Darwin Day Baking Contest: On the Origin of Quiches

We love celebrating Darwin Day here on Skepchick. Last year, we asked our favorite artists to draw us something appropriate. In 2009, you made us Darwinian playlists, and in 2008 you made us Darwinian Valentine’s Day cards. 2007, of course, was the infamous Darwinian Pick-up Line contest.

This year, our contest is inspired by my Icelandic friend Hjalti, who challenged me to a Darwin Day Bake-off. “Why not include the entire Internet,” I thought to myself. So, I am!

Bake up something delicious – a cake, a pie, cookies, cupcakes, whatever, so long as it’s related to Charles Darwin, either in decoration or recipe. Submit a photo and description (bonus points for a clever name) by including links here in this comment thread or by using the contact form. (You can use a service like imgur to get a link for your pics.)

Submit your entry by Wednesday, February 9th. That’s just one week!

Win some awesome Darwin-themed prizes courtesy of Surlyramics! The Skepchicks will choose a few finalists, and the good readers will then vote on those to determine the winner. The top three will win a Tree of Life Surlyramics necklace, and the winner will also receive a print of the Rebecca Watson & Darwin’s Beard artwork Surly Amy made for last year’s Darwin Day.

So get baking!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Hi, I only have a microwave as my house is under construction – is modifying shop bought food acceptable? Thanks

  2. I will certainly enter as baking is my secret power, however, I would also want at least a Skepchick to taste it… Maybe I can get Surly Amy to come over for a tasting…

  3. Hi!! I’m a long time reader, first time poster. I have to share these “Trilo-bite” cupcakes (oh geology baking puns…) that a friend and I regularly make for our school’s Geology Club.

    The thorax pattern is made with a cookie press, and shaped into an adorable shape by hand. Then we dip their heads in creamy milk chocolate, and finish them off with two sparkling jelly eyes. We stick these little guys on a vanilla cupcake topped with sea-blue icing and surrounded by fellow fossil echinoderms, then sell them for $1 a piece to pay for field trips!

    See the link below for an image.

  4. I no longer have time for baking. Or, for that matter, for any cooking that doesn’t involve either a.) the microwave or b.) hot water. Such is the life of a 5th year grad student.

    However, I would be happy to taste-test submissions. Send all cookies / pastries / delicious things to my lab.

  5. @James Fox: See the problem is I am vain. That’s why I put the picture up. I was really proud of it. And it is really yummy. Half about half the loaf left. The cookies are gone and I’m down to one receipe of pizza dough.

  6. Atheist Nightmare RickRolls:

    First, the name – I was invited to an Internet Meme-themed birthday party, so I made a peanut butter & banana dish. I originally called it Missler Peanut Butter & Comfort Banana Rick Rolls, to honor the Atheists’ Nightmare guy and Ray “Bananaman” Comfort, but I was told that was too long, so I renamed it Atheists’ Nightmare Rickrolls. And since they were rolled in a tortilla, I called them Rickrolls, cuz, y’know, internet meme.

    Next, the recipe: Stir together 1/2 cup peanut butter & 1/3 cup plain vanilla yogurt until smooth. Drizzle 1 tablespoon orange juice over bananas & toss gently. Spread approx. 3 tablespoons of peanut butter mixture over 4 8″ flour tortillas, leaving 1/2 inch border. Arrange approx. 1/3 cup banana slices in single layer over peanut butter mixture. Combine 2 tablespoons honey-crunch wheat germ & 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over bananas. Roll up tortillas & slice each roll into 6 pieces.

    Finally, the picture: (the pan on the right)

  7. I was so inspired by this challenge, I went all out and designed half a dozen Darwin-special Cupcakes.

    There are three of each type cake:
    Ginger Pear Spice with Cream Cheese Buttercream Icing

    Chocolate-filled Devil’s Food with Milk Chocolate Frosting

    See image of all 6 (left to right, back to front):

    Cupcake 1: Darwin’s Beard (Don’t you want to take a bite o’ beard?)

    Cupcake 2: Making a Sexual (Dessert) Selection

    Cupcake 3: The HMIS (Her Majesty’s Iced Ship) Beagle

    Cupcake 4: Origin of the Swedish

    Cupcake 5: Lucy’s Footsteps
    (I know, not Darwin directly, but related to Evolution for sure!)

    Cupcake 6: The Descent of (Gummi) Man

  8. The Evolution of Refined Sugars and Processed Fats into a Delectable Cardiac Arrest

    For this project, we prove the existence of a pie. The proof is by construction.

    A pie crust was created by our very wonderful big sister Catherine because the only not flaky thing in our lives tends to be our pie crust.

    We made a filling for the pie by chopping an entire bag of Dove peanut butter and chocolate promises into small bits, and stirring them in with 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 eggs, 1/4 (ish) cup sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. We poured this into the flaky and perfectly accordioned pie shell made by our very wonderful big sister. We baked the shell and the filling at 425 F for 30 minutes.

    We then constructed a chocolate glaze by melting 2 oz of the really nice Belgian chocolate we stole from our worthless roommate after he disappeared for a month and forced us to dispose of the disgusting food rotting in the fridge and various places around the house. We melted this chocolate with 2 tablespoons of butter. hovering over the saucepan anxiously stirring because it is easy to scorch chocolate and we have no double boiler. Once it was melted, we removed it from the heat, added powdered sugar and a little hot water until a good consistency was reached and spread it on top of our pie.

    Artistry was approximated by adding a frosting made of equal parts peanut butter and butter with enough powdered sugar to reach a congealed state. This frosting was crudely applied to form the letter D and as an edging around the rim of the crust.

  9. I decided to create a pie-trait of Darwin’s venerable visage.

    It started out as a challenge between me and my wife. If I couldn’t eat all of my week’s lunch apples, I had to bake her an apple pie.

    Fortunately for her, and artistic pie lovers here, the Memories of Galapagos Galette was born from my preference for oranges at lunch.

    Extra awesome points: it’s 100% vegan! The crust uses shortening, and no eggs or dairy, and the pastry cream beneath the coconut of his beard is made of sugar, soy milk, almond milk, almond liqueur, and custard powder. Details are painted on with melted dairy-free dark chocolate.

    Alas, my only regret is that this is not quite accurate. It looks more as if Charles Darwin and James Randi had had a love child that aged rapidly and also loved growing a beard.

  10. Well, I had something pop into my mind, and even though it is kind of overboard, I had to make it..

    Giant Charliechimpy Cupcake:

    Just a giant chocolate cupcake. A little Galapagos islands action, some finches with different beaks (one bearded species), and a crude fondant/chocolate covered HMS Beagle!

    Not Cake Boss, by any means.. But it is the first cake I’ve ever made all on my own, and features a few things that I associate with Ye’ Ol’ Bearded One. Hooray!

  11. The Cobbler Delusion

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees
    Butter an 8×8 baking dish

    2 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
    ½ cup dark brown sugar
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 pint heavy whipping cream
    1 can tart cherries (drained)
    3 cups fresh pineapple (cut in chunks the size of the cherries)
    1 tsp ground allspice

    In mixing bowl combine tart cherries, pineapple, half the pint of the heavy whipping cream and ground allspice.

    In buttered baking dish layer half of the oats and sprinkle with half of the brown sugar. Next add fruit mix. Top with remaining oats and brown sugar. Lastly, chip the butter over the top and drizzle the remaining heavy whipping cream.

    Bake for 40 minutes in a 425 degree oven. Allow to cool slightly. Serve warm with ice cream.

    And that is my Dawkin’s Day Celebration Bake-Off Entry!

    *When it is pointed out that this is to celebrate Charles Darwin and not Richard Dawkins, you have to imagine the voice of Emily Litella played by Gilda Radner on Saturday Night Live*

    What?! Ohh… that’s very different.


    Nevermind. *grin*

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