I am always trying to learn new things, particularly new ways to teach the kiddos, so I was very excited to find out about an online article called Helping Your Child Learn Science, by Nancy Paulu and Margery Martin. In the article they suggest many ways parents and other caregivers can help children learn about science, including over a dozen science experiments. Today we did one called Cake!
First we had to decide what we might need, and I also wanted to find out if the children knew why we might need them.
Everything they suggested was possible, even vegetables, as we often make pumpkin muffins. I can tell that cooking with the children every week has paid off, they know a lot about cooking!
Next we washed hands (always before cooking!) and gathered the ingredients for this particular recipe.
One of the ingredients we needed was an egg, so one of the kiddos cracked that for us. We measured and scooped and poured everything into the mixing bowl.
This activity called for making 4 batches of cake mix. One batch included all the ingredients, and each of the other batches was missing one thing: eggs, oil, or baking powder. I used different colored muffin liners so we could tell the batches apart. It's hard to tell from this picture, but the cakes in the yellow and blue liners weren't as full and fluffy as the ones in white and pink liners.
We observed all four versions of the cake, first by smelling...
There were some differences between the batches. The cake without egg was crumblier, and the one without oil was a little chewy and dryer, but overall, they were all delicious. If you decide to try this recipe at home, I strongly recommend tripling the recipe. It is written to use 1/3 of an egg, but that was very challenging! All the batches tasted wonderful, and we have eaten them all up, so you don't need to worry about wasting the "incorrect" versions.
So, you might wonder if there was a clear winner. Yes, there was. The children were very attached to the first batch they tried (yellow liners), even although they were the flat cakes, without baking soda included! When we were tasting, they seemed to prefer the texture of the complete recipe (white liners), but they had started raving about how yummy the cake was when they ate the ones in yellow, so that's what most of the children decided they preferred. Me? I'm with Pete the Cat on this one, "It's all good!"