PHOTO: Ellen McAlpine/CNN
(CNN) —  

With extra time at home and in the kitchen, we’ve definitely experienced our fair share of baking successes and baking fails. With all of the different boxed versus homemade options for dessert, we sought to find an easier way. That’s when we stumbled upon the Whisk Takers 3-Box Brownies & Cupcakes Bundle ($56; stacksocial.com).

What is a Whisk Takers box kit? Well, it’s a fully pre-prepped baking kit that comes with basically everything you’ll need to make a dessert. You’ll have to supply some ingredients (like eggs and butter, for example), but most everything else is measured out, bagged and labeled in the order you’ll add them to your mix. For the price, you get three recipes: s’mores brownies, cookies and cream brownies and chocolate hazelnut cupcakes. Kits are not gluten- or dairy-free, but there is a vegan option for just $4 more.

Everything is prepped and ready to go when you open the box. Inside the package, you’ll find three different boxes that have their designated ingredients and direction cards inside them. None of the directions are all that complicated — you’re really just putting things into a bowl and mixing them together in a certain order.

Whisk Takers definitely took some of the complexities out of the baking experience. It was nice having everything measured and set up for us, and if you’re baking with kids who like to pour things into the bowl, this is definitely going to be a big hit with them. Breaking down our experience with Whisk Takers, we definitely found the price to be a bit steep for the result, but overall we liked the time we spent baking, and the results were pretty good.

Preheating and prepping

PHOTO: Ellen McAlpine/CNN

Everything from Whisk Takers comes premeasured and numbered, so when it comes time to bake, it’s as simple as can be. You’ll obviously need some supplies of your own, like a whisk or egg beater, a bowl and a pan to bake your dessert in. They list recommended pan sizes for the brownies, so we went with the one they suggested. If you’re making the chocolate hazelnut cupcakes, you’ll also need a cupcake tin and cupcake tin liners, which you might not have on hand.

We set out to make the cookies and cream brownies for this review. The ingredients you have to provide are things you’d probably already have around the house. It was nice that there wasn’t a need to go out and buy something specific that wasn’t readily available. Vanilla extract was a wet ingredient that was already measured out and included in the kit, so if you aren’t an avid baker, you’re set and ready to go.

There isn’t any prep involved since everything is measured and labeled for you. The first step on all of the direction cards is preheating the oven (of course). As you go through the directions, you’ll find wet ingredients written out and the provided dry ingredients listed when to add them and when to stir together. The directions add fun twists to the process too, with little notes like “whisk thoroughly; maybe even dance a little bit.” It’s kind of cheeky, but baking should be fun, and we appreciate the effort to keep the mood light.

The baking process is definitely simplified. You’re not measuring much out, which takes away some time (not to mention some dishes). We felt better having ingredients like eggs and butter that could expire coming from our own fridge. The downside with the setup from Whisk Takers is a lot of single-use plastic. Everything comes in a plastic bag or plastic vial (which isn’t labeled if it’s recyclable or not). Because everything comes in its own separate packaging, we threw away four single-use plastic bags just for the cookies and cream brownies and put the recipe’s four plastic vials in the recycling bin.

PHOTO: Ellen McAlpine/CNN

Once everything was whisked together, we poured it into the baking tray. The batter was pretty thick, the kind of thick where you consider adding more of a liquid ingredient but don’t because you don’t want to mess it up. We stuck to the directions and didn’t add everything. We placed the cookies on the bottom of the pan and spread the batter out over them. It was a little difficult to make sure everything was even, but we did the best we could. The dishes we were left with were our mixing bowl, the whisk, the measuring cup we used for the oil and the spatula we used to spread the batter. The dishes weren’t much to complain about, which is definitely a win for us.

The taste test

PHOTO: Ellen McAlpine/CNN

The directions said to bake the brownies in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. When we took the brownies out after 40 minutes and stuck a knife in to see if they were cooked all the way through, they weren’t, so we stuck them back in for the remaining five minutes. Like we mentioned, the batter had been pretty thick, so we wanted to make sure it cooked all of the way through. Unfortunately, they came out a little dry after that. While Whisk Takers takes the measurement and prep work out of baking, the experimenting with bake times is still up to you.

We’ll come out and say it: They weren’t the best brownies we’ve ever had. They were good — don’t get us wrong — but not anything that blew our mind. The cocoa powder included was a flavor that definitely came through. It was a different kind of chocolate flavor than you’d get from another boxed brownie mix. The cookies that were placed at the bottom of the dish for the cookies and cream brownies were actually pretty good. It was creamy and delicious, and a nice contrast to the actual brownie itself. They had a little bit of frosting or powdered sugar on them (it was hard to tell what the flavor was, and it wasn’t listed). We definitely liked them, though!

Final thoughts

Whisk Takers definitely makes baking a little less complicated and a little more fun with recipes above your standard boxed dessert expectations. That being said, the flavors weren’t anything above and beyond, and there was a lot of single-use plastic (as opposed to the single plastic bag you’d find in other boxed mixes). And, at a cost of $56, you’re paying a pretty steep price for your dessert.

If you’re not big on baking, Whisk Takers definitely makes things easier and removes a lot of the guesswork. The price is steep for the final product, but if you’re looking for an easier way to make more complicated baked goods, this is a solid option.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.