Cake Day is a holiday which is celebrated annually in the United States on November 26th and is used to celebrate the dessert which is ubiquitous to just about all American households: the cake. After all, just about every American household will eat cake at some point of the year. Whether it’s for their birthday, their anniversary, for retirement celebrations or for graduations from school. Therefore, it seems like a good day to honor the centerpiece in all of these celebrations – the cake.
History of Cake Day
Cake is a dessert which has a long history. It can be traced all the way back to the Vikings who used the Old Norse term Kaka to denote a baked flour confection that was usually sweetened with honey. It is believed to have been made shortly after the invention of bread. In Western civilization, the development of the cake would continue throughout the centuries. Cakes in the United States would eventually be borrowed from the British, who in turn had borrowed it from the Greeks.
During the early 18th century, pound cakes were all the rage and one of the most popular at this time was Washington Cake. Washington Cakes were frequently steamed pound cakes that were flavored with a variety of spices, as well as dried currants and raisins. One of the most famous ones was made by Mary Simpson, also known as Mary Washington, who was the freed slave of President George Washington. She prepared this cake to remember Washington’s Birthday and it was an instant success, leading to a number of different imitations during the 19th century and the proliferation of Washington Cakes during this period of time.
During the 19th century, Strawberry Shortcakes began to become popular. Although these cakes go all the way back to the 15th century in Europe, the American ones made during this time were lighter, fluffier and less dense than their European counterparts due to the process of chemical leavening.
Thanks to a Dole Pineapple recipe contest that took place in 1926, Pineapple Upside Down cake would become popular from the 1920s through the 1960s. In the 1930s, commercial cake mixes began to become available to give homemakers an inexpensive way to make cakes during the Great Depression. Over the years, a variety of different cakes became popular with the American public. These included Carrot Cakes, Boston Creme Pies, Monkey Bread, Angel Food and Devil Food Cake, Kentucky Bourbon Cake, King, Black Forest, German Chocolate and cheesecakes.
Although it isn’t currently known when Cake Day was created, one thing is for certain. It is a day that celebrates a well-loved dessert, not only in the United States but all over the world.
Cake Day Customs & Celebrations
The best way to celebrate Cake Day is to eat cake with your friends and family. You can try one of the many cake recipes that can be found on the Internet today. Be sure that after you bake, or buy, your cake that you snap a picture of it and post it to social media using the hashtag #cakeday or #nationalcakeday. That way, everyone can witness you taking part in this festive holiday.