Chocolate does not take the cake with me

Ray Spitzenberger

There is only one thing wrong with a cakewalk – you don’t get to choose the cake you win!

Cakewalks were very popular during my childhood, and were often a part of school carnivals. It was my favorite activity at such carnivals.

The cakewalk itself was fun to do. You would “dance” or shuffle around a circle of numbered chairs. When the music stopped, you sat down on the chair nearest you. A number was drawn, and if you were sitting on the chair with that number, you won a cake.

While the display of beautiful cakes was mouth-watering, the director of the walk gave you one of the cakes, but not necessarily the cake you yearned for!

I was not, and am still not, finicky about food in general, but am and always have been very picky about cakes! There are those I love almost passionately, and those I greatly dislike. Statistical reports differ a little on which cakes are favorites of Americans, but with all of them I was out of sync.

The best liked cake in the United States is chocolate, which is one of my least favorite. Chocolate is followed by red velvet, carrot, banana, and devil’s food.

Let me start with the cakes I dislike the most and spurn: German chocolate, date cake (I greatly dislike the taste of pitted dates), Mardi Gras king cake (made of brioche dough, it tastes more like a large cinnamon roll but not as good), chocolate sheet cake, chiffon cake, and dirt cake.

Friends often want to make me a German chocolate cake, because they think with my ethnic background I would love German chocolate. I don’t, and it’s not German. It originated in 1957 by an American who called it “German” chocolate, because it was made of a special extra sweet chocolate “invented” by an English-American named Samuel German in 1852. Nothing ethnically German about it! I generally spurn anything chocolate!

Now for my most yearned for cakes. Here they are: Tres leches cake, angel food, white wedding cake, white fruit cake, and lemon sponge cake. Yes, I know, my tastes differ from most Americans.

Tres leches (three milks) cake, my most loved cake, was introduced to me later in life, not part of the ethnic cuisine I grew up with. It is also called torta de tres leches, pan tres leches, bizcocho de tres leches, and pastel de tres leches.

As its name suggests, it is made with three different kinds of milk – whole milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk. Essentially it is a sponge cake soaked in these three kinds of milk. I have never eaten a cake as good.

Of course, you realize this is all personal opinion and personal taste – I would never suggest depriving anyone of their chocolate cake or devil’s food.

I would like to see cakewalks make a comeback, but with their stipulating that when you win, you get to choose the cake!

Ray Spitznberger is a retired WCJC teacher, a retired LWML pastor, and author of three books, It Must Be the Noodles, Open Prairies, and Tanka Schoen.

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