Is Baking A Chemical Change? The Answer May Surprise You

Is baking a chemical change? First and foremost, when you bake a cake or cookies, you perform a chemical change. The heat from the oven causes the batter to change into a solid, delicious treat. This is because the heat causes the proteins in the flour to change shape and the fat in the butter to melt. The eggs also play an essential role in the chemical reaction, as they help bind all of the ingredients together. Baking is just one example of a chemical reaction every day in our kitchens. When we cook food on the stove, grill food, or even just let food sit out too long, we are causing chemical changes. So the next time you enjoy a delicious meal, remember that you are experiencing chemistry in action!

Accordingly, baking is a type of cooking that involves using dry heat for cooking food.

This can be done in an oven or over an open flame. Baking is often used for cooking bread, cakes, and other baked goods. It is also sometimes used to cook meat and vegetables. For example, when you bake bread, the flour and water undergo a chemical reaction known as hydrolysis. This reaction produces new molecules, including glucose and maltose. The maltose then reacts with the glutenin to produce carbon dioxide gas, making the bread rise. Other chemical reactions also occur during baking, such as the Maillard reaction, which between amino acids and reducing sugars

When you bake, you are causing a chemical reaction between the ingredients in your recipe.

This causes the delicious smell of fresh baked goods and the change in texture from liquid to solid. The baking process is a chemical change because it results in the creation of new substances, including carbon dioxide gas and water vapor.

This is usually caused by the interaction of two or more substances, resulting in the creation of new substances. When you bake, you are causing a chemical change to occur. For example, when you cook flour and water together, they chemically react to form new gluten molecules. These molecules give bread its chewy texture. Similarly, adding baking powder to your batter causes a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas. This gas makes your pancakes nice and fluffy!

Many different types of food can be baked, including loaves of bread, cakes, pies, and cookies. The baking process alters the chemical composition of the food, causing it to become more tasty and nutritious.

-The Maillard reaction: This chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars gives baked goods a brown color and delicious flavor.

-Starch gelatinization: This is the process of starch molecules absorbing water and expanding, which helps to make baked goods less dense and more fluffy.

While many people think of baking as simply combining ingredients and then applying heat, several types of chemistry are involved in the baking process.

Heat causes the molecules in the ingredients to break apart and rearrange into new arrangements, resulting in the formation of new chemicals. This is why baked goods often have a different texture, flavor, and appearance than their raw counterparts. Hence, while you probably not be able to see the chemical changes taking place, they are happening on a microscopic level every time you bake something delicious.

Is baking a chemical change? Chemical changes occur when the composition of a substance is altered at the molecular level, and this is what happens when flour is transformed into bread or cake. Moreover, the properties of the flour are changed by the application of heat, resulting in a new product with different textures and flavors.


In conclusion, we can see that baking is a chemical change. The molecules in the ingredients are rearranged to create new compounds, which give baked goods their structure and flavor. By understanding this process, bakers can better control the outcome of their products.

Is baking a chemical change? Baking is a process that involves the application of heat to a portion of food to cook it. While this may seem like the cooking of food, there is more to it than that. The baking process is a chemical change, as it results in the alteration of the molecular structure of the food. This is what gives baked goods their unique texture and flavor. When you bake something, the proteins in the flour are denatured, meaning that they change shape. Above all, this results in new compounds, which contribute to the taste and smell of baked goods. So, next time you enjoy a freshly-baked cake or cookie, remember that you’re experiencing the result of a chemical reaction!

Disclaimer: ECHEMI reserves the right of final explanation and revision for all the information.

The changes undergone by a dough or batter as it bakes are basically the same for all baked products, from breads to cookies and cakes. You should know what these changes are so you can learn how to control them.

1. Formation and expansion of gases.

Some gases are already present in the dough, as in proofed bread dough and in sponge cake batters. As they are heated, the gases expand and leaven the product.

Some gases are not formed until heat is applied.Yeast and baking powder form gases rapidly when first placed in the oven. Steam is also formed as the moisture of the dough is heated.

Leavening and leavening agents are discussed in more detail.

2. Trapping of the gases in air cells.

As the gases form and expand, they are trapped in a stretchable network formed by the proteins in the dough.These proteins are primarily gluten and, sometimes, egg protein.

Without gluten or egg protein, the gases would escape, and the product would not be leavened. Breads without enough gluten are heavy.

3. Coagulation of proteins.

Like all proteins, gluten and egg proteins coagulate or solidify when they reach high enough temperatures.This is the process that gives structure to baked goods.

Correct baking temperature is important. If the temperature is too high, coagulation will start too soon, before the expansion of gases has reached its peak.The product will have poor volume or a split crust. If the temperature is too low, the proteins will not coagulate soon enough, and the product may collapse.

4. Gelatinization of starches.

The starches absorb moisture, expand, and become firmer.

5. Evaporation of some of the water.

This takes place throughout the baking process.

6. Melting of shortenings.

Different shortenings melt—and release trapped gases—at different temperatures, so the proper shortening should be selected for each product.

As the fats melt, they surround the air cells and make the product more tender.

7. Crust formation and browning.

Browning occurs when sugars caramelize and starches and proteins undergo certain changes.This contributes to flavor. Milk, sugar, and egg increase browning. A crust is formed as water evaporates from the surface and leaves it dry.

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I would be lying to you if I said I was a scientist. I’d also be lying to you if I said I wasn’t absolutely fascinated with it. That said, I have spent plenty of time researching chemical and physical changes and can confidently state that baking a cake is a chemical change.

Hey, there! My name is Michelle and I am a home baker that’s been mixing, whirring, and creating for the past ten years. During my time baking, I have learned that baking really is a science. I wanted to learn about the scientific aspect, which led me to this post.

If you have ever wanted to learn about whether baking a cake was a chemical or physical change, you’ve stumbled across the right post. Below, you will find plenty of information about how and why baking a cake is a chemical change – not a physical one.

  • Is Baking a Cake a Chemical or Physical Change?
  • FAQs
  • Final Words

When you bake a cake, you’re doing more than just crafting something delectable – you are also doing science. (Maybe this is a great way to teach some science to your kiddos out there?)

More specifically, you are creating a chemical change. That’s because baking a cake creates a chemical change, NOT a physical change. Why? Because a chemical change occurs when molecules (those found in cake ingredients) of more than one substance are combined, rearranged, and formed into a new substance entirely.

There are a few key indicators that prove a chemical change has occurred:

  • Change in the smell – Your baked cake smells much different than the batter you started with
  • It gives off or takes in heat – Your cake is baked in the oven, creating an endothermic reaction which means it takes in heat. (The other option is exothermic which gives off heat – both involved in chemical changes)
  • Gases being released – When your cake is baking, gases must release in order to create a lightweight, airy, and fluffy cake.
  • Can’t go back to original form – Once your cake has been baked, it cannot be returned to its original form (separate flour, eggs, sugar, etc.)
  • Transformation – The biggest indicator of a chemical change is transformation. Clearly, your cake transforms from a thick batter to a light and fluffy cake after being baked, thus proving a chemical change has taken place

Why Is Baking a Cake Not a Physical Change?

To understand why baking a cake is not considered a physical change, it’s important to understand what a physical change is. A physical change occurs when something the way it looks is altered, but the composition remains the same.

Think of a physical change such as tearing paper. The paper has changed, but the molecules of the paper remain the same. It is also able to be put back together, although it may be challenging. But being able to return to the original form is a key indicator of a physical change.

Looking to find out more about chemical changes and physical changes? Here is a great education website that goes into great detail about both.


It’s pretty exciting to learn that you’re essentially doing a science experiment every time you engage in baking a cake. If you’re still curious about this query, then check out these frequently asked questions below.

What are the chemical changes in a cake?

Cakes undergo several chemical changes while mixing and baking, from the gluten formation to the browning and binding. One of the most interesting chemical changes is baking soda reacting with acids to create carbon dioxide, which is necessary for your cake to rise.

Is baking muffins a physical change or a chemical change?

Since muffins are made in a similar manner to cakes, it’s clear that muffin-making causes a chemical change rather than a physical change. Remember, muffins are transformed from batter and it is an irreversible process, making it a chemical change.

Is baking bread a chemical change?

Baking bread is also a chemical change. It starts with the batter being made, then allows the dough to rise. From there, the bread is baked in an oven and transformed from a dough to a loaf of bread that can’t be reversed.

Final Words

When it comes to baking a cake, you’re doing more than making a treat for your friends and family members. You’re creating a science experiment that results in a chemical change. That’s because cakes transform and are irreversible once baked, indicating a chemical change.

I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It’s been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

Baking a cake is more than just mixing ingredients and enjoying a light, fluffy, and incredibly decadent treat; it’s a chemical change, too. The biggest clue that baking a cake is a chemical change is that it transforms ingredients into a new substance that can’t be reversed.

Hello! My name is Michelle, and I am no scientist; I’m a baker! But plenty of people will tell you that these titles are the same. Baking truly is a science, and that’s why I love discovering new scientific things about baking – such as whether is baking a cake a chemical or physical change.

The next time you’re baking a cake, look at things from a scientist’s point of view. How? We’ll help you. This article is all about learning why baking is a chemical change. There are a few different indicators, all of which are truly fascinating.

Who’s ready to learn?

  • Why is Baking a Cake a Chemical Change?
  • What Chemical Reactions Take Place While Baking?
  • FAQs
  • Final Words

Without knowing the specifics of chemical changes, you can understand the four most important indicators that a chemical change has taken place:

  • Smell. The delightful scent a baked cake eludes isn’t just because of the ingredients meddling together. It’s because a chemical change has occurred. Since the smell from the batter to the actual cake is different, it’s a clear sign a chemical change has happened.
  • Heat. Another indicator is heat. When something has undergone a chemical change, it will give off or take in heat. In this case, cakes take in heat, otherwise known as an endothermic reaction.
  • Gas. Gases are released during the cake baking process, taking an ooey-gooey batter and transforming it into a light, fluffy, airy, and perfectly textured treat.
  • It cannot be undone. You can’t unbake a cake, which is our final clue that baking a cake is a chemical change. The original components are transformed into a cake, leaving the different ingredients (eggs, sugar, flour, etc.) behind.

Since a baked cake has all four indicators of a chemical change, we can confidently say that baking a cake is, in fact, a chemical reaction. The chemical change occurs while the batter is heated in the oven, and new bonds are formed, creating the final result.

What Chemical Reactions Take Place While Baking?

Now you know that baking a cake is an irreversible chemical change. But what’s really going on behind the scenes? There are a couple of different chemical reactions that take place while your cake is baked in the oven.

  • When baking powder is presented with heat, tiny bubbles of gas form to make the cake rise. In turn, you’re left with a light and fluffy texture rather than a thick and gooey batter.
  • Heat also causes the proteins in eggs to undergo a chemical reaction, firming the ingredients and halting potential sinkage to create the final product.
  • Sugar undergoes a Maillard reaction, which is the chemical reaction that creates the browning on the exterior of cakes.
  • Lastly, oil is necessary to ensure that the chemical reactions from the heat don’t end up drying the cake. Think of it as a barrier for interior moisture.

Pretty fascinating, isn’t it? If you’re still curious about the chemical changes in baking a cake, check out these frequently asked questions below.

Is baking a cake a physical or chemical change?

Baking a cake is a chemical change because it takes a batch of ingredients and rearranges them (with the help of heat) to form a new substance (cake). The new substance cannot be reserved for its original form.

What is the chemical reaction in baking a cake?

Many chemical reactions take place while a cake is baking in the oven. The bulk of the reactions occurs when certain ingredients, such as eggs, sugar, and baking powder, are exposed to heat. From there, the reactions occur to meddle with the ingredients for the final result.

Why is cooking a chemical change?

It’s not just baking that causes a chemical change, but regular cooking, too. Basically, anything that starts as a batch of ingredients and is turned into something brand new is undergoing a chemical reaction.

What causes a cake to rise?

What causes a cake to rise is all thanks to the chemical changes involving baking powder. When exposed to heat, carbon dioxide bubbles are formed and trapped, which causes the cake to rise.

Now, not only are you a top-notch baker, but you are a bit of a scientist, too. So the next time someone asks you if baking is a chemical change, you can confidently tell them “yes”  and show them the four indicators: smell, heat, gas, and an irreversible change.

Did you know that baking a cake is a chemical change? Do you have anything to add to our scientific answer?

Purpose: By baking a loaf of bread, students will learn how chemical changes can alter physical properties. After analyzing the chemical reactions that occur in breadmaking and observing how they alter the physical properties of bread, students will diagram each chemical process that occurs.

Procedural overview: In this activity, students will read the online Science News article “These chemists cracked the code to long-lasting Roman concrete” and complete the “Concrete physical and chemical changes” discussion activity for homework. Using the chemical and physical changes identified in the discussion activity for reference, students will study how the relationships between yeast, sugar, flour and heat create bread. As students complete each breadmaking step, they will identify the chemical reactions and observe how those reactions change the bread’s physical properties. Students will then create diagrams demonstrating each chemical process.

Approximate class time: 2 class periods

Fleischmann’s RapidRise or another brand of instant yeast

Microwave or refrigerator

Building bread student worksheet

Directions for teachers:

To prepare for this activity, have students read “These chemists cracked the code to long-lasting Roman concrete” from Science News online. A version of this article titled “Chemists crack the code to ancient Roman concrete” appeared in the Feb. 11, 2023 print issue of Science News. The reading and the discussion activity can be completed as homework.

Before beginning, decide the order of the activity’s components. In method one, students will learn the basics of breadmaking before making and baking the bread during a second class session. In method two, students will make the bread dough during the first class session before learning the science behind breadmaking. Students will leave their dough to rest overnight before baking their bread during a second class session.

The benefit of method two is that it allows for a longer rise time, which produces lighter and more flavorful bread.

Review the information below about the chemical reactions that occur during breadmaking.

Yeast and sugar are essential. Yeast metabolizes sugar in a process called fermentation, producing carbon dioxide, ethanol and energy (in the form of ATP). This process forms carbon dioxide pockets inside the bread, causing it to rise.

Breadmaking also requires gluten formation. To form gluten, bread must include water and flour, which contains proteins called glutenin and gliadin. When these proteins come in contact with water, they uncoil and link together to form a gluten network. Kneading the dough works the small gliadin and the large glutenin proteins together, helping them form strong connections and a gluten network. This gluten network can trap the carbon dioxide produced by fermentation. But the amount of kneading can affect the strength of the gluten network, making it either too strong or too weak for proper rising.

Bread must be baked. In bread, temperatures from 140° to 165° C trigger the Maillard reaction. In this process, sugars and the amino acids in protein undergo multiple chemical reactions to form a variety of new compounds that affect the color, texture, aroma and flavor of bread. The Maillard reaction is also responsible for the browning of meats or fried foods and can occur at a variety of temperatures. Because bread is baked above 165° C, it must be carefully watched while baking to prevent it from burning.

After students learn about fermentation, gluten formation and the Maillard reaction, make sure they know the difference between endothermic and exothermic reactions. They’ll need to understand the difference to answer the questions about the chemical properties of bread.

1. How are the processes of making self-healing concrete and bread similar?

Making Roman concrete and making bread both involve chemical reactions that also change their respective physical properties.

2. How do chemical reactions change the physical properties of bread?

Carbon dioxide production causes bread dough to rise, kneading the bread dough strengthens it by forming a gluten matrix, and baking browns the bread.

3. What is the gluten matrix, and why is it important in breadmaking?

The gluten matrix is formed by bringing glutenin and gliadin together, linking them. This gluten matrix can then trap the carbon dioxide produced by yeast during fermentation, helping the bread rise.

4. What happens to the gluten matrix when the dough is overworked, meaning it was kneaded too long? How could excessive kneading affect the bread’s structure?

The gluten matrix could become so strong that the dough cannot stretch and capture all the carbon dioxide being produced. Because of this, the dough might not properly rise.

5. What happens to the gluten matrix when the dough is underworked, having not been kneaded enough? How could this affect the bread’s structure?

The gluten matrix will not form, and the carbon dioxide will not be captured in the dough. The carbon dioxide might instead bubble out of the dough, preventing the dough from rising.

6. Exothermic reactions release energy to convert one chemical compound to another. Endothermic reactions require energy to convert one chemical compound to another. Was Roman concrete production exothermic or endothermic? Why?

Quicklime was mixed with water to produce Roman concrete. This reaction produced heat, a type of energy, making it an exothermic reaction.

7. Predict whether breadmaking is primarily an endothermic or exothermic process. Explain your answer.

Breadmaking is primarily an endothermic process because the Maillard reaction requires heat to occur. Bread cannot be made without this heat-induced chemical reaction.

Both breadmaking methods in this activity use the same set of ingredients and combine them in the same way, but the methods for rising differ. Method one takes approximately 50 minutes from start to finish and can be completed during the second class session. Method two is started during the first class session and finished during the second class session. Both methods could benefit from additional rising time as longer rising times result in lighter and more flavorful bread. In both methods, the bread should be shaped into a long, narrow log to ensure even baking and to avoid an uncooked interior.

Be sure students have access to the ingredients and breadmaking directions throughout the activity.

Ingredients for both methods:

  • 3.5 grams of Fleischmann’s RapidRise or another instant yeast
  • 7 grams of granulated sugar
  • 9 grams of salt
  • 227 grams of warm water (not over 43° C or ∼110° F)
  • 344 grams of all-purpose flour (or more as needed)
  • Olive oil

1. Mix the yeast, sugar and water together.

2. Mix the yeast mixture with the flour and salt.

3. Knead the dough, rotating the dough 90 degrees with each fold, until it comes together and becomes smooth.

4. Drizzle the dough with olive oil, and cover the dough with cling wrap in a microwavable bowl.

5. Microwave the dough for 25 seconds.

6. Let the dough rest and rise for 5 minutes.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6.

8. Shape the dough into a narrow log by pulling the corners of the dough and folding them toward the center, creating a narrow log.

9. Repeat steps 5 and 6.

10. Place the dough onto a tray and bake at 230° C or ∼450° F for 25 minutes or until fully cooked.

4. Drizzle the dough with olive oil, and cover the dough with cling wrap in a bowl.

5. Let the dough rest and rise for at least 40 minutes and up to 3 hours.

6. Place the dough in the refrigerator to rise overnight.

9. Place the dough onto a tray and let it rest 20 or more minutes to come up to room temperature.

10. Bake at 230° C or ∼450° F for 25 minutes or until fully cooked.

Ask students to fill in the breadmaking chart in their student worksheet as they complete each step in the breadmaking process. Here’s a breadmaking chart with answers for teachers.

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Bread is a staple in many cultures and has been around for centuries. The process of making bread involves a chemical reaction between the flour, water, and yeast. When bread is baked, the yeast produces carbon dioxide gas, which makes the bread rise. The flour and water create a gluten network that traps the gas and gives the bread its structure. Bread can be boiled, which is a physical change, but it will not change the structure of the bread. The starch in the flour will begin to break down and the bread will become gummy. However, if you soak bread in water, it will cause a chemical change. The water will break down the gluten network, causing the bread to become mushy.

It’s worth noting that the cake dough isn’t a cake because when it’s heated in the oven, there’s a chemical reaction that produces new bonds. How do heat and friction change things? The process of creating chemicals takes place.

Toasting bread entails heating it to a high temperature and causing a reaction known as the Maillard reaction. Browning is a chemical reaction that occurs when food is heated. The Maillard reaction occurs when amino acids, which are used to make proteins, are mixed with reducing sugars such as glucose.

Why Is Baking Bread A Chemical Change?

Baking bread is a chemical change because it is a reaction between the flour, water, and yeast. The flour and water create a dough, and the yeast causes the dough to rise. When the dough is baked, the yeast creates carbon dioxide gas, which makes the bread light and fluffy.

Cooking chemical reactions are caused by the interaction of various ingredients such as water, oil, proteins, and starch. Cooking is a chemical process that involves the Maillard reaction, the most important of these reactions. Toast’s characteristic color, flavor, and texture can be obtained as a result of this reaction. Maillard reactions are caused by amino acid and sugar interactions, resulting in food brownening. You should be on the lookout for any signs that your food is starting to brown. The reactions are quick, so keep an eye out for them. A thermometer is the most accurate way to know how quickly food is ready.

What Type Of Chemical Reaction Is Baking Bread?

Fermentation is a process that causes the holes and the flavor of bread. The holes are actually made up of bubbles of carbon dioxide as a result of the process of respiration.

Baking results in a variety of chemical reactions. Glutenin andgliadin are two proteins found in flour that are critical. These gluten bonds are intensified when the dough is kneaded. Baking powder and baking soda lighten baked dough in addition to leavingning agents. A yeast feed begins to produce starches, which include sugars, alcohol, and carbon dioxide, as well as sugars, alcohol, and carbon dioxide. At high temperatures, proteins and sugars are broken down and rearranged, resulting in a maillard reaction. Baking dough becomes brown and darkened as a result of the reactions.

In addition, baking powder is a leavening agent rather than baking soda. Leavening agents, which allow the cake to bake light and fluffy, produce air bubbles during baking. Baking powder and baking soda are two examples of leavening agents. Baking powder reacts with water to form bubbles, whereas baking soda does not. Baking powder, unlike baking soda, is a leavening agent. Baking powder is made up of two chemicals: a base and an acid. Gas bubbles form as a result of the combination of these chemicals. The gas bubbles act as a fluffy coating on the cake. Salt and potassium are the two main components of baking soda. When these chemicals are mixed together, they form bubbles. The bubbles help to form air pockets in the cake, which makes it fluffy.

A Process Of Physical And Chemical Changes

Baking bread involves three chemical reactions: the breakdown of starch into maltose, a complex sugar; the breakdown of complex sugars into simple sugars; and the breakdown of protein chains. As a result of this process, the bread is much harder and more durable than bread that is not baked. Brass, unlike copper and zinc, has a physical property that differs from these metals in that it does not require chemical reactions. Copper and zinc are not chemically bonded when they are combined, as they are when they are mixed together. As a result, brass does not refer to a chemical reaction but rather a physical reaction.

Is Baking Bread A Physical Change

Baking bread is not the only chemical change involved. After the batter has been made, the dough is allowed to rise. In this step, the bread is baked in an oven and transformed from a dough to a loaf that will not come back out.

Dry heat is used to cook food in a method known as baking. The process can take place in an oven or on an open flame. Baking causes a chemical reaction between the ingredients in your recipe. The result is the formation of new substances such as carbon dioxide gas and water vapor. Baking, according to popular belief, is simply combining ingredients and applying heat to them. Baking has several different types of chemistry involved. Because baked goods differ from raw items in terms of texture, flavor, and appearance, they are frequently more appealing.

Every time you bake something delicious, you’ll notice changes in microscopic terms. The process of baking involves heating a portion of food to a temperature. Baking ingredients are rearranged in order to create new compounds, which give the baked goods their structure and flavor. By gaining a better understanding of the process, bakers can better manage their products.

There are some things that are not necessarily harmful to chemical changes. Cake, for example, is formed when you combine salt and water in the same way that water and salt are mixed. Because of the new substance’s chemical composition, baking the cake is not physically different from the original batter. Baking a cake is a chemical change, which means the cake’s chemical composition is different from that of the original batter.

Why Baking Is A Chemical Reaction

Baking occurs as a chemical change, where two or more molecules that make up a substance are rearranged to form a new one. This change is caused by the heated ingredients being at a specific temperature, which is determined by the type of bread used. This process is known as the Maillard reaction, and it produces a wide range of products that enhance the flavor of the bread and help to form the brown crust.

Is Toasting Bread A Chemical Change

When you toast bread, the bread undergoes a chemical change. The bread becomes crisp and changes color because of the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction that occurs when the bread is exposed to high temperatures.

This type of Maillard reaction occurs when amino acids interact with sugars to produce a characteristic brown color, texture, and flavor. If you charring bread, not toasting it, it will become carbonized. When you make lemonade, the physical change does not involve the formation of covalent chemical bonds.

Is Putting Peanut Butter On Bread A Physical Or Chemical Change?

Most people would say that putting peanut butter on bread is a physical change because the bread and peanut butter maintain their original form. However, some would argue that it is a chemical change because when the two substances are combined, they create a new substance – peanut butter and bread.

Baking A Cake Chemical Change

When you bake a cake, you are causing a chemical change to occur. The ingredients you use – flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and baking powder – are all chemicals. When you mix them together and put them in the oven, the heat causes a reaction that turns them into the delicious cake you know and love.

Is Water Evaporating A Chemical Change

When a liquid evaporates, it retains its chemical composition. Temperature and pressure can change the phase of a liquid in any way. As a result, the transition from liquid to gas is considered to be a physical change.

Do you like to cook?

Cooking is a valuable skill that can benefit everyone. Whether it is fixing a simple grilled cheese sandwich or preparing an elaborate meal, cooking demonstrates some basic concepts of chemistry. When you bake bread, you mix flour, sugar, yeast, and water together. After baking, this mixture has been changed to form bread, another substance that has different characteristics and qualities from the original materials. The process of baking has produced chemical changes in the ingredients that result in bread being made.

Most of the elements we know about do not exist freely in nature. Sodium cannot be found by itself (unless we prepare it in the laboratory) because it interacts too easily with other materials. On the other hand, the element helium does not interact with other elements to any extent. We can isolate helium from natural gas during the process of drilling for oil.

A chemical change produces different materials than the ones we started with. One aspect of the science of chemistry is the study of the changes that matter undergoes. If chemistry was simply a study of elements that did nothing, life would be very boring (in fact, life would not exist since the elements are what make up our bodies and sustain us). But the processes of change that take place when different chemicals are combined produce all the materials that we use daily.

One type of chemical change (already mentioned) is when two elements combine to form a compound. Another type involves the breakdown of a compound to produce the elements that make it up. If we pass an electric current through bauxite (aluminum oxide, the raw material for aluminum metal), we get metallic aluminum as a product.

However, the vast majority of chemical changes involve one compound being transformed into another compound.  There are literally millions of possibilities when we take this approach to chemical change. New compounds can be made to produce better fabrics that are easier to clean and maintain; they can help preserve food so it doesn’t spoil as quickly; we can make new medicines to treat diseases; even products, such as airbags (as seen in the simulation below), use a chemical change to improve the world around us.


  • What is a chemical change?
  • List three types of chemical changes.

Is baking a cake a chemical change you may wonder. Some believe that baking is an art itself as well as science, and based on our experience, it’s true.

Furthermore, baking is like being a chemist – you need to understand how things work in a very chemical way if you like.

Every beginner baker thinks that baking is just mixing some stuff up, baking them, and boom – you have the perfect baked good. The truth is, if you want to be a good baker or a pastry chef, you really gotta understand every single chemical reaction that occurs during the baking process.

And today, we are here to do exactly that – help you understand an important part of the baking process!

Both! Think about it – when you add the batter to the cake pan, it looks one way, but once you take it out of the oven – it looks completely different, doesn’t it?

Of course, it’s due to the chemical reactions mainly, but you have to remember that you start with physical ingredients and then you let the magic happen.

Why is baking a cake a chemical change, though? – Well, it’s often the carbon dioxide from the baking powder that gets released when it gets hit by the heat.

To put this simply  – bubbles appear that get trapped, which leads to the cake rising. If you cut a piece of cake, you can see all the irregular structures, this is basically due to the chemical reaction.

Furthermore, it’s not just the baking powder that causes the rice or a chemical reaction. Eggs do that too, heat does that, and the mix of ingredients together achieves a chemical reaction too. It’s all a big magic!

Is Baking a Cake An Example Of Chemical Change

When you expose certain ingredients to certain situations like heat, and moisture, for example, they react.

What Type Of Chemical Change Is Baking a Cake?

Typically, it would be carbon dioxide (chemical formula CO 2) – but as mentioned above, eggs are a chemical reaction that occurs during the baking process as well.
You see, there are a lot of changes that happen in the oven, a lot of reactions occur the moment the heat hits the batter.

1. Chemical Reactions In Baking Cookies
What about cookies though? Pretty much the same as cakes, if you think about it, often the same ingredients that go into a cake batter, go into the creations of cookies, just in different proportions.

You have got eggs, sugar, baking powder/baking soda, fat, flour, etc.

2. Is Baking Always a Chemical Change?
Absolutely, baking is 100% a chemical change, without it, we wouldn’t get the results we want, hence the reason we manipulate different reactions out of the ingredients via quantity and heat.

3. Is Mixing a Cake a Chemical Change?
When you mix the cake batter and add the ingredients together, a reaction happens right there in that bowl. How?

Well, to begin with, you are crushing ingredients together, combining them with each other.

Furthermore, When you expose certain ingredients to moisture, for example, they start reacting. A good example is a baking powder and baking soda, they start releasing gasses when they are exposed to moisture.

4. Is Baking Bread a Chemical Change?
Very much so! Remember, you are working with yeast, yeast itself is almost just like baking powder, when it’s exposed to heat or moisture, it reacts.

Fascinating isn’t it? We don’t think of cake in that way, we just like to eat it! But what goes on behind the scenes is something very fascinating.

Cake chemistry is a thing guys, and today you learn your first lesson of exactly what happens when you bake a cake and its chemical reactions, as well as how is baking a cake a chemical reaction.

Hit us up if you have any other questions at all!

Ella is a professional smoothie maker and baker. She has worked in bakeries around the US and also worked for Smoothie King for a few years, where she learned everything about smoothies.

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