National German Chocolate Cake Day: the perfect recipe for the perfect day
Any occasion to bake a cake
I look for any occasion to bake a cake. When I found out that 11 June was National German Chocolate Cake Day, I got so excited.
Like so many people, I thought German chocolate cake came from Germany. It turns out that the Germans have nothing to do with German chocolate cake. Instead, it’s named after Samuel German, an Englishman known as “Sammy”, who had made his way to America in the 1800s.
Sammy got a job at the Baker’s Chocolate Company in Dorchester, Massachusetts (first American chocolate factory). Sammy German developed a special type of chocolate for Baker’s that had more sugar than the other chocolate the company was selling at the time. According to the history of the company, “Walter Baker bought the recipe for $1,000 and began marketing it as Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate.”
In 1957, Mrs. George Clay published a cake recipe in the Dallas Morning Star using Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate. Most sources say her recipe was called German’s chocolate cake, but somewhere along the way, the name was changed to German Chocolate Cake and the (’s) was lost forever.
The cake was so popular that it caused a noticeable increase in chocolate sales for Baker’s. In 1964, the company redesigned the wrapper for German’s sweet chocolate bar and included the recipe right on the label, and it’s still there today. Since German chocolate cake was named after Sammy German, the word German is capitalized. This has caused confusion not just for me, but a lot of other people as well.
Join me in honoring Mr. German this month by baking this traditional cake.