Skin Cake is a workshop exploring the cells in the top layers of your skin - the epidermis - through making a layer cake.

Skin Cake It was developed though a collaboration between a chef and scientists at the National Heart and Lung Institute researching the proteins important for epithelial cells, which line the outside of your skin and also line the inside of your lungs.

Skin Cake Diagram

Each layer of the cake represents a different layer of the skin. Rice paper is the 'basement membrane', corn pudding is the 'stratum basale' layer where all the cells are bunched together and have the ability to turn into all the other cells in the upper layers. Popcorn and squirty cream is the 'stratum spinosum', corn custard is the 'stratum granulosum' where the cells are held together firmly with proteins creating a waterproof layer, and finally cornflakes are the 'stratum corneum', the dead layer of cells. 


Workshop participants were given all the ingredients and a diagram of the cell layers, then asked to guess which ingredient matched which layer.

Compiling the Skin Cake

The skin cakes were made by layering the different ingredients representing the different layers of cells inside a mould.

Skin Cake

Skin Cake was presented at the NHLI Bring Your Child to Work Day 2014.

Collaborators: Anna Cocking (NHLI PhD Student), Brad Fitchew (Chef), Kyasha Sri Ranjan (NHLI PhD Student).

Creative Producer: Ellen Dowell