Victorian Baking: Angel’s Food Cake

Victorian Baking: Angel’s Food Cake

The story behind the invention (development?) of Angel Food Cake is a bit shrouded in tales of “Me, First!” Vintage newspaper advertisements show Angel Food Cake for sale in bakeries by 1878, and in cookbooks for home bakers that same year. One of the origin stories made it into a vintage cookbook (“cook book”), along with minor variations on the fluffy, snow-white theme. No matter how the dessert began, the popularity took off among Victorian bakers and remained popular through the Edwardian and Progressive Era. One peek at Pinterest vouches that this brightly white cake is still popular (even when pink).

Victorian Baking: Devil’s Food Cake

Victorian Baking: Devil’s Food Cake

Today, January 27th, is National Chocolate Cake Day!

No better time to reflect upon, and relish the “invention” of one of the BEST chocolate cakes of all time–Devil’s Food Cake.

Devil’s Food Cake (often simply “Devil’s Food”) debuted along with other chocolate cakes as the culmination of chocolate dessert creations, at the tail-end of the Victorian Era, and gained momentum into the brief Edwardian period. American bakers discovered the capacities of baking chocolate, creating the sinfully rich and decadent cake, frosted with anything from a basic white, boiled frosting to ultra-sweet fudge frosting. Of all the “Victorian Inventions”, Devil’s Food Cake might be a twenty-first century favorite!

Victorian Americans had Devil’s Food Cake and Angel Food Cake?

Victorian Americans had Devil’s Food Cake and Angel Food Cake?

Which came FIRST in Victorian home kitchens? Angel’s Food Cake or Devil’s Food Cake? BOTH appeared in the 1800’s…but one was definitely first. Any guesses?

This post begins a new blog series, all about Victorian home bakers, CAKE, Angel (Angel’s) Food Cake, Chocolate Cake (and Devil’s Food Cake), Cake Moulds and Tins, Time-saving Inventions for cooks / bakers, and more than one surprise!

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Victorian Baking: Saleratus, Baking Soda, and Salsoda

Victorian Baking: Saleratus, Baking Soda, and Salsoda

Today, December 30th, is National Bicarbonate of Soda Day.

Why recognize and celebrate such an obscure “foodie” day?

Victorian-era recipes containing saleratus, pearl ash, baking soda, baking powder (and more) can be confusing… and evoke a million questions. When were each used? Which were Victorian-era developments? Which did 19th century cooks prefer?