Awhile back, I decided to combine my interest in machine learning and baking to see if I could build something that would take the ingredient amounts from a recipe and predict what type of baked good it was. I won’t get into the technical details here (click the link above if you’re into that). Here I’ll give you a quick overview of how I made this recipe and then get right to the yummy parts.
Baking is an exact science
The reason I thought this might work is because machine learning is all about finding patterns in data, and baking recipes in particular are full of patterns. For example, bread recipes commonly have a 5:3 ratio of flour:water. There are similar ratios for cake, cookies, and more. Because of this, I was able to train a machine learning model to learn these ratios with minimal recipe data. But you might be wondering: what’s the point of entering ingredient amounts for a recipe and having a computer tell you what you already know (“it’s a cookie”)? Good question! Read on, my friend.
This little project got much more fun when I started playing around with the ingredient amounts and seeing what the model predicted. After a lot of time spent trying this out, I landed on a combination of ingredient amounts that caused the model to predict the recipe was 50% cake, 50% cookie. The obvious next step was to try to make this and see what happened. All the model gave me was ingredient amounts, so I had to come up with the recipe instructions on my own. Sure enough, this fun concoction was DELICIOUS and had the crispiness of a cookie with the crumbly-ness of a cake. I present to you, the cakie.
The cakie: a cake / cookie hybridDifficulty: Easy
1/2 cup + 3/4 tablespoon butter, cold
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup olive oil (I like California Olive Ranch, you can also sub this with canola or vegetable oil)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 6-inch cake pan with cooking spray or butter.
- Cut the butter into pieces and place into a mixer. On medium speed, mix the butter until smooth. Add in both sugars and mix until combined. Then add the egg, oil, and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly incorporate it into the butter mixture, mixing on low speed until just combined. Mix in chocolate chips if you like them.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Unlike me, be patient and let the cakie cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before removing it.
I think it has the crispy exterior of a cookie with a perfect cake-like crumb inside. If you make this I’d love to hear what you think. Tag me on Instagram – I’m @sararob!