Ribbon Cake – Historical Context
Ribbon cake is a layered cake often with each layer having a unique flavor or color. This concept of baking a layered cake formed with the use of a stove, which, by the 1850s, was chosen over the antique cooking method of fireplaces. Having this new technology allowed baking to become quicker and easier, providing middle class women the opportunity to imitate the grand French cuisine, which was very popular by the 1880s.This led to a need for grander party cakes, one of which was the layer cake. Popular ingredients included caramel, fruits, and spices which made the cake darker, and since Marble cake, a cake with the blending of dark and light batter into a marble-looking batter, was a popular party dessert of the late nineteenth century, the dark layer of cake was often placed between two lighter, usually yellow or white, layers to provide a similar contrast. This plan ultimately led to Ribbon Cake, which is now very popular in contemporary recipe books and a favorite amongst celebrity chefs such as Martha Stewart.