The Most Popular Cake from Every Decade
What was the most popular cake of the 20s, the 50s or the 80s? We found them all: the one cake that defined each decade!
The turn of the century saw the first chocolate cakes made by home bakers. New processes developed through the mid-1800s led to ingredients like cocoa powder and chocolate bars that were easier to bake with and available to everyone.
Light-as-air sponge cakes were very popular this decade for everything from family treats to Passover desserts to wedding cakes. Beaten eggs give sponge cakes their lovely texture. In the 1910s the cakes were often flavored with fruit juices and zest.
In 1925 Dole Pineapple held a contest for the best pineapple recipe. Not only did Pineapple Upside-Down Cake win, there were over 2,500 recipes for the cake in the running—clearly a favorite dessert of home cooks!
The availability of pre-made ingredients like graham crackers and cookies, plus electric refrigerators appearing in homes, made icebox cakes very popular. One of the most basic and delicious types: chocolate wafer cookies layered with sweetened whipped cream.
Due to the scarcity of ingredients like eggs and butter during WWII, home cooks had to get creative to make cakes for their families. Some surprising substitutions included mayonnaise, sauerkraut and vinegar. Even more surprising? The cakes were delicious!
At the height of home entertaining the Baked Alaska reigned supreme. The stunning dish was not only a delicious dessert, it showed off the skills of the home cook and sparked conversation about a treat that’s both scorched and frozen!
This beautiful cake loaded with chocolate and cherry was a popular dessert at fine restaurants and at dinner parties. It had appeal as part of “continental cuisine” and from a hefty dose of delicious Kirsch cherry liqueur.
Though created in the early twentieth century this cake reached the peak of popularity in the 1970s. Home cooks caught up in the health craze of the decade loved this cake loaded with carrots and fruit like raisins, pineapple or applesauce.
Thanks to a bombardment of TV ads from companies like Baskin Robbins, Friendly’s and Carvel (remember Fudgie the Whale and Cookie Puss?), ice cream cakes were all the rage in the 80s.
This rich chocolate cake with a molten center became the decadent dessert of the 90s. At first they could only be found at high-end, trendy restaurants, but soon lava cakes were on menus of chain and small-town restaurants everywhere.
This craze was kicked off by the hit show Sex In The City and frequent shots of the creative cupcakes at NYC’s Magnolia Bakery. Fans flocked to the bakery and soon gourmet cupcake shops popped up in cities and towns everywhere.