Convey the relationship between baking and science with a science fair project with cupcakes. A tasty cupcake depends on specific measurements and the right kinds of ingredients. Some science fair projects with cupcakes include testing which acids give cupcakes the most height, taste tests between fatty cupcakes and non-fat ones, reaction times after eating cupcakes, and effects of flour on cupcakes.
Acids in Cupcakes
Acids are used in cupcakes to make them tall and fluffy. Ingredients like buttermilk have a high acid content to help rise the cakes. An experiment about the acids of cupcakes would compare chocolate cupcakes made with vinegar, buttermilk, lemon juice or cooking sherry. All the other ingredients in the cupcakes would be exactly the same. Fill the same amount of batter into each cup of a cupcake tray and bake together; see which rise the best. Try the experiment at least twice to be sure of the results.
Nonfat Versus Fat Cupcakes
Bake one batch of regular cupcakes with butter and whole milk, and bake another batch of cupcakes using nonfat ingredients, such as nonfat milk and applesauce. Use the same ingredients otherwise for both types. Set up your experiment by giving a double-blind taste test, where the test giver and the test taker do not know the difference between the cupcakes. Test the cupcakes with other students and adults and see if people can tell the difference; compare the results.
Reaction Times Before and After Eating Cupcakes
The sugar in cupcakes can be considered a stimulant. Test the stimulant qualities of a cupcake by baking a batch and serving them up; test the reaction times of test takers before and after they eat the cupcakes. Have one person stand on a chair holding a ruler at the very top. The test taker would stand underneath with their finger ready to catch the ruler when it is dropped. Record the measurement and look on the graph provided by Neuroscience for Kids with the reaction time. Online websites, such as Human Benchmark or Math is Fun, can also be used to test reaction times.
Effects of Flour on Cupcakes
Ingredients in cupcakes have an effect on the final product. Use different types of flours to see if there is any effect on the cupcakes. Soy flour, whole wheat, spelt, white and oat flour can be used for this experiment. All the other ingredients should be exactly the same. Bake them together and afterward, weigh and measure the cupcakes. Record the data on a chart.