My oldest daughter turned 10 a few months ago -- that precarious age where she's on the cusp of leaving childish things behind but isn't quite ready to give it all up. Her Christmas wish list was an interesting study in this, filled with clothing, a Beats Pill, a Vera Bradley purse, earrings, etc... but one item stood out:
I have to say I was torn... I debated purchasing one for days, because I just honestly didn't know if she'd actually use it. We had one several years ago, and it was promptly donated, as my kids quickly grew frustrated with how long it took to bake one teeny cake that was little more than a bite for each. But being the lone toy in a sea of preteen dreams, I finally decided, what could it hurt?
And what do you know -- she has used it near daily since opening it Christmas Morning! She loves to make special cakes for everyone in the family, and I love to watch quietly from afar, as she carefully stacks layers of various cake flavors, frosting each to perfection and topping them off with her favorite rainbow sprinkles. I'm so glad that I caved, because I would have missed out on so much joy.
The down side to it? Those gosh darn Easy Bake Oven Refills are ridiculously expensive! I mean, we're talking $6.99 for a refill pack that makes just 2 cakes. Whoa, I would have dropped hundreds on these things by now!!! But I got smart and figured out a way to make our own homemade Easy Bake Oven Refills...
Make Your Own Easy Bake Oven Mixes
It took some research and a lot of trial and error, but my daughter and I hit upon just the right formula for using store bought cake mixes to make our own Easy Bake Oven mixes. We tested several brands in the process, and while the method I'm going to share worked reasonably well for all, we both agreed that the Duncan Hines Signature cake mixes produced the best results.
Given that a box of this cake mix retails for around $1.28 at Walmart and we were able to get about 11 Easy Bake Oven mixes per box, you can easily see how the savings add up. That breaks down to just $0.12 per mix versus $3.50 for a single Easy Bake Oven refill!!!
I picked up three boxes of Duncan Hines Signature cake mix, one each of French Vanilla, Dark Chocolate Fudge and Strawberry Supreme, which is enough to make 33 Easy Bake Oven refills in under 15 minutes. In addition, I recommend picking up a can of Pam Baking Cooking Spray to prepare the pan, a couple of tubs of Duncan Hines Fluffy White Whipped Frosting, and some Great Value Dessert Sprinkles.
I also found this adorable Mainstays Mini Turner and matching spatula that are the perfect size for smaller hands, so I grabbed them, as well.
How To Make Easy Bake Oven Mixes
Making your own Easy Bake Oven mixes is super simple when you follow these instructions. I recommend these Ziploc Snack Bags, because they're the perfect size to hold each mix. I also created these simple Easy Bake Oven mix labels that are designed to print on standard Avery 5160 address labels. Of course, in a pinch, you could just print them on regular paper and tape them on.
A few tips for best results:
- Measure the mixes precisely using the method described in the "recipe". If you pack the mix into the measuring cup too densely, your cake will rise too high and stick to the top of the inside of your Easy Bake Ultimate Oven.
- Cooking spray is a MUST to get the cake to release from the pan easily. As I mentioned, I like the Pam Baking Cooking Spray for effectiveness, as well as flavor. Be sure to check out this quick tip for applying cooking spray with less mess!
- Don't premix the cake batter while waiting for the Easy Bake Oven to preheat. It will rise too high and could possibly stick to the inside of the oven. Mix it up after preparing your pan and place it in the oven right away.
- For a fun change of pace, my daughter likes to shake decorating sprinkles on top of the prepared batter once it's spread in the cake pan. This creates a "funfetti" style cake without muddling the bright colors!
So there you have it -- 33 Easy Bake Oven refill mixes for under $4! I think these would be an awesome gift idea for any little girl that loves to bake with her Easy Bake Ultimate Oven. Just package up the mixes with a can of the cooking spray, frosting, and sprinkles. Toss in a super cute mini turner and spatula, and you've got hours and hours of fun for well under $20 (not including the oven).
If this tip helped you save some money, I hope you'll repin and share below!