Why Is Cake (Typically) Round?

Chocolate Mousse Torte CakeEver wonder why cakes are usually round? Us too, so we did a little research.

What we found is, similar to our quest to learn the origin of cake, answers are scarce.

While there doesn’t seem to be a definitive reason, food historians offer a couple theories for cake’s roundness:

#1 – It just kinda happened.

As we found out in a previous post, cake most likely evolved from the making of bread. And ancient bread was typically molded by hand into round balls, which naturally relaxed into rounded shapes when baked.

So… Viola! Round cake is born.

Some food historians think the round shape originated from this early bread making technique and just sort of got passed along through the centuries.

Not the most exciting origin story but a probable explanation nonetheless.

#2 – Gods prefer round cake.

In ancient times, some civilizations baked cakes as an offering to their gods and spirits.

A round cake was meant to symbolize the cyclical nature of life as well as the sun and the moon. For example, ancient Greeks made round cakes to honor Artemis, the goddess of the moon.

This theory could explain why we generally serve cakes at special occasions like birthdays, to symbolize the cycle of life.

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It’s tough to say which theory is right because the history of cake is so fuzzy. Maybe both have some truth to them.

Whatever the reason, despite the many option out there today, round is the most popular shape for cakes, even the ones here at Bake Me a Wish!

Not the most satisfying answer to the round cake mystery, is it? If you need to drown your sorrows in a decadent, round chocolate cake, we won’t stop you ;)

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