· Kitchen Science,Posted by Kirsten

Carrying on with our theme of kitchen chemistry, we asked the question "What do all those cake ingredients do?" Jen Sullivan to the rescue with a great activity to help us answer it in relation to Baking Powder, Eggs and Oil.

We started by making four mini-cake batters:

  • one with all the usual ingredients (which we labelled "regular")
  • one without baking powder
  • one without egg
  • one without oil
We used food colouring to try to help us tell them apart as well. Sadly, our attempt at making a blue/green failed and so both the "regular" and "no oil" cakes both ended up an alarming green.

We transferred all four into oven safe glass bowls and baked them.

After dinner, we all examined and tasted the mini cakes.

Our observations were as follows:


  • took the longest to cook (about 25 minutes)
  • rose the most
  • had a puffy look with cracks along the top
  • had a light, spongy texture when eaten
  • tasted like a lovely vanilla cake


  • took the second longest to cook (about 20 minutes)
  • rose a bit less than the regular one
  • had a puffy look with a smooth top
  • had a chewier, denser texture
  • had a slightly stronger flavour


  • took about 15 minutes to cook
  • rose only a little bit
  • had a lumpy texture
  • had a drier texture with a crunchy crust
  • tasted alright


  • took about 15 minutes to cook
  • didn't rise at all
  • had dense, smooth, playdoguh like feel
  • had a doughy texture which was disgusting
  • tasted very bland
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