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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. Amy Crockett July 22, 2010 at 2:43 am #

    I have a cricut machine (for paper) and I absolutely love it. I also love to bake and decorate cakes, so this machine is right up my alley. I have thoughts in my head of how I would use it to make the most beautiful cakes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with us. =)

  2. Reney July 22, 2010 at 3:02 am #

    I would love to win the cake machine as I love to bake.

  3. Kim Lester July 22, 2010 at 4:58 am #

    Oh Cricut Cake, the things I could make with you! Yummie Yum!

  4. Julie July 22, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    This sounds like a great addition to my “super mom” arsenal!

  5. Suzanne Funk July 22, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    There is a trick to getting the image right…put the frosting sheet down, and then stick it in the freezer for 10-20 minutes. This REALLY helps. Many people like the fondant and using mediums like Choco-Pan instead of the frosting sheets. Just a hint…thanks for the opportunity!

  6. Rebecca July 22, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Thanks for the review…. it looks like the kids would have a great time helping mom in the kitchen with this product!

  7. michelle b July 22, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Thanks for the review. I love the cartridge and I love frosting….. plus I’d love to win!

  8. kimberly July 22, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    I could see sharing this with friends for parties, and I could see our kids enjoying it- thanks for the review- it was nice to see it used in real life instead of staged for a professional photo shoot.

  9. Rebecca S July 22, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Thanks for the review..I love that cartridge..My kids would love to play with this and create thier own cupcakes and cakes..

  10. Yuki July 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    I love your reviews! Thank you!! Now hopefully, I’ll win a Cricut Cake–I just love that red!

  11. zta July 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Keep looking at this for it looks like so much fun. I would love to win this as I share my treats with neighbors and I could create fancy somethings. Thanks

  12. Olivia L July 22, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    I am beginning to decorate cakes and cookies now that I have children, and admit that this would greatly save my patience for those thoroughfares :) I did take a class at my local Michaels on cake decorating and found it extremely helpful. I’m sure there’s a class for the Cricut Cake in the making. But still, this would be awesome!

  13. Terri Harmon July 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Thanks so much for this review. I’ve been wanting to see this in action as I used to do cakes years ago when the kids were little. I would love the opportunity to play with this machine. Thanks for the give-away.

  14. Krysti July 22, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    OMG i’ve wanted one of these since last years CHA and the preview was leaked!!! SOOOO NEAT i would have never thought of something so freaking FUN to use for baking my passion.. Super great invention here thanks soo much Provo Craft!!!

  15. Candace July 22, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    This would be fun to have on many different levels. Hopefully they will work out the bugs in their product line. Thanks for taking the time to share and experiment on our behalf.

  16. abbey July 22, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    fascinating. It seems like something with lots of potential, but some problems too. Interesting.

  17. Patty C July 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    The cricut cake looks like so much fun! Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

  18. kIM July 22, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    really constructive and detailed review. I was wondering about the machine…had no idea how expensive the fondant sheets were!!

  19. Cynthia H July 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Really appreciate this review – I have been so curious about the machine and your review really addresses a lot of the practical issues. Thanks!

  20. Kerry July 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Those cupcakes look good. I too wouldn’t use it for cakes very often, but only for cupcakes. Thanks for the insightful review.

  21. Marla H. July 22, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Thanks for the review May and I agree this would be a great thing for a professional baker but I would like to give it a try. My kids do love homemade baked things.

  22. Angel Beatrice Burton July 22, 2010 at 8:48 pm #

    I love the cake machine, just can’t afford it. Thanks for the giveway.

  23. ErinK July 22, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    My son LOVES to decorate cupcakes…but I agree about the cartridges, they need a more “real people” version…cars, airplanes, trains, stars, gears???

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  24. Yaritza July 22, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Thanks for the review. I decorate cakes for family, even though I love the concept I don’t think I would get enough use out of it to justify the cost. But ones it comes down in price is definitely on my wish list. I already own the Expression and plenty of carts so this would be a perfect addition my my collection. Thanks for the chance to win.

  25. Leslie July 23, 2010 at 1:17 am #

    Thank you so much for the review. I have had my heart set on the cricut cake for a few months now. I know I would have so much fun making cute stuff for parties and school events!! Thank you for the chance to win!!

  26. Kathy Vargas July 23, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    What a wonderful idea for the creative cake decorator or cupcake devotee in your family. This is the perfect gift for the mom who loves to do children’s parties. Review is helpful information about the products and how they perform. I would love to win this giveaway!

  27. Sandi Smith July 23, 2010 at 5:10 am #

    Just wanted to mention that the cartridges you can use on the regular Cricut can also be used on the Cricut cake and vice versa. They are all compatible so if you want a design that is only on one of your original cartridges, you can use it on a cake too. Pretty cool!

    Thank you for the review. I bet they work on the frosting sheet issue pretty quick.
    Sandi Smith

  28. denise woolson July 23, 2010 at 8:33 am #

    thank you for sharing your ideas and a chance to win this would be something wonderful to win … god bless thank you again

  29. Keitha July 23, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    I think it’s just too funny that your first die-cut machine is one for cake decorating. I don’t honestly think I’d buy one of these, but I wouldn’t say no if someone offered me one – choose me and I’ll happily give you a US address to send it to!

  30. Carolyn July 23, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Thanks for the wonderful review of the cake machine. I love my expression but was not sure about getting the cake machine. You answered a lot of the questions I had and I would love to win one.

  31. Laura C #5939 July 23, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    I didn’t know the cartridges worked in the other Cricut machines too!

  32. Pam Yarbery July 23, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Thanks for your hints and to all those that added their own. I

  33. Chanele July 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Great review, thanks for that!

  34. Carol July 23, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    My daughter told me about this machine – I would like to try it out!

  35. Pam Love July 23, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Thanks for the review! I too would only do small things…cookies, cupcakes, etc. I saw a demo for cutting pie crust in shapes the other day, That would be great as I do a lot of fruit pies. They used a scalloped border for the piecrust edging.

    Pam

  36. cindy barriga July 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    This will simply change the food crafting industry in one quick step. I love the possibilities of this machine, I can feel a very high level change in the crafting world about to explode. Amazing!

  37. Roxane F. July 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    I have a cricut expression and love it. I would love a cake one but don’t want to spend the money for one.

  38. DanelleB July 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    WOW.. that looks like it would just be a blast to play with. My cakes and cupcakes would actually begin to look fab!! Thanks

  39. BrendaT July 23, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    I saw this demo’d at a scrap booking convention and thought it was such a fun new idea. I love decorating cakes but have never had the patience to work with fondant and gum paste. This makes it possible!!

  40. Tracy McCasland July 23, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    Almost bougt one the other night on HSN. Would love to have one!

  41. LaTonya July 23, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    What a great idea for ProvoCraft.

  42. Chrissyjohnston July 23, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    This would be a really cool product to have. My future sister-in-law is a cake decorator by trade. I would love to play with this with her!!

  43. Emily July 24, 2010 at 1:47 am #

    It looks like a lot of fun!

  44. Laurie July 24, 2010 at 2:05 am #

    Wow, GIVING one away?!? Thanks for the chance to win!

  45. Brianna July 24, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    looks very fun to me, thanks for the chance to win it :)

  46. jodi July 24, 2010 at 2:49 am #

    I love all of my Provocraft gadgets and I would love to have a cake too! ThAnks for the chance!

  47. Mae July 24, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    Wow, a Cricut Cake of my very own?!?

  48. Susan July 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    Put my name in for a chance to win. Love my E. Like you expressed, I would be one of those who is willing to wait for the price to go down before I would invest in a “Cake” machine. Thanks.

  49. Robin July 24, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    I am not creative when baking and decorating cakes, cupcakes or cookies. This machine looks like I could change that. It is a wonderful concept. I have a cricut for scrapbooking, and love it. I would love to win this machine…thank you for the chance.

  50. Veronica July 24, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    Thanks for the very candid review. I would likely use the cricut far more for paper than for food, but it could be fun to cut out some designs to decorate homemade dog treats. :)