How to Bake a Bug Cake

by Laura Overdeck

leafcutter-ant-cake_construction We all know a kid who wowed everyone by eating a live ant (or if you haven’t met that kid yet, you will). Thankfully, this ant cake by the Cake Boss tastes a lot better. The cake was made for Liberty Science Center, a museum with leafcutter ants. In this video, the Cake Boss cut a big piece of wood for the ant’s body, and stuck mounds of Rice Krispie treats to the bottom. On top, he placed circular layers of cake, which they shaped with knives. Finally, he wrapped it in modeling chocolate and sprayed it with food dye, and ta-da — an ant you really want to eat!

Wee ones: A real ant is as small as the tip of your finger. Find 3 things in the room that are smaller than your fingertip.

Little kids: Like all ants, a leafcutter ant has 6 legs. How many legs would you and your pet ant have together?  Bonus: If the chefs started baking at 8:00 in the morning and worked until 5:00 pm, how many hours did they work on it that day?

Big kids: If in each cake stack the top layer serves 6 people, the middle layer serves 8, and the bottom layer serves 10, how many people can a stack feed?  Bonus: What if the 3 layers serve 28, 30, and 32 people? What shortcut can you find to add up the number people served?

The sky’s the limit: This cake is about 6 feet long, compared to an ant 1/4 inch long. How many ants would need to line up end to end to match the cake?

Answers:
Wee ones: Items might include a tiny pebble, a bead, or the smallest size Lego piece.

Little kids: 8 legs.  Bonus: 9 hours.

Big kids: 24 people.  Bonus: 90 people. If you switch 2 slices from the 32 to the 28, you then have 30 + 30. Then add another 30 for the middle layer.

The sky’s the limit: 288 ants! 6 feet is the same as 72 inches (6 x 12), and each inch needs 4 ants.

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