History of Food

History of Food

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 6 - National Applesauce Cake Day

National Applesauce Cake Day is a day to enjoy a cake that uses applesauce as its main flavoring. These cakes are most traditionally made as a bundt cake, but they can also be made as cupcakes for convenient single servings.The origins and history of this holiday are elusive.

Applesauce dates back to the middle ages, applesauce cake is thought to have it's origins in the early 1900s. During World War I, applesauce cakes were promoted to be patriotic as they used less butter, sugar and eggs. By the end of the century, they were touted as a more healthy alternative to traditional cake as the applesauce could be substituted for shortening in some sturdy butter cakes.

With the modern day goals to decrease fat in foods and improve the nutritional content of baked goods applesauce can be used to replace fat in recipes.  Applesauce is a useful fat-replacer in many baked goods. Using applesauce instead of butter or oil adds fiber and reduces calories in cakes, muffins and breads. And, because of its water content, applesauce will also keep your baked goods moist and fresh longer. A quart of homegrown and homemade applesauce is also much more frugal than even the cheapest store-bought vegetable oil.  A decent resource of how to use applesauce versus oil in a cake:  applesauce to replace oil in recipe guidelines.


The Etymology of the word  Applesauce
by 1739, American.English, from apple + sauce. Slang meaning "nonsense" is attested from 1921 and was noted as a vogue word early 1920s. Mencken credits it to cartoonist T.A. ("Tad") Dorgan.  History suggests the word was thus used because applesauce was cheap fare served in boardinghouses.

The Etymology of the word  Cake
early 13c., from O.N. kaka "cake," from W.Gmc. *kokon- (cf. M.Du. koke, Du. koek, O.H.G. huohho, Ger. Kuchen), from PIE root *gag-, *gog- "something round, lump of something." Not related to L. coquere "to cook," as formerly supposed. Replaced its Old English cognate, coecel.  Originally (until early 15c.) "a flat, round loaf of bread." Let them eat cake is from Rousseau's "Confessions," in reference to an incident c.1740, when it was already proverbial, long before Marie Antoinette. The "cake" in question was not a confection, but a poor man's food.

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