Harvard Students Invent Chef-Approved Cake in a Can

Harvard Students Invent Chef-Approved Cake in a Can

Hungry students combine convenience and taste with their ingenious aerosol cake dispenser

Angeli Rafer
  • 21 july 2014

Personalized mini-cakes, single-serve cupcakes and cup-in-a-mug creations have always been popular projects for ambitious bakers. But a pair of Harvard students have made perfectly portioned pastries down to a science thanks to their patent-pending product: Spray Cake

Spray Cake began as a school project for Harvard student, John McCallum. During his Science and Cooking class, he was introduced to Joanne Chang, a professional pastry chef and Harvard graduate with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics. Her discussion on the chemistry behind what makes cakes rise helped McCallum decide that he wanted to his final project to be based around “ways to eat more cake.” But it was thanks to watching another student pour whipped cream out of a can that McCallum had an epiphany.

He aims to use the technology from the whipped cream can that creates airy whipped topping and apply it to cake baking. He proposed that an aerosol can could release the air bubbles inside cake batter, thereby allowing the cake to rise without leavening agents such as baking soda or baking powder.

Brook Nowakowski saw the marketable potential in McCallum’s cake in a can. Nowakowski and McCallum teamed up to perfect the recipe through trial and error in a dormitory kitchen; now with the perfect recipe the duo are in the process of getting their Spray Cake patent approved.

With its convenience and accessibility, the duo envisions a bright future for Spray Cake. Spray Cakes can be cooked in a microwave or baked in a traditional oven; no matter the cooking method, it reportedly has the same mouth-feel as a traditional cake. Plus, it helps with portion control and can satisfy a cupcake craving without having to deal with an extra dozen cupcakes left behind.


However, while Spray Cake is certainly convenient, the ultimate test would be its taste. With help from The Boston Globe, McCallum and Nowakowksi were able to share their product with the woman who inspired it all, Joanne Chang. With a long history as a pastry chef and the enterprising spirit of a Harvard graduate, Chang’s opinion carried great weight for the pair.

Luckily, their results passed with an appreciative thumbs up–though Chang noted that the batter could use a bit more salt. Spray Cake fans can follow their official Facebook page for more details as well as tasty tidbits on the upcoming release date.

You can view a video highlighting Spray Cake and the chef taste test here.

Images: Spray Cake

[h/t] The Boston Globe


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