Do you ever get that urge for a delicious, soft and sweet cup cake, but when you go into the kitchen you find that someone has eaten them all and you can’t be bothered to whip up a fresh batch? Well, two clever American students at Harvard University may have the answer to your prayers.
John McCallum and Brooke Nowakowski came up with the novel idea of a cake batter that you spray from a can, whilst studying in their Science & Cooking class. Called, appropriately enough ‘Spray Can Cake’, the batter is already whipped and when sprayed into muffin cases or cake tins, comes out pre-risen, which cuts down on the time it takes to bake. So all you have to do is pop it in the microwave and your cake is ready in one minute.
The cake loving students said that they were quite surprised that they were the first to think up the idea of a cake batter in a can:
“Honestly, we were kind of shocked that it hadn’t been done before. In the process of getting the patent made we were basically looking everywhere we could, high and low, for anyone who had done something like this in the past, but we couldn’t find it,” Brooke said to CBS Boston in an interview.
Whilst John advised that although the concept of a cake batter in a can might seem artificial, the ingredients are actually organic, with fewer chemicals than most powdered cake batters, and the results are more consistent with traditionally home-baked cakes.
The pair kept tweaking the recipe in the Harvard dormitory kitchens, until they were happy with the consistency of the spray batter, and the resulting baked cake.
The inspiration behind for the spray can came about whilst John was actually studying for his final class project, in which he was brainstorming ways to ‘eat more cake’. He had already given his last presentation on why cakes rise, but happened to notice someone spraying whipped cream and his idea for a spray can cake batter began to formulate.
That can of whipped cream not only provided the inspiration for his idea but the mechanics for the spray can cake batter as well. John used the same technology of the whipped cream aerosol with his cake batter to come up with his final product.
The resulting Spray Can Cake proved to be so popular that it won first prize at the Harvard Innovation Challenge.
And Brooke adds that it is one step ahead of traditional batter mixes because the unique can design means that you can literally spray one cake into a tin, recap the can and replace it in the fridge. This encourages portion control:
”You can simply pull it off the shelf, make one cupcake, then put it back in the fridge and it won’t go bad,” Brooke told the Boston Globe.
The pair now seeks a manufacturer so that they can get their spray can cake into production.