Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Manufacturer
We can only imagine how many culinary careers began with an Easy-Bake Oven, the lightbulb-powered mini oven that produces hockey puck-shaped discs of chocolate and vanilla cake. While the desserts themselves are nothing to write home about (in our hazy childhood memories, anyway), there is something to be said about baked goods that can be made by children ages 8 through 12 with minimal parental supervision.
But the Easy-Bake was not without its problems. The lightbulb heating element was responsible for more than a few instances of burns and a subsequent recall in 2007. (Originally launched in 1963, the fake stove top has been redesigned 11 times.) Now that traditional lightbulbs have been replaced by energy-effecient LEDs and compact fluorescents, the latest incarnation of the Easy-Bake has a sleek new look and warming unit that many view as a safer alternative. According to Hasbro, the new version heats up to about 375 degrees, but the exterior of the oven remains warm -- not hot -- to the touch.
Along with the redesign, the Easy-Bake cake mix got a makeover as well. Now aspiring young bakers can whip up tiny batches of red velvet cake, chocolate chip cookies, s'mores, pretzels and even pizza. The toy also includes a recipe book so kids can experiment and make their own mixes at home.
Of course, the new Easy-Bake comes with a revamped price tag as well: $49.99, up from $29.99. That's a steep price to pay for a tiny brownie, but it might also be an investment toward a life-long love of cooking.