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National Chocolate Cake Day (January 27)

Check out the weird holiday National Chocolate Cake Day on January 27. Learn the history of chocolate cake and get ideas on how to celebrate.

One weird holiday on January 27 is National Chocolate Cake Day. Check out the other weird January holidays!

History of National Chocolate Cake Day

The world’s first chocolate cake was made in Boston in 1764. This was when Dr. James Baker discovered that cocoa could be ground using a water-powered mill. He and a chocolate maker ground up cocoa beans with millstones to turn it into a thick syrup (called cocoa liquor), which was poured into molds shaped like cakes.

Prior to that, chocolate had been primarily used to make a drink similar to tea or coffee, which was the original intention of these chocolate molds (almost like hot chocolate bombs).

The word chocolate comes from the Aztec word xocotal, which means bitter water. Cocoa beans themselves, and chocolate without milk and sugar added (aka dark chocolate) is actually not very sweet at all.

60 years later, in 1824, Conrad Van Houten discovered a way to remove the fat from cacao liquor, which was called cocao butter.

In 1847, Eliza Leslie published the first chocolate cake recipe in The Lady’s Receipt Book. As she was already a popular cookbook author, the recipe soon gained traction. It wasn’t how we think of chocolate cake today, either, but it was regular cake with small chunks of chocolate mixed in.

Around that same time, other popular cookbook authors and chefs – like Maria Parloa and Sarah Tyson Rorer – also create their own variations and recipes. Then in 1879, Rodolphe Lindt developed a process called “conching” that made chocolate smoother and silkier.

Boxed cake mixes weren’t invented until the late 1920s, when the first one was created by the company O. Duff and Sons and was called Devil’s food chocolate cake mixes.. Betty Crocker’s dry cake mix wasn’t released until 20 years later in 1947, along with several other flavors.

During World War II, boxed chocolate cake production came to a halt. It was picked up again when the war ended, and in 1948, Pillsbury entered the market with their own dry chocolate cake mix.

In 1957, German chocolate cake first came onto the scene when the Dallas Morning Star featured this chocolate cake covered in coconut-caramel frosting. Interestingly enough, the name did not derive from the country Germany or its inhabitants; rather, the recipe called for the German’s brand of chocolate.

A decade later in 1967, Hostess Brands began to release small cream-filled chocolate covered cakes called Ding Dongs. They moved up into Canada, where they are called King Dons.

In the 1990s, molten laval cakes became popular. These are small chocolate cakes with hot, melted liquid chocolate in the center. They are often served as dessert at many restaurants.

Ideas for National Chocolate Cake Day

Here are some delicious unique recipes for chocolate cake that you can try out today.

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