- Games, Toys, and Hobbies
Girls Gourmet: Cake Maker/Cupcake Maker for Kids
Nurturing the Cake Artist in Your Daughter With Girl Gourmet Cake Decorating
Do you have a daughter who loves to be a part of kitchen activity? I have 4 of them, and at different stages, different tools are helpful for encouraging that culinary interest. My oldest has been an intent participant in baking since her toddler days. She was always happy to stir brownie mix, and now, she is a great bread baker, and is beginning studies that will include some focus on pastry skills.
Girl Gourmet products are a fantastic alternative to the ever popular Easy Bake Oven, and a fun way to expose an elementary school aged daughter to baking, without an excessive mess. While the target age of the product is listed as 8 to 15 years of age, I would say that with help, my 6 year old daughter could use the set, and by age 11, it will be a learning toy that is used briefly, then set aside. My then 11 year old received this set a couple of years ago, used it intently for a month, and never touched it again. She moved on to realizing that she could make cakes and create more efficiently, and do more extensive decorating, than the set accomodated. Thus, I would place the best age for this at 8-10, with 6 and 7 year olds capable of using it, with assistance.
Find a Cake Bakery for Your Daughter
Girls Gourmet Cake Bakery: Where to Buy
You will find Girl Gourmet Products at your big box retailers, often more so as the holidays approach. I have been observing lately, and not seeing them. You may find that as new products from Jakks Pacific are developed, older ones will disappear. Amazon is a good resource, in these instances, and at this writing, the Cake Bakery shown above is costing less than $15. Amazon prices often fluctuate during the holiday season, and as well, during the year, providing better than black friday deals on some very nice toys for kids. I actually purchased the set at $20, when it was costing $25 in stores...it later dropped to $15 that holiday season.
Cupcake Bakery from Gourmet Girl
Cupcake Maker for Kids: More Girl Gourmet Products
Similar to the Cake Bakery, the Girl Gourmet Cupcake Factory preceded the Cake Bakery, and has been similar in pricing. During the holidays, the Amazon prices can be deeply discounted. Amazon is good about summarizing price changes on items placed in your cart, making it easier to keep track of things that may fluctuate, as with these culinary toys.
Refills for Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker/Cake Bakery
Part of the fun of giving a girl gift such as the cake bakery, or cupcake maker, is providing lots of opportunity for a youngster to use it, and only a few packets of the needed mixes come with the original sets. However, you can purchase refills, which will make good companion gifts for the sets.
Alternatives to Girl Gourmet Refills
You are not restricted to the name brand kits and their hefty price tags. The Girl Gourmet Decorating set is a fun gift, but when the holidays pass, for a fraction of the cost, you will find your ace cake maker blissfully designing to her heart's content with these simple tips.
For about a dollar, most flavors of mixes are available in generic form. Occasional sales bring even the top names in cake mixes into that dollar range, if not lower. In measuring, my daughter determined that 1/4 cup of cake mix is approximately equivalent to her mixes in the kits that accompanied her Girl Gourmet set. With that in mind, she was easily able to substitute the very inexpensive alternative with approximately the same measure of water given for the kits. Oh, happy day! At ten dollars per basic kit, I would not have seen such creative energy from her, as she would have quickly exhausted her resources.
Further, the fondants were fun, but not essential in the decorating process. A good supply of powdered sugar and cake colorings has allowed her to experiment with various textures and colors of icing. Discovery is a wonderful aspect of education, unfortunately often left out of the learning process due to time constraints in modern classrooms. Allowing that process to play out in the kitchen, a curious youngster under a parent's watchful eye is able to get to know her materials well. Girl Gourmet sets are great for inspiration, and cake mixes from your grocer will allow that fun and creativity to continue!
Alternative Cake and Cupcake Makers for Kids who are older...
As mentioned before, my 11 year old didn't use the cake bakery for long, before she was creating without the tools in the set, but rather, thinking up her ideas. I don't feel that the set was a waste, because it ignited a passion in my tween daughter. Similarly, my oldest daughter's interest was ignited with use of a breadmaker. When the bread maker quit working, she moved into learning to make bread by hand. Tools can effect a change in our kids, allowing them to envision the possibilities. You never know where it will take them. Read some of the following articles, for more ideas:
You may also find some great gifting ideas for tweens, teens, and kids, linked from related lenses and sites in the sidebar, at the right.