Unlock the molecular mysteries of baking in our exclusive webinar with Great British Bake-Off 2023 finalist Josh Smalley. In this hour long, interactive event Josh broadcasts live from his own laboratory kitchen using baking demonstrations to explore how chemistry plays an all-important role in the success or failure of bakes. Are you someone who carefully measures out your ingredients when cooking, or do you take a more relaxed approach to quantities? In this recorded event, Josh explores whether it’s important to bring scientific precision to your bakes and if you can ever get away without using the scales.

Beyond the heat of the oven, Josh shares his personal journey as a chemist, what his inspiration was to begin baking and how he combines a successful research career with his passion for food. The webinar also looks at how Josh navigated the competitive landscape of the Great British Bake-Off and discusses the surprising parallels his experience had to being a researcher in chemistry.

The recording will be available soon. Watch to witness the magic of baking through the lens of chemistry in a webinar experience that will leave your taste buds tingling and your scientific curiosity stirred!


Portrait headshot of Josh Smalley

Josh Smalley

Josh Smalley is a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Chemistry at the University of Leicester focussing on the synthesis of new peptidomimetic materials which act as mimics of the native peptides found in the cells in our body. Josh was also a finalist in the 2023 Great British Bake-Off where he captivated audiences with his skilful techniques and mastery of flavours. Being equally accomplished in the laboratory and the kitchen has allowed Josh to infuse his culinary creations with a unique understanding of the molecular make-up of the bakes he showcases. He is now looking to combine his research with science communication.

Win prizes in our chemistry bake-off competition

Josh Smalley's chemistry chocolate cake

Source: © Josh Smalley


Thank you for all of your entries, the competition is now closed.

Josh kindly took on the role of Paul and Pru to judge the entries and we’re happy to announce that the winning bake went to Hannah Minshull with her NMR spectrometer cake.

Josh was really impressed with Hannah’s three-layer classic Victoria sponge and commended her on including a space to put an NMR tube in, “I know firsthand how long it takes to assemble a cake that big!”.

Hannah will receive a £50 book voucher and an online subscription to Chemistry World, with runners-up also getting a subscription.

Our runners-up were Zaara Patwari for their periodic table cupcakes, Ella Wolstencroft with their vanilla and orange biscuits, complete with structures, Pablo Domingo Legarda for two excellent cakes and Rubaiya Hafsah for their potassium dichromate (VI) based cake.

Thanks to everyone who entered, Josh and the Chemistry World team were delighted to see so many brilliant chemistry-inspired bakes and read about the work behind them.


Are you an avid baker? Do you also know a thing or two about chemistry? Well, now is your chance to shine. Chemistry World is running its very own bake-off competition and our only rule for your showstopper entries is that they are inspired by chemistry. Anything and everything will be accepted, as long as it is edible and baked by you.

Entries will be judged by GBBO finalist Josh Smalley and we’ll award the top 5 with an online subscription to Chemistry World, with the winner also receiving a £50 book voucher.

To enter, send us a picture and description or recipe for your bake. Entries need to be submitted to us by April 10th on any of our social media platforms, tagging us and #CWCulinaryChemistry or by email to cwwebinars@rsc.org Also, feel free to tell us about your showstopper bake, and maybe a bit about yourself and what inspired you too.

Ready, Steady, Bake!