes - pink, blue, yellow and green. We did use these when baking the cakes (and there are a reasonable number of these) but the problem is that they are very small. You are likely to make cakes that can be devoured in one mouthful! Also, the cartoon picture on the front of the box implies that the cakes that you make are likely to be much bigger!
The most useful thing is a little icing funnel with six nozzles. This seems to work quite well and as we don't have an icing bag of any sorts at the moment was actually quite handy. There are also four little recipe cards that are wipe clean which is always a good idea. The recipes are all very similar though and the only difference really seems to be in the icing suggestions. They are no better or no worse than the recipes that you would find in a kid's baking book!
Overall I am struggling to think of anything to recommend this set especially as it costs £13.99 on Amazon (April 2011). I think that it is more likely to put children off baking, and probably the best way to encourage them to make cakes is by letting them use all the equipment that you use all the time. The only useful thing is the piping set and to be honest you might as well go out and just buy one of these. Also, it is plastic so I don't know how likely it is to last.
I would say that there are probably some great little baking sets on the market but unfortunately, this isn't one of them. It is most disappointing, although I will add a star because my daughter did think it was lovely and liked the different colour cupcake cases!