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'It’s brought a lot of joy': Mesa mom hosts virtual Easy-Bake Oven baking contest

An East Valley mom and her family are hosting a quarantine Easy-Bake baking contest with a couple dozen tiny ovens she’s collected during the pandemic.

MESA, Ariz — Making mini versions of cakes or brownies with lightbulb cooking. Sound familiar?   

Chances are you or one of your friends probably owned an Easy-Bake Oven back in the day. It’s a childhood toy many kids looked forward to getting their hands on!  

Well, an East Valley mom and her family are bringing the fun back, hosting a quarantine Easy-Bake baking contest with a couple dozen tiny ovens she’s collected during the pandemic.   

Meet Gina Favela, also known as the “Easy-Bake Oven Queen.”   

“If you would’ve asked me a year ago or tell me a year ago, I was going to have the whole collection of Easy-Bake ovens, I would have laughed and said no, you’re crazy,” she said.  

But now?   

“Now, I have the whole… just about the whole collection,” said Favela.  

After all, she had to do something to pass time during the pandemic.   

“I thought 'Oh my gosh, we have to have like an easy bake zoom party or something,'” she said.    

In July, her daughter and sister-in-law came up with a fun idea to have a zoom baking contest for her birthday.  

“But the thing is, we didn’t have Easy-Bakes, because we were past that age quite a bit,” she said.    

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The idea was put on hold when multiple family members and friends contracted COVID-19.   

“COVID hit my family really hard,” said Favela. 

“There were a lot of members in my family that had it… I lost a dear friend and my aunt in July to COVID and so it just wasn’t the right time,” she said.    

But fast forward to fall and the idea resurfaced.   

“After I bought my first one, I couldn’t stop looking,” she said.  

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Gina recently learned Nov. 4 is actually National Easy Bake Oven Day!   

“I came across the one that I had as a child and that was the Holly Hobbie version, and so when I had that, it was like game on,” said Favela.    

Since June, she’s purchased almost every model since the first 1963 Easy-Bake to the 50th edition, even the recalled, hard-to-find model. About 20 tiny ovens now make up her Easy-Bake collection.

“Mine is run by a lightbulb… one little lightbulb,” said Trish Favela, Gina’s sister-in-law.  

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Perfect for that Easy-Bake party contest they’re holding on National Easy-Bake Oven Day virtually.   

“It’s brought a lot of joy,” she said. “It’s been a good distraction," she said. 

While the judges won’t be able to taste test the delectable chocolate cakes since it will be virtual, they will judge on decorations to improvise.  

Gina tells us the winner will get bragging rights and she may even let them pick out one of her Easy-Bake Ovens to take home.