The Chemistry of Cupcakes


Cupcakes are traced all the way back to 1796. Their intention was to make eating and serving cake more effective and easy. They are called different names all over the world. In British English, they are referrred as “fairy cake”. In Hiberno English, they are called “bun”. In the “Land Down Under” they are called “patty cake”. The first noted cupcake-like food was in a cookbook by Amelia Simmons called “American Cookery”. In there, it was called “a cake to be baked in small cups”. It was not till 1828 till the word “cupcake” came up. It was found in a cookbook called “Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats”. This showed that things were measured by volume instead of weight. I chose cupcakes because they remind me of my sister. Whenever she comes home from college for a visit, we always go get cupcakes and tea together. Composition of ...

    • Flour
    • Salt
      • NaCl
    • Baking Powder
      • NaHCO3+H+-----> Na++CO2+H20
    • Butter
      • C12H22O11
    • Sugar
      • C12H22O11
    • Egg
    • Milk
      • C12H22O11
    • Vanilla
    • CnH2n+1OH

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

Flour: (C6H12O6) Flour is a type of starch. Flour helps to make the cupcake spongy and light. Flour also helps to thicken them. This is all happening throughout the whole process of baking cupcakes.

Baking Powder: (NaHCO3+H+-----> Na++CO2+H20) Baking powder is also used as a rising agent. The baking powder helps the cupcake to form into its distinct shape. This reaction occurs when the cupcakes are in the oven baking.

Chemistry's Role

Flour is created in a lab. Flour is made by grinding grains of wheat or other types alike it.

Baking powder is also created in a lab. Baking powder is made by adding bicarbonate to a weak acid. The final product is man made. A cupcake does not pop out of the ground or come off a tree.


    • Different names
    • First time found

    • Main ingredients

    • Chemicals
    • Significance of baking powder, baking soda, and eggs

    • Surcrose
    • Maillard Reaction
    • Carbonic Acid
    • Batter turns into a liquid

    • Lactose

    • Vanilla extract

    • Formula for the alcohol in vanilla extract

    • Baking powder reaction

    • Flour makes cake spongey
    • Baking powder

    • C6H12O6 (FLOUR)

  • Made up of grinding up grain (FLOUR)

About the Author

Masey is a junior at Billings Senior High School. In the spring, she long jumps for the school track team. She’s fairly involved in helping out around the school and in the community. She hopes to pursue a career in pediactrics after high school. She also wishes to own a small goat farm.