Cake!

By Shelly Detwiler

Let us eat cake, morning, night and anytime we wish!

Cake for breakfast. It’s an absurd, ridiculous, even preposterous idea, right? Think about it for a second. Common breakfast foods…eggs, milk, butter, oil. I’ve got you thinking now, don’t I? Throw in the sugar and flour you have a recipe for breakfast deliciousness such as donuts, pancakes, and waffles. Now that I have gotten you outside your breakfast box, let’s talk cake.

“Cake really isn’t important at all nutritionally, but symbolically it seems to have had an enormous importance,” saidAlysa Levene, author of “Cake: A Slice of History.” 

History tells us we need to thank ancient civilizations of Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans for our introductions to cake, cheesecake and fruitcake, respectively. The early Egyptian’s cake was enjoyed in celebrations and feasting, much like we do today. Unlike today, those first cakes were made more like round cakes of bread with bits of honey or special ingredients. Cake was associated with celebration of the gods and represented the cycle of life and nature with the sun and moon.

Levene tells us that in the 1700s, food technology took off when a few things happened: a light bulb went off about the leavening power of eggs, home ovens became more popular, refining of grains improved and sugar became more available. This led to tin hoops on parchment becoming the new norm for baking lighter, round cakes. Cake also began being the star in tea parties and other social events. Cake in America was deemed a luxury baked good due to expensive ingredients. Baking powder and baking soda were invented in the 1860s along with increased production of other baking ingredients. Cake gained popularity with more affordable ingredients. Buttercream icing, definitely food for the gods, started replacing older recipes of boiled icing with egg whites, sugar and flavorings. Thanks to those early home economists and food technologists for their advances in cake baking.

 Modern cakes come in various shapes and sizes from traditional to crazy. In 2018, I read an article in the OSU alumni magazine about Natalie, a fine arts OSU graduate, and her incredible cakes. Her cakes are truly masterpieces of edible art. Check out her cakes at https://sideserfcakes.com/ Cake arrives on the table for most home bakers in more traditional shapes of squares, rectangles, and round. However nowadays you can find a pan of whatever shape you’d like. 

 Growing up hickory nut, black walnut, pineapple upside down cake, gingerbread and apple were flavors that tickled our tastebuds. At the Detwiler house chocolate, pumpkin and marble were favorites. Cake flavors are endless. My curious mind probed into the top five searches for cake flavors. Coming in with 400k searches a month per Bakeryandsnacks.com is, drumroll please… You guessed it chocolate! 2. red velvet 3. carrot cake 4. banana 5. pineapple upside down. Cake trends show new popular flavors include coffee/tea and salted caramel. Whatever your family’s favorite flavor is, it’s time to definitely time to eat some cake. And of course, don’t forget to enjoy a slice for breakfast with a glass of milk.

Eat well and enjoy!

Shelly

Hershey “Perfect Chocolate” Chocolate Cake (Hershey.com)

https://www.hersheys.com/content/hersheyland/en-us/home/recipes-and-crafts/recipes/hersheys-perfectly-chocolate-chocolate-cake.html

Coconut Cake (Joythebaker.com)

Pineapple Rum Cake 365daysofbakingandmore.com 

https://www.365daysofbakingandmore.com/pineapple-rum-cake/

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4 comments

  1. Tin hoops on parchment became the new standard for baking lighter, round cakes as a result of this. Cake also started to take center stage at tea parties and other social gatherings. Due to its pricey components, cake was once considered a luxury baked good in America.
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