Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Easy Baking

Easy Bake Set-Up Still Life
Power tools are necessary when you cannot find a single normal screwdriver in your house

Playing with my Easy Bake Oven today!

The reasons are simple: I promised Mother Humble I would blog about her oh-so-hilarious gift and I am running low on essential baking ingredients. I'm nearly over the whole spider-episode I spoke of yesterday, so hopefully I'll be out of the house and restocking the Humble Household with necessary ingredients soon.

So today we're tackling my childhood dream of Easy Bake layer cakes. Equipped with cake mix, oven, light-bulb and power-tools we're making the twice branded Easy Bake Betty Crocker Party Cake. Complete with party-inducing sprinkles in the batter.

Let's start with the prep...

Yea, that's parchment

What?! The parchment cake rounds for easy bake pans shouldn't surprise you. If I had tiny insulated baking strips I would use those too.

Parchment is a necessary insurance policy against light-bulb bonded cake batter and the horror of trying to frost a pile of jagged cake chunks. Parchment is what really makes baking easy.

Eight year-old's would use parchment too, they just don't know they need it yet.

Delicious Cake powder! Hungry yet?

Now we have the cake mix. Just add water! Two teaspoons to be exact. Does cake get any easier than that?

When is Nasbro going to make a Genoise mix for me?

So I add my water... and it looks like cake paste.

Lucky for me, the recipe provides some instructions"
"If the batter seems dry, add water one drop at a time until it is the consistency of cake batter."
Oh well that's no problem. Cake batter only has one consistency, right? I just add a random amount of water to the mix, until it achieves a consistency Nasbro thinks that I would think it should look like. Crystal clear.

Now I understand the "results may vary" warning on the package.

So I add some more water, about a teaspoon, and pour my batter into my pan. Now we're ready to easy bake. So I push the pan into the oven, using my burns-are-bad safety-stick and wait the prescribed 10 minutes. Then I shove my safety-stick into the slot again and push the cake into the "cooling area".

Unfortunately the trip through the easy bake contraption resulted in the top of the cake being sheared off my the same flaps that prevent me from sticking my arm into the device.

Boo! Not only does the device curtail my compulsive desire to touch dangerous things, it mangles my cake.

Maybe they need to make the opening taller? Or maybe my cake is just too fluffy and perfect? Perhaps I am just that good. I'm a easy bake master!

Maybe not.

Okay, so I messed up the frosting. How does one mess up a just-add-water frosting?

You add too much water.

Apparently Ms. Humble cannot read. Something you may believe, given the rather slapdash proof-reading work I do on the blog. Still, I could have sworn the "recipe" called for 1 1/2 teaspoons per package, but apparently it is just a 1/2 teaspoon. Whoops.

So I resuscitate my over-hydrated frosting dust with some powdered sugar and whipped it into something I could slather my cakes with.

This was a tough cake to frost. So delicate I really couldn't do a proper crumb coat or frosting application. So I just gently daubed on the frosting. It suppose it looks respectable enough, given the tools I'm working with.

Speaking of tools... am I supposed to cut with this? This bizarre Lilliputian, blade-less knife? Forget about it. Someone get me my Global!

Though I'm all for the mini cake server. I need this.

So how does it taste?

This is not a great cake. Ms. Humble's inner child is a little disappointed.

Something about the cake's texture is off. It seems spongy. However the real problem is the taste and aroma. The cake has this odd, lingering flavor. Like a combination of powdered gelatin and the water leftover from poaching eggs.

Pass. Maybe the cookie mixes are better?

Or maybe I should stick to baking cakes the old fashioned way.


  1. At least it's adorable ;)

  2. Cute but I'm disappointed too. I've always wanted one but now it seems like such a fail toy (to the 24 year old me). Haha. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is probably just me... but ever since hearing your spider story, I can't stop thinking that the pie image at the top of the post has sprouted spider legs....

  4. Too cute. I bet it is tastier than you think! LOL

  5. Clearly, you need to make a gourmet easy bake oven. I would buy that. Mostly because I want to make tiny cakes in a tiny oven...

    ...and because I never got an easy bake oven when I was little.

  6. Too bad it tasted like crap... Who could have known? ;)
    Well, it looks good anyway. I would have loved to have known about the parchment when I was a kid :)

  7. Well...I had one as a child, and apparently, nothing has changed except increased safety protection and warnings and the little tiny slicer thing. Still taste and look like . . .

    HOWEVER, if anyone could make EZ Bake LOOK good, it's you, so I give you kudos for that. Even you can't improve the taste. Really. Don't even try.

    This is the kind of stuff you don't even take to the fire station for the fighter fighters who 'will eat anything'. They may just watch your house burn in revenge!

  8. I always have wanted one of those ovens too TwT!!! too bad that the cake wasn't good =(

  9. I had one of these, actually! As a kid, everything tasted fine, mostly because, since I had made it, I could eat the whole damn thing, No, I'm not sharing, thanks.

    But yeah, kind of unsurprised that they're not that great as an adult. That whole "Standards" thing just kinda ruins it.

  10. Fantastic and very funny post! I would have given an arm and a leg for an EZ Bake Oven as a kid.
    Funny thing about being a kid, $Everything tastes better when we make it ourselves.

  11. Dang, I obvioulsy NEED and easy bake oven

  12. I had one of those. Always failed when I tried to push it to the "cooling area" as you call it. It would fall in the inside. Since I was just a kid never used cooking spray. The mix would just stick horribly. Anyway, your cake looks so cute. It's easy for you to feel the taste difference since you know so much about baking. You are awesome. I wish to have a taste of your sweets.

  13. I got an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas the year I turned 31. I got it from co-workers who felt bad that my childhood dream of Easy Bake Oven ownership had never come true. I took it to work with a Betty Crocker cake mix, water, oil, and an egg. I whipped up the mix and we baked to our hearts content all day long. Although it wasn't the best cake I'd ever had, it had to have been better than the mix they sell to use in the little oven. Try again, either with a real cake mix or a real cake recipe. Just know that it takes HOURS to use up all the mix.

  14. No offense to you, my dear, but do they REALLY give this crap to kids in the US?

  15. You should definitely make your own batter and then cook a cake in the easy bake oven and blog about that!

  16. you are too funny!
    this was an adorable post...
    apparently...you have mother h's sense of humor!!

  17. this is so funny to me, as i also dreamed of having an easy bake oven as a little girl. :) i'm glad to know my mom's 25$ were better spent elsewhere!

  18. For some reason I remember the sugar cookies being the best of the lot. I had the only big add on they made when I was young- the birthday cake decorator kit. Came with hot pink plastic numbers made of contorted animals to stick in a cake, icing mixes and a mini plastic icing plunger with like 2 tips!

  19. When I was young, my sister got an Easy Bake Oven and I got the Creepy Crawlers toy that used a heated metal plate to make these rubbery bug things. Both my sister and I remember making great things with both these toys. A couple of years ago, my mother bought my son the "new and improved" Creepy Crawler toy and my daughter an Easy Bake Oven. I think with all the safety features that have been added, both toys are junk.

    That being said, you're icing job was pretty amazing considering what you were working with.

    And Holy Cow! You're not going to believe this, but the word verification they wanted me to type in is "arachnid."

  20. I had one growing up. I love how they keep changing the design over time, mine looked like a microwave. I actually never used it, I just put the cake tins in our actual oven, because like you, it was impossible to get them in and out of the thing.
    I also agree that they tasted pretty weird.

  21. Well, it sure looked beautiful after you frosted it. As for the taste, maybe your standards are just too high! Thanks for a very funny post!

  22. I don't remember what the cookies tasted like, but I seem to remember the brownies being perfectly adequate.
    I share your pain, however, in not owning an Easy-Bake oven back in the day; I had to do said baking in a friend's lightbulb oven. Unfortunately, our brownies definitely did not turn out as well-decorated as your miniature Funfetti cake.

  23. Darling, I'm so glad that your childhood dreams have finally come true. I think that the lack of easy bake oven, and my making you eat cooked carrots once, were the only mistakes in my otherwise stellar career as a Mother. I'm pleased that you now only have one terrible childhood incident that can be discussed with mental health personnel.

    Mr P. - yes, in fact we do feed such things to children in the US of A - with the exception of the Senior Humble household where instead we tortured our children with cooked carrots.

    Curtis - Creepy Crawler Maker! You are showing your age young man. That was my favorite "toy" when I was growing up. And the genius of it! Giving a hot plate that heats up to 500 degrees to small children. My little brother and I had third degree burns for months after we got our first one. Gosh I miss those days. I actually would have purchased one of those for Ms. Humble when she was little had Ralph Nader not opened a can on Mattel over the toy in the 1970's.

    Happy baking sweetie,

  24. Mother Humble—Your comments are always pretty entertaining. You should have a blog. I'd follow it.

  25. Don't count the Easy Bake out yet, the Little Humble can use it in a few years. My 9-yr-old has one, and we use it frequently. But we never buy the expensive, disgusting little mixes. When she sees me get out the eggs and the Kitchenaid, she plugs in her Easy Bake to preheat. Then I give her a spoon full of whatever cake batter or cookie dough I am making. She has so much fun, and makes quite delicious little creations, if I do say so myself!!

  26. My friend Chrystal had the Easy Bake oven. I had the Suzy Homemaker oven. As 5 year-olds, we thought those cakes tasted great! Hey they were better than mud pies which we also used to make.
    And the Creepy Crawler candy was good too....my brothers had those.

  27. if your inner humble child is the cake, then does that mean the adult is the icing? We try to make the icing look nice but really if the cake is crap from old spilled batter traumas then the cognitive behavioral icing is just a cover up!@#$%^&
    Does anyone get this? Then you are deeper than dishwater!!!!!


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