Baking and Chemistry

Learning chemistry can be as easy as pie, or maybe just a piece of cake. Explore the chemistry of baking cookies, bread, pie, and cake, and investigate the science that’s behind the ingredients in your cupboard.


  • ACS ChemClub Cookbook
    It’s a cookbook! It’s a chemistry book! It’s both! Cook up something tasty while learning more about the chemistry behind the recipe.

  • Baked Goods Periodic Tables
    It isn’t just the baking that can be about chemistry. The treats themselves can show chemistry—check out these yummy periodic tables.
  • The Science of Baking
    A blogger combines advice from bakers, chemists, and her grandmother to discover where her cheese puffs took a turn for the worse.
  • Food Chemistry in the High School Classroom
    Get cooking in the classroom! Learn about the food chemistry behind making and baking molasses cookies and bread, then move on to other recipes from this webinar.

  • Bake a Chemistry Cake
    Oops—forgot to add an ingredient to the cake batter! Will it make a difference? Test what happens when you do.
  • The Chemistry of Cake Baking
    Learn about one person’s quest to make a mouthwatering cake while leaving out one of the main ingredients so friends with food allergies could still enjoy it.
  • Cake-Baking Secrets
    Food Network guru Alton Brown discusses tips to keep your cake from falling flat.

cookies

  • Get Cooking with Chemistry
    There’s plenty of hands-on kitchen fun in this American Chemical Society collection—mystery powders, yeast, and baking powder.
  • Grandma Button's Molasses Cookies
    Bake up some tasty cookies, but be warned—you’ll need to translate the “science-speak” first.
  • The Skinny on Low Fat Cookies
    Try this Science for Kids activity designed for elementary students. It’s a great excuse to eat more cookies…
  • Chemist Divulges How To Bake the Perfect Cookie
    A food scientist and author of the book BakeWise offers her solutions for “common cookie complaints.”

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  • The Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder
    Added baking soda instead of baking powder? Or vice versa? So what? Find out if it makes a difference to your cookie.
  • Baking Powder Wars
    A cut-throat war between rival baking powder companies? It’s true! Find out about it while watching a slide show of historical illustrations.
  • How Yeast Works
    Will yeast work with just water? Water and sugar? What about artificial sweeteners? Experiment with these combos and more.

"Baking" written in flour
  • Kitchen Lab—Bread Recipes and Activities
    “Goodness, gracious, great balls of gluten!” Visit this collection to learn about what makes dough stretchy, fire up some sourdough starter, and more.
  • Bread Chemistry
    Wheat or white? No matter the type of bread, there’s chemistry involved. Learn more!
  • Easy as Pie
    Having trouble making a tender, flaky crust? Pick up some ideas from Food Network’s Alton Brown.