November 26th is National Cake Day, a day to celebrate one of the most popular and favored of modern desserts. Cake dates back to the the discovery of flour thousands of years ago, having evolved from early leavened breads. In fact, the words “cake” and “bread” have been interchangeable at different points throughout history. Today, cake is a broad term used to describe a variety of baked goods classified by shape (bundt cakes, sheet cakes, roll cakes), purpose (Christmas log, wedding cake, birthday cake), or flavor. Whether you prefer red velvet cake or carrot cake, chocolate or vanilla, today is the day to make or seek out your favorite cake.
Chris and I were a little alarmed to find that National Cake Day only fell a couple of days after Thanksgiving this year. Our pants are still feeling a little tight after Thursday’s big meal. As we contemplated the idea of devouring tonight’s dessert I realized just how many cake-related “unofficials” we’ve celebrated in the past eleven months. In February we celebrated National Baked Alaska Day, which required a concoction of meringue-covered pound cake, as well as National Carrot Cake Day. March and April put us in our aprons for the observance of National Black Forest Cake Day and National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day. Later in the summer we made another cake from scratch for National Sponge Cake Day, and earlier this month we visited our favorite baker to celebrate National Vanilla Cupcake Day. Looking back on all of these days got my sweet tooth aching, and it also got me wondering how my pants haven’t gotten too tight. Maybe that’s one of the many miracles I should have been thankful for on Thanksgiving.
To celebrate National Cake Day Chris and I decided it was finally time to enjoy one of the frozen Pepperidge Farm cakes that’s been hanging out in our freezer for a couple of months. I briefly considered making one of the cakes featured in a super-cool book Chris gave me last Christmas, The United Cakes of America, but when I looked ahead to our upcoming “unofficials” I realized I’d be spending part of tomorrow in the kitchen for National Bavarian Cream Pie Day (another dessert holiday!?!?) so we thought we’d opt for the easy alternative instead. Although my late grandmother used to serve frozen cakes on a regular basis, they’re a relatively new phenomenon to our kitchen.