In this easy ExpeRimental science experiment for kids (and adults who want a cylindrical pancake with their morning coffee), we learn how to make microwave cup-cakes… or really, mug-cakes.

And what happens if we leave one ingredient out? By not adding baking soda, or an egg, or the oil, you can investigate the chemistry of the cakes by comparing the results. Download the recipe card and info sheet (both pdfs), and maybe add some bananas, or dried cranberries, or chocolate chips, or some oats, or thinly-sliced apples… for scientific purposes, of course.

What if we swap out baking powder and the egg for some salt and food coloring? In the video below, we take similar ingredients and make something completely new to play with: How to make play dough, mixtures, solutions, and chemical reactions. Find the corresponding info sheet here (pdf).


The Royal Institution‘s ExpeRimental series is produced and directed by Alom Shaha, who also collaborates on excellent classroom science demo videos.

Watch this next: How to make electric dough.

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