CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Have you ever forgotten a birthday and needed a cake ASAP? Rapid Brands, the makers of the Betty Crocker Microwave Cake Maker, claim their product is the key to having cake ready fast.
To test the quick, no-mess cake maker we turned to cake baker extraordinaire Tracy Bratton-Webb of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Bratton-Webb is a professional baker with My Daddy's Cheesecake, and is somewhat of an artist of frosting and fondant.
Throughout her baking career, Bratton-Webb has baked and decorated thousands of wedding, birthday and any other occasion cakes. However, she admits - when she's at home, she's just like the rest of us.
"I'm not gonna lie, if I make a cake at home I generally use a cake mix," said Bratton-Webb. "You can make it from scratch, but if you make your own frosting you can use a cake mix. People can't tell the difference."
But even a box mix takes time, and a hot oven.
"In the summer, even though my AC is going, it still heats up your house up a bit," said Bratton-Webb.
The Betty Crocker Microwave Cake Maker claims it can bake your cake in a perfectly cool kitchen in less than six minutes - right in your microwave, but Bratton-Webb is skeptical.
"I've never made a cake in the microwave. Not ever," said Bratton-Webb. "I'm very curious to see how it would turn out. It would save a lot of time. But I'm also wondering what the quality would be."
Bratton-Webb found the product directions easy to follow, and the process very simple.
"It looks pretty easy," said Bratton-Webb. "The first step is to add the ingredients to – this looks to be the ingredient container."
Bratton-Webb fills the water, oil and cake mix compartments of the clear plastic measuring tool. She adds two eggs to a center compartment and then tips the plastic container carefully dumping its contents into the red plastic microwave-safe cake maker.
It should be noted that the microwave method measuring tool only holds half of a box cake mix. In order to make a two-tiered stack cake one would have to repeat the process twice and use one additional egg than in called for on the cake mix box.
Step two of the process involves microwaving the whisked smooth cake batter for between five and six minutes depending on your microwave's wattage. Bratton-Webb's microwave cooked the first half of our two-tiered cake in five minutes and fifteen seconds.
Bratton-Webb said the hallmark of a truly good cake is its moisture content. Could our Betty Crocker Microwave Cake Maker meet her high standards?
When the microwave beeped, signaling the end of our cooking time, Bratton-Webb removed the bowl and stuck a knife in the center of the cake. It came out clean telling her the cake was cooked all the way through.
"The last instructions on here to flip it out onto a plate and let it cool," said Bratton-Webb.
Bratton-Webb followed the directions and flipped the cake onto a plate. The cake slid easily out of the bowl with no sticking whatsoever.
We let the cake cool a while, and then Bratton-Webb frosted the cake with Butter cream frosting to get the full effect for our taste test.
"It's cutting nice," said Bratton-Webb while serving up two slices. "It tastes just like any other cake. Actually it's super moist, probably more moist than some that I've baked in the oven."
Needless to say, this big-time baker was impressed.
"I think it worked," said Bratton-Webb. "I'm actually really surprised. Not just that it worked, but that it was so moist. It didn't get golden brown like it would in a traditional oven, but the moisture was there and it was good. I was really surprised, it was really good."
You can buy the product for $9.99 on the Rapid Brands website, or on amazon.