Category: Food. Last updated June 20, 2023.

« Back to Themes

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


  1. Activities
  2. Demos
  3. Labs
  4. Articles
  5. Videos


  • Analyze a Family Recipe from AACT
    Select a family recipe, or a favorite recipe to investigate. Analyze several of the ingredients in order learn more about the chemistry of each one, as well as their purpose in the recipe.
  • Cooking with Conversions from AACT
    Examine a common homemade recipe for German chocolate cake in order to convert the English ingredients list to metric units through scientific calculations. Also review the cooking procedures to classify steps as containing compounds or mixtures as well as identify whether chemical or physical changes are taking place.
  • Chemistry Cupcakes from ChemMatters Magazine
    Mix up one batch of cupcakes, then get ready for cupcakes 2.0. Hack your recipe and see the results.
  • Food Chemistry Infographic from AACT
    Create an infographic for a favorite food after researching the chemical content and nutritional values in the ingredients.


  • What Causes Yeast to Ferment? from AACT
    Observe and verify molasses sugar content as a result of its ability to ferment yeast. Compare how molasses allows yeast to ferment with other sugar solutions as well as a sugar-free solution.


  • Solubility Plays a Role: Making Seitan from Flour from AACT
    Use this lab to demystify a common ingredient—wheat flour. Observe some properties of whole wheat flour by preparing seitan, a vegetarian meat substitute made from the glutenin and gliadin proteins in flour.
  • How Yeast Works from The Chemiyst
    Will yeast work with just water? Water and sugar? What about artificial sweeteners? Experiment with these combos and more.
  • Sourdough for Science from Student Discover
    Grow your own sourdough starter from scratch just by mixing flour and water. Then measure the height and pH of your start to track the growth of your “microbial zoo” over time.


  • Attack of the Gluten from ChemMatters Magazine
    Some people have skin rashes and stomach cramps when they eat foods that contain gluten, a substance found in wheat, barley, and rye. Why are these people sensitive to gluten, and what can they eat?
  • Sweet But Good for You? from ChemMatters Magazine
    Is high-fructose corn syrup as bad as many media reports say it is? Let’s look at the facts.
  • Sweet Science of Madeleines from Cravings of a Food Scientist
    Should we call it the camel of cookies? Just look for the characteristic hump and the science that makes it.
  • Macaron Science 101 (Cravings of a Food Scientist)
    Making these tricky cookies can be a tasty challenge. How will you fare?


  • Do Astronauts Need Sunscreen? from ACS Reactions

    How do astronauts survive the deadly radiation of deep space? NASA is still figuring out how to protect astronauts from cosmic radiation -- like plastic shielding and magnetic deflectors.

  • Why New York has the Best Bagels from ACS Reactions
    Many people agree that the Big Apple has the best bagels in the world, but disagree on why. Some say it’s the tap water, others say it’s the dough, and a few say it’s purely attitude.

  • How to Cookie with Science from ACS Reactions
    Science can help us make that perfect chocolate chip cookie. Chocolate chip cookies are nearly universally adored. People like them in all sorts of textures, sizes and tastes. So how can you make your perfect cookie? Using science, of course.

  • The Ultimate Donut Battle: Cake vs. Yeast from ACS Reactions
    There’s nothing weirder than biting into a cake donut when you’re expecting the texture of a yeast donut. It’s all fried dough, right? Learn how chemistry makes these two foods so different.