It is easy to say that all you need to make miniature cupcakes is a mini muffin pan. But this isn’t strictly true, because you also need a well equipped kitchen, baking ingredients, paper liners and frosting to really produce a good miniature cupcake. To most of us, these are things that we already have in our kitchens. But for those who are less well equipped, or who simply want a very quick cupcake fix, there is the Bella Cucina Mini Cupcake Maker.
This countertop gadget (which appears to be the same as the Smart Planet Cupcake Maker sold at other retailers) bakes up 7 mini cupcakes is just 10 minutes. The gadget plugs into a wall and immediate starts to heat up. In just about a minute, it is ready to go. You can use paper liners or directly fill the nonstick baking cups with about a tablespoonful of batter. I was skeptical about how well the machine would work, but my cupcakes – and I tried multiple batches – turned out perfectly every time.
There are a couple of things to look out for with this mini cupcake maker. First, I would recommend using paper liners because the entire surface of the maker gets quite hot and it is much easier to get them out when they are in paper cups. Second, it is easy to overcook the cupcakes if you walk away when the machine is on; there is no alarm noise (my waffle maker has one, for instance) that tells you when the cupcakes are done. Third, although it looks like it might be great for kids, it should only be used with supervision because, as I mentioned in the first point, it does get quite hot where the cupcakes are cooking and getting them out could be tricky for small hands.
That said, it is fun to play with and great if you really only want to bake a small batch of cupcakes, brownies or some other treat. You don’t need to heat up your whole oven – which takes more time an energy than plugging this in – and this gadget is very portable so you can take it anywhere with you. It’s not going to replace my oven or my mini muffin pan, but it is fun to use and works well, so whether you’re looking for more portion control or simply an easy mini cupcake fix, this gadget just might work out perfectly in your kitchen.