I saw this recently on Facebook and as I had an Easy-Bake Oven as a child, I thought I would post my memories here.
I was 7 or 8 and it was a Christmas present and my first foray into preparing any type of food and was excited with the mini stove looking thing and all of the shiny pan; I was going to get to bake like an adult! I remember being disappointed Christmas Day because although one of the main components were the two light bulbs, they were NOT included and my Mom had missed that part, so had to wait until the next time we would go in the wagon 1/2 mile in the snow to the grocery store in the dead of Winter because my Mom did not have car.
It came with a mix or two that you mixed up with water poured it into one the little pans then slid it into the left-hand side where the light bulbs were.
It was considered safe as the baking was accomplished by 2 light bulbs inside the oven, but I recall burning myself several times. Might be because I don’t recall ever using the tool with the handle, I would just push other pans in until the baked pan came out.
Instead of purchasing the expensive mixes for the Easy-Bake, my Mom came up with the genius idea of using Jiffy Baking mixes, many that only needed water added and the few that needed an egg we found a use for the horrid powdered surplus egg other than scrambled eggs (“Surplus” food used to be given to poor people before there were food banks or food stamps; it was a program run by the government to buy overruns of foods and give them to people in need..the “Government Cheese” was actually very good and my Mom could work wonders were the “Spam” type product they used to have). I learned a lot of math trying to figure out the right proportions to make the perfect tiny delectable bite as I would usually only make one little “cake” at a time.
I don’t recall cookies turning out very well, which is why I stuck to cakes, muffins, and brownies.
Back then, I recall a Jiffy Baking Mix to be 17 cents and the same for the frosting, but Mom’s confectioner’s sugar and butter or Crisco and a little vanilla would do in a pinch. Better yet, muffins and brownies didn’t need any frosting so they were much more economical.
Light bulbs, on the other hand, especially in a small town, tended to be very expensive. $2 for a package of two was a lot of money to me, which is why the living room just had to be a little bit dusky if a bulb burned out, at least for awhile.
Have heard now an old school Easy-Bake Oven can fetch a few hundred dollars; mine got pitched after I found a dead mouse trying to get into one of the holes in the bottom when it was is storage on the back porch when I was around 10 and had long moved on to actual baking in a real oven.