Small Appliances

I made brunch with Dash mini makers and it was painfully cute

These mini breakfast gadgets spark joy.

Mini toast, donuts, waffles, and a fried egg on a white and grey speckled plate accompanied by a mug of hot coffee. Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

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Great things often come in small packages. From petite food processors to minuscule vacuums, tiny objects like these can make adults feel like kids again. Appliance brand Dash has an abundance of mini makers for tackling all sorts of kitchen tasks, especially when it comes to breakfast and brunch.

But those of us who used Easy Bake Ovens in our youth know the cold hard truth about mini kitchen appliances: They don't always work! And I for one am no longer interested in soupy, half-baked "cake." That said, we've had success testing Dash products in the past, so I decided to try four of Dash's best-selling mini makers to make what I hoped would be a very cute (and tasty!) brunch.

About Dash

Known for its adorable mini appliances, Dash also makes some of the best full-sized appliances we've tested, from air fryers to hand mixers. The brand claims to be dedicated to helping users take "small steps every day to live a healthier life," which is much more evident in products like the Express Egg Cooker than it is in the categorically unhealthy mini donut maker I tried.

Here's what it's like to cook with Dash mini makers

Dash Mini Waffle Maker

waffle maker
Credit: Dash

No turning required with this mini waffle maker.

This waffle maker is actually one of the best we've tested, so I had a feeling I'd like it. It begins heating up as soon as you plug it in, as indicated by a blue light on the lid. The plates are nonstick, but Dash recommends greasing with nonstick cooking spray for optimal results (I used a paper towel and wiped on some vegetable oil).

Sure enough, this waffle maker worked like a dream. Each mini waffle was perfectly fluffy and evenly cooked. My biggest critique is how time consuming it was to make enough waffles for three people—it took me about 30 minutes to make six waffles, simply because each waffle takes about four minutes to cook.

This mini waffle maker would be great for solo breakfast endeavors, but not the best for feeding a hungry crowd. Still, there's something to be said for its high-quality build.

Cuteness factor: 4 out of 5
Practicality: 3 out of 5

Dash Mini Maker Griddle

mini griddle
Credit: Dash

This griddle is great for cooking eggs, pancakes, and more.

Friends of mine swear by this tiny gadget for their weekday breakfast needs, and now I see why. It's super easy to cook an egg on this griddle, particularly because clean-up is so fast—all you have to do is let the plates cool, then wipe them with a damp towel or sponge.

Another exciting feature of this griddle: no flipping required! Simply close the top of the griddle and the heat from the top plate will ensure the top side of your egg gets cooked, too. I recommend keeping lifting the lid ever 15 seconds or so to make sure you don't end up with a fully cooked yolk, unless that's your preferred doneness.

This griddle can also be used for mini pancakes, mini quesadillas, and a variety of other mini circular foods.

Cuteness factor: 4 out of 5
Practicality: 4 out of 5

Dash Express Mini Donut Maker

donut maker
Credit: Dash

The Dash Express Mini Donut Maker makes seven donuts at a time.

Homemade donuts are a luxury I can't say I've ever experienced, so I was especially excited for this small appliance. Like the waffle maker and the griddle, the donut maker is nonstick, but they still suggest extra nonstick spray for best results. The maker cooks a whopping seven mini donuts at a time in about five minutes, which is a lot compared to the single waffle or egg produced by the appliances above.

The donut maker also begins heating up as soon as you plug it in, like the waffle maker and the griddle, so I wouldn’t recommend for kids without close parent supervision. To that end, you'll also need to flip each donut after a minute of cooking using a toothpick, which is definitely a project for grownups.

I used two recipes from Dash's recipe booklet, one for the donuts and one for the chocolate glaze. Both recipes were simple and delicious.

Cuteness factor: 5 out of 5
Practicality: 4 out of 5

Dash Mini Toaster Oven

toaster
Credit: Dash

A mini toaster is perfect for snack-sized foods.

As much as I love looking at this teeny toaster, it just isn't very practical for my needs. I use my toaster most for bagels, which would frustrating to toast in the Dash mini model because you'd have to do it one half at a time. I purposefully bought a smaller loaf of bread because I had a feeling a normal-sized slice wouldn't fit in this 7.2-by-6.3-inch single-rack device.

To me, the cuteness wasn't worth it even though it did a great job evenly toasting my single piece of small bread, punctuated by a satisfying toaster ding. I'd opt for one of the full-sized toaster ovens we've tested. That said, if you're in the market for an effective toaster oven that won't take up much counter space, this could be a great option for you.

Cuteness factor: 5 out of 5
Practicality: 1 out of 5

Should you buy Dash mini makers?

donuts
Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

Every Dash mini maker comes with a recipe book, which is where I found the recipe for these chocolate frosted donuts.

Do you want the cutest breakfast you'll ever experience, regardless of how long it takes to cook? Then yes, you need these mini makers. I was incredibly impressed with the fact that all of these mini appliances actually work, unlike the Easy Bake Ovens of my ’90s youth. The mini griddle feels like the most practical product of the bunch, with ample opportunities for daily use, while the donut maker, waffle maker, and toaster oven, not so much. Dash's mini makers could be an especially good option for folks with limited kitchen storage, assuming you don't already have a full-sized model of that same appliance.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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