Several months ago, I posted that Easy Bake Ovens were going to get a makeover. The popular kids toy is how many of us got our start in the kitchen over the past half century, since the launch of the original Easy Bake in 1963. The makeover was not just to update the look of the machine to appeal to today’s kids, but to replace the 100-watt lightbulb that provided the heat to make easy baking possible. Compact fluorescent lamps are replacing incandescent light bulbs in the US, the EU, Australia and Canada and may completely replace them by sometime in the next year. That means that in just a few months, it won’t be possible to find those 100-watt bulbs to power the easy bake ovens.
The new and improved models just hit store shelves with a new look and a lot of new features. For starters, they look more like a real kitchen appliance (I actually had a microwave that strongly resembled the new Easy Bake when I was in a dorm at college) than a toy and they have a heating element that is more like that of a real oven, providing stronger and more consistent heat. The new heating chamber can now reach 375F and hold baked goods that are 50% larger than the original sizes. A higher baking temperature means that you can bake a wider variety of products in the new ovens. The mixes have been updated to include things like whoopie pies, party pretzel “dippers” and cinnamon twists, along with the classic cake mixes.
So, even if you’re partial to the classic Easy Bake look, there is no doubt that the newer models will be better bakers. Still, if you have an old one, stock up on a few extra bulbs while you still can because there will always be something magical about how a lightbulb powered toy can bake a cake.