Armed Services YMCA

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One of the great traditions of our time is having a birthday cake on your birthday. What birthday would be complete without a birthday cake? Being presented with a cake is a timeless way to mark the occasion. Having your loved ones sing to you before you make a wish and blow out the candles is a ritual that should never be skipped. A birthday is a celebration of life and should always be treated as such. They are special days and great opportunities to remind your friends and family members how much they mean to you. Honoring someone with a birthday cake is tradition. Where did this practice come from? What did the earliest birthday-themed dessert look like? The way cakes are made, and how birthdays are celebrated has changed over the years, but the sentiment has remained the same.

The idea of what makes a cake a cake has transformed over time. The word “cake” is derived from an old Norse word, “kaka”. Cakes looked very different back in their early days - somewhere in the 13th century. They were very plain and simple, and more like bread than the sugary confections we know them as today. Honey would then be added for some sweetness. Bread and cake were general terms used to refer to the same thing. Different countries had their own names for the food. The Greeks called their cakes “plakous”, and also made flat, heavy cakes they called “satura”. These early cakes were not very fancy, but paved the way for fancier versions.

Special occasions have been marked with a cake for centuries. It is thought that the first birthday cake was served in Germany in the Middle Ages, at a children’s birthday party which they called Kinderfest. This was a special treat. Sugar, nuts, and other baking ingredients were very expensive and not purchased or consumed on a regular basis. These were reserved for special days (such as birthdays) and seen as luxuries. It was an honor to be served a cake, because it meant you were worth it. In the 17th century, the wealthy began adorning their cakes with icing and other decorations such as flowers. It was a way for them to show their status.

Nowadays, cake ingredients are much more commonplace and affordable. Ingredients became more easily accessible thanks to the Industrial Revolution, and the invention of baking powder and baking soda made cakes more convenient to bake. It was during the Great Depression that the first boxed cake mix was manufactured and sold. The mix offered an inexpensive meal solution at a time where it was desperately needed. Other companies jumped on this cake mix trend and marketed it as an easy, effortless way to bake a cake. Having the dry ingredients all in one mix eliminated the need for multiple purchases. It also drastically cut the labor time. The frosting in a can came later and provided a way for bakers to express their creativity.

A birthday cake is incomplete without candles. When did you ever have a birthday where you didn’t blow out the candles on your cake? The Greeks are widely credited with starting the practice of putting candles on birthday cakes. They made cakes meant to honor Artemis, the goddess of the moon. When the candles were lit, they symbolized moonlight, and the smoke from them sent their prayers up to the Gods. Some argue that the practice of putting candles on the cake originated in Germany, where the candle was considered to represent “the light of life”. Today, candles are blown out at the conclusion of “Happy Birthday”. It is customary to make a wish as you do – and never reveal the wish if you want it to come true.

People of every age appreciate birthdays and the lengths taken to celebrate them. Birthday cakes are a cherished tradition that has been around for many years and will be for years to come.

Now you can have a birthday cake delivered no matter where your loved one lives! Each gourmet birthday cake delivery includes a greeting card and arrives packaged in an elegant gift box. There is no better way to honor their birthday than by sending a delicious birthday cake delivery by Bake Me A Wish!

Whether you need your birthday cake delivered in New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, our gourmet birthday cakes, and other occasion bakery gifts, are priced to meet your needs. We ship nationwide, so we've got you covered from Texas to Michigan, New Jersey to California, and everywhere in between. Every cake we offer can arrive next day via overnight service as long as you order cakes before 4:50PM ET, Monday through Friday.

Bake Me A Wish! also ships cakes to APO/FPO addresses through our Operation: Birthday Cake program. We've also been working with our non-profit partner, Soldiers’ Angels.since 2007 and we've donated thousands of cakes to military service members in Iraq, Afghanistan, and as far away as Guam!

If you have any questions on your cake delivery, or ordering a cake, please visit our FAQ, call us at 888-987-9474, or email us.