National Cake Day takes place annually on November 26th. It’s a day dedicated to celebrating all things cake-related. From classic desserts like chocolate cake to unique flavored cakes, November 26th gives people the perfect excuse to indulge in their sweet tooth.
Let’s take a deeper look at the history of National Cake Day, popular cake flavors and styles, baking tips, and of course some delicious cake recipes to try.
The Origins of National Cake Day
While the exact origins of National Cake Day are unknown, it’s believed to have started in the United States in the late 1990s. Cake became hugely popular in America during the post-World War II economic boom. Large bakeries and chain restaurants produced cakes on a mass scale, making them accessible and affordable to most families.
As cake consumption spread, various culinary magazines and newspaper food sections began celebrating special occasions related to cakes. One of the first recorded mentions of National Cake Day was in the January 26, 1998 edition of the Los Angeles Times. The article discussed the best new cake recipes and bakeries in Southern California.
Since then, National Cake Day has grown in popularity online. Food blogs, recipe websites and social media have helped spread awareness of the annual November 26th cake celebration. Both home bakers and commercial bakeries get involved by introducing new cake creations, sales and demonstrations on National Cake Day.
Popular Cake Flavors
When it comes to favorite cake flavors, the classics remain at the top of most people’s lists:
Chocolate Cake – Rich, moist chocolate cake is a perennial favorite the world over. Variations like chocolate fudge cake or German chocolate cake add extra layers of chocolatey goodness.
Vanilla Cake – A staple vanilla cake serves as the blank canvas for frostings, fillings and decorations. It’s the backdrop for artistic and fancy decorated cakes.
Red Velvet Cake – With its hint of cocoa and touch of cream cheese frosting, red velvet cake delivers bold flavor.
Carrot Cake – Moist carrot cake packed with nuts and spices satisfies both sweet and savory tooth. Cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement.
Cupcakes – Fun miniature cakes come in a rainbow of flavors from red velvet to lemon to funfetti and beyond. Frosting flowers and other decorations make cupcakes Instagram-worthy.
Unique or regional flavors have also gained in popularity in recent years. Flavors drawing devoted followings include cinnamon, mint chocolate, lemon poppy seed, pumpkin, peanut butter and more. Bakers love experimenting with new flavor combinations.
When it comes to style, cakes come in many shapes and sizes to suit every taste and occasion:
Layer Cakes – The classic birthday cake with thick layers of cake and frosting can be round, square or heart-shaped. Layer cakes call for decorative piping and lots of candles.
Cupcakes – Fun individual treats perfect for parties come topped with frosting flowers, sprinkles and more. Liners allow for infinite color combinations.
Bundt Cakes – Ring-shaped cakes with deep ridges originated from Nordic countries. Popular flavors include cinnamon, lemon poppy seed and classic vanilla frosted Bundts.
Sheet Cakes – Thick, flat cakes easily cut into squares are ideal for potlucks and large gatherings. Common styles are German’s chocolate, carrot and yellow cakes.
Cake Pops – Cake cubes rolled into balls on lollipop sticks offer portable cute treats. Icing allows for colorful decorations ideal for kids’ parties.
Cake Roll – Thin rolled cakes filled with jam or cream then re-rolled provide easy elegance. Pink strawberry rolls are a classic.
Cake Cones/Lollies – Cakes baked in ice cream cone shapes offer fun handheld treats perfect for summer occasions.
Baking Tips for Perfect Cakes
For truly delicious cakes on National Cake Day, consider these expert baking tips:
Choose High Quality Ingredients – Fresh, soft butter, pure vanilla extract and high quality chocolate make or break a cake. Splurge on the best ingredients for amazing flavor and texture.
Preheat the Oven Properly – Allow the oven to fully heat to the required temperature before baking ensures an even bake without sinking or overbrowning.
Grease and Flour Pans Thoroughly – Lightly grease pans with butter or shortening, then dust lightly with flour. Tap out any excess for easy removal.
Use an Accurate Oven Thermometer – Ovens can often vary significantly from the stated temperature dial. An oven thermometer prevents over or under-baking issues.
Check for Doneness – For layers, cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bundts and sheets are done when edges pull away from sides.
Allow to Cool Completely – Resist cutting into the cake until fully cooled to prevent crumbling and collapse. This crucial step ensures a moist tender crumb.
Moistens Cracks with Syrup – Soaking finished layers in a simple syrup of water and sugar creates a moist tender crust and prevents drying.
Achieve Perfect Frosting – Work quickly at room temperature. Apply an even coat, then chill layers to set before assembling.
By following these tips, home bakers are guaranteed amazing cakes to celebrate National Cake Day!
Fun National Cake Day Recipes to Try
Now it’s time to dive into some delicious National Cake Day recipes to satiate any sweet tooth:
Classic Yellow Layer Cake
Perfect for birthday parties, this moist, tender cake layers simply with vanilla frosting for a childhood favorite.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Indulge in mini red velvet cakes topped with cream cheese frosting, a Southern specialty.
Caramel Apple Bundt Cake
Autumn spices paired with tart granny smith apples and creamy caramel make this the new fall classic.
Classic Chocolate Sheet Cake
You can’t go wrong with a fudgy chocolate cake for the crowd, topped with chocolate fudge frosting.
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Roll
Light and airy lemon cake rolled up with sweet lemon curd for an impressive yet simple dessert.
German’s Chocolate Cake
Dark chocolate cake layered with coconut pecan frosting tastes like the holiday season in cake form.
Texas Sheet Cake
The ultimate chocolate spice cake, this moist treat stays fresher longer than layer cakes.
Birthday Cupcake Cones
Kids will love assembling and decorating their own single-serve birthday cakes on a cone.
Get baking your favorites and share photos on social media using #NationalCakeDay to inspire others to celebrate too! Consider donating extra cakes to local charities, senior centers or first responder stations to spread the sweetness.
National Cake Day is the perfect excuse to indulge your inner baker and enjoy all things cake-related. Whether decorating classic cakes or experimenting with unique flavors, November 26th was made for celebrating everyone’s favorite dessert. Get baking and bon appétit!