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:
An Easy Bake Oven.
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 mixes 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 mixes…
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 refills. 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 consistently 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 mixes in under 15 minutes. In addition, I recommend picking up a can of Pam Baking Spray to prepare the pan, a couple of tubs of Duncan Hines Fluffy White Whipped Frosting, and some rainbow 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.
Before I share how to make your own refill mixes, I want to be very clear about what you should expect from them. Gourmet cakes? No. A budget-friendly mix that will allow your child to bake a perfectly edible and tasty (enough) cake all on his or her own? Yes!
Eggs and oil are not necessary to attain this goal. A little smear of frosting can up the tastiness factor, but I’ve eaten many, many plain cakes without complaint. :) Also, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a child’s toy, not a calibrated oven. The baking time may need to be adjusted slightly to achieve desired results.
With this goal in mind, my girls have been able to enjoy using the Easy Bake Oven whenever they want without emptying my wallet. They’ve been totally thrilled with these mixes and have enjoyed hours upon hours of baking fun with them!
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. Label each with 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 Oven.
- Cooking spray is a MUST to get the cake to release from the pan easily. As I mentioned, I like the Pam Baking Spray for effectiveness, as well as flavor. Be sure to check out this quick tip for applying cooking spray with less mess!
- Don’t pre-mix the cake batter while waiting for the Easy Bake Oven to preheat. It will rise too high and 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, 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 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 baking fun for well under $20 (not including the oven, of course).
If this tip helped you save some money, I hope you’ll repin and share below!104