|Helping Your Child Learn Science|
Learn about chemical reactions by baking 4 small cakes, leaving an important ingredient out of 3 of them. The ingredients are only for 1 cake, so you'll need to measure and mix 4 times.
What you'll need
- A small soup or cereal bowl
- Several layers of aluminum foil
- A pie pan
- Cooking oil to grease the "cake pans"
- Measuring spoons
- A cup or small bowl for the egg
- A small mixing bowl
- Your science journal
Ingredients (for one cake)
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 or 3 pinches 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 to do
- Wrap several layers of aluminum foil around the outside of a cereal or soup bowl to form a mold.
- Remove your foil "pan" and put it in a pie pan for support.
- Oil the "inside" of your 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). Stir until smooth and all the same color.
- Pour batter into the "pan."
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Bake 3 more cakes:
Leave the oil out of one.
Leave the egg out of another.
Leave the baking powder out of the third.
Cut each cake in half and look at the insides.
Do they look different?
Do they taste different?
- Write about, or draw pictures of, what you see and taste.
Heat helps some chemical reactions to occur as the cake bakes:
It helps baking powder produce tiny bubbles of gas making the cake light and fluffy (this is called leavening).
It causes protein from the egg to change and make the cake firm.
Oil keeps the heat from drying out the cake.
Courtesy of Education Publications Center
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