October 10, 2016 2:04 pm

It’s finally fall, which means it’s time to preheat your ovens and get ready for some warm, tasty, and comforting baked goods. (It’s never too soon so start testing out recipes for the holidays, either!) Without these baking inventions, however, your grandma’s secret recipe wouldn’t be possible. Thank goodness for innovation that has made tasty treats possible!


The first cooking took place over open fires during ancient times. Simple ovens and hearths were used throughout ancient Greece and into the middle ages, but it wasn’t until 1490 when the first oven was built out of brick and tile. However, the first oven that closely matched ovens we are familiar with today  was patented in 1826 by British inventor James Sharp. He created the first gas oven and stove which began to be widely used in the United States much later in the early 1900s. The electric oven became another popular option in the late 1800s, although historians debate about who first created it. William Hadaway was issued the first patent for an electric oven in 1896. He went onto later develop the first toaster.

Electric Mixer

Herbert Johnson was intrigued by a baker mixing bread dough with a metal spoon and knew he could create a machine that would do this much more conveniently. In 1908, Johnson, who was an engineer for the Hobart Manufacturing Company, invented an electric standing mixer. The 80 quart mixer became the standard equipment for most large bakeries and newer iterations are still used today. In 1919, Johnson created the KitchenAid Food Preparer, a smaller mixer for the home, which is still very popular.

Teflon Pans

After earning multiple organic chemistry degrees, Dr. Roy Plunkett took a job with DuPont working with synthesizing new forms of refrigerant. In 1927, he and his assistant were experimenting with a potential gas refrigerant and Dr. Plunkett discovered when the gas was frozen, it became a waxy white powder.  The newly discovered substance was useful because it was slippery, non-corrosive, stable, and had a high melting point. The substance had various uses until the 1960s, when it was mainly marketed as Teflon, a coating for non-stick pans. Teflon is still used today in cookie sheets, baking dishes, and other non-stick pans.

Parchment Paper

Before parchment paper was used for baking, people used regular white paper in layers, but this often came with a warning that if it was burned, your dish would have a strange odor to it. Everyone knows that greasing pans can be a pain and can affect the way your baked goods turn out. So, parchment paper was quite the blessing. Parchment paper was invented by the ancient Egyptians but was eventually reformulated for baking. It is created by running sheets of paper pulp through a bath of sulfuric acid or zinc chloride, partially dissolving the paper and giving it non-stick properties.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ruth Wakefield accidentally invented chocolate chip cookies in 1930 when she was trying to make cookies with a chocolate dough. She substituted Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate for baker’s chocolate, and since the chocolate didn’t melt, she made a cookie with chocolate chunks. This classic recipe is still considered America’s favorite cookie, so it’s clear that this baking innovation has made a lasting impression.

The inventions above were not invented by InventHelp clients.

BONUS: Perfect Pan Cheesecake

Here’s how an InventHelp client has changed the world of baking! Retired teacher, Barbara Winfield, wanted a better cheesecake pan. Her goal: to find a pan that would not only ensure the cheesecake would bake evenly, and would also eliminate the need to use a second pan during the baking process. Like many inventors, Barbara couldn’t find the exact pan she was looking for on the market so she decided to invent her own. According to Barbara, “I was so tired of dirtying extra dishes while making my cheesecakes. I knew there had to be a better way to make the process more efficient.” Barbara contacted her local InventHelp® sales office in October of 2010. In August of 2011, InventHelp and sister licensing company Intromark negotiated a licensing agreement for the Perfect Pan with Chef’s Planet, a company that designs, manufactures and markets a broad range of kitchen housewares products around the world. Watch Barbara’s story here: https://stories.inventhelp.com/barbara-winfield-perfect-pan-cheesecake/.


This inventor has not made a financial gain with their invention.

The above results are not typical as most client inventions are not licensed, manufactured, sold in stores and do not appear in infomercials or on television shopping networks.

From 2013-2015, we signed Submission Agreements with 6,076 clients. As a result of our services, 153 clients have received license agreements for their products, and 27 clients have received more money than they paid us for those services.

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