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Teach Your Kid Math with Cupcakes

Daniel Hautzinger
Cupcakes with fruit on top of them

As you bake and decorate a delicious honey cake in this activity from PBS KIDS, look for all the ways you use math — from measuring the ingredients, to setting the oven temperature and timer, to decorating the cake with geometric patterns.


1 box cake mix (plus egg and oil, per box instructions)
4 3.25 oz vanilla pudding cups 
A variety of colorful fruit, such as berries


1. Mix the box cake according to directions on the box.

2. Add 4 vanilla pudding cups to the batter and stir until combined.

3. Line a muffin pan with muffin cups and pour the batter into them.

4. Bake the cupcakes according to the directions on the box, until the edges are light brown. To test for doneness, stick a toothpick into the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. 

5. While the cupcakes cool, talk about how you will decorate your cupcakes: what colors, shapes, and patterns will you use based on the fruit you have available? Cut fruit into small pieces.

6. Once cupcakes are cool, drizzle honey in a spiral pattern on top of each cupcake.

7. Decorate each cupcake with a fun fruit pattern, such as alternating fruits.

8. While you decorate, talk about the patterns you’re creating. What does the pattern remind you of? What other things have a repeating pattern like this?

9. Enjoy!