Easy Bake Oven: Nostalgia For Mom, Fun For Kids

02/12/2009 at 11:00 AM ET

I can still picture the orange, brown and white Easy-Bake Oven that I coveted for years in the late seventies. I never did get one, which may be why I was so excited to try out the modern version ($26) – silver, white, and fuchsia (or turquoise) these days – with my daughters.

The box trumpets the fact that the “classic” is back, hitting the product’s target demographic (me) right in the heart. And it really couldn’t be easier or simpler: My girls mixed the dough (several kinds of cake or cookies dough come with the oven) and put it in the tiny pan. I used the pan pusher to gently slide it into the preheated oven (so satisfying to finally get to do that!). We waited 10 minutes while that famous light bulb did its work, then pushed our finished delicacies out the other side. The diminutive cookies and cakes are actually quite perfect for tea parties. What can I say? It’s all I dreamed it would be.

— Tracy

Danielle adds: Like Tracy, I always wanted an Easy-Bake Oven so I tried it out as well. The product is now called Easy-Bake Oven and Snack Center, alluding to the myriad “meals” you can cook with it. In addition to the many cakes (some co-branded with Betty Crocker!), you can make doughnuts and waffles, s’mores, muffin tops (because they’re the best part!), brownies, and cookies. I’ve also seen pizzas and Cinnabon mixes, though they may have been discontinued. They even have an auto-ship program that ships mixes and tools every eight weeks ($60), baker’s hat and apron ($13), tool kit ($10) and a frosting pen kit ($16) which allows your little baker to get really creative with kid-sized tools. All mixes are $6 which is pretty steep for two teeny little cakes but it’s more about the activity and experience. Though I didn’t try them, I am aware that there are sites that list recipes for making your own Easy-Bake Oven treats from scratch or from a regular mix, though you should proceed at your own risk!

While it’s recommended for kids eight and older that doesn’t mean younger kids can’t enjoy it as long as you do most of the work. You’re using a 100-watt lightbulb which gets very hot and though there’s no way to touch the bulb directly, the whole shebang does get pretty warm. An eight year old would know better than to touch it if you told them they would get burned, but a three, four, five or six year old? Maybe not.

Anya, now 3, and I baked a yellow cake and a chocolate chip cookie together. She didn’t understand the whole cooking process so she wanted to eat it as soon as we put the batter in the tin! You also have to wait another ten minutes for it to cool after baking and she didn’t understand that either. However, she really enjoyed the mixing, pouring and eating parts. Even my gourmand husband thought the final product was tasty.

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Carla on

I am looking forward to buying the easy-bake!!!
For my son, his 4th birthday is arriving soon.
Easy-bake shouldn’t just be for girls! Boys can use them too! He enjoys helping me bake and cook, and my future daughter-in-law will thank me.

Chel on

I LOVED my Easy Bake Oven!!! Mine was white, black, and pink.

JK on

I always wanted one of these at my desk when I was working. I wanted to just make a batch of cupcakes or cookies right there next to my computer…maybe when I’m no longer a SAHM and I’m back at work with a desk job…my poor coworkers!

XOXO on

I LOVED my easy bake oven when I was little and I am very excited to buy it for my 6 year old, she did not get it this past xmas, but I am planning to buy it for her next xmas (2009) she will be 7 so she is at that perfect age!

kristen on

All I remember about the easy bake oven that I had in the mid 90’s was that they didn’t really bake and they were dangerous and messy.

andrea on

They are not dangerous or messy, lighten up and have some fun. My daughter is 5 and she loves when we bake goodies together, and as long as you follow the directions properly they bake just fine.

tee on

“I am looking forward to buying the easy-bake!!!
For my son, his 4th birthday is arriving soon.
Easy-bake shouldn’t just be for girls! Boys can use them too! He enjoys helping me bake and cook, and my future daughter-in-law will thank me.”

Thank you, Carla!!! Too many moms (and dads) keep these outdated gender roles alive. I love how women are pursuing many professions which we were denied entry into before, but on the flip side, a lot of parents–and it’s usually moms, since we are still the primary caregivers–are still perpetuating staid homemaking roles. Boys need to be in the kitchen; I have no plans of having little children and a grown man to take care of, as well.

Jared Snyard on

Shouldn’t it be called Easy Bake Microwave Oven. Since that is what it looks like. But it is great to have it come back.

Leslie on

I have to admit, I am not a fan. We got my 8 year old one for Christmas, and have not been able to successfully make anything! The recipe only asks for minute amounts of water to be added to the powdered mix, which isn’t nearly enough to turn it into a batter – it’s still just powder. Then if we add enough water to make it into a batter, it’s still not enough batter to make a little cake or cookie, or whatever. Just a little overcooked lump. She gets so frustrated. I think we’ll stick to Duncan Hines….. she has just as much fun even though I’m in charge of the oven, and the stuff actually tastes good!

Silvermouse on

Have your kids help you out in the kitchen making real cookies, and decorating them. Hate to be negative, but I NEVER used my easy-bake oven. Plus cookies made from scratch taste so much better🙂

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