Ideas for making an edible plant cell

Written by judith zwolak
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Ideas for making an edible plant cell
A cake with decorations representing cell orgenelles transforms into an edible plant cell. (Steve Baccon/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Creating an edible plant cell helps science students visualise the organelles living in plant cells. Teachers may assign an edible plant cell project that requires students to use only certain foods to represent cell organelles or they may ask only that every part of the cell be made from an edible substance. Edible cells require a base, such as a cake or a large cookie, and a creative application of candies and other edibles to serve as cell parts.

Decorate a Cake Plant Cell

If you feel comfortable in your drawing ability, a sheet cake provides a great canvas for creating an edible plant cell using only frosting. Bake a sheet cake and cover it with white frosting. Reference a drawing of a plant cell and its organelles. Using cake decorating bags or small plastic bags with a hole cut in the corner, pipe different coloured frosting into the shape of the various cell organelles. Begin with the large organelles, such as the vacuole and the nucleus, and continue piping the structures with different frosting tinted with food colouring. End by piping a thick line of frosting around the border of the cake to represent the cell wall. If your assignment requires labels, attach small pieces of paper with the cell organelles' names to the end of a toothpick and insert the other end into that organelle's location on the cake.

Edible Plant Cell Cookie

A large, flat cookie decorated with candies and frosting requires using food items that serve as plant cell organelles. Some examples include marshmallows for the cell vacuole, a mini-Oreo cookie as the nucleus, decorating sprinkles for ribosomes and shoestring liquorice as the Golgi apparatus. Attach each food item with a dab of frosting.

Gelatin Plant Cell

Make a three-dimensional plant cell by inserting edible items in a pan of gelatin before it sets. Insert firm foods, such as raisins for mitochondria and Tic Tac candies to represent chloroplasts, into the Jell-O as it starts to set. You can create a deep bowl of gelatin, insert your food items and then cut out a piece of the Jell-O to show a cross-section of the plant cell and its organelles. Grate a carrot to serve as the mitochondria.

Savoury Edible Plant Cell

Avoid sugar and make your edible plant cell out of savoury items. A large piece of pita bread or a tortilla serves as the base. Spread some hummus to symbolise the vacuole, outline the edge of the cell with pretzel sticks to signify the cell wall and use an olive for the nucleus.

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