(StatePoint) Think back on your early memories of baking. If you’re like many Americans, you may have taken those first attempts at creating cakes, cookies and other sweet snacks with an Easy-Bake Oven. In fact, more than 30 million ovens were sold over the years since the brand was first introduced in 1963.
And now the toy from Hasbro that captured the imagination of millions of children is turning 50. Here’s a brief look at its sweet history:
• 1963: America’s first working toy oven, sold for $15.95, debuted in turquoise with a carrying handle and pretend stovetop.
• 1971: Avocado green was the popular color. By year’s end, more than five million ovens had been sold in the stylish hue.
• 1979: As microwaves became ubiquitous, the Easy-Bake Oven remained on trend with the Mini-Wave oven.
• 2006: Inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.
• 2011: The Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven was introduced with a larger cooking chamber, bigger baking pan, and a heating element similar to conventional ovens.
• 2013: To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven is being unveiled in a new color scheme: sleek silver, blue, and black, along with the new Easy-Bake Ultimate Decorating Pen Kit.
The Easy-Bake Oven is not only popular among today’s youth, it brings back sweet memories for many tastemakers within the food community. In fact, culinary expert Gail Simmons has created an original recipe for the Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven. Try this one for Double Chocolate Rocky Road Layer Cake:
• 2 Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven Devil’s Food Cake Mixes
• 12 teaspoons water, divided
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided
• 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
• 3 Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven Chocolate Frosting Mixes (water, per directions)
• 1/2 cup mini marshmallows, 20 cut in half lengthwise
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
• Preheat Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven for 20 minutes.
• Spray baking pan with cooking spray and spread evenly.
• Make the cake batter: Pour 1 Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven Devil’s Food Cake Mix and 6 teaspoons of water into bowl. Stir until smooth. Add chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. Mix well.
• Spoon batter into pan. Spread evenly with spoon or spatula.
• Follow Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven directions.
• After removing cake from the oven, let it cool completely. Slide a butter knife around the edge of the cake and remove it from the pan onto a flat plate, upside down. Set aside.
• Hand wash baking pan, spray again, and repeat with other Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven Devil’s Food Cake Mix.
• While it’s baking, make the frosting: Pour 3 chocolate frosting mixes and 3 teaspoons of water into bowl. Stir until smooth.
• Frost top of the first cake with 1/3 of the frosting mix evenly. Place halved marshmallows in 4 lines of 10 halves, across cake, flat side down. Top with the second cake, upside down, pressing lightly to secure. Frost the top using another 1/3 of the frosting. Then carefully frost sides.
• Scatter remaining marshmallows over the top and gently press chopped walnuts against sides to cover.
Additional brand history can be found at www.EasyBake.com. To relive your childhood or introduce a favorite toy to the next generation, roll up those sleeves and get baking.
Did you ever use the Easy Bake Oven as a child? Tell us about it with your comments below…