Triangular Number Cake

Triangular Number Cake

What do bowling ball pins, an unbroken set of pool table balls, and a flock of birds have in common? They can all represent triangular numbers, that’s what. Triangular numbers get their name because, well, they look like triangles when you model them. For example, here are the first few triangular numbers:

Triangular Numbers | Ann McCallum Books | Math recipes

Triangular Numbers


* =1                 *                                  *

                     *     *  = 3                    *      *

                                                      *      *     *  =6

          In terms of tasty math desserts, Triangular Number Cake takes the cake! Not only is it a delicious treat, but you’ll make one heck of a triangular number to boot! Get ready to treat your taste-buds!

What you Need:

A square or rectangular cake pan

1 cup margarine

1 ½ cups sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup ice-cream- any flavor  ← secret ingredient!

2 ¼ cups flour

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Icing and decorations

1 container of ready-made frosting- any flavor

Miniature marshmallows (or small candies such as m & m’s)

 What you do:

  1. Ask an adult to preheat the oven to 325˚ Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare the cake pan by using a paper towel to dab some margarine or butter onto the bottom and sides of the pan. Dust a spoonful of flour on top of the margarine to make sure the cake does not stick.
  3. Carefully measure and then mix the margarine and sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla. (Take a deep smell of vanilla… Mmmmm….)
  4. Add the dry ingredients and the ice-cream and mix everything well.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and ask an adult to put it in the oven. Check the cake after 25 minutes. If it is done, ask the adult to take it out and allow it to cool on a baking rack.
  6. When it is completely cool, cut the cake diagonally in half so that you’ve made two triangles. Turn one of the cake triangles over and join it to the other piece so that you’ve made one big triangle.
  7. Spread the icing all over the sides and top of the triangular-shaped cake.
  8. Make a large, triangular number. Use the marshmallows or candies to create a triangular number pattern.  


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