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Make perfect cakes in a button press

No doubt, Christmas is the most sinful holiday. Because, is there any other occasion when you cheat on your diet and you don’t feel guilty about it?

And the cakes — there’s no resisting them. You just have to sample that strawberry layer cake. You can’t help sinking your teeth into the temptation that is Julia Child’s Chocolate and Almond Cake. You know it could lead to a visit to your dentist afterward, but you’d abandon all reason to partake of a slice of that pretty marshmallow fondant cake.

From the top, clockwise: chocolate and almond cake, ( marshmallow fondant cake (, and strawberry layer cake (

Cakes, indeed, are the best thing about Christmas, but if we would have to name a second-best, it would have to be baking a cake yourself. Have you heard of the Ikea effect? Named after the homeware retailer known for its do-it-yourself kits, it’s a behavior where people see things as better than they really are because they made it themselves. So if you want extra yummy cakes this Christmas, head for the kitchen and make one yourself. Don’t worry about it not being perfect. Since it’s Christmas, people would be kinder. They won’t bash you for your coffee cake that tastes like mud. Also, we’ve got smart ovens now like the ones below that lessen the risk of you ending up with a sorry mess instead of the immaculate sugar-and-flour beauty you have in mind.

So, with the baking appliances and tools we have here, make this Christmas one for the books by retiring your role as a taster and becoming (finally!) the patissier.

The Kitchen Hands

“Small is powerful” isn’t only true among smartphones today but among kitchen appliances as well. The Breville Smart Oven® Pro and the June Intelligent Oven are both countertop ovens (Here’s how a countertop oven works) but they’re packed with high-tech features that make them stand at par with their bigger counterparts. Kitchen novices would appreciate the varied cooking preset functions of the Breville Smart Oven® Pro. No more adjusting the time and temperature dials yourself when you need to bake a pan of cookies: just tap the Cookies option on the Smart Oven’s blue screen. You have 10 presets to choose from, ranging from Warm to Bake.

But with the June Intelligent Oven, you don’t even have to choose. It has a built-in camera that scans the food you put in and a software that recognizes what food it is and finds the perfect cooking condition for it. It’s face-recognition for countertop ovens. So all you have to do is put the food in and close the door. After the set time you’ve got a firm and moist red velvet cake.

Breville the Smart Oven Pro

Breville | the Smart Oven® Pro – $269.95
International shipping weight – 15 kg kg
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June Oven

June | Oven – $999.95
International shipping weight – 27.50 kg
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The Work Horse

The Breville and June ovens are ideal for hobbyists who bake in small batches or those with small kitchens. But if you want to get serious with baking, have room to spare in your kitchen, and money to burn, then we recommend Samsung’s Slide-In Electric Range with Flex Duo.

Like everything Samsung does, the Slide-in features a sleek exterior that says nothing but “professional”. But that’s not what justifies the hefty price tag. It’s the Flex Duo feature: You can divide the oven cavity into two sections and cook a different food in each of the section – in different cooking settings.  This means you can roast a chicken on the top section while baking Buche de Noel on the bottom. Not only does the divider allow the simultaneous cooking, it also keeps the aroma of each food from seeping into the other.

Samsung WiFi Range Oven

Samsung | Slide-In Electric Range w/Flex Duo – $1549.93
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The Artisan

The mixer is another piece of kitchen appliance you should look into if your Christmas is going to be a bake-fest. KitchenAid has an impressive line of mixers that includes the 10-speed Artisan Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer. With this wide range of speed, you can mix batter and cream to the consistency you like.  Also, the bowl can contain as much as five quarts of ingredients, so you can mix a batter for nine dozens of cookies in one go.

Baking isn’t the only thing the Artisan is good at. With its 10 attachments, you can transform the mixer into a food grinder, juicer, pasta roller, ravioli maker, grain mill, ice cream maker, baby food strainer and more. It’s the Swiss Army knife of kitchen appliances. And it comes in 50 colors.

But if you think what you need is a smaller equipment, something you can use right after pulling it out from the cabinet, KitchenAid has also got you covered. Its 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer has five speed and two sets of beaters. It may not have as many bells and whistles as the Artisan has, but it’s a very handy tool. A Black Friday lead: it’s one of the items Walmart is offering at a discount on Black Friday.

KitchenAid Artisan Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

KitchenAid | Artisan Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer – $459.99
International shipping weight – 11 kg kg
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KitchenAid 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer

KitchenAid | 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer  – $39.99
International shipping weight – 1.50 kg
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The Nitpickers

We can’t overstate the importance of accurate measurements in baking, where the difference between a hit and a miss is just a slight increase or decrease in the ingredients. So invest in a good weighing scale and measuring cups. In the Perfect Bake 2.0 Smart Scale, the measuring bowls get a digital update. It’s an electronic scale linked with a smartphone app that contains interactive recipes – the scale dings if you’re putting more ingredients in the bowls than what the recipes prescribe.

On the other hand, the KitchenArt Pro 2 Cup Adjust-A-Cup has nothing digital in it but it’s impressive for its concept. The Adjust-A-Cup looks like an oversized syringe – and works like one. Finally, no more squinting or shaking the cup to make the ingredient touch the right line – just pull or push the plunger to the right measurement and pour the ingredient in.

Perfect-Bake 2.0 Smart Scale

Perfect Company | Perfect Bake 2.0 Smart Scale – $49.99
International shipping weight – 2.50 kg
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Kitchen Art 55211 Pro 2 Cup Adjust-A-Cup, Satin

Kitchen Art | Pro 2 Cup Adjust-A-Cup – $11.02
International shipping weight – .50 kg
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The Stylists

Most people say decorating is the most fun part of baking. Don’t confuse fun with easy, though, because cake decorating is anything but. Cake decorating, however, becomes less frustrating if you have the right tools. Begin assembling your decorating arsenal with this equipment:

1. Baking a layer cake? With the Layered Slicer Cake Ring Set, you can slice the angel food cake into layers without worrying about uneven cuts.

Layered Slicer Cake Ring Set

Ankoow | Layered Slicer Cake Ring Set – $13.98
International shipping weight – 3 kg kg
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2.  Easily roll fondant on the Sweetwise Home Mat. It’s made of soybean oil instead of plastic, so you’re sure no harmful chemicals get mixed into your cake.

THE HOME MAT-The Ultimate Fondant Application System

Sweetwise | The Home Mat – $31.99
International shipping weight – 3 kg kg
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3. How you wish cake decorating could be as easy as writing on paper! It is now, with the Cupcake Superstore Smart Icing Deco Tool. Fill the bag with frosting, fit it inside the Deco Tool, and start decorating.

Smart Icing Deco Tool

Cupcake Superstore | Smart Icing Deco Tool – $8
International shipping weight – 1 kg kg
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4. Impress your family and friends by creating detailed fondant cake décor with the Wilton Modeling Tool Set. The seven-piece set includes tools for carving, cutting, flattening, etc.

Modeling Tool Set

Wilton |  Modeling Tool Set  – $34.99
International shipping weight – 0.5 kg
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5. Create fine sauce scribbles on your cookies or cake with the Lekue  Decomat Decorating Kit with Icing Pen. The kit consists of a three-ounce silicone pen, stencils, and a mat.

Lekue Decomat Decorating Kit with Icing Pen

Lekue| Decomat Decorating Kit with Icing Pen- $29.99
International shipping weight – 0.5 kg
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With these gizmos around, baking should be a less exacting project now. But if you’re still not convinced you can whip up a cake worthy of a place in the Christmas dinner table even with these tools at your disposal, think about getting them for a family or friend who bakes instead. It might even guarantee you first dibs on their tasty creations.

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