Recently we purchased the Tefal Cake Factory after seeing this around the internet and used on Chanel 5’s the Gadget show, so we managed to purchase one on Amazon and wanted to try it. As this is an unusual Item but also for many a “why would I get this”, I decided to review to offer my opinion.
In our household we enjoy cake…Boo uses to bake a lot more when she was younger, and Roo likes to get involved. Piglet just simply likes to eat cake, but we have slowed down over the years with baking, which was a shame but with our lives being busy, it was difficult to find the time. Now as I’m home more I have made an effort to cook and bake more, Roo has shown much more of interest so we have largely been doing it together, which offers another question, Can a younger person use this?
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What does the Manufacturer say?
“Fed up of sunken sponges? Or your temperamental oven burning bakes? Become a Star Baker with this precision cakemaker and enjoy quality results without the stress. 5 automatic programmes set the temperature and time for a range of cakes, whilst a manual mode lets confident bakers take full control. Cake Factory comes with a mini muffin mould, a mini cake mould and non-stick tray. The free app features over 200 bakes, including vegan and gluten-free, as well as tips, guides and themed bakes.”
What do we say?
The Tefal Cake factory comes in Pink/White (would be nice for different colour options as well) it still actually looks ok, the risk of making this too kid like is apparent, and I think some may have been put off thinking that this is a classic kid “easy bake” type thing. However, with it comes a Baking Tin, for classic cake bakes, a metal lifting rack used for the Moulds, 2 PROflex moulds, and a Recipe Book.
The book itself is actually really good, colourful pictures, clear instructions, what preset program to use and what mould to use, but what makes this even better is a compatible APP, similar to book but far more detail and gives you step by step, doing a little research I’ve also seen Tefal videos on youtube, which even if you watch 3 or 4, it will give you a very clear breakdown of how this works if you are still unsure after the instructions
The PROflex moulds are special Tefal designed moulds that fit in the Cake Factory, unfortunately, no other moulds are recommended or seemingly out there to work, there are a selection available which includes Mini Muffins, Tartlets, Mini Canales, Madeleines, Canales, Minibars. The two that are given to you in the box are Muffins and Mini Cake/Loaf (depending on what word you prefer), along with the traditional cake tin are the most user-friendly and used ones, so I understand this.
Going forward I would like a couple more options, realistically why isn’t there a circle cake tin? it wouldn’t be huge but you can design it to fit, even with the moulds you can do any shape and size, and restricting people using other moulds is fine but then more is needed. However, the moulds are good quality, very easy to use, can pop out the Cakes easily, and cleans smoothly, £12 ish for a mould may be on the higher side, but you are paying that for the quality.
The cake Factory itself is easy to use, when using moulds use the metal wire rack to elevate it, when using the cake tin just place it in, whatever you use and whatever recipe you follow whether it be in the book, on the App, or using you own with your own experience there are temperature settings to help you along with automatic programs.
The App or book will always tell you setting, the programs include Manual, Cake to share, Individual Cakes, Lava Cake, Meringue, and melting chocolate. As you begin to use this more you get a feel to what to use, all cakes in the traditional cake tin use the Cake to share program, all Loaves or muffins etc..uses the Individual cake Program, and so on.
Very easy right? and that’s the thing, if you are using your own Cupcake recipe you would still use the default individual cake setting! However, don’t worry! even after you have pressed the setting you can still edit the default time! We have some older recipes for example shortbread, we have temperature and time, so for us we then choose manual, this is where you can place your own time and your own temperature, very much like a traditional Oven.
So this is the big question, why don’t I just use an oven? well ovens are quite expensive to run, they’re normally much larger than you actually need for cakes or small foods, there is a lot of wasted energy and heat, even if your oven is brand new. Our oven isn’t, we have a meter in the house so we can see how much electricity it uses, and the Cake factory is much more cost-effective than a big oven.
With its design the Cake factory is a quicker and is uses the heat far better, its a condense heat with it not being lost anywhere, the fans push it around with no loss, with a normal oven you should turn it on in the prep then when you are ready to place the cakes in, that means losing some of the heat you have already gone through, then checking on it and getting it out etc… with the Cake factory it heats up rapidly, when you place the cakes in, and start the first minute or two of the cook heats up the factory, it knows whats its doing lol!
So far we have produced a range of different things, we haven’t bought many of the additional moulds yet as this will be a Xmas thing, however we have made Muffins, Flapjacks, Shortbreads, Cake, Cake loafs, Scones, Cheese scones, using all sorts of different recipes, from own ones, 30-year-old recipes, the app, the Book, to the boxes of betty Crocker recipes. They have all turned out great, on the app you can save your recipes and add your own, ultimately if you know how to bake you can swap out what you want and how much.
Roo has never baked as much since we got this, we almost do this every week, I can comfortably leave her alone and help out on the hot parts, only to place them as she understands the manual and the set programs, as I said earlier a muffin is a muffin, they all use the same setting lol.
Even something simple like melting butter, which could be far more dangerous on a stove, but here you can do it in a cake tin, though it isn’t clear if I can use something else, a negative for the machine, i don’t want to use my cake tin but its not clear what I can use instead of this? I don’t want to buy a second one just for that…But a child will find this far easy to use on a whole, it’s not a scary big oven, it’s something smaller and something they can relate to.
Overall this is a very good item, its easy to use and great for families including kids to use, with parents help as it does get hot (obviously), if you are a professional baker or bake lots in one go on the weekend etc.. then perhaps not for you. It’s in no way a criticism of the machine, it can handle cakes one after another, but I realise bigger bakers will have set ovens, set systems etc…The moulds work really well as does the app and book, I would recommend watching a Tefal youtube video just to give you a heads up but the instructions are clear, you might feel more comfortable anyway.
A lot of your own recipes and ones in the book are designed for two cakes or a batch of muffins etc..this can be troublesome in time management, you make the batch, use half of it, bake the mix for say 25 minutes while the other half is sat there, then get out the done batch, leave it a few minutes, turn it out, they want to use that same mould for the other half….this takes time and can be a little annoying, to be honest, you will probably want a second cake tin, loaf and muffin long term, let alone the rest.
You could half the mix which is fine but in some cases, how do I use half an egg lol, but hey this is a small issue. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to bake, it really has been one of my best purchases over the last few years, it does exactly what it set out to do, even a dreaded Lava Cake, it still will have a melted middle. It is a luxury item, you could last with an over, but with energy, time, and money saved you could justify this to yourself, and lastly if you LOVE cake! then this is for you…..