The Tasty Origin Of The Decadent Brooklyn Blackout Cake

Brooklyn blackout cake
Brooklyn blackout cake - johnlck/Shutterstock

Sometimes it seems like there are more types of cake under the sun than there are stars in the sky. From German chocolate cake (which isn't even German) to chiffon cake (which isn't sponge cake) to the visually striking red velvet cake, each dessert brings something to the table. But there are others that don't have as much widespread renown but still deserve a place in the conversation. Enter Brooklyn blackout cake.

There are few confections as chocolatey as Brooklyn blackout cake anywhere in the world; it's a mix of chocolate ingredients that would send any chocoholic to tears. It earns its name -- although that name isn't simply because it contains a ton of chocolate but is actually in honor of planned blackouts that rolled across New York City during World War II. As a protection against potential air raids (which never materialized), New York City had its lights dimmed from 1942-45, with blackouts often coinciding with when ships would be sent to sea from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

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Brooklyn Blackout Cake Is A Classic New York Dessert

Brooklyn blackout cake
Brooklyn blackout cake - Banu R/Getty Images

New York City is widely regarded for its culinary contributions, but those contributions typically take the form of things like New York pizza or New York bagels rather than baked confections. And granted, sometimes the city claims to have created foods it likely didn't (the Reuben sandwich is a good example), but in the case of Brooklyn blackout cake, it's indisputably from the Big Apple.

Brooklyn, it's worth noting, has always considered itself a part of but also apart from New York City, owing to the fact that for a long time, it was a separate city -- this is how you get a modern professional sports team specifically called the Brooklyn Nets. And the blackout cake is inarguably a Brooklyn creation, the product of the legendary bakery Ebinger's, which operated from 1898 to 1972. And though it was named after the mandatory blackout drills of 1942, its history actually predates that conflict, likely by a few decades.

Brooklyn Blackout Cake Is The Most Chocolatey Thing In Existence

slice of blackout cake isolated
slice of blackout cake isolated - Aiselin82/Getty Images

Brooklyn blackout cake didn't start out with that name; it was originally just called "chocolate fudge cake." That undersells just how chocolatey this thing is, though -- the blackout cake traditionally contains multiple layers of devil's food cake, along with dark chocolate pudding, chocolate frosting, and a chocolate cake crumb topping. Basically, it's a chocolate nuclear bomb that can also be artificially darkened with food coloring to make it even more true to its name. It's not 100% clear when Ebinger's started selling it, but it was probably after 1906 when the original owners George and Catherine Ebinger handed the shop over to their sons.

Though Ebinger's eventually went bankrupt and was forced to shutter its doors in 1972, its Brooklyn blackout cake carried on, becoming a staple not just in the Northeast, but across the country. Weird to think its name comes from a literal World War, but food history is just like that sometimes.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.