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Let them eat cake

In ancient times the only difference between cake and bread was the level of sweetness; cake was very sweet and bread was plain Jane.

In ancient times the only difference between cake and bread was the level of sweetness; cake was very sweet and bread was plain Jane. What the ancient Egyptians or Romans ate as cake back then was much more like a biscuit or an oat cake, heavy, dense and cooked on a stove top. Cake baking techniques evolved over time and once the bakers discovered the magic of whipped eggs, well, we got a cake that resembles the light, fluffy moist product of today.

What is interesting is that cake has been the center of ceremonies and celebrations since primitive times. Pagans baked round cakes symbolizing the moon and lit candles on them to resemble moon glow and gave as an offering to the moon goddess Artemis. The history of the wedding cake goes back to the Roman Empire where the groom would eat part of a loaf of barley bread baked especially for the nuptials and break the rest over his bride's head. Breaking the bread symbolized the breaking of the bride's purity and the subsequent dominance of her groom. Later around the 19th century the Scottish broke sweetened oat cakes over the bride and in Northern Scotland, friends of the bride would put a napkin over her head and then proceed to pour a basket of bread over her. In Medieval England sweet buns were stacked between the newlyweds and they would have to try and kiss over the pile. Success meant many children.

By the late 19th century, wedding cakes became really popular and these early cakes were simple single-tiered plum cakes, with some variations. It was a while before the first multi-tiered wedding cake of today appeared in all its glory. Distributing pieces of cake to one's guests is a tradition that also dates back to the Roman Empire and continues today. Following the tradition of breaking the bread over the bride's head, guests would scramble for crumbs that fell to the ground. Presumably the consumption of such pieces ensured fertility.

History of the birthday cake dates back to Germany in the middle ages where sweetened bread dough was given the shape of baby Jesus in swaddling cloth and was used to commemorate His birthday. This special birthday cake later re-emerged in Germany as a Kinderfest or the birthday celebrations of a young child. They used to place a large candle in the centre of the cake to symbolize "the light of life."

Perfectly Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe


2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

cup Hershey's cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Remember that you can freeze buttermilk so you have to make another buttermilk chocolate cake recipe.


Preheat oven to 300 F (This is not a typo! This is a slow bake chocolate cake recipe.)

Lightly grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix at medium or medium high speed until all ingredients are blended and smooth.

Pour into greased and floured baking dish. Bake for one hour. Test by sticking with knife. If it comes out clean, it's done.

Allow to cool. Spread strawberry cool whip and garnish with fresh-cut berries.