My Easy-Bake Oven

Young KarenEvery Christmas as I was growing up I had a favorite toy or doll on my wish list. By the time I was about 8 years old, I had already started to fall in love with baking. So, one Christmas I asked for an Easy Bake Oven.

We celebrated Christmas Eve with a holiday dinner at my Grandma and Grandpa Kalsem’s house.

Here is a picture of me with my siblings and first cousins at Grandma and Grandpa’s. You can see both my sister and I were proudly sporting our Dorothy Hamill haircuts. I was wearing my aqua blue jumpsuit, which I remember being one of my favorites. I still love that color.

Grandkids with Grandma & Grandpa

After my Grandma’s wonderful holiday supper, the kids would help distribute presents to family members gathered around the room.

This particular year, I was thrilled to open my present and find a burnt orange and harvest gold Easy-Bake Oven inside. The color certainly gives away the era.

I could hardly wait to get that little oven home and start baking. It had a light bulb inside that gave off enough heat to bake miniature cakes.  The oven came with mini baking pans and a plastic wand to push the pans into the side of the oven and pull them out from the other side once they were done.

Easy-Bake Oven

I also remember the box with the oven included several cake mixes. Once those were used up, I started experimenting and making my own recipes for cookies and cakes (that tasted pretty bland, as I recall). I also helped Mom as she made full-sized cakes in her oven and poured a little of her batter into my mini pans.

On a few special occasions, I even made double layer cakes and decorated them for birthdays. My cousin, Jill, who is seven years younger than me (and the little blonde girl in the picture above) was one of the recipients. It was so fun to surprise her with a tiny cake that made a perfect single-serving birthday treat.

Easy-Bake Oven - light bulb onI’ve saved my Easy-Bake Oven in the box all these years. A few months ago I pulled it out from the basement and wondered if it still worked. I plugged it in, and guess what? It lit right up. Pretty amazing, huh? They just don’t make them like they used to, I tell ya.

What was your most memorable childhood gift?




Finally, for tips on preventing cakes from forming rounded tops while baking, check out the side-by-side test I did to find ways to prevent this from happening.