“Let Them Eat Cake” | Chicago Classic Magazine


Do you have a Jill cake pan?

No, I only have a springform pan.

Hmmmmm… No, it’s not okay, said my friend.

Telling another friend about the request, she said not having a cake pan was UN-AMERICAN. Oh no!

So, I bought the 6 inch round pans for a three layer cake. LOTS, LOTS of hours later, and a sink full of all the baking supplies, the lemon poppyseed cake was ready. Delicious yes….. but honestly, bakeries and cake shops have amazing cakes, and we have so many sources of cakes in Chicago!

I will not repeat to make another cake.

But even though I don’t bake cakes, many do, and many decorate in exquisite detail with such imagination and flair.

Everywhere, cakes are made with personal interests represented, sports memorabilia, family events. Truly, the range of skill and ingenuity is astonishing, not to mention the extreme attention to detail and care, particularly impressive when using materials as volatile and unstable as frosting and pipe decorating.

One such superb example depicting an illuminated manuscript was for the Edible Book April Fool’s Day Tea at the Columbia College Book and Paper Center a few years ago. It was designed, baked and decorated Susanna Leonard Hanesformer president of Caxton club.org.

Image: Courtesy of Susan Leonard Hanes, Chicago

Origin of “Let Them Eat Cake”?

Usually attributed to Marie Antoinette but there are dissenters to this notion, citing no evidence that Marie Antoinette ever said that. But we know people attribute to him the phrase “Let them eat brioche” for almost two hundred years – and debunking it for just as long.

Apparently the Romans baked birthday cakes.

Children’s birthday parties originated in Germany, with the 18c. Kinderfeste like a party for a child.

Put candles on cakes was a Greek invention. Devotees brought moon-shaped cakes to the temple of Artemis: the goddess of the moon and the hunt, with candles to make them shine like the moon.

We use cakes for everything and all celebrations: Wedding, Graduation, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Gender Reveal, Bar and Bat Mitzvah, Christmas, Eid Mubarek after Ramadan, Birthday and Farewell. In addition, different countries have bakeries with their specialties.

What’s about to grab the nation’s attention after Father’s Day? The 4th of July and the painting is superb.

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Flag cake toppers say it all

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“Borani” flag cake: variation of an Iranian dish made with strained yogurt or labneh

Image courtesy Justine Balin

Image courtesy Justine Balin


“you can’t have your cake and eat it too”

Comes from the oldest known use of the proverb in a letter from Thomas, Duke of Norfolk to Thomas Cromwell in 1538. In British English, the last word is often omitted from the proverb, as you cannot have your cake and eat it. or like James Joyce quoted “You can’t eat your cake and have it.”

AND how about the origins of “cake walk” and “A piece of cake“to connote easy, and”It takes the cake“- to receive the highest honor in a situation, although often used sarcastically.

The cake walk was originally a 19th century dance, invented by African Americans in the antebellum South. It was intended to satirize the stiff ballroom walks of white plantation owners, who favored the rigidly formal dances of European high society.

After emancipation, the pageant tradition continued in black communities; the Oxford English Dictionary dates the widespread adoption of “cakewalk” to the late 1870s. It was around this time that cakewalk came to mean “easy” – not because the dance was particularly simple to do , but rather because of its languid pace and association with weekend leisure.

cake walk the contests also resulted in two other well-worn shots – “That take it cake!” and “A piece of cake.” This last phrase, which also means easy, is believed to have first been used in print by comedian Ogden Nash in The Primrose Path. around 1935.

also the origin of A piece of cake is also assigned to the Royal Air Force in the late 1930s for an easy mission, but really its use in the 1930s cannot deny the origin of cake walk in the pre-war south.

Hey, even ACCELERATE use the term
“a piece of cake.”

Cakes for all occasions – so beautifully decorated!

“Because the sweeter the cake, the more bitter the jelly can be.” Lady Gaga

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Simnel Easter cake: rich fruit cake topped with marzipan popular in the UK
For more reference on fruitcakes, read Elizabeth Richter’s article in
December 4 issue of this magazine.
“Ah fruitcake! Love it, hate it, bake it”

Ramadan and Eid festive food: Golden cake with a crescent moon
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It has been said that the Opera cake was unveiled at Paris Culinary Fair 1903 by the famous patisserie Chef Louis Clichy.

The opera cake is made of layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, covered with ganache and coffee buttercream and covered with chocolate ganache. Symphony is Frederic’s version of this French classic. Frederic Loraschi

“A party without cake is really just a meeting” Julia Child

A Bordeaux canelé is a small rum and vanilla flavored French pastry with a sweet and tender custard center and a thick dark caramelized crust. It takes the form of a small ridged cylinder up to five centimeters high with a depression at the top. Image of Verzenay at Green City Market, Lincoln Park Chicago

THE REVELATION CAKE – is it something new in the last 30 years?

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AGE & BIRTHDAY related cakes

Cakes for children with special needs

Non-profit organizations providing cakes are available. Most use volunteers to bake the cakes.

Criteria for hiring volunteers, naming recipients and requesting cakes are on each site

Learned cakes contribute to Angel Cake in Australia, Cake Angels aims to make birthdays and other important events for seriously ill children even more special, by donating custom-designed celebration cakes in a theme that is personalized and meaningful to them.
Cake4Kids serves at-risk and underserved youth

Cake4Kids partners with agencies that support young people (ages 1-24) at risk or underserved, including youth in foster care, group homes, homeless shelters, housing transitional and low-income, shelters from domestic violence or human trafficking, substance abuse programs, and refugees.

Children remain incredibly resilient even in the worst of circumstances, but often suffer from self-esteem issues and withdraw into themselves. At Cake4Kids, our goal is to show them we care and boost their self-esteem by giving them a smile on their birthday.

Glaze of smiles is a non-profit organization that provides personalized birthday cakes to affected families

For goodness cakes

For Goodness Cakes matches volunteers to make and hand-deliver birthday cakes to foster children and at-risk youth on their special day.

“A person may no longer want their cake; but that’s no reason to give it away.

– Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Lambton cake is an Australian dessert of sponge cake, or squares of sponge cake dipped in chocolate, then rolled in coconut. The word lamington means layers of beaten gold.

WEDDING CAKES so many variations

“The most dangerous food is the wedding cake.”James Thurber

Wedding cakes can be tiered cupcakes or even amuse bouche – choux pastry puffs stacked in a cone and bound with caramel threads.

Cheese Wheels wedding cakes are all the rage right now.


Image: Courtesy Sally Ellick

“Nothing in life is a piece of cake; well, except a real piece of cake.

Hiba Fatima Ahmad

Notes, references and sources
Image of Jill: Joe Mazza Bravelux Inc.
Unattributed photos – copyright © 2022 Jill Lowe. All rights reserved
Bridal magazine. UK
Othello Australia Cheesecake Wedding Cake Gallery
Fine Cheers UK Wedding Cake Gallery
Chicago Cakes
San Francisco Cheese School
Real Cheese Wedding Cake at Cheese Maven Chicago
North Shoer Chicago Kosher Bakery
Verzenay Patisserie Chicago
Vanilla Pastry Chicago
bittersweet chicago
Sweet Mandy B’s
Bake Chicago
Bjorn Chicago
Alliance Bakery Chicago
Cocoa Eve Chicago
Chicago Stones Bakery
Bridgeport Bakery
Caxton club.org
Frederic Loraschi
The new house
sugar lover
Cakes 4 Children
Glaze of smiles
For God’s sake
European pastry

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