Code Week 10th anniversary cake challenge

Publication date: January 6, 2022


My name is Annika Östergren Pofantis and I am the coordinator of EU Code Week at the European Commission. I believe that all children should learn programming at school, just as they learn to read, write and do maths. Not necessarily to become programmers or software developers, but to understand how the digital world is built up and that you can create and build things with the power of code.

After the first edition of Code Week in 2013, I got so convinced of Code Week’s aim to bring coding in a fun and engaging way to as many people as possible that I brought my son to a local coding club where he created a little game in Scratch. Up until then he had only played games. It was amazing to see his reaction when he realised that he could also create a game (it was not magic). That he had power at his fingertips.

Then I started a CoderDojo club where I lived, so that more kids could learn how to code, understand how circuits and computers work, programme robots etc. I have no background in coding, although I took a term of computing in upper secondary school and I remember the satisfaction of making the computer write my name all over the screen (Hello world!). But I was more into horses and used the family computer to play hours of Mystery House with my friends and do some school work! In my CoderDojo however, I could not avoid learning the basics of Scratch, albeit much slower than all the kids…

Anyway, last year one of “my” coding club kids became a young man and decided to study computing at university. He claims he would never have taken this path had he not been introduced to coding and computers and gained the skills and confidence he did at the local coding club. (Huge thanks to all the volunteer coaches!)

In my work, I read reports, talk to the ambassadors and teachers involved in Europe Code Week, businesses, experts and almost all confirm that coding / programming / computing / computer science – whatever you want to call it – is a useful skill for today’s young generation to learn.

I am very happy to have worked with Code Week for so many years and it makes me proud that Code Week, through the collective efforts of the community, in just the last four years alone has involved more than 15 million people. Nearly all of them children! And almost half have been girls and women!

That’s my story.

In 2022, it is Code Week’s 10th anniversary and we are going to celebrate it in many ways together, but as for all birthdays, we will need beautiful and tasty birthday cakes!

I hereby challenge you to either follow my recipe below, or to make an even more beautiful cake and post it on Facebook, using the tag #CodeWeek10.

As Emily de la Pena and Ogechi Ike and DaNeil and CodeSparkAcademy and others write, baking a cake is similar to coding. But I would like to add that the result is more delicious.

You can use this, or any recipe, to discuss some basic coding concepts as the recipe is the algorithm that we will use to solve a problem and create a cake. You will follow 16 instructions, from 1 to 15, to create my cake (sequencing) + 1 if you share on social media.

The ingredients you use will be your data input. You will be processing data when you melt the butter or mix the eggs and sugar. You will also experience loops, for example when you grate the peel of 2 oranges and add 4 eggs to the batter. You will use branching when you decide whether to use only orange juice or also orange liqueur. If the batter is too watery you will debug your cake by adding some flour. To check if your cake is done, do a test. Open the oven and use some conditional statements: Gently move the pan back and forth. If the sides are firm, but the middle moves a bit, the cake is done. If everything is soft and moves, put the pan back to the oven and repeat the test after 2-3 minutes. You can do some sorting as well, as the decorations I used come in many colours and I only used the Code Week ones. Finally, the finished cake is your output.

Here’s my recipe for a delicious orange-chocolate Code Week 10th anniversary cake.


  • Breadcrumbs
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 5 decilitres (50 millilitres) of orange juice
  • 5 decilitres (50 millilitres) of orange liqueur (or orange juice)
  • 100 grammes of butter
  • 200 grammes dark chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 decilitres (200 millilitres) or 170 grammes of sugar
  • 1 decilitre (100 millilitres) or 52 grammes of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar, or some vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • Code Week decorations, such as M&Ms or Smarties.


  1. Turn on the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (not fan oven)
  2. Lightly grease a 21-centimetre springform baking tin with butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  3. Grate the zest of two oranges.
  4. Extract the juice of one orange.
  5. Mix the orange juice and peel with the orange liqueur (or equivalent amount of juice) in a pan and simmer until reduced to about 2 tablespoons.
  6. Melt the butter in a pan. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, which you have already chopped into small pieces. Stir until the chocolate has melted.
  7. Add the orange mix to the chocolate sauce. Make sure it is well mixed.
  8. Whip the eggs and
  9. Carefully fold in the chocolate mixture to the beaten eggs and sugar.
  10. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, vanilla sugar/extract and the salt.
  11. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate batter and stir carefully.
  12. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes (the cake should be wobbly when you take it out).
  14. Leave to cool in the tin and decorate with your Code Week decorations.
  15. Serve with vanilla ice cream and / or whipped cream.
  16. Share on Social Media by using the tag #CodeWeek10.