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[Review] Provo Craft Cricut Cake..And a Giveaway!

When I first saw the Cricut Cake [Scrapbook.com|Amazon.com for $297] at CHA last January, I thought it was an extraordinary idea. Essentially, Provo Craft took their very popular Cricut paper die cutting machine, and turned it into a food-safe one that could cut out shapes from sheets of sugar gum paste. Visions of being the biggest rock star of all the moms in school, and of birthday parties with the fanciest (homemade) cupcakes, filled my head and made me smile.

This was going to be cool, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and test it.

The Cricut Cake comes with the ‘Cake Basics’ cartridge, a food safe cutting mat, and a booklet that I found helpful. I should mention that I’ve never before laid hands on an electronic die cutting machine, so this was my very first time and I was up and ready to use it in minutes. I really appreciated how easy it was. I also appreciate that the cartridges will work for this machine as well as the paper ones.

To use this machine you simply place a sheet of very thin sugar gum paste onto the mat using a plentiful amount of shortening. The shortening keeps the sheet stuck to the mat, but it also seems to prevent cracking and breaking as the designs are cut.

I liked that I could ask it to cut one thing, then another, then another and it kept track of where I was on the sheet. I found this helpful when I wanted to program in a single shape (just to test) before programming in multiples. I’m also glad they have the plastic cover to protect the control panel. More than once I found I had a shortening covered finger and would have greased-up my keys!

So what do I think? Well above you can see the images that are in the ‘basic’ cartridge that was included with the machine. I like a lot of them, but imagining how I want to use it, I see a lot more cartridges would be needed to cover birthdays and holiday school celebrations. They have some cartridges designed for cakes, but for my small baked goods I have not seen any one cartridge that covers the range of images I want. I hope they add one made more for cookies and cupcakes!

I maintain that this is very cool – and truly if you know how to decorate cakes you could do amazing things. I don’t decorate fancy cakes. I don’t see myself making a fondant covered multi-tier cake that I can add the fancy decorations to. I see myself doing cupcakes and cookies (homemade or store bought) with a single image placed atop them. Some of the images look better than others, and size truly matters. Too big and it looks odd, too small and it’s lost. Getting this right will take some practice. On more than one occasion I cut out shapes and then saved them for a few days before applying. This worked out perfectly, especially when I didn’t want to have a car full of frosting covered treats making a mess, but would rather put both frosting and die cut down once at my destination.

Above are some cookies I purchased and decorated (frosting and a sugar gum paste cut-out) for a scrapbooking class I taught. The students thought it was cool – edible die cuts! That said, we all agreed the gum paste tastes like eating cardstock. Now, in my experiments, I have found that if you let it set (on the cookie, cupcake, etc) for a day or two it softens to the point that you can not taste it, and when eating it is like the image is a part of the frosting, not a separate treat. So keep that in mind if you’re not wanting people to pick them off and say “yuck”.

This may sound silly, but I expected adding these die cuts to make my baking treats amazing. They don’t. I find myself wondering if paper punches would give me equally lovely results, or if I should try adding sprinkles and more decorations to my baked goods when I use the Cricut Cake machine. I will need to do more experiments to decide for sure.

Above is my pink sheet of sugar gum paste. Just like the other two (in my $18 package) I did everything by the instructions. It did not matter. This sheet, no matter how I tried, tore to pieces when cut. I admit it could have been errors on my part, yet I really don’t think so. This makes me wonder about the consistency and quality of the pre-made sheets they sell. I am shocked at how expensive the sugar gum paste is ($18 for a package of three 10×10 sheets) and how limited the colors Provo Craft offers are. In short, I find myself understanding how some Cricut customers love the products, but have strong negative feelings about the expense of it all.

On the up-side, my young children loved decorating their treats with the shapes and were able to be involved in the process. For them to be so involved was fun for all of us, and a definite plus for the Cricut Cake machine. Where sprinkles and other small things can make such a huge mess, there was virtually no mess letting them apply the cut shapes.

My conclusion? Unless you know how to decorate cakes at a professional level, run a bakery and want little toppers for your frosted cookies,or are for some other reason turning out tons of decorated goodies, I’d hold off or go in with a few people and share a machine.

Will the price come down? Will there be some more cartridges to choose from designed for decorating small treats? I have more questions, and I want to keep trying and improving my skills with this tool. I am going to try rolling out and making my own sugar gum paste sheets, play with layering cut out images, and seeing if I can bring the price per treat down a whole lot more.

I will re-visit the Cricut Cake in a few months and share more ideas, and let you know how it’s going.

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Would you like to win a Cricut Cake machine? We have one to give away!

How to Enter: All you have to do to be one of the lucky winners is leave a comment on this entry before Midnight U.S. eastern time on Sunday night, August 1st. Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Scrapbook Update staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person. Sorry, U.S. mailing addresses only.

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346 Responses to [Review] Provo Craft Cricut Cake..And a Giveaway!

  1. Steph A July 24, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Thanks for a real-life review—not a marketing promo put out by Provo. This sounds like an interesting machine.

    • Debi July 26, 2010 at 11:19 am #

      I love how this will revolutionize cake decorating and especially wedding cake design! Already I am clammering to get one. Love the swirls and fourishes the most!

  2. Dawn W July 24, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    Great Review! I would not have thought about using it for cupcakes and cookies. Now I’m even more intrigued!!

  3. April G July 24, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Thanks for the honest feed back. I really like that the cartrages are interchangable. I wish the price wernt quite so high though.

  4. Jodee July 24, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    I’d be willing to give it a shot! Not sure if I would want to spend the money for it though! Thanks for the review and the chance to win!

  5. Skrapkitty July 24, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    My 12 year old daughter is a budding pastry chef and has been begging for one of these! Thanks for the opportunity for a chance to win one!

  6. Susan July 25, 2010 at 12:59 am #

    Great concept. Thanks for h
    Sharing your real experience with it

  7. Rhonda Daniels July 25, 2010 at 3:18 am #

    I was doing the Wilton classes when I first heard of this product. Being a Cricut and Expression owner I marveled at the thought of being able to do this with a dedicated machine. I still think this is one of the greatest products Provo Craft has made.

  8. SuzieQ July 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    Looks like it could be a winner. Would be fun to use.

  9. Sheila McKnew July 25, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    thanks for the honest review- I love the idea of this but don’t think I could justify the cost to my husband! I sure hope they come down in price or winning one would even be better!

  10. DeAnn Jahnke July 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Oh, I would love to win the Cricut Cake. I’ve looked at it several times. How fun it would be to decorate cakes and goodies with my daughter and grandkids.
    Thanks for the opportunity with this giveaway

  11. Bev Borda July 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    I would be so happy to win a Cricut Cake…I have been wanting one since they came out!! Crossing my fingers and toes!! Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  12. LeeAnn Sinclair July 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    Thanks for the honest review. It’s refreshing to read a review by a “real ” person. I have the original cricut and the expression and love them both. I’d love to win the cake machine to make treats for my nine grandchilden ! Thanks for the opportunity.

  13. Marjorie Fitzgibbon July 25, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Thank you for the review. I have really thought about getting one and will ask for it around the holidays. It would be great to send treats to my kids in college. My son is planning to join the marines soon, it would be great to send him and his fellow recruits special treats to survive bootcamp!

  14. Tracy July 25, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    I love my Cricut and the Expressions and think this one would be fun to play with as well.
    Thanks for the review.

  15. Angela July 26, 2010 at 12:52 am #

    I would LOVE to win this.. thank you so much for your thoughtful review.. it’s great to hear the good and the bad.. bring on the bad!

  16. Wendy Petrie July 26, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    Thanks so much for the honest review and the chance to win one. I’d have to wait until the price comes down too!

  17. Dianne Jenkins July 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    Thanks for the review – it’s nice to see a “real person, not an actor” test-drive a product for us! I’d love to get one – I knnow just the person I would give it to!

    Dianne

  18. Charity Donaldson July 26, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    So if I could win this machine, it’d be perfect! I’d love to be able to decorate with my godchildren!!!

  19. Lynnette July 27, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    Great Review!! Thanks for the honesty. They do look great!

  20. Jackie July 27, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    Great product.

  21. Cher Brannon July 27, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Thanks for the review of the Cricut Cake machine. I really enjoyed seeing it from a consumer’s view, vs. the presentations on electronic shopping channels. Even though you pointed out some negative aspects of it, I would LOVE to have one and winning it would work with my budget quite well. Count me in, please? Thanks so much for an opportunity to expand my Cricut collection. Good luck to everyone!

  22. Debbie Harris July 27, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    Great review, I would love to win one of these!

  23. Angela July 28, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    In light of your awesome review it is not shocking to read a few negative feed
    backs with any machine. I have had my silhoutte for 3 years now and I’m still learning the do,s and dont’s. However I can see it being frustrating when you spend money only to get a messy result. The bad always comes with the good. I would love to be entered for a chance to win a machine. Never know, one more point of view could crack the code of cutting gum paste with ease.

  24. Sue Stroud July 28, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    I don’t do a lot of baking, but this would give me a reason to start, right? My grandkids would love it. Thanks for the review and the chance to win one.

  25. Sabine SR July 28, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    I just started into the fondant-decorating and would love to win this machine, since I am in deep love with my cricut expression, best buy I ever did!

  26. Jeanette Hosick July 28, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    This machine is totally AWESOME I,ve seen some demos on it and it looks like so much fun I would love to be able to play!

  27. Erin Glee July 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    May did a great job of reveiwing the Cricut Cake. I’m curious to see how rolling out her own paste goes… and the taste “like cardstock” cracked me up!
    Thank you for a chance to win!

  28. Colleen July 28, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    Thanks for such a helpful review. I was considering how much I use I would get out of this as a casual user and this answered a lot of my questions. As I suspected, I might have some fun with this one day if the price comes down (or I win one), but for now I think I’ll stick to making paper decorations on my Cricut that I can stick into the top of cupcakes. Thanks!

  29. Susan Carolfi July 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Would be interesting to have a cricut cake machine! LIKE THEY SAY WE CAN HAVE OUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO! Decorate a paper wedding cake on my cricut expression for a wedding album, and then decorate a eatable wedding cake to enjoy. What more could we ask for? Thanks for all the inspiration!

  30. Hillary July 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    I have been wondering about this machine since it hit the market! Thanks for your review on it!

  31. Jen Bowman July 28, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Thanks for the review! What an interesting product.

  32. Kathy July 28, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    If it is anything like my regular Cricut, it takes a little practice but once you are comfortable–it is great!

  33. Tilly Adams July 29, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    I love the concept and your review is great! I just wonder if my regular cricut could do the job. Things that make you go hhhhhmmmm.
    I would love to win one to use in all my crafting madness!

  34. Erin July 29, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    I LOVE provocraft. They are so ingenius. I have used the cricut expression and was amazed at how simple it was.

  35. serena July 29, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    enjoyed your review. honest. You mentioned that the cartridge for the cake cricut can be used in the paper cricut – can the reverse work too? could my cartridges for my paper cricut work in the cake cricut?

  36. Neysa Watson July 30, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    This looks like such a cool machine. I would have so much fun decorating cakes and cupcakes with my daughter. Thanks for chance to win it.

  37. martine morris July 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Having nine kid’s, I learned to decorate cakes years ago. With fondant becoming so much easier to get, and a lot better tasting, I have changed the way I decorate cakes. This machine would take this to a much higher level. The idea that we can use other Cricut cartridges, excites me and makes me want this machine so much more!

  38. Victoria B. July 31, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    Thanks for the review! And what a great machine, would love to make cookies with this!

  39. Carol S. July 31, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    I would love to try this machine. I have been working with fondant that I had to cut by hand using paper templates and cookie cutters, I just knew there had to be an easier way. You mentioned that the colors were limited for the gum paste sheets, remember you can always paint them with the spray food color (just mist very lightly). Thank you for the honest review.

  40. Joan V. July 31, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    This machine is awesome!

  41. Terri Cannell August 1, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    I think this cutter has possibilities. I have made fondant covered cakes and, once you have the right consistancy of fondant (which is tricky) and you keep it cold (that’s maybe what happened wrong with yours, Nancy?) it is a joy to work with… smooth as butta’!! I think it’s awesome that provocraft made this quirky, limited numbered segment-of-their-consumer-base product. (if that makes sense, LOL!)

  42. Kim Olea August 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    I think PC is going all out trying to capture the imagination of lots of different kinds of people!

  43. Ellen S. Jarvis August 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    I’ve been using the Cricut Expression for almost a year now and am always surprised how it ignites my creativity and makes projects easier. I didn’t think I’d want a Cricut Cake because I’m not that much of a baker. BUT, this weekend, I attended a Creating Keepsakes Convention and met the One and Only, Cricut Dan. There, I asked him a question I’ve been thinking about — CAN the Cricut Cake also be used to cut ceramic “slip” or clay … to use to embellish pottery, ceramics or to make tiles? His answer, “YES!!!” OMG, now I am totally intrigued. He also mentioned that you can use it to cut cheese slabs for the most beautiful hors d’oeuvres, burritos that you can crisp for snacks, dough to cut sugar cookies, etc … basically, anything you can get or that comes flat enough to cut. IMAGINE the possibilities!! Of course, PLEASE wash well (and everything is designed on Cricut Cake to be washable) between cutting food and non-food items. And remember, all Cricut cartridges for paper also work with your Cricut Cake machine, and vice versa. The possibilities are INFINITE!! ♥ YAY ♥ Please may I win one?!

    Yes, all Cricut cartridges work on either your Cricut machine, OR Cricut Cake … and vice versa. You can also use Cricut Cake cartridges (including the cool Martha Stewart ones) on paper. The difference between a paper Cricut cutter and a cake cutter is that the Cake doesn’t have feed rollers that could get gunked up, cuts a higher but softer surface, and all parts are washable. DO NOT try to cut fondant, etc. with a regular Cricut though. Hope this is helfpul.

    The difference between a paper Cricut cutter and a cake cutter is that the Cake doesn’t have feed rollers that could get gunked up, cuts a higher but softer surface, and all parts are washable. DO NOT try to cut fondant, etc. with a regular Cricut though. Hope this is helfpul.

  44. Amanda August 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Wow what an awesome give away. I am not a baker but this would make the most awesome Bday present for my Sister. WHO knows??? I may turn into a cake decorator myself. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed. I saw this machine in action at CHA Craft supershow for the public in Anaheim…..very impressive.