Birthday Cakes date back to ancient
According to food historians, ancient Egyptians were the
first to show evidence of advanced baking skills. The
ancient Greeks made round or moon shaped honey cakes or
bread and took it to the temple of Artemis -the Goddess
A later tradition of Birthday cakes started in Germany
in the middle Ages. Sweetened bread dough made in the
shape of baby Jesus, in swaddling cloth, was used to
commemorate his birthday. This special birthday cake
later re-emerged in Germany as a Kinder Fest or birthday
celebration of a young child. The Germans also baked another
special kind of cake, baked in layers, called Geburtstagorten. This was sweeter than the coarse and
bread like cake that was usually made at that time.
During medieval times in England people used to place
symbolic objects like coins, rings and thimbles in the
batter of the cake. It was believed that those who found
the coin cake would be wealthy while the unlucky finder
of the thimble would never marry. If the cake fell while
baking it was considered to be a bad omen and signified
bad luck for the person in the coming year.
Around the middle of 17th century, Europeans had made
considerable advancements in the art of making cakes.
They began to make the precursor to the modern cakes of
today. This was mainly due to the development of
technology that made available reliable ovens, food
moulds and refined sugar to make icing. Round cake hoops
were developed of wood or metal to shape and mould the
The first icing that was used on cakes was made from a
boiled composition of finest available sugar, egg whites
and flavours. In those days icing was poured on the cake,
which was then put back into the oven for a while. When
the cake was taken out, the icing cooled quickly to form
a hard glossy ice-like covering.
Moulded cakes and fancy
ices reached their zenith in Victorian times.
The art of baking cakes kept progressing through the
ages, and it was not until the middle of the 19th
century that the cake we know of today developed.
The taste and appearance of the cake was enhanced with
extra-refined white flour and the use of baking powder
instead of yeast.
The 'World's Largest Birthday Cake' at Cashman
Las Vegas, Nevada May 15, 2005. The 130,000-pound cake,
made as part of the City of Las Vegas' Centennial
celebration, was 102-feet long, 52-feet wide and 20
inches tall, and took 500 volunteers 14 hours to
construct and decorate.
Today many specialist areas of cake making and
decorating have emerged from simple beginnings and very
many different specialist skills of cake decorating have