Bake a Chemistry Cake
Next time you bake a cake, consider this. The cake dough is not really a cake, but when it's heated in the oven, a chemical reaction occurs and new bonds are formed. How does heat change things? When it comes to heat changing a chemical reaction, there are two types. One is “exothermic,” a reaction that produces heat, and the other is “endothermic,” a reaction that takes heat in. When you make a cake, you a producing an endothermic chemical reaction which changes batter to baked!
A few things can happen when you bake a cake. Some chemical reactions to keep in mind while doing this tasty experiment are:
- Heat helps baking powder produce tiny bubbles of gas, which makes the cake light and fluffy.
- Heat causes protein from the egg to change and make the cake firm.
- Oil keeps the heat from drying out the cake.
What You Need:
- small bowl
- several sheets of aluminum foil
- pie pan
- cooking oil
- measuring spoons
- cup or mug
- index card
- science journal (optional)
Ingredients for one cake:
You'll need to measure and mix this set of ingredients four times to complete all four experiments—with the exceptions that are given below.
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 or 3 pinches of baking powder
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- butter knife|
- 1/3 of an egg (Break egg into a cup; beat until mixed, then use approx. 1/3 of it. Save the rest for 2 of the other cakes.)