Monthly Baking Boxes - Yes/No?
Recently I have seen baking boxes popping up all over and decided to give this a test run and blog about the experience. I love sweets but have a rule about not having them at home because I have a hard time saying no when I get a craving for sugar. When I bake everyone in my life benefits so I don't end up with all the baked goods in my house ... or I will indulge. When I knew I had some entertaining events planned I decided to subscribe to 3 baking clubs and see how they differ. Here is the breakdown of SoBakeable, MyBakersBox and Foodstirs based on these criteria.
OVERALL EVALUATION CRITERIA
How does the package look overall and are items packed well so they arrive in tact. It is assembled nicely, are contents packed well and clearly labeled. Professional signage and sanitary looking packaging.
What comes in the kit. Are all items you need to bake a recipe included.
Price per box and price per item.
Taste and Look
Low - ok taste, simple presentation; Medium - good taste, nice presentation; High - very good taste, great presentation.
Skill and Fun Level
Home cook or Pro. Can you make the recipe look like a picture or does it require a higher skill set. Fun or Snooze to make.
Do they offer a variety of products so each time I can try something different and can I select my own variety.
For me this is based on contents received, taste of the product, cost compared to me buying ingredients and making it and Skill Level/Fun Level.
CLUB #1: SoBakeable
On their website it was easy to select a membership or single shipment and pick what I wanted to get. For subscription choices were Surprise me or Chocolate lovers. Bi-Monthy shipment is 2 kits every 2 months $36.95 total or approx. $18.50 per kit. There is a purchase option which gives many different selections specific to your taste. Prices range from $19.95 - $89.95 depending on what you get and how many kits come in the shipment. I selected Fancy Celebration cupcakes with a specific event in mind. $34.95 plus tax and shipping my package came with 2 different cupcake kits (Champagne and Rose).
It was packed so nicely and completely sealed into 2 individual kits, each with a clear label. Recipe card has clear instructions with finished product photo on one side and ingredients on other. Packed really neat and professional. When this arrived I could tell what it was and got excited.
Each kit came with all dry ingredients needed. Wet ingredients like milk, eggs, butter are up to user to supply which is standard. It included piping bags as well making this kit ready to go.
2 kits $34.95 each at $18.50 which breaks down to $1.85 per cupcake. I am not including shipping and tax but that will make the max per cupcake price maybe $2.20.
Taste and Look ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Combination here on Taste at Medium - good taste. Look at High - great presentation. Everyone enjoyed the taste of Rose cupcakes more hands down. Champagne cupcakes tasted good but I could not tell any distinct Champagne flavor. If you like sweet desserts these are a great choice. Rose cupcakes had a strawberry like taste and were less sweet and yummy. Both looked amazingly pretty.
Skill and Fun Level ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Being a home cook you can easily take one of these kits and make a wonderful dessert. Patience was the only skill required with frosting to do a nice job. These were fun to make and if you enjoy being creative like me, a nice outlet. Couple of my girlfriends came over before the party and we made cupcake decorating an event with wine.
Online SoBakeable offers variety in flavors and types of boxes. If you prefer chocolate desserts or say cookies you can narrow down your selections. I would like to have some actual cake options as well.
Overall Value ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This box I thought was great value. All items included, recipes tasted good, cost is low compared to me buying all items to make these cupcakes as fancy as they were. No special skills, recipes are easy to follow and clear making it easy for a home chef and very fun to make.
CLUB #2: Foodstirs
Easy to navigate website offers different level of memberships, gift options or single shipments where you can pick what you wanted to get. I liked their subscription pricing where 1 kit is $18.99 or 12 kits lower to $15.26 per kit price giving a nice discount for annual membership, Organic contents and ingredients, they have a lot of creative recipes which look like they would be a blast to try. I selected out of this world donuts since Easter was coming up and I wanted to make something different for breakfast. Price for this kit $18.99 plus tax and shipping.
Packed nicely. Recipe card has clear instructions and finished product photo on one side and ingredients on other. Packed really neat and professional. Not all ingredients were labeled but it was easy to eliminate from all that were.
Kit came with all dry ingredients needed to bake. Wet ingredients like milk, eggs, butter are yours to supply. This recipe was baked donuts and even a silicone donut tray was included.
$18.99 for the kit which breaks down to $1.58 per donut (for 12 donuts). I could have made more like 15 or 16 donuts but instead I scooped extra into my second batch to make them bigger than first.
Taste and Look ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Both High on taste and Look. Caky tasting donuts, delicious and looked so pretty with coloring glaze over them. Donut base is pancake mix and it has that kind of dough/cake taste. I could not wait to try one, as you can see I went right in as soon as these were photographed. Yummy!
Skill and Fun Level ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Being a home cook you can easily take this donut kit and make a pretty dessert. Two colors provided and directions easy on how to make a third color made this a fun recipe for me. If you have kids this would be a very fun and creative baking time for them. Only note I would give is to scoop 3 tablespoons into each donut form from the start. 2 scoops make them a little too thin, 3 make them thicker and more donut like.
Online Foodstirs offers variety in flavors and types of boxes. In box shipment they also send a coupon to try some of their organic cookie kits (I will my next trip). Monthly kits are also themed with upcoming holidays.
Overall Value ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This box I thought was an amazing value. Organic, all natural content is huge too especially with food coloring. All items included, recipe tasted great, cost is low and it was nice to see contents listed which I could repeat again with my own pancake mix. Foodstirs has a lot of creative recipes which I can see buying for entertaining or special treats. Like rainbow pancakes. So cool. I had a blast making this and my sense of smell, sight and taste were highly engaged. Getting frosty!
CLUB #3: MyBakersBox
Not as intuitive of a website it was more difficult to figure out what this box was about. Main options are month to month or 3, 6 and 12 month membership. When browsing shop link it is all tools and no recipe kits. I selected a month to month basing it on past recipes baked with their box, paid $18.95 plus tax and shipping. Prices range $18.95 for one month to $12.95 per month for year subscription. In addition I signed up for a 3 month gift of this box for a friend ($50.85 plus $27 for shipping totaling out to $77.84 for a 3 moth gift). My first box was brunch donuts.
It was packed nicely overall. Lovely paper wrapped the contents. Professional overall but box was non descriptive with no company logo or signage.
Kit came with mainly tools and only ingredients were a bakery emulsion and frosting tube. All dry and wet ingredients with this box you have to supply on your own. This one to me defeats the purpose of a monthly baking kit when no ingredients are included. Part of the appeal to me is having what you need to get going.
$18.95 for the kit for 4 grease trays, donut cutter, emulsion and frosting. All ingredients are additional so cost of this box will go up by a few dollars when all is added in.
Taste and Look ⭐️⭐️
I cannot even report on this because I was so shocked that it came with nothing when I was ready to make it. Box itself was nicely packed but not having any ingredients included it delays the work until I have time to shop for baking ingredients. Taste will depend in large part on my ingredients but I imagine it will taste good overall.
Skill and Fun Level ⭐️
Contents provided this is going to be a more involved recipe. It is fried donuts which increase labor and cleanup. I could see this being a fun experience because of the donut wheel and frying. Recipe card is thorough and detail with detailed directions and includes another recipe on back side. No photos of finished product are included which always helps me know what I am aiming to achieve.
Online not a lot of variety represented and main items shown are tools, I am not sure how much variety will come with monthly kits. My friend has 2 more months coming which I look forward to checking out.
Overall Value ⭐️
This box I thought was not a good value for me. No dry ingredients it takes the ready to go concept out of the equation. Cost is high for contents provided. Benefit here is a repeatable recipe on your own because it starts with all of your own ingredients. Two more months to go on my friends gift so I am hoping to see some ingredients come her way. The website I though communicated baking but have buyers remove in giving this one as a gift over previous 2.
Overall recommendation from me is a YES, try it. Do thorough research to see which box appeals to you most and what kind of experience you are looking for. Foodstirs in my opinion is the most fun and creative box, easy to make. SoBakeable has wonderful variety and likes for all tastes also easy to make. MyBakersBox seems to me for more of a seasoned home baker and not someone looking for a kit. Good choice when you want tools to add into your baking repertoire.
I enjoyed trying them all. It's all about new experiences.
Be Awesome and Sparkle!