Now here’s food for thought!

When thinking of February 14th I’m sure it’s true to say that most people turn their thoughts to hearts, roses, lovers and romantic candle-lit dinners. It’s fair to say that few people think of brains. And fewer still think of eating brains. Nevertheless, on perhaps the most romantic day of the year, that’s exactly what staff at the Cambridge Science Centre had on their minds. For on February 14th 2014 they celebrated their first year of opening. And what better way to celebrate than with a larger-than-life human brain made of cake, and not just any cake but red velvet cake?!

I’ve recently started an exciting collaboration with the famous Fitzbillies in Cambridge and jumped at the chance of taking on this commission. As a scientist by training how could I refuse?? Blade in hand, gory Google images on the laptop and a tower of red velvet cake in front of me I dived right in! This neurosurgery malarkey seemed straightforward enough to me and here’s the image low-down on how I did it.

For the templates that I used click here and here.


Cut out full-scale images of side-view and top view of brain to assist with carving.



Stack cakes (totalling around 5.5″ tall by 9″ diameter here) and place top view of brain onto the cake stack. Begin carving using the paper as a guide. Do the same for the side of the cakes (using your side-view brain print out, secured in place with cocktail sticks).



Carve away, little by little, until you are happy with the overall shape. Then sandwich the layers together with buttercream and crumb-coat the outside.


IMG_6970 (2)

Using a 10mm piping nozzle and brain-coloured Swiss meringue buttercream decorate with folds and creases until suitably brain like, not forgetting to leave a crevice down the centre of the cake to represent the two hemispheres if you’re wanting to be anatomically correct!


Cambridge MP Julian Huppert was invited to join in the celebrations at the Cambridge Science Centre. They were all thrilled with the mother brain and baby brain cupcakes and assured me that they tasted better than they looked (phew!).

Julian Huppert, Cambridge MP, cutting into the mother brain. Hoping this isn’t how he deals with members of the opposition…


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