Product Review: BKD Mini Bakers Club Monthly Subscription Box
BKD Mini Bakers Club Monthly Subscription Box
Things We Like
- Love the concept of monthly baking and craft box
- Good variety of activities which are different each month
- Our daughter really enjoyed the baking and activities
- Recipes tasted nicer than expected
Things We Dislike
- Have to supply some ingredients yourself
- Despite advertised as 3+, a lot of tasks were too complicated for our daughter (4)
- Pricey when compared to buying similar kits separately
- Jammy Dodger recipe didn't work for us
What’s It All About?
Featured on Dragon’s Den and backed by Peter Jones, the BKD Mini Bakers Club is a monthly baking and activity subscription box aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 8. Comprising of a recipe and the ingredients to create a baking masterpiece, as well as a few activities and crafts, the box is a nice gift idea for budding bakers and crafty little ones.
What Do We Think?
We’ve had a BKD Mini Bakers Club box for the last three months so feel like we’ve got a pretty good grasp when it comes to concept and outputs. This has seen us bake hot cross bun cupcakes, banoffee cupcakes and shortbread jammy dodgers, plus grow cress animals, make cupcake case flowers and a finger puppet chameleon. Varied, to say the least!
Although we applaud the idea behind the box, it’s fallen slightly short of our expectations. That’s not to say that the box isn’t enjoyable – it is fun, our daughter has enjoyed doing them and we’ve liked having a shared activity. However, I think our overriding feeling is one of ‘it could be a bit better’.
Maybe this is down to age – although aimed at 3 to 8 year olds, we found that parentel involvement was required a lot. Usually, our daughter is capable of baking and doing crafts on her own, but there were times (e.g. making the chameleon) when she was relegated to the role of spectator. From what we’ve seen, maybe 5 plus is a better age range to fully get the benefits of the BKD Mini Bakers Box.
Anyway, let’s start with ordering. You sign up for a rolling subscription, which is either monthly, 3-monthly, 6-monthly or 12-monthly – the longer you sign up for, the cheaper the price per box. For example, £9.99 if you buy a monthly one versus £8.99 for the year.
As part of the sign up process, you can enter your child’s name and select their gender to personalise the box, plus there’s also the option to add a gift message and select a delivery date. The whole process is pretty easy and the website intuitive.
The box is then shipped out to your child via Royal Mail 2nd class and, as it’s A4 size, fits through your letterbox. Unfortunately, our letterbox isn’t standard size, which means we’ve returned home to a box left by our bins and one left by the door when it’d been raining. Hardly ideal, however we know that’s the Postman’s fault and not BKD’s.
When the BKD Mini Bakers Club box arrives, as per the personalisation step, the box features your child’s name on the front and inside, along with a few sentences about this month’s theme – for instance, we’ve had Hello Spring (Mar) and Jungle Fever (May).
Inside the box, you’ll find the baking and crafting things for this month. Typically, this includes the dry mixtures (e.g. cupcake mix, icing mix, buttercream mix) and extras / decorations (e.g. cupcake cases, raisins, jam, icing, chocolate buttons), the activity components (e.g. paper templates, pipe cleaners, stickers), the recipe / craft booklet and a separate recipe sheet if you want to make it again at a later date.
When it comes to the baking, the booklet provides a handy tick sheet of what you need. Our daughter has enjoyed collecting each of these items (e.g. mixing bowl, spoon, whisk, spatula etc) and ensuring they are all ticked off. It’s worthwhile noting that not all ingredients are included – for instance, we’ve had to supply eggs, milk and butter. This is a bit annoying – I understand that perishable items would require a different delivery method which is more expensive, but for £9.99 (plus £1.99 p&p), I’d expect everything to be included.
On the next page, there’s an easy-to-understand, step-by-step description of how to make the recipe. This also includes illustrations so that younger kids who can’t read can still see what needs to be done. As with all recipes, you and your child follow each step sequentially until you’ve got to the end.
As mentioned, we’ve made two types of cupcakes and biscuits. Both cupcakes came out well and tasted nice, however we were unable to complete the biscuits as the mixture was too sticky. On contacting Customer Services to complain, we were met with an unhelpful “all our boxes are tested, if there’s an issue, then you must have done something wrong” response. This was obviously very annoying and we had to go out to buy additional ingredients to try again.
As with all baking, there’s different methods and it sometimes feels like BKD has chosen the more difficult one – particularly when kids are involved. For instance, when making cupcakes, choosing to use the ‘creaming method’ rather than the ‘all in one method’ added complication for our daughter as creaming butter isn’t the easiest of tasks. This is another example of a parent having to take over rather than just help.
Similarly, when decorating the cheeky monkey cupcakes, your child is required to cover the cupcake with buttercream, stick on chocolate buttons, divide fondant and shape into circles, stick on eyes, then use red icing to draw a mouth. The final result is impressive, but that’s a lot of small, fiddly things for a preschooler which is likely to end up all over the table.
Let’s move on to the activities. Each month, there’s a main activity and a number of smaller ones. These small ones include things like drawing a toucan, drawing a path through a maze and drawing symmetrical shapes. The larger ones are more crafty – for instance, growing cress in an egg, making a 3D chameleon and creating a flower bouquet from cupcake cases.
This was all an added bonus. I expected the box to be baking only, so was surprised to see craft-based activities too which ultimately entertains your child for longer. Our daughter has enjoyed making these and has learnt a few things as we’ve gone along. However, again, she’s needed help. For instance, all she could do on the chameleon was stick on the eyes and stickers – it was so fiddly and faffy that I basically had to make it myself as she watched on and I even struggled.
So, what do we think of the BKD Mini Bakers Club? Well, as you can probably tell, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. We love the idea of a baking and craft box for kids – it’s nice for them to get something through the post, young kids love ‘crafty things’ and each month is varied. However, we experienced a few niggling issues such as needing to add ingredients, the recipes being a bit over-complicated, the biscuits not working and the requirement for (much more than anticipated) parent intervention.
Rather than get a subscription box, our preference is just to buy baking kits and crafting activities separately. For instance, we’ve found a couple of baking mixes at the supermarket that we like and we love the arts and crafts kits from Wilko. The BKD Mini Bakers Club is basically just one of these in a box, but at over double the price for something not as good – the crafts don’t even compare in quality.
Would we buy BKD Mini Bakers Club again for ourselves? Probably not. However, we would happily receive and enjoy one if someone bought it as a gift for us and we’d definitely consider it as a gift for someone else. Ultimately, it’s just not quite right for us to warrant over £100 a year when we feel other, not-in-the-same-box options are available.
What Does It Look Like?
What Do I Need To Know?
Recommend: Yes as a one-time gift, but no as a regular subscription for ourselves.
Main Features: The BKD Mini Bakers Club is a monthly baking and activity subscription box aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 8, and comprises of a recipe and the ingredients to create a baking masterpiece, as well as a few activities and crafts.
Contents: Activity booklet, recipe card, dry mix ingredients and activity components.
Price: £9.99 per box to £8.99 per box depending on the subscription plan chosen (monthly, 3-monthly, 6-monthly, 12-monthly), with £1.99 postage per month.
Stockists: Directly from BKD’s website.
Age Range: 3 to 8 (although we’d argue that 3 is too young and means a lot of parenting input is required.
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