Sunday, February 1, 2009

Firsts on the First - Making a Map Cake

Welcome to the February edition of Firsts on the First. This is a monthly feature where I share something I've tried to make for the very first time, fail or succeed. Last month I tried Coffee Liqueur. This month the kids and I made a map cake. 

We've been studying ancient history this year using Mystery of History Vol 1 as a beginning text. After every three lessons there is a time line and map activity. After a series of lessons about Egypt, the map activity was somewhat different than any map I have ever made before. It was a map made from a cake. 

Start with a yellow sheet cake. We used the simplest recipe I could find in the Settlement Cookbook, but of course, you could use a mix. Then we mixed up a simple butter frosting. About 2/3 of the frosting was colored orange. The other third was made blue. 

Turning the cake long ways, we scraped out a bit of the cake at the top of the pan where the Mediterranean Ocean would be on the map. Then, using the back of a knife, a groove was made for the Nile River. Both of these were frosted in blue. The rest of the cake was frosted with orange. (Pardon my out of season table cloth!)

Next, flags were made for the places we learned about by simply cutting a square of card stock, writing the location on it, and taping it to a toothpick. Then the flags were placed in their appropriate positions. Chocolate kisses were used to represent mountains (I think the kids got a tad bit carried away with the mountains,) and chocolate chips became pyramids. A map cake of Ancient Egypt:

This was a fun and fairly easy project, not to mention the most delicious map ever. The kids had a lot of fun making (and eating) it. Wish I had known about this lesson plan when I was teaching. My middle school students would have loved it!

Did you try anything new last month? Share it with us by adding the link to your post below! (It is perfectly acceptable to link to posts that have also been included in the carnival.) 


  1. That is such a great idea!!! I love it! Your map looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Wow you all did a great job on it!!

  3. I love this map, it is so cool! My oldest made a cookie shaped like our state once. It tasted good too! Love those homeschool projects.

  4. What a neat idea! perhaps I need to start doing firsts on the first! ;o)

  5. I blogged about something new I tried and added my link, but it was on the 2nd! I'll try to be on time next month!

    This is a good idea, Stephanie. I need the challenge!

  6. Such a great cake idea!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and pointing me to the allergy cookbook!

  7. This is so cooool!!! Thanks for sharing it!

  8. Oh this is fabulous! I love to see new ways of mapping!

  9. Wow! That is fun! I want to homeschool at your house!


  10. Love the hershey kiss mountains. Great idea! The last edible project we made was earth balls with lots of fun ingredients for each layer. Nice job! I'd love for you to post this in my Homeschool History Buffs carnival at It would be a great addition and so inspiring. : ) Brenda


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