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3D Plant Cell Cakes

3d-plant-cell-cake

How to Make an Edible Plant Cell Model

3D cell models especially the kind you can eat! — are a fun, easy way to learn about plant cells, cell structure and organelles. Not sure where to begin with your edible plant cell project? This guide has you covered from cell wall to chloroplasts! Here you'll find step-by-step instructions for baking a delicious, scientifically accurate plant cell cake, as well as a variety of creative plant cell cake pictures and how-to videos to help you out along the way.

3d-plant-cell-cake

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

What edible items will you use to create your plant cell cake?

To bake this plant cell cake, you will need a handful of inexpensive materials, many of which are probably already in your kitchen or pantry. These are the supplies I used to create the cake pictured here but feel free to switch up the supplies to fit your budget.

MONEY-SAVING TIP: 99% of these materials — including the cake mix, frosting, food coloring, vegetable oil and candy — can be bought at most dollar stores.

CAKE SUPPLIESORGANELLE SUPPLIESCELL WALL SUPPLIES

Square / Rectangular Cake Pan

Dots

Sugar Cookie Mix

Cooking Spray

Mike & Ikes

Butter

Mixing Bowls

Candy Belts

Eggs

Spatula

Circular Sprinkles

 

Oven Mitts

Candy Fruit Slices

 

Funfetti Cake Mix

 

 

Vegetable Oil

 

 

Eggs

 

 

Frosting

 

 

Food Coloring

 

 

What about the nucleus?

To create an edible nucleus without having to buy extra candy, simply set aside a spoonful of cake batter and use it to bake a small cupcake. The cupcake will fit perfectly atop your plant cell cake!

Step 2: Bake Your Plant Cell Cake

If you're baking with Pillsbury's Funfetti cake mix like I did, you'll need to blend the cake mix with 1/3 cup of vegetable oil,one cup of water and three eggs.

Once you've mixed up your cake batter, it's time to break out the food coloring. Since the cytoplasm of many plant cells is green, I chose to dye my cake batter lime green by mixing a few drops of green and yellow food coloring into the batter BEFORE I poured it into my square cake pan.

Once your cake batter is smooth and evenly colored, pour it into your pan and place the pan in the oven. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck into the middle of your cake.

3d-plant-cell-cake

Step 3: Frost Your Cake

To ensure that your plant cell cake is scientifically accurate, you'll need to dye your frosting two different colors. One color will be used to create the cytoplasm, represented by the TOP of your cake. The second color will be used to create the cell membrane, represented by the SIDES of your cake.

Don't forget! If you chose to bake a nucleus cupcake, you'll also need to prepare a small amount of frosting that is dyed a third color.

Lots of supplies can be used to frost your animal cell cake but if you want to give your project a smooth, professional look, I recommend using an actual frosting palette knife. They typically cost about $6 and are incredibly useful in the kitchen. Not interested in purchasing a frosting knife? Try using the smooth edge of a butter knife, the back of a large spoon or a small spatula.

3d-plant-cell-cake

Step 4: Bake Your Cell Wall Cookies

If you're building your cell walls with sugar cookie mix, you'll need to blend that mix in a large mixing bowl with a softened stick of butter and one egg. (If you're building your cell walls with pre-made sugar cookie dough, you'll need to knead the dough with your hands until it is soft enough to dye green). Once the dough is fully blended and soft, add a few drops of green food coloring.

When the green food coloring is spread evenly throughout your dough, place the dough onto a floured cutting board. Roll or press the dough into a thin sheet. From this sheet, cut four rectangular strips that are approximately the length and height of the square baking pan you used to bake your cake.

Lastly, transfer those four rectangular strips of green dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake for approximately seven minutes or until the edges of your cookies begin to brown. The cookie strips are thin and WILL burn if you don't watch them!

3d-plant-cell-cake

Step 5: Add Your Organelles

Organelles are the "mini organs" found inside every plant cell. Each organelle has a different function and physical appearance, and together they work to keep the cell alive. Here's a breakdown of the specific organelles found in plant cells and the edible materials I used to represent them:

Plant Cell Organelles:

  1. Cell Wall - green sugar cookie strips
  2. Cell Membrane - dark green frosting
  3. Cytoplasm - lime green frosting
  4. Nucleus - pink-frosted cupcake (the purple Mike & Ike adds authenticity by representing the nucleolus)
  5. Golgi Apparatus - pink sugar-coated candy belts
  6. Endoplasmic Reticulum - green sugar-coated candy belts attached to the nucleus
  7. Ribosomes - circular sprinkles
  8. Mitochondria - yellow candy fruit slices
  9. Central Vacuole - blue and purple Mike & Ikes
  10. Chloroplasts - green Dots

Have You Baked a Delicious Plant Cell Cake?

RTalloni on August 30, 2019:

What a great science project. Homeschool families would especially enjoy making one of these cakes and then doing a presentation for grandparents.

Keneshia on September 19, 2018:

I made this tonight it turned out terrific.

Tammie T on March 23, 2018:

How did you make sugar cookie for the cell wall?

pop on November 05, 2017:

wow this helped a lot!

Andrew on November 04, 2017:

Do you have to place them exactly how they are or do you like just sprinkle some everywhere?

Sam on September 21, 2017:

Did u get a grade on this

crystal on September 15, 2017:

i have not, but i want to.3

migatoogateemfoo on March 22, 2017:

where is the nuceus?

Ira on September 06, 2016:

Thanks a lot

Jennifer on March 30, 2016:

I love it I'm definitely using this idea for my biology project

7th grade science geek on November 02, 2015:

I have this project due soon and this is an amazing idea

Anonymo on November 02, 2015:

I have this project due soon and I am totally going to do this! Thank you!

Shaniya on October 13, 2015:

Omg thank you thank you thank you for the cake and label

Anonymous on December 10, 2014:

Not all organelles are listed

Italy12 on October 15, 2013:

Can I use like graham crackers or something

Franchesca W (author) from Atlanta, GA on October 14, 2013:

@Italy12: Have to? No. But I would recommend it because the cookie makes it clear to your teacher that you understand the role of the cell wall and how it is different from the cell membrane.

Italy12 on October 13, 2013:

Do I have to use the cookie

OUTFOXprevention1 on October 11, 2013:

We did it in Jello... but it was delicious!

anonymous on June 04, 2013:

THank you so much, In science we have to represent a cell, well, this is going to be imoressive, thanks for the inspiration

Rose Jones on March 22, 2013:

What an adorable idea. Thanks so much for sharing this. Pinned to my cakes board. My science classes were never like this.

anonymous on January 27, 2013:

thanks this helped alot ! I've gotten an a on my 3d model project !

myspace9 on January 25, 2013:

Nice lens.

anonymous on January 18, 2013:

This is great! My son is making a plant cell cake as wwell! This really helped. Thank you!

thewritechick on January 10, 2013:

This is so cool..I never thought to make a plant cell cake as a kid. I also love how you've really got kids engaged in the comment section and making cakes..too cute.

anonymous on November 23, 2012:

imma monster rawr! im making this cake too btw

anonymous on November 12, 2012:

i made this cake for my teacher Mr. Martin and got an A+ for my tic tac toe

anonymous on November 08, 2012:

im a making ths cake its going to be a 3D plant cell its fin to go duuuuuum cause im doing it for mi teacher mrs.king she is the best teacher ever

luv u guys

anonymous on November 07, 2012:

Oh Wow I Am Makin This Cake For My School Project And I Am So Pleased That I Hav Found This Website!!!!!

anonymous on October 28, 2012:

Thxs this is very helpful...

anonymous on October 26, 2012:

im making this cake!!!

anonymous on October 23, 2012:

This is very helpful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

anonymous on October 22, 2012:

paw

anonymous on October 18, 2012:

My teacher Miss Potts will love this for our 3D cell project!!!

anonymous on October 02, 2012:

Mrs.Duncan will be happy

anonymous on September 29, 2012:

My teacher Mrs.Brown will love it

anonymous on September 25, 2012:

Hi! :) This is a Brillant Idea and i Am Using it but Um 1 Qustion, For the _Central Vacuole_ And the _Nucleolus_ Why are the Mike&Ike Candys So big? Thank You!

anonymous on September 20, 2012:

how do u print this

anonymous on September 20, 2012:

me and mii friend are going to do this for our science project

i hope it comes out good and delicious

anonymous on May 19, 2012:

wheresthe vacuole???!!!!!!

anonymous on April 11, 2012:

it turned out great i got an A!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

anonymous on April 11, 2012:

What is your name?

Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on February 11, 2012:

Gr8 idea! I love the mix of fun and science. If there is also a cake, you have a winner!

Franchesca W (author) from Atlanta, GA on November 14, 2011:

@anonymous: Thank you! Good luck on your project! :)

Franchesca W (author) from Atlanta, GA on November 14, 2011:

@anonymous: Of course, AshleyG! :) I used to teach 7th grade science. I hope your plant cell cake turns out beautifully!

anonymous on November 11, 2011:

@anonymous: Who are you making this project for???

anonymous on November 11, 2011:

Is it fine with you if i use this for my 7th gradw science project i will just mix up some of the thingss:) plez answer asap thank u<3

anonymous on November 10, 2011:

this is AMAZING! i'm going to replicate this for my 7th grade plant cake! thanks so much!

LaurenIM on October 08, 2011:

Thanks for the tip about the Dollar Tree. Love the colorfulness.

anilsaini on October 04, 2011:

nice lens

Franchesca W (author) from Atlanta, GA on October 01, 2011:

@SandyPeaks: Thank you so much, SandyPeaks! I'm glad you like them. :)

SandyPeaks on September 30, 2011:

Love your cell cakes! Blessed by a SquidAngel.