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[Review] Provo Craft Cricut Cake

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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[giveaway closed]

 

 

 

 

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346 Responses to [Review] Provo Craft Cricut Cake

  1. Neysa Watson July 21, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    Thanks for the honest feedback. I love this handy machine and would love the opportunity to win it and use it. Thanks for the chance to win it.

  2. Amy July 21, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    I would love, love, love to get my hands on the Cricut Cake machine!! Thanks for the great review too!

  3. Zenaida July 21, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    I have always loved baking and cake decoration I know this machine will be an excellent opportunity to start a business in cake decoration and baking, which is also my passion. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  4. Sheila J July 21, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    I’ve been curious about this machine and I really appreciated the honest feedback. I get the feeling that I would be all excited at first and then quickly disappointed. Plus, if the gum paste doesn’t taste good, why bother. Taste is what makes them come back for seconds.

  5. Debbie July 21, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    I have an Expression and love it for paper products. I was excited to read this review and very happy for the honest comments. I definitely want the Cricut Cake machine but will wait a while to purchase.
    Thanks for the great review!

  6. Katie L. July 21, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    Your honest feedback is very helpful! I used to decorate cakes at a bakery many years ago and we didn’t have anything like this. I would love to share this with my daughter. I’m with you on this one…the fun would certainly be in sharing the giggles in the kitchen with the kids! Thanks for the chance. Best wishes and good luck everyone!

  7. Jeanne M Hall July 21, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    I have never be into cake decorating. I love to look @ the great ideas that are out there. This may change my mind about how I do my cakes & cookies

  8. Kathleen Androlewicz July 21, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    Oh my gosh I have craved this machine since the day I first saw it and thought what an amazing idea!

  9. LeAnne S. July 21, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    I would love to be able to get my hands on any Cricut machine… I think I’m the only scrapbooker in the world not to have one of my own!

  10. Sheri Riemenschneider July 21, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    It’s nice to get honest feedback on one’s first attempt at a product in this price point. I have been dreaming about the incredible possibilities with this machine, as I have the Expression and absolutely love it. Thanks for the opportunity to perhaps make my dreams come true!

  11. Cassandra July 21, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    I keep toying with the idea of getting a Cricut Cake. I love my Cricut Expression and am intrigued about the idea of taking that creativity to the Kitchen! I’m glad you posted this review so I could get a better idea of the goods, bads, and others from a non-expert cake designer. It really helps to get the viewpoint from someone like myself and the review was very helpful. With that being said, thank you for the chance to win my very own Cricut Cake!

    Good luck to everyone!

  12. Angela July 21, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Great Review:D I have an expression and love it! My daughter (who is 11 yrs old) is getting into cake decorating. I’d love to win so we can do this together!

  13. VICTORIA THOMPSON July 21, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    I very into Provo Craft products i am a proud owner of the cricut personal, expression, yourstory, cuttlebug, and the yudu and they are all fine products wouldn’t trade them for any thing. I have been thinking really hard about the cricut cake any love the chance that you are giving one away, i hope i get the chance to win this. Thank you

  14. Tanya July 21, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Thanks for the honest review. I’d be so excited to win a Cricut Cake. I love creating with the Expressions and can only begin to imagine all the fun party sets … cakes included! … I could create with both machines.

  15. Debbie July 21, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    This is just the coolest machine ever and a chance to win one is soooo exciting. Thanks for sponsoring this contest!

  16. Reba Bailey July 21, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    I LOVE to bake, but I am not good at decorating. I would love to try this machine and see if that helps. I think I would use it a lot. I love the red color!

  17. anita July 21, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Would love to try it!

  18. Lena July 21, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    I’m currently taking cake decorating courses and this would be a great help. I have cut a little golfer out of sugar paste using my E and it came out very well. However, to cut bigger images, I’d have to move all the rollers out of the way and I’m too afraid to damage my E by doing this, and I keep thinking that it is not “food safe”. So, at the moment a Cricut cake is on the very top of my wish list! How cool would it be to win one?!! 🙂 Many thanks for your review and for the chance to win.

  19. Leslie Kiley July 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    It is my fantasy to own one of these bad boys! I would love to scrapbook on food. Two of my favorite things coming together. WOW. That is hot. I am a foodie and would love to put my skills together and create some beautiful edibles. I love getting all your news and reviews of this industry. Thanks so much.

  20. Margi Lunn July 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Thank you for the opportunity to win this wonderful machine. I would like to start my own businees and this machine would be perfect for this. Thanks

  21. Michelle Criswell July 21, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    HOw AWESOME! I have wanted one of these since it came out! I would love to decorate cakes my my daughters and for school functions! Oh the possibilities,,,,,It would make me look like I know what Im doing LOL! thanks for the giveaway!!!!!

  22. Ann July 21, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    I have noticed the same problems with the sheets (expense, taste like paper, & shred to bits when cutting). It seems like rolling your own gumpaste & fondant works better, but I’ve also seen mixed results with that as well.

    That said, I teach cake decorating & I’d love to have one of the machines & be able to experiment for myself. Thanks for the chance to win!

  23. Kim July 21, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Interesting review…I’ve always thought this looked like something that would be fun to play with, but probably not very practical. Will be interested to see how your experiment with making your own gum paste sheets turns out.

  24. Betty Latty July 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Just subscribed to Scrapbook Update on my Kindle. Love Love Love my Kindle and now I can keep up to date on my passion for scrapbooking, card making, and if I win the Cricut Cake, decorating cakes and cookies for my grandkids. Thanks so much for the wonderful articles and a chance to win.

  25. v July 21, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    wow thanks for the info on the cake cricut I’ve been wondering about it since it was released. i have to say i haven’t thought on buying it myself since i don’t think of myself as that much of a baker however i can see how it would come in handy for big birthday or party events where you would want to make an impression w/o dropping all that money. re: let’s hope maybe they make it more inexpensive and increase the selections on the colors available.

  26. Devanie July 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    I’ve heard mixed results about the machine, but I would still love to give it a whirl!

  27. tan July 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    I think this machine is awesome! For me I can bake a yummy tasting cake but don’t do great on the decor , this would help major to add to my yummy cakes so they could look as good as they taste. I would love to win! fingers crossed. thanks for the chance at winning such an awesome new product.

  28. robin larson July 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    I have the Cricut Expression and would love to have a Cricut Cake too! I love the fact that you can use the cartridges in both machines! Thank you for the opportunity to win one!

  29. Mary Pfaff July 21, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    I am a freelance designer and would love to create using this new machine. Thank you for the chance to win.

  30. Dagmar J Stoker July 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    What a awesome way to continue a tradition of cake decorating for one who is a senior youth.
    (you know we still have passions but the body has stiffened) lol. The Expression has made it possible for me to scrap and the “Cake Cricut” would allow me to continue decorating food items.
    Way to go “Cricut”

  31. Karen Kilpatrick July 21, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    Would love to get my hands on this. I have an aunt who is awesome at making cakes and other desserts and would love one, but is on a limited income and can’t afford it. If I win, it will go to her. Thanks for the opportunity to make her day a bit brighter.

  32. DebraK July 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    This little gem would sure help my (lack of) baking skills. Very interesting machine…would love to try it out…Thanks for the op to win one!

  33. lenore bremner July 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    Would love to try the cricut cake! It looks like so much fun!

  34. Beckie Flores July 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    Cant wait to see it in action. Enter me in the drawing. So excited to see the new products. Love all of them . I hope i win one..
    Beckie

  35. Amy W July 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    I would love for a chance to create with the cricut cake. My kids would love to help me make cakes and cookies. Thanks for the chance to win one.

  36. Renee C. July 21, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Honestly, I’m not much of a baker, but who wouldn’t want to have one?! I’m sure that it would greatly improve my skills (or lack thereof! 🙂 We all love our Cricuts and what a wonder to have the opportunity to own more than one!WOW.

  37. Allison July 21, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    someone must know how badly my cakes look (even if they taste great). This would be a great way to make eye pleasing and delicious baked goods.

  38. Gail July 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    Just found your site and I’m now a subscriber! Thanks for the wonderful ideas! Gail

  39. Kathy Van Klaveren July 21, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    I would love to win a cricut cake–it looks like a lot of fun and a fairly easy way to master cake decorating.

    Kathy

  40. Tonia Carr July 21, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    I’ve seen the machine demonstrated, and I think it has possibilities! I think I would love to try it with polymer clay, but don’t think I could bring myself to commit the machine to it. Wonderful giveaway!

  41. GiGi July 21, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    Wow – what a nice giveaway! I would love to win a Cricut Cake Machine. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity to win. Just found your site after linking to it from another site and became a new follower.

  42. Sharon July 21, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    It would be awesome to win a Cricut Cake!! Thanks for the giveaway!! 🙂

  43. Deb July 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    I would love to win a cricut cake

  44. Mary Schmidt July 21, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    I have heard on blogs that the shapes are easier to cut if you freeze the fondant on the mat before cutting. I would love to win a Cricut Cake. I have the papercutting Cricut Expression and LOve it. It would be fun to decorate cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. You can even cut pie pastry to make fancy shapes on top of your homemade pies. Like who has time to make pies from scratch. LOL!

  45. Cheryl Haley July 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    I’ve been very curious about this new cricut. I do some cake decorating for family and friends and it’s a lot of work! But it’s all with love. I’d love to play around with this machine and see what limits I can take it to!

  46. Denice Morrison July 21, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    I would love to have this machine as I decorate cakes as my business and it would be a great asset to my business, making it faster to produce cakes. Thank you for a chance to win.

  47. Donna S. July 21, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    I can’t cook or bake or anything else. My husband does it all. He has been teaching Lexi, our grand-daughter, she’s 11, to do all these things and she loves it. I am a scrapper and have all the cricut stuff and many other items. I would love to have to cricut cake for Lexi. If I could win it for her I would be so happy but I am already happy to know that someone will win this wonderful machine.
    By the way, thanks for being kind enough to give one away.

  48. Myra B. July 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    Thanks for the honest product review and for the chance to win!

  49. Ginger July 22, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    I am not a baker or a cake maker but winning one of these machines could easily turn me into one. Keeping my fingers crossed even though I am not much for luck when it comes to drawings.

  50. Gab McCann July 22, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    Thanks for the review. I know now I would never use it but it does look like fun!