The Great Geobakeoff 2019

Easter is nearly here, which can only mean one thing…

The Great Geobakeoff is BACK!

As ever, the rules are few, the challenges many. Entry is open to all – all you have to do is send us images of your creations via twitter or instagram* (#geobakeoff) or email them to

*other social media sites are available, but we don’t really understand them

The themes

This year, we’re marking the 100th anniversary of women being admitted as Fellows of the Geological Society. It’s also our Year of Carbon – you’ll find a number of challenges below relating to both!

The rules

No changes here – below is a list of geobaking challenges, each of which has an assigned number of points. There are prizes for gathering the most points, for the best geological representation, for best young baker and for the overall best bake – so you can focus your efforts on one masterpiece, or try to complete as many challenges as possible – or both, if you’re feeling ambitious.

Send photographic evidence of your creations to us via twitter @geolsoc or instagram @geolsoc using the hashtag #geobakeoff, or email them to – if you can do both, providing a high res image via email, so much the better. Please provide your name, if it’s not obvious from the tweet, and age if you’re a white apron contender.

Send in your entries by midnight on Monday 27 May to be in with a chance of winning our traditionally as yet unspecified goodie bag of prizes!

The awards:

Once again, prizes will be awarded in our new fully patented Tour-de-Bakeoff format*.

  • NB: Aprons are for illustrative purposes only. We cannot guarantee winners will receive actual aprons.



White apronyoung bakerThe White Apron – awarded to the best young baker. (Up to 18 years old – there is no minimum.)







The Green Apron – awarded to the accumulator of the most points! Each of the challenges have an escalating number of points attached to them. Go for the big numbers, or accumulate challenges – the choice is yours!


spotty apron



King/Queen of the Mountains – awarded to the most accurate representation of geological features. Can be won by completing any of the challenges – though some may offer more opportunities for demonstrating your geological construction skills than others….



Yellow apronThe Yellow Apron – awarded to the best bake! Can be won for any of the ten challenges.







The challenges


As always, because it makes us smile, 10 bonus points will be awarded for inclusion of the GSL rock hammer USB stick.

10 points: ‘Iceberg Alley’

Inspired by this recent BBC article, there’s plenty of inspiration to choose from here – from big chunk of ice to ice plateau, and everything in between….

20 points: Curling stones

It’s been a while since the last time we all became temporarily obsessed with curling at the Winter Olympics – last year we took it one step further, and went down a rabbit hole learning about the geology of the stones themselves. All of the stones used at the Pyeongchang games turned out to be made from granite mined from the tiny, uninhabited island of Ailsa Craig off the coast of Scotland – who knew?!

You can take this one wherever you like – include the curlers (players? competitors?), include the island, or just zoom in on the stones (perhaps some grey scones?)

30 points: 100 Years of Female Fellows 

Women were finally allowed as Fellows of the Geological Society in May 1919. We’re marking the anniversary this year with a number of events and activities celebrating female geologists past and present. We’ve created a logo to for the occasion – use it as inspiration, copy it entirely, add it to a bake which features your favourite female FGS (past or present) – there are, as ever, no limits.

Some early twentieth century female geologists: L-R Maria Ogilvie Gordon, Florence Bascom, Gertrude Elles (second from l, sitting)

40 points: The Qingjiang biota

It wouldn’t be geobakeoff without a great big fossil assemblage in the mix. The announcement of the discovery of thousands of stunning fossils in China’s Hubei province in late March was no doubt timed with this in mind – thanks to Science magazine for thinking of us when planning your media schedule.

See below for links to some fabulous images (we’re far too afraid of getting into copyright hot water to post them here…)

50 points: El Capitan (including insane climbing guy) 

We haven’t yet managed to watch the Oscar winning documentary Free Solo in full due to the sudden onset of vertigo, but we’re pretty confident it makes for an excellent geobakeoff challenge.

Additional fun El Capitan fact: when the light’s just right, it spills over the cliff face like a sort of waterfall-y lava flow – something to bear in mind…..


60 points: The 1969 Moon landing

2019 is a year of many anniversaries – it also marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing! Need we say more…


70 points: Carbon mineral of your choice

In honour of the Year of Carbon, let’s prove that carbon can be beautiful! This image gallery from the Deep Carbon Observatory shows the amazing range of carbon minerals found across the world: (access the gallery via clicking on the picture below, not the link!)

Carbon Mineral Gallery//

Pick one, choose your own, or go for a medley of your favourites!

80: Mary Anning

Archive reference no: GSL/POR/1

We couldn’t not, could we? 2019 seems to be a bumper year for the ninteenth century fossil hunter, with a Hollywood film, a brilliant campaign for a statue in her home town of Lyme Regis, and many more projects in the works…But most high profile of all of these would surely be immortalisation in cake form. Include some of her classic fossil finds, Trey the dog, the cliffs of Lyme – whatever you like! (3D Annings are of course very much encouraged.)

(Avid blog readers may remember our 2014 craze for crocheting geologists, which included Anning – see here for further details, if you want to go the extra mile…)

90: Cave of crystals

In 2010, Geological Society Honorary Fellow Iain Stewart explored an amazing cave of crystals in Naica, Mexico, and for some reason we haven’t asked you to bake it yet. Rectifying that now – a fiendish structural challenge awaits! (We mean the crystals, not Iain…)



If you haven’t seen the film yet, see it. Amongst its many heroes is a totally plausible metal called vibranium and – by extension – the mining and distribution of said metal. It’s a geology film, is what we’re saying. (We’d like to thank Marvel Studios for thoughtfully timing the release to coincide with our 2018 Year of Resources.)

To really hammer (sorry) that point home, the final epic fight scene takes place within a vibranium mine – a worthy finale to this year’s geobakeoff.

We couldn’t find a still which sums it all up, so here’s a video – but you’re welcome to use your imagination here. Focus on the fight, the mine, invent a few tiny geologists mining away in the background – wherever your creativity takes you.

Good luck, geobakers!

As ever, we can’t wait to see what you come up with…

3 thoughts on “The Great Geobakeoff 2019

  1. Hello Sarah, I emailed my entry. I posted on instagram @geolsoc #geobakeoff, but the edges of the photos get cut off; they are better in the email entry. This was a blast! Thanks, TRACY

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