You love to eat cake and brownies, of course, and so do your kids but making them yourself? If baking a fancy-looking dessert sometimes seems messy/daunting/intimidating, you’re not alone, and you’re also in luck. The following baking boxes supply you with everything you need to make a treat worthy of Instagram, minus the anxiety. Plus, your little bakers can pitch right in! Read on to see which one (it could be all of them, we’re not judging) you wan’t to try today.

photo: Amber Guetebier

Cakest

If birthday cake is your game, this is the box for you. Select your cake from the website—choose from a large array of classic looks and themes including panda, rocketship, firetruck and princess.. When it arrives, you’ll find all of the baking tools (cake pan, cakeboard, rolling pin, decorating tools and spatula) and cake ingredients (gluten-free the cake mix and fondant). This kit does not contain frosting so you’ll want to buy or make it in advance (check out this no-fail recipe). You’ll also need 4 eggs, 2 sticks of unsalted butter and 2/3 cuo of oil—to add to the mix (just like with any cake mix) along with your basic mixer and measuring cups. Follow the simple, step-by-step instructions to create your masterpiece. While the fondant is not for the faint of heart, this is your foray into the world of professional-looking cakes and it gets easier each time you do it. Your first time it will probably take you a couple hours. Plus, the kiddos LOVE rolling it out. Pinterest, look out!

Good to know: Bake the cake the day or two before the party, and frost it up in advance too. Do the fondant the day of or evening before but allow yourself at least 2 hours. You don’t actually want to refrigerate the fondant at too low of a temp and it shouldn’t get too hot once it’s on the cake. Room temperature is perfect.

Cost: All kits are $55 and they ship anywhere in the continental US. Shipping time is about 1-1 ½ weeks but because they boxes do not need to be refrigerated upon arrival and are fine to sit for a few days, we suggest you order at least 2 weeks prior to your party. While you’re waiting for your cake to arrive, read their baking tips and watch the “how to cover a cake with fondant” video.

Online: cakest.co
Skill level required: 3-4 spoons

photo: SoBakeable

SoBakeable

This box contains everything you need to make a delicious dessert and you can either subscribe for a monthly kit or customize your individual box to suit you needs, i.e. birthday cupcakes, holiday-themed treats. Monthly subscriptions are automatic but you can also customize in advance. Baking kits are packed with all of the ingredients and decorations, so all you need on hand is butter, eggs and milk. And if you’re wondering how many eggs/milk/butter or want to use substitute ingredients they actually send you an email in advance to let you know what to buy so no last minute trips to the store! Dying to try your hand at macarons but a recipe book makes your head explode? SoBakeable has your kit! Or maybe you want to be the belle of the company picnic? There’s a box for that too. We love SoBakeable for their variety of options and the quality of the ingredients. We swear everyone will think you went to your local artisan bakery, or pastry school!

Good to know: Sobakeable offers an exclusive app with bonus how-to videos and lots of pretty pictures. 

Cost: Kits cost between $19.95 and $54.95 depending on the kit and quantity it serves. Individual boxes arrive within one week of ordering, subscription boxes come between the 12th-16th of every month.

Online: sobakeable.com
Skill level required: 1-4 spoons. Some (brownies) are very simple, other treats are more involved. 

photo: Foodstirs

Foodstirs

Co-founded by actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, Foodstirs baking mixes and kits are all organic and GMO-free.  Their aim? Take the guesswork out of baking for modern parents and make it easy and enjoyable to bake. Each kit or mix has just six to ten ingredients and six steps or less, so you can actually eat your creation within an hour or so of making it. They offer themed kits, including cupcakes and cookies for holidays like 4th of July, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Their kits are especially creative: think rainbow cakes, brownie pops and cookie bouquets and they are always adding new options. The best part? All those bright colors come from fruits and veggies so there’s no artificial coloring.

Cost: Individual baking kits range from $14.99-$18.99 and arrive typically within one week of ordering. Subscription boxes arrive every other month, a 3-kit subscription is $59, 6-kit is $119. The subscription kits ship around the 10th of every even numbered month (Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct and Dec). U.S. only. 

Online: foodstirs.com
Skill level: 1 to 3 spoons (depends on your kit)

Have you tried any of these baking kits? Tell us about it in a comment below.

—Amber Guetebier