After researching volcanoes, we made volcano cakes. This involved chopping, measuring, mixing, baking and decorating.


  • Non-fiction books about volcanoes
  • Weighing scales
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Electric mixer
  • Oven
  • Hemisphere shaped baking tin


  • 125g/4oz butter or margarine, softened
  • 125g/4oz caster sugar
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 125g/4oz self raising flour
  • Red food colouring
  • Icing sugar


Step 1: Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Step 2: We all washed our hands and recapped how to handle knives safely, then they took it in turns slicing butter.

Step 3: Finn found 125g on the scales and weighed out the sugar, added it to the bowl, then they took it in turns to cream the butter and the sugar together until pale. Use an electric hand mixer if you have one.

Step 4: Crack and beat the eggs. This is one of their favourite steps.

Step 5: Beat the eggs into the mixture.

Step 6: Ioan measured out 125g of self raising flour. Sift over the flour and fold in using a large metal spoon. The mixture should be of a dropping consistency; if it is not, add a little milk.

Step 7: Grease the tin. Divide the mixture between the cake tins and gently spread out with a spatula. We added some red food colouring to the centre of the cake to make the magma chamber inside the volcano.

Step 8: We only had one baking tin in the shape of a hemisphere, so had to bake one half of the mixture, then the other half. To stand the baking tin up on the baking tray, Ioan rolled some tin foil.

Step 9: Because of the irregular shape of the baking tin, I baked for 30 minutes, checked it and gave it another 15 minutes, until an inserted skewer came out clean. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before turning on to a wire rack to cool.

Step 10: While our first cake was baking and cooling, we looked at some non-fiction books to see how volcanoes are formed. They have both seen diagrams and drawings of how volcanoes are made before, but the amazement on their faces when they saw photographs of live volcanoes was priceless.

Step 11: They mixed some red icing sugar to drizzle on top, proudly telling me that magma is inside the volcano and when it comes out of the volcano we call it lava.

We used our volcano cakes as the centre-piece for our edible dinosaur worlds.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Physical development

ELG 04 – Moving and handling:

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively.

ELG 05 – Health and self-care:

Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.


ELG 09 – Reading:

Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.


ELG 11 – Numbers:

Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

ELG12 – Shape, space and measures:

Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight and capacity.

Understanding the world

ELG 14 – The world:

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

ELG 15 – Technology:

Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.