Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Christmas 2015: Call to Action

Hominid spongyform encephalophagy: cooking time 1-11/2 hours, difficulty ***

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 14 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6310
  1. Lucinda Whitton, senior house officer1
  1. 1Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester GL1 3NN, UK
  1. Correspondence to: lucywhitton{at}
  • Accepted 25 October 2015

Lucinda Whitton provides a fun recipe for a “brain cake” for you to make this Christmas

With shows such as “The Great British Bake Off” captivating the nation, baking has taken Britain by storm. This article shows you how to make a “brain cake”—from the core sponge to the basal layer and gyri. Not only is it “radiculously” tasty, it will get your neurones firing as you fight with the intricacies of the anatomy. So find the mixing bowl and conjure up your culinary creativeness this Christmas. Food for thought indeed.

Step 1: The sponge

A simple Victoria sponge recipe will do the trick. Spherical baking trays are available from specialist kitchen shops but ovenproof bowls lined with greaseproof paper can be used instead.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Butter two spherical baking trays or ovenproof bowls and line with greaseproof paper.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Divide the mixture between the two spherical bowls and one small cupcake baking tray (to make the cerebellum).

Cook for 20-25 minutes until the cake is golden and bounces back when pressed down. Allow to cool while preparing the icing.


Victoria sponge
  • 200 g …

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