Why Do We Eat Cake On Special Occasions?

Cake is a common (and vital) ingredient for birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, and so much more. You name the event, and there is nearly always a cake involved!

Not only does cake sometimes serve a purpose as part of the decorations for a special occasion but it is also a delicious way to keep guests happy and content. After all, nobody can resist the allure of a well-baked and immaculately decorated cake (or cupcake for that matter). 

If you want to understand why we even eat cake on special occasions in the first place, you have come to the right place!

A Brief History 

Cake is a pretty common part of birthday celebrations. This delightful party treat comes in hundreds of different flavor combinations ranging from rich red velvet to decadent triple chocolate. This means finding a flavor that appeals to the masses isn’t too difficult.

But did you know that eating cake as part of a celebration for a special occasion is firmly rooted in history? We’ll dive into more details below.

Origins of the Birthday Tradition

The Ancient Egyptians believed that crowned pharaohs would transform into gods, meaning their coronation day also doubled as their day of birth. The coronation was a crucial time that was seen as a marker for the transition from human to a deity.

Due to the importance of the coronation, it is often considered to be the first-ever semblance of a birthday celebration.

Enhanced Birthday Celebrations

The Ancient Greeks adopted the tradition of celebrating birthdays and then added some moon-shaped cakes and candles into the mix. The cake was then offered to the goddess of the moon, Artemis, as a tribute on their birthdays, and was also viewed as a way to make the celebration far more meaningful.

So, Where is the Cake?

The first actual birthday cake was created for children’s birthdays in Germany during the Middle Ages, commonly known as Kinderfest. Cake was bread-like and coarse at this time.

Fortunately, as sugar and other cake ingredients became more affordable and easier to source, the beautifully decorated and decadently sweet cake that we know today came into existence. 

Nowadays, just about anyone can go into a store and buy the necessary ingredients to make a single or multiple-tiered cake to celebrate a special occasion. 

An average single-tiered cake will be around 8 to 9 inches. The number of people you can serve with an 8 Inch cake depends on the shape. For example, a square 8-inch cake will provide more servings than a round 8-inch cake.

Types of Special Occasions That May Feature Cake

There is no doubt that cake is something that is designed to be enjoyed. And while this delicious sweet treat isn’t always a requirement for an event, there are plenty of special occasions that could surely warrant having a slice of delicious cake.

Some of these special occasions include:

  • Birthdays
  • Weddings
  • Anniversaries 
  • Baby showers
  • Life milestones (including job promotions)

You can also buy yourself a cake as a way to cheer yourself up. Thanks to the high sugar content (and the oh-so-delicious taste) cakes are a brilliant way to cheer yourself up!

So, Why Do We Eat Cake On Special Occasions?

We eat cake on special occasions to commemorate a specific event. The cakes used for special occasions are often personally designed, ordered, baked, decorated, and then eaten with plenty of love involved.

Cake also brings an extra layer of enjoyment for any special occasion for the people being celebrated and those who choose to come along. 

Take a wedding day celebration, for example. During the sit-down meal and subsequent reception, the wedding cake stands tall as a clear focal point for guests to admire (and later indulge in once the first cut has been made by the newly married couple).

These confections can be customized to fit the needs of an individual, or a whole group, which means cake also adds some sort of personal touch to an occasion. You can decide the design, flavors, type of cake, size, and shape to make it even more fun!


Now that you have finished this article, we hope that you now understand a little more about why we eat cake on special occasions.

To keep things simple, we eat cake to celebrate a specific person or event. While there aren’t any rules that state you must have cake as part of an event, it is highly recommended. After all, nearly everyone loves cake!