Introduction: Edible Cell Cake
Did you know that 100 trillion little factories make up your body? These factories are called cells. Cells are the building blocks of life because they make up every living thing, like plants, animals and bacteria.
Cells can do lots of different tasks like digest nutrients to provide their own energy and produce new cells by making copies of itself. Most many-celled organisms have cells of various kinds and humans have roughly 200 different types of cells. The cells form different structures and perform different functions such as creating muscles, eyes, or teeth.
Inside each cell, are different machines and workers that have certain jobs to keep the cell healthy. These machines are called organelles. In this activity, you will get to create your own edible cell complete with candy organelles!
● Cake, Cookie or Brownie (used as a base for your cell decorations)
● Various edible candies to use to represent organelles
○ Oreo (or something circular in shape)
○ M&Ms (or chocolate chips)
○ Twizzlers (or something long and thin like cooked spaghetti)
○ Jellybeans (or any gummies)
○ Fruit leather (or something similar like fruit by the foot)
Be creative! Feel free to substitute your favorite candy for one of our suggestions
Step 1: Prepare Your Base Cake, Cookie or Brownie
I used a strawberry cake mix, but feel free to use any base you would like, such as a cake, cookie, or brownie.
Step 2: Frost the Cake, Cookie, or Brownie
I had yellow, vanilla frosting on hand to frost the cake, but feel free to use any type of frosting you prefer!
Step 3: Decorate Your Cell With Candy
We used eight different types of candies to represent eight different organelles inside a cell.
The Cytoplasm is represented by frosting. It is the jelly-like substance that surrounds all the organelles in the cell.
The Cell Membrane is represented by red licorice. The membrane is a thin but tough wall that acts like a skin for the cell letting in good things and keeping out the bad.
The Nucleus is represented by an Oreo and is the “brain” for the cell. It tells the organelles how to function correctly. The nucleus also contains chromosomes that contain DNA. DNA is the instruction manual for the cells to do their specific job for the body.
The Mitochondria are represented by M&Ms. Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. It converts the food we eat into energy for our bodies and the cells themselves.
The Golgi Apparatus is like a conveyer belt that packages proteins made in the cell and transports them to either other parts of the cell or outside the cell itself. It is represented by jellybeans and is often depicted near the nucleus.
The Vacuoles are storage bubbles that can store various things like food, nutrients, and even waste. They are represented by gummies.
The Endoplasmic Reticulum or ER is a tube-like structure that produces fats and proteins. There are two different kinds of ER, the rough which contains ribosomes, and the smooth which does not. The ER is represented by cut-up fruit leather strips.
The Ribosomes are small protein factories. They can be located either on the rough ER or just free-floating in the cell. These are represented by sprinkles.
There are more organelles than the eight we chose, so feel free to make your cell as detailed as you like! Have fun decorating your cell, but don’t forget to give it a taste!