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What do cake and paint have in common?

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Cake and paint may seem unrelated, but they share a creative space in human history. Just as bakers mix ingredients in a bowl to craft delectable cakes, artists blend colors on a palette to create masterpieces. Both pursuits involve skill, imagination, and a dash of experimentation. And they both use eggs.

“The main ingredients used to make tempera are dry pigment, which gives paint its color, and egg yolk, which is what we call a binding agent. Without a binding agent the pigment has no way to stick to the surface. It would just fall right off! It’s similar with our cake. If you were to make a cake without any eggs, it might just crumble apart because the egg is there to help bind the mixture.”

Go deeper into the science of egg yolks with MetKids.

mixing egg tempera
Egg tempera paint, a medium dating back to ancient Egypt, Greece, and China, has played a significant role in the history of art. Used prominently during the Byzantine and Medieval periods for its luminous quality and ability to create intricate details, egg tempera came into fashion during Europe’s Renaissance era.

painting with egg tempera
Italian painters Giotto di Bondone, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Sandro Botticelli famously favored egg tempera before more versatile oil paints from Afghanistan rose to prominence.

Want to follow in the footsteps of countless painters from history and the present day? Learn how to make your own egg tempera paint using ingredients from your kitchen:

paint colors

Related instructions: How to make tempera paint with the Royal Academy of Arts.

Watch these related cake, paint, and egg videos next:
β€’Β A Vault of Color: Protecting the World’s Rarest Pigments
β€’Β How do eggs affect bread dough?
β€’Β Microwave cupcakes in a mug, an easy chemistry experiment
β€’ The Scientific Way to Cut a Cake
β€’Β How Crayons Are Made, the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood classic

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