The Great Geobake-off

The 2015 Great Geobakeoff – the results!

USBWe launched the second annual Great Geobakeoff with some trepidation. Had geobaking fatigue set in? Was everyone too busy watching the General Election to notice? Is it in fact impossible to bake a hidden fossil cake?

Of course, our concerns were needless. Once again, the geobaking world has answered our call to arms, and produced a wondrous array of edible geological constructions. Many thanks to everyone who joined in, and we hope your kitchens have since recovered from the carnage.

logoAs always, we set a list of ten challenges worth an increasing amount of points. First, though, some recognition for those of you who went freestyle and did your own thing. And why not? (You don’t get any points though. Rules are rules and all that.) Also to the Geological Society staff members who joined in with our own staff geobakeoff – of which more later…

Many thanks to everyone who submitted!



On to the points….

10 points: Mudstone cake

Mildly more exciting than last year’s sandstone layer, this one generated some appetising looking 10 pointers. Particular applause to Alexandra Booer who earned the distinction of baking our very first entry…

The mudstone entries in full…
Mud stone compilation



20 points: Mud cracks (with a 10 point bonus for addition of a lonely tree)

We particularly enjoyed your lonely trees. 30 points for effort, geobakers.

mud cracks montage


30 points: Lahar cake

Now. Had we known the lengths to which you would go to achieve a cake based lahar, we would definitely have assigned this challenge more than 30 points. Well done to everyone who lahared, and particularly those who sent us a video to prove it!




40 points: Mississippi Mud Pie

Our Mississippi requirements were pretty specific – either a geological map or  bird’s eye view of the river delta. High five to our one intrepid geobaker who took on the first:

mississippi geology

And to the several of you who created a cake based river delta…

mississippi tage














50 points: Hidden William Smith Fossil Preserved in Mud Cake

At this point, we feel we owe you an apology, geobakers. It turns out we know a lot more about fossils than we do about baking, and a hidden fossil cake is in fact nigh on impossible. Extra respect and admiration, therefore, to the many of you who took on the challenge and won!

It wasn’t easy….

But a good geobaker never gives up…


Did we mention it wasn’t easy…?

Congratulations to everyone who took on this frankly ridiculous challenge. We’re sorry.

hidden fossil montage


60 points: Cross Section cake

composite-section-reducedWe gave William Smith’s London to Snowdon cross section as an example, but there were many variations on the theme. 60 points to you all!

cross section montage


70 points – William Smith County Map cake

A tricky challenge, and we received just one entry for this category. But we only needed one, because it is magnificent. LOOK AT IT.

80 points – The Freestyle Showbiz Mud Round

The time has come to break it to you. No one backed us a Matthew McConnaughey. Woe. We did, however, receive two excellent recreations of film scenes involving mud…

90 points – Tunnel cake

We left the engineering challenge this year fairly vague, and you answered it in style! We had the Channel Tunnel, a mine, even the Harbury Tunnel landslip – an impressive 90 points to you all!

tunnel montage


100 points – Jurassic Park Toilet Death Scene 

It has become somewhat traditional for the 100 pointer challenge to feature a scene from Jurassic Park*. (Naturally our favourite film.) Last year, it was hatching velocirapt0rs. This year, we took things one step further, and asked for this iconic scene. As a cake.

First to come in was this incredible effort from Hannah Moss-Davies;

Swiftly followed by an equally amazing depiction from the Plymouth University geobakeoff….


We also enjoyed this live action version…

Congratulations and 100 points to all our intrepid toilet death scene bakers!

jurassic park toilet death scene montage

And so to the 10 winners…

Jen Smith 1On 90 points for an impressive tunnel cake is Jen Smith

…closely followed by Karen, Debbie & Alex with 100 points for their Jurassic Park Toilet Death scene!

Also on 100 points, Hannah Moss-Davies for another incredible T Rex

Alex Booer Mississippi190 points to Alexandra Booer, for taking on a Mississippi Mud Pie complete with geological map, hidden fossil cake, tunnel cake and mudstone!

…followed by Lauren Ballarini for combining several challenges into 3 geobakes for 200 points

410 points to Sarah Snell-Pym and her intrepid geobaking team, Jean and Mary, for their ‘geologist despair’ cake montage!

Plymouth 2Accumulating 460 points, and raising £185 for Nepal earthquake relief, the combined Plymouth University geobaking efforts of Hazel, Meriel, Sarah and Natasha

And conquering every geobakeoff challenge for the second year running, 570 points to geobakeoff queen, Liz Laycock!

liz montage

USBThis concludes the 2015 Great Geobakeoff – thanks to everyone who joined in! Hopefully we’ve all learned something. Not least, that hidden fossil cakes are really hard, and toilets are equally as difficult to construct as T Rexes.

See you next year…

*Suggestions for next year’s Jurassic Park scene are gratefully received. Or maybe we should wait for Jurassic World to come out?

4 thoughts on “The 2015 Great Geobakeoff – the results!

  1. Pingback: Jurassic World Review | Geological Society of London blog

  2. This post has to be one of the best in the history of the web – after all, it’s not often you get to use the phrase “intrepid toilet death scene bakers”. Well done to all the talented geologically minded bakers.

  3. Pingback: Door twenty four | Geological Society of London blog

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