A rose by any other name …right, any other name!
They could have picked any other name and that Devil’s Food Cake would taste just as good. But no, they picked that name. I guess if you have an Angel Food Cake and you want to make something more decadent and somewhat addictive, a natural choice, would of course be Devil’s Food Cake. That chocolate keeps us coming back.
Research indicates the name may have come from the folks at Duncan Hines sometime in the early 1950’s, about the same time as their Spice Cake. In ’53, Hines and his new business partner Roy Park began selling licenses to other companies to produce their goods. The cake mix license was sold to Nebraska Consolidated Mills in Omaha, Nebraska, which appear to have developed and sold the first Duncan Hines cake mixes. But this was two decades after the first patent was granted for the first baking-mix patent, on Oct. 24, 1933 to John D. Duff of the P. Duff and Sons company in Pittsburgh. Their mix was for gingerbread and the company offered other mixes such as nut bread, bran muffin, and fruit cake.
After WWII was over, the world of cake mixes expanded dramatically and by the start of the 1950’s several hundred companies were producing cake mixes, including now famous names like General Mills, Duncan Hines, Pillsbury and my favorite, Betty Crocker. I watched a YouTube video of actress Adelaide Hawley Cumming, who was “Betty Crocker” to the public, as she told how moist and tender the cake was down to the last crumb. It was about that time, that I got to enjoy son of those, “fleeting moments vision”, of Mom’s red and white checker board Better Homes & Gardens cook book on the kitchen counter, while she created something delicious, as always. You welcome to supply your own “happy moments vision” of your Mom in the kitchen here, if you like. It’s always a pleasant moment.
Sure glad they created box cake mixes, ‘cause after many decades of enjoying this particular chocolate cake, I never seem to tire of having it waiting under that dome on the cake pan, every now and then. But still don’t like the name! At my house, we just say “chocolate cake”, and it’s understood which one, without saying a name …