Instructables

Plant Cell Cake

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Picture of Plant Cell Cake
A few years back, my son had to make a 3D plant cell for science class. Instead of making a styrofoam mock-up that would just end up in the trash, we decided to make it from cake. Here is what I (you didn't actually believe he would help me did you?) came up with.
 
 
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Step 1: What you need and Creating the Cell Wall

Picture of What you need and Creating the Cell Wall
I didn't take any step-by-step pics along the way. Had I known I would've needed them, I would have. I omitted the adjoining cell wall sections when I made my cake.

Here's the "verbal" how-to:

What you need:
1- 9"x13" sheet cake (I used chocolate)
Buttercream Icing
Fondant - purchased or home made
Corn Syrup or Glucose
Gel Icing Colors (Pink, Orange, Purple, Blue, Green, Brown & Yellow)
Powdered Sugar
Rolling Pin
Sharp Knife
Small Artist's Paintbrush
Water
Cake Board
Foil (to cover the board)
Piping bags or ziploc bags
Diagram of Plant Cell (2 follow)

1) Cover your board with foil. Center cooled cake on board and using sharp knife, cut off any "hump" to make your cake surface level.

2) Using diagram as a guide, use knife to cut the cake into the basic cell shape.

3) Cover cake with buttercream.

4) Using Gel Icing Colors, color fondant to desired color depths of Orange, Purple, Dark Purple, Dark Pink, Pale Pink, Dark Green, Pale Green, Dark Blue, Pale Blue & Yellow. Make a small batch (about 1/4 cup) each of Light Brown, Brown & Dark Purple buttercream.

5) Sprinkle counter with powdered sugar. Roll out pale blue fondant into a 1/16" thick by 2 1/2-3" wide strip long enough to wrap around the outside edge of your cell cake to create the Plasma Membrane. Keep moving the fondant and lightly sugar the underside as needed to prevent it from sticking. It's OK if you need to do it in sections as it will be covered by the pink outer layer that is to be the Cell Wall.

6) Roll out the pale pink fondant as in step #5 and making the pink just about a 1/4" wider. Wrap the pink strip around the pale blue layer using the paintbrush and the water to adhere. Be sure to leave a section of the blue on the left side exposed so you can see the underlying Plasma Membrane. Just use a thin coat of water over the blue or the pink layer won't stick but instead slide off.

7) Using the pale blue fondant, make small discs and adhere to the outer pink layer using water to represent the Plasmodesmata. Using the handle of the paintbrush, indent the upper edge of the pink to make cross-sections. Using small pieces of the pale blue, adhere with water into the indents and again indent with the brush handle. Cut off any overhang.

This completes the Cell Wall.

Tips:

Always keep your work surface dusted with powdered sugar when rolling out your fondant to prevent sticking. Also remember to dust your rolling pin and move your fondant as this will also prevent your fondant from sticking.

If you don't have a piping bag, ziplocs work just as well. Place your buttercream into the corner of the bag. Remove excess air, zip shut and snip off a tiny section of the corner. You don't want to snip off too big of a section as you only want to pipe tiny dots.

shmadul1 month ago
I would have liked some pictures but very detailed wording
ccrute5 months ago
How much cake mix and fondant?
Really Cool :) I have a couple questions.
1. how long wil this last
2. how long did it take
Gonna so use this for project on the 20th
madlyhot62 years ago
gonna use this for the upcoming project!
not trying to be rude but thats plagerizing
madlyhot62 years ago
awesome!
canida5 years ago
This is fantastic! As a big bio geek, I'm suitably impressed. Beautiful job!
ArtisticSugarworks (author)  canida5 years ago
Thanks so much, canida : )
can you email me directly I have to help my daughter make this for next week on the 30th. thank so much
I don't know today in my biology class we were talking about plant cells and this looks nothing like what I saw, Good Try Though!
There are billions of different plants and types of plant cells. If what you saw was a real plant cell, than just know that most models look VERY similar to this cake. You might not have enough experience with cells to know what one does and does not look like.
Nice! I should've done this for my plant cell project a few years ago.
Mine was a model where LEDs would light up the different parts of the cell when you pushed a button.
Nerd101013 years ago
That is totally cool. I thought of if it was a fully encased cell and you had to dissect the cell to see the parts. It would get students more involved.
I also had to make a 3D cell model in middle school. I made mine from wax (a paraffin base with melted crayons for all of the parts). This is lovely, but I think you should have made your son do it himself!
jenjenbug3 years ago
Send your pic to Ms. Humble at www.notsohumblepie.com. She is a science girl turned baker and would love to see this! Check out her science cookie round-up montages. Your cake is AWESOME!
allison =D4 years ago
oh that is so cool I have to do this for my science class too. this is great thanks!
yiseni964 years ago
awesome I'll be able to do this for my project on edible cells
thats what i'm doing too it'll be fun but on a diet ha ha ha ha
bebobaby4 years ago
cake mods huh! interssting par main diet ch hegi and cake cahn da jee nahin karda but the cake cell sounds kinda kool!=}
connloggi4 years ago
is it is easy do with fondant
Wow. I am in love with this, and when I showed it to my hubby he exclaimed "That is so f***in cool!" So kudos. We will be using this cake model for our son for his birthday. Learning is suposed to be fun.
meggie25 years ago
I helped my daughter do this for her cell project. It turned out pretty well, but yours was a lot better. I just want to thank you for providing us with a great idea. My daughter and I really appreciate. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.
MrOffshore5 years ago
Fantastic job on the plant cell cake, we were researching this because we too have to make a 3D plant cell model...we thought about a cake and saw yours...I think we would have went this route, but we need to spread it out over 2-3 days so we opted for the air dry clay and then to paint it...your cake did inspire us though...great job....A+ in my book.
purplelady5 years ago
I am new to this but this is so awesome are you a cake decorator i don't know how to use this fondant icing and i am afraid that i and my daughter might make a mess of what you did so very well got any tips on pulling it off be that you are a pro
Sunny1246135 years ago
nice,but at first it look like a bathroom,sorry :/ but great job,it looks realistic
RoosMom5 years ago
This has got to be THE best cell I've ever seen. Well I havent actually seen one this pretty and edible but it's the best by far! Thanks for sharing this great idea. We're going to make one too. :)
Treelan5 years ago
As a total biology geek, I love this way too much! I am blown away. If any of my kids ever need this kind of thing, I'll have you to thank for the idea!! KUDOS!
ArtisticSugarworks (author)  Treelan5 years ago
Thanks, Treelan!
WOW! I don't know much about cake, but that thing looks beautiful, +1
Thank you, Pancakeslayer!
Sunbanks5 years ago
That is an awesome looking cake!
ArtisticSugarworks (author)  Sunbanks5 years ago
Thank you, Sunbanks! The picture in your avatar is gorgeous!
Did you get to have any of the cake? Thank you!
ArtisticSugarworks (author)  Sunbanks5 years ago
Sadly no. My boys woofed in the scraps and his class polished off the whole cake. I got an A+ from the teacher though. I'll take the "A" over the calories any day! :)
It looks like it would taste pretty good. :)
so_simple985 years ago
I wish you would have posted this around three weeks ago, because I just had a cell project and this would have helped me a lot. Good job though.
superb in all respects. I have never seen an educational cake before.
Thank you. I actually learned alot while making this.
Well - good to hear that at least the parents are getting something out of the science class! ;-)
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