January 27 is a VERY important, not to mention delicious, holiday: National Chocolate Cake Day! As with most dessert holidays, the Dorai team takes such occasions very seriously and brings our own unique spin. When it comes to dessert, we are constantly on the lookout for delicious, high-quality recipes that use satisfying and nourishing ingredients.
But before we share a few mouthwatering recipes we’re dying to bake ourselves, we need to discuss why we’re even celebrating in the first place. Let’s talk a little bit about the background behind this special day along with some fun facts about chocolate cake you might not know.
Why Is National Chocolate Cake Day Celebrated?
Celebrating National Chocolate Cake Day, first and foremost, gives us a sweet reason to indulge in this delicious dessert. But at the same time, it’s an opportunity to explore the fascinating origin of chocolate cake and how it’s evolved over the last 100-plus years. National Chocolate Cake Day is a tribute to this amazing baked good’s historic significance.
Around the world, chocolate cake is a symbol of celebration, warmth, and flavorful indulgence. And because of this, National Chocolate Cake Day holds a special place in the hearts of dessert lovers with sweet cravings everywhere. By taking a day to reflect on the depth and richness of chocolate cake history, it's evident that the journey from cocoa beans to the decadent layers on our plates is a tale worth celebrating.
When Is National Chocolate Cake Day?
Mark those calendars! National Chocolate Cake Day is celebrated annually on January 27th. This is the day when chocoholics unite to appreciate the delicious history and variety of chocolate cakes. Chocolate Cake Day provides the perfect excuse to treat yourself! After all, it’s not every day that you have a legitimate reason to enjoy a piece of chocolate cake (or two) without any guilt.
When Was Chocolate Cake Invented?
The history of chocolate cake in America starts back between 1764-1765. It was during this time an Irish-immigrant named John Hannon met an American physicist named Dr. James Baker. The two men worked together to make chocolate by grinding cocoa beans between two massive circular millstones.
Chocolate was mostly used only in its drinkable form until the mid-18th century. Then, cocoa powder was invented, and not too long after came chocolate as a candy. It took until 1876 for milk chocolate to come to be, though.. Then in 1886, American cooks began adding chocolate to the cake batter, to make the first chocolate cakes in the US. While it took a few decades to become a mainstream dessert, we’re so happy it’s being recognized with a holiday!
7 Unique Fun Facts About Chocolate Cake You Probably Didn’t Know
You know now a little bit of the history, but there are still countless delightful surprises and quirky tidbits that make this dessert an even more fascinating topic to explore. So in honor of National Chocolate Cake Day, let’s talk about a few of the lesser-known fun facts about chocolate cake to add to your appreciation for this beloved dessert!
The Secret Ingredients for Moist Chocolate Cake
Some of the best chocolate cakes incorporate unconventional ingredients to achieve that perfect moist texture. Mayonnaise, sweet potatoes, and even beets have been used as secret ingredients in chocolate cake recipes to enhance the moisture and richness without altering the flavor.
Chocolate Cake in a Mug
The concept of a "mug cake" was popularized in the early 2000s, providing a quick and convenient way to enjoy a single serving of chocolate cake in just a few minutes. All you need is a mug, a microwave, and a few basic ingredients!
The World’s Tallest Cake
In 2008, the Hakasima-Nilasari Culinary School cooked up an unbelievable feat. They baked a cake that was 33-meters tall, 9-meters wide, and weighed just over 18 tons. Its ingredients included 1.6 tons of sugar, 3.2 tons of eggs and of course, 243 kilograms of powdered chocolate!
How Chocolate Cake Varies Across The World
Different cultures have put their unique spins on chocolate cake. For example, in Sweden, there's a popular chocolate cake called "Kladdkaka" which has a gooey, sticky center, similar to a brownie.
Celebrity Chocolate Cake Lovers
Famous personalities have expressed their love for chocolate cake, including former U.S. President Barack Obama, whose favorite chocolate cake comes from the famous Fran's Chocolates in Seattle.
Cocoa Percentage Matters
The percentage of cocoa in the chocolate used for the cake can significantly affect the flavor. A higher cocoa content results in a richer, more intense chocolate flavor, while lower cocoa content gives a sweeter, milder taste.
Chocolate Cake in Books and Movies
Chocolate cake has made appearances in various books and films, serving as a symbol of indulgence and comfort. Who could forget the iconic chocolate cake scene in the movie "Matilda"?
Dorai’s Favorite Recipes to Celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day
For National Chocolate Cake Day, we thought we would try something a little different...a more wholesome version of chocolate cake! The recipes we’re trying today swap out a few ingredients for healthier upgrades that can be enjoyed by those who may have trouble digesting some common baking staples. The first is a moist variation of a classic chocolate cake but opts for naturally sweet sugar swaps.
Classic Chocolate Cake Wholesome Ingredient List
- 3 bananas, overly ripe
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt (vanilla or plain)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 1 large egg (grab a dozen from your local farmer’s market)
- 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (can be substituted for gluten-free baking flour, we like Bob’s)
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- mini chocolate chips for sprinkling on top
We know what you’re thinking. Healthy cake that still tastes good? Sounds scary! We loved that this particular recipe was still moist and full of signature chocolate flavor but has a healthier replacement for butter + sugar. We'll be honest, we did add a healthy sprinkling of chocolate chips and that really finished it off.
Thhe full recipe we followed for the classic chocolate cake can be found here at The First Year Blog.
Paleo Double Fudge Banana Cupcakes
The second recipe in honor of Chocolate Cake Day is Double Fudge Banana Cupcakes from one of our favorite bakers to follow, Kale Junkie. These grain-free cupcakes are super rich and have a light cakey texture that you wouldn’t expect from the ingredient list.
Here are the all-star ingredients:
- 4 ripe bananas
- 3 eggs (3 flax eggs to make vegan)
- 1/4 cup almond milk (if you want alternatives, we’ve made a list of dairy-free creamers)
- 4 tbsp coconut oil melted
- 2 cups almond flour
- 3 tablespoons cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp ground flax meal
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips
Another delicious alternative option! Our favorite part about this recipe is that you can throw all of the ingredients into a blender and BOOM you’re done. Healthy + easy = something we can definitely get behind! Let us know what you think and we always love seeing your favorite kitchen creations on Instagram @doraihome.
The recipe for the double fudge banana cupcakes can be found here at Kale Junkie.
How Do You Celebrate Chocolate Cake Day?
Personally, we think the best way to celebrate is by baking your favorite chocolate cake recipes, like the wholesome classic chocolate cake or the paleo double fudge banana cupcakes we've shared in this article. There’s nothing more rewarding than having a rich bite of chocolate cake that you’ve mixed, poured, and baked yourself!
But what about the aftermath? Baking can often leave you with a mountain of wet bakeware and a messy counter. That's where Dorai can help.
Our Dish Pad and Dish Pad Rack are designed to keep your kitchen organized and your countertops dry. So, not only do you get to indulge in delicious homemade chocolate cake, but you also enjoy a clutter-free and dry kitchen space.
Now, doesn’t that sound like the perfect way to celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day? We think so!