Let ‘Em Make Cake!
Making cakes is an enjoyable way to help children of all ages learn about chemical reactions and change. Some chemical reactions that occur as a cake bakes:
- Heat helps baking powder produce tiny bubbles of gas, which makes the cake light and fluffy (leavening).
- 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:
- 3 small bowls
- Several sheets of aluminum foil
- Pie pan
- Cooking oil
- Measuring spoons
- Ingredients for one cake: (You’ll need to measure and mix this set of ingredients
- four times—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
- Part of an egg (Break egg into a cup; beat until mixed. Use 1/3 of it. Save the rest for 2 of the other cakes.)
What do you do?
- Wrap several sheets of aluminum foil around the outside of a small bowl to form a mold.
- Remove your foil “pan” and put it in a pie pan for support.
- Oil the “inside” of the foil pan with cooking oil so the cake doesn’t stick.
- Turn the oven on to 350 degrees.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together.
- Add the wet ones (only use 1/3 of the egg; save the rest for later use).
- Stir the ingredients until smooth and all the same color.
- Pour batter into the “pan.”
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Help your child to make three more cakes, but tell him to do the following:
- Leave the oil out of one.
- Leave the egg out of another.
- Leave the baking powder out of the third.
- After baking, have him cut each cake in half and look inside. Do the cakes look different from each other? Do they taste different from each other? Tell your child to write about, or draw pictures of, what he observes.