Easy Bake Ovens Through The Years: An Unbanned Toy

Whatever happened to the Easy Bake Oven? Easy Bake Ovens through the years have had many changes to make the toy more appealing and safe for children. Easy Bake Ovens are a popular and classic toy with an interesting tale behind them.

The story of Easy Bake Ovens is about innovation and inspiring kids to follow their dreams. In this episode, we talk all about Easy Bake Ovens through the years, if Easy Bake Ovens are discontinued, and Easy Bake Oven recipes.

The original Easy Bake Oven was invented in 1963 by toymaker Ronald Howes.

street vendors selling hot pretzels

Howes was inspired by street vendors who used heat lamps to serve hot pretzels.

The original design of the Easy Bake oven used two incandescent light bulbs inside. Incandescent light bulbs become hot to the touch, so they are good for keeping food warm. The original Easy Bake oven design also featured a four-burner stove.

A typical Easy Bake Oven comes with a various specially-portioned dry baking mixes, a small baking sheet and a plastic arm to handle the pan once it’s in the baking chamber. The plastic arm was added after many children who played with the toy had burnt themselves by accident. The Easy Bake oven was inducted into the Museum of Play in 2006.

original easy bake oven design

Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs were invented by Thomas Edison in 1880. Incandescent light bulbs become hot to the touch, which is why they were used in the original Easy Bake Oven design. Inside of an Easy Bake Oven, the incandescent light bulbs could reach up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. However, things had to change in 2007.

thomas edison invented the incandescent light bulb

President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. This did not ban the use of incandescent light bulbs, but called for more energy-efficient light bulbs. Specifically, 25% more effective use of energy. In 2022, President Biden implemented new rules for light bulbs that will require lightbulbs that emit 45 lumens per watt, an even more effective use of energy. LED lights, for example, are much more efficient with energy use and they do not become hot to touch. 

Easy Bake Redesign

Once the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was signed, the toymaking company Hasbro needed to find a replacement for the 100-watt incandescent light bulbs that used to heat their ovens.

Boys Who Bake

In 2002, the Queasy Bake Cookerator was released and marketed more towards boys intended to make gross recipes like “Oldy Moldy Cake,” “Mud Pudding” and “Bugs Worms.” The Queasy Bake Cookerator was not on shelves for long, and was shortly after discontinued.

The Easy Bake oven was sold in many colors, but predominantly pink. That was, until 12-year-old McKenna Pope started a petition on change.org for gender-neutral colored toys. McKenna wanted to encourage her little brother to follow his dreams of becoming a baker. The petition received 44,829 signatures. In 2012, Hasbro announced the release of a black and silver toy.

Easy Bake Oven Recipes

Light Bulb Baking is a book about the history of the Easy Bake oven. The book has pictures of all of the different model and different easy bake oven recipes. The book was published in 2013 to celebrate the toy’s 50th year anniversary.

Here is a list of official Hasbro Easy Bake recipes:

  • Cheese pizza (garlic herb cheese and egg washed crust)
  • Whoopie pie (chocolate brownie with vanilla frosting)
  • Red velvet cake
  • Strawberry cake
  • Pretzels
  • Cookies

This episode’s creative challenge is to create a tiny dessert.

creative challenge

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