Fabric Cakes?!

22nd September 2023

Lemon chiffon, black satin, tweed and red velvet are just a few of the names we use for cake, but have you ever wondered why so many are named after fabric? We came across an interesting article the other day by Brandon Summers-Miller HERE about how this occurred.

These days, recipes are accompanied with a plethora of videos and high-resolution photos to clearly show how our baking should turn out. Recipes in the 19th century however, relied on an individual’s kitchen technology, embodied knowledge and volumetric unit systems all varying for every household. 

Bradon learnt from food historian and writer Hysmith, that recipe authors during this time assumed their audiences were women who had both learned to bake and sew and the universal knowledge from the textile world would help explain what texture different cakes should resemble. ‘It helped to know whether your cake batter should resemble more of a tight, glossy silk, or an airy, frothy chiffon.’

So, there you have it, the textile world once again proving its importance in helping society in more ways than one. Fabric helped bakers so we could help ourselves to a slice of fluffy chiffon cake while we work on our stitching. It just makes us all the more in awe of our craft… and also cake!

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