Pirate Dreams

Commission: Earth Structural Layer Cake


A little while ago, my sister approached me with an idea. She's doing an education degree, and her and her friends had to give a series of lessons on the geological sciences to a class of primary school kids. One of their lessons involved teaching the kids about the structure of the Earth. One of her friends came up with the idea of presenting a model of the Earth made out of cake. So my sister asked me if I could make a spherical cake with all the layers of the Earth inside it.

I told her I couldn't do it. "How do you get a sphere inside a sphere inside a sphere?" I recall saying. "Oh yeah," she replied, realising what it would involve.



I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about it. I don't admit defeat. Ever. But especially not with cake. Nothing is impossible is pretty much my baking motto, so to say this cake was impossible left me feeling weird. There had to be a way. A way that didn't involve carving or crumbing the cake. I kept mulling it over until I had a breakthrough.

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I've moved! You'll now find the rest of this post here at the brand new Cakecrumbs
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Comments

This is astounding! The inner layers didn't get dried out from being baked more than once?
I didn't sample it but it appeared not: same theory as a polkadot cake.
True art. What a wonderful thing. I bet it tasted great.
Thanks! Apparently the next lesson the kids were all raving about how much they liked the cake -- either it turned out well, or they're easily impressed!
You are amazing.
Thank you. :]
That's gorgeous! Wow!

I'm always surprised and excited to see it any other way. So this time I let my home country by the focal point of the cake

I appreciate this very much. /Kiwi
Haha. I imagine you guys get even less globe love than we do!

Totally epic!

Incredible job, I LOVE the attention to detail-- it's functional, it's beautiful AND it's edible? Trifecta achieved! You're amazing.

Re: Totally epic!

Thanks so much!

(Anonymous)

I am a geology student. I like cake. Marry me?
Done!
Awesome!
Thank you!
Awesome idea. Would seem a simple idea to most, but obviously required a lot of thinking. I think the countries came out looking very accurate. And even though you say the layers weren't perfect, I'm sure inside the earth that they aren't perfectly smooth spheres. ;)
Haha -- I'm not about to visit to go check.
The way the planet actually sits? There's no difference to the planet between the south and north poles. It's purely a human convention that the north pole is the one we put on top.

Ah bias...

Don't you just love it when unconscious bias rears it's little head.

Truly lovely cake. I'm a bit sad that my part of the planet didn't make the cut, so to speak, but really gorgeous. I hope it was delicious, too.
I think the continental map is really neat, and not that much off! Might not lead a pilot to the very precise spot but close :)
Haha, close enough for a days fondant work.

(Anonymous)

Great cake!

You did a great job with the continents and it was a great idea. I get excited about cakes, and even more excited with cleverness.

Re: Great cake!

Thank you. :]

(Anonymous)

cake

that is so cool :) thank you for sharing!!!

Re: cake

Pleasure is all mine! Thanks for stopping by.

(Anonymous)

Awesome!

That is so cool! It's beautiful. The layers are so nicely done, and the colours look great. What's up with the North though lol! It's all stretched flat like a map hehe.

I like the Australia focus too, though I would have made it peach-coloured, rather than green. Can't wait to see the plan A one, if you do make it! You should get a globe to use for reference next time, so you don't have to worry about map projections.
Awesome. Awesome awesome.

hehe, if you made it for a special party, and there was a celiac there, you could make them a little gluten-free moon cake. To scale of course ;)

Another annoying thing about accuracy is the actual thickness of the crust. If your cake had a radius of about 20cm, the crust would be 1 mm. That's not much icing...

Re: Awesome!

Thanks!
This is one gorgeous cake, constructed with talent and cleverness!
Thank you! :]

(Anonymous)

I would never eat something so unnatural (I really don't understand this colourful chemical trend) but I must admit : it looks awesome! Good job!
Julie
(I loved the funny comment about drawing Europe and America ^^)
I'd not assume every coloured cake is made with 'artificial' colouring. 'Natural' food colourings are not only easy to make at home, but readily available to buy commercially.

Interesting Links for 01-06-2013

User andrewducker referenced to your post from Interesting Links for 01-06-2013 saying: [...] ) Earth Structural Layer Cake. (I am damned impressed) [...]

(Anonymous)

your cake

i think this is wonderful - beth from america

Re: your cake

Thank you Beth. :]
fascinating!! that's really cool!
Thank you. :]

(Anonymous)

How to make the layers???

This is absolutely stunning! I am so impressed with your ingenuity, and I would love to try a similar one myself. But I am really not clear on how you made the spheres inside the spheres? Was that middle sphere baked in a small bowl first? More explanation would be VERY MUCH appreciated! Please! Thanks! :)

Re: How to make the layers???

Thanks. I used different size puddings bowls or hemisphere cake tins. I've not included a recipe yet as the method was not entirely successful (gaps and patches of undercooked batter for present) so I'd rather perfect it myself before sharing a technique that may lead others to disaster.

(Anonymous)

!!

This is brilliant! Excellent work!

Re: !!

Thank you. :]

(Anonymous)

This is wonderful! I'm thinking of trying it as an ice cream cake, by packing softened ice cream in layers into a round mold, using a different ice cream flavor/color for each layer. Freeze it hard and decorate it fast!!
Sounds like a fun idea!