The History of Cake Making

Cake – an all-time favorite of many when it comes to scrumptious sugary desserts! Cake-making has been around for millenniums, in fact, The invention of cake originated in ancient Egypt as round, flat, unleavened bread that was cooked on a hot stone. The evolution of baked goods continued over many centuries through the introduction of new ingredients and the invention of new techniques of baking. So, no, the cake-making phenomenon we see on social media today isn’t actually how it started – but we’ll delve into that too! Over time not only were new methods of cake making invented, but more and more flavors came to light. From chocolate and vanilla to red velvet, lemon, salted caramel, and many, many more tantalizing tastes, to icing flavors and décor. For today’s foodie feature, we are delving into the history and significance of the delicious dessert that is none other than cake! Keep reading to find out all you need to know.

A Lil’ Bit of History

As mentioned, The Egyptians were pioneers in baking as the first recorded civilization to use yeast in their bread as long ago as 2600 BC. Then, there was the Roman Empire’s Baker’s Guild established around 168 BC. This organization, called the Pistorum, recognized bread bakers as skilled artisans. In fact, baking was held in such high regard that a festival was held once a year to celebrate Fornax, the oven goddess.

During the Medieval period, ovens weren’t a standard fixture in any home. Those who could afford wood-burning stoves – and add fuel to heat them up – baked bread. In fact, the ability to produce high-quality bread helped people climb higher up the social ladder. Later, in the Middle Ages, wheat bread was reserved for wealthy people. Dense, rich cakes in exotic colors were only available to the highest stratums of society. It is believed that the first actual birthday cake was made in Germany in the Middle Ages. The Germans would celebrate children’s birthdays with cake, calling the celebration Kinderfest – and it’s no surprise (obviously), but it has been a worldwide tradition ever since

15th Century Baking introduced saffron and other expensive spices that helped baking majorly take off in Britain. Sweetened dough buns, mincemeat pies, and gingerbread all entered the scene at this point in the history of baking. Economic growth and globalization in the 16th and 17th centuries led to more decadent treats with butter, cream, and raisins. Baking became more accessible to the average person at this time, so families started to bake cakes and biscuits together. Late in the 17th century, the price of sugar went down, and refined flour became available, bringing desserts to the forefront, including pastries, pies, and iced cakes.

In the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution marked a turning point for the accessibility of cake-making in the average home—not only because of changes in taste and the availability of ingredients, but because of evolution in technology. The development of the semi-closed oven provided budding chefs with the tools and ideas they needed to try an array of cake recipes.

As more women became employed in the 19th century, they had less time to devote to elaborate food preparation. As a result, convenience food grew in popularity, which cut down on the time women spent in the kitchen – men, read that again, society evolved! Also introduced in this century, baking powder transformed the dense, yeast-based cakes of centuries past into the light, fluffy baked goods we know today – and there you have it, cake!

 A Celebratory Slice for Modern-Day Baking

Today, baking plays an integral role in modern life. Whether you enjoy baking from scratch or like the convenience of purchasing premade cakes at the local bakery or grocery store, the dessert has definitely made a name for itself in the baked goods industry, and we are here for it – but we can’t forget the process of design!

Cake decorating has its own history to it, but for now we are focusing on modern-day cake décor. You can just about get any type of cake theme you desire today! From children’s birthday cakes with their favorite cartoon character on it, to beautiful marble themed cakes, floral cakes, and more. The options are limitless, and the designs and décor are truly out of this world. It is no surprise that the craft became such a hit with the rise of social media!

The Social Media Phenomenon of Cake Making

If you haven’t come across a cake making video on your For You page on TikTok, Discovery tab on Instagram, or Stories on Snapchat at least once in your life… you must be living under a rock. Cake Making is one of the biggest foodie trends on social media today and, boy, you are missing out! From cake making videos that basically teach you how to cake, ice, and decorate the cakes, to videos catering to trends such as ASMR, and more. Cake making on social media is truly a phenomenon.

One of the most notable – and, well, insane, trends that have come about with the craft of cake making is the “Is it Made of Cake?” trend in which people are sharing videos in which some slices through seemingly everyday objects, like toilet paper and plants, that turn out to be made of cake. We must admit, it is pretty crazy, but very entertaining!

That’s all we have for today on cake making but be sure to keep up with us for more foodie related articles like this one. Now, what are you waiting for? Life is too short not to have that slice of cake!

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