Cake by Conduction

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In this demonstration, cook a cake using the heat produced when the cake batter conducts an electric current. Because of safety concerns, this activity should be conducted as a demonstration only and learners should be kept at a safe distance.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 2-cup (500 mL) Pyrex measuring cup (or other suitable heat-resistant container)
  • two large stainless steel serving spoons or soup spoons
  • two wooden spring-loaded clothespins
  • AC ammeter (optional)
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet
  • cake mix
  • water
  • vegetable oil
  • eggs


  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electric Circuits
    • Chemistry
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Electronics
  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Rathjen, Don


  • All rights reserved, Exploratorium, 2005