The Easy-Bake Oven Mystery

The other day, I was in the parking lot of my local grocery store ( I spend a good deal of time at grocery stores – being not just a lover of food, but also a lover of shopping for food as well). As I made my way into the store, I passed the back of a car where a woman was loading her groceries and I noticed a box tucked in the trunk. It was a new-toy box and it housed a modern-day Easy-Bake Oven. I almost said to her, “Oh, some little girl’s going to be very happy this Christmas!” For some reason, I didn’t, but it did make me think: what little girl wasn’t happy to receive the Kenner Easy-Bake Oven? Or perhaps, what little boy? I mean Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay had to start somewhere, right?

Okay, so maybe they didn’t actually have one, but you know what I mean.

As a child, I loved to fool around in the kitchen, helping my mom with stirring batter and adding garnishes and mixing various dry ingredients, etc. I used to go to the library regularly and often would come home with big kid-sized books filled with fun, easy recipes to help children learn their way around a kitchen.

When the Easy-Bake Oven came out in the late Sixties, I wanted one desperately. I wrote to Santa and asked for one nicely. I pleaded with my mother to make sure that Santa knew I was a good girl and I deserved the shiny, turqoise, tin oven with the silver cake pans and the accompanying cookbooks. I even appealed to my father to put in a good word (little did I know, that he had a real “in” in the Santa department).

When Christmas morning came, I was crushed to discover no EBO! I was incredulous! Still, I put on a brave face and accepted the Barbie doll house and the new doll-clothes and even the target-shooter that Santa (suspiciously) wanted me to have – where the chicken laid the egg whenever I hit the cardboard barnyard with my rubber-tipped missile from the plastic gun.

The most devastating thing about that Christmas, was that my good school-friend, Jane Thompson got the exact Easy-Bake that I wanted. It was turquoise and shiny and chock full of pans and spatulas and recipe books. Jane made no bones about how wonderful Santa had been to her and I was green, er turquoise, with envy.

I was already jealous of Jane because her grandmother was a knitter. She used to knit Jane fantastic doll clothes for her Barbies and even knit a funky bikini bathing suit for Jane, herself, one summer. My grandmother, ironically, was the baker. She baked wonderful rolls, pies, cakes and her specialty was homemade donuts. When she came to visit from Nova Scotia once a year, she would bake up a storm, but she couldn’t knit a stitch.

So, why was I the one with no Easy-Bake Oven? To this day, it still baffles me, but a stint with Jane Thompson’s oven laid all my keen fascination to rest.

One day, I was over at Jane’s house and she suggested we play with her Easy-Bake Oven. I remember how much fun it was for a budding chef, like me, to empty the packets of cake mix in the tin cake-pans and add the water (or milk–I can’t recall), stir it all together and pop them in the two-story oven – it even had a light inside to do the baking. When the cakes came out not long after, we iced them with green frosting and then we had to eat every last morsel.

I’m not sure whether it was all the sugar, the excitement at finally getting to use an EBO, or a combination of both, but when I got home, I spent most of that night barfing up all that Easy-Bake Oven goodness into our toilet. I never mentioned that particular toy ever again and eventually, I taught myself how to knit.

Kathleen Mortensen©2009

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Here’s a funny little cake-song, I found on YouTube:



13 thoughts on “The Easy-Bake Oven Mystery

  1. I never got the Easy Bake Oven, my sister did even though I asked for it. I got the Jaws game which was twisted in itself. My youngest daughter just got an oven but instead of the lightbulb cooking the cakes, it requires no heat. It cooks everything with ice. I'm too scared to try.I wasn't able to make it over here last week for some reason and I just wanted to say how sorry I am about your father.


  2. Thanks WOR. We're slowly coming to terms with losing him.I don't know the “Jaws” game, but it does sound twisted. How did you win – by not getting chewed to bits?I can't fathom how the new oven cooks with ice. Try it out and post about it!Doll Clothes Gal! Thanks, I wish I could say the same.Kat


  3. I had an Easy Bake and the stuff tasted aweful LOL.I have been looking for that video! I made it into an animation once with my face. I lost it. Can I snag it please? I hope all is well and you have a nice Thanksgiving.


  4. I never had an EBO, but I had some other kind of contraption that worked with a light bulb. You made designs out of some colored bits of some unknown and unnameable material, stuck them under a hot bulb for a few mintues. They smoked, curled up and shrank, and fused in a smaller version of whatever it was you designed. I'm not sure what they were for, maybe jewellry or something. Pretty pointless, really. And heaven only knows what was in the fumes. But doens't sound like the oven was any better for you!


  5. Okay, I'm man enough to admit it… I wanted an Easy Bake Oven. Everytime they'd play that commercial and those kids were jamming, what always looked like, Hostess Cupcakes into their mouths… What kid WOULDN'T want one!!!And I'm with my wife on this one. Not sure about the whole, “Cooks with ice” thing. Is this thing an Easy Bake Oven or a Snoopy Snow Cone Maker???We'll keep you posted as to how this thing turns out. 🙂


  6. I never had an EBO, they came out after my generation. But, I got my daughter one back in the sixties. I thought they were a disappointment. They surely weren't as much fun as the advertisements made them out to be. Actually, as a mother they were a nuisance. I always had to stop what I was doing to help her figure out what to do next. I was very glad when all the mixes got all.


  7. haahhahahaha! so funny! “I taught myself how to knit.” Great punch at the end. I remember being all excited about the EBO. I didn't have one, but a friend did, and when I saw how tiny those cake were – I was like, “Is that all there is?”


  8. Kat, don't get me started! I was lucky enough to get one for Christmas when a young girl. Owning it for no more than one day, my brother, famous for his experiments, decided to experiment in mine and it blew up! What he used, I don't remember! But I do remember chasing him around the house screaming at him! LOLHope you're feeling better and your Thanksgiving filled with the memories of your father!


  9. Great Blog. I don't think they had EBO's in the UK but my mum had a similar experience with Santa and a Wendy House she never got. She was astonished because she'd been such a good girl that year and had written a very neat, polite letter to him. She felt quite wounded that it never arrived and yet her neighbour, Mandy Smith, got one even though she'd been a horrid little madam. She complained bitterly to her mum & dad about Santa's unfair treatment of her. She remembered that her mum & dad were rather silent on the matter at the time. It wasn't until she was much older that she realised her own mum & dad simply couldn't afford to buy her one. Then she felt hugely guilty for years for being so ungrateful.


  10. I had a requested a turquoise easy bake oven! I got a yellow one. It worked. I don't know why my parents always managed to find the product I wanted in an off-color. I loved baking those little cakes. My kids wanted ones but the newer pink and purple ones didn't work as well. Too many safety features I guess.


  11. So funny, poor old you barfing up all that easy bake goodness! I shared an easy bake oven with my sister but it broke or was broken by my evil brother soon after we got it and ended up quickly in the land of misfit toys. Nothing could drag me away from my barbies and dolls for very long…


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