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VINE VOICEon June 16, 2010
I bought this as a fun activity for me and my three year old daughter. Out of the box you get the donut maker itself (which is about the size of a small George Foreman grill) with an attached power cord, and a small instruction/recipe book (which has only one or two recipes in it). The cooking surface is Teflon-coated. It is a truly bare-bones setup but then again you don't really need a whole lot with this.

Setup is a breeze: Just plug it in and close the lid. After a few minutes the red "heating" light goes off and you're ready to go. Lift, fill the six reservoirs with appropriate batter, close, wait about three minutes and you're done. So far we have made chocolate donuts from brownie mix, and yellow and spiced apple donuts from cake mixes. All came out very nice. The cake mix-based donuts cooked a little faster than the brownie mix-based ones.

Each donut is about 2" in diameter with about a 1/2" sized hole in it. One thing that maybe is worth noting: This is a donut machine, not a donut HOLE machine. You will not get tiny-sized "Munchkins" from this machine, only tiny donuts.

TIPS: Use a pastry bag (or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off) to fill the donut molds to avoid spills on the cooking surface. (Be careful with plastic bags or with plastic pastry bag tips; don't let plastic touch the hot surface!) Before filling, wipe the bottom half of the donut molds with some vegetable oil on a paper towel. Use a wood dowel or wood toothpick to remove the donuts; the donuts will flip right out without any sticking. DON'T use cooking spray as it gets everywhere and is hard to clean up (see "the bad" below).

THE GOOD: Very fast donuts, perfectly sized for small children and as a novelty for adults. Easy to use and difficult to screw up; as a test I let some donuts sit for almost eight minutes and they were just fine (and only a little bit dry). It is also a potential calorie control solution; one box of brownie mix easily netted about eight dozen mini donuts, so rather than scarfing down a big fat(tening) brownie you can get a quick chocolate fix from one or two little donuts. :-)

THE BAD: The permanently-attached power cord is a potential hazard; I would have liked to see a safety cord that pops out of the unit if tugged on accidentally. OTOH, the power cord is so short (no WAY it will reach the floor from a kitchen counter) that it shouldn't really be that much of an issue. Also, the baking surfaces are not removable from the unit so you can't just lift them off and throw them in the dishwasher. Then again, if you oil the surface properly (see "tips" above) nothing sticks to it and there's hardly any clean-up.

I would dispute the claim in the description above of it being "safe for even the youngest baker". An EZ-Bake oven is generally safe for young bakers; this, given that the cooking surface is much hotter than a light bulb and has no protection against tiny hands, is NOT the definition of safe. This is not a child's toy nor is it safe for (unsupervised) children. This is a kitchen appliance and should be treated as such.

For an under-$20 kitchen gadget this is tough to beat. You can literally get hundreds of little donuts for very little money. However, be aware of the time investment; this machine only makes six donuts at a time and the average box of cake mix will make around 100 donuts. That's about 16 batches per box. At about five minutes per batch (including oiling the donut wells, pouring the batter in, cooking, and removing the donuts) that's about an hour and a half of work for a single box of cake mix. Since it does cook so fast you can't pour batter in and then go fold laundry for awhile. You have to babysit the unit and keep it going lest you burn up your donuts (which, admittedly, is difficult to do). Just be aware of the time investment and, unless you plan on sacrificing that time to making donuts, you might want to divide up your cake/brownie mixes into smaller batches.

I've only had this machine for about two weeks so I can't speak of longevity. Unless I update this review at a later date with more info, assume that the unit is still working properly. :-)
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on July 19, 2010
I bought this donut maker for portion control! My husband loves chocolate baked goods. Of course this little snack machine makes tiny donuts that do not taste like donuts you get from a donut shop, however, these do taste like cake donuts. I found nice recipes online for free. Many websites have baked donut recipes that will work.

I made chocolate donuts that did not have a WOW factor! I am a baker so I improved the recipe by adding a little more fat, sugar and salt (of course we all love that). Now they are lighter and more tasty. Next I will try a recipe for Vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting and again I will improve the recipe.

You can make master mixes from any recipe by mixing together the dry ingredients and pack them airtight. This makes it easier to bake from scratch. There is no end to what you can bake in this machine. Great for a little sweet snack.

Use your imagination and have fun. This machine is very easy to keep clean. The donuts always come out easily. I put a tiny bit of vegetable oil in the donut wells before the first batch of 6. That is all you need to do. They pop right out using a toothpick after baking for 2-3 minutes.
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on May 26, 2013
I usually give 5 star reviews for something that completely changes my life or challenges me to live in a different way. I can make doughnuts that are 10 calories a piece & very filling. That is life changing. I decided that if I wanted sweets I was going to have make them from scratch. I use a mix, so it still requires effort, but I have dramatically cut back on my sweet intake because of these. So why the 4 star instead of 5? PFOAs. Yes the studies suggest that the temperatures have to reach 600 degrees before any damage is done but I still remain skeptical. Doctors indorsed cigarettes in the 60s & most of the studies for PFOAs were conducted by a biased party. Smart Planet has a non-PFOA grill so I would be happy if they did the same with the doughnut maker.

I use the following mix for my doughnut maker:

The Pure Pantry Cake Mix, Dark Chocolate, 21-Ounce

I use the pound cake directions with egg whites only. It is really good and perfect for this doughnut maker. It seems a bit expensive but I actually pay the same price at my local co-op.

I also use this frosting:

Pamela's Products Dark Chocolate Frosting Mix, 12-Ounce Bags (Pack of 6)

I personally am used to the taste of the healthier cake mix but I realize that some may not be so I recommend this frosting for that. You can also use chocolate chips in the mix instead of frosting( SunSpire Organic Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chocolate -- 9 oz ) but I would recommend you buy these at your local store unless the price comes closer to $5 on Amazon.
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on July 22, 2015
Bought this to make donuts for the family without frying. We have a friend who is seriously gluten free and we've only used this for gluten free donuts so far. (once you use non-stick with gluten, you can't go back to gluten free). The donuts cooked evenly and came out of the mold easily. They also cook quickly so it was easy to make for a crowd of 10 even though the machine only makes 6 small donuts at a time.
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on June 6, 2011
Yes, it does make nice, tasty mini donuts using the recipe provided in the instruction book. The instructions say to use coat the surfaces with oil AND use cooking spray before you make the donuts, which seemed a bit much. I had coated the cooking surfaces with vegetable oil but forgot the spray and the first batch completely adhered to ALL the surfaces and crevices. So don't forget the spray, each time you make doughnuts. It's not like a waffle iron in that regard.

The appliance gets very hot all over, so you have to be pretty careful when you handle it. I would not let my 12 year old daughter handle it.

Finally, the instructions don't tell you how much batter to use per doughnut, and we now know it's not much! Only put 1-2 tablespoons per doughnut!
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on September 28, 2011
I have posted some pictures of the donuts that I made in the customer images section of this listing. I did the pictures of the finished product, not the batter inside of the machine.
The donuts turned out great!! I was a little nervous due to reading the reviews and knowing that I have had some cooking disasters under my belt in the past. But I tried anyway.
First thing that I did was look up a recipe for baked donuts instead of using the recipe from the book. I am so glad that I did! I then modified them a bit. I have the recipe posted on my blog at EverydayPosh.

I did not bother removing the sticker. no need.
I sprayed the inside plates with flour based baking spray. I only had to do this once every three sets. I didn't try going longer, so that may work as well. They emphasize to not scratch the coating on the plates, so maybe people have problems with sticking due to that? Or maybe overfilling and over baking? I have no clue, mine came out great.
I used a ziplock bag with the batter inside to pipe the batter into each donut cavity. I do nut suggest just globbing it in.
I closed the machine making sure that it lined up.
I waited 3.5 minutes and done!
They were so darn stinkn cute!

I have also dipped them in chocolate and put them onto sticks like cake pops which is ridiculous! I will post those pictures after I have that up in my blog.

I personally love it! I made about 5 dozen and sent them to work with my husband. He didn't come back with one crumb! Everyone loved it!

I hope that this helps.
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on October 20, 2013
I bought this for my then-boyfriend (now husband) for his birthday and he married me, so it must be good.

Seriously though, it works perfectly, and I've made excellent gluten-free doughnuts with it by simply using gluten-free flour instead of regular flour for one of the recipes included.
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on December 14, 2011
Frankly I thought my daughter would be wasting her long-saved allowance money on this thing. Thankfully, I was wrong. It was money well spent!

She's gotten hours of enjoyment out of it. Her friends have a great time making the donuts with her. And I've gained a couple pounds as a direct consequence. The donuts are surprisingly tasty.

I've had to warn her a couple times to be especially wary of the hot inside cooking surfaces, but I'm likely being overly protective.
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on March 3, 2011
Really easy to use. Healthier than frying. Less prep and cooking time. I dip in glaze not butter as suggested on receipt.
I cook donuts for husband and I twice a week. I use wheat flour, egg white and chunky applesauce. 1/2 a batch makes 18 which is more than enough for the two of us. I am very pleased with this product.
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on November 29, 2010
Just purchased this mini donut maker for my 12 year old niece for Christmas. She LOVED it! The donut recipe that comes with it makes delicious,fresh, hot little donuts, very quickly. She made the donuts, and then brushed them with butter and rolled them in cinnamon and sugar and they were amazing! Then she made another batch and glazed them. We all could not stop eating them and my niece was very pleased. Great little product that I imagine will get a lot of use.
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