Please note: our BakeBox was received free of charge, but this in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the brand did not see this review before it was put up on the site.
There are numerous food and drink subscription boxes out there at the moment, with it possible to have everything from Japanese snacks to flavoured teas delivered to your door each month.
During lockdown, it seems like huge numbers of people have been embracing baking as a boredom buster – and for those people, BakeBox might be a fun way to try something new each month.
Described on their website as “a monthly subscription to a baking and decorating masterclass in your own kitchen”, a BakeBox subscription includes all the pre-weighed dry ingredients you need for that month’s bake, as well as an easy-to-follow recipe. All you need is to supply the wet ingredients and the tins/utensils, and you’ll have everything you need to create a full-sized bake.
BakeBox is all about giving people the chance to try creating something new, whatever their baking and decorating ability. It means you don’t need to buy enormous bags of dry ingredients when you only need a tiny amount, and they promise that the ingredients that are included are sourced from high-quality trade suppliers.
We were asked to review the BakeBox…so what did we think?
The cardboard box in which my BakeBox arrived was secured closed, meaning no risk of the ingredients escaping in transit. And as soon as I opened the lid it was easy to see that a chocolate truffle cake was on my baking agenda.
Beneath the instruction card were all the dry ingredients I needed, individually packaged and labelled with the letter that corresponded to the step in the instructions where they were to be used – no need to try and identify ingredients before using them.
It looked like a lot of plastic, but BakeBox creator Jennifer points out on the website that the box is recyclable and all of the bags are biodegradable, which shows how much thought she’s put into this concept.
I wasn’t expecting the inclusion of a piping bag and pre-cut paper to line my baking tins, but they were both welcome! All I needed from my end was three baking tins, water, unsalted butter, eggs and buttermilk, and I was good to go.
The BakeBox instructions
While the front of the card in the box described the ingredients, the back detailed the 19-step instructions, divided into how to make the cake, making the ganache, and how to decorate.
Now, I wouldn’t say I’m a novice baker – but I tend to stick to tried and tested recipes that I know. When it comes to cake decorating, though, I’m more than happy to hold my hands up and say that it’s definitely not my forte. So, I was intrigued to see if my chocolate truffle cake would even vaguely resemble the picture on the instruction sheet…
The instructions were really easy to follow, with every step described in very simple terms, and an email address given within the box so that subscribers can contact Jennifer about anything that isn’t completely clear. I didn’t have any issue at all with the instructions – and I loved the fact that the ingredients were pre-measured. Normally, if I’m going to get stuck with a recipe, it’s because I realise at the last minute that I need to weigh something out ASAP and I just get flustered if I haven’t done it in advance.
The decorating was relatively simple, too: sandwiching the cakes together with the ganache I’d made, spreading the same ganache over the top and sides, filling the truffle shells, placing them on top of the cake and adding gold leaf, and pressing chocolate curls onto the sides. I was excited about the final result…
The finished cake
I managed to time this pretty well…I decided to make and decorate the BakeBox chocolate truffle cake the day before my birthday, so I was really hoping it would be suitably celebratory! I definitely felt less flustered than I normally do when attempting to make a celebration cake – probably because much of the prep had been done for me, and because the instructions were so clear.
I’m not going to deny that my version was a bit wonkier than the picture, but I’m totally putting that down to an oven that’s a bit temperamental and an interfering toddler (nothing to do with my cake decorating ability, obviously). I was really pleased with the result, though!
And I was even more pleased when I cut it open. The sponge itself was an amazing consistency, and the whole thing was delicious – although very, very rich! The finished cake was huge, so my neighbours benefitted from having a few slices left outside their door – and they raved about its flavour too.
The toddler also enjoyed it, as you can see from my attempt at taking a photo of what the cake looked like inside…
A BakeBox subscription is priced at £18 per month, and you can subscribe via their online shop. There, you’ll also find a range of celebration cake kits to buy as a one-off, as well as the option to gift a BakeBox with a personalised card. Jennifer promises that if there are months when the ingredients are cheaper, there will be free gifts included.
So far, there have been two BakeBoxes – the chocolate truffle cake that I received, and a Classic British Biscuit box, which included cutters for custard creams, bourbons, Jammie Dodgers and Party Rings, and the recipes and ingredients for the first two biscuits.
I genuinely think it’s an amazing idea, and a great way to extend your baking repertoire and try something different each month. £18 seems a reasonable price given what’s included – I know if I’d been making that cake from scratch, I’d have had to spend a decent amount on whole packs of ingredients that would most likely have been languishing at the back of my cupboard afterwards (and I didn’t have the hassle of weighing them or finding a recipe either!) I’m looking forward to seeing what future BakeBoxes include…