Today we have a little thing that was so much more than a toy with this fast and loose doodlewash of a retro Easy-Bake Oven. It actually gave you a way to bake your own little treats to eat. And all of this magic was made possible with an ordinary incandescent light bulb. The one shown here is an original Kenner model from the 60’s in a just-like-mom’s oven color and shape. Later versions had a pink and purple toy look, resembled a microwave, and the little light bulb was replaced with a special heating element which pretty much killed the magic.

I’ve never been into cooking, but something about miniature cooking made this thing super fun. I didn’t own one, but played with the one the girl up the street had. Baking treats pretty much anywhere we could was sort of amazing. I was eventually allowed to use an actual oven and tried “real” cooking from a kid’s cookbook, but it just wasn’t the same. I’m not sure why, but light bulb cooking just felt more like something only a kid could do.

Since I was a boy, this was not considered a toy that I should own. It wasn’t until a few years ago that they introduced a gender-neutral version for the first time. A girl named McKenna Pope started a petition that earned more than 40,000 signatures and the support of celebrity chefs, causing Hasbro to offer a black and silver version that might appeal to boys. Unfortunately it looked liked an 80’s boombox and not a cool stove, so even though it was years too late for me, I didn’t really feel like I missed anything.

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Cobalt Teal, Ultramarine Blue, Maroon Perylene, Pyrrol Red, Gamboge, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal


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37 thoughts on “Easy-Bake Oven

  1. My sister and I had the same model but the oven was yellow. We made many tiny treats, all of which tasted disgusting, but we made them anyway. I bought the microwave-looking oven for my daughter when she was little, and she too enjoyed making tiny treats, which were still as disgusting as when I was a kid. 😝 Again, thanks for the memories!

  2. I loved my Easy Bake Oven! Oh, the memories! It was so magical when I was a kid. 💖💕 The chocolate cake was the best! 😃 It probably didn’t taste that great but it was super fun to make. 👍 Thanks for creating a doodlewash treat for me today, Charlie! 😍🎨

  3. Delightful painting, and again, so real looking…what memories it conjures up, not of mine, but a cousin’s. I think I tried convincing my mother how useful it would be to have one, so she let me buy a Snoopy’s cookbook for kids instead. Hahaha. As it was, I used the little cookbook far longer and more often than my cousin used her toy. Thanks for a walk down memory lane and for sharing your art.

  4. Very nicely doodle washed Charlie. I was a kid in the 50s, so I just missed the Easy Bake oven. But I had a tiny oven that had a small electric burner and a mini oven. Actually quite dangerous, but with my mom supervised. Thanks again for your fun toy memories.

  5. My sister got the later version for Christmas once and I got a chemistry set.. Lol. She did bake a muffin I seem to recall.. I’ve never seen the version you doodlewashed. My son was really into pretending to cook so he had a full kitchen before he was two! We put it in our kitchen so he could cook while I did. 😊

  6. All that gender stuff with toys…you’d think we’d be over it, but I can say no, not yet. I had a friend who wrote an article about Lego trying to make pastel bricks to appeal to girls…also a resounding failure. We bought primary colored bricks for my girls and they played with them. Just do it! Although boys seem to still have more pressure to be gender-specific I think.

    Another great drawing and memory. Simple is often best, right? (K)

    1. Thanks Kerfe! 😃💕Yeah…I think the pressure is often more on boys. I just gave up at a young age and said screw it as I didn’t want to miss out on the fun. Yeah, Lego end up going with colorful sets with hot pink and bright green and such in their quest for girl appeal. I’m a big Lego fan and a color fan so I loved them!! Lol But in the end, yes, simple is definitely often the best!

  7. I loved this toy! My parents would have preferred I just used the real oven, actually, but there was something special about having one that was cute and small and all mine. And the magic of baking with a light bulb never got old!

  8. Great doodlewash. I think I had one of these. Either one of these or some bake toy thing. I vaguely remember baking a little cake in it.
    That’s hilarious that the gender-neutral oven didn’t go over well. I think at that age, kids don’t really know what they want to be when they grow up. And being that it’s usually girls that like the more so-called domestic things (i guess we’re just wired that way – hahaha), I guess pink and purple, and more un-industrial looking would be better for marketing sake.

  9. I never had one either but thought they were so cool. I’m not sure why I was deprived of such joy! I love your painting Charlie. I first saw it on IG and my heart skipped a beat!

  10. Great stuff! I’ve never seen this version before, only the microwave-esque dealie, which of course I was expecting on opening this post (I’m sure there was a time when I badly wanted one of those, regardless of girliness, but I never got one. Maybe that’s why I fell out with the kitchen at a young age?) This one looks quite a contraption… the perfect colour, too! Mmm, sub-par treats! 😉

    1. Thanks Jacob! Yeah… I didn’t mind the girliness of the new ones, I just hated that they were so ugly. Lol So you’re not a cook either? Glad I’m not alone there. I tried to cook actual food once and though it wasn’t horrible, I was terribly bored and wished I were doing other things. 10-15 minutes with a lightbulb is much more my speed! hehe

  11. Great image! I remember wanting something like that when I was a kid. Mostly because I wanted to eat cookies as often as possible. I remember my mom saying, “Look, just cook in the regular oven, OK?”

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