History of the birthday cake


It is known that many people celebrate their birthday with a birthday cake, but it has been said that Germany was the pioneer of this practice. Cakes represent wealth; only wealthy people could afford to buy one. The cakes were expensive because of the elaborate designs and decorations on the cakes. After the industrial revolution, ordinary people could finally have a chance to take a bite of the cakes as the resources such as cooking utensils and ingredients became cheaper.

In the past, the texture of cakes was similar as bread, as compared to the cakes that we have today. Later on sweeter versions were made, which they called Geburtstagorten.

Traditional birthday cakes


Every country has their own tradition, as birthday cakes become more and more popular; everyone has managed to come up with their own versions of the birthday cake.

Date back to Ancient Greek Civilizations, the individual gaining one more year would bring a circle shaped pastry to the temple of Artemis, the goddess of nature, the moon and fertility in order to ensure her favor for another year. The circle cakes were meant to resemble the moon and candles were placed on top so as to resemble heavenly body. Today, many cakes around the world are still served in the same circular, fiery way.


Birthdays in France tend to be celebrated without the frosted flair of the US. Commonly, cakes and tarts are served with chocolate and fresh whipped cream.


Rather than a traditional cake, birthdays in India are often celebrated with milk or yogurt dumplings either served with nuts or flavored syrup.

New Zealand & Australia

Birthday celebrations in these two countries are often marked with a fruit and cream filled, layered meringue Pavlova. They can be quite decedent and colorful, using local favorites such as the kiwi to decorate.


Savory rice and vegetable cakes are formed to celebrate a variety of holidays in Indonesian culture. Served with vegetables, meat, and side dishes, yellow rice is usually used to form the beautiful layers. The color is to signify wishes of wealth and prosperity for the birthday individual.


Often times, each guest at a Chinese birthday party will receive a peach-shaped pastry filled with lotus paste. This tradition is especially acted out as a person becomes older. In Chinese literature, a peach signifies long life and immortality, what the person wishes for themselves as they age.


Cakes in British culture are often baked with symbolic objects mixed in. Items like a thimble or a coin are incorporated into the batter. The person that receives the piece with a coin is said to become wealthy and the person with the thimble is predicted never to marry.


Danish birthday cakes for adults consist of three layers alternating with cream, berries, custard, and any other mix-ins of your choosing. However, for children a kagemand or kagekone, a rolled out pastry, is decorated to look like a cake woman or cake man. Using chocolate, candy, and icing, the cake child is cut into pieces to enjoy while the children scream in mock fear and the birthday child nibbles on the head.


The African country does not have a specific birthday sweet that is generally served at birthday gatherings. However, kelewele is almost always served at the birthday celebration or for breakfast. The cooked, ripe plantains are spiced with ginger and pepper and is fried to a delicious golden brown.


Tortas consisting of fruit fillings and dried meringue layers are often served on birthdays in Chile. Lucuma, a tropical fruit that tastes of sweet custard, is a popular flavor for the fruit cream. At many Latin American birthdays, the child will bite into the cake without utensils after blowing out the candles and the friends around push their face into the frosting.


Given its history and location, Serbian cuisine harbors characteristics from Asian culture as well as Mediterranean countries such as Greece. One of their traditional cakes served often on birthdays is a good indicator of such influences. Vasa’s torte base is a rich, nutty orange cake that is then topped with a decadent walnut-chocolate mousse. The cake is covered in fluffy meringue cream and sprinkled with zested orange and chopped nuts.

Dunn’s Bakery bring you birthday cakes

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Dunn’s Bakery would like to continue the traditions. As much as we may no longer place a coin or a thimble into our cakes, we still believe birthday cakes are necessity to enjoy any birthday celebrations properly. We bake all of our goods to the highest quality to ensure all of our birthday cakes meet our customer’s tastes.

Dunn’s bakery offers a wide range of birthday cakes to suit any of our customers’ desires. Our birthday cakes range from cartoon characters, footballs, numbers, to the traditional round cake or the more modern, photo cakes.

We promise to provide fresh birthday cakes, as we make everything on site daily. There is also the choice of two flavours, chocolate and vanilla, along with so many other options to customise our cakes.

The North London bakery not only allows you to buy the cakes in store, but we also give our customers the option of buying birthday cakes online, through our online cake shop.