Skip to Content

What was the original Easy-Bake Oven?

The Easy-Bake Oven was first introduced in 1963 by Kenner Products and completely reshaped the way children played. Originally marketed towards young girls, it allowed kids to make tiny baked goods using a real heating element. Since then, it has gone through many iterations and remains one of the most iconic toys of all time. But what did that original Easy-Bake Oven from 1963 look like and how did it work? Let’s take a nostalgic trip back in time and explore the toy that started it all.

The Beginning of the Easy-Bake Oven

The idea for the Easy-Bake Oven was inspired by the popularity of modern kitchen conveniences in the early 1960s. Appliances like electric mixers, toasters, and stoves were becoming more common in households across America. This sparked an idea in the head of Ronald Howes, an employee at Kenner Products. Howes envisioned a working toy oven that would allow kids to bake just like Mom.

He presented the idea to Kenner executives and they loved it. The company partnered with General Mills to help develop recipes and dessert mixes to use with the toy. General Mills hoped it would spur interest in their baking products and drive sales. With their food expertise on board, designs for the Easy-Bake Oven began taking shape.

The Original 1963 Easy-Bake Oven Design

The first Easy-Bake Oven was turquoise and yellow with a carrying handle on top. It was shaped like a rectangular miniature oven with a door that opened downward. The inside contained a 40-watt lightbulb used as a heating element.

There was a slot on top where you could insert a special pan with your cake batter or cookie dough. The pans were made of aluminum with a ribbed surface and came in fun shapes like a heart, a gingerbread man, or a star.

Once you slid the pan inside over the light bulb and closed the door, the inside quickly heated up to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit. This was enough to bake bite-sized brownies, cupcakes, and other treats in about 15 minutes.

How the Original Easy-Bake Oven Worked

The 1963 Easy-Bake Oven came with packets of cake, brownie, and cookie mixes specifically created by General Mills to work with the toy. First, kids would mix the packet with water using a bowl and spoon. Then they would pour the batter into one of the shaped aluminum baking pans and insert it into the oven.

Pushing the pan onto a metal rod above the light bulb heated the pan from the bottom and sides. The low-wattage bulb produced enough gentle radiant heat to bake the small cakes and cookies without burning. Kids needed to carefully watch the treats through the oven’s glass door until they were fully cooked.

Original Easy-Bake Oven Recipes and Food Mixes

The first Easy-Bake Oven sets in 1963 came with packets of cake mix in flavors like chocolate and vanilla. There were also brownie, cookie, and frosting mixes to help kids decorate their baked creations. Each mix was specially formulated to work with the low-heat toy oven.

In the earliest Easy-Bake Oven TV commercials, you can see kids using mixes to create treats like:

– Fudge brownies
– Chocolate cupcakes
– Gingerbread men
– Vanilla sandwich cookies

The mixes were designed to dissolve into batter with just water. This made baking an easy, mess-free experience for young kids. All they had to do was stir the powder and water, pour it into a pan, and bake.

Popular Early Recipes

Some of the most beloved recipes from the original 1963 Easy-Bake Oven included:

– Chocolate chip cookies – The famous cookies baked up quickly in the toy oven.

– Fudge brownies – Rich, chocolaty brownies were perfect for little hands.

– Vanilla cupcakes – Kids loved decorating these cute individual cakes.

– Molten chocolate cakes – These miniature lava cakes had an oozing chocolate center.

– Mini pizzas – Children could build and bake their own tiny customizable pizzas.

The Marketing of the First Easy-Bake Oven

Kenner Products knew they had a hit toy on their hands. The company marketed the new Easy-Bake Oven heavily beginning in 1963. TV commercials showed children happily baking up treats with taglines like “Miniature miracle oven bakes real cakes for little girls!”

The early ads positioned the Easy-Bake as the ultimate cooking toy for girls. Packaging depicted only girls playing with the oven. This cooking role was seen as preparing young ladies for their domestic futures.

Kenner released print ads, catalogs, and in-store displays to promote the oven. It quickly became a must-have toy for girls between the ages of 8 and 12. The original Easy-Bake Oven sold over 500,000 units in its first year at a price of $15.95.

Changing Advertising Over the Years

While early marketing focused on girls, Easy-Bake Oven ads evolved to include boys over the years. In the 1970s and after, commercials began showing both boys and girls baking together.

This reflected societal changes and the understanding that cooking was not just for girls. Later ads also expanded the age range to include older kids. The Easy-Bake Oven became a classic toy that both girls and boys loved for generations.

The Impact of the Original Easy-Bake Oven

The original Easy-Bake Oven sparked a revolution in how kids played. It tapped into a desire to recreate grown-up activities and be more independent in the kitchen. The Easy-Bake Oven was the first working toy oven ever made and inspired countless imitations.

It was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2006 for its lasting impact on playtime. To this day, the Easy-Bake Oven remains one of the top-selling baking toys of all time.

Lasting Popularity

Since 1963, over 60 million Easy-Bake Ovens have been sold globally. They have remained popular through over a dozen design changes and iterations.

While the baking mechanics improved, the toy still delivers the same fun experience for kids who want to whip up their own treats. It continues to inspire future generations of bakers and chefs.

Mini Baking Fad

The Easy-Bake Oven sparked a whole phenomenon of mini baking toys. Competing toys like the Suzy Homemaker Oven sought to cash in on its success. Later, brands made miniature microwave ovens, grills, and stovetops to extend pretend play. These toys fed into the mini baking craze the Easy-Bake started.

Design Evolution of the Easy-Bake Oven

While the Easy-Bake Oven’s core premise has stayed the same, the toy has gone through many design changes over the decades. Here is a look back at how the Easy-Bake has transformed with the times:


The original Easy-Bake from 1963-64 was turquoise and yellow. It had a hinged door that opened downward and slots for special baking pans. The non-detachable power cord came directly out the back.


In 1971, Easy-Bake Ovens began to be made in multiple colors like red, yellow, and green. The oven got a mod flower power makeover with psychedelic colors and flower-shaped baking pans.


By the 1980s, the Easy-Bake Oven took on a streamlined, rounded look. The door opened on the side and matching storage cases were sold to house accessories. New microwave styling and realistic burners and knobs modernized the toy.


Easy-Bake Ovens in the 1990s came in pastel colors like teal and purple. Features like a timer, oven light, and working stovetop burners made the toy more authentic than ever.


In 2003, the Easy-Bake Oven was given a complete makeover. It was now made to resemble a modern stainless steel oven with a front-loading tray. The baking mechanics were also improved with an internal electric heater.


Recent Easy-Bake Ovens incorporate modern technology like lights that indicate when the oven is preheated. Some models also include programming chips that digitally control cooking times.

Decade Design Features
1960s Turquoise and yellow, downward opening door, 40-watt light bulb heating
1970s Flower power colors, psychedelic flower pans
1980s Rounded design, side opening door, storage cases
1990s Pastel colors, stovetop, oven light, timer
2000s Modern stainless steel, front-loading tray, electric heater
2010s Lights to indicate preheating, digital cooking programs

Collecting Vintage Easy-Bake Ovens

The original 1960s and 70s Easy-Bake Ovens are now popular vintage collectibles. Those interested in acquiring an authentic retro Easy-Bake should look for key features:

What to Look For

– Metal or plastic mechanical pieces rather than electronic components
– Light bulb or electric coil heating elements
– Colorful retro plastic design
– Rotary knobs and dials for controls
– Date stamp or logo for proper age identification

Where to Find Them

– Online auction sites like eBay
– Estate sales and vintage toy shows
– Thrift stores and antique shops
– Classified ads from collectors

With proper care and restoration, a vintage Easy-Bake can still function to bake tiny treats! Collectors enjoy displaying them as both nostalgic memorabilia and functional pieces of toy history.

Easy-Bake Oven Safety and Recalls

While a classic toy, early Easy-Bake Ovens did pose some safety risks. There were a few incidents involving the original design that led to recalls and redesigns over the years.

Heating Element Burns

The heating element inside early models could reach dangerously hot temperatures. Kids sometimes burned their hands on the hot metal baking pan or bulb. This led to redesigns using lower-heat elements that were cooler to the touch.

Choking Hazards

Small decorating accessories included with certain Easy-Bake Oven sets were potential choking hazards for young kids. Things like plastic cake toppers and edible sprinkles had to be redesigned bigger and sturdier.

Door and Cord Injuries

There were some instances of doors pinching fingers or power cords causing tripping and burns. Later Easy-Bake Ovens fixed these issues by streamlining the doors and using detachable cords.


From its humble beginnings in 1963, the Easy-Bake Oven became one of the most beloved and iconic toys of all time. The original turquoise oven with its primitive lightbulb heating captured kids’ imaginations and the spirit of creative playtime baking.

Though the Easy-Bake Oven went through many changes over the decades, it still delivers that same magical experience to children today. For generations, it has encouraged kids to explore their culinary creativity and passions in a safe, fun way. The Easy-Bake Oven will no doubt continue sparking the chefs of the future for years to come.