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BCI Science Cakes 2014

Marianne Baker Posted in Charity, Engagement, Events 20 October 2014


At lunchtime on Monday 13th October, we held our regional Science Cakes competition,as part of the national Cancer Research UK event.

cancer-research-uk 482

CR-UK Centres across the UK pitted researchers, clinicians, volunteers and staff against each other to create a visually and gastronomically bewitching bake that also represents something scientific.

We had 6 entries this year (see the gallery below for more detail) and lots of hungry BCI staff coming to make their donations, taste the cakes and cast their votes. Our cakes were also judged on their taste and appearance by a panel of BCI volunteers. In total, we raised £150.25! The money from each event is split between CR-UK and the host centre.


The event has run widely around the country, with many CRUK centres taking part. Leicester's cake was even covered on the front page of the local paper! On Twitter, lots of images and compliments can be found via the #sciencecakes and #bartsbake(s) tags (you don't need to have an account to view tweets) and can see collated photos here.


Congratulations to our local winners: Emma, Kaye and Sophie, who received prize vouchers generously donated by Crumbs and Doilies CupcakesFrances Quinn, winner of the 2013 Great British Bake-Off also praised our winning entry, saying the discovery cake looked fab!


Each local champion went into the national competition against all finalists from the other centres.The overall winner was announced by CR-UK on the afternoon of Friday 17th October.


The CR-UK Winner for best interpretation of science through the medium of cake (judged byJo Reynolds) went to joint winners: Glasgow and Oxford.

The reasons are that I loved the story telling of the Glasgow cake – the winners succeeded in showing how the virus multiplies within the cell and bursts out through some very innovative baking. I also love the detail of the hundreds and thousands to represent the rhinovirus capsid.

Oxford's cake impressed me because of the incredible attention to detail – a really delightful and faithful depiction of a CRUK lab, with every item on the lab bench instantly recognisable. Overall I was bowled over by the quality, structure, skill and attention to detail of all of the cakes and had a really tough job making my choice. I'd like to give a special commendation to Newcastle, Belfast and Leicester.

Twitter public vote results:

Oxford – 87 Glasgow – 28
Cardiff – 69 Leeds- 16
Belfast – 67 Southampton - 16
Leicester – 50 Barts – 12
Edinburgh - 33 Manchester – 10
Newcastle – 32 Angel - 3

Thanks to everyone who participated and voted for us!

Click the images below to inspect our science cakes more closely and follow @QMBCI on Twitter and Facebook for updates! You can also follow the event on our Storify page.


Sophie's Recipe

For the cake:
3 eggs
6 oz flour
6 oz caster sugar
6 oz margarine
1 tsp baking powder

A sprinkling of love

For the décor:
Fondant icing
Food colouring
Raspberry jam

The bake:
Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl, melt on a meddium setting in 30-second bursts untill completly melted, stiring well in between. Alternativly use a bowl over a saucepan, set the bowl to one side to cool.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar untill its pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 minsusing a electric hand mixer. Put the egg yolks in a separate bowl and beat for several mins, slowly add the egg yolks to the butter mixture and beat well. Add the choc to this mix and beat again.

Combine the flour,baking powder, bicarb and salt in a seperate bowl. Combine the milk and vanilla in a jug, add one third of the flour to the creamed mix and beat well, pour in one third of the milk mix and beat again, repeating these steps untill all the flour and milk has been added.

In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites,with clean beaters, untill soft peaks start to form. Carefully fold in the egg whites to the batter using a metal spoon.(do not beat as this will take out all the air).

Pre heat oven to 170c (fan),190c/375f/gas mark 5. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins with greaseproof paper. Divide mixture between tins and bake for 30mins.

Remove from the oven leaving for 10mins before removing the tins, once cool sandwich together with (chocolate) buttercream.

From The Primrose Bakery Cookbook

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