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9 Things You Didn’t Know About Cake

Did you know cake can be dated back to the Greeks and Romans? Find out the world’s most expensive slice of wedding cake and why cheesecake isn’t really a cake.

From immense celebration cakes to delicate petit fours, it’s no secret that cake is a tasty treat to suit the masses. At Esquires Coffee, we love a piece of cake with our favourite coffee (or tea), and it got us thinking, there must be so much about cake that we don’t know! Whether it’s chocolate, fruit, coffee or something more exotic, the world of cake is drizzled in ancient history and curious facts. We’ve picked some of our favourites.

cake and fork with cream and strawberry on plate

The History of Cake

The origins of cake date back to ancient times. Both the Greeks and the Romans combined flour, eggs, milk and honey and baked them, resulting in a sweet bread-like cake. The Greeks also invented a type of cheesecake made with goats milk.
The word ‘cake’ is of Viking origin, stemming from the Norse word ‘kaka’.
While considered a quintessentially British treat, the classic sponge is thought to have originated from Spain during the renaissance period.

Cheesecake Isn’t a Cake

Despite its name, cheesecake is actually classed as a custard pie. Baked and non-baked cheesecakes usually contain little or no flour, denying them of the classification.

‘You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat it’

A popular English idiom, this figure of speech dates back centuries. An early example of the phrase dates back to 1538 and is found in a letter from Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, to Thomas Cromwell.

carrot cake and coffee in a white mug

Vegan Cake Wins

On November 3rd 2017 in Sweden, chef Therese Lindgren broke the world record for the largest vegan cake. The semolina-based cake weighed in at a whopping 462.4 kilograms and was enjoyed by over 2,000 people.
At Esquires Coffee, our menu is created to be enjoyed by everyone. We have loads of options for vegetarians and vegans, from delicious lunches to alternative milks and, of course, cake!

A Jaffa Cake IS a Cake

In 1991, McVities defended Jaffa Cakes at a VAT tribunal. The court hearing wasn’t just to settle family disagreements, however. In the UK, VAT is added to chocolate-covered biscuits, but not to chocolate-covered cakes. In a dispute over whether VAT should be added to the orangey snacks, a court assessed the product on a range of factors. These included size, texture, and whether, when stale, they harden like a cake or soften like a biscuit. The conclusion was that Jaffa Cakes are, in fact, a cake.

Wedding Break

In ancient Rome, wedding cakes made of wheat and barley were broken over the bride’s head in a tradition thought to bring good fortune to the couple.
Early European wedding cakes in the 16th and 17th centuries were called ‘bride’s pie’ and were originally savoury. In the 17th century, it was popular for both the bride and the groom to have a wedding cake.

close up of small people on a wedding cake

Most Expensive Slice of Wedding Cake

Speaking of wedding cake, in 1998, a piece of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s wedding cake was sold in a Sotheby’s auction for £18,163 ($29,900).

Britain’s Favourite Cake

One poll by Protein World surveyed 2,000 British adults and found that lemon drizzle cake is the nation’s favourite slice. Lemon drizzle accumulated 40% of the votes. Coming in a close second was chocolate fudge with 38%, with carrot cake getting 37%.

Selling Like Hotcakes

The phrase ‘selling like hotcakes’ is a popular one but did you know that hotcakes refer to pancakes? The phrase originated in America in the 1800s when pancakes were sold at church bake sales and were snapped up before they went cold.

Pop into your local Esquires Coffee shop and try a slice of one of our tasty cakes! For more fun facts, check out our blog Interesting Facts About Coffee. If you are a budding entrepreneur, get in touch today to find out more about our coffee franchise cost and how you can become part of a global coffee chain with community spirit.

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