When we think of history, we don’t often think of cake. But did you know that cake actually has a fascinating history behind it? While the specifics are still unknown, it is believed that cake originated with the ancient Egyptians and had a wild, transformative ride from there.
Hey, cake lovers! I’m Michelle, and I am here to take you on a journey through time. I’ve been baking for the past ten years, and I love to learn about where these delectable treats came from. I hope you find this article as exciting as I did!
Ready to dig into a history lesson? If you’ve ever wondered who invented cake and when you’re going to love this post. Plus, you will be able to educate and excite your buddies at the next gathering involving cake.
Let’s learn, shall we?
When and Where Did Cake Originate
You might not think that cake is super fascinating when it comes to its beginnings. To be fair, the thought of cake history might not have crossed your thought process. But cake has a thrilling history you’ll be shocked to read about. Let’s dive right in!
It Started With the Ancient Egyptians
It’s true – we don’t know everything about the history of cake, but historians have a pretty good idea. They claim that the first cakes were seen in ancient Egypt.
These cakes were more dense and breadlike. However, they differed from “regular” bread as they were sweetened with honey. They were frequently riddled with other delightful flavors, such as dried fruits, seeds, wine, and other ingredients, creating a “wow” factor.
Next, Came Medieval Europe
Medieval Europeans took note of the ancient Egyptians and created their type of “cake.” In these times, fruitcakes and gingerbread cakes were the most common. Not only did they taste great, but the food could last for months – which was crucial at that time.
Speaking of Europe, something cool to learn is that 15th-century Germans were the first people to celebrate a birthday party involving cake. Although, these cakes were still breadlike rather than tender and fluffy like today. Still a fun fact to know!
Yeast and No Yeast
It is said that the Romans were the ones who perfected adding yeast to a cake for it to rise. However, in the 16th century, Italians developed the process of leavening without the need for yeast.
The Italians added whipped eggs to create a cake that would rise. Not only that, but cakes made without yeast were far lighter and less dense than those of that time. The downside was that these cakes were pretty time-consuming, and the process was challenging.
17th Century Breakthrough
As the 17th century rolled around, technological advances and new ingredients were coming forth. This brought a whole new idea for cakes that closely resemble the cakes we know and love today.
In 17th-century Europe, bakers began to create round cakes with icing on top. The process was done using cake round molds baked on a flat baking tray. From there, the icing (made of sugar, egg white, and flavorings) was poured onto the cake.
After a final bake, the cake would be left to cool. At this point, the icing would become hardened and glossy. Sometimes, bakers would decorate the cake using nuts, seeds, fruits, and more.
19th Century Finale
The 19th century finally brought our definition of “cake” into play. At this time, cakes were created using flour and baking powder rather than yeast. The combo made those delicate and desirable cakes we know and gobble down today.
See? I told you the history of cakes was exciting! Check out these frequently asked questions below if you’re itching to learn more about this fun topic.
Who first made cake?
The actual answer is unknown, but historians claim that ancient Egyptians were the first to make a cake. They just made them slightly differently than we do today. For example, their “cake” was more consistent with bread.
Who invented cake mix?
P. Duff and Sons were the first people to create a cake mix in 1933. They blended a slew of ingredients, including dehydrated molasses, flour, sugar, egg, and more. Read more about the history here.
Who invented cake pops?
What about those beloved little cake pops? Well, you can thank Angie Dudley for that. The blogger of Bakarella was the first to create this adorable concoction. (Should we be emailing her “Thank You” notes?)
Cake has changed from its humble beginnings as a breadlike treat. While it may have begun as a dense, slightly sweet good, over the past few hundred years, it transformed into the light, fluffy, airy, and overall delicious sweet treat we know today.
Did you know the history of cakes? Do you have anything to add? Share in the comments below!About Michelle